Infomagical

About once a month I power up Kim’s iPad and clear her email.

I’m not being nosy. I’m just looking for commitments she might have made where the other person needs to know.

The only time I looked around her contacts was when I needed to contact people to let them know she was in the hospital. I didn’t have contact info for her childhood friends but knew they would be on her iPad.

They were.

I read through some of her texts a while back. Half of the texts she sent were details about meeting someone for coffee, for dinner, or for work.

The other half of her texts were just nice thoughts and encouragement from her. “Thinking of you honey”s. Letting people know she was thinking of them on their birthday or on an anniversary of losing someone or just because.

Most of her email is spam but every once in a while there’s a note from someone who doesn’t know about the accident yet or from a professional organization reminding her to renew.

I answer them from my own email account. It would be too creepy to get something from hers.

One email was from one of her friends who recently posted something about her on Facebook. I sent the link to myself and tried to open the page from my account but it was restricted to friends. I deleted the link. I couldn’t really post something from Kim’s account and it felt intrusive to send something from mine.

Kim also gets regular updates from “Note to Self”. She and I did their “Infomagical” week together this summer to cut down on our distractions and focus on what is important.

I’m going to re-listen to the Infomagical episodes and try to remove this overload of non-helpful information from my life.

I get tons of email every day and usually answer it within a day. Lately I’ve gotten worse about this but the last couple of days I’ve cleared out my Inbox so that it’s empty again.

But do I need to stay on top of it?

Kim’s been dead for four months and almost nothing in her Inbox is important.

I worked in a restaurant where we didn’t have the soup of the day like other restaurants. We had the soup of yesterday.

A bit pretentious, but everyone knows that soup tastes better the next day. Why not serve it then?

And what about email?

What if I never read email I received today? What if each day I took care of the email that was two days old. Most immediate crises would have been revealed to have been not that important.

Maybe I would have fewer bits of email that don’t really matter to anyone.

Maybe I would send email that has a longer shelf life.

Maybe more of my email, sent and received, would be “Thank you honey”s.

Published in: on December 29, 2016 at 8:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Christmas Snapshots

Kim would go to midnight mass. I would clean the house and go to bed.

Midnight mass at Our Lady of Peace is at 10 pm. It may have been later in the old days but that’s when it is now.

I’d let the dog out one more time, wipe her paws, and head up to bed.

Kim would come in around midnight. She’d hear the snoring and come into the bedroom quietly.

“I’m still up,” I’d say.

“Oh,” she’d say, “that’s the dog snoring.”

“Yeah. How was church?”

“Really pretty,” she’d say. “Father Gary says ‘hi’.”

“Nice.”

She’d brush her teeth, change into her pajamas, and get into bed. She’d snuggle up to me. Not for affection but for warmth. Actually, I guess, for both.

“Oh,” I’d say, “you’re cold.”

“Not any more,” she’d say rubbing her icy cold feet against mine.

I’d twist around and look at the clock. Just after midnight. I’d look back and say, “Merry Christmas, Kimmy.”

She’d smile and give me a hug and say, “Merry Christmas, honey.” Not even a second later her snores would blend with the dogs. I’d smile and join them.

Christmas morning I’d wake before her and look over at Kim. She’d be rolled over on her side facing away from me. She must have gotten cold during the night because I’d just see the top of her hoodie poking out from under the covers lying on her pillow.

She’d stretch a big stretch – well as big as she could stretch her short little self. Her joints would crack. She’d roll over and look at me. So cute. Only her eyebrows to her nose were visible between the hoodie and the blanket.

“Good morning,” she’d smile. I couldn’t see her mouth but I knew she was smiling. Her eyes.

“Good morning,” I’d reply. “Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas, honey,” she’d say.

I’d reach my hand under the blankets and put it on her hip.

“What time is it, honey?” she’d ask.

I’d twist my body to see the clock. “Eight.”

“Ooh, I have to get going.” She’d roll back the other way and sit on the side of the bed stretching again.

