I have spent the better part of last week out looking for donations for the spaghetti dinner. Today, I went alone. I was just going about my morning very pleased with how things were going. I went to business after business, carrying my notebook with Mike's billboard picture on the front cover. A constant reminder of why I am doing this. I go through my routine, telling the story over and over of why I am doing this. Why this mission is so important to me. Why these 30 victims and their families matter. I do my thing and I think I do it pretty well. I do have a perspective that no one else has. Towards noon, I stopped into a business, that I will not mention and the girl that worked there new Michael. She talked about how nice looking he was, how she had secretly had a crush on him for years, how much she thinks of him. I must have talked to her for about 45 minutes. Then I went out and got in my car and broke down. What is it about certain people or certain stories that causes me to do that? Why THAT woman? Why today when for the most part, things were going so well for CCFHV? I completely fell apart. I felt all alone and wondered about my sanity. Did Mike have any idea how that girl felt about him? It is so sad that if he did not, she will never, ever have the chance to tell him. What if? What if she would have been the one to make all of his dreams come true? I stood there and looked at this girl and she was so his type. I could imagine that easily. The one thing that I have learned since I began doing this 3 years ago is that you NEVER know when this is going to happen. I have been at events, day after day, talking about all of the cases, over and over. I have met family members that have came to our booth for the first time and breakdown, I have seen family members that constantly come to our events, I have seen alot. Too much sometimes and I am fine. Then one cold afternoon, I talk to yet another girl that thought my cousin was good looking, and I fall apart. Why? What causes this? I have been thinking about this all night. Mike's Mom has been known to have a breakdown now and then also. Some days are better than others. She was his Mom. Of course that is understandable. He was only my cousin. Sure, I loved him and he was a huge part of my life, but why do I do the things that I do? Why is it me? I have other cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. What drives me day after day after day to put myself (and my family and friends) through this? I hurt someone I care about today. My friend. Someone that is constantly there for me. I jumped down his throat for absolutely nothing. It isn't the first time I have done this either. I wish i could explain that! I love my Aunt. Mike's Mom has always been special to me ever since I was a little girl. She was always outspoken and she always made me laugh... Mike had so much of her in him. He was constantly harassing me and would poke fun of me at every opportunity. That was our relationship. we picked on eachother. I remember one family picnic in East Palestine where Mike started telling this story of my wild high school days. It was so funny to me that he remembered some of the crazy things that I did with such detail. I was laughing, and told my husband they were all lies and Mike called me out on it.. I called him a brat and smacked him on the back of the head. Then, thankfully he moved on to my brother.. LOL.. It was the funnest day! All of us cousins together. It was wonderful. Our last holiday with Mike was the 4th of July at my Mom's. That holiday sucks now for all of us and we have never celebrated it since. On that day, things were the same. We harassed eachother, talked about work, our families, I had a really nice tan that year and Mike complimented me on it. I was whispering to my sister-in-law about someone, just being my usual rotten self and I remember Mike looked over and caught me, pointed at me and told me to behave.. I just shook my head "no" and he said "I'm telling my Mom!" And I said "Go ahead, she will agree with me!" LOL.. There were so many good things that happened that day. I think about that day alot. He told me that I should bring Zack over to ride the horses sometime and I thought, "yeah, I should! Zack would love that...sometime" I NEVER thought "Wow, this is the very last time I will ever see you." You don't think about that. That is the horrible thing about murder. There is no preparing. There is no warning. Someone you love and that is part of your life is just gone one day. Just gone. You don't get a chance to say goodbye. You don't get a chance to say things that you have been meaning to or do things that you have been meaning to. Nothing! They are just gone. And it is so unfair! Mike was only 37 years old. He had so much ahead of him.
People have called us crazy. People have called me and said "What is your problem?" People have called me obsessive. I over-react, I go off on my friends and family for doing NOTHING....I cry at the dumbest things...I worry way too much...I feel helpless, hopeless, I forget important things, I never see my family, I don't trust anyone, I am overly protective of people I care about, I hug way too much, I always think the worst, I get extremely bitchy, I don't sleep well, I don't take care of myself, I lose hope, I get so angry, and nothing matters to me except what I am doing right now. Yep, I am a FAMILY Member. Someone I loved was murdered and I will NEVER be the same. So please, the next time you wonder "What my problem is?" Re-read this post and even if you don't understand why I am the way that I am, (and I pray to God that you never have to) you will realize that is a question that I wish I could answer. They say that "Everything happens for a reason" Really? What reason could there possibly be?