Author Topic: Where is justice?  (Read 34203 times)

closs86

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #60 on: July 21, 2010, 07:57:18 PM »
Hi Jackie,
  All those things you said, i told the therapist, that is how i feel, maybe this is how we are supposed to feel at this point in our grieving, I just don't know. and I can't see it ever getting any better. I also feel dead inside. I do hope the therapy helps,  and the breathing for the yoga really relaxes me. although it is temporary it is still for a little bit.
   Well hope you have a peaceful evening,
Take care
hugs
karen

poppy

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #61 on: July 22, 2010, 05:23:37 PM »
Does anyone ever feel like their heart is going to explode from hurting so much. I find my chest actually hurting and I feel myself sighing all the time. Is this normal?

Poppy

closs86

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #62 on: July 22, 2010, 07:19:37 PM »
Hi Poppy,
    Yes it is normal, I get anxiety in my chest and throat, and i do sigh a lot that is a sign of depression, Have you spoke to your family doctor about it. I did, and my pressure was really high, which i never ever had  before, not the reason for sighing,  sighing is usually sadness, and depression.  Talk to your doctor.
Take care
Karen

jaxsaint

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #63 on: July 22, 2010, 08:46:51 PM »
Karen,

I'm so sorry that you feel the same way I do.  Today I told my therapist that I need to feel this way for longer.  A friend of mine said that she told her husband that if she were to die she would want him to find a nice woman to be with.  While I believe my husband would want me to be happy, I feel I owe him more grief.  I'm sad for both of our lives.  I travel between self pity and incredulousness.  How could this happen o him?  How could this happen to me?

I miss the communication.  I'm so in need of his council.  I've made an appointment with a medium in the area.

Hope tomorrow is better.

Jackie

closs86

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #64 on: July 23, 2010, 07:33:39 PM »
Hi Jackie,
     I hope the therapist can guide us through this, it is terrible, the past 2 weeks have been extra bad for me, don;t know why.
     I am happy that you are going to a medium,. I would do it again in a heartbeat, he was so good, I listen to it over and over, and always hear a little something i missed,  I think it will bring you some comfort, I hope so.
    It is going to be so hot tomorrow, I can;t believe it, this is a terrible summer, although I am not looking forward to a dark depressing winter, feeling the way we do.
    Take care
   Keep cool
Karen

jaxsaint

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #65 on: July 25, 2010, 10:13:09 AM »
All,
Yesterday I spend the hot day trying to organize the kitchen and closets.  I hate the kitchen!  It feels so empty.  Joe always made fun of my OCD about dishes. . .now even going in there to wash dishes is a project.  So yesterday I decided to try and make it more of my own.  Joe would clutter up half the counter with ingredients he regularly used in cooking.  I would always try to put them in cabinets.  We would play the passive aggressive game until I just let him do it.  Now those things are away.  I also ordered a new bathroom linen set and a new duvet set.  I'm sick of looking at everything.  Most things though I can't bring myself to touch.  I also hung the crucifix from his coffin above our bed.  I'm waiting for him to voice his displeasure. . .nothing yet.

Karen,
I'm hoping the medium is helpful.  I have to wait to September though for my appointment.  This heat is out of control.  The funny thing is Joe would love it.  It couldn't be too hot for him, me, I like the spring and fall.  I'm afraid of a winter without him.  The holidays, our anniversary and our birthdays are all winter events.  Then March....
I try to take things one day at a time, but future events pop into my head.  I'm not sure, but there may be a trial this spring.  Friday made 4 months and I'm still struggling to accept that it happened. 
Take care and stay in the AC.
Jackie

closs86

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #66 on: July 25, 2010, 04:26:32 PM »
Hi Jackie,
     My Johnny also did most of the cooking since he retired, I was not so picky, so whatever he made was good for me, and he did a good job.
      Today I met some friends on SI, went to the tibetan museum, it was very nice, then went to eat in portobello, and while we were waiting for out dinner, what do you think happened, mine and johnny's song comes on, I thought i would faint, it was just so sad, I know that he was there with me, just so weird,
Take care
hugs
karen

jaxsaint

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #67 on: July 30, 2010, 06:52:26 PM »
Penny,

Sometimes, when I'm having a good day, something reminds me. . .a song, something on the menu. . .something in the news.  I'm really trying to live, but sometimes I feel guilty for that.

