“Dee, Matthew’s been stabbed, call me back, we don’t know if he is going to make it!!”
It was a Sunday, a day like any other Sunday. My wonderful husband had just brought me a bullet proof coffee, planning our day, enjoying our 3 year old. Matthew would laugh at how much we love our coffee. Life was good, after years of living our dream together, with no tragedy to speak of…. life was good. Cheznie, was living in the land of make believe and imagination, that a 3 year old enjoys on a Sunday morning. We were beginning to do some reading, enjoy a morning of each other, of our small family, and cuddly pup pups. The boys, they had moved out, off to college, or working, or things that 18 year old boys do. And Matthew, well he went back to Arizona. He wanted to see his brothers, and sister, before life got very serious for him. He thought it was a good idea. William was still in Austin, following the college journey. But we thought, these were the last 2 we were raising, the 2 that were going to make it, to something great.
THEN! SHOCK happens! A message came in! Matthew has been stabbed, get to Arizona as fast as possible! Hurry he may not make it…. What? Huh? Did I read that right? Is it a joke? Could this possibly be real? Did I just step into a nightmare? Did I just get a text, that my dear Matthew had been stabbed? Oh my gosh how I love this boy. I raised him from infancy to 10 months old, I nearly raised him for years up through elementary school as he was always at my home. Then again in Jr High, and then living with us in Highschool. This baby boy has my heart. He is like my own son. My flesh and blood. This isn’t real, oh my God, please this isn’t real….I cannot believe this is happening! Teenagers fight, they don’t kill, not on a perfect Sunday morning, at 10:30am with the sun shining on God’s beautiful world.
I never post very personal things, or drama on Facebook. It’s a platform for good, for business, for love for marketing. But at this moment, the only thing I know,,, all that I know is that I can reach 10’s of thousands to call them to prayer, right now, through this medium, so I do it. I ask for prayer, the only thing I believe is going to help us at this time, please, please everyone pray! I was scared, I was shaking, what happened? How could his happen to our baby boy? Who would want to stab him and for what reason? His beautiful heart. Who would want to? Please please, we will accept every possible prayer….
Where did this happen, how did this happen, the questions running through my head……and then….. “Oh my gosh, we have got to get his mother on a plane!”
I started searching for flights…. The costs, what to do, where to leave from where to go? My head was spinning in confusion, my heart was pounding and I wasn’t even living in a realm called earth. How could we get there now? How could we get your mom who loves you Matthew……beyond her own life? How could we get her there NOW? I was trembling… but started focusing on others, not on my own pain but on the pain of others, on the pain of my first born child, my baby girl, that needed right now to be holding her own first born child. Divorce is a terrible thing. Kids and parents separated, and this trauma was showing that it was worse then imagined. They would have been together, this would have been easier, but there is no would have, should have’s that ever help in life. There is only now, this moment, right now.
She, was already in the truck heading to an airport, asking me to find her a flight anywhere, anything, can we get her out, NOW? Every time, I saw a flight to book, it disappeared, then we checked buses, then FINALLY one flight out. She was heading to Bush Airport, and then the call came in……….brrrrrrrinnngggg, do I want to answer? On one phone my husband is hearing from the hospital on the other phone is Melani, screaming as though she, herself, is dying. I can’t understand her, but I see my husband’s face go pale, go white as a ghose… Like I have never seen him look in my life, and at that moment I know. At that moment it’s over…. Oh my God, no please no God no…. not my baby boy, it can’t be true, please tell me it isn’t true. I even message Matthew’s facebook, “are you there?”
Oh my God, please please say it’s not true. I was on the floor screaming like dead weight, papa trying to pull me up and hold me, trying to get my emotions to stop in leiu of logic, but it wasn’t going to happen. I couldn’t face it, I felt such guilt for letting you go, I felt such denial, it couldn’t be happening.You didn’t make it. You were stabbed through the lung, into the heart. They went after a leg artiry, and they had stabed your liver, why would they stab to kill? Why o why? The person who stabbed you, yes he was out to kill you. The mind cannot grasp what it doesn’t want to accept. Lies I thought Lies, this isn’t happening. Let me talk to someone, let me talk to him, nooooooooooooo!!!!! I fall to the floor, unable to move, Bill grabs me under my ribs to hold me up, Dee, Dee, stop, stop, but I cannot. I am so sick inside, I am so in pain, pain and anguish like nothing I have ever felt in my life, please this cannot be happening noooooooo!!!!!
