I’ve prayed for this time to hurry up and get here. The time in which I could finally start to “heal,” and my life could somewhat return to “normal.” I’ve attended numerous pre-trials, to the point, for lack of a better description, the courtroom almost seems like a “normal” aspect of my life. Yet, the closer I come to Tuesday, the more terrified I become.
I’ve spent the past week worrying about how in the world I was going to survive days of sitting and listening to HOURS of testimony, pieces of evidence, and arguments from both sides. After Jason’s death, I was able to escape for a moment if needed. I could change the topic, walk out of the room, or simply “zone out” into my own thoughts and feelings. However, 9 months later, as I prepare to walk into a courtroom where I will be bombarded for hours a day with information about Jason’s death. I simply can’t say that I am ever going to be ready for that. Who could ever be? How can I prepare myself for the evidence we will see, the testimony we will hear, the act of witnessing Jason’s family and friends have their wounds re-opened and all of their emotions exposed all over again.
In the last 9 months, I’ve worked very hard to “heal” those wounds as best as possible. Although, rationally I know there will be no time in which they are completely healed. There will always be tender spots, or small cuts that never heal. The wounds that do close, are scared over and jagged. They aren’t small perfect little incisions. I envision my body, my heart, to be covered with wounds of all sizes- small little jagged ones from each time my heart jumps when I unexpectedly see a picture of him, huge ones that with raw spots all in them from every night when I hear, “I miss my daddy,” or “daddy used to play with me like this…you’re doing it wrong.” I know my body will always metaphorically be covered in wounds. And the more I’ve prayed for this day to get here, the more I thought with certainty I’d be ready- that the wounds would be healed enough where I could handle the trial. My thought process was that once some of the wounds have healed a little, and they aren’t quite so open and exposed, that maybe it would be easier.
Let me tell you, I was wrong. Actually, it’s tremendously worse to have these wounds ripped back open, and the worst part is each time it’s unexpected. I had psyched myself up to believe that I could somehow make it through trial without re-opening wounds. I guess, maybe it was my way of coping until I could no longer ignore the facts any longer, and I had to face the realization that trial will tear open all those wounds, and expose my emotions, feelings, and darkest thoughts in ways that I could never prepare for. For those of you who know me well, you know I can’t stand to spill my emotions everywhere- yet, there’s no escaping from it occurring in trial. And, at the start of this week, I was beyond angry that here we all were once again, wounds exposed, desperately missing our: husband, son, daddy, brother, uncle, brother in blue. And as my thoughts continued to sink further down into the deep abyss of negativity trial has brought upon my thought process, something remarkable was happening outside of the “deep dark abyss.”
Every tear shed, or ill-spoken word that tumbles out of my mouth before I can remind myself the true source of my anger, are exemplifications of more wounds opened, and more raw emotions being exposed. And, it’s come to a point where I simply feel that there really isn’t a place on my body: both inside and out, that isn’t covered in a wound from Jason’s death. Yet, as I was sinking into my dark abyss, God was trying to open my eyes to the love that surrounds me: supports me, and lifts me up even when I have no idea it’s really being done. For each wound that has been re-opened in the past few weeks, God has placed a blessing, both small and large, in my life. And, as I began to open my eyes more to each blessing, the more I realized how God was choosing to answer my prayers. I had prayed for the strength to handle this trial with dignity and grace, and the ability to walk out feeling we had completed everything possible to ensure justice was served. I guess I wasn’t sure how I expected God to provide me the amount of strength I needed, but if you asked me to envision it and describe how I felt God would answer my prayers, I could never in a million years come close to describing to you all of the blessings of the past few weeks.
I will not be able to cover each of them, but I’d like to list some of these blessings for you. In hopes that maybe they will prompt you to look for your own blessings, and that they will serve as reminders when I am re-reading blogs next week as I reflect on the last 9 months of my life.
- Pink Behind The Thin Blue Line was okayed from Officers Down 5K Foundation to host the first ever Texas Officers Down 5K. And not only that, we met with the city officials, and they are beyond excited. The amount of recognition this event will bring to fallen officers and their family’s sacrifice still humbles me and brings tears to my eyes. Within a matter of 2 days, our event was shared on MAJOR law enforcement organizations who service the entire state of Texas. Each share, like, comment, and click that said “I’m going to this event,” broadened my smile, and helped me focus on a blessing for a moment instead of another wound that had just been opened. We are so blessed to have Pink Behind The Thin Blue Line grow so quickly, and to receive such support in a short amount of time. I asked God for affirmations a while back that this organization was my calling, and let me tell you, He hasn’t let me down yet. Affirmation, after affirmation.
