I have been sitting here playing a mindless computer game just to have nothing to think about. I haven’t been able to write anything yet there is so much whirling around in my brain I can’t get any rest. My mind won’t stop talking to me and I can’t get it down on paper. I'm tired of talking about it. I don’t know what to do.
Yesterday we went to Hayesville to talk to the DA and the trooper who helped Mary. There, on the desk in front of the trooper, was a binder of all the evidence he had collected. The sum total of what Mary became – a statistic – a reconstructed crime scene – written interviews with those who saw the destruction. I just stared at it. There were no pictures (I asked) that I might accidentally see. Although he did take several CD’s worth that night. They will be shown at the trial. Little things leaked out as they talked. The transmission on her car was ripped from the car. Do you know how big and how much a transmission weights? Again, my mind imagined pictures I did not want to see. Why can’t I get beyond the horror? We were told the man seemed very remorseful when he finally realized what he had done – no comment yet. They were very kind and honest in what they said. I held my tears as best I could. Waves of anguish overtake me at odd moments. This could take anywhere from 4 months to 2 ½ years. Danny didn’t want to come. He said he didn’t feel good and didn’t want to hear anything right now.
We drove around the mountain to Franklin . Met with the lawyers. Again, it could to take up to two years. Will our lives ever be relieved? Then we went to visit Mary in all her old familiar places. The coffee shop had pictures of her on the wall. She had considered asking the owner to take her wedding pictures at one time but decided differently later. I remember that discussion vividly. We needed to save money. At her work her cube was just as if she had gone out to lunch. Her friends stood by us unable to do or say anything. Afraid they would say the wrong thing or cry or even throw up as I was feeling. Everything that was Mary was staring us in the face. Organic snacks, notes to call Tony before leaving for home, soft tissues for those in need, pictures of Tony and the doggies everywhere, lists of the birthdays of her friends, etc…… on and on. What’s going to happen to me when I have to go to the house? I really don’t think I can. I will try around the end of May. I already go there in my mind and the stab of reality that hits me is overwhelming.
Today I did not go to work. I sat and called to close her accounts that I could. I have moved from "Mary’s mom" to the "executor of Mary’s estate". What a title. What a responsibility. Each time they asked “why does Mary want to close her account?” tears fell and I stopped to catch my breath. It is still so freaking unreal that she is not here helping me cook dinner on the grill, watching movies with me, taking the dogs out to pee, a hundred other things we did. Figure out how to sew zippers in her purses for 5 hours straight. Kerry thinks about her ALL the time and the fact that she is never coming home again. He is so sad.
Danny was asleep and no one else was here today and my pain surfaced in great heaving sobs and wailing. I rocked back and forth thinking no, no, no…. I was afraid I couldn’t stop. Right now my tears are just falling in my lap. Why is it that sometimes there are no tears and sometimes there’s an ocean?
I’m tired of facts, and what if’s, and whenever’s…. When each of my kids reached 18 I told them that from now on any bad choices they made, I couldn’t help them with. I could hold their hand and support them but they would have to live with the knowledge and consequences of anything they did that was bad. If they drank and drove and hit someone it would weigh on their shoulders for the rest of their lives. I asked them to try to make wise decisions. And they have so far. I never dreamed in my wildest dream I would be here today.
One month ago right NOW the door bell rang. I called her cell phone one last time before I shut it off.
I hate the pressure on my shoulders, like something is sitting on them. I rub them but it never goes away. My chest is in a vice, my jaws hurt, my stomach rumbles all day long, my ears ring constantly. I know none of this is truly, physically happening but the mind can play so many tricks on you. When will I wake up?
How different would it be if I could have prepared for death? If the man had died also would the hate be lessened? If he hadn’t been drunk? If it had been a deer in the road? If she had lived long enough to donate something? If she had lived but was in a coma or paralyzed? What if she had been kidnapped and I didn’t know where she was. What if I had lost more than Mary. How different would I feel? These are all things that have happened to other people here in Atlanta in the last month. Don’t tell me I’m torturing myself. Don’t you think I know this? I have to ask these questions. I have to see all sides of the equation before I can make peace with myself. I will walk this precarious path balancing sanity and destruction and I will get through it. I just don’t know when or how long it will take. Right now there is only standing still or falling down. Going forward is near impossible, but I will one day.
I close my eyes and I can hear her saying “Momma! What are you doing up so late? You need to go to bed right now. The dishes can wait, I’ll do them tomorrow. Now, come on, get up, that’s it….” And so I will, for tonight.