She was taken from us on March 14th, 1999.
Pi day. A day of whimsical merriment in the minds of many nerds and a great sales day for many bakeries and pastry shops across the world.
For our family though, it holds a different meaning.
Some days are harder than others, but no single day holds any more hurt or pain than any other, even the anniversary date.
Mom, I miss you.
I wish I had been able to give you one last hug, tell you one last time how much you mean to me, or how much I love you.
You wouldn’t believe how much you have missed in the years since you were taken from us. All three of us are married and you now have three beautiful grandchildren.
The kids will never know how amazing you were, they will never be hugged by you, they’ll never have you be there for their little league games, ballet recitals, graduations or marriages.
I only knew you for 15 years, but those remain the most formative years of my life.
It feels like Jackson will soon be the same age I was when you were taken from us – time just moves so fast. He’s five now. Emily will soon be four. Rachel, Daniel and Abby’s little girl, will have her first birthday this summer.
I love you and I miss you. And I know that I am a better person for having had you as my mom.
To the man who killed my mother:
Today dawned upon us like any other, the sun slowly moved across the sky from east to west and soon it will set and another day will begin for us all.
16 years ago your decisions resulted in the death of one of the most wonderful people to ever grace this planet with her presence. An amazing person was murdered. By you.
Whatever was going on in your life apparently was so horrible that you decided to drink yourself into oblivion and then go screaming down the freeway in what amounted to a small monster truck.
The troopers said that your blood alcohol level was .32 – after you had been taken from the scene and to the hospital. Who knows how drunk you really were.
You killed her and literally walked away – you suffered minor injuries and your prison sentence seemed like a slap in the face to those of us who would have to deal with the trauma and aftermath.
I had to learn how to walk again. My family had to learn how to laugh again. We had to learn how to be happy again. It took us years to begin to recover and will spend the rest of our lives wondering what might have been.
I barely remember the court room appearances or the sentencing. I do, however, remember vividly the next time I would encounter you in my life.
I didn’t even know you had been released from prison when I answered that 911 call. You were terrified: a meth-crazed junkie was trying to kick down your door to do who-knows-what. As I asked you for your name and address it clicked: “I’m talking to the man who killed my best friend.”
For what seemed like an eternity, but was likely only fractions of a second, I contemplated simply hanging up the phone and walking away. Let that tweaker do whatever he wanted to you – he deserves it, doesn’t he?
Then you told me that you were alone in the house with just your children and had no means by which to defend them if this animal made it into your home.
David, do you know how badly I wanted to turn my back on you and let you be killed?
It was your children who saved your life that day and you never knew it. They didn’t deserve to be hurt or to live their lives without their father.
The same way my father didn’t deserve to have his best friend taken from him and the way my brother and sister and I didn’t deserve to have our mother killed.
I dispatched a Jefferson County deputy and a Port Townsend officer to your house and, after fighting with the suspect, they took him to jail.
I don’t know where you are or who you’ve become over the past 16 years, but I do know one thing:
David Andres…… I forgive you.