In Memory of Kay

Your Beautiful Emancipation

–Whenever I drive past your house, my stomach tightens like
a closed fist.


You should be there, my love, digging your hands deeply inside
the soil planting your pink petunias.


You should be there cooking on your new grill, mixing your
famous beans with maple bacon, and marinating your chicken breasts in lemon


I still hear your voice sweetly pleading,  “Hey, I’m grilling tonight.  Cooooome over, Kimmy.”


I never did.


You see, I couldn’t stand visiting when he was there.


I couldn’t stand pretending everything was normal, all right,


I couldn’t stand watching him do nothing, say nothing, be


Do you remember the last time we baked together?


While cutting out sugar cookies into little stars, I said
something like, “I can’t wait until you leave that son-of-a-bitch.”


And you shushed me hastily- uttering, “He might be listening,
please whisper.”


Then you checked around the corner to see if he was standing


A dark shadow.   A
predator.   A stalker.  A murderer.


He became all of those things.


Why didn’t I save you then?


Why didn’t I break his fingers so he couldn’t pick up a gun?


Why didn’t I tear out his tongue so he couldn’t poison you
with his manipulation, deception, perversion?


Why didn’t I….Why didn’t I…Why the  hell fuck didn’t I?


Nothing is the same without you.


Your murder has become my identity.


Your loss has become my emptiness.


