It is my great privilege to introduce a guest blogger, our precious, ‘Ms. Carrie’. This woman spent years training, feeding, cleaning, praying for, cuddling, and loving my children. From the first day we dropped off our fat, round 10 month old Charlie Jo, to the last day I dropped off Nora and Graham… She was essential to us. An incredible gift in the midst of a tumultuous, joy-filled season of child-rearing. I am so grateful for her, so tangled up with her… Forever.
The next hour is a total blur. Calling Evan. Calling my husband. Cops filtering in and out of every room in the house. Fumbling through phone calls to the other parents to come and pick their children up. The kids sensing something was up and just wanting to be near me but the cops saying that they couldn’t.
I held Nora, they told me she needed to wait with the other kids but I said, no. I might throw up. A crime scene photographer shows up and starts documenting the house, room by room. The daycare parents start showing up, most of them with tears streaming down their faces. They won’t let me leave the kitchen, but I keep emerging every time I hear a familiar voice. We hug and I kiss their children and then get told to go back to the kitchen please. The cops take down info from every parent that shows up. I clean up the little puddle of vomit that Graham had left.
And then my cell phone rings and I see that it’s Kristin. Yes! This is the call that I’ve been waiting for – they finished the job of saving him that I wasn’t able to do and he was safe and sound! But that’s not what Kristin and I were able to celebrate.
I remember her voice was calm and strong. “He’s gone Carrie.” Those words rang in my ears and jolted through my body. Kristin kept talking but it sounded like I was underwater. Nothing made sense. How could this happen? He was fine! Just hours ago is was completely perfect!
I heard the welcomed voice of one of my best friends who came to pick up her son. She hugged me tight and naturally assured me, “It’s going to be OK.” I jerked back and blurted “No it’s not! It’s never going to be OK anymore!”
Eventually all the kids were gone, the house was full of uniformed personnel. Nora was still on my hip. I kept asking to go and see Graham but the detective said they needed to take me in for questioning. I clumsily got my coat on and walked out into the frigid air to the detective’s unmarked car and off we went.
Back in that small room at the sheriff’s department, the detective’s questions just kept coming like a leaky faucet. “And so your cell phone rings and it’s Kristin, what happened next?”
“She told me that they were at the hospital and that they had worked really hard but that Graham had died.”
“Oh, so you know that he is dead?”
Why was she surprised that I knew of his death? Did she think that I was under the impression this whole time that he was alive and well? Wouldn’t I have been incessantly asking about how he was doing if I didn’t already know? Then it dawned on me, during these last four hours of being together, she and I had not ever talked about the fact that Graham had died. She was surprised that Kristin had called me herself.
After years of being surrounded by cases like this, I’m sure that it starts to feel systematic and calculated. Lot’s of he said, she said. Graham’s death wasn’t something that happened to Kristin and Evan. This was something that happened to US – it happened to all of us! Her cold, calculated suspicious approach to this life changing moment in our lives was nauseating.
But in the weeks to come, GOD’s presence, braided into each one of our stories, was the key denominator that this detective saw.