Thursday, June 14, 2012

Austin, We Will Always Remember

by Anita Sullivan

“I often wonder if tears and prayers could bring you back to us... Why aren’t you already here?” 

excerpt from Jim Jolkowski on the 11th anniversary of missing his son Jason
the inspiration for Project Jason 

This month marks five years of missing my brother Austin .  There was a completely surreal moment yesterday when I was enjoying the quiet of being home alone, but knowing my kids were having fun with family, and my husband was spending time serving at a youth camp.  It quickly took me back to almost five years ago, when my son was away spending time with family and my husband and I were enjoying some rare quiet time.  We spent the first evening with my brother, watching a funny movie.    

We planned dinners and fun things for the rest of the week.  But it didn’t happen.  Instead, one night was spent filing a police report, certain that Austin would walk back through the door and laugh at me.  Then the next days and nights were consumed by urgent phone calls, walking streets, passing out flyers, and comforting family. 

Sometimes five years seems like an eternity.  Then sometimes there’s a moment like that where it feels just a few heartbeats ago.
So much has happened, and yet so little has changed.  We’ve welcomed a little one that my brother would be very amused by, we’ve moved, we’ve gotten involved, we’ve grown older, we’ve welcomed new technology and new friends…. Yet, we have no more answers.  We have no less hurt. 

I’d like to be able to pull more out of the five year mark than simply remembering- some lessons learned, some pearls of wisdom.  But mostly I remember, which is often more painful than forgetting. 

I first wrote this when it was just One year, 11 months, 2 days and 1 week.  I sometimes update it as a reminder that we have made it through so much longer than we thought we would could or would have to.  We’ve found strength through faith and love, but yet I pray this is the last update I make.  One day little brother….

Four years, 11 months, 3 weeks and
five days since we saw you, heard you
hugged you.

Four years, 11 months, 3 weeks and
five days of searching, seeking, scouring
and devouring any piece of information
that would lead us to you.

Four years, 11 months, 3 weeks and
five days of still hearing your laugh and
seeing your smile, though only in our dreams.

Four years, 11 months, 3 weeks and
five days since our lives changed.

How many days are left?  We don’t know,
but we will continue for all of the rest of
the days on this journey until it ends, and
even then, a new journey will begin as we
walk with others.

-Anita Sullivan

 Anita Sullivan is the sister of a missing person, and long time advocate of victims, even before having a personal connection to the world of lost. During college,Anita found a passion for helping others and was involved in a variety of ministries. She then started a career in non-profit, first working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She went on to work with at risk families through a supervised visitation program before spending several years in fundraising and advocacy. She now tries to reach people with a message of Hope through writing and speaking, while honoring her brother, Michael "Austin" Davis, who has been missing since 2007. To learn more about Anita, visit her at  

1 comment:

  1. Hello Anita: This account truly touched my heart... The not knowing. The sense of being in limbo and "suspended animation" has got to be the most surreal feeling on earth!

    Who said no news is good news? I doubt it would be anyone who has had a loved one go missing... nor a crime victim awaiting the jury's verdict.
    Keeping vigil is difficult but it is the only thing you can do in addition to your proactive efforts!

    Thanks for sharing!



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