Saturday, January 31, 2015

Why My World Will Never Be The Same

My blog has been calling to me for quite some time now.  I've ignored the call because, really, how does one talk about the everyday things when your life has been so dramatically changed?  How do you write about the fact that your life will never be the same again? That the pain you feel cripples you when you don't want bring everyone else into your anguish?  Or sound like you are looking for pity?

I still don't know the answer to those questions but I know that I need to write.  So, it begins.

On October 25, 2014, my daughter, Amanda, was shot in the head and died as a result of that injury.  It was 4 days before her 30th birthday.  She has left behind two adorable sons, ages 2 and 7, a husband who was her best friend and loved her beyond all reason, an aunt who was as much a mother to her as I have been, a stepmother who loved her and a mother, me.  It was the day my world changed forever.

Throughout her life Amanda had experienced periods of instability and about 5 years ago was diagnosed as bipolar.  She tried medication for a while but, like so many others, did not like the way it made her feel.  She loved her sons greatly and called her husband the love of her life and best friend.  Amanda tried so hard to be a good wife and mother.  

It was because of her disease that Amanda often trusted the untrustworthy and was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  While in the home of Rose Perry, someone she knew, sitting on the couch, she was intentionally shot in the head by Mark Anthony Barquera.  The shooting was unprovoked.  There are many things I can't say because of the criminal case pending.  Barquera is currently under indictment for Second Degree Murder-Intentional and Felony Drug Possession/Use in jail while awaiting trial.  This is all a matter of public record.

What is not specifically in the public record is that all the people present at the home of Rose Perry at the time this occurred, knew Amanda's name and some, at least, knew how to reach her husband.  Yet no one gave this information to the police.  As a result, it was at least 8 hours from the time Amanda was shot until her husband, stepmother and I could be by her side.

I pray that no one who reads this ever has to call the police and say "someone said my child was involved in a shooting" then has to go back and forth with the police regarding identifying marks and tattoos.  I pray you never have to have a detective show you a picture of a tattoo and have to identify it as belonging to your child.  I pray you never have to come around a corner in ICU and see your child, your baby, in a bed on a respirator, tubes and IVs everywhere and a large bandage around her head that continues to ooze her blood forming a surreal red halo.  I pray you never have to make the decision to discontinue life support.

There are no words to describe what my life has been like these last few months.  The sorrow, pain, horror, not to mention the shame and guilt, wondering what I could have done to have helped prevent this tragic outcome.  The punch in the gut that suddenly turns you into a hysterical uncontrollable mess.  Wondering why he just shot her, why?

My spouse, son-in-law and I have attended each hearing.  I remember seeing him at the first hearing. The District Attorney knew we were there so she had Barquera brought up out of order so we wouldn't have to wait so long.  He is a scrawny guy with a hawkish nose, horn rim glasses and a cocky attitude.  The way he walked across the room, looking around to see who was there that caused him to be brought up ahead of schedule.  It made me want to vomit.

There isn't a day that goes by when I don't think of Amanda.  I see her in the eyes of her sons, I see her in the mirror. I ache for her husband and her sons, I ache for Amanda who will never have the opportunity to see her sons grow up, never see them graduated from college, marry or have children of their own.

This journey we are on is far from over,  I'm sure I will be posting more about this as the Criminal Justice system works it's way through the process.  One thing I have learned from all of this is that I am truly loved by so many people.  I guess I knew this before but the outpouring of love and support from friends, family and strangers has truly warmed my heart.