- As we continued through the week, more and more businesses volunteered to somehow help raise money for the scholarship fund. This fund is a vital key to my goal of bettering our community. It’s an investment in the lives of future peace officers, parole officers, crime scene investigators etc. Which each investment we make, we are slowly instilling in these young people a belief that their community backs them, and hopefully when the time comes, these students will chose to start their careers here. Then they will raise families, and create an established career. Those veteran officers will then become the training officers for our rookies. And the cycle of community pride and service will continue. And with each business who offered to support, I began to believe again that there was a greater purpose to be served through Jason’s death. I begin to be reminded that the justice we pray will be served won’t be the “end” of remembering Jason and other fallen officers. Instead, it will be the beginning. And I have been blessed with the means to ensure that this is just the beginning.
- I ended this week with the first ever fundraiser Pink Behind The Thin Blue Line held for the scholarship fund. We had a pancake breakfast this morning, and I walked around to as many tables as possible, thanking them for their support. My goal was to remind them how they were all blessings in my life, and all examples of affirmation of my calling. As I talked to each person, I heard story after story about how Pink Behind The Thin Blue Line, or an officer, me, or one of my ladies had somehow touched their lives. I heard how what WE are doing is exactly what our community needs. And, while I was walking around today, speaking to people, I can tell you for the first time in a while it seemed like those wounds were gone- if only for a few hours. In those few hours, I was surrounded by a tremendous group of ladies who would do anything in the world to help me remember Jason and other fallen officers. I was lifted up by community members who took time out of their days to come by and remind me of their support. And even better, we raised over 1,200 dollars for the scholarship fund today. And while when I left the wounds came back, I’m armed with more blessings to combat them.
- There are almost 50 new likes today alone for the Facebook page: The Pink Behind The Thin Blue Line, and I can’t even begin to describe the love I feel when I see pink behind the thin blue line as so many people’s profile pictures. I can tell you that my ladies in my group have surrounded me, lifted me up, and shared my story with so many already. I look forward to ending each stressful day at trial with scrolling through the Pink Behind The Thin Blue Line Facebook page and seeing all of my supporters wearing their ribbons! I am still in awe at the love I feel. I know so many of you can’t be there in person, but I assure you, God is allowing me to feel your love and your prayers! Jason’s memory is alive and EACH of you are honoring it as we walk this line to justice!
I know these don’t even begin to describe all the blessings from just the past week, but I want you to know I couldn’t have asked for my prayers to be answered in a more perfect way. For 9 months I have walked through a daily storm, and each day this week, something happened, and for just a moment or for a few hours, it felt like I was in the calm. After 9 months of walking though a storm, the breaks were beyond needed.
I know the weeks of the trial ahead are the hardest parts of Jason’s death I will probably have to endure. They will require more strength, faith, and grace than even the act of burying him did- but I serve a God who has placed so many people and blessings in my life that there is no doubt in my mind that even though I will be walking through the tornado in my storm, I will be surrounded and uplifted by thousands who are praying for me. And, when I walk into the courtroom on Tuesday morning, I will have the most amazing friends and family who have dropped their entire lives to sit through those hours of agony with me. And, they will have their lives forever changed, but they aren’t even blinking an eye, because they love me that much! And it is through them, and all of you that Jason’s memory will be alive and well during this trial! And while we are in trial, all of you will be praying, and hoping, and supporting me in ways I might never know about, but I promise you I will feel. Your support provides me strength.
As we enter trial week, I ask that you go and like the Facebook page: The Pink Behind The Thin Blue Line, and that you copy why we have changed our profile pictures, and that you will do the same. I pray that you will help us spread the love and support for all fallen officer’s families. And know, even though I won’t be able to post, my gratitude for each picture changed, prayer said, or messaged sent will never be expressible to you, but it’s appreciated beyond measure. Thank you all for believing in Jason’s memory enough to support our cause, and for supporting me throughout the weeks of trial.
Thank you all for loving my scared body: but know that you are a large part of the reason the wounds are slowly healing!