The coming of the cold winds of April is a bittersweet time for me.
Two years ago in April, we welcomed our second granddaughter, a little nugget who has changed my life for the better.
But it is also the month, two years ago, when my cousin Ashley Simpson went missing from her home in Salmon Arm, B.C. I didn't know Ashley before she disappeared, most people didn't. But now she is famous with her image on t-shirts and posters, as the subject of many stories on television and in print.
We all want our 15 minutes of fame.
Being murdered and missing will get you that.
It would be terrible enough if Ashley's disappearance was just a solo event. Unfortunately, she has become the member of a club no one ever wanted to join. She is among several women who have disappeared from her area. Only one has been located, and she wound up dead, found in a field near Silver Creek, B.C.
What happened to Ashley, Caitlin Potts, Deanna Wertz, and Nicole Bell? Maybe we'll never know.
Maybe the killer(s) will never be caught, having mastered the tilling of a killing field where girls and women go to die in British Columbia.
But there is always hope. Maybe not for Ashley, et al. But for other women and girls yet to fall victim to terrible tragedy.
Maybe finding ways to prevent their capture may be all we can ask for in this cruel world.
And that, at least, is something we can hang our hope on.
Last year, my cousin John Simpson and his family spearheaded a drive to raise money to buy drones that will enable searchers to scour the wooded areas, rivers and streams that have made searching treacherous if not impossible. And this year, local organizers are looking for volunteers to join their team called the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Drone Search Team.
They will continue to fundraise to buy more sophisticated drones to cover more area and perhaps enhance the detail from their searches.
There are many ways you can help. Donate. Hold an event. Sponsor a drone.
You can start by joining this Facebook group Please Bring Ashley Simpson Home.
Here, you will find more information on what you can do.
Meantime, I join with all of you in praying for these women and their families, and hoping that they finally get closure.
Two years is a long time with no answers.
And April is the cruelest month of all.
These women, and their families, are not alone. See below.