Jackie

closs86

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #68 on: July 30, 2010, 09:30:17 PM »
Jackie,
  I know what you mean, 
Hugs
Karen

closs86

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #69 on: August 02, 2010, 09:23:33 PM »
Hi Jackie,
   How are you?, I was o k, up until tonight, I am really in a down spiral, trying to gather my strength but feel real lousy today,  it will be 4 months august 6, maybe that is what is bothering me, i don't know. I just miss him so much, I just can't stand it. I need him to come home.
Take care
Karen

jaxsaint

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #70 on: October 23, 2010, 01:21:31 PM »
I haven't been here for a while.  It has now been 7 months.  Sometimes I feel like my marriage to Joe was just a dream.  We had so little time.  I've been focusing on creating the life that I want, but I'm having a difficult week.  I've realized that I can choose to live, and I'm so thankful for that gift.  Yet, that doesn't mean life is easy.  This week was another court date.  The man who killed my husband is still in jail, but it's looking more and more like a trial this winter.  My in laws are concerned about money and being very manipulative with me.  That hurts.  Within the last few months I began talking to an ex-boyfriend of mine.  My first love.  It seemed like maybe there was a possibility of us working it out.  I've been trying to create that possibility, but grieve properly for my husband as well.  I've had guilt around it, and been unwilling to let my husband go.  However, I wanted to create the possibility for happiness and partnership in my future.  This week I realized that possibility would not be found in this relationship.  He does not want children, and I'm very clear that I do.  This new loss brings the lonliness and loss of Joe to the forefront for me.  I haven't been able to let go of Joe yet and now I have to let go of someone else that I love.  I'm sad and afraid. 

closs86

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #71 on: November 02, 2010, 08:10:04 PM »
Hi Jackie,
    I also haven't been here for a while, It is going to be 7 months for me also, can't believe it,  I am sorry that your hopes are not working out, I do know that the bereavement groups always say not to rush into any relationships, even though he was an old love, be careful, you are very vulnerable right now.  I wish you the best. I am also having a lot of ups and downs, with the holidays around the corner, it is a little scary for me, my kids and grandkids needing me and I don't think I can be there for them this year. I wish I could go to sleep and wake up Jan 2,
take care
hugs karen

SarahW

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #72 on: November 03, 2010, 01:14:32 PM »
I haven't been here for a while.  It has now been 7 months.  Sometimes I feel like my marriage to Joe was just a dream.  We had so little time.  I've been focusing on creating the life that I want, but I'm having a difficult week.  I've realized that I can choose to live, and I'm so thankful for that gift.  Yet, that doesn't mean life is easy.  This week was another court date.  The man who killed my husband is still in jail, but it's looking more and more like a trial this winter.  My in laws are concerned about money and being very manipulative with me.  That hurts.  Within the last few months I began talking to an ex-boyfriend of mine.  My first love.  It seemed like maybe there was a possibility of us working it out.  I've been trying to create that possibility, but grieve properly for my husband as well.  I've had guilt around it, and been unwilling to let my husband go.  However, I wanted to create the possibility for happiness and partnership in my future.  This week I realized that possibility would not be found in this relationship.  He does not want children, and I'm very clear that I do.  This new loss brings the lonliness and loss of Joe to the forefront for me.  I haven't been able to let go of Joe yet and now I have to let go of someone else that I love.  I'm sad and afraid. 

Hi, Jackie.

I just joined, because of my son's death, but I also lost my husband, many years ago (over 25 yrs, now).

I remember these feelings.  It was so hard to accept and move on, but I just wanted to tell you that it will get better. 

It is extremely hard to get new relationships going while you are still grieving so much. It is hard even for people who are at their best, much less after you have been dealt such an awful blow.

