I feel I should write something about the developments in North Dakota today.
The FBI and local authorities believe they have found the remains of Sherry’s body outside of Williston, North Dakota. You may remember that this was where one of the men was arrested. The other had fled to South Dakota where he was picked up. The body has been sent to the state medical examiner in Missoula for formal identification.
A body brings much needed closure. In the physical sense, she comes home. I do not know how the family is reacting, I have not talked to them.
Yes, we knew she was dead. Yet, having a body somehow makes this so definite and real.
It all comes up to the surface: anger, bitterness, sadness, a sense of longing.
We don’t know the “whys” of why bad, horrible, ugly and unfair things happen. They just do. People have free will and do horrendous things. People have free will and do amazingly kind and compassionate things.
I go back to the dream I had the morning of the Virtual Run. Dreams can tell us so much if we choose to observe and listen. They are the key to our deepest selves. They are the stuff that gets unlocked in mysterious sleep. My dreams are never very clear, and I hardly ever remember a thing about them. Yet, on that morning, Sherry sat by me on a couch and whispered to me “Goodnight.” In the dream I knew she was dead yet knew she was with me. I knew she was saying “Goodbye and let go.” I woke up crying, yet peaceful.
I have not seen Sherry in three years. Yet, she and I had a bond because we were alike in so many ways. When I met her when I was ten, our connection was immediate. As much as I like people and have many friends, it’s rare to find someone you instantaneously bond with. Her story could have easily been my story. Her story could easily have been all of our stories.
Something very eerie happened almost exactly a year before she went missing. I even blogged about it at the time. She sent me an email telling me about a run she had gone on after school. She had been sideswiped by a car and had lost her shoe. She was thrown to her knees. The driver sped off. After the police came, she found her shoe and ran the three miles home. She wrote, “We runners can be kind of touched in the head. I am telling you this because I know you would have finished out the run too. You are just as hard core as I am.” She told me to “be careful out there because you never know what is coming.”
It is a haunting story in many ways.
This is who she was. Tough in spirit, kind in her heart and full of laughter (about farts nonetheless – you can see why she stole my heart).
Thank you for being with me in so many ways – your thoughts, your comments, your emails, your prayers, your generous donations, your willingness to come out and run in her memory. I know I am a broken record, but this community of ours has symbolized the power and unifying nature of goodness. I love people.
That is all. She is gone, yet still with us in many ways. She is remembered. She is at peace.