In 2005, a young lady from Mountain Brook, Alabama, disappeared in Aruba after getting into a car with three local boys outside a bar called Carlos and Charlie’s. Her name was Natalee Holloway. Since then, there have been massive searches for her and endless speculation on her fate. To no avail. The main suspect in the case, Joran van der Sloot, is a pathological liar who has changed his story of the night of Natalee’s disappearance at least seven times. He was the final person to see Natalee on that fateful night. The final conclusion is that she will never be found alive again. The story now is the valiant effort of a father’s love still hoping to find his little girl. Against all odds, Dave Holloway is mounting a last ditch effort to recover the body of his beloved daughter by hiring a man and his dogs to scour a pond where a witness claims he saw Joran van der Sloot that night with a missing shoe in the vicinity of the pond. It is a long shot. It is likely nothing new will be found. That is not the point.
How do you measure a father’s love for his child? You don’t. It is infinite and eternal. It lasts forever. From the moment you hold your baby in your arms you are hooked beyond emotional reason. The only thing that will stop Dave Holloway from searching for his lovely Natalee is for him to stop breathing. Until that final moment comes, he will not give up. Never. This is not an obsession, this is what parental commitment should be. In a society that has difficulty keeping families together, Dave Holloway is an inspiration to all of us. He is the shining star of why God instituted the family unit in the first place.
The sadness he feels goes all the way back to Natalee’s request to go on her senior trip to Aruba. Dave Holloway was against it. He did not feel comfortable with his girl in a foreign country. Even one called Paradise. Finally, after much cajoling from her mother and Natalee begging him to assent to her dream vacation, he relented. He gave his reluctant blessing. As it turns out, his instincts were right all along. Now, he has to use them in an effort to recover her body. Had she listened to him, she would be at the University of Alabama studying to become a doctor. Of such small decisions, tragedies find their way into a family’s life.
If you are religious, I ask you to pray especially hard this week for him and his search. As a dad, I cannot imagine the pain he has gone through and the depth of determination he possesses to make things right for his Natalee. From the moment he said yes to her it has been an ongoing nightmare that has not ended.
Ask God for it to be resolved.
So a father can finally find peace.
He has suffered enough.
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