“Want coffee?” I’d ask.

“I’ll make it,” she’d say.

“No, you have to get Maggie’s presents together. I’ll make it.”

“OK,” she’d say. “There’s Bailey’s in the refrigerator.”

I’d make the coffee and sit in the living room while she brought up the last of Maggie’s presents from the basement and wrapped them. She’d put the wrapping paper away and come back.

“More coffee?” she’d ask.

“Sure,” I’d say, “I’ll make it.”

“No,” she’d say, “that’s ok. I’ll make it.”

This year it’s different. So different.

Last night at quarter to ten a car honks in our driveway. It’s Kim’s mom. She’s going to take Maggie to midnight mass.

My sister is spending the night. She goes upstairs to get sheets and towels. Kim would have had them ready for her.

I let the dog out one more time and we head up to bed.

An hour or so later I hear the door open. Maggie’s home.

That’s it.

The bedroom door doesn’t open. Kim doesn’t join me in bed.

The dog snores.

I twist and look at the time. “Merry Christmas, puppy.”

The dog doesn’t move.

I don’t sleep well. My foot hurts and I seem to get up once an hour.

Soon, it’s morning and I’ve been crying for an hour for no apparent reason.

The dog wakes up and stretches a big stretch then wanders over to me. She plants a paw in the middle of my chest and licks my face. I scratch her ear.

She sighs a big sigh, turns around three times, and flops down on the bed next to me.

Annabelle is as cute as any dog but she doesn’t photograph well. I take a picture of her curled up beside me on the bed. In the background is one of Kim’s favorite paintings of a dog curled up on a bed, head on the pillows, as comfy as can be.

Annabelle snores.

Merry Christmas, puppy.

Published in: on December 25, 2016 at 9:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Fish

For years Kim’s favorite Christmas present from me was the Italian Seven Fish dinner I cooked for Christmas Eve.

When we were first married, Kim’s Christmas Eve tradition was to go to one of her aunt and uncle’s houses on her mother’s side. There was plenty of food, a ton of family, and Santa would visit.

One year Kim and I sat on the couch with one of her younger cousins who was watching the whole Santa thing from afar. Her younger sisters stood waiting for Santa and her older brother stood quietly taking it all in.

“Look at him,” the young girl said to Kim, “I think he still doesn’t know.”

Kim and I laughed.

Another year I sat on that same couch with Kim’s sister with one of her oldest cousins on that side. Carolyn was trying to decide when to go to church. She could go to midnight mass or she could go on Christmas day. She just wasn’t sure.

“You went Sunday,” I said.

“Oh, yeah,” her sister said.

“Then I don’t think you have to go again.”

I was teasing. Carolyn knew it. Kim’s cousin, however, was horrified.

“That’s not right,” she said. “You have to go.”

“But she went yesterday,” I teased.

“It doesn’t matter,” she said, “you have to go for Christmas.”

The year before, almost no one had gone to their house for Christmas Eve. There was a flu going around and most people stayed home very sick. Even I was sick at home – and I never seemed to get sick.

Kim told me that it was just a few of them. Most people in the family had been sick. She was glad she went and glad I hadn’t.

At some point we started going over to our dentist’s house for Christmas Eve. He wasn’t just our dentist. Al was a friend who also had played the organ at our wedding.

His beautiful house was filled with his family and that’s where we learned about the seven fish dinner. Course after course of fish that Al and his sons prepared and sent out to the table.

On the way home, Kim and I would take the kids to see Christmas lights at a development where each neighbor tried to top the next. We’d put the kids in bed and then Kim and her sister would go to midnight mass.

Kim’s Christmas Eve tradition ended when she got back from mass and checked that the kids were safely asleep. She’d then put the presents under the tree and fill their stockings.

Al died way too young.

His family invited us to Christmas Eve that year but it was different. I don’t know if they still gather for the fish dinner. The following year we started our own tradition – borrowing heavily from theirs.