Believe me, when it came to relationships, I made many errors, and experienced several disappointments along the way. My judgment suffered for quite awhile.  I admire your wisdom in making the right decision, and not settling for someone who doesn’t meet your needs, despite your pain, and knowing you would experience yet another sense of loss.

All my best.
I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. -- Emily Dickinson

You were a gift

jaxsaint

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #73 on: January 26, 2011, 06:50:09 PM »
I read my Victim's Impact Statement Yesterday and am including that in this post.  My mother-in-law forgave the man in court.  It has been splashed all over the NY Daily News and the NY Post with many inaccurate details.  Maybe if my mother-in-law had attended court in the proceeding months while I was alone she may have rethought her statement.  Instead she decided to show more compassion to the man that murdered her son than her daughter-in-law.  I'm furious!  Instead she walked out while I delivered the following statement:

Your Honor, Ladies and Gentlemen:
   I am thankful for the opportunity to introduce my husband Joe.  A person should know the man they killed.  I have sat in this courtroom for the last nine months watching and listening.  Today I get to speak about a different side of this crime.  Instead of Joe just being the "victim,"  today he can be a man.  As a man Joe wore many different hats.  He was a son, brother, friend, teacher and husband.  He was extraordinary.  When you took his life you took the rest of ours.  The decisions and choices you made on March 19, 2010 have changed our lives forever. Joe was the most unique man I ever met.  I thank God everyday that I had the opportunity to know him as a husband, friend and colleague.  I used to call him a “piece of work,” and he was in the best sense of expression.  He was strong and determined and gentle and compassionate.   He lived his life in big ways.  He struggled through illness and addiction, but dedicated his life to service and contribution.  I’ve also had the misfortune to see how his loss has impacted those who love him and those who were changed because of him.  There are many great possibilities that will never occur because Joe isn’t here to contribute to the world.
   Joe was a model for humanity.  Throughout his life Joe confronted struggles that would break a lesser man’s spirit.  Instead of becoming a victim Joe became an inspiration by empowering himself and others.  Joe was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  This was Joe’s first struggle with cancer.  He was only 20 years old and told that there was about a 5% chance that he would make it to 25.  Dr. Rosenthal immediately began treatment and was able to get Joe involved in an experimental program.  As a result of the experimental drug Joe survived after lapsing into a coma.  He would not let the disease beat him.  He lost the first few years of many to illness.
   A few years later Joe found out that as a result of the non-Hodgkin’s he was susceptible to Leukemia.  In his mid twenties Joe underwent a bone marrow transplant.  For eleven months his was kept in isolation with only two weeks out of the hospital.  He beat it again, but lost more years to cancer.  By the time I met Joe, as he was turning 40, he had been through two surgeries to remove tumors on his rectum and skin cancer for a total of 9 surgeries.  In the same years Joe completed two Associates degrees and a Bachelor’s.  Strength. Joe was the embodiment of strength. He fought. He overcame. At that time he began to fight another battle with the disease that had already claimed much of his adult life.  It was another bought with rectal cancer.  He returned to work early after the surgery.  Joe would grieve for the lost years of his life every night, but he greeted each morning with joy.  Remembering his determination to live is the only thing that keeps me going now.  I cannot expect any less of myself than he did of himself.
   Last year Joe won another battle with cancer.  This time it was prostate cancer.  We had just gotten engaged when he got the diagnosis.  He was petrified.  He lost so many years of his life to this disease and he was afraid the side effects would alter his ability to enjoy life and provide for me.  After the surgery he pushed himself.  He refused to succumb; he refused to be a victim to the disease.  Instead, we looked forward to creating our life together.  Again, he fought. He overcame. We planned a wedding for August of 2010, and began to talk about eventually bringing a child into our life.  Joe didn’t want to wait to be married and so on the last day of 2009 we committed to a lifetime together.  That lifetime would only be two and a half months because of the decision you made. This time his ability to fight was stripped from him. He didn’t have the opportunity to fight or to overcome- and that is because you killed him.