But then…


When I think of you not being with him–


When I think of you finally free of him…


My closed fist suddenly opens –

transforming into a chrysanthemum…


And I fling the white petals into the universe in celebration of your beautiful

My Sister Kay was murdered on May 26, 2010 by Mike Peterson.  The earth shook.  The sun dried up.  A flower now gone…   No love was (is) greater than ours.

~~~~Get Help  NOW for Domestic Violence, Verbal Violence, Emotional Violence, Sexual Violence…..800-799-SAFE (7233) or at TTY 1-800-787-3224.

–My Lovely Readers.  I am taking a week off to edit & write  my book.  Please know I’ve Not forgotten about you <3 xxxLarge Pink Glitter Lips

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  • Reply
    Helen Herrick
    June 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

    God bless your mother for her forgiveness and compassion in the wake of her devastation. God bless you for forging on even though you feel mired down in quicksand, for trying to save others from Kay’s fate. God bless Kay that she is free of torment. I heard the Diana Ross song “Someday” on the radio the other day…made me think of you, too…….some sweet day, you’ll be together…….. 🙂

  • Reply
    Tina Barbour
    June 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

    We won’t forget about you, either, and will be waiting for when you can come back. Good luck on the writing and editing! I am trying to write a book also, so I know it ain’t easy.

    This post cuts to the heart. I hear your agony and pain and grief. You have a gift with words.
    Tina Barbour recently posted..Mindfulness: Breathe and be in the present momentMy Profile

  • Reply
    ed pilolla
    June 24, 2012 at 11:20 am

    i’ve heard of this bond mothers can share, even in the most unlikely circumstances. your mom is extraordinary to be able to be with mike’s mother in that moment two weeks later. it’s something i can’t really imagine, but somehow find myself proud to be part of humanity when i read that paper in the typewriter.
    loosening your fist at the thought of kay being free of him really hit me.
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  • Reply
    Michael Ann
    June 24, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Reading the words on the typewriter gave me goosebumps. I’m not sure if it was good or bad goosebumps. It just was….. I can see myself doing exactly that….connecting with the other mom because of our children…..and that thought scares the Hell out of me. I would want to hate, I would want to feel revengeful. It is more understandable. God Bless your mother. I hope she has found comfort. And God Bless you always as you seek peace every single day.
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  • Reply
    Ellen M. Gregg
    June 24, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Oh, my heart.

    Your words typed with the keys of that impartial typewriter.
    Your heart strewn across the page in a jumble of letters.

    That you can view Kim’s murder as her emancipation is profound and enlightened.


  • Reply
    June 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Your mom is a saint and beautiful Kay is free.
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  • Reply
    Valentine Logar
    June 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    your words break my heart, your mother’s actions in the midst of heartbreak make me wish my heart was greater for she is indeed a saint as my forgiveness does not extend that far.

    Know, so many of us our here we read your words and we too open our hearts and our hands for you and for your lost sister.

    She isn’t truly lost at all, each day you wake, you write, act to help other women in her name she lives on in your actions and your words. Small comfort, I know. Yet those petals reach her.


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  • Reply
    Kelly @ Inspired Edibles
    June 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    What a beautiful perspective.

    I love the idea of the white petals fluttering around the sky in celebration of Kay’s freedom.

    May love and light surround you all – xo
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  • Reply
    June 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Your mum is an angel Kim, a beautiful woman, what a heart she has. I love this last image of these petals of flower flying in the sky, reaching to Kay, free at last.
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  • Reply
    June 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Your Mother is indeed a saint, and you my friend, are also.
    Sending you hugs, and wishes for a good beginning to your week.

  • Reply
    Alison@Mama Wants This
    June 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Oh Kim. Your beautiful writing makes my heart break and sing at the same time. xo
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  • Reply
    Kim @The G is Silent
    June 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I know this blog is where you can vent and share your pain and your anger and your disappointment and disgust and you do it wonderfully. Your words are very powerful and intense and I feel them deep down. Outside of this blog, in the real world in your home and with your family and your friends when you venture out to work or play or sit on your patio, do you have happiness? I hope you do Kim. I know you love wholeheartedly and deeply and a friend to you is family. I just hope that this is where your pain goes, this is how you let it out bit by bit forever if needed and otherwise you’re able to live a happy life. Granted, the thought of losing my sister in any way let ALONE violently shakes me to the core, because like you she is my favorite person in the entire world. Even when I’m so angry with her I can spit and even when I don’t disagree with all of her lifestyle/parenting choices.

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  • Reply
    June 24, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    oh Kim.
    I hope that you know that I hold you so tightly in my heart. I really do.
    “My closed fist suddenly opens”….
    Keep that thought with you always. She’s free my friend. Not the way you or I or anyone wanted her to be but she is free.
    And always with you.
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  • Reply
    Solid gold creativity
    June 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I get your mother’s immense courage and your feelings of guilt you didn’t prevent what happened to Kay. May your writing week be a powerful one. SGCxx
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  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    June 24, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Oh Kim – this is the best news I heard – when I read in your facebook update about doing something in summer, I wanted to suggest writing your book – and imagine! thats exactly what you are going to do! Thrilled.