I loved cooking for her. She had favorites and her eyes lit up as I served each course. We had other people there as well and I was glad that they liked the food too – but this was my gift to Kim. I got angry a couple years ago because the table talk was disrespectful to Kim’s religion and traditions and she wasn’t able to enjoy the night. It was like opening a gift to find the glass had shattered.

Most years it was wonderful.

We started with caviar on sour cream on crackers. I also filtered and marinated anchovies packed in salt and served them the same way. Carolyn would often bring shrimp and cocktail sauce and some years we’d have steamed mussels.

The alice (ah – leech) was something we’d taken from Al’s family. Spaghetti coated with anchovies, parsley, and bread crumbs. So hard not to take seconds but more courses were coming.

Fried smelts were also taken from Al. Lightly breaded and fried in the back yard so as not to smell up the house.

When Kim and I were first dating, I’d be at her apartment around Christmas.

“Smell that?” she’s ask.

“What is it?”

Her landlady was frying bacala, salt cod, in the basement. Kim’s apartment would smell of it for days.

Kim loved bacala. You have to soak it for days and change the water twice a day. I wouldn’t fry it. I’d cook it in a tomato sauce with anise and hot peppers and serve it over polenta.

In between we’d have pizza with a clam sauce and some calamari.

It took years for Kim to convince me that that was enough. I used to make a salmon or other fish as the main course.

Dessert was always an Italian candy that Kim liked. And then church.

Kim would go to midnight mass and my final gift was to clean up the dishes and put the dining room back in order.

Kim would come back into, what I thought was, a clean house. She’d look around. I’m sure she was making notes of what she’d fix in the morning.

“Thanks honey,” she’d say, and we’d go up to bed.

Without Elena, Santa could sleep in. Maggie never got up early and never went downstairs before we did.

There was the year, when Elena was still alive, that Santa forgot to fill the stockings. Kind of an awkward moment. The look on Kim’s face was priceless when she realized Santa’s mistake.

Tonight we’re doing things a little differently. Kim’s not here to cook fish for and Maggie doesn’t like fish.

We’re having a few friends over.

We’ll do a couple of fish items. Instead of the clam pizza, I’m doing a buckwheat crepe with the same filling to remember our time in Paris. I’ve got a roasted vegetable soup and a barley, pomegranate, dill salad. It’s also the first night of Channukah so I’m making potato pancakes and serving them with sour cream and applesauce. I’m also serving them with smoked salmon.

I don’t know why I’m having so much more trouble with Christmas than I had with Thanksgiving.

I think it’s because Christmas was Kim’s holiday.

Kim loved the magic of Christmas.

One of her friends wrote me a letter about how she and Kim used to go shopping together for Christmas presents.

I had no Christmas tradition before Kim.

For me, she was Christmas.

That’s probably why it’s so difficult.

Without her it’s just not Christmas.

Published in: on December 24, 2016 at 11:19 am  Comments (2)  

Future

Many people contacted me after Elena died to talk about miscarriages and children who had died before being born. Others told us of children born with conditions that would shorten their lives.

To them, their loss was the same as ours.

Elena died just before her seventh birthday. I have wonderful memories of those years. Some of those memories have stuck and some have faded just as they would if she was still here with us.

I suppose, if Elena were alive we would see flashes of the girl she once was in her eyes, in her actions, and in her mannerisms.

But that’s the Elena we lost – the future Elena.

We don’t have the Elena who would have been.

It sounds simplistic – it’s not – what we lost was the future.

Those parents of kids who died as infants lost a future.

People say to me, “it’s not the same, you lost a six year old.”

True. But we lost what that six year old would become. We lost her as a teenager. We lost her as a high school senior this year. We lost her going off to college.

I can still hear Kim’s voice crying after Elena’s death, that Elena hadn’t lived long enough to get her heart broken.

We lost a future. It’s hard to imagine that, in a way, since nearly eleven years of that future is past.

Those parents of kids who lost their kids before they became much of a memory also lost a future.

Is their loss different than ours?

Sure. All losses are different. But maybe not in ways that matter to them.

