“An intelligent, energetic, educated woman cannot be kept in four walls — even satin-lined, diamond-studded walls — without discovering sooner or later that they are still a prison cell.” (America’s Medieval Women,Harper’s Magazine, August 1938)” ― Pearl S. Buck
~~~~Once upon a time there was a sweet, little girl in search of her own path. She was only 16 years old, but knew she required more, knew that each heartbeat must have meaning for her. She was strikingly beautiful, but didn’t know it. That was one of her various charms.
A porcelain doll. Delicate. Oh-so breakable.
One night, she was introduced to an older man, a wildly long haired man from a band called, Wired. He was the drummer and somehow drummed and manipulated his way into her heart.
“Isn’t he cute?” she asked.
“No,” I responded without hesitation. I perceived something ugly, indescribable, hazardous.
That was only the beginning. After the initial meeting, he never left her side— sort of like an insidious odor one can’t get rid of because it slides into every corner, crevice, gap.
He followed her around town like a homeless dog, picked her up after school at 3:30, and hung around our house on 61st. street lounging on our old brown couch like an unwelcome stranger.
I never really knew him.
The abuse started slowly— like a lobster simmering; the screaming not heard until the water began to boil.
She told me he walked up to her once in the first year of their marriage and kicked her in the shin. Why didn’t she tell me this earlier?
She told me he called her a cunt, a bitch, a whore. Why didn’t I comprehend that words killed souls?
She told me he crushed her spirit. Can a spirit refurbish itself?
She told me so many things while the water was still simmering. It simmered for 25 long years.
One day—she said, “Kim, he’s changed. He’s accepted Jesus into his life. Isn’t that grand?”
Lies. Lies. Lies.
To make her stay. To fence her in.
When she asked him for a divorce, he stalked her, broke into her facebook page, and left so many voice messages that she had to change her phone number.
“I can’t live without you. We can make it work. We can go for marriage counseling. I’ll go back to church. Please. Please. Please.”
He came home early on May 26, 2010. He told his co-workers he had appointments, things to do, people to see.
They would never see him again.
He waited and planned and perhaps even prayed to whomever murderers pray to.
She arrived home from work at 4:30 PM to get ready for her daily walk with our daddy. She put on her tennis shoes and pulled her hair up into a loose pony tail. She made her way to the door.
It never opened.
I imagine he was pleading with her to stay, to reconsider, to love him like she should. I imagine she was telling him it was too late. I imagine when he placed the gun to her head, he said the same thing— “It’s too late. It’s too late.”
I got the call at 5:15 PM. “Did you know the police are surrounding Kay’s house? Did you know Mike killed Kay? Did you know….”
I fell to my knees. I couldn’t breath because I was drowning inside the boiling water.
They found her unconscious body at the front door. His arms were wrapped around her waist like a snake, like a parasite, like darkness. The gun was still in his right hand.
He shot her 3 times to make sure she remained inside her cage.
They told me I recited ee cummings at her funeral, but I don’t remember through the tears and wine and insanity.
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart; i carry it in my heart.
They told me my sister was dead at 1:00 AM, that her beautiful brown eyes would never open again… but I still don’t believe it…
because she rises from the earth every. single. day.
She rises like poetry and wind and a thousand mandarin suns.
She rises; her heart beating loudly and powerfully inside my heart.
******What you can do TODAY****
- Tell somebody. TELL Everybody. Never keep silent about domestic abuse.
- Make a safely plan HERE!
- Call this number (Domestic Abuse Hotline): 1-800-722-7233
- In Duluth—Call DAIP: 1-218-722-2781
You are worthy, beautiful, amazing, valuable, and God’s greatest accomplishment.
I am telling you Kay’s story because I want you to LIVE, Thrive, & become who you were meant to become. xxX