Saturday, June 11, 2011


Today, in Bloomington, someone’s daughter is missing—a slight, blonde, lively 20-year-old with a heart condition who believed she could navigate the night on her own and was overtaken in ways we do not yet, and may never, understand. Bloomington knows this scenario all too well, lived this nightmare with a local family as eleven years of hell have unfolded, offering only a tantalizing bit of knowledge about the end of a life of infinite possibility we will never have the privilege to witness.

As the mother of two daughters, the sister and friend of rape survivors, a woman who has lived her life with unwelcome caution—based on the experience of the latter, operating always, in the back of my mind, so that, should anything unfortunate happen, at least stupidity wouldn’t have been the last thing I was remembered for—I am living in suspended animation along with an entire community.

The outpouring of concern, and even more impressive, volunteers willing to walk through heat and unfamiliar territory with faith and hope, is heartening.

It is literally difficult to breathe, at times, while awaiting news. I know that countless others in the community are experiencing this same breathlessness, difficulty in thinking of anything else, A week has passed, and the heaviness grows. Hard to breathe, hard to think, hard to write.

Mary for the Poplar Grove Muse


  1. Thanks for this piece, Mary. Our family took a hike yesterday and paid extra attention, hoping for the outside chance we might spot a clue pointing toward Lauren's whereabouts. I appreciate you putting words to your experience of what's happening now.

  2. Mary, thanks for so beautifully writing about this heartwrenching story. Every day Lauren's mother's face shows the toll this has taken on her. Never knowing is unimaginable.

  3. Thank you for a writing this heartbreaking story.