On a Saturday morning when I was ten years old, my aunt showed up at the house. This wasn’t out of the ordinary to me because my cousin and I were on a soccer team together and we had a game that morning. The only thing I found odd was that instead of inviting my aunt inside to talk, my dad stepped outside with her.
I don’t remember my mom and dad telling me my uncle was missing. I don’t remember the names of the roads we drove or the conversations we had in the car. In some ways, I’m glad we didn’t find his car. I’m glad my mom turned around when the pavement ended instead of following that dirt road all the way out. I can’t imagine what 10 year old me would have done if we had found him that day. The next time my aunt showed up at the house I knew it wasn’t good news. Her eyes were red from crying and it looked like she barely slept. I didn’t have to ask to know they found him, or that he would never be coming home again.
It took two years for the trial to come to a close and the sentencing hearing to happen. I remember I was almost 12 years old wearing a red polo shirt with a black tie because I was way too into Avril Lavigne at that time. I don’t remember what I stood up and said, I just remember crying and trying to explain to these men that the person who’s life they decided to end was not just my uncle….he was my best friend.
Looking forward, it’s crazy to think that it’s only a few years away from their parole hearings. Something I’m not looking forward to standing up and speaking at. How do you explain to a courtroom full of people and a judge (that could care less because he’s just trying to get through as many cases as possible before lunch) how you feel 15 years later about the two men who woke up one day and decided to take the life of a man they didn’t even know? I’m not the same little girl missing her uncle anymore. How do you explain that your family never recovered and half of us don’t even speak to each other anymore? That Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners together are a thing of the past because the man they took away was part of the glue that held us all together….
I know time goes on and when people die we go on living our lives but one thing is for sure, those men did more than just take my uncle’s life. They took a piece of each and every member of my family and changed all of us forever.
-The Girl in the Glitter
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