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Happy Birthday, My Beautiful Niece
October 22, 2021
We love you so much, and long for you to make our family complete again.
Today, and each day, I miss you…. Today, and each day, we think of you.
One more year left, and I hope with all my heart, that God will somehow lead you home to us, back to your family….
Words cannot express or explain how we have missed you, my love….
Happy Birthday, today we wished, for you….
Although I thought of you each second today as the clock ticked tortuously along with a loud echo, I could only just barely manage to get up with a migraine (which was surely brought on by grief and wonder) and tap out a little love you note to you on the keyboard keys that have become my unorthodox companion who never complains about my insomnia….
Suddenly soon, the time we have been anxiously awaiting, will be coming upon us. And thus will begin the, ‘ok, NOW what do we do, what CAN we do’ chapter of the saga. All I know, is that we have loved and waited for you this entire time, and I’ve seen enough and learned enough along the way to know, that in fact it IS possible to be a part of something as extraordinary as when a wish meets a miracle…..
Haunted. At 1:25 a.m.
March 12, 2020
I was just organizing some paperwork, in a fairly new file folder, and this picture was inside. I used to have little pictures of her everywhere, and I still find them in places I don’t even remember I put them, or when.
Once again, it feels like the wind got knocked out of me. I was trying to keep busy because I can’t sleep, and here I am now, taking deep breaths, to hold it together.
It never goes away.
It never stops hurting.
It’s never not at the surface.
My niece is almost 18, and that in itself leaves me speechless. And so sad. And only filled, with an emptiness.
God, please bring our baby home, our hearts are so heavy and so broken without her. If ever a wish were to come true, please let it be this one ….
Not At All Sorry.
March 9, 2020
I don’t know how to explain it.
It’s hard to speak about it, so I only talk about it with a select few. I am still barely able to write about it.
It’s hard to sit and think it out, hard to not sit in a blank, struggling to find words.
My life moves, in slow-motion.
Whoever said “it get’s better with time”, clearly never lost a child.
I find myself overwhelmed with grief and sadness, in disbelief that this happened at all, and still isn’t over. I keep asking myself, has is really been over 15 years, how did that happen, where did that time go? How much time is left? Will we reunite? How will that happen? Where?……
All this time later, it’s still a bunch of unanswered questions. Always thinking the same thoughts round and round. They call it post-traumatic stress disorder. I can be fine one moment, then falling apart the next, something suddenly brings the pain rushing to the surface. They’re called triggers. It took years of therapy for me to learn to make sense of these feelings and emotions, and even more years to understand and accept that these words were not just medical terminology, but part of life, after disaster struck.
It’s so frustrating.
Why can’t I just be mad as hell that this happened to us?
Why do I have to watch how I feel, watch what I say about how I feel, watch the way I act, apologize for I don’t know what?…… I just want to say that I am enraged at this whole thing. I want that happy couple who did this to us, to explain themselves, and to tell us why they were happily willing to rip our family apart, so they could play house.
I want to tell them how I feel.
I want to tell them I will never forgive them.
I want to break things, throw things, smash things. I want to yell, and scream and cry.
I want to just lose it.
I have felt so trapped by all of this for a long, long time. Seemingly, a lifetime.
It has taken my joy, my love, my trust, my time, my energy, my sleep, my creativity, everything. A marriage, a baby, a home, my laughter, my light.
I realize now that I looked at the world, in a state of blissful innocence, up until this.
I still recall the moment I found out, fell to my knees, cried, and crawled to the bathroom to vomit. It was like whiplash, taking off the rose-colored glasses, and waking up to a dark, grey, apocalyptic place.
I am absolutely irate, and I have the right to be, and I refuse to apologize for it any longer. This wasn’t any of our bad, it was theirs. This childless couple, with the fake smiles, and perfectly airbrushed lives and carefully crafted Facebook profiles.
This isn’t our shame or our secret, it’s theirs.
I am unquestionably unforgiving, and I’m not at all sorry.
Time. Stands. Still.
After all this time, it’s amazing to me that time still feels stuck in the place that it was all those years ago.
Time has stood completely still. Nothing has moved. Nothing has changed. Nothing feels better. It’s like waking up every day, helpless, can’t wish it away, can’t wrap your mind around it, can’t make sense of it.
Full of rage, no way to get it out. Begging for justice, that seemingly will never come. Wanting answers, getting none. Wanting someone to pay, the debt doing nothing but accumulating. It leaves me speechless, squinting my eyebrows, wondering still, is this even real?
It’s like being trapped, struggling for air.
I think about my niece every single day; going over, and over, and over, and over the details, the facts, the questions. I get lost in time, I get lost in the space of wherever I am. It’s so hard to explain, and even harder to survive. Some days it’s minute by minute.
As much as I have to say, it’s like I can’t find any words. I just want to shut down, shut everything out, crawl under the covers in a dark room, and just sleep.
