A beautiful gift.

Earlier this week we found out that we may be returning to court tentatively on December 22nd.   Melissa Todorovic is applying to stay in the youth facility rather than going to an adult facility when she turns 20 next month.

Twenty, already, and she’ll be out in two years if she is granted parole, which I suspect will happen. Also, day passes are allowed in 2013.

As I missed one complete night’s sleep and spent the next day trying to figure out why it upset me so much when, quite frankly, it doesn’t impact our family one way or the other,  I struggled to find the answer.

Most of the day I walked around in a haze, easily brought to tears and fits of impatience with the kids, angry with myself for allowing this girl—now a woman—to impact my life for one more moment.

Venting with my mother (thank God for her) she suggested that it was because it brings everything to the surface that I try so hard to keep in the background.  I had to agree, but it was something more that I couldn’t put my finger on.

My beautiful mother reminded me to think positively and give thanks for the things we have that are in the here and now.  She jokingly referred me back to my own blog reminding me to take some of my own advice.

Later that day, completely out of the blue, I received the most beautiful gift from a school mate of Stefanie’s.  It was in response to a blog post that I wrote earlier about bullying.

“I went to Rosedale with Stefanie and in that first year, I found myself the target of several bullies. I remember one particular art class near the beginning of the year, I was sitting on my own and a few kids were obviously making jokes about me. Stefanie, who was sitting with these kids, told them to knock it off and then came over to me and asked if I’d like to sit with her.
She was the only person who ever stood up for me and the moment means so much to me, even now. I was so grateful.
Your daughter was such a special person. When I find myself losing hope with this world, I remember how kind she was to me in the art room. She helps me keep going.”

How I wish I had known about that then, so I could have told her how proud I was of her.

Through my tears of joy at this note, I realized what was upsetting me so much.  It was in realizing that Melissa was now twenty.  She has been able to grow and (hopefully) mature, but when she was fifteen she killed my daughter, who will now always be just fourteen years old.

And yet, the lovely girl who posted that note, is now also a woman, finished high school with all the promise ahead of her that life has to offer.  For her I am grateful and thinking of her lessens the pain of the other.

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3 Responses to A beautiful gift.

  1. sarah says:

    tears of sadness but also tears of pride…. what a great gift to send that story to you…. what a great kid that Stephanie was. The world needs more Stephanie…. all of us do.

  2. Chris says:

    What a wonderful story to share; I bet where there is one story, there are several instances where Stephanie stood up for what was right.

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