Tuesday, July 21, 2009


We lost Denise in January of 2008. It was probably the most devastating experience of my life. I was 50 years old at the time of Denise's death and felt I had already experienced enough tragedy in my lifetime to write a book. Little did I know what the word "tragedy" meant. On http://www.dictionary.com/ "tragedy" is defined as "a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict with some overpowering force, as fate or society, to downfall or destruction."

Denise was definitely a great person and yes, an overpowering force (the murderer), fate and society all contributed to her destruction (death). And she had NO flaws in her character.

Denise was such a sweet person. There was not a malicious bone in her body. She had a beautiful heart. It's damn difficult to come up with anything negative to say about her.

Now that her trial is coming up we're having to confront more than ever the harsh reality of her demise. In the beginning when Denise first died, I had a terrible time remembering and mourning her without staring evil (the alleged murderer and murder) straight in the face. Every time Denise would pop into my head, so would the evil things that he did to her. I'd picture her pregnant with Adam and wearing that pretty green dress on Easter Sunday 2007. It's one of my favorite visuals of her. She looked so lovely as Pastor John let the doves fly over the church. Denise was beautiful on the inside as well as out. Then the evil would enter the picture frame. Damn difficult to keep out those visuals. Innocent until proven guilty. sigh. Free will. sigh. Where was Denise's free will?

Anyhow, for the past year and half I've done my best not to think about him. I've done my best not to expend any emotional energy on him. I had gotten to the point where I could start thinking of Denise and visualizing her without his entering that picture frame.

Now it's back to square one. Hell. Pure hell.

Yes, I've missed her so much this past year and a half. We've all been working so hard to build a positive out of a negative but the harsh reality is that no matter how hard we try NOTHING can stop the pain and suffering we are about to endure and have endured.

I cringe and shudder thinking about the trial.

I cry day and night thinking for my son and what he's enduring. I simply can't imagine. I'm crying now. It's so damn difficult not to. You have to wonder will the pain ever go away?

I wonder at the array of characters who will be in the courtroom during the trial. I think and grieve for the eyewitnesses. The young lady living next door. The cousin. The cousin's daughter. The eyewitnesses who saw Denise struggling in the car who didn't call 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 squad on duty that night. Bill Cameron. John Davenport.

So many missed opportunities.

You wonder, experiencing a tragedy of this magnitude, how you can help stop another family from suffering the way we have.

And then I think of how Denise suffered. Oh my God. That's when I question God and if s/he exists. How could a God exist who would condone such evil and harm? I was taught that "God is all forgiving". "God is love". Hah! Is not that condoning those evil deeds? Once again, according to http://www.dictionary.com/ "condone" is defined as "to pardon or forgive (an offense); excuse."

It's going to be a long time before I reach that point if I ever reach that point. So, this guy not only robbed us of Denise, he stole our faith too. He stole our family. He stole our sense of goodness.

My friend Dan shared this quote:

"Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow." -- Dorothy Thompson, American journalist 1893-1961

I keep telling myself that.