Three years ago today a mother's worst nightmare occurred right in my neighborhood. A beautiful 16 year old girl got off the school bus, called her mom to say she was walking down the street to pick up her paycheck, and disappeared without a trace. Alexandria Lowitzer had a lot going for her. She had no reason to run away and many reasons to stick around. But now she's gone and no one knows to where or why.
Unfortunately children going missing has become an epidemic in America, and many other countries. Some are run-aways, many are not. The Missing posters are everywhere and it's a frightening prospect to realize just how common they are. A quilt has been made from some and it is passed on from parent to parent of the missing children.
In order to remind the community of today's tragic anniversary, many of my neighbors gathered to release butterflies in Ali's honor. It was meant to be a symbol of hope and a reminder that we will not give up. We are still praying and hoping she will be back in her mother's arms one day.
For me it was a reminder to hug my daughters tighter, kiss them and tell them how much I love them more often. And to never take them for granted. We must be vigilant in the safety of all of our children.