    “Why didn’t I break his fingers so he couldn’t pick up a gun?” I know how you feel. It is so unjust. But Kim, I admire you for opening that fist. Don’t think about the “if onlys”. I hate to say it but there are somethings we just have no control over – I know it more than many people as I’ve lost friends, very close family and Oh, my Mom who was/is my bestest friend. It is grueling to come to terms with this kind of loss….but know that you’ve got a permanent place in my heart where you’ll feel only love. You’re one of the most amazing women I know. I am blessed. I can’t wait to read your book – I’ll be the first one to buy it.

    Love always – and encouraging you, Vidya
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  • Reply
    nan @ lbddiaries
    June 24, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Oh wow. This was just… wow. What a PERFECT ending to the story – if only’s poison so when I read that, I cheered! He doesn’t win, even in the story. He no longer controls her or you. Opening that fist – what a powerful step.
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  • Reply
    June 24, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Kim, I just learned something new about you. I didn’t know you didn’t like going to Kay’s house when he was there. I didn’t realize that you already didn’t like him, way before May 26, 2010. How awful for you, to know that you saw signs, but couldn’t stop your sister from falling for him. I’m so sorry, Kim.

    Good luck with your book. Can’t wait to hear more about it.
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  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 2:59 am

    What a talent you have Kim. Sooo talented. Your words touch me and I feel them so deeply. You are a truly gifted person and how wonderful it is that you can take your grief and channel it into a book. Write, write and write Kim until your fingers go numb…I will keep reading and reading. I may never meet you in person but I feel like I’ve come to know you with all that you share with us.
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  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    June 25, 2012 at 3:09 am

    I just want to hug you Kim xxx
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  • Reply
    Lady Fi
    June 25, 2012 at 4:02 am

    Your mother really is a saint!

    I feel your pain.
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  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 6:24 am

    I’ve often thought about what HIS mother was going through. The shock of her son murdering his wife! Did she have ANY idea what he was doing? Or was she just putting a blind eye to the whole thing…not wanting to get involved?

    Misery loves company. I also hope his mother is suffering as well. She raised him, she has to be thinking “where did I go wrong?”. You wonder if anyone else in her family is as fucked up as he was?
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  • Reply
    Pat Scattergood
    June 25, 2012 at 6:39 am

    You’re right, Kimmy, your sister is free now.

    God bless your mother–and his.
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  • Reply
    Mandy - The Complete Cook Book
    June 25, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Darling Kim, you are always so eloquent with your posts that I feel I am there with you!
    Love and hugs from a very cold South Africa.
    🙂 Mandy
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  • Reply
    Jann Huizenga
    June 25, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Ah, Kim, this is an amazing piece of writing. Just amazing. I’m so glad you’re spending time on your book. I just cannot imagine how many tears you cry as you’re writing, as this rings so raw and true. Brava. Super brava, as they say here. xxxxxxxxxxxxooooooooo
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  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Kim, I feel the same way as you do about everything you wrote. KAY IS FREE- FREE- FREE.
    I am so glad that you are going to write a book, I can’t to wait to read it.
    Love You So Much

  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Love, Love, Love, Love, Love, Love, Love ~

  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 9:30 am

    She’s finally free. I hope you are too, some day.
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  • Reply
    Pam Hogeweide
    June 25, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Love that your mom reached out to his mom. Two families were devastated that tragic day. I cannot imagine such a thing to bear for any mother of the murdered or the murderer. We raise our children with such high hopes for happiness and long life.

    I am glad to hear you are writing a book. Your voice will be a beacon to many others as it already is.

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  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 10:37 am

    They say there’s healing in forgiveness. If it’s true, your mother is well on her way to becoming whole. However, it takes a very BIG person to forgive something so heinous. Kim, please don’t beat yourself up over not stopping Kay’s murder — something tells me you couldn’t have. Just the thought of your sweet-faced sister now free and in Heaven is a comfort, though. Blessings and Hugs!
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  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Dearest Kim, I love, love, love how through the pain and sorrow you’re still able to see Kay’s emancipation. And emancipate she did. She finally broke free from her tormentor, her stalker, her abuser. How glorious that she is no longer under his watchful gaze and ruling. Like a dove, beautiful Kay flew far away from his clutches and is now able to smile and be herself, without worrying that he might hear, listen, or see. It makes me sad to think how horrible it must have been for you and your family to visit Kay in those circumstances when he was there. I can imagine she transformed into a beautiful rose when she was alone with you and her loved ones. Thankfully, now she’s always shining, always smiling, always happy. We await your return patiently. Good luck with your writing and editing! Hugs and kisses for you from Roxy and me! 🙂

  • Reply
    Blond Duck
    June 25, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Good luck!
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  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Kimmy my beautiful, creative and courageous friend.
    Please you & your family don’t ever feel guilty. Who would
    have ever thought he would have murdered Kay. Yes Kay is free !!!! I
    I can’t wait to read your book too!!! I have an idea for next year. Love
    You always !! K

  • Reply
    Choc Chip Uru
    June 26, 2012 at 4:33 am

