Bittersweet: Rebecca Celis spends Mother's Day with her two sons
Rebecca Celis tries to celebrate the special day with her two sons while she endures the pain of her missing child.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Valerie Cavazos
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -- For Rebecca Celis, Mother's Day was the kind of holiday most mothers will never have to face. The cherished memories of past Mother's Days came with the pain of her missing child, Isabel, age 6.
"I miss her coming into the bedroom together and waking me up and saying happy Mother's Day. So it was hard this morning," said Rebecca.
KGUN9 News reporter Valerie Cavazos caught up with Rebecca as Isabel's mom made a quick visit to her Tucson home. She and her husband Sergio have not been staying there since shortly after their daughter went missing from the home three weeks ago. Late last week the Tucson Police Department and Child Protective Services announced that the parents had separated and that CPS had awarded custody to just one of the parents. Neither agency would reveal which parent had the children.
But on Sunday, KGUN9 News found the brothers with Rebecca. Because of privacy considerations, KGUN9 News did not record video of the two children.
Rebecca called the Mother's Day holiday bittersweet, even though she was able to spend it with her two sons. "I'm happy. I have my two boys, but sad because I can't really celebrate without Isabel here."
Cavazos asked, "What were some of the things on Mother's Day that Isabel had done for you or you two shared together?"
Rebecca replied, "We always go to church together, that's one. We'd always go to breakfast together. Last year she made me a vase for Mother's Day."
On Sunday Rebecca could only think of what might have been. "She loves making drawings so I think she probably would have made me a card. She would have done it the day before or at school and been really excited and want to show it to me on Friday and having a hard time keeping it in her backpack."
For Rebecca, those special memories and others will not fade. "The longing for her to come around the corner. That's what's hard. But that's everyday. It's nothing different today than yesterday -- walking in and expecting her to come around the corner," she said.
Rebecca said it pains her to realize her only wish this Mother's Day may not come true. "I hope today would be the day Isabel would be home. That's all I'm asking for Mother's Day. But who knows what the plan is?"
Rebecca told Cavazos she only wanted to talk about the holiday, not about the search for Isabel, the police investigation or what had happened between her and her husband Sergio. She called Sunday a heart wrenching experience that no mother should have to endure. "I have no idea how to describe it -- it's not a Mother's Day I want to celebrate again."
She hopes for Isabel's return and to see her smiling face once again come around the corner.
The Tucson Police Department planned to hold another of its regular press conferences on Monday. To date, the investigation has ruled out no suspects.