I was only 24 years old when we received the call. On the last day of May, 1995. Or was it the first day of June? It was mostly just a blur. A crash. A storm. Drowning in waves of shock. My mother…found dead in her apartment…being treated as a homicide…blunt trauma to the head…murder investigation…funeral plans…too badly beaten to be viewed…her beautiful face…my Mommy…My proud, adoring Mother. My very first best friend. My sole emotional support growing up. Loving, enthusiastic Grandma. How will I tell my 4-year-old son, Michael? He was her biggest little fan. They were such buddies. They always laughed together. They cracked each other up. He dubbed her "Queen of All Grandmas" and he was her charming little prince. She showed prized pictures of her grandchildren to anyone and everyone who was willing to look. What about Melody? My brand new baby girl. They just met.
My daughter will not remember her Grandma…
My first and only daughter was three months old. My son was 4. I was already on medication, and in counseling, for severe postpartum depression and anxiety attacks. My previous pregnancy had resulted in stillbirth, and when my subsequent daughter was rushed to neonatal ICU at birth, it triggered deep, intense emotions. Once again, I was leaving the hospital without a baby, since she had to stay in intensive care. But, thankfully, she was out in a week. She was healthy and beautiful. I, too, began to recover. One of the greatest comforts to me was my Mom. We lived less than two hours away, but it seemed so far, to my stressed out, postpartum self, who needed the safe haven and support that only my Mother could provide. Our last few telephone conversations were a glorious gift from God. Who knew, that a few free weekends on the cellular phone would end up creating such priceless, treasured memories. We shared sparkling words of Love and Spirit…her joy and pride in me…in my children…her encouraging words and prayers…her recently deepened and renewed faith in Christ. She told me what a wonderful mother I was, to my children. What a compliment that was, coming from her. I had just heard the comfort of her voice on the 27th of May.
And now, I was being told that later that evening, she was battered to death, in her own apartment. This could not possibly be real. How could anyone do this to her? Everyone who knew my Mom loved her. She always had a warm, glowing smile and friendly words for everyone, alike. She taught me to have the same. What monster, what beast, what evil would rip this precious life away…How could anyone crush such beauty, slash the petals from this radiant rose, and leave me with only piercing thorns?
Thorns that would viciously tear into my heart and scar it…permanently.
I felt like a little girl again.
I wanted to throw myself in the floor, kicking and screaming…
"I WANT MY MOMMY!"
But I can’t have her. Never in this world, again. Her life has been savagely stolen. But, evil can’t touch her soul. Because she believed in Jesus. At least I know we’ll be together again, forever, eventually. But I hurt RIGHT NOW! I NEED HER RIGHT NOW! Oh, God, please let her know how much I miss her…please…
Funeral. My Mother’s funeral. She was only 44. I am only 24. Prayers…scattered, childlike prayers…to get through it. Just get me through it, Lord, Let me survive today. Please help me, God, my Daddy…Jesus.
Closed casket. Her face, her beautiful face…too badly damaged by the brutality of the beast…Don’t Look…nightmares for life…if we dare to look…
This can’t be real…casket closed…
That’s not my Mommy in there! I didn’t even see her! It must be a mistake! That can’t really be my Mommy! It Can’t!
MOMMY, I NEED YOU!!!!!!
Doubled over with pain, intense, excruciating pain…
far beyond words…
My heart cries out for her.
I need my Mother.
Through a blurry veil of tears, all I see is a casket. And flowers. Blossoms of bright, vibrant colors. To reflect her youthful beauty, energy, and joy. White mums would never have been worthy.
I want to read a poem for her. I need to. She was so encouraging, and admiring, so proud of my writing. I want her to be proud of me still…I need her to. A poem written in celebration of her gift of motherhood, and her gift of friendship. She had so much fun being my Mom, and being my friend. How thankful I was to have her. Please, Lord, let me get through this. Help me read it without tears…for her…and for You.
And, I did.
A broken bit of my heart, and hers, to share.
What happens now? The flowers are gone. The cards have quit coming. Still, no arrest. Barely even the semblance of an investigation. WHY? WHY? WHY? Where is justice? Why is evil allowed to reign? You mean that monsters can just rip mothers from daughters, and steal children’s grandmas away, and it’s ok? There aren’t any consequences? My Mommy is gone. If this evil remains free…who will it attack now?
Whose Mommy will be next? Whose daughter…whose sister…how many more must be battered…abused…murdered…before justice is done?
Whose… Mommy… will… be… next?