    My friend, you write your book and let out all your emotion and feelings which you express so beautifully on this blog.
    We will always be here for you, supporting and loving you.
    Kay is free my friend, and you will fly with her always.

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  • Reply
    June 26, 2012 at 9:25 am

    My Beautiful Kim,

    I LOVE you!!!!

    xxx ooo XXX OOO

    KraZy KeLly

  • Reply
    June 26, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Your mom has a great capacity for love and it’s probably why you are as beautiful as you are, my sweet Kim. Sniffing…
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  • Reply
    June 26, 2012 at 10:54 am

    those closing words had me in tears.
    My closed fist suddenly opens –

    transforming into a chrysanthemum…

    thats how my heart feels.
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  • Reply
    June 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Happy writing, Kim…I hope it will be a time cathartic healing. See ya later, loving woman.
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  • Reply
    June 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I hope you get some good writing done on your book.

    And your mom really does sound like a saint.
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  • Reply
    Sandy Webb
    June 27, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve……gets us nowhere. I have so many things in my head I would have changed had I known TJ was going to die so young. We spent our time chasing the damn dollar saying we would do stuff when we retired…..he never got to reap the fruits of his labor… is so unfair.
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  • Reply
    Elephant's Child
    June 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Oh Kim. Life has got in my way and I have stepped back from the blogosphere, but I had to stop by and send all the positive energy I can find to you.
    I am thrilled that you are working on your book.
    As always, hurting for you, hurting with you.

  • Reply
    Blond Duck
    June 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Happy Wednesday!
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  • Reply
    Lady E
    June 28, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Dear Kim,

    I hear the silence in your phone, I feel the void all around you…
    Your sister died a free woman at last. Not that it’s any kind of consolation.
    Lots of love from all the way over here
    PS. I blog and read less often these days, but I still often think of you
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  • Reply
    June 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I know this isn’t quite the same thing, but I recently confronted the woman who sexually abused me when I was 12 (she was 22). It was a worthless encounter but my heart found some peace, sometimes, just letting go is worth everything.

    I know this isn’t a great commentm but I just wanted you to know that your post made me feel even better about my incident,.

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  • Reply
    Jester Queen
    July 1, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Good luck with your editing. Your Mom is probably one of the most awesome people ever. It surely wasn’t just empathy that drove her to make that phone call. She must have known that your sister’s mother-in-law had just experienced a double loss. She loved and lost your sister. And she loved and lost her own son, because no matter what words she may tell him after, he will never be the same in her heart again. So not just empathy, but also kindred spirit. I watch my son struggle with bipolar and autism (he’s five – there’s still plenty of room to assume that he’ll be fine, and we have tons of therapy and medication trying to help that be so) and I live in terror of being on the mother-in-law’s end of that phone call some day.
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    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      July 1, 2012 at 7:53 am

      ~~~~Dear Jester,
      I had to reply to your comment.
      I know several people w/ bi-polar & autism. They are beautiful, giving people- & I assume none of them will end up murdering their wives.
      Kay’s husband was NEVER a beautiful person. He was never a husband or a father. I am not sure he was even human.
      I will not give him one. single. excuse. for murdering my sister.
      He was offered SO MUCH LOVE from my family and he never wanted it…He never gave anything….except his 3 beauiful boys. That’s all.
      He was a “Taker” until the very end when he shot my sister 3 times in the head.
      Do I forgive him? Yes.
      Do I give him an excuse or free pass for being who he was. Absolutely not.

      Go kiss your son. Love him. I will bet YOU WILL NEVER be on the other end of that phone call, dear…. xx
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  • Reply
    July 1, 2012 at 8:39 am

    I hope the editing and writing is going well, Kim.

    Thinking of you —
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  • Reply
    July 4, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    your mom is absolutely a saint. if it was my child, i can’t imagine the lengths I’d go to to make them all as miserable as me. hugs to you girl. great big hugs to you.
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  • Reply
    Michelle @ one crafty mama
    July 8, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    What an incredibly well written and touching post. It gave me chills and brought a tear to my eyes. Hugs to you.

  • Reply
    (FL) Girl with a New Life
    July 10, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Wow. Just wow.

    Emancipation. You colored this word differently for me. This word is going to haunt me for the rest of the day today.
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  • Reply
    July 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I am very late to read your post Kim, but I wouldn’t skip any. I felt tonight I needed to come here. I need to read your words, I need to read about Kate.
    You’re a wonderful loving person and you are helping me more than you know.
    I feel so alone here, I sometimes found myself begging my sister to come and visit, begging colleagues or friends, but no one would come. They all hate be around him you see? I blamed them sometimes. I forgive them now. Love you <3

  • Reply
    July 11, 2012 at 9:24 am

    When I first read the words on the typewriter, I thought it was fiction … or a poem of sorts. Now, wow … no words I have can ascend what your family has experienced. Your writing about this, your ability to write of it with such a frank and beautiful power, only a year (just over) afterward is astonishing. And your mother … there is something about a mother’s aching, devastated heart … that renders mercy.

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