Some of the kids had names already.

Some of the kids had rooms that were decorated.

Their parents had imagined their lives as parents.

Now they had to imagine a different future.

Just like us.

Then Kim was killed.

I continue to get stronger and try to do more of what needs to be done. This week I’ve been trying to help organize a conference and I reached out to some people who would be great speakers.

One wrote me back that this is his first Christmas without his wife.

A year ago he was working to save his marriage.

It didn’t work.

This is his first Christmas since the divorce. She’s not dead, but she’s gone. He’s lost a future he counted on. His Christmases will never be the same. His future has been altered.

Is his loss different than mine?

Sure. All losses are different. But maybe not in ways that matter to him.

The future has been altered.

Christmas will never be the same.

 

Published in: on December 23, 2016 at 9:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Snack

When I get home, I head upstairs and let the dog out of her cage.

She runs down the stairs to the back door and waits for me to catch up to her to let her out.

Not yesterday.

Yesterday she must have heard me come in with groceries or smelled something from the kitchen as she ran to the back door.

By the time I got back downstairs, she had opened and eaten the smoked salmon I was going to serve as an appetizer on Saturday.

My fault.

I should have put it away before going to get her.

She was just being a dog.

I let her out.

I cleaned up her mess and put away the rest of the groceries.

I let her in.

She jumped up to lick me.

Her breath still smelled of salmon. She seemed to be rubbing it in.

I wiped her paws and let her go.

She went to her bowl.

Fair enough. That probably doesn’t count as dinner. It’s just a snack.

I got a cup of food and put it in her bowl. She waited patiently til I told her it was ok to eat. Then again, she couldn’t have been that hungry. She’d just eaten my smoked salmon.

Kim would have lectured her at this point.

“I can’t stand you,” she would have said. “You ate that whole package of smoked salmon. What’s wrong with you?”

Annabelle would have finished her food and looked up at Kim, head cocked to the side.

“Bad girl,” Kim would have said.

I’d look at Kim and say, “she doesn’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Oh, she knows.”

I smiled at the memory of Kim as I watched Annabelle drink a bowl full of water. So cute and so bad. Then again, it was my fault. I know better than to leave food out with the dog around. I just thought she’d head to the back door like always.

Annabelle pawed her empty dish for me to fill it again.

I did.

“Go ahead,” I said, “you’re probably thirsty from eating all that salmon.”

Annabelle paused a moment while drinking to look up at me. Then she returned to her water.

She knows.

Published in: on December 22, 2016 at 5:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dinner

Maggie was looking at her schedule for the week.

“We haven’t been out in a while,” she said. “Want to go to dinner Saturday night?”

“Sure,” I said. “Where?”

We talked about the options for a while and narrowed it down to three.

A couple of minutes later my phone buzzed. I looked down. She’d sent me a calendar appointment for our dinner Saturday night at 6.

Kim’s cousin’s mother-in-law posted something on Facebook this week. I don’t follow her but I am friend’s with Kim’s cousin so her mother-in-law’s post appeared in my time line.

I have many questions about Facebook – why I see some things,  why when I reload the page stories that were at the top aren’t there anymore, why I sometimes see messages from friends and sometimes don’t (which explains why messages I send sometimes are never read or received). I never posted on Facebook until Kim died. I’m finding this whole community overwhelming and baffling and may go back to checking in now and then.

Anyway, back to Kim’s cousin’s mother-in-law. She posted a really nice note on what she wanted from her children for Christmas. She wanted them to continue to involve her in their lives, to ask her questions and for advice, and to want to check in now and then.

It was very sweet. I completely get it. That dinner invitation from Maggie made me smile like I haven’t smiled in a long time. That’s all a dad wants.

When we used to ask my mom what she wanted for her birthday she’d say “three good children.” We’d think, “it’s easier just to buy you something.”

Anyway, Maggie and I spent much of the week driving up to get a Christmas tree and leaving without one. Thursday night when we got there and the volunteer with the change and the chain saw wasn’t there, Maggie looked at me and said, “we could go out for dinner tonight instead and then come back and see if the guy shows up.”

