Wednesday, September 24, 2003

We wish for them a good new life

It's been 15 long years now since Tara Calico hopped on her bicycle and rode off on one of the regular long rides she took but never returned. It was a story that sent a shiver down the spine of practically everyone in the county. Hundreds of people showed up to search the windswept vegetation along NM 47 south of Rio Communities while others addressed and mailed envelopes with information about the disappearance to police departments across the country.

We cried with Patty and John Doel, Tara's mother and step-father. We worried about other women and girls, didn't want them to go out alone. We wracked our brains, trying to think about what might have happened. We watched as Patty Doel appeared on Oprah and other national television shows, telling her stories, and we hoped against hope that someone could help solve this horrible mystery.

We wanted to sheild this determined mother who never gave up on her efforts to keep the story in the national foreground where clues might be found. We admired her stamina and her determination, and we hoped that we would be like her if something of that awesome magnitude ever happened to us.

After 15 years, Patty Doel is still looking, still hoping. She is an example of bravery and faith, of goodness in the face of unthinkable horror. Not to have an answer for so long is simply unimaginable. We can never know what it is like to walk in her shoes we pray that we never have to at the same time we pray she may have an answer soon.

Now, the Doels are leaving our community, making a move to a new home in Florida. It's something they've planned since they first married a dream of a lovely life. As they go, we would like to wish them the very best in every way. We hope that they may smile, that they may laugh, that they may have something of the life they'd imagined.

We know they will never forget. We can only imagine being reminded by reporters knocking on their door, talking about yet another anniversary, about seeing a girl who looks something like their daughter, about watching a television program that features a similar case, seeing pictures of missing children on milk cartons.

We wish the very best for the Doels they deserve all the joy they can get out of life. They're leaving a community that loves and admires them. Godspeed, Mr. and Mrs. Doel. We all love you.

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