Happy Birthday Madelaine
Posted Wednesday 15th May 2013 By Ericka Waller
Dear Madeleine, The day you went missing, I had just found out I was pregnant. You were on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal. It was Thursday 3rd May 2007. I’ll remember that date for ever. It was the day we told our families we were going to be parents.
That night we saw your parents on the news. I remember your photo, your beautiful face, my hand automatically go to my tummy.
As the search for your life grew, so did the life inside me. Each week I looked for developments in your case, alongside the developments my daughter was making. She grew in size and strength as you remained missing. I prayed for your return.
You were not found. My daughter was born on Christmas eve. The first for your parents without you. I lit a candle. What more could I do?
In the time that you have been missing, I have had two more daughters. While your mummy and daddy have searched for a miracle, I have been witnessing my own.
The daughter that was in my tummy when you first went missing is sitting next to me as I type. She should be in bed but I needed her with me to do this. The reassuring presence of her hand tapping me with a crayon, her incessant babble. I need to be able to touch her, sniff her hair, tell her how much I love her and how I cherish each second of her. People often tell me how she looks just like you.
She went missing once Madeleine. It was only for fifteen minutes, but it was the longest fifteen minutes of my life. I felt like I was breaking into a thousand pieces. I’ll never forget how the world felt without knowing where my baby was in it, and I will never stop praying for you.