   Throughout his struggles Joe developed a love of reading. Before he was killed he had collected around 2,000 books and read 90% of them.  He often gave students in the high school where we worked his personal books, and chose them specifically for each student.  He dedicated his service as a teacher to inspiring student’s love of books. As a teacher Joe often went the extra mile for his students.  As one friend and colleague wrote,  "My friend Joe exemplified the diverse roles that teachers must take on when faced with five classes of 34 teenagers daily.  Like Broadway actors, teachers must “go on” or perform five different plays a day.  Joe was expert at grabbing and sustaining his students’ interest in Social Studies.   His teaching style was gregarious, sometimes outrageous but never boring.  Inside the classroom or in the hallways as a Dean, Joe could quickly diffuse a tense situation with his wacky sense of humor or his “realness” and honesty.  Teenagers are experts at knowing when they are being talked down to or lectured.  That was never Joe’s way with the students."  Joe's contribution to the students went beyond the classroom and the halls of Grady High School.  Joe organized a sweet sixteen for one needy student who didn't have a family who cared to recognize the important milestone in her life.  He went grocery shopping for students who couldn't afford it themselves.  Joe was gifted with the ability to make everyone he met feel like they mattered, and there is no greater gift than that.  For many of our students it was that gift that gave them the motivation to keep going.  To know that with whatever afflicted them at the moment they could accomplish great things for themselves and others.  Who will do that now?  How could one man's callous decision take away such an important contribution to the world?
Here I am about to pour my heart out to a complete stranger.  What's worse is that complete stranger is responsible for the worst pain I have ever felt.  That same stranger took the light out of my life and has turned me into a shell of the person I once was.  Here I am about to look into the face of the man who destroyed my hopes, my dreams, my life and tell him my inner most feelings.
   Everyday I long for numbness.  I want to detach from the world.  Now I need to do the opposite.  I need to let the pain, loss and anger in so that I can give it verbal expression.  Do you have any idea how much that goes against basic human survival instincts?  I have become the "surviving spouse," at least that is what the endless paperwork I've had to fill out calls me.  I don't want to survive.  Joe was the survivor, I'm the type that wants to curl up into a ball and die.  Waking up each morning is a prison sentence.  Yes, just as you await your sentence, know that you have given me one that will last for the rest of my life.
   On March 19th I woke up to a world of possibility.  "Oh, the places we would go. . ."  The plans we had.  A wedding followed by Hawaii.  Africa, Europe, Asia, the world was open for us.  A baby.  How I long for that baby.  A piece of Joe, if only I could have something left in this world that was a part of him.  Days filled with warmth, sunshine and love.  He would've been an amazing father.  Instead of looking into the eyes of our child I see our nieces and nephews.  Will they remember the squeals of laughter as he picked them up and spun them around?  Some are older, and have the joy of memories.  Others are barely out of infancy.  Our niece Marlena looks at our picture and says "Jackie and Joe."  How long will that recognition last?  She will never remember the excitement Joe had at her christening, that in a year she would have been walking down the aisle at our wedding.
   On March 19th I woke up to the possibility of time.  Time to laugh, talk and touch.  Joe loved to be touched.  He loved having his head rubbed.  In the end that was difficult to do because of the wounds.  There he was, broken, and I couldn't even comfort him the way he always wanted.  Instead, there he was hooked up to machines.  Cold, hard steel coming from his head.  The sound of the machines will never disappear from my memory.  Numbers, I hate numbers, but for the four days he was hooked up to those machines I lived and breathed numbers.  Brain pressure, blood pressure, day and night I kept a vigil of hope.  Why his brain?  Anything but his brain.  It was the only part of his body that hadn’t betrayed him.
