*Last week, I had to go home for a parole hearing for the man convicted of killing my brother in 1998. I'm just now being able to put down some (rambling) thoughts.*
It's a trip full of bittersweet moments.
An early birthday celebration.
90 years young.
We know we haven't traveled all this way, this early for her birthday.
The dread in the back of our minds.
Visit with the cousins--jumping, playing, talking.
To the hotel early.
Hopefully, sleep will come....it doesn't
Up before the sun is thinking about appearing
We get lost, wandering around the city, trying to find our way.
That sums up life
His family is waiting in line, too
Waiting to protest that he's been in long enough
We walk through the line past his mother
I do not recognize her
Sitting, waiting, signing, sharing
Briefed on what will happen next
Willing myself to be the strong one
It's really not working.
My first time doing this, sitting with the past veterans of this process
We've written letters.
We don't trust ourselves to speak
We're called back.
Two sides parted down the middle
The lawyer speaks first--presenting his case
Others speak on our behalf
The judges deliberate in muffled whispers
We hold our breath and wait
Denied in legalese
2 more years
The veterans around me seem stolid
Not sure what they've just heard
"You know one day, he'll get out..."
The judge states
"Yes sir, we know...All we want is justice..."
An entire sentence to be served.
Bittersweet, no celebration
We go on feeling the same loss we've felt for years.