by Patty Wetterling
I love the cooler temps, crisper air, changing leaves, and the absolute beauty that surrounds us in central Minnesota. The fall season was always my favorite, but then everything changed on that unseasonably warm day in 1989 when Jacob was kidnapped. For 27 years, it was hard to enjoy anything fall because it meant having to face that annual turmoil of emotions and sorrow.
When Jacob’s remains were found over Labor Day weekend in 2016, it happened all over again. Our family learned what happened to him one day before the rest of the world heard all the horrible details. It was September 5th — Labor Day — which also happened to be Trevor’s birthday.
Trauma is hard to get past. You can tell yourself that you’re doing better, you can try to ignore the dates. But your body remembers. When the school supplies start showing up on store shelves, the sumac starts to turn red, the Vikings start their preseason games, and everyone enjoys one last blast of summer over the long Labor Day weekend — it all comes rushing back for our family. Every fall, we work hard to get past the sad and keep moving forward.
That’s where so many of you come in. Your kind messages remind me there is still a collective awareness among all who remember the fear and helplessness our family felt back in 1989. For almost 27 years we survived on hope, only to have that taken away from us, too. It was like having the rug ripped out from under us all over again.
Since October 22, 1989, our family has been truly blessed by your kindness. We have been held up by your prayers, candles, flowers, songs, poems, cards, and letters. Thank you for your amazing outpouring of love and support. It has made all the difference.
Jerry, Amy, Trevor, Carmen and I have each had to create our own process of healing. I have no brilliant solution, but I do know one thing for sure. The sharing of support is strengthening. Words matter. Kindness matters. Yesterday I received an amazing note in the mail and it made me smile. I went for a walk just before sunset and watched as an eagle soared high above me, circling our road as the sky turned glorious colors.
“Thank you, God.”
May you and your family enjoy this very special time of year. Soak in the glorious colors and don’t miss an opportunity to share love and gratitude each and every day.
Talk of the Stacks
The "official" launch event for Dear Jacob: A Mother’s Journey of Hope will be held on Wednesday, October 18th at "Talk of the Stacks," sponsored by Friends of the Hennepin County Library. It starts at 6:30 PM and takes place both virtually and in-person inside Pohlad Hall at the Minneapolis Central Library. Tickets are free and we would love to see you there! To get more details or to sign up, visit https://www.supporthclib.org/talk-stacks.
Upcoming Author Events
Our publicity team at Minnesota Historical Society Press has been busy lining up author talks and book signings for us. To see all the latest updates, please visit our new Events page.
Dear Jacob: A Mother’s Journey of Hope is available for pre-order from your favorite bookseller, online retailer, or local library. Here are a few links to choose from:
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