Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A few nights before Christmas, at about 3:30 in the morning, I woke up to a very faint noise. I got out of bed and went into Alyssa's room. She was quietly crying. I bent down to her and whispered to her "Alyssa, what's wrong?" and she whispered back in a very faint, sad, wimpering voice:

"I want daddy to come back".

My heart has been broken several times even since Joe died and I rarely write those incidents down here because they are too painful. But this was one of those times. I could have laid down next to her and cried with her as if I was also 4 years old. What was so strikingly sad to me was that she was not calling out to me in the night, I had heard her pretty much by chance. Here she was laying in her bed, quietly crying for her father in the middle of the night alone. Just like I do.

Her wish is so simple and easy to put into words. Mine seems complex and lengthy and hard to figure out and explain. But we both want the same thing. We want him back.

"Daddy loves you Alyssa, just as much as you love him. He would never want to leave you and he misses you the way you miss him. Daddy loves you Alyssa".

That is what I said to her. Every time those words come out of my mouth they seem inadequate. It is all that I can tell them. As a parent you want to be able to solve your children's problems; to give them real answers and take their pain away. Yet I can't and I struggle with the enormity of the questions they have and the answers that I don't have.

This all leaves me mentally tortured. I am sad at the whole situation but I feel angry too. I feel angry that Joe left me with all of this. To raise our children alone. I am left trying to piece together 3 shattered futures and answer questions about God and heaven and the accident and on and on. My children have questions that no one has answers to. I am left to tell them that their father's body is in the ground and try to figure out how that will affect them. I have not told them that yet. They assume that Joe's body is in heaven the same way that he was here, and I have not corrected them. How could I have been left with these things to tell them? I feel that it's not fair to leave me with all of this. I feel unprepared and unable. Ill-equipped and unsure. And I wait, hoping that some day I'll have the words and the time will be right. But it's all a gamble of timing and information that rests on two sets of small shoulders. I pray that their minds will be open and their lives are not shaped by the pain, but that they see it as an awful event that happened in their otherwise happy and fulfilled lives.

"Go back to sleep Alyssa. Dream about Santa and how much fun we'll have in the snow tomorrow" I said, not in an effort to minimize her feelings, but because I know all too well that sometimes your only option is to purposely change your thoughts to something else. She closed her eyes and I walked out of the room. As I walked back to my room I counted the words on my fingers "I-want-daddy-to-come-back". Six words. Six words from my daughter that I never thought I would hear. Six words with the crushing weight of a thousand painful thoughts.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Once again,

Dear "Justin" AND "Justin's friend who can spell":

Look, I can't say I am surprised that you are not a person of your word. You said you would leave my blog to me and my family. However, here's a hint for you "Justin", I used to be in the IT field and I know my way around technology. I can see you visiting this site several times a day. What is it that you are looking for exactly? Since I know that you have read through many, many of my older entries, and you also read my personal blog about my children (which disgusts me), you will know that I do not dwell on the dirtbags that surround this case, and my attention goes to them only when I am forced. Most of my time and energy is spent repairing my life and taking care of my children which has absolutely NOTHING to do with YOU or anyone like YOU who has nothing but negative energy to bestow upon me and probably the rest of the world. You want to keep reading, then go ahead. But do it with the knowledge that I see you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I have been so busy with Christmas and I had no power for 8 days. I wanted to post this article that was in the paper on the day the ice storm hit (December 12). Family members were pretty outraged by many of the comments on the part of the lawyer for the driver. But my opinion on it is that as long as we bring this topic up, their side will ALWAYS say the same things. The lawyer comparing a financial loss to the loss of a person shows what kind of people we are dealing with. It hurts to hear those things, but I can't just do nothing. Here is the article:


If anyone feels strongly about the article and about sticking up for Joe, I would urge them to write a letter to the editor and whoever else they think they should write letters to.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

I received this comment on a post below from December 8.

Justin has left a new comment on your post "Tonight I am devastated. Once again I am left sho...":

ok i understand you are upset with all of this . but as i know your hubby could of broke and missed the truck . this is both of their falts . i am sure he has lost alot of sleep over this . but he does need to drive to make money for his family . you are one sided . if you can sit back and look at your hubby speeding with chicken in between his lags and not useing the full stoping power of his bike and say its all jeremy's falt you are wrong !!! it is both sides falts . your hubby could of broke or even pushed over 3 more inches and missed the truck . jeremy could of waited for him to pass . but you hubby was speeding down a very bad road . you need to lighten up i am sorry and all but for real you are putting all your blame in one place and thats not right . i aint saying jeremy should get off scott free . yes he shouldnt be able to drive outside of work . but they should let him drive for work

Dear Justin:

If you were to speak to the detective in charge of this case and read the police report, you would see that the police do not and have never believed that my husband was speeding. In fact, I have been told MANY times and since the beginning that they believe my husband was going between 30 and 35 miles an hour, which was below the posted speed limit. As for your theory that he was carrying something between is legs, that is just simply not true either. The reason why I know that is because the detective in charge found what my husband purchased at hannaford in his saddlebags. I know that to be true because they impounded the bike and the contents rotted in there and smelled terrible enough that the officer told me about it. He also did not buy chicken.

