Let me take a step back for a moment, I need to explain the circumstances with my parents a little better. After my mom was arrested that day she didn’t come back home for over 7 years. She was denied bond and had to stay in the prison farm here for over a year while they prepared for the trial. The trial itself from what I remember took about 2 weeks and I was not allowed to go, they were afraid for me to hear the details of the murder and all the things they thought had been hidden from me my entire life. The violence, the affairs, the alcoholism…. How my mother arranged to have my father to be murdered in cold blood because of all the hurt. How do you look your child in the face every day and conspire to take her father from her? He was not perfect, he had his flaws but don’t we all? That one decision by another person sent my life spiraling into a tailspin that took me years to recognize and readjust. The butterfly effect is real. One decision you make today can and will affect you and others around you months and even years in the future. I went from a spoiled child of a well-off dysfunctional family to unwanted, discarded and alone in a matter of weeks. The only time I was allowed in the courtroom was the day of sentencing. They brought my mother in to the room and she looked over at me and looked so thin, haggard…tired. She gave me a slight sad smile and mouthed I love you as she was led to the table to sit down. I sat in a row with my brother and sister on one side and my aunt on the other. I remember bit and pieces of those moments, snatches of time, before the sentence was read…..25 years and for the second time my world stopped turning. She was found guilty of conspiracy to commit first degree murder and would now not be coming home for the rest of my childhood. They couldn’t do that could they? She had a child, someone to take care of. How could they take her away from me to? I had never felt the heartache I felt that day sitting on the hard benches of the courtroom, tears streaming down my face and sobs being ripped from my throat. I was in a daze as we walked out into the hallway. My Daddy’s family were all there up and down the benches along the wall. Cold hard stares for the children of their brother, son, uncle….family. I could not understand why my aunt refused to speak to me and my cousins that used to play with me in the field behind my Grandmother and Pa’s house now turned their back as I walked by? Why were they mad at us, why did they hate us so? I remember pushing through the crowd, everyone trying to get around the news people as we left the building that day. People shouting questions to us? How do we feel about the sentence? Do we support her after she had been convicted of killing our father? A camera was shoved in my face and a picture snapped before my aunt or maybe it was my sister was able to pull me away shielding my face. That picture of a tear-stained face of a devastated girl made the front page of the Metro section of the local newspaper.
Over the next 7 years, I was only able to visit my mother a handful of times. I venture to say that I maybe saw her 10 times in those years. The state thought the place for her to be was a prison that was hours away from her youngest child and not many people would take the time to take me. I begged to see her more, she would call and there were letters but as a child I longed to simply sit in my mommas lap and have her brush my hair like she used to do, or simply have her close to me and make me feel safe again in a world that now seemed so very big and scary without her to buffer it for me. I grew up in a matter of weeks.