As you read this today, I am with my sisters in a court room as we stand together while I read a “victim impact statement” to the judge who will hand down the sentence, finally we hope, to the evil who murdered our little sister, Cathy.
On Friday I had a phone conference with the district attorney and the assistant district attorney who has been in charge of the case off and on for the last five years. Had I been home, I would have taken that call up in my barn where the smell of hay lingers with the scent of horses. Instead, I went to place where Cathy used to like walk in the foothills. I needed the solace of creation to steady myself.
And I ask that you pause today, wherever you are reading this, and send up some prayers for strength and courage, for steadfastness in reading this statement with clarity, and for the tears that want to overwhelm to wait that we might do this one last thing, seeking some little bit of justice for Cathy.
I do not wish to share with you the violence of what I must read, but I can share this small piece:
“My brothers and sisters and I have been mired in this dark and gloom. Cathy impacted our lives like a comet streaking through the sky. Cathy stopped our breath because she cared so much about this world and the people in it. Cathy made us stop and take notice. Cathy enriched our lives such that we will never be the same.
We want to remember all the tiny little things that made Cathy who she was. To remember every little moment, we had with her. Cathy kept me safe so many times. We stuck together through so many hard times, huddled together in the cold or dark, and we kept each other as safe as two little girls could. None of us could save Cathy from this.
We were there when Cathy graduated nursing school in her twenties. She was so proud and ready to begin a career helping people. Cathy was a nurse and was very good at it because she cared about the patient first and the protocol later. No one will benefit from Cathy’s care anymore.
Hanging on my rear-view mirror, is the crystal Cathy gave me years ago. It was swinging back and forth, the different shades of brown glimmering as the sunlight shone through when I drove home after the detective called to tell me our sister was dead, murdered. I had to pull over. Closing my phone, I felt that cool crystal with my outstretched fingers. Cathy told me that day when she hung it in my 4-Runner, “It’ll protect you when I’m not here.” We wish she had kept it with her.