Every morning for five months now, my cousin John Simpson has wept on his pillow, each day unable to awaken from a bad dream, a nightmare, Groundhog Day, whatever you want to call it.
Everyday, John and his wife Cindy awake with the same mantra: "Come home, Ashley. Where are you? Please be safe."
It's the definition of insanity, finding yourself with the same hope expecting things to change.
They never do.
Sometimes, life's a shit sandwich, served cold.
But John has to go on, for the family, in her memory. It's not always easy, putting one foot in front of another. So he walks in Ashley's memory, and in the name of the countless others, missing and murdered women in this country who have disappeared without a trace. He plays cards, and builds bonfires., cooks marshmallows for the grands.
It's how he's built.
He's a Simpson. A man of few words. A man who just gets things done.
But we know inside, it's eating him up.
We all want to think that Ashley is out there, staying at a bed and breakfast somewhere, that she will call when ready. We want to think that because we cannot imagine what else might have happened to a young woman who was here one day, flashing that legendary smile, then gone the next.
Disappeared without a trace, without a wallet or a car, after an argument with a boyfriend.
Today, John wrote this note on Facebook. I want to share it because I want everybody to take away a little bit of the family's pain in hopes it will lessen. Insanity, I know.
Wishful thinking, again. That pain will never go away. It will only lessen, and even then, just a bit, if they learn what really happened to Ashley on that spring day.
And now, over to you, John.
Well, kid, my how we miss you.
Our pain and sorrow are enormous.
The void you made when you left us is huge.
We are living in a nightmare.
I wish on no family the lack of response from the RCMP.
It is discouraging to say the least.
No wonder they have such a huge problem in BC.
They have no heart no soul. They speak with a forked tongue, as one would say.
And the government of BC, well I have a few choice words for you while you stand idly by while your women and children go missing for years .
You have done nothing but hide the fact that BC is not a safe place for women of any race.
SHAME ON YOU.
You can believe me, if there is any connection to my daughter's disappearance and what's going on out in BC , I will get a someone like a lawyer to see if he can do something about it.
This I promise you my kid.
We still have faith that, somehow, you can break free of your chains that hold you.
Where ever you are, get free, contact anyone.
We are not far from you at anytime.
As for us Ashley, we cry daily, as we laugh daily, as we all remember your smile. Your hard laughter.
Survive we will but with a huge hole in our hearts.
You will never leave our thoughts and dreams.
We love you, my girl.
Well I'll head out to dry my tears as they flow down my face as they have daily since you have left us.
No, it doesn't get easier.
THE PAIN AND TEARS ARE AS REAL AS THE LOVE WE HAVE FOR YOU.
TIL WE MEET AGAIN, MY GIRL.
STAY STRONG IN THE BELIEF THAT WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP.
Amen to that, John. Amen to that.