As to your comment that my husband could have "pushed over 3 more inches" that is absurd. The State Police determined that EVERY inch of the road was covered by the truck and trailer. Mr. Kean's own lawyer did not even dispute that fact. Whatever information you are getting is wrong. Furthermore, if you know SO MUCH about this case, you would know that my husband hit the truck NOT the trailer. So if you thinking that he hit the back of the trailer you are entirely wrong. You can speak to the DNA/forensic experts in Concord about that if you want.

What the police DO say is that they believe that my husband did not use his full braking power. However, can you Justin, say how you would react when you are driving a motorcycle and a dump truck pulling a trailer suddenly pulls in front of you? Can you say how you would react in ANY panic situation? Do you know that when my husband learned to ride a motorcycle the safety courses taught you to NEVER use your front brake when trying to stop quickly? Do you know that my husband rode his bike and did EXACTLY what he was taught to do when he took those safety courses? The fact of the matter is that had the dump truck not pulled in front of my husband, the accident would not have occurred. It says those exact words in the final invetigation and the detective in charge said that to the newspaper months ago, which you can look up if you want to.

Furthermore, I will remind you that I am not the one that decided that Jeremy should lose his license, the STATE OF NH DID. Of course I am one sided in this, my husband was killed in this accident. What exactly would you expect.

As to your comment of him being able to drive for work "so he can make money for his family" I say this: Does MY husband have the luxury to work and make money for HIS family? What you are proposing is to give him a "punishment" but don't make it inconvenience him too much. That you can take up with the State of NH, since again, THEY are the ones that took away his license.

Had you been brave enough to leave an email address for me or not make your profile private, I would have answered your comment directly. It is not fair to me to say those things and expect me not to respond so there is your response. I do appreciate your comment though, because it gives me insight into what misinformation and lies are spread around. I base all of my information on fact, from the police and other official sources, including people who were at the scene. Your information is all based on a made-up story that people circulate so that they can sleep at night I guess. I would have no idea if your friend Jeremy has lost sleep over this because that has never been conveyed to me. Tell me Justin, if an accident occurred tragically taking the person that you loved most on this earth and the driver who caused it never conveyed a word of condolence to you, EVER, how would you feel? You tell me that.

This blog is really intended for my family and others who loved my husband, because he was an unbelievable human. People who read it know that I am a grieving woman working through many issues. If you don't like it, then don't read it. Please.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Throughout this entire process, starting about a year ago, people have said to me that this case is unusual. I hear the words "rare" and "uncommon" and "never before" quite often.

-The investigator hired by my lawyer said that he has never run into such difficulties in trying to talk to people/ gather information/get people to give statements relating to an accident.

-My lawyer, a laywer for over 50 years, said no case he has ever been involved has wreaked so much of small town politics.

-When there were rumblings of the ever-present issue of how Joe braked his motorcycle in a panic situation when a dump truck drove in front of him, another of my lawyers said he has never heard of such an outrageous claim (that the accident was partly his fault for not using all of his braking power) in a case such as this. This is a senior lawyer at the firm who is 80 years old and has been involved in dozens, probably hundreds of cases involving motorcycle collisions in his career. He told me the investigators did a huge disservice to me and my children in saying that.

-I was told today by a victim's rights advocate that it is extremely rare for a person to appeal their license suspension.

-I was told by a case manager at the Superior Court on Monday that it is extremely rare for the representative from the State to not show up at an appeals hearing.

-I was told by the attorney now handling the case for the license suspension, regarding the fact that the driver's license was reinstated pending the new hearing, "this never should have happened".

-I was told by a victim's rights advocate today when a person's license is suspended it usually is taken away immediately. For some reason the driver in this case was given 15 days to surrender his license. And when it actually came down to it on paper, the hearing date was June 26, 2008 and the paperwork said that the 3-year suspension of driving privileges would be imposed effective July 23, 2008. That's more than even the 15 days. I don't get it. Why?

