Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Monday, November 24, 2014

As We Give Thanks

One of the top ten most frequently read posts on this blog is still the story I shared on May 17, 2013, an interview with the father of Marie Schluchter, a nineteen year old girl who had just been abducted and murdered by a man she had been dating.  Recently my daughter Jenny (who knew Marie) sent me this link, an interview with Marie's mother, a year after Marie's abduction and murder.

This might be a surprising topic to write about three days before Thanksgiving.  However, as I read the article today two simultaneous things filled my heart: compassion for Marie's mother and thankfulness for my own children and grandchildren, some of whom will soon be here to celebrate with us.  Both feelings wrung my heart with physical pain, and they were hard to separate.

Here is my translation of the French article.  If it touches your heart as it did mine, will you do two things this Thanksgiving Thursday?  Will you thank God with all your heart for your children, and will you lift up Evelyne, Antoine, Latetitia and her family to God?  This is one of those situations the Bible talks about in Romans 8:26, where "we don't know what God wants us to pray for.  But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words."

From "24 Heures," Vaud et Région, May 13, 2014

Marie's Murder
Evelyne Schluchter, a broken mother who no longer sings
by Philippe Dubath, published May 13, 2914

One year later, Marie's mother talks about the 12 months that have followed the unthinkable event.

At Chevroux, by Lake Neuchâtel, Evelyne and Antoine Schluchter, Marie's parents, rest away from the world in a chalet lent by friends.  Outside, reeds bend gently in the wind, nothing like last night's storm.  Inside, the fire in the fireplace creates a mid-winter sense of melancholy.

Evelyne Schluchter, so discreet and reserved during the past twelve months, talks openly about the last few hours.  "I'm not doing well at all.  Sunday night I didn't sleep at all.  I was dreading midnight, when it would be Marie's birthday.  One year earlier, at the exact same moment, she was dancing, singing with Argentinian musicians at the golf course in Payerne.  She was 19, she was full of joy..."
Evelyne carefully chooses the words to express her thoughts. Sometimes she closes her eyes. She speaks slowly ever since she had a stroke a few years ago, which has left her with constant pains on the left side of her body.  The pains are still present, more intense since Marie's death. 
"A part of my own body has been stolen"
"As a mother, the loss of my child in such a way has destroyed me.  A part of my own body has been stolen.  On a happier note, our son-in-law and grandson are with us right now, and our daughter Laetitia will be here soon from the U.S.  Since this happened, I never sing any more; before, I would suddenly burst into song.  Right now I'm trying hard for the little one, so he doesn't see me crying all the time."
Evelyne wishes time would go faster, that the years would pass quickly "so I might be able to do something, to really savor life."  But, for the moment, memories, regrets and times of great sorrow are all mixed up together.  "Marie had become a wonderful, lively young woman.  When she would call me mama in her little girl voice, I would tell her, 'No, you're grown up now, talk like a grown-up.'  I did it to remind myself that she had grown up, but today I regret it.  I miss her voice, all the little traces she left behind her, tickets, things she didn't put away--as if to say, 'I am here.'  Her presence filled the house even when she wasn't here." 
"Hate was eating me up"
Having lost Marie, how does Evelyne Schluchter live day to day?  "In the beginning, I was full of hate.  I would have wanted to kill her murderer with my bare hands.  But the hate was eating me up, filling me with so much fear and gnawing anguish that I preferred to drive it out of my life.  I have confidence in the justice system.  People of good will are working for justice to be done, and I have no bitterness towards the authorities.  Mrs. Beatrice Métraux was at church Sunday at Saint-Laurent.  We are not alone.  The world is imperfect, but if each one does what he can for good around him, there is hope.  Every day I whisper spontaneous little prayers.  Thanks to my faith, there are also some moments of joy, of respite, of sweetness that I can enjoy without feeling guilty."
Will Evelyne Schluchter write a book from her viewpoint as a woman and mother?  "I would like to, for others who are going through a similar loss.  I need to get a notebook to jot down my words, my thoughts.  It all comes and goes so quickly.  I haven't read my husband's book.  I tried, but I can't; it's too hard.  But it's good that he wrote it.  There is one thing I'm sure of: Marie will rise again from the dead.  I've lost my parents and my three brothers.  None of them will rise again, but Marie will rise again from the dead, I know."
May God comfort this family's hearts in the years to come with the peace that only He can give, the peace that passes all understanding.


  1. Thanks for sharing this Susan, it was very sad what happened to Marie. My prayers go out to her mother and family.

    1. Thanks, Gordon! It's a parent's worst nightmare, isn't it? I know that they are sustained by the prayers of people around the world.

  2. Susan, thanks for sharing this. I remember when I first read your first post. Sending thoughts and prayers to her mother and family, too.


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