Sounded like a good idea.

“Where?” I asked.

“How about Happy Buddha?” she answered.

So we drove to Happy Buddha and had a great dinner together. We chatted with the owner near the end. We’ve gone there for years. She also knows Kim’s sister quite well but I don’t think she’s ever connected us.

The owner had been sitting at another table with another pair of customers who, I think, had just gotten engaged. When I got up to pay at the register she got up to greet me, recognized me and say hello. She looked over at the table I’d come from and brightened as she saw Maggie. She asked her about college and life in general.

We stopped by the church that sold the trees and they were closed up tight so we went home. I was tired and ready for bed. Maggie had to work from 9 pm to 5 am and then she was going to a friend’s house to bake cookies at 6 am.

My phone buzzed.

Dinner with Maggie for Saturday was cancelled.

Maggie worked Thursday overnight and Friday overnight. She was still sleeping Saturday when I headed out to do errands. She texted me her grocery list.

“You going out tonight?” I texted back.

She planned on going out for tea with one of her friends who was home from college.

I picked up some items for dinner. It was a cold nasty night. In the midwest that meant something that “sticks to your ribs”.

I got home and cut up half an onion and started sautéing it in oil while I boiled the pasta water.

Maggie wandered in the kitchen as I added rotini to the boiling water. “Did you salt the water?” she asked.

“Of course,” I said and smiled broadly. I added sausage to the onions and browned it. I added tomato sauce. I cut some basil into ribbons and chopped some oregano and added them both. Something was missing. I cut up a few tomatoes and added them as well. I drained the pasta.

I tasted the sauce. Perfect. Start to finish maybe twenty minutes.

Dinner.

We filled plates and ate together in the dining room even though it wasn’t on the calendar.

I looked over Maggie’s shoulder into the living room.

She’d put the angel on top of the tree and hung stockings.

She’d placed some of the traditional decorations in the usual places and the living room felt so much more like Christmas.

The dog whined and paced.

“Does she need to go outside?” I asked Maggie.

“No,” she said, “there’s food in the kitchen. She wants some.”

Maggie got up and let the dog out. She let her back in a moment later and wiped her paws and gave her a treat.

I cleaned up and tossed some of the cooled plain pasta into the dog’s dish. Maggie went up to change to go out.

It takes so little for a child to light up their parent’s life.

Showing that the family traditions mean enough that you’ll go up to the attic and find the right boxes and bring them down and get everything just right – that was big.

Even bigger, sitting down with me and joining me for dinner.

Published in: on December 18, 2016 at 9:01 am  Comments (1)  

The Tree

When someone dies you have to figure out how life is going to be from now on.

One of the things Maggie asked in the weeks that followed Kim’s death was, “are we going to get a tree this year?”

I immediately said, “of course.”

Kim worked with a woman whose husband wouldn’t allow a Christmas tree in the house because he wasn’t Christian.

I couldn’t imagine that.

Our house was us. We each brought our traditions in and celebrated them together. It was always Kim’s tree but we always went and got it together, brought it home together, put it up together, and adjusted it in the stand until she was happy with it.

For her. the tradition went back to her childhood. She’d always had a tree. She remembered her parents’ tree. She loved her grandmother’s artificial tree with the rotating color wheel that bathed it in different colors.

For me, the tradition goes back to my first year married to Kim. That Christmas was the first time I’d had a tree in the house.

For Maggie, she’s always had a tree in the house so of course she’ll have one this year.

A week or so ago Maggie said she wasn’t sure about the tree.

“We’re getting one,” I said.

She wasn’t sure she wanted to decorate it.

I’m not sure I do either. I remember watching Kim unwrap each ornament and remember where she got it and what it meant to her.

Our first Christmas she got me a couple of ornaments to put on the tree and a year later added a few more. She wanted to make sure I was represented there too. The kids had ornaments each year and so the tree grew to represent us as a family and our journey.

