First order of business...the 5k is this Saturday 6/29 @ 8:30am. We will have tshirt and number pick up starting at 7:00am. If you have any questions email me at email@example.com. You can still donate or register at Iheartcolum.com 100% of proceeds will go to the Gunnell family. They were on the news last Friday to watch it click here. (it totally made me cry for hours, by far my favorite news story ever!!!) Norah came home last week! The Gunnell's have turned their home into a mini hospital and the expenses for renting the medical equipment is overwhelming. Thank you to all that have helped this beautiful little girl. She holds a special place in our hearts. They will be making an appearance on Saturday, and I'm excited to see her awake. I've only seen her when she was sleeping, recovering from a major surgery.
Note: I'm really sorry for those that live out of state. I can't get you your tshirts in time for the race. I'd assumed the shirts were being made and accidentally dropped the ball and I had to go through somebody else and they will be ready probably the day before the race. I will get them mailed next week and I'm terribly sorry!
What Is Forgiveness?
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.for•give
v. -gave, -giv•en, -giv•ing. v.t.
1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, sin, etc.); absolve.
2. to cancel or remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).
3. to grant pardon to (a person).
4. to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one's enemies.v.i.
5. to pardon an offense or an offender.
I've been struggling with the idea of forgiveness lately. Do I forgive him? I could write on here that I completely forgive him and come across as an angel but that's not me; I'm honest and am no angel. We were victims of a crime. The criminal has 3 pages of mugshots just in Salt Lake County alone. When you click on his history you literally scroll to the bottom passing each mugshot, watching him slowly grow younger and younger in the photos and click next to get to page 2 and again to page 3 where you will find his earliest documented crime. A part of me feels sorry for him. But honestly, I don't think about him often.
We've been to the courthouse several times and sadly I always leave with the same impression. Through body language, letters to the judge from his family, and letters written to Ryan and I, there's one major thing lacking-
From our point of view, everything points to him not holding himself accountable for his actions. His Mother doesn't seem to hold him accountable. It seems in their minds, they are the victims. I am keeping him in jail, not the state of Utah. It was just an accident. Crystal Meth doesn't impair your driving. He will never walk again because we are keeping him locked up so he can't go to physical therapy.
To me this feels like a stab through the chest and a huge insult to injury.
I don't expect his Mother to love her son any less or to not be by his side. But the glares I receive from her makes it seem she forgets he killed my son.
Her son still lives.
Honestly, I hold her accountable as much as I hold him...I have my reasons. It's taught me to do it different as a Mother. Teaching my children accountability is just as important if not more than not to do drugs. I always feel like I'm on the brink of forgiving him. But then the lack of accountability makes me angry and emotional. It re-opens the wounds that are starting to heal.
He's still in a wheelchair. By the time the warrant went out for his arrest 3 months had passed. Ryan and I were both walking by then with assistance; I required a walker and Ryan a cane. Our injuries were far worse than his from what we've been told. We woke up everyday and pushed ourselves out of bed. Cried tears through the excruciating pain of relearning to walk while our hearts were broken in two. We planned a funeral that we couldn't attend. After being released from the hospital we made appointments and forced ourselves to continue to go to physical therapy. The Dr's and nurses don't do it for you. You actually have to schedule a time, get in your car and drive there. Then you work your ass off harder than you ever have before. We fought through it and still do. Then you have to pay a whole shit-load of money for it because it isn't free. You are the only one who can help you. It was hard and it was frustrating but we did it. He had 3 months to do this...3 months and he didn't.
Sometimes I wonder if when the trial is over and I'm not around him anymore if I will start to feel completely at peace. But then I remember he will be up for parole and as the victims we can write the parole board and attend hearings to keep him in prison, and you better believe we will. It will never be over. We will have to re-live it over and over, but at least he will be off the roads. The man with 3 pages of mugshots. The man who was arrested a month before that Christmas Eve for traffic violations and drug paraphernalia but the charges were dismissed. The man who had no business to be out driving that night high as a kite. The man who caused all this pain and the unimaginable sadness.
I'm having a hard time really forgiving somebody who isn't holding themselves accountable. I'm not sure when he will enter his plea but it will be soon. I can almost plan on it being not-guilty. I think forgiveness would come easier if his plea were guilty. He did it, he made a lot of poor decisions in his life, here's his chance to show us he's sorry, he knows he was wrong, he's holding himself accountable... he's guilty.
I hope I'm pleasantly surprised.
We've come a very long way. I never thought I'd get to where I am now. It can only get better. Perhaps I have forgiven him, or perhaps I have a long way to go. Either way I'm proud of us. We didn't lay down and die. We are not going to live as victims. We are survivors. Justice will prevail. I can't wait for the trial to be over!