ST. GEORGE, Utah, June 29, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — “One of the hardest things you will ever have to do, my dear, is to grieve the loss of a person who is still alive,” reads a recent meme posted on Facebook by St. George mom Tracey Bratt-Smith.
And, yet, grieving the loss of a living person is exactly what Bratt-Smith and her husband Darrin Smith have been doing for the past 10 months.
This coming Friday marks 10 months to the day their youngest son, Macin Darrin Smith, 18, walked away from home when his parents thought he was on his way to school.
He left behind his cell phone, wallet and laptop.
He also left a note, which his parents discovered a week later folded inside his wallet. They have not released the contents, preferring to say the note contained an “intent,” which led them to believe he may have planned to harm himself.
Since then, Macin’s family and friends have been living in limbo with no solid evidence that Macin is alive or dead.
There have been multiple possible reported sightings of Macin, including a handful of tips just in the last few days. None have proved credible.
“The leads come and go,” Bratt-Smith told Gephardt Daily. “We look into them cautiously, as there seem to be many tall blonde teens in and about the area. The public needs to be aware that Macin typically wears comfortable clothing, loose clothing; basketball shorts and T-shirts, athletic pants. He does bite his nails They are down to the nubs. Macin kept to himself and was quite particular who he spent his free time with. Music, anime and gaming would be how he would spend his time.”
Bratt-Smith added that the grief they are feeling as a family does not lessen as time goes on.
“The last 10 months have produced a more scrutinizing yet continually optimistic family,” she said. “The pain does not subside. We feel the void every day as a family. The hole in her our hearts is astronomical in direct proportion with how intensely we love this boy.”
His family has worked with professional search organization Red Rock Search and Rescue and police to bring Macin home. For five months, there has been a $10,000 reward in place offered for information leading to his safe return. But as time goes on, the “safe return” option is becoming a more distant possibility, says Bratt-Smith.
She and other family members have posted Facebook updates in tribute to Macin almost every day to the 15,629 members of the Help Find Macin Smith page on Facebook.
In her latest post, Bratt-Smith chose to look to the positive, listing 10 things she is thankful for.
On Tuesday, she wrote:
Dear Macin’s Army:
It’s been a tumultuous week these past few days with multiple leads that have not seemed to produce anything but disappointment at this time. So thankful for all those sets of eyes out there continuing in the search. Many beautiful hearts and souls that have been incredibly supportive to our family these past 10 months.
Another mile marker on Friday which causes me to reflect on where we were last year at this time. We were looking forward to having four of the six kids home for the Fourth of July weekend.
We had bought some fireworks, yummy food and anticipated time spent playing games all weekend. It indeed turned out to be a memorable wonderful weekend.
On the upcoming anniversary of the disappearance of Macin, I wanted to list 10 things we are grateful for:
10) Technology (Macin would not have so many followers without social media). It’s been instrumental in communicating to the public and getting the word out, not to mention allowing a place to share his BOLOs and leads.
9) Macin’s Army (your ideas, loyalty, unyielding optimism have been invaluable). Thank you.
8) RRSAR and the St. George Police Department (hours of time, effort and funds and energy spent on Macin’s behalf).
7) Desert High School (Principal Rusty Taylor, the student body and teachers), all of which have included Macin regardless of his absence this past year.
6) Mulberry Ward (My ward family) provided food, comfort, love and service that has sustained me and my family. Bless you
5) Gephardt Daily (and other local media) You give media a good name with your compassion and your constant accurate promotion of Macin’s story. I know it has helped tremendously.
4) Renaissance Ranch (my place of employment but more than that, my band of brothers/sisters). Couldn’t have gotten through those first few weeks without you.
3) My girlfriends: Wow!! I have been blessed with angels here on Earth who have literally mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically carried me through the days.
2) My family: I don’t think we have ever been closer during this most difficult time. We are as one, unified, and faithfully plodding forward on an unknown path.
1) To my dear Macin: It has been my most honored privilege to be your mother. I would do it all again. I would savor every moment I had with you. You are still part of my everyday. <3
P.S. I know the list is longer, but for now… it will have to do. God bless every single one of you.
Macin was the last of six children, three boys and three girls, still living at home when the family moved to Utah from Canada a little over a year ago.
He is 6-feet-4-inches and 200 pounds. He has light blue eyes, and he had short blond hair when he went missing.
Anyone with information on Macin is asked to contact the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300, or David Cummings at RRSAR on 702-787-4068.
Click below to watch Bill Gephardt’s exclusive interview with Bratt-Smith, recorded in February.