I don’t know that I can do that this year. Not yet.

A tree this year. Maybe decorate it next year.

We’ll see.

For years we bought our tree from the baseball team at John Carroll.

We didn’t stop after the year Kim asked for a blue spruce and was sold something that had been spray painted with a sort of blue flame retardant. She told the kid selling us the tree that it wasn’t a blue spruce – the needles were wrong. She felt bad for him and bought it anyway.

We stopped the year after Kim first let the girls pick a tree and they picked the saddest looking tree. The kid showing it to them held it up straight and neither Kim nor I noticed the bend in the trunk that would keep it from standing upright in the stand. The kid tied it on the car too loosely and we didn’t notice that either.

We learned a lot that year.

Kim and I had driven separately.  We drove back to the house with the tree tied to the top of my car. Kim started honking at me so I pulled over. The tree was falling off the car. The girls pointed and laughed and I told them I’d meet them at home.

Much later I got home with the tree mostly intact.

We started buying our tree from Kim’s church. I think we bought it there for more than ten years. The trees were beautiful. The family selling it really knew trees. The girls would take turns picking the tree. After Elena died, Kim and Maggie would take turns. They liked very different kinds. Maggie likes long needles, Kim liked short.

Last year Kim wanted to wait until Maggie got home from college to get the tree. We picked her up at the airport and drove right over to the church.

The lot was empty.

The family that had sold them for years had retired.

We drove to St. Dom’s and bought one of the last trees they had. I don’t remember whose year it was to choose. It was a beautiful tree but there wasn’t much of a choice left.

This year we decided to buy from St. Dom’s again.

I asked Maggie to check out their open hours when she drove by on the way to the gym.

She texted me that they’d be open tomorrow and we should go in the afternoon.

So Wednesday we met at the gym and after our workouts headed to St. Dom’s to get a tree.

They were closed.

I said to Maggie, “didn’t I specifically ask you to check when they were open.”

“I did,” she said, “the sign said they’re open til 9.”

“Thursday and Friday,” I said, “they aren’t open Wednesday.”

“I only checked the closing time to see if they’d still be open. I didn’t check the day.”

She also hadn’t checked the starting time. They opened at 6 on Thursday.

We met back there on Thursday at 6:15.

There were some cars out front and a guy was selling Christmas trees while his son made snow angels.

“I can’t give you a fresh cut,” he said, “and you’ll need exact change.”

He was a volunteer and the other volunteers hadn’t shown up. School had been closed that day and the other volunteers probably thought that meant no tree sales as well.

We told him we’d check back later. When we came back at 8 the whole place was closed down. No cars in the lot.

So we went back on Friday and Maggie chose a tree.

It will always be Maggie’s year to choose.

It’s a beautiful tree. The volunteers put a fresh cut on it. I slid the tree stand on it and Maggie tightened it into place. The volunteers then tied it to the top of our car and we brought it home.

The house feels better.

It smells better.

I love our tradition of having a tree.

Published in: on December 17, 2016 at 9:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Enough

I’ve had enough of Kim being dead.

I remember getting to this point with Elena.

I thought I was the only one who felt this way about Kim, but one night Maggie and I were over at Kim’s parents house for dinner and her mom said the same thing to me.

We were in the kitchen and she said quietly, “I’m tired of Kim being dead. Enough.”

I knew exactly what she meant.

It’s not that I ever expect Kim to not be dead.

But this waking up and moving through life with her dead is a huge weight. It’s an exhausting reality.

Sure, I’m meeting people for coffee and talking about everything from sports to politics to nothing much at all. We have a good time.

I’m starting to get work done again. I’ve updated my book. I’m working on videos. I’m preparing my classes so that I can return to teaching in the new year.

But there’s this cloud I carry with me.

Others can see it but are too polite to ask.

Maybe it’s not politeness. Maybe it’s love and concern. Maybe they just don’t want to see the cloud turn dark and stormy.

I know Kim will never not be dead.

