January Addendum

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

The final pre-trial hearing was Tuesday. This was my final addendum to the victim impact statement.

By the way, today it’s been five months since the accident.


I wrote the victim impact statement three months ago for the pre-trial date of October 18, 2016. This is the third addendum. Thursday will have been five months since the defendant’s semi ran into Kim’s car.

I don’t know how Christmas was in the home of the defendant. I know it wasn’t nearly the same at our house.

Friends and family supported us through Christmas Eve and Christmas. They were wonderful, thoughtful, and supportive. I asked Kim’s cousins and mom’s of Maggie’s friends what a 20 year old girl would want for Christmas. You know – other than to still have her mother.

In our house Christmas Eve and Christmas were Kim’s holidays. She loved Christmas. She loved unwrapping each ornament. She loved decorating the house. She loved mulling cider and sitting under a blanket listening to Christmas music waiting for our daughter to wake up and come downstairs Christmas morning.

I did the best I could but it just wasn’t the same.

Turns out even someone my age really just wants one thing for Christmas. The thing the defendant took from us.

A week later we had the same friends over for New Year’s Eve that we’ve had over for more than a decade. I’ve known the husband for more than thirty years. I’ve known his wife for more than fifty years. The only thing missing was my wife of more than twenty years.

Maudlin? Perhaps. But you want to know the impact of the loss.

There’s also the nuts and bolts. I didn’t work at all in September or October. I’m self-employed and couldn’t travel to teach. I started to revise my book in November but had missed an important deadline in September – those sales are lost forever. I made no money in September. I made $14 in October. I sold one copy of an older book.

I’m beginning to work again but who knows if the business will come back. People have been so nice – but business is business.

Mostly though, there’s Maggie.

Maggie is smart, independent, funny, resourceful, … she’s so many things I admire. But Maggie is 20. There are times she still needs her mother.

There are some things a 20 year old young woman would rather ask her mother than her father.

She doesn’t have that option.

I answer the best I can but there’s so much I don’t know.

What about medical insurance? For now we are paying to stay on Kim’s via COBRA but with changes coming to insurance laws I don’t know what I’ll need to do to keep Maggie insured. I thought we wouldn’t have to worry until she was 26.

More nuts and bolts. We used to use Kim’s income to pay for our medical insurance. That’s obviously not an option anymore.

I expect we’ll figure things out and get by. But you asked what the impact is on us.

Every time we get a medical bill I think of Kim. She used to take care of these. She’d call the insurance company and take care of charges that were denied or whatever. I don’t understand any of that.

One of the interesting facets of having this pre-trial go on for so long is that I’m beginning to understand the depth of the loss beyond the “I really miss her” phase.

Thank goodness for Kim’s family. Thank goodness for my family. Thank goodness for Maggie. Thank goodness for all of our friends.

There’s much to be thankful for.

But this is a huge loss in ways that I get better at articulating as the legal proceedings drag on.

Published in: on January 19, 2017 at 8:23 am  Leave a Comment