Dear Mr. Graham,
I stood near you this morning as you ordered your coffee. It was just you and me at the grocery store Starbucks. I was sprinkling cinnamon in my drink when I looked up and saw you walking up to the counter. I believe it was you; there's hardly any mistaking the eyes of a father who's daughter is missing. You wore a UVA ball cap, no doubt a hat you were gifted or bought because your sweet Hannah goes to the school. You ordered two tall coffees, one for you, and--I presume--one for Hannah's mama.
The cups look so small in your hands. I think of how small Hannah must have looked in your arms when she was a baby. I see your worried brow, scrunched and so sad.
I try to think of what to say. What words could possibly comfort you as I stand in front of you bouncing my own little daughter in an Ergo?
I wonder if you would rather be left alone, if you are tired of talking to people and you just want a cup of coffee.
I wonder if you are overwhelmed by being in a grocery store, where everyone else's lives just keep going. They are buying their bread and their eggs, checking items off of their list while you wait and agonize over would could have possibly happened to your little girl.
I wonder if you pictured Hannah on your drive to the store, like I did.
This is where Hannah was running.
This is where she turned down the street.
I push the lid on my coffee cup, thinking of what to say.
Do I tell you I'm praying for you?
Do I just smile and walk away?
Is it insensitive of me to say anything when I'm literally holding my own healthy daughter in my arms?
I decide to say nothing, for fear of saying something stupid.
And now I regret it.
It's too late now, unless you by some miracle read this some day, but just in case:
I wish I could have told you that I'm so sorry for what you're going through, and that your daughter is on my mind all day, every day. I look for signs of her everywhere I go. I just want you to know that I won't stop. I will pray and do whatever I can to help, and I won't stop until you tell me to.