There are other examples but those are the things that are coming to me right at this moment. I would like to know why this case is so unusual. There is so much uneasiness and unrest in these facts. Though I am sure no lawyer or judge is losing sleep over this case. Just me and other family members and friends who love him. WE are the ones that are paying.

I'll tell you something else that is rare. My husband.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Yesterday my friend Jamie was here all day so I was distracted from my current state of hatred with the world. Yes, hatred. Today soon after I woke up I was on a serious mission for an answer to WHY THE JUDGE GAVE THE DRIVER HIS LICENSE BACK.

After I got my kids ready for school, put my son on the bus and brought my daughter to preschool (all the while in an extremely agitated, no patience with them state), I came home and started making phone calls. I called the attorney for the state who is currently handling the case, he was not in. I called a victim's rights advocate that had helped early after the accident, she was not in. I researched online for other victim's rights agencies in NH. I found one and called and was passed around and told they would figure out who I should talk to and have them call me back. I asked her "someone will call me SOON?" and she said "yes". No one has called me back. I called the case manager at the Superior Court that I spoke with the other day. I told her I wanted to know WHY the judge gave the driver his license back. She said didn't have specific information on that, except that in the notes (or whateve they are called) from the appeal hearing it said that no one from the State showed up for the hearing. She said I can file motions that will be reviewed by the court and possibly get more information. That's what I get-paperwork. Busywork that I don't have the time for or the mental state for since I have two young kids that are always at my sides, but I will do it. Kids that will ask me "where is this place we are going mommy and why are we going?" when I take them to the courthouse to file the motions. That's what I get-paperwork instead of answers.

So then I called again on the newspaper reporter that I emailed and left a phone message with on Monday and had not heard back from. I got him on the phone and talked to him for a while. All I can say is that sometime if a reporter starts asking questions then people are more aware of the decisions they make since they may be held accountable.

I just do not know what else to do. Does anyone out there have any ideas? I feel so lost, like everywhere I turn I get no answers and have no way of fighting back so to speak. To be heard in this case.

The thing is that WE ALREADY DID THIS. We ALREADY went to Concord and had a hearing. It was a painful day for all of Joe's family that attended. A Hearing's Examiner already spent the time hearing both sides of the case and ruled that the driver should lose his license for three years. We already did the work. Why did the judge just dismiss all of that and give him his license back? It makes no sense to me.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tonight I am devastated.

Once again I am left shocked and in disbelief at what is supposed to be a justice system in this state. At every turn in this case, I have hoped and believed that justice would finally prevail, and at every turn I have been disappointed.

On Saturday I received a letter indicating that the man who drove a dump truck and trailer directly in front of my husband, and killed him, was handed his license back after 4 months of a suspension that was ruled to last 3 years. All this because of a scheduling error and miscommunication on the part of the State of NH, who held the case against the driver. Basically what I have figured out today after talking to the Attorney for the State who is now in charge of the case, and the Strafford County Supreme Court, is that the driver, Jeremy Kean, appealed the decision made by the Hearings Examiner in Concord last summer. Yes, that's right, instead of facing his (very minor) consequence, he asked that it be changed. A new hearing was scheduled for late November. At some point the attorney in charge of this case for the State left his position abrupty and all cases were handed over to a new lawyer. What he told me was basically that this got lost in the shuffle, that the hearing never made it to their calendar so they did not go. On the day when the hearing took place, they were called by the court to say that they were supposed to be there that day. The court said that they were very busy and did not have time to wait for someone to drive from Concord to Dover so they would schedule a new hearing. When the State attorney received notification of the rescheduled hearing (February 19, 2009), he also received information stating that the Judge ordered that Jeremy Kean be given his license back pending the new hearing.

It's really unbelievable to me. Those are the facts and I have a lot more I could add about how this case has been handled since the beginning, but I have to go in a different direction from that right now. I have to go in the direction of getting my feelings out on this happening.

As I said before I am devastated. When I received the letter I was literally shaking in anger and disbelief. This was the one, the ONE consequence that this man faced for his careless and unlawful conduct that resulted in the death of my husband. I am shocked that he would not just take the consequence and think about my kids every day as he went about his business, albeit slightly inconvenienced in that he could not drive. I am SHOCKED that this could even happen at all. I am SHOCKED at the ineffectiveness of the system in this case.

All day yesterday I was on the edge. I felt like I could crumble at any moment. After putting my kids to bed last night I truly felt despair like I have not felt in months. Today while looking for facts on dates pertaining to the above, I found myself rifling through piles of pages of unmentionable reports and evidence in this case. Things that truly would be unimaginable to most people. Information on the injuries Joe received, statements given by people at the scene, medical examiner's findings, THINGS THAT I DO NOT EVER WANT TO BE FACED WITH and there I was doing it again because the system failed me. I have to make sure that things get done properly, look over the shoulder of people who are supposed to be seeking justice for the citizens of this state. It is not right.

