My Dearest Mogo,

I have a streaming of thoughts to you constantly, incessantly. Those thoughts and feelings do not always make it to paper for many reasons. Some of it I know is reluctance to probe the painful places. I think, maybe if I let the feelings alone, pain will dissipate of its own
accord. Instead, I find that the emotions fester. I know it is air and light that retards infection and decay – so I will start.

It has been a hard stretch all around. My trip to Africa was both transformative and instructive as it always is, but my absence was particularly difficult for both Dan and Alex this time. Our OMNI team of 15 saw 3077 patients in seven clinics in Zambia. We worked hard and did much good. Our attempt to address the inequities of destiny is gratifying and frustrating as well. I am proud of the many we did help, but heartsick at the throngs we were unable to serve. We will try to do more, be better, smarter, stronger, and more effective – next trip.

The Morgan Harrington Educational Wing is coming along. In the span of a single year, the site has gone from a grassy field to a building, a big one! With walls and a roof! Some interior work remains, but it is getting close to being completed. So very exciting to watch it grow.

Growth/synthesis/forward motion is imperative to surviving our grief with any kind of wholeness. It is hard to achieve growth and even hard to recognize it when it occurs. I had some insight gardening after my return from Zambia. I was deadheading the spent overblown blossoms of my favorite Peonies and feeling a little sad that I had been absent for
the fullness of their flowering. This brought tears when paralleled with the realization I also will miss the full flowering of you, my beloved child.

It is incomprehensible that these plants, my peonies, will be back next year – as magnificent and fragrant as ever. I will have another chance to revel in their beauty. You however, will not sprout next year and give us another chance to witness and to love. The Morgan form of you is
finished. Over. But here is the very cornerstone of faith to me: the unwavering conviction that the direction of nature/God/the universe is towards growth and good. That core belief makes me receptive to the vestiges of you Morgan that continues to show up. I get that you are over as a person, but as a presence, I am searching for you everywhere and because my eyes are open, I find you.

Morgan you were murdered so young, just 20 years on the planet, but your life, your impact, your goodness continues to reverberate in the world. Our beautiful incandescent girl continues somehow to shine, against all odds, even death. You are part of educating children and physicians, your art are on display, you are changing laws and mores, shattering complacency and building community.

Morgan, you STILL matter.

My sweetheart,

3 Responses to “Gil Harrington’s thoughts from May 31st, 2011”

  1. W.C. says:

    I just read about another girl missing from Bloomington, IL, a beautiful, blonde 20 year old student, much like Morgan,if in appearance only. What is going on in our society that allows these girls to be snatched up without trace by monsters who lurk in the dark of night?!?! These stories should be the stuff of nightmares, not realities in the light of day. This can’t be tolerated!! I pray that is she is found, safe and unharmed but am fearful that her life may have been cut far too short by evil, terrible, unmerciful hands. Tonight I cried for Morgan. And for Lauren. And for all the victims who will be so senselessly hurt in the future until we, as a society, do something. It is not right. It is not fair. They must be stopped and the innocent protected.

  2. ann says:

    I check here to see how you, Morgan’s mother and family, are doing and to see if there is any latest word on the investigation.

    I only heard of Morgan after her disappearance and we are unknown to each other, but I am a mother.

    “Because my eyes are open, I find you.” Well, this is it. Everything you said before this was alive, and there is not a wasted word in your writing your thoughts.

    Blessings to your journey . . .


  3. Ann H Tearle says:

    Oh,my goodness, Gil–Your writing just so touches my heart. You dear people are in my thoughts, but especially in my prayers–now and for always. God bless and keep you and give you strength and comfort in your journies without your (and our) beloved Morgan. She’s watching, and knows your pain, and is helping you however she can. Ann

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