I want this to be over.
I want to go back to being the person I was before this.
I went from dreamer, to realist, never looking at the world the same, never looking at people the same, losing faith, losing life. I feel depleted, defeated, and damaged.
While these people who have my niece live this made up life, while Letty is posting pictures of her with her grandkids, it’s amazing to me that filth like that is still walking around normally like nothing ever happened. It makes me sick to my stomach. I still have nightmares, I still find myself wishing Letty for dead, picturing her smug smile, haughty attitude, and her cold, dead eyes. Just thinking about her gives me insurmountable anxiety. I haven’t spoken to a neighbor since 2004, and likely never will again. I make no new friends, under any circumstances, I keep the ones I have had since childhood, never letting any outsiders inside the trusted circle.
I hate that this took everything. I hate what this cost. I hate how it changed me. I hate how it makes me feel. I hate that I can’t do anything about it.
Is It Really Another Birthday That Has Gone By?….
Today is my niece’s birthday, for the next 11 minutes.
I felt numb all day.
I couldn’t speak.
I couldn’t cry.
I couldn’t do anything.
I went and parked up in the hills, one of the places I go to just think, and be still.
I couldn’t think much. My mind felt almost blank, unable to even register thought.
I have so much I want to say but I can’t get the words out. So much I want to do, but my hands are tied behind my back. I couldn’t take her anywhere. I couldn’t hug and smooch all over her, I couldn’t give her the cool “auntie gift.” My life feels surreal; like a dream I can’t wake up from. I keep thinking we’re almost there, it’s almost over.
One day she will know….everything.
The clock keeps ticking by, I have no idea where all these years without her even went. I have blocked out huge portions of my memory, unable to survive with even my own thoughts. I am so incredibly thankful I have everything written down, I couldn’t imagine if it wasn’t . Literally as I typed that sentence, I got a quick shiver of chills.
We’re almost done, we’re almost there.
Love withstands time.
Love endures though distance…. struggle.
I have to keep believing, because what is love without hope?
We’re so close, that tonight, I will talk and pray it out to God, and then, after I give it to Him, I’m going to sleep. And rest my mind. And my spirit.
We’re all about to be able to finally breathe, and heal.
For now, I place my love for her in God’s hands, that He will reunite us soon, and life will be sweet once again.
Happy Birthday, my love, auntie loves you….
Standby For Update ….
Some things have happened in the last few months and I still can’t get my mind around them. I’m thinking about how I want to write this; trying to find the right words.
I haven’t been able to write for so long, but I .am. working on it.
Standby for update ….
One Day It Will Be Tomorrow….
My mind has been so busy with thoughts swirling around like a tornado.
This thing has grabbed hold and won’t let go, no matter how much I kick and scream.
This is the hardest it’s been since it all started.
Not like it has ever been easy, but there have definitely been more anxiety-filled days than breathable ones.
We never know day by day what will happen…. if the phone will ring, if papers will arrive, if a sound or a smell will trigger tears.
This time, I have been all choked up, and at a loss for words for 8 weeks, today marks that particular Sunday.
Something happened that night and I literally still feel like I’m going to just pass out. I’m sitting at the pub table that’s in the family room, feeling like I need to hold onto this chair and close my eyes and breathe. So I’m doing all that I can do…. writing and praying…. candles, music.
I was with my son, having just enjoyed a road trip to drop him off at his first deployment station, and just had our first dinner together since he graduated from Navy boot camp. I picked up my phone, opened the text message, and saw my beautiful niece. I felt the air leave my body, I felt flushed, I swallowed hard, and put my hand over my lips, as if any words were even able to come out. My eyes filled with tears.
There she was.
So grown up, 14 years old. I was speechless.
There is such a close resemblance between my niece and my sister, I just stared, squinting my eyebrows and shaking my head. In that moment, I experienced so many emotions, I thought so many things, I can’t even describe it.
Where the time went, I don’t know.
How much time do we have left to go, I don’t know.
Which way is up, which way is down, I don’t know.
I hope, that it will all be over soon.
I’m so ready to put this behind us, reunite, and never look back.
I’m ready to heal, I’m ready to be happy.
I have trusted in God every moment of every day, and I can’t imagine a just God allowing this to have an ending that isn’t right.
The pressure, the pain, the wonder, the confusion, the rage, the frustration…. I want it gone.
Our yesterdays were taken with blunt force, I want the tomorrows filled with love.
I miss the me I used to be, carefree, and happy, and weightlessly free.
Before light turned to darkness, and I lost my way, demanding justice, and hoping they pay.
They don’t care what they took, the filth which they are, but God is still watching, it’s not over by far.
May they relish the victory, they think it’s so sweet, their lies will crash down , and their judgment they’ll meet….
One Day Closer.
When trapped, water finds a way, and makes a new path …..