“Come out with your hands up! WE have you surrounded”.
All evening I have had texts and phone calls to update me on what was happening across the street that had kept me away. Now, I heard the police, saw SWAT, and knew something was happening, and her body was in the backyard. Police sirens and lights are blasting, waking me up. I was awake, but now I was getting out of bed.
I call my sister-in-law to let her know what is going on. As I watch from my living room window, I give her a moment-by-moment play of what I see. She hears the SWAT say, “Come out with your hands up. You’re are surrounded!”
I let her know what has been going on the last few days and how I wish they would get in and get him, so they don’t wake Scott up.
My sister-in-law reminded me: ” if he does not come out, they will begin to break in because it has been past the allotted time. Plus, if he shoots at them, they will have to shoot back.” I hope no shots are fired but know it is a useless thought or wish.
I continue to watch from my front porch, lights flashing, movement around the house, flashlights peering into the windows, and more demands for him to give himself up. I keep talking to my sister-in-law when I see the S.W.A.T breaking the front window saying; “I think it is over, they just broke his front window” POP POP POP… shots fired, police jumping in the window, others breaking down the door, and finally quiet.
My heart racing, praying it is not her in the backyard, but part of me knew it has to be who else would it be? I think of all the times we had together, it is like her life is passing through my mind. I see the good, bad, and ugly, all the fun we had and the sorrow. I quickly think of her daughter and how this will affect everyone in the long term.
I remember her fear of leaving her children at a young age. On her last visit to the house where she brought over some items for a garage sale and took the time to visit Scott. They had a good time at that visit and she asked for the quilt she made to show him the secret she put in the quilt- it was a heart (half on each corner and the words mom love you) written in the middle of the heart. They had a great visit but it was cut short because I was tired. she had a way of showing up at bedtime for us but her afternoon as she stayed up until early morning. My mind wanders to other times we had together, her fear of dying at an early age, her concern this man was going to hurt her, and the plans for our backyard. (She used my backyard as her refuge and garden)
Fear enters my heart and I begin to cry as I speak to my sister-in-law I say: ” OH my what do we tell Scott? How is his father going to take this! Their last visit was ugly and they had been fighting for a few weeks now” I know guilt tends to make grief last longer because you can’t get past the guilt and what if’s… the bargaining stays longer so it is hard to move on. The blame game starts. Even In my heart, I wonder if we called earlier if we could have stopped it but I know that is not a real option. We did call on Saturday, and she did text on Thursday, so the plans were made. I also called around when I had not heard from her for a few days. Our call to others is what started the movement to search. The search led us down this road. Tears roll down my cheeks, and I hang up with my sister-in-law.
The only genuine desire is for Scott to stay asleep. He is usually a good sleeper and sleeps soundly but he also has an inner spiritual connection with her mother. He was sad, crying, and scared she had left him. No amount of words can help him because we have no words, no answers, and no idea. Somewhere in our hearts we know she is gone but that is unthinkable so we don’t even mention it.
BANG BANG on my door…
I ask who it is. “Sister… I need to see Scott… Can I see Scott?”
“Come in, but he is sleeping. I don’t want to wake him.”
“Can I see him? That is our mom. She was left in his backyard. He killed her and put her in the backyard.” Sister sobbing and pacing my living room. ” I was sitting in the tree in the backyard waiting for the police to come and get her body. They shot in the house. They broke the front window and went in to get him.”
She says for a few minutes and leaves the house sobbing to go back across the street to see what is going on and be sure they get him.
I step outside to see what is going on and see where ‘sister’ went. I see the SWAT go into the house. Quiet in the area. Finally, everyone leaves.
I received a phone call from a friend who was with the police. “It is her, and he had her in the backyard under a tarp covered with leaves. He was going to take her with his tree clippings. She is dead and has been there for days.”
He is arrested and taken to the hospital. He shot himself when SWAT came into the house.
Sister comes back to the house sobbing, with slurred speech, and shaking. She is trying to process her mother has been murdered. She asks for Scott again, but he is still sleeping. Thank God!
But how did we get here?