In the shot below, I am walking with my oldest daughter, Heather, to honor her cousin's burial. Heather is pregnant with her first child and this is too much grief for her to endure during a pregnancy; I am concerned. She is MY baby.
And in the photo below, I am standing with Stefie as they bury her "twin." The level of Stefie's devastation is almost unparalleled. Her and Chris shared a unique bond from growing up as babies who were drawn to each other to adults who still gravitated toward each other at every event. They were extremely close and bonded.
Brice is there as is David's other nephew who is standing close to the camera with his girlfriend. Such family sadness.
We know that we must keep moving forward with our lives. Life moves on.
|Chris, we will miss you and always love you.|
Even worse, it turns out that a young woman was assaulted by Chris's murderer back in February and she has charges against him, but her case had not yet gone to trial. However, he was out on bond when he killed Chris, so things are about to get more dicey for that killer. The young woman the killer had attacked showed up at Chris's funeral, and she is one very traumatized young lady who sat there staring at Chris's coffin, knowing it might have been her in that coffin.
We are hoping the charges of assault and murder can be combined to give the killer a longer sentence. He won't be eligible for the death penalty because he didn't commit two crimes together, such as rape and murder...or robbery and murder...but we will do all we can to make sure he sits his little butt in prison for the majority of his pathetic life.
This was not self-defense. He first stabbed Chris as he was sitting down. Chris could not even believe it himself. My point is...Chris did not instigate this attack in a physically threatening manner. He was simply the victim of a person who had out of control rage.
If Sgt. Dave has anything to say about it...and he does...that creep won't be living a "free" life for very long. This Uncle is on a mission. He is advocating for his murdered nephew every single day.
Since our family is standing together and will be making our presence known in numbers...we will be closely involved with taking the killer down. We will do all we can to increase his chances of getting the maximum penalty. So, I am doing my best to re-focus our efforts on this land so we can eventually begin building our home, but it is tough. I'm sure you understand.
This past week, my mother and father-in-law camped nearby and we worked on the land. Sgt. Dave and his dad built the metal shed with a great plywood floor and the inside already has additional 2x4's installed.
My father-in-law added another pole that is attached to the shed and ran electrical line from the main pole to our shed because we have the washing machine and dryer ready to go into the shed so I can stay away from the horrible Washateria!
Each stage of them building the shed was interesting, from laying out the wood, to prepping the ground, to getting the floor laid so the shed could be assembled. All of us had our own responsibilities, but theirs was the most labor intensive. Now I have a nice little shed! The spot next to the metal shed will be a good sized wood work shop for Sgt. Dave.
Watching father and son build that shed was wonderful. I love my father-in-law, he has a great sense of humor.
We all had a beautiful week together, until we heard about my husband's nephew. Even then, we continued to busy our bodies with working because stopping meant crying and we did cry, a lot. My poor in-laws stayed busy until they could drop, as if they could not stop and face the horror of what had happened. I began to be very concerned about them.
But, the beauty of the land seemed to give us comfort. During water and rest breaks, we would listen to the birds sing and the breeze would blow through the trees...it was peaceful.
My mother-in-law and I would take a seat at the edge of the trees and the view would be breath-taking, reminding me of the reason we have gone through all this trouble to move to the country.
Even though the worst has happened, we are glad our personal commitment remains more determined than ever to enjoy our life on this acreage in the woods.
Sometimes, I feel so overwhelmed out here because there is so much that needs to be done and Sgt. Dave has a long commute that prevents him from being here to get it done.
But, when conditions permit it, there is always time for a burning project and to stand mesmerized by its captivating flames, soaring ashes and puffs of smoke.
However, on his days off, he is going nonstop to finish some project. And there are a LOT of projects.
I am especially ADD at this moment, so bear with me. I struggle to focus in a linear manner, but it's not really happening...Is it?
Sgt. Dave also ran PVC piping from the RV septic to our septic tank. No more holes in the ground! And he's constantly clearing thick underbrush and mowing different sections of land.
And for my blog buddies who have understood my frustration with going to a washateria...here is the finished project this week --- the shed and the washer and dryer have been put inside it, as of TONIGHT! Tomorrow they will be connected and we'll have a new washroom/storage shed combo!
I had resorted to doing hand-washing the essentials instead of going to a Washateria...
Just so you know, in the midst of the devastation of our nephew being murdered, we found time to finally grab a bite to eat and to share some laughs with our daughters and my husband's cousin, Joshua, who flew in from Oregon for the funeral --- the family who so loved the one who is gone was able to be together and find reasons to be joyful.
This is the reason life holds promise; human nature knows how to survive.
And my husband is already contacting the District Attorney's office to do all he can to make sure nothing slips through the cracks with his nephew's murder.
The country life cannot insulate us from such horrors, but it makes being home more peaceful. And in Chris's honor, we will be starting an "Artist's Garden" that will hopefully have a life-time of artistic garden items created by local artists so that we can remember the art Chris brought into our lives.
And Chris's mother gave us this piece that Chris had recently painted...my entire cabin in the woods will be built with this piece of art in mind. His mom told me that she knows I am also an art lover and "artist" with my own creations, so she wanted this piece to go to someone who appreciates art and who loves Chris, forever.
We are blessed.