What do you do in a moment as this? Your world as you know it is gone. Your future, your dreams, your hopes and plans with a child you love so dearly is gone. HIS hopes and dreams, crushed in a moment of horrific violence. Murdered. The word murder is running through my brain. My baby, murdered, sweet, loving, fishing, football, helpful, loving, bike riding, baby is gone. At the moment you feel like dying too. It’s not that you will, or you know that you might, you have no control over it. At the moment, you want to be with them, where they are, go to them. That’s the pain stabbing through my heart, then and there. Feeling the anguish, and why wasn’t I there, how could I have changed this scenario? One thing different. One phone call, one moment, one activity, could have changed this. What could I have done. The sickening feeling deep inside the stomach is like none I have ever felt. The change in my entire physiology, it’s happening, my heart, my lungs, my shoulders, my mind, my face, I feel a complete metamorphasis in this moment. Not like when I lost my best friend in school, my cousin, my grandparents, my parents, and other friends. No, this is a complete change in who I am taking place, at this moment, to my entire physiology.
My whisper, to Matthew, ….You didn’t make it. You were stabbed through the lung, into the heart. They went after a leg artery, and they had stabed your liver, why would they stab to kill? Why o why? Who did this? What monster? The person who stabbed you, yes he was out to kill you. You don’t stab these areas without wanting to commit murder. And that’s what this murderer did!
Then it comes to me. WAKE UP! What about your daughter? Though he lived with you long, and lovingly, he came of her womb, and she raised him in his youth, oh my GOD, what about my daughter? I call her back, she is heading to the airport, and she can’t talk, she can’t sit up, she’s nearly on the floor, she is losing her mind, this can’t be happening. Why can’t we do magic, and POOF! She’s there. Why do we have to wait and wonder on the flights. So I check the time, the map, and I say, go to the airport, we can make it Melani and I am coming behind you. Of course my husband says, you aren’t driving. He helps us into the car, and we start the drive. Why are we going? What are we doing? She needs to get on that plane. I don’t know, I am just in motion. Automatic pilot is driving me and right now I need to hug my baby girl, hold her in my arms, let her know, I am here with her, before she boards that plane.
We pull up…. she falls into my arms. Collapse! She can’t move, she can’t think, she isn’t there in her eyes, she is lost. The first born child, the one she learned about life and love with. The one she herself grew up with. The first born child that taught her, diapers, and nursing, and feeding, and bathing, and teaching….. all the things a mother learns with her first born child. The closeness that is unmatched, anywhere in the world. Some of you mothers reading this now. You know. It’s not that you love your children any more or less, it’s just the bond of the first born is strong, for the lessons you learn together, as you grow, and build a mother/child relationship, the bond, is something real. What can I say to her? Is there anything at all I can say to her? At this moment, you don’t know what you did right, or what you did wrong, or how you could change one moment in time to change this thing that is happening. Seriously, as a mother, you are running through your entire life, and the live’s of your children, trying to decipher the one tiny moment that could have changed it all. The one wrong thing, the one wrong thing, the one thing said, where could we have changed this. How can we stop it? What can we do, so this isn’t happening? The denial, is killing me softly. The denial is killing her. Then we sit on a bench. And we hold each other and cry until our guts come out…..
I have to leave her as she heads in, and we both are walking in a nightmare.
I want to scream because I know you Matthew. Your fun spirit, your teasing, your enthusiasm, I want to scream because there is no reason for you to be murdered. 100’s of friends that love you, standing room and out the door at your funeral proved it to be true. But right now, I want to scream, and hurt the person who did this to you. You of all people should not be the one to be murdered, my heart is torn, my head is heavy, I am lost in a blur, an illusion that it’s only a story, a farse, it can’t be true.
The feeling of revenge is so difficult, at a moment like this. In your heart you know you would never hurt a soul or take revenge, but in your head, your gut, your aching, you want to kill. You want to take revenge, and hurt the person, who could have had a heart to kill. The anguish, is so heavy and weighing on not only the mind, but the body and the soul, like a weight on your back. The saying monkey on your back, is so true. You feel the weight pushing upon your spine, your back your shoulders, even through, so that the pain in your stomach is undeniable…….you want to hurt the person who took your baby away. That’s all there is to it. Right now in this moment, that is the feeling.
This story isn’t to put you out, or scare you. This story is to let you know what will happen in a moment like this. What has happened to other people in a moment like this. In the end you will learn the journey, the process that takes a person from this deep, darkest moment of dispair into a life that is full, loving and successful. For now though, the story must be told as it is. The story must be real, the feelings, clear, exhausting, leaving you in the moment of what is, in the end, we will hope to teach you and many others, the journey of finding the way out. But for now. Yes, the story must be told, the real, raw, painful and agonizing, sad, desperate, story.