   March 18th of 2010 was the last night I spent with my husband.  It was the evening of parent teacher conferences at our school.  We came home for our dinner break, something unusual as we normally spent the time with friends from work.  Joe had taken out food to cook.  He enjoyed his time in the kitchen and took pride in his culinary creations.  Sometimes he even took pictures of the meals he presented.  The kitchen was his, but I loved helping him.  He would play music, usually Opera, as he poured himself into preparing our meals.  He often recalled that as a teenager he made fun of his father’s love of opera, to which his father replied, “get some class.” He did.  That night he realized that the food he had taken out to defrost was not what he intended to make.  Instead we ordered a pizza.  Who knew that the next day he would be struck by the defendant in front of the very restaurant we had ordered the pizza from?  That night Joe tucked me into bed and said, “Don’t you know I’ll never leave you?”
   I left Joe behind that morning when I left for work.  It was March 19th; St. Joseph’s Day.  Joe had a doctor’s appointment that day at Sloan Kettering for a check up on his blood pressure.  Normally I would kiss him goodbye before I left.  That morning I didn’t.  Joe had been complaining about his lack of sleep caused by the incontinence he suffered after prostate surgery.  I watched him sleeping peacefully and didn’t want to disturb him.  I would never see him conscious again.  I walked my bike down the stairs and began my ride to work.  At around 10:30 am I called him to see how things went at the doctor.  Going to Sloan always made him nervous.  He was still waiting to see the doctor.  We exchanged “I love you” and he said, “I’ll see you later.”  He never did.   That afternoon I called Joe before I left work; no answer.  I biked a different route home.  This new path took me passed the scene of the accident a half hour before my husband was savagely left in the street by the defendant.  I think about that all the time now.  I called him again when I got home; it was 3:08 pm.  Still Joe didn’t answer.  I called again at 4 pm; still no answer.  At 4:30 pm my phone rang while I was outside with my friend, colleague and neighbor waiting for Joe to come home.  The voice asked, “Do you know a Joseph Boffa”?  I said, “Yes, that’s my husband.”  The voice on the other side told me that my husband was hit by a car and could I get to Lutheran Medical Center.  Evelyn grabbed her keys and we left. 
   When I arrived at the hospital the Social Worker came out to escort me back.  She informed me that Joe was hit by a drunk driver.  I asked if he was stable.  She said no.  I kept denying it saying, “No, this isn’t happening.  We just got married, this can’t be happening.”  Then they wheeled him out in front of me.  The bandages around his head were soaked with blood.  I gave authorization to have a monitor screwed into his brain.  His brain, his most prized procession.   The days and nights that followed are a nightmare that I never woke up from.  Hope, there had to be hope.  Not him.  He was invincible, hadn’t he proven that already.  I believed it.  Why his brain?  Anything else, but why his brain?  I spent the following days talking to him, touching him (he loved that), and reading his favorite books to him.  Day and night; I couldn’t tell the difference anyway.
     On March 23rd we gathered as a family to say goodbye.  I crawled into bed with him, my head on his chest.  I felt his breath slow, I felt his heart slow.  I sobbed and it started again.  He left me at 3:15pm, the exact time the bell rang dismissing us from work.
   How do I describe what this loss feels like?  The loneliness I feel.  I could barely walk into the kitchen for the first five months.  It is empty, Joe is missing.  I touch his pots, pans and chef's knife, the sacred objects of his life, a life that no longer exists.  The most basic of chores, cooking, cleaning, taking out the garbage are enough to bring back the pain in an instant that I try so hard all day to numb. 
   Each night I go to bed and instead of my husband next to me I have a picture and the cross that covered his coffin.  The only way I sleep now is by stuffing his side of the bed with pillows in an effort to trick my body into relaxing, but in the morning reality sinks in.  Mornings are the worst for me.  Often, still drowsy with sleep, I roll over to give him a hug and kiss as I always did, only to find that he isn't there.  Reality creeps in again.  Every morning is like losing him all over again.  Nothing is harder than getting out of that bed every morning.
   Instead of making mailing labels for wedding invitations I had to send out thank you cards for attending his wake.  August 13th, the date we had chosen to celebrate our marriage with friends and family came.  Instead of choosing the flowers I would carry down the aisle, I chose the arrangement I would carry to his grave. 
   Christmas came, the day we were engaged.  Like a child I hoped and prayed for my Christmas miracle; to wake up, see Joe and know that this had all just been a terrible nightmare.  When I awoke that morning Joe wasn't next to me in bed.  I searched the apartment for him to no avail.  Another smack in the face by my enemy reality.
