Finding Gary, Part 4

After Donna Weaver got home, her husband's secrets were revealed

And she struggles with how to tell her daughters, now grown, that their father had such fundamental flaws -- weaknesses that may have endangered the family he loved so much and led to his own death.

"All the memories they have of their father are the ones we gave them," Donna says.

But none of the revelations has weakened Donna's resolve to find Gary. "It doesn't change anything," she says. "Gary didn't deserve to die. And whoever did it shouldn't be allowed to get away with it."

First came the wedding, then the twins, then Gary vanished.
Colby Katz
First came the wedding, then the twins, then Gary vanished.

She doesn't feel much closer, however, to finding out who that is. It's a recurring trait of the mystery -- the more Donna finds out, the more clueless she feels. And of course she has more immediate concerns. Her long-time boyfriend, D.J. Girard, who has supported her efforts to find Gary, suffers from a serious illness that has been draining both of them emotionally and financially. She lives alone in a small Fort Lauderdale apartment and her assistant bar manager's salary is barely enough to pay the bills.

She still drives a huge, clanking Oldsmobile, a yellow station wagon built in 1977 -- the same year as the Cutlass she first drove to South Florida nearly 24 years ago. Donna had no idea what lay in store for her on that drive to Coral Springs a half a lifetime ago. And she says she longs to make another trip after she finally discovers what happened to Gary.

"I can't wait to burn all of these papers and put all of this behind me," she says. "But I have to know what it is first. And then I want to drive to the Grand Canyon and see all the beautiful things there are in this country. I can't wait."

Next week: An epilogue in which family members of a man who disappeared on Gary's final flight reach out to Donna.

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