“Sometimes Only One Person is Missing and the Whole World Seems Depopulated”
Alphonse de Lamartine
On this day in 2009, Claudia Lawrence became officially known as a ‘Missing Person’ when she vanished from her home in York and an incredible nine years later and despite many exhaustive searches and the numerous appeals on television and radio – she still remains missing.
I remember hearing the news of her disappearance and how inexplicable it all seemed as people don’t usually ‘vanish’ from the City of York and when having reduced the well-known ‘Where Are You?’ poster to 12th scale – I made a promise that it would stay on the parish noticeboard here at St M’s until she was returned to her loved ones.
And of all of the many notices that have had to jostle for space on the busy parish noticeboard as the days, weeks, months and years have passed by – that one little poster still has pride of place and will continue to do so until the truth of what had happened to Claudia is finally revealed.
Even though we are now in the third week of Lent and here at St M’s we have been busy with plans for a fabulous Mother’s Day celebration and dreaming up some thought-provoking ideas to share with you for Holy Week; the mice wanted to do something to remember Claudia and her loved ones today.
It was the Rev. Suze who came up with the idea of a creating a ‘Thought Tree’ to which the mice could add their prayers of hope for Claudia’s return and demonstrate their sympathy for her loved ones who miss her dreadfully.
And with morning prayers over for the day here at St M’s Parish Church and having lit a candle for Claudia, the Rev. Suze carefully added her prayer card to a branch of the tree.
However, she was thrilled and encouraged to see that many of the mice had already left their messages on the tree for Claudia and her family.
Donald has also made his way to the church today in search of some warmth from the cold wind outside and with a mug of hot tea and a delicious bacon sandwich from the Rev. Suze and with Minnie B snoozing by his side, he has also been thinking about Claudia.
However, unlike the dedicated team who have worked tirelessly on the campaign to Find Claudia and for all of the 250,000 people that are reported missing every year here in the UK; you would be unlikely to find any mention of Donald for he has been missed by no one.
Born to selfish parents who had never grown up themselves and with a childhood of only unkindness and neglect, Donald had vowed to leave home as soon as he was able to but as he had not known what it is to be nurtured and encouraged; he had been thrust into the world before he was ready and his life has been a struggle ever since.
However, he knows that he will always be safe here at St M’s as he meets with a kindness he hasn’t really known anywhere else and that suits him just fine for now.
And even though he isn’t sure if Mr Madrigal really exists – he wanted to leave a card for Claudia and to let her loved ones know that he was holding a good thought for her.
Another mouse who has made his way to St M’s today is Frederick or Fred as he prefers to be known!
And having helped himself to one of the cards that have been left for the mice on the prayer table; he also left a donation in the box for the charity Missing People who support those who are missing and their families with free 24 hour confidential support and if you also would like to make a donation, a click on the table below will take you to their website.
However, with the clock ticking towards Mothering Sunday and the thought of all of those Daffodil plants I have promised to help the Rev. Suze with, I shall leave Fred to enjoy a little of the peace here at St M’s…
As the title of this story has been inspired by one of Claudia’s favourite songs by Jon And Vangelis – why not click on the link and listen as you read along:
But if my spirit is strong
I know it can’t be long
No questions I’m not alone
Somehow I’ll find my way home…