HS News Network
The Holiday Season for the Families of Missing People
Photo: Michael Sanchez reunited with his daughter, Emily Machado
As the holiday season goes into high gear and Thanksgiving is approaching, we in America have a lot to be thankful for; Health Insurance, Jobs, family and our children. But what about the families who will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday without their children? What are the holidays like for a parent who has a missing loved one?
When we all sit down this Thursday for thanksgiving dinner, we will all have the opportunity to say what we are thankful for. For most parents of a missing child, it’s a silent cry and a tearful memory of a life that continues to be empty. A major piece of my life was missing also, my daughter Emily Machado went missing in 2008 from my life and as I sat down for dinner on Thanksgiving, there would always be an empty seat next to me, an empty plate and an empty heart that was filled with sadness each-year.
As we all watch the football games and enjoy the times we have with our families, please let us not forget the other family who are forced to celebrate the holiday without their child. At our thanksgiving dinner, I please ask that we all say a prayer for the left behind families. For most, It will bring back the memories of the day there child went missing.
For this Thanksgiving, you are probably wondering what It is that I am thankful for? I am thankful to be reunited with my daughter after almost 4 years of searching. Although she is still in Brazil and I won’t personally be with her this Thanksgiving holiday, I still have that opportunity to talk to her on the phone and chat via video. For many parents still searching, they aren’t that lucky. I am also thankful for all the help I received from supporters around the world.
So what does a parent of a missing child do during the holiday? A parent of a missing loved one will do whatever feels right for them at this time. Some parents will need to go all-out and make their child’s favorite dish. Others will leave town and return after the holiday has ended. For most parents of a missing child, the holidays bring new meaning and the true meaning of family. The holidays are a time when family members of the “Left-Behind” parent should comfort him or her. The best thing that a family member can do is let the “left-behind” parent handle the holiday the way they need to.