Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Light At The End of the Tunnel

For many people, November 23, 2007 was just another day. To me it was the day that delineates my life into Before and After. Before Jessica and Kelli were killed. Before our lives were upended. Before we were thrust into a role that no parent ever wants to play. Before we embarked upon this journey through a dark tunnel of sadness and despair, knowing that our beautiful daughters were forever gone.

For many people, January 18, 1999, was just another day. To me it was the day that my daughter Maddy came into this world, all 9 pounds 8 ounces of squalling little girl with spiky red hair.

And yesterday might have been like any other day for many, but for me it was not only Maddy’s 12th birthday, but the day that we finally got some light at the end of our tunnel. Today I got the phone call from my attorney that I’ve been waiting for since May 3, 2010. Today we received word that the Court had finally, after eight months and fifteen days of deliberation, reached a decision.

And just like I did on November 23, I experienced myriad emotions at once – shock, disbelief, sadness, and anger. Shock and disbelief that it could finally be over, sadness that the two of the people I want to call to tell my new won’t answer, and anger that we even had to do this in the first place.

But today I added a few emotions that I didn’t have on November 23 – relief, and a feeling that a bit of this weight is starting to lift off me. When I heard the news, I cried, but I think it was more along the lines of a release valve letting off pressure.

We still have a few hoops left to navigate, but now I feel like I’m holding the hoop instead of being the one to jump through it.

Nothing will ever make us whole again, but this decision gives us the ability to continue to fund the scholarships, to speak to officers and first responders about my daughters, to raise public awareness about pursuit safety, and to continue the good that I do in their memories.

To everyone who has attended the fundraisers, donated blood, conveyed their sympathy, thoughts and prayers, whether in person or through this blog, I am forever grateful for your support.

People ask me how I do it, and I usually reply “Vodka.” But that’s just my inappropriate humor at work – I get through this because I have such strong support from my family and from my friends, whether we’ve ever met face to face or not.

17 comments:

willtherebecake said...

Oh Kim I am so happy to hear that progress is being made. So happy.

PS Happy Birthday to Maddy!

Melody said...

I am so happy that you ca finally close this chapter in your healing process and move further along in the next. Love you guys!

It's In The Genes said...

I hope you find some peace now. I'm very happy for you and Maddy. I've followed this story on your website from the beginning and know some of the pain, stress and anger you went through. Bless you.

Jenn said...

I echo the previous comments. I hope this news helps you and your family to continue the healing process and that the decision allows you to keep your daughters memories alive for many many years to come.

Angie said...

Kim, the first thing I saw online was the heading of the story and I was so excited for you. Excited that you finally got an answer. I hope that you and your family can finally find peace.

Krys72599 said...

Thank God.
As you've said, nothing will bring back your girls, but knowing this part of it all is over? THAT is just sweet relief.
Happy B'day to Maddy, and happy DAY to you both!!!

Holly said...

Everything everybody else said. I'm so thrilled for you that this day finally arrived. It's been too long in coming. You're amazing and I know you will continue to inspire many while you heal.

Candy Priano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Candy Priano said...

Grace and love flow through every word.

Frogdancer said...

At last!

Honestly, how hard can it be to make a decision?

Good luck and look after yourself.

Hope said...

I'm so glad that your wait is over. :)

ps. Happy birthday, Maddy!

Jaelithe said...

I am so relieved. There's a little more justice in the world today.

MamaB said...

I saw the news on STL Today online and clicked over here as soon as my computer would allow! Oh, Kim I'm so grateful there has been a decision and that this chapter has finally been closed. Nothing will bring them back but this closure is a long time coming. My prayers are with you, Maddy and all of Kelli and Jessica's family. God Bless!

Nancy R said...

Thank heavens!

Gigi said...

I've followed your story (and blog) for years...and I'm so pleased for your family that some justice has finally been served and that you will be able to finally exhale. I remember your daughters often because of you and through that you have kept their spirit alive. I hope your days are a little easier now.

God bless you and your family.

moore lane said...

so happy to hear you are seeing the "light" at the end of the tunnel. i remember the news story, and then connected to it via a mamalogues blog years back. i still check and see the progress on your journey of events. you are inspirational and amazing. in my prayers and love the work you are doing with the police officers and the issue of speeding to emergencies/calls. keep it up!

Jill of All Trades said...

Ditto to all of the above. I'm glad the progress is moving on, slowly yes, but onward. Again we are here for you. Carla