On the drive home, my body feels empty. Really empty. Imagine your skin as just the covering, and the core, everything inside it has been removed. The muscle the mind, removed. I can barely hold myself up. I am not sure, I exist at this moment. It’s a type of shock that happens…… you do what is necessary for survival, and then for a moment, you sit there. In shock, ghastly, not even really alive, not sure you will survive it. That’s the pain that happens in a moment like this. It’s not that a child has died, it’s beyond God’s calling, this is a moment that a child has been murdered. The chaos in heart, in faith, in belief, in logic, it’s a mess inside and all you do is sit there, with the loss of your insides, you have become an outer skin…..
So I have to plan to go. Why? People ask, he is gone, he is dead. What are you doing, why must you go? The answers are too much. One, because maybe I have to see it to believe it. Because a child doesn’t leave before the elders. Because a child lives, a long and fruitful happy life. We had plans, we had a future, of travel, and fun, we weren’t done! Two, maybe I had to go because I had to support the people around him. Though I was hurting now, I thought I could be strong for others, I could find my way in a few days to help. I didn’t know, but I was being called to go. There isn’t any logic in some moments in life. Some moments in life, we are called to go, to move, to do something, just because we feel the calling, and there is no explanation. No matter the logic or the whys of others, I was called to go. To take the step, to walk through the door.
******From last add
The story becomes a blur here for a while, I haven’t the mindset to take notes, or journal, I haven’t the mindset to think— I may write of this some day, I haven’t the mindset of anything at all. The blur, happens because in that moment, while you are in shock, you think of all the people you have lost before. The people you haven’t talked to lately, you didn’t keep their photo on the wall, maybe you wonder, have they been forgotten? All the lives lost before, become a blur of love, heartache, of life’s longing for itself. That’s what it is with love. Love is life’s longing for itself. The journey of life, is about finding the purest form of love. It’s hard to realize, when you just wanted to kill someone, and then in that moment, as you remember all the people you have lost before this. Your heart begins to bleed. I sat there and bled, through my skin, through my tears, what must have been blood coming through my eyes and my pores. It must have been my heart bleeding, with the love I have had so intensely for the others I have lost before, the agonizing void, of the loss of them in my life, is nothing anyone can fulfill. I see at this moment, how people seek out drugs, and addiction to fill a void, a loss, a pain so deep, that it stabs over and over, multiple times in our lives. You remember them in joy, and then the sharp, pang stabs your heart, as you remember them in loss. The process, the grieving, it’s a thing so complex, it has yet to really be described, by most I have read. So at this moment, the culmination of all I have lost before, has me torn up, and then, I realize, they are all around me like wings from angels to give me strength. To seek out the wisdom I must seek, to get through this journey. A JOURNEY OF MURDER>
The words, I hear them around me, people saying don’t go don’t drive like this. But I know I must. So I get the car rented, and my husband takes me to it. He knows my strength, my weakness, and he understands that something much more then he has seen in 20 years, is happening here, in this moment. And he knows I must go. We rent the car, Cheznie and I get in, and we drive. I drive and drive and drive. Trying to control the thoughts that come through my mind. I have this gorgeous, new little life, in this car with me… she is counting on me for her safety, for her good will, for her sanity in a car seat on a 15 hour drive. It is so important that I realize the treasure here that is riding with me in this car, as we go… as we go to face the fear that every mother or grandmother has, to know that this day should never come but it has, and so we drive. (Let it be known she is the greatest road warrior with me. She keeps me sane through the next few days, without her, I am not sure what may have happened, but with her, we make it through the next few days.
On the drive, I pull over to cry. I stop to get gas and to cry. I stop to feed Cheznie and to cry. We get caught behind an accident and for 30 minutes I cry. “What’s wrong Nana?”, I hear from a beautiful little voice in the back. I try to explain I just have gotten sad, but that it is ok, and we are doing great on our road trip together aren’t we? And I cry, when it is safe to. When I have to let it out, I cry, but only when I know that she is safe, I cry. I cry at every interval I can on a 15 hour road trip, with the 3 year old warrior alongside me. When I get to Tucson it is late, we have a home to go to, a room to stay in with bunk beds, so we drive and drive, and we arrive. The bunk on top has a rail, she must be able to sleep there, and so I let her. I lay down on the bottom, and I cry, and I cry, until I pass out from Ibuprofen PM. I know from the night before I won’t sleep well, and so I get over the counter help. As I stir and wake from the little one in the bunk above me, I feel the wet pillow, not wet, but soaked, my face is soaked, my lips still quivering, I am waking, as I am crying. How does that happen, I have never ever felt this sort of thing before. Oh my gosh, I was crying in my sleep and waking while the crying still was happening, and I keep on crying!! I am still crying, and crying, please don’t wake up yet little one, this is the moment, that every tear, from every pain, from every person lost, ever,,,,, is gushing out of my eyes, and my mouth, as my heart is spilling up over my lips, and the pain, is exhausting, down to my toes, and all of a sudden, I just go limp. I’m here, where this has happend, I must face the story, the people who may know what happened, I must hear the terrible trues that may come to exist, and I must face the spot, the place, where my baby, my Matthew, was murdered, on a sidewalk, on a Sunday, at 10:30am….
