They have jobs. They have responsibilities. But hundreds of people from all over Florida have put those things aside to help one father find his teen son.
I, too, like most of the volunteers, am completely moved by the father of Christian Aguilar, the University of Florida student who was last seen more than nine days ago. Today Carlos Aguilar issued a public plea for help finding his son's body.
By now, there seems little hope of finding Christian, alive. But Carlos pursues on, trudging through wooded fields in Gainesville, rallying volunteers for help, and doing whatever it takes to find Christian, who now is thought to have been beaten to death by a hometown friend, Pedro Bravo. Both teens were from Miami-Dade and recently had a falling out when Christian started dating Bravo's ex-girlfriend.
When the TV cameras roll, Carlos says almost everything he needs to say through the look on his face, the motion of his hand over his heart, and the tone of his voice. I watch and listen and my troubles disappear. The demands of juggling homework, dinner, deadlines pales in comparison to Carlos and his overwhelming need for answers, for closure. It certainly puts work life balance in perspective!
"You look at the picture and can't help thinking that could be your son, your child," Frank Lopez told The Miami Herald. Lopez lost his daughter in an accidental fall almost half a century ago but came to Gainesville to help with the search.
It is true. That's exactly what parents are thinking. That's what I'm thinking.
Today, Carlos Aguilar asked for the FBI to aid in the search – if not for a wounded Christian, then for his body.
“Do not give up on my son," he pleaded.
With that one sentence, my day has changed. My son needs help with homework. My daughter wants money for honor society dues. They both need something I can give them. I'm sure Carlos Aguilar wishes he give his son what he needs — if only it was as easy.