I get the idea of “forever”.

You know, like that “forever” Kim and I promised each other when we got married.

Maybe we got the “forever” but we certainly didn’t get the “and ever” that was also promised us.

Kim will now be dead forever and ever.

I’m tired of that reality.

I’ve had enough.

And yet, I expect to live many years with that reality.

I know the cloud will shrink. I know there will come a time where some days the cloud isn’t there at all. During these “mostly sunny” days, life will seem pretty good.

For now, I’m tired. I’ve had enough of Kim being dead.

Published in: on December 15, 2016 at 9:01 am  Comments (1)  

December Addendum

The Garfield Court invited me to submit a victim statement for the criminal case for the driver who killed Kim.

The pre-trial hearings last a few minutes and then are postponed for nearly a month.

Here’s my addendum to the statement for December.

=====================

I wrote the victim impact statement two months ago for the pre-trial date of October 18, 2016 and updated it for the second scheduled pre-trial date of November 15, 2016. It’s a month later I am updating it a third time for the scheduled pre-trial date of December 13, 2016.

I don’t know if the court can understand how painful and exhausting it is to have these delays.

In my statement about “Sanction for the Defendant” I said that I was not vengeful but wanted the judgement to help ensure the safety of others in the future. Given that, I don’t understand how the defendant’s truck was returned to him and he’s back on the road before the criminal case is resolved. I don’t understand how this encourages him to seek a speedy resolution. And so this process continues at a slow pace while he goes back to work, changes attorneys, and searches for experts who look to reconstruct what happened long after all the evidence is gone.

I just don’t understand.

It’s months later and the roads are now icy. Will the court remember that on the August day when a truck rammed into my wife’s car that the roads were dry and visibility was good?

Will the court remember that we lost a young, caring, vibrant member of our family and community?

I understand that a defendant has rights.

But many of us suffered a great loss. I hope the court retains sight of that loss when it comes time to evaluate the evidence and rule.

Since the last time the court met, my daughter and I hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for Kim’s and my relatives. Eighteen of us gathered at my table and every one of us felt Kim’s absence.

The next day we buried her ashes next to our youngest daughter’s grave. Kim and I survived the loss of one daughter. I have to survive Kim’s loss without Kim to help me through it.

Saturday I went to our block party. It’s a progressive dinner party. All of the couples on the street and me. They were all so nice, but this was something Kim and I have done together for the seventeen years we lived on this street. A neighbor put Christmas ornaments up in a garden at the foot of our street for Kim. Her loss is felt by the community.

People send me messages online and stop me when they see me in the grocery store or at a coffee shop. They all have a story of some way that Kim touched them this time of year.

We haven’t bought our Christmas tree yet. Every ornament will remind us of a time that Kim did this or that.

So while the defendant is back at work driving the same truck that he drove into Kim’s little car ending her life, we still stumble through the day – a little stronger, a little better – but still struggling to understand.

It’s time to move ahead with the criminal trial. It’s time to help us understand.

Published in: on December 14, 2016 at 7:36 am  Comments (1)  

Delays

It looks like “Johnny Football” has reached some sort of deal where the domestic violence charges against him will be dismissed.

Forget who this is about and what he is accused of. It’s the timeline that resonated with me.

The former Browns Quarterback was accused of hitting his girlfriend in January.

He wasn’t indicted until April.

There have been brief court appearances every once in a while since then but Manziel is free to go about his business and no one seems in a rush to resolve anything.

I’m witnessing this snail’s pace with Kim’s trial. Today will be the third pre-trial hearing. The last two have been just a couple of minutes each and then both sides agree to come back in a month.

Technically, this trial has nothing to do with me. The city prosecutor sits on one side and the defendant and his attorney sit on the other side.

Tomorrow I will post the addendum I wrote for the victim statement but I just don’t understand the delays and the general pace of this trial.

“Johnny Football”‘s case is still unresolved for an event that happened almost a year ago.

Published in: on December 13, 2016 at 9:12 am  Leave a Comment