Dear Princess Janie Doe,
I found your picture today, and I cried. Strawberry blonde, with angel dusted freckles across your little nose; you looked up at me from the flat, lifeless paper that captured your tender smile. It was your first grade school picture wasn't it? Or perhaps it was from your kindergarten year.
Others had seen you, or at least they should have. Their crisp business cards with perfectly crafted messages and various phone numbers lay nearby, dutifully announcing their presence in your home. With nothing else left, they had to have seen you. I did, and I cried.
Your bedroom was painted the tenderest shade of pink. Not just any pink. This pink was carefully chosen just for the princess who once lived there. Princess Janie's bedroom, or it once was, where fairy tales and first day of school jitters played out.
I found your picture today, and I put it in my pocket, before my customers arrived. It seemed wrong to leave you there, exposed to prying eyes, to bargain hunters, to those looking for a deal. Like birds of prey picking through the remains they come, ready to swoop down and carry away the rewards of their hunt. You were far too precious to be exposed to that.
The husband didn't like your bedroom. He thought the color ghastly. I clutched your picture in my pocket as if to shield you from his words, from his invasion of your room. I wanted him to leave it; he didn't deserve to be in the presence of Disney princess dreams, Barbie playtime, and places where tooth fairies visit during slumber.
I found your picture today, and I hope you heard me tell you that I was sorry. I am sorry that I didn't find you sooner and in a very different way. I am sorry that you were let down, that we all somehow failed you.
If only your mommy and daddy had known how to find me, or someone like me, to ask about what we know that could have possibly kept you in your world of pretty pinks and little girl dreams.
I found your picture today, and I kept it. I hope you don't mind. You remind me to keep searching, to keep trying to get the word out to other little girl's parents who I may be able to help, who I may offer some guidance to, or some words of comfort, and of hope that they haven't heard. Words that may keep them from walking away from princess dreams and the land of fairytales. Or at least, get you back into your land of pink far sooner than just walking away, as your parents felt they could only do.
I found your picture today, and I cried.