I had been told that Playboy magazine employed some of the best research journalist so I was intrigued. Men think women are incomprehensible -- the same could be said of them. And here was the perfect opportunity to do some discreet research. Remember back then we had no google search engines so I picked up the magazine and was immediately drawn into a whole new world - absorbed - while feeling slightly guilty.
"You must be Wilma Derksen!" I reeled around -- magazine still in my hands - and came face to face with a complete stranger who had obviously recognized me.
"I admire your faith...." and his eyes drifted to the magazine I was holding and stopped. I more or less threw the forbidden magazine back, mumbling something about research, and we both fled the scene.
Yuk! No privacy! I shouldn't be surprised.
Together with the Search Committee, we had cultivated media attention when Candace went missing and then had cooperated with them ever after - feeling slightly beholden to them for being there when we needed them. Apparently the most effective advertisement campaigns are designed to last six weeks. Candace went missing for seven weeks. Not only that - the trial lasted ten years also carefully covered by the media.
We not only suffered the loss of our oldest daughter, we suffered the loss of control over our own story, our sense of safety, our focus, our concentration and all that we had worked for. We were totally derailed by the murder to the point where it affected Cliff's career and our financial security. Most noticeably - we lost our privacy.
And each loss was noticed.
The body keeps score and plants a red trigger warning sign on each tiny loss. The worst part of all of this is that the red flags take up valuable space - another loss. In the end, the flags have the ability to multiply on their own causing an epidemic of red flags until our lives are a field of red - where nothing else can grow. And then these flags grow deep roots and become almost impossible to pull out. What a mess of red we can become.
Through it all we said we would forgive. What does that mean to the field of red?
Forgiveness simply means "letting go" of the loss and planting a simple flower of hope instead. The hope is based on the promise that 'all things work together for good to those who choose love rather than fear."
It worked... Instead of a field of red flags, I have a view of a house... Candace House that offers hope.
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. - Martin Luther King, Jr.