I’m in a house, with my sister in law, and this baby, and I don’t know if I can walk out and face them. It’s interesting you know….. not only the few days after, but for weeks, people really aren’t sure what to say to you. They aren’t sure if they should call. They feel they must lift your spirits, or help you smile, when really all you want is that they allow you to be where you are. You aren’t asking them to be in the pain with you, you are just asking for the right, the acceptance, to be in the pain, because you are. It doesn’t go away, by a kiss, or a blow of the lips, or a hug, or a prayer or a word. It doesn’t go away like this. It only exists there, and finds a way to exist there, at some moments peacefully, and at some moments in terror. But it exists, and all you want is for the people around you to know that it does, and allow it to be. There is no magic cure, there is only the journey and the journey is ours alone when our baby dies. It doesn’t matter if the father, mother, sister are experiencing it…. because each of their experiences will be different, their own journey, their own time to find peace, to see what it is that death means to them, and how the after life really appears. It is only their journey to suffer the pain, the excruciating pain of a person that is lost, and lost that you can never see again… lost that lost, that you will never hug them again, kiss them again, or hold them again. All that matters, is that we are left there, to be there to exist there. And as I leave Cheznie with my sister, in law, I head back to that bed, to the darkness, to the wet, drenched pillow, of who’s I do not know, but back to that space, and my heart and tears, pour out all over again. … then I drift into the darkness.
I’m not sure how I fall asleep, it’s an ibuprofen pm and a benedryl. I am sure without them I would not have slept, and as I am in the sleep, I’m not sure anyway, that I have even slept at all. It’s like I lay dormant in the dark, then I wake with tears, falling all over my face. The pillow sopping wet,, never in my life, have I experienced this sort of arising with the sun. Never have I felt what it is like to wake in this sort of devastating morning, when all you do is become conscious and then wonder, why, why is the pillow soaking wet and my face, and the tears, and then OH MY GOD, NO, please it isn’t so, and then you realize it is, you are waking in, sleeping in, walking in this living nightmare, this living hell.
I know I should soften the story, make it more “readable” “acceptable” something that people may want to read and learn from. I know I should be more politically correct, and keep vulgar language out, and keep the deep, darkest, terror and dispair away from the story,, I know should. But I cannot! It just flows out of me as I get to thinking and the fingers type when the thoughts come. They can’t type fast enough but they try. I know I should do some things, that will make this story easier for others to read, maybe instead of 1000 people reading it only 100 will now. But it doesn’t matter, I just write, and feel, and portray the story as it is and as it way, this is the story.
So I lay on the pillow, soaking wet, in the dark on a bunk bed, I am not sure where I am or how I came to be here. Then I know, I remember, I remember that first night, the night I slept in my own bed at home. The night before I took the long journey in the car from Kingwood to Tucson. I remember, that Matthew was gone, he has left us as we have known him, left this earth. But I remember him reaching out to me, in the morning, I couldn’t hear the baby, or my husband I was awaking the morning after his death in my own bed, in my own room, full of a fog, a mist, and I said to myself, “never let anyone know you are here right now, they will all think you are crazy. Do not tell the story of this moment. And I felt Matthew holding me, hugging me, his hand rubbing shoulders like he always did, his finger circling in my hair like he did since he was just a few months old, I knew he was there, and I heard his voice, “nana I’m ok, it’s ok, please don’t cry”….. I wanted to scream that morning, I did say, “Oh my gosh Matthew you are here”… I did know that he was here, and I knew he was in a place far better then where we exist, and then I stopped, I cried, the confusion, the why, the sadness, was in the very depth of my stomach and aching, how am I supposed to ever let go? Thank you though Matthew, for this moment of peace I know you are here, and it helps… then I looked around the room, and knew I must arise there was a family out that door, a family waiting to see me. So I arise.
This I know is what had happened, how I ended up in this bed, in this place with this sopping wet pillow, and all I know is it cannot be,,, it isn’t real, what oh what is happening???? And I lay, in a fog, in a brain that is mush, I know I must go care for the baby, the 3 year old, I love so much, but I cannot move.. I can’t move one muscle, not a finger nothing….I cannot move….