::BIG HEFTY SIGH::
Ok everyone. Here it is. I'm digging deep to let you in on something very personal that has thrown me out of the stratosphere for quite some time. I'm not sure if I'm ready to write this and I'm not sure how to move forward and write funny or light-hearted posts after this. So please - bear with me if this blog gets a little choppy while I navigate.
Carlee is my moms cousin's daughter. I'm not sure what you call that branch of the family tree but it's family. Enough said. Though we've lived within a few hours of Carlee, her mom and her sister I haven't seen her since I was quite young and she was likely still a baby.
Mid-August of last year, at the age of 16, Carlee went missing. She stepped outside of the apartment she lived in with her mother to call a friend and never came back. As you can imagine this is a very, very long story with many many details. This is merely a recap.
Police insisted that Carlee was a runaway. For some time they ignored the pleas of Carlees mother to please treat this as a missing person case. Searches were held. A vigil was held. Balloons were sent up to heaven with the hope that God would hear the prayers and return Carlee safe and sound.
How we hoped that she was a runaway.
Tips were called in and received in various forms but unfortunately were fruitless. Then things took a horrific turn.
In early December, I believe, police investigated a lead involving an ex-boyfriend and friend
of Carlees. Within hours arrests were made and our worst fears were confirmed. These two monsters confessed to killing Carlee.
I will never EVER in my life forget the exact moment that I heard the news. I was driving to the bank after work. I was supposed to watch my niece and nephew that night. Having heard the news my brother called to relieve me of my duties knowing that once I heard I wouldn't be in any shape to watch them. He couldn't bare holding out on telling so he said "They found Carlee." At first I was ecstatic; imagining her returning home with some crazy story of where she'd been. But then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew what he'd tell me next wasn't what I'd been hoping and praying for. "ALIVE?!" I asked. (Is it possible to pray a million times in a second?) "No."
I don't know how I drove home.
Truth be told they had not actually found her. As I write this we still do not know where she is. Her mother has not been able to lay her baby girl to rest.
I know that there is no preparation possible for human ears to hear the gruesome details surrounding the ongoing trial. Numbness truly is Gods greatest gift at a time like this.
I cannot and will not go into the specifics of the case because there is no way on earth that I can write you anything factual without saturating it with emotion. I'd write for days.
A Facebook page was created by one of Carlees moms dearest friends and has been somewhat of a wailing wall for many of her friends and family. But what stands out the most? Are the pictures upon pictures posted by those who had the joy of knowing her. You can see that in her short 16 years Carlee experienced so much. Her face is a light in each and every photograph. Carlee was the sun, the moon and the stars to everyone who knew her. We did not know each other on earth but I know I'll be one of may standing in line to take in that infectious joy everyones talked about when I meet you in heaven. Until then we'll keep your spirit and memory alive by sharing in the stories told by the lucky ones you graced with your presence
every day that you were here. Lord make you a rainbow to shine down on all of us. Rest in peace.