To the Parents of April Jones

Dear parents of April Jones,

I read the news today that Mark Bridger was found guilty of abducting and murdering your five-year-old daughter, April. I read on and on, riveted and horrified that this atrocity could have happened. I saw the picture of your daughter, bent my head, and wept.

Every parent throughout the world, upon hearing your story, seeing your daughter’s photo, is surely grieving for you, with you. Words sound so trite next to the enormity of your loss, particularly since I am not a parent who has been forced to endure what you two must confront, day after day. But I am a parent. And my heart is breaking for you and your loss today.

There is little I can do, nothing more I can offer. But my hope is, that at some point, you are able to scan across the Internet and see the support and encouragement and admiration and humble condolences of people around the world, hundreds of thousands of us, unable to connect with you any other way, but feeling so very connected to your tragedy.

I suppose that’s a new take on the “world-wide web.” If it were something visual, it would be a blanket, knitted by everyone’s words and thoughts, sent your way, with our deepest respects and condolences.

You, your daughter and your whole family, as well as the families of all abducted children, will forever remain in my heart, my thoughts.


To the family of Lizabeth Wilson, abducted at age 13, July 7, 1974, in Prairie Village, KS. We have never forgotten. We will never forget her, nor you, nor that date. Ever.

To the family of 15-year-old Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar, still missing, since her abduction on March 14, 2012. Our hearts are with you. Always.

4 thoughts on “To the Parents of April Jones”

  1. Absolutely beautiful, T. I hope they see this and know that millions of people are reaching out to them. it can’t take away their pain or their loss, but it’s that inter-connectedness of the human experience that’s important. The blanket analogy is perfect.

  2. Oh, Tara, that makes me feel so warm, your comment. And it demonstrates that inter-connectedness that you, too, brought up. Here we are connecting over this spread word, and voila. I feel like my own deed, my ramblings, now have meaning. Thank you so much. (And I’m glad you like the blanket analogy. Me too. I love blankets. Big, fleecy, soft ones. They are the epitome of comfort and warmth to me.)

  3. So very sad and poignant. I am sad for all parents who have suffered this tragedy as well. I was not aware of the abduction in Prairie Village. That was 2 years before we moved there. How very scary for all affected at that time and now. Thanks for expressing so eloquently what we parents all feel.

  4. Oh, Donna, it was the most devastating thing for the families of Prairie Village, particularly for those of us going to St. Anne’s grade school. It was, in the course of one event, the death of innocence. My sibs and I always walked to and from the pool, and that was where Liz Wilson was kidnapped: in the parking lot of Shawnee Mission East, on a Sunday evening. I remember how, prior, on a particularly hot summer afternoon, we’d sometimes walk inside to get a sip of water. And it was the janitor who’d drugged and abducted her. We were, all of us, that at-risk to the same fate. The six months of the investigation, before her skull was found, was such a trippy time at St. Anne’s, with me thinking, “well, if she’s found ((and of course I was thinking “alive”)), maybe she’ll be in my class next year and not Maureen’s.” Liz Wilson was darling and vivacious and friendly and all that stuff. Honestly, I will never forget hearing the news of her kidnapping the next day, my mom saying “oh, my golly,” over and over in this low voice, as someone else informed her. And watching the news, day after day, waiting for her to “come back home safe.” All of this, in sweet little Prairie Village.

    July 7, 1974. Like I said. Not a day I’ll forget, and every July 7th I think of Liz and her family.

    I’ve always felt this heaviness in me, wanting to write about it, never sure how to explore it in a proper context without it eating me all up inside. I guess this was the place. Oh, how I feel for the Wilson family. For the April Jones and Sierra LaMar families.

    Thanks so much for your comment, Donna. And letting me spill out a little more.


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