I can barely even think about what Charlene Spierer must be going through right now. The mother of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer has endured 14 months of not knowing whether her daughter is alive or dead; now, horribly, she's being forced to wait for the results of DNA testing on a skull found in the White River near Indianapolis. In a letter addressed to whomever is responsible for her daughter's disappearance, Spierer describes this time as “80,640 minutes of agony.”
As a mom, reading those words rips me apart. Can you imagine? Every single one of those minutes (and she's only talking about the time she's spent waiting for the DNA results, mind you) has been filled with complete and utter torment. I doubt that poor woman has slept through an entire night since Lauren vanished on June 3, 2011. Every single moment of every single day is twisted in gut-wrenching terror. It must be a living nightmare.
In the letter, posted to the Spierer family website, Charlene does her best to make sure Lauren's kidnapper (or kidnappers) feels the extent of her anguish:
On June 4, 2011, we were hoping for Lauren’s rescue. That’s what the Bloomington Police Department was hoping for as well. As time passed, we were hoping for Lauren’s recovery. Today we are waiting to find out if the remains found in the White River belong to Lauren. We wait along with other families of missing loved ones. It could take as long as eight weeks. That’s 80,640 minutes of agony. We are waiting to find out if a skull found in the White River might be Lauren’s. It’s chilling to say the words. I find it incomprehensible that if by chance you are reading this, you know the answer already.
Incomprehensible. Exactly. The entire situation is incomprehensible to me. Including the strength and bravery Charlene has shown by writing this letter to the people who destroyed her family:
You may or may not be a parent. Somehow I doubt that you are a parent. I guarantee you have no idea what it’s like, waiting to find out if the remains recovered from any number of places are those of your child. I hope I am making you uncomfortable. I hope you have as many sleepless nights as I have. I hope that some day, your parents, your siblings, your friends will all be in a courtroom when your true self is revealed, the self which was born on June 3, 2011 when you took Lauren from us.
Somehow I doubt that monster is a parent, too.
Do you hope Lauren's kidnappers read her mother's letter? Do you think they'll feel any remorse?
Image via Kat/Flickr