I remember this weekend a year ago as vividly as I remember this WEEK nine years ago...and can't believe it happened all over again.
When I look at these pictures of John, I struggle to grasp the fact that we will never hear his voice or his laugh again...I still struggle to understand how it happened. And why.
I talked to some friends who are police officers, who I respect immensely. I would trust them in any situation to make a snap second decision. And I understand that they need to protect themselves.
What I don't understand is that the officers in this case HAD to know that he was despondent. You could hear it in his voice on the 911 call. Do Police Departments not have someone (a counselor?) they can call to handle situations like this? They obviously didn't know the back story of what was going on, but are they trained to have a conversation with someone who is despondent?
We loved John like a son. When he remarried, it was awkward for us...because we didn't have a "connection" any more. We stayed in touch, but after he married, we weren't sure what to do.
The most important thing to us was that he was happy. No one deserved that more than John. He loved our daughter and took his marriage vows seriously. Til death do us part...he was with her and loved her until she took her last breath...and after, as we found out later.
So when he found someone, (as hard as it was to see him with someone else-for me) we were happy for him.
If I knew then what I know now...I do have regrets. I wish we would have stayed in touch with him more. I wish we would have called more. I wish we would have talked about Melissa with his wife...I'm sure she was not comfortable when we were around. Maybe we could have made her understand that we weren't a threat, and neither was Melissa. I wish we would have gone to dinner the week of Melissa's anniversary & birthday (like he wanted)...but I put it off until the 10th. He seemed ok with that. I wish I knew that things weren't good. But we didn't know.
We love(d) John so much, I hope he knew that.
The only consolation is they are all together. But I'll be honest, it completely sucks to lose an entire family (and probably 2 or 3 more grandchildren)...Nick & John were like brothers. Andrew & Max will never have cousins on their dad's side. It's boring when they come to our house now. They have no cousins to play with. Melissa loved Meredith too. She finally had a sister.
As hard as this week is (first, my friend Jennifer's daughter Jody's anniversary is the 30th. Then John's anniversary the 1st, then Melissa's anniversary the 3rd, then her birthday, the 5th. Jody's birthday is the 6th...we plan on keeping busy this week. Basketball of course. I'm not feeling especially social, but we will get out, just to be doing something. More than we could do a few years ago.
I know I get a little overwhelming with pictures on facebook this week, and I know her friends will always remember (John's too)...but it's how I get through this week. I miss them both so much, and I need to do something.
and now...a stroll down memory lane...
We love you Johnny Mac.