Cg made a comment on a recent post that got me thinking.
You raise an interesting point about talking about Ayla. I am musing here… is the idea of a blog simply to keep her name out there so people don’t forget and keep justice in their minds? Is it to get people talking so some tidbit of useful information might come out? It’s been said by several people at different times that no blog will resolve the case… generally I agree with that tho I don’t think it’s an absolute. When A4A first started, I thought the point was to seek answers. So I am now wondering after a couple of years of blogs coming and going, where are we really?
As she said, she was only musing, but it caused me to think about what we’re doing here. I’ve been getting discouraged. Does any of it matter? Why bother? Are we doing any good?
Mountain Mama said to me in an email, and repeated on the blog, that maybe we should have done a blog about rocks. I think she was only half kidding. Running a blog is stressful in and of itself. Running a blog about a missing and, according to MSP, presumed deceased child is all the more stressful and emotional.
Ayla has been missing for over two years now. MSP gives scant updates on the status of her case. Blogs have come and gone that were devoted to discussing Ayla. Even United for Ayla, which started as the family run Answers for Ayla blog until it merged with the old Justice for Ayla blog, has had the curtain come down and the lights turned off. People grow weary of the fighting, the blog wars and they move on. More people forget.
Mountain Mama gave some figures about views on the blog…
We have days where we only have 500 views from as little as 80 individual viewers but most days we have 600 or more with as many as 150 individual viewers. They don’t all comment but at least they haven’t forgotten Ayla.
When you think of it in the grand scheme of things, even just comparing how many view the blog to the population in Maine never mind the whole country, that’s miniscule. But then I remember that it’s been two years. A lot of people don’t comment or check in anymore unless there’s a development. In most cases where there is a child that’s missing, two years seems to be that magic mark when the blogs shut down, the Facebook pages get deactivated and all goes silent. The child is forgotten by all but their family. The fact that people are still checking in after all this time encourages me. Even 80 individual views a day is good for a small blog like this, 150 is phenomenal.
So, I’ll carry on.
I think Friends for Ayla serves several purposes.
First and foremost, Ayla cannot be forgotten. I don’t want her to fade into oblivion like Aliayah Lunsford, the Skelton Brothers, Gabriel Johnson. I don’t want to hear people ask “Oh, is she still missing?” I want them to know she is and to keep Ayla in their thoughts.
The second purpose is to give people a place to talk. Some people like mysteries and trying to solve them and that’s why they follow along. We as humans don’t like loose ends and the unknown. If posters are attracted to Ayla’s case because it’s a mystery they want to solve, so be it. I don’t care why they’re here, just that they are and that they’re talking about Ayla. Some live in Maine and it has hit close to home. They follow because it’s more personal to them. They want to know what happened right in their backyard and that the case will be solved and someone prosecuted. Some follow because they can relate to either Justin or Trista on some level. Some follow because they have had their own personal loss and can relate to the loss of a child. There are as many reasons as there are followers as to why they’ve chosen to follow Ayla’s case. If we don’t give them a place to talk it out, then what? More voices go silent, more forget and move on.
The third purpose is to seek answers, to seek the truth. What happened to Ayla? No blog that I’m aware of has ever been instrumental in breaking a case. There have been blogs however that have gotten people involved in a case to talk. There was a blog in the early days of the Lisa Irwin case that got several insiders to comment. At this late date I don’t think that will happen here, although we do see comments on occasion from people that know one or the other of the families. Even though a blog isn’t going to solve a case I think it’s important to keep asking the questions, keep seeking the truth. There have been tips turned into administrators that were in turn handed over to MSP. Did they help? We have no way of knowing yet.
Cg said “So I am now wondering after a couple of years of blogs coming and going, where are we really?”
My answer – I don’t know where we are. This has been going on for over two years. I get discouraged, I get aggravated, I get upset. But I’m not going to stop. I think it’s important to remember Ayla, to keep her name out there; to give the people still interested a place to talk, to seek answers, to seek the truth.
Even if I’m the last one standing, I won’t quit on Ayla Bell Reynolds. She deserves her truth to be told, her life to be remembered, justice to be served.