   Then New Year's Eve, the day we committed to a lifetime together.  There I was bringing roses to the cemetery only to find that his stone was covered by snow.  It snowed the day we were married.  It was my childhood dream come true, but when I saw the snow covering his name I sank to my knees to clear it with my bare hands.  There are no words to describe the tearing of my heart that day.
   January 4th should've been Joe's 45th birthday.  There were no candles, no cake, and no singing.  Just another visit to the cemetery.  In six days it will be my birthday and I am terrified.  I'm terrified of the prospect of living another year without him.
   I now spend most of my time in our apartment.  The truth is leaving it is a fear I haven't been able to overcome.  Together we chose the placement of every object in it and I don't have the heart to disturb it.  It is the perfect representation of two lives merging as one.  His toothbrush still sits exactly where he left it that morning.  His shoes are still lined up exactly the way he placed them.  Our apartment is a world of memories.  It is my only evidence that he really did exist, that he wasn't just a dream that vanished in the morning sun.  It is my prison, it is my shrine.
   His closet and dresser still hold his clothes.  The clothes that hold memories for me I can't bear to give away.  I  remember the pride he took when ironing them.  His wardrobe, one that no one else could ever pull off.  Joe used to joke that when I did laundry I would purposely shrink his clothes so that they would become mine.  Now I wear his clothes all the time, but they no longer carry his smell.  It's just another futile attempt to keep him close to me.
   When I do leave the apartment it is to go to work.  To go to the same place we went each morning.  That building is another place filled with reminders of what I've lost.  Every corner, every hallway another place I expect to see him.  Won't he come into the teacher's cafeteria exclaiming, "there's my beautiful wife" again? I sometimes find myself in my classroom believing that he is going to open the door, say something outrageous to get the class laughing, and that everything will be okay.  That day never comes. I rush out of the building each day because he was leaving with or without me, but when I get to the parking lot his car isn't there.  One of the hardest days was the day I returned to work. Having to look at our students and explain to them what happened broke my heart all over again.  Here it is; a man that organized a sweet sixteen for a needy student, a man that went grocery shopping for students that couldn’t afford food was stolen from the world because of someone’s callous decision.  How am I supposed to make sense of a world that could allow that to happen?  The life I chose was taken away.  Every day I struggle to remember that it doesn’t mean I’m dead, even though it often feels like I am.  I've had to apply for a medical sabbatical from work because I'm suffocating from grief.  I get no reprieve, I can't take a breath.
   You showed a profound disrespect for humanity by getting behind the wheel of a car drunk.  Then, when you struck another human being down, you left him in the street to die.  Most human beings would treat an animal with more care then you gave my husband. People try to comfort me by saying “God must have really needed Joe to take him.”  What they don’t remember is that God didn’t take my husband, you did.  When you made the decision to get in the car that day you became a weapon of mass destruction.  At least if you had murdered my husband hand to hand he could’ve defended himself.  Instead, you hit him with something he couldn’t fight, he couldn’t overcome.  Then you left him in the street to die.
   For the last nine months I have sat quietly in this courtroom and I've observed the opportunities you've had to communicate with your family, all the time knowing that I will never get that opportunity with Joe again.  That's what I miss most.  Our daily exchanges, ones that no one else knew.  How we had our own language, finished each other's sentences.  I'll never hear him say, "have I told you today that I'm crazy about you" as he did every day.  I will never see my husband again.  I will never feel his touch or hear his voice again. He will never tuck me into bed and tell me he loves me.  I will never have another conversation about a book, the news or something funny at work again.  Each New Year’s Eve I will remember the happiest day of my life and I will remember the worst day.  My life has been forever altered.  A piece of me is gone; it’s buried under the ground in Green-Wood Cemetery with my husband.

Terry

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Re: Where is justice?
« Reply #74 on: January 27, 2011, 02:21:33 AM »
Jackie,

I am so moved by your letter. I am so sorry you are having to live without Joe. I can't imagine this touching expression of love, not making a difference.

You have my love,
Terry