May 17, 2006


by Meri, Boycott Blogger

The days drag on leading to that one horrid moment when Beth Twitty and Dave Holloway must acknowledge that an entire year has gone by since their daughter vanished off the face of the earth. How must that feel? How do they endure the pain of not knowing, of not seeing her smiling face, of missing milestones in her young life?

They aren't the first parents to face this sort of horror and they won't be the last; but they may be the most well known by the public at this point in time. While other children go missing and some are even found, Dave and Beth have little hope of ever knowing what Natalee's fate was on that night in May, 2005. Again, they aren't the first and they won't be the last.

Today, a New York Judge took under consideration their filing of a civil lawsuit against the young man last known to have seen Natalee and his father, who they claim enabled him to run around on an Island doing whatever he pleased at any time of the day or night. Drinking, gambling, picking up tourist girls.....all a part of this young man's apparent behavioral patterns up to and including the night of May 29th, 2005. No one stopped him from his pursuit of all the pleasures that his Island home had to offer. No one could reign him in and keep him from indulging in activities that were illegal even according to the lenient laws of his Country.

Perhaps they tried as most parents would do when they became aware that their child was taking part in activities that are reckless and harmful and perhaps they anguished over their inability to stop him from heading down a slippery slope to serious trouble. According to his mother there was nothing to stop; he was not even guilty of those transgressions. She chose to see him as a scholar with a perfect record of clean living and obedience to his parents and teachers.

I asked myself if I would have done the same thing as the mother of this boy if it had been my own son who was out drinking and gambling on school nights. Would I? Could I stop my own son? I don't have an answer to those questions because I was not confronted with anything quite so serious when my children were teenagers.

Did my sons listen to me when I tried to educate them about the dangers of drugs and other harmful behavior? They did, and they all grew up and now have good lives. They all earn a living, are married and some have children of their own. None of them is infamous for being involved in the disappearance of another human being and none of them were ever on the news on a nightly basis. Does that mean that it couldn't have happened; probably not. I guess that I was lucky or maybe I refused to hide my head in the sand whenever I discovered that my kids were headed in the wrong direction. Maybe I deserve no credit at all and my kids are just not prone to harm other people. I will never know and I thank God for that.

The mother and father of the young man who was last known to have been with Natalee Holloway before she vanished may be decent people and I'm sure that they have high hopes for all of their children just as Beth and Dave had high hopes for their daughter. The fact that their paths crossed and one of them never returned and the other has a dark cloud hanging over his head was probably something that they couldn't foresee....or maybe they knew that it could happen because their son was headed for a fall and they couldn't or wouldn't stop him?

Even if the young man is innocent of harming Natalee and everything that happened was accidental the boy lied and complicated matters. He prevented the authorities from retrieving evidence in a timely manner and was responsible for the arrest of two men who had nothing to do with Natalee's disappearance. The young man has cost his family dearly both financially and emotionally and whether they recognize it or not, he has brought shame to his entire family. His actions following his last night with Natalee Holloway led people to suspect him and accuse him whether or not he committed a heinous crime or simply the crime of obstructing an investigation and preventing a family from knowing what happened to their daughter.

What if he had told the truth from the beginning? Would that have changed things, would we know more about what happened to Natalee? I suspect that we would but none of us will ever know for sure because he lied and covered up his actions.

I ponder the various scenarios that might have taken place if the young man had not lied. I go over the possibilities in my mind and yet I still come back to the first lie, the lie that was heard 'round the world and on the nightly news broadcasts, the lie that resonates in the minds and hearts of Natalee Holloway's family and friends and their supporters. The lie that led us to this day a year later.

While the Judge in New York deliberates on whether or not to dismiss the civil suit brought by the family of Natalee Holloway I also deliberate what would have happened had that lie not been told.

Sometimes life is not fair and we don't get logical answers to our questions. Sometimes we have to learn to live with a hollow place in our hearts that were once filled with life, laughter and vitality.

I know that Beth Twitty and Dave Holloway have to learn to live with that hollow place and I know that they must wonder when it will be time to say, "Enough". Somehow, I doubt that they will ever reach that point as long as people like the young man who left a nightclub with Natalee, police officers who have their own apparent agendas and politicians who are afraid to allow the truth to come out continue to expand on that first lie.

Such a small thing, one little lie...has changed so many lives...forever.


Anonymous said...

At this moment, the Judge will emulate the New York Supreme Court as the World Court in Hague based on the doctrine of Geneva Convention for the worldwide victimized women and children under the United Nations Charter. The United Nations is located inside New York City, and the New York Supreme Court can act on United Nations jurisdiction, since New York City is the host city to the United Nations buildings and facilities. So the Judge has jurisdiction over Aruba on this particular civil case against Joran van der Sloot. It is with the Judge's power to grant deference to the plaintiff for the choice of conveniences.

Debbie said...

This has to be Meri's best commentary to date! So many what if's, totally heartbraking.