A Letter to Kayla

February 10, 2015 at 6:51 pm 16 comments

Kayla Mueller
Photo Source: ABC News

Dear Kayla:

It was with skepticism that I received the initial reports of your passing. Without proof of death, I was clinging to the hope that you were still alive. But now that your parents and the State Department had confirmed it, there’s nothing left but to accept the bitter truth.

The ISIS rebels had claimed that you died in a recent Jordanian’s air strike launched to avenge the death of their captured pilot. Since there’s no evidence to the contrary, I’d take their word for it.

In a smuggled letter that you wrote from captivity in 2014, you told your family that you were in a safe location and being treated with utmost respect and kindness. In retrospect, I couldn’t expect the rebels to behave otherwise. You possessed the qualities that they hold in the highest regard. You were young, brave, idealistic, and strong-willed.

I have no doubt they tried to convert you to their cause. They might have even offered you as a bride to one of their commanders. The fact that you hadn’t appeared in any video propaganda could only mean that they had failed to break you. You didn’t give in. You held on to what you believed in the depth of your soul. You remained strong to the end.

I know some people won’t understand why you took the risk and went to a God-forsaken place like Syria against the advice of the State Department. But what’s there really to understand? They might as well ask why climb El Capitan with bare hands, sail solo around the world, or go to the moon for that matter?

Perhaps a quote from a letter to your dad on his birthday would help explain it.

“I will always seek God,” you wrote. “Some people find God in church. Some people find God in nature. Some people find God in love; I find God in suffering. I’ve known for some time what my life’s work is, using my hands as tools to relieve suffering.”

In the final analysis, what it all boils down to then is living your truth as you see it.

May you rest in peace.

Yours truly,

Entry filed under: Blogroll, commentary. Tags: , , , , , .

wordless wednesday: soccer cow The Paint Job

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. latasun  |  February 10, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    Its really sad news to look at a young girl, with that bright smile and bright eyes. May her family find strength to continue.

    • 2. plaridel  |  February 11, 2015 at 4:24 pm


      she didn’t deserve to die. she had much to live for.

  • 3. Teresa Oh  |  February 11, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Respect and prayers.

    • 4. plaridel  |  February 11, 2015 at 4:25 pm


      i believe her family would appreciate that.

  • 5. Leigh W. Smith  |  February 11, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Very well said, Plaridel. By all accounts, Ms. Mueller was a brave, strong, caring, and admirable young woman.

    • 6. plaridel  |  February 12, 2015 at 9:27 am


      i agree. she was everything you said she was.

  • 7. Suzanne Joshi  |  February 12, 2015 at 5:12 am

    What a lovely and loving memorial to Kayla, Plaridel. No one could have said it better. — Suzanne

    • 8. plaridel  |  February 12, 2015 at 9:30 am


      thank you for the nice compliment.

  • 9. Madhu  |  February 12, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Beautiful tribute. RIP Kayla.

    • 10. plaridel  |  February 12, 2015 at 9:33 am


      thank you. that’s the least i can do. i’m glad you liked it.

  • 11. timelesslady  |  February 13, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    What an outstanding post! I wish it could be read on all the news stations. Can I re-blog it as my Sunday post? Thanks.

    • 12. timelesslady  |  February 13, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      …or perhaps use a link back to the post???

      • 13. plaridel  |  February 13, 2015 at 1:22 pm


        you may reblog or link back whichever you prefer. thank you.

        • 14. timelesslady  |  February 13, 2015 at 1:43 pm

          Thank you so much. Again…terrific post.

          • 15. plaridel  |  February 13, 2015 at 11:05 pm


            you’re welcome. 🙂

  • 16. Peace – Shining Stars | MINDING MY P'S WITH Q  |  February 14, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    […] This week I came upon a post in memory of Kayla Mueller. Please take a moment and read about this extraordinary young woman. A Letter to Kayla. […]


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