Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Her birthday

We made it through her birthday, sort of. No one mentioned it, kind of like the elephant in the middle of the room. Instead, we snapped at each other, grumped around all day, and then silently went our seperate ways at the end of a long day. I suppose this week should be spent making ammends. After all, who else do we have but each other?

Monday, July 20, 2009

The pain is just too much some days

For those of you reading this who have never been through the death of a child to abuse, you may wonder why 10 years hasn't healed the pain. After all, doesn't time heal all wounds? It does not, and the person who said that had obviously not experienced significant loss. When July 13 came, it was my first waking thought, "This is the day they took my little baby girl from us." Although I think of Bethanie daily and still miss her terribly, July 13th is especially heart wrenching, as is July 22nd, her birthday. She would have been 14 this year. We will forever wonder what she would look like, what kind of woman she would have become, what the future would have held for her, if evil had not taken her that night in July. It is a pain and longing that never leaves. I can still smell her, sense what she felt like in my arms, hear her voice in my head. No folks, there are some wounds time can never heal.

There is a family in New Philadelphia, OH, near my home, that went through a similar event not so long ago. I followed the trial and read all I could about it, it was so close to what I had gone through, and my heart ached for the family. They have chosen to use their tragedy to help prevent child abuse, and I can't express my gratitude enough for this family who is willing to relive the pain daily so that one more child can be saved. Please take a moment to go to the Shoup family's website and take a look at what they are doing.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 4th is so depressing for me

July 4th will forever be the holiday that heralded Bethanie's murder. My son was supposed to get Bethanie for visitation on July 4th, 1999. We had planned a large family picnic at my home, which is in a different county than the one Bethanie lived in. When my son went to pick the girls up, Megan refused to let him have them, telling him that she didn't want him taking the girls out of the county. She refused to even let him see them at the door. This was not unusual behavior for Megan, so we all just got angry and went on with the day, once again deprived of spending time with the girls. We had no idea what Megan was really hiding. Later, we found out that what she was hiding was an emaciated, starving and bruised little girl. She had already begun the process of killing her. Every 4th of July I sit and wonder why I didn't go there myself and call the police. Given that visitation is a civil matter, they wouldn't have made her hand the girls over, but maybe they would have seen something that would have saved her life. There are a hundred different things I see in hindsight that might have saved her life, if only I had done even one of them.