Fair warning: This is not going to be a cheerful column.
Today I’m not going to talk about how great the world is if you just take the time to look around and watch for the goodness contained within your fellow humans. I’m not going to talk about how the rain nourishes and revitalizes our world, so we shouldn’t get down on it. I’m not going to praise the arts community for brightening our world or encourage you to support charities that are doing good work in our community.
I’m going to talk about how it’s been two years since anyone’s seen or heard from then-17-year-old Jordan Holling.
Jordan had finished his late shift at A&W in Discovery Harbour on Oct. 15 – a shift that caused him to miss his father’s birthday party. He was planning to go hang out with some friends for a bit, head home and hit the sack to be ready for his shift the next day, but he never made it home.
About 2 a.m. on Oct. 16, he was recorded by surveillance footage walking north on Highway 19 in Campbellton. His skateboard was later found nearby.
But Jordan hasn’t been.
Armies of concerned people scoured the forests, marshes, roads, alleys and homes in and around Campbell River until the RCMP told the family that they were concerned about all the extra activity possibly making their investigation more difficult.
But vigils and rallies were still held, and campaigns started up to get the word out about the youth’s disappearance. Posters were put up in storefronts and car windows across the country, billboards were raised, his story made it onto podcasts, national news broadcasts and various “missing person” Facebook sites and other places online in hopes that someone would know something and contact the police.
And according to the police, many calls have come in. They’ve followed up on any and all tips they’ve received, and are still no closer to having an answer.
As the father of a son, I can only imagine the struggle his family is going through. It hurts me to think about my son not being physically in my life. That’s not hyperbole. Writing this is actually causing me physical pain.
And I’m not even really sure why I’m doing it.
Maybe it’s catharsis. I think about this young man – and his family – often, and maybe I’m just being selfish and wanting to let some of that pain out onto the page instead of keeping it inside.
Maybe I’m struggling, as I’m sure many others are in the community, to come to terms with this.
Maybe I just want to do my small part to remind people.
I don’t know.
What I do know is that my pain – and the pain of this community – can’t be anything compared to what this family must still be feeling.
Every day, Jordan Holling’s family sees his things in his room waiting for him to return. They see his picture on the billboard on the highway near Home Depot and in storefronts and in car windows around town. But they don’t get to talk to him.
Maybe I just want them to know he’s still in our hearts.
That they are, too.
Or maybe I just want to take another opportunity to get the RCMP number out there again, because I still have to believe that someone knows something that might help.
250-286-6221 or 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)