It's been a while since I've blogged. I'm not sorry for that. My thoughts have been going every which way and much of them would not make much sense to most people. We wrote a letter to the local editors with a thank you but I need to write more. I wrote that letter out of a sense of duty laced with heartfelt gratitude but much was left unsaid.
You would think things would get easier now that the trial is over. Having the trial over is a major relief. We were very blessed and still are in so many ways.
- The judge was so thorough. He crossed every t and dotted every i. He was determined that there should be no mistrial.
- The prosecuting team was in a word awesome. I could listen to Lon Arend speak all day. His professionalism was exceptional. He never lost his cool and slowly and methodically presented the state's case against Michael King. His sensitivity was incredible. He had to present the horrific facts all the while knowing our family was sitting there and reliving the pain.
- The defense team did their utmost and everything they could to save Michael King. And even though they irritated the hell out of me and listening to them was like nails running down a chalkboard, I was grateful they did all they could. Why? Because there will be less likelihood that this case gets overturned. It was that solid.
- The jury, like the judge did all they could to cross every t and dot every i. They sat there in stoic silence listening and paying the closest attention to every that was said. They listened to Denise's tragedy with such strength. I commend them and thank them for performing their civic duty with such dignity.
- Police Chief Lewis who sat their every day with the lead detective. Job well done. They too were as sensitive as possible. I was so moved.
- And, of course, our family and friends. Oh crap. I'm tearring up thinking about them. My sister, Chris, who came in from Indiana... our friend, Kevin Willett from the 9-1-1 industry from California... Nancy and Kathy who were there everyday... Connie and Sherry from different chapters of Parents of Murdered Children. Dave Dignam who drove Nate back and forth everyday and kept Nate's nerves calm. Nathan could not ask for a better mentor and friend. Sean, Nate's best friend who came all the way from Minnesota. Mark's brother, Steve, who kept the home fires burning for us when we got home. Joan and Jackie who I know I would have been friends with even if this tragedy never happened. Tammy and Jeanine who are always there for us.
- The King family, especially the brother who is raising King's son. I know this sounds odd but they treated our family with dignity and respect. I'm so saddened and heartbroken for them. They kept their distance and tried their best not to make us uncomfortable.
- The press also treated our family with sensitivity, respect and dignity. The North Port Sun and the Sarasota Herald Tribune reporters were especially sensitive, yet, were able to retain their objectivity.
- The hundreds of people we've never met who wrote letters and sent cards from not just across the country but from around the world. I could read and feel their pain. They were truly that touched by Denise's story. Total strangers....... It's humbling.
- And, last but not least, Denise. Denise. Denise. Denise. The prosecution's best witness. Her bravery and courage. Her beauty and goodness shining through that horrific 9-1-1 call. Her presence everywhere. Oh, sweetie, you humbled that entire room all except for that one creep who showed no remorse. But, you did it, baby. He'll never hurt anyone else ever again.
I'm sure there's many people I'm forgetting. I did not mention Rick and Sue's friends and family. I'll leave that for them but I thank them, too.
As I said, it's all very humbling to be touched by so many people.