A Pain Remembered is a Pain Renewed

Sandra stood at the doorway to their bedroom, constantly looking back over her shoulder, at the sleeping form of Sarah. Her daughter! Each time, she expected to see the same flat blankets that had lain empty for thirteen years and each time her heart surged twice, first from fear, then from relief.

“What are we going to do?” Bill asked plaintively, interrupting her cycle.

Lines of stress and age stood out prominently in his face. He had changed so much. After Sarah’s disappearance, he had broken down. Once the rage and grief had receded into numbness, he had stepped back into the world. Diminished, he had never made a full recovery. Neither of them had. Looking into his face, Sandra could feel the pain of his hope.

He was waiting for an answer but she didn’t want to start a conversation. It would be too awkward. Neither of them had answers. Nothing reasonable could explain this. In her head, Dr. Roberts insisted on the importance of communication.


The word felt small and fragile in the cold air.

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