Grief is enough to deal with. My family should not be dealing with this too. It is not right.

People should be doing their jobs. Instead I feel like at every turn in this case someone would rather close the book on it and put it in the done pile instead of giving it the time that it deserves. My husband died. Does anyone care?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

On being a widow

In books on becoming a widow, there is always quite a bit of attention paid to when to/whether to stop wearing your rings. Let me start by telling you that I loved to wear my wedding ring. Joe never took his off, literally, except one time when he was making meatballs with the kids (which I playfully made into a big deal and said it was a red flag, etc etc). Anyway, I often took mine off in the house and often couldn't find them (in the house) but never left the house without them on my finger. Us wearing our rings signified something to me, I know it's not important to a lot of people, but to us it was something. Wearing mine said "I belong to him" and him wearing his said "I belong to her" and that to us was special.

So I wore my rings for a while after Joe died. You may remember from an earlier post that I never had an actual wedding band, just an engagement ring and a wrap that I wore. When I was coming home for our anniversary last summer one thing I was going to do was buy a wedding band. Obviously I never did. Instead I wore Joe's wedding band for a while after the accident. It still breaks my heart to think of he irony in it.

Many times I looked at those rings and wondered, how am I going to stop wearing these? How can I do that? There were honestly times when I simply just did not think I had it in me to take them off. But it was not comforting to me to look at them either. It hurt deeply to think that the rings symbolized something that was gone. Not that the love was gone, but the commitment to each other ends with death. It's the 'til death do us part in the wedding vows. Death parted us. As a widow, something most of you have not experienced, I will tell you that it is not possible to maintain the love that lies within a marriage. I love Joe and I always always always will. I love him in a deep, personal, loving way that I truly cannot describe. But the "in-love-ness" goes away because being in love in its best form, as we were, is truly a two-way street. When one person is gone, the feelings go away too.

It is so sad that it makes me cry. I try now to remember how he loved me and it is becoming a memory now instead of a feeling.

So back to the ring topic. I stopped wearing my rings sometime last Spring. There became a point where I wanted to stop wearing them because I kept getting comments from people about "my husband". At the dump- "why isn't your husband doing this for you honey?";....from the electric meter guy when he saw me mowing the lawn on a 90 degree humid day "Your husband must LOVE you!";...from my doctor "why doesn't your husband shovel the snow?".....etc etc. I have a million of them. Every time I was faced with these comments I just wanted to shrink away into nothingness. A few times I wanted to yell at the people and tell them to go f themselves (sorry m & d). But ultimately I thought that if I took the rings off people would know I was not married and the comments would stop.

I was wrong about that.

It seems that society wants or at least assumes a woman of my age with small children to be married. It is weird for me to be thinking of these things. I look at the whole world differently now. I am unmarried. I am a single mother. Both of those things are huge concepts for me to wrap my mind around. I was thrust into the situation in such a sudden way. There was no deterioration of my relationship with Joe. There was no warning. There was no downward slope. It was just... gone in an instant.

As I said, taking the rings off did not stop the husband comments. Just a few weeks ago I had a fence put up in my yard to contain my beastly dog. I called the guy that installed it, I met with him to plan the project, he gave me the estimate, we scheduled it, he dealt with ME. And when it was all done he turned to me and said "Does your husband like it?". Yes, the world assumes I am married. It's just something I have to get used to. I know it's not meant to be mean by anyone, but it hurts sometimes just the same.

I still find that my thumb reaches to my ring finger every now and then and I have a flash of "where's my ring?" and then I quickly come back to reality. I suppose that will decrease as time goes on. I still look at my hand sometimes with a sadness that seems kind of silly, but really the sadness comes from what the ring symbolized that is no longer there.

However I can honestly say now that the sight of my bare finger also gives me other feelings these days. On occasion it does not make me feel sad at all to see no ring, it makes me feel like I have perservered; that I am getting somewhere and I am not living in the past. Sometimes instead of focusing on just the one finger I look at my whole hand and think of what I have done in the past year in terms of taking care of the things that Joe would have if he were here. I think that THESE bare hands pushed the lawn mower all summer, THESE bare hands shoveled all winter long in the snowiest winter in 100 years, THESE bare hands take care of all that my children need me to take care of. And that is the best part for me. It is not what I would choose for my kids lives, but they are seeing the world from a different perspective and there is some good in that. Especially for Alyssa. I want her to know and feel like she can handle her whole life and everything in it for herself, without a ring on her finger.