Ninety-Three Days.

My pal and former schoolmate Jacque Sue (Rawson) Waller disappeared from the face of this Earth ninety-three days ago this evening. Or so it would seem. The exact circumstances of her disappearance are still at least partially unknown and largely left to speculation for all of us on the outside of an on-going police investigation. That part of a story that is stalled with Jacque just being gone and everyone who loves her scrambling to adjust to her absence. Her children, her parents, her brother and sister, her in-laws and the extended family of friends and co-workers…. Everyone wondering what happened and when. Everyone wondering how they could have prevented whatever the thing was that took Jacque away.

Since the wheels of worry, despair, panic and then suspicion began to grind (though not necessarily in that order), there has been a lot of discussion about Jacque’s estranged husband and the role he may have played in the events that June 1st evening. I’m not going to focus on Waller today. I think he’s already getting more focus than he’d like from the officials at the Cape Girardeau Jail.* He’s been incarcerated there–since July–on unrelated charges. Of course, he may have posted his bail at some point this week, I honestly don’t know. If he did, though, I can only assume that he immediately rushed to contact Jacque’s sister regarding the progress of the disappearance investigation and the health of his and Jacque’s three children. Because that’s what any father would do, right? Race to see what he could do to ensure the safety and well-being of his kids’ mom? And…that would be what you’d expect Waller to have done from the beginning, right?

Yes. Me, too.

But, I’m not talking about him now. I’m sure his ears are burning good and hot already, so…I’ll talk instead of some of the incredible humans who’ve been changing their lives to keep the care of Jacque’s kids consistent, and the search for Jacque herself a priority. Her family has taken the triplets in as their own and are the ones who get to answer the questions only five-year olds tend to ask about where Mommy is. She has dear friends all over Southwest Missouri that are organizing searches and fundraisers pretty much every weekend, and members of the media who are keeping her story in the news. Camerafolks and reporters that are traipsing out into the backwoods with the search dogs and the folks on horseback and ATVs. If you’ve never visited that part of America, I’m here to tell you there are poisonous snakes, ticks and mosquitoes in there that will eat you alive, or make you wish you were in a medically-induced coma. There’s poison ivy that will swell your eyes shut before you even realize you’ve walked past it. It is, by all accounts, a potentially very hostile environment. But people, primarily unpaid samaritans but also paid law enforcement and television types, go out there in 100+ degree heat indexes hoping and searching for any sign of our friend. Because Jacque went somewhere. She didn’t just turn into star dust and blow away on a June breeze.

Today is another benchmark in the days since Jacque went to Waller’s house to pick up her son. June 1 to September 1. Three months and a day. Ninety-three days since she waved at her folks as she drove down the road, and into some disturbance that seems to have pulled her from them indefinitely.

I wrote about Jacque’s disappearance back in June: Ripple Effects & the Power of People. 6/14/11. I thought then that it was almost certain she’d be found before the end of the month. Battered, yes. Bruised, certainly. Injured, definitely. But…found. I know logically that bad things happen to good people on a horrifically frequent basis. But I just can’t believe a lady can disappear without a trace. I just can’t accept that this family and Jacque’s dear friends will have to live with uncertainty and this lack of truth for much longer. It’s just not right. It just isn’t just. Who am I to ask or expect fairness? I’m nobody. Just a human being. Just like everyone else who desperately wants to know those children will have answers that make some kind of sense.

So if you believe in prayer, if you believe in meditation or lighting candles or the power of organized group think…whatever your spirituality or wherever your heart leads your head and vice versa…. Please think about Jacque, yes. But think also about her children and her family. Please think about everyone who’s trying to so hard to find her and everyone who’s making justice for Jacque a priority. They honor her. Please join me in honoring them, in whatever way you can. Say a prayer. Spread the word. Buy a t-shirt. Whatever you can do.

Visit this link to the Justice for Jacque fund information:

Jacque & her tripletts.

*Here’s an August 25 article from Scott Moyers at the Southeast Missourian discussing the difference between 
“suspect” and “person of interest.”

And a Friday update on Waller’s newest change of scenery: