I live in a small Colorado town where everyone is connected to everyone. If you do not know someone, they know a friend of yours. We have very little crime and most of it is minor stuff. That changed in November 2012. We had a thirteen year old boy disappear. He was a grade below my son. They were not friends but went to school together. So many of the kids hang out at the library after school and both the boys did. Dylan, his brother, and mother had moved away and Dylan was forced to come to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with his dad. He disappeared the day after he got here. He was supposed to hang out with friends and never showed up. Our community went into a stressed state. There were assumptions that Dylan might have run away to try to get back to his mom. We were all hoping that he was okay but we were also concerned about our kids. For a period of time, no one was letting there kids out of their sight alone. We didn’t know if he had been abducted (or worse) or had run away. Quickly fingers started pointing at the dad that he had done something to Dylan. I do not know either of the parents but it just saddened me to think that people were so fast to blame the dad. The parents accused each other. They ended up on Dr Phil. Eventually, this wasn’t mentioned dailly BUT it was in the back of our minds. I had such mixed feelings about it. I wanted it to be the dad because I hated the thought that we had a crazy in our town that took the kid BUT I also  didn’t want it to be the dad. How sad to live with killing your child. How sad to kill your child. The more time that passed, the more the accusations to the dad grew. I kept thinking how terrible it was if he were innocent. His life was ruined no matter what. If innocent, no one would ever believe that. If guilty, well, that is the unthinkable to me.

As time has passed, there have been many searches in the woods and at the dad’s place. Partial remains were found and his death was ruled a homicide. Occasionally, we would hear bits and pieces of the investigation but I never thought an arrest would be made. That changed today. Mark Redwine was arrested for the murder of his son. Maybe we can have some closure here in our small town. Evidence has now been released and it looks bad for the father. I hope they are right.

I wouldn’t want to be on this jury but I could be partial.  The thought of killing my child is so horrific that they would definitely have to prove it to me. My son was actually called in for the grand jury but was dismissed and didn’t know this was the case he was almost on. I just hope that this is the end of the story and the mom and brother can finally move on to their new normal.

#JusticeForDylan

2007 was one of the toughest of my life. I turned out to be numb for much of the year. 2006 ended on a high note and I woke to a phone call from my mother real early. That was not a usual occurrence for me. She called to let me know that one of my favorite players on the Denver Broncos had been murdered in downtown Denver the night before. If I had known that was just the beginning, I don’t know how I would have reacted. As it was, I was heart-broken. Darrent Williams was a great cornerback but he also had a passion for the game that was exhilarating. He always had a great smile and I couldn’t help but smile when I saw him. He was young and had potential for being a great in the league. I loved watching him play or be interviewed. A few years later, my children gave me a collectors photo of him for my Broncos room. He will always be remembered by me.

If there was any year in my life that I would remove if I could, it would be 2007. Williams was just the beginning. I had so many deaths to deal with that year. Co-workers, friends, kids friends parents, family members, friends kids, kids friends, my dog.  Deaths were unexpected and some were expected. There was old age, cancer, car accidents, brain aneurysm, and stroke. I spent most the year in mourning and scared about what was next. I spent most of the year worrying about my kids and how they would handle all the death in their lives. I spiraled into a deep depression that I truly believe was the beginning of the end of my marriage. 2008 started with the first time my ex told me that he didn’t want to be married anymore. I understand. I cried almost very day the year prior. I just thought that once I got better, we would get better. I do think he got depressed too but would never get help. He spiraled into anger and withdrew from everyone and everything.

It took me a while to dig out and a lot of work. I will probably blog about many of these people that died in 2007 this year. That year changed me. In the long run, it was for the better. It has made me stronger though I am pretty cynical when people get sick now. I hate the way it affected my children. It was the beginning of a lot of deaths for them. They have all been affected so much at such young ages. They all had a classmate missing at graduation. Our little town has had a child missing at graduation almost every year for the past 8 years. I think only one year was the exception. I am not going to focus on the negative but I do need to talk about this. Death is such a difficult subject that we all try to avoid BUT it is something we all have to deal with. Our time is so short on this planet and we need to appreciate every day and everything we have. The song by Five For Fighting in 100 Years always hits me hard. 

Well, today I lost another person that I love dearly. Ace was one of those people that the moment you met her, you felt like family. She was nice to everyone. She was energetic, fun, sweet, and just all around one of the neatest people I have ever known. She and I went to the same high school but she graduated 13 years before I did. We never met until 11 years ago at a reunion for my school. Immediately, there was a connection and for the following 11 years, this woman and her family meant the world to me. I have only been physically with her a handful of times but those times will be in my memories forever. We kept most of our contact via chat rooms and phone calls.  I will always remember her relationship with my children. Unfortunately, the two younger ones barely remember her but they sure loved her when they were young. She and my second daughter loved getting each other with water guns on the beach and she loved snuggling with my baby boy and he loved singing The Banana Boat Song to her when he was just three. She thought that was so cute. Everytime I spoke to her, she asked about my son. She kind of adopted him in her heart but I think she did that with everyone. Life was never boring with her around and it was usually full of life, energy, and laughter. I will truly miss this wonderful person being in my life and it just pains me that she died so young of such a horrible disease (cancer) when so many jerks live to ripe old ages. I just don’t get it. So many people are saying, now she is with god, etc but I do not find that comforting. I am comforted that she isn’t suffering anymore but if there is a god, I am once again angry- not only that she is gone but that she had to suffer like this to begin with. Now her family is without her, our very close high school family is without her and life will never be the same and neither will a single reunion. It saddens me so to know that she will never be at another reunion with us all. I will miss her lively spirit and say goodbye to someone who feels almost like a sister to me.

In the past few months,  it seems I am mourning a lot again. I had an acquaintence shoot himself, a young gal I know and cared for died in a tragic accident and now this. It feels like 3 years ago all over again. Hopefully, this is the end of the deaths for a while. In the mean time, I hope that all of us who loved and knew Ace can heal and enjoy many stories of her in the future.

Sometimes, we all get so wrapped up in day to day living that we forgot the important things in life. Sometimes, we are given reminders of what is important. Last week was one of those for me and many that I care about. We have lost a 14 year old girl to a tragic accident. I spent last week going through old photos to try and find some to scan and share with others and give some to her family. Right now, the shock of losing her is horrendous but eventually those photos will be more precious than about anything. I am so glad I have photos of my grandparents and wish that I had more photos of a few other people I have lost. Taking them is important but so is putting them somewhere where they will be safe and last so when needed, they can be retrieved and enjoyed. That is where safe albums and digital back up is so important. I am always working on that but will be in high gear again after this.