Friday, August 10, 2007


I was going to blog today about how Big passed his driving test-which he did by the way.


But I think not.

My heart and mind is, instead, lingering on an event that happened 22 years ago-June of 1985 to be exact.

Yesterday, August 9, 2007, this happened.

I was three years younger than Jackie. I remember in high school looking up to her in complete and utter awe. She was so beautiful and sophisticated in my eyes. She would practice softball in the god-awful August heat in a full face of make-up and still manage to look gorgeous.

I didn’t know her well, couldn’t call her Friend, but her abduction affected me and our little town in ways that are impossible to describe. You see, in our town 20 year old women don’t get raped, beat to death with a tire iron, and then dumped in the lake like garbage. Not here.

It was summertime, so we couldn’t talk in the halls at school or commiserate in the lunch room. Instead, we burned up the phone lines, met at the Dairy Queen, took carloads of friends on back roads drives just to talk and remember her and yeah-to cry. We didn’t have email or My Space. I don’t know if we had it would have mattered. We still would have come together physically in some way. A tragedy like that requires an intimacy that the internet can’t provide.

Last night, I came home to the 10 o’clock news and the report that the main suspect, after all these years, had been arrested. I was 16 again and seeing her Sr. picture splashed on the news brought it out of memory and back into present. This was good news wasn’t it? But, instead of smiling, I sat in a chair and cried. I still don’t know why. Why did seemingly good news cause me to be so inexplicably sad? Maybe it’s because I’m a woman, a wife, and a Mom. Jackie never got to be any of those things. She didn’t get to take her Big to the fire station and watch him strutting like a peacock after passing his driving test.

After 22 years she’s still a town daughter and until this generation passes, she’ll continue to be remembered, eulogized and grieved. Ultimately, Jackie may now even get justice. Late? Perhaps. But I think wherever she is, she knows..

And that gives me comfort.

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