Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future….. Lewis B Smedes
This year, my gorgeous Aimee would have been turning 30. I find it hard to believe that the precious and precocious, freckled faced, redheaded 10 year old who I loved with all my heart could be 30. As much as I’ve aged her every year, it is only a number. I can’t know what she would have looked like or what she would have grown up like. That was all taken from me.
When Aimee first died, I had an 8 year old and a 6 year old who were injured, both physically and emotionally. I also had my elderly Mum living with me. I worked full time. I was told it was best for the boys if I went to normal life as soon as possible (as if that could ever happen) and so I went back to the amateur theatre company I was involved with. I had a never ending round of doctors, counsellors, neurosurgeons, bereavement workers, pyschologists appointments and court appearances that I had to attend. Life was so ridiculous at that time, I still wonder how I actually kept standing. Everything I did was for my sons. I wanted their lives to be as normal as possible. I didn’t want them to be so scarred by the trauma that they couldn’t live normal lives.
There was a travesty of justice in Aimee’s life, both before and after her death. As a mother, I should have fought for justice. I should have been jumping up and down and screaming from the rooftops that her life was worth more than a 6 month suspension of license and $1000. I should have been demanding to know why his threats to put my children in a car and kill them wasn’t allowed to be mentioned in any of the subsequent court cases surrounding her death. I should have petitioned the appropriate departments to find out why he wasn’t even charged with culpable driving or dangerous driving occasioning death.. But I didn’t. And I regret that.
While I should have been doing all those things, I was trying instead to put one foot in front of the other. I was trying to find the strength to get out of bed of a morning when instead I just wanted to die so I could be with my angel. I did everything I had to physically for my sons but emotionally there was nothing left. As much as the boys and I got through it and are still here to tell the story, Aimee’s voice still wasn’t heard.
‘The week before she was killed, when she was told she had to go on an access visit, she agreed she’d go just to make sure the boys were okay. But she did say that one day, her voice would be listened to and she would have a say in what happened in her life. After she died, I knew I should have been trying to have her voice heard but I didn’t have the strength for one more fight. I have always felt guilty that I didn’t fight for her. I know the welfare of my sons was more important at that moment in time but I wish I’d had the strength to stand up for her too.
So here I am 20 years later, ready to stand and fight. I don’t believe it’s too late. In fact I think it’s the best time to write it as I am now in a place of forgiveness and peace. I can write it now without the anger and bitterness that once tainted every thought of her. I think it’s as important now to fight for Aimee as it was when it first happened. I started this blog 3 years ago so I could get into the habit of writing and then attempt to write Aimee’s story in book form. This blog has been such a healing tool for me. It is completely cathartic to write so much of the pain away. Even the not so serious blogs I’ve written have been healthy as they’ve put the balance of my life in perspective for me.
But as much as I love writing, I avoid working on Aimee’s story. It’s hard. I find myself finding excuses to walk away from it. Why? I think there’s a million reasons why. I think if I write it all down, I have to face things I don’t want to remember. I think I feel guilt at not having done this earlier and not having sought justice and so keep punishing myself for it. I think I feel my sons will have to relive a time in their life that was so difficult. I think…………….. oh honestly I can’t tell you the exact reasons why. I just know that I need to stop the avoidance.
I have just applied to be on an exciting new program. If I am accepted on the program, I will fly to Fiji for two weeks to work with a personal trainer, a business coach and a life coach. Hopefully it will allow me to see the dream become a reality. This could be the chance to self publish if it doesn’t get picked up by a publisher.
I can’t believe the fire this opportunity has lit in my belly. The fire to finally being the process of having Aimee’s voice heard. It is motivating me again. It’s allowing me to dream again. Most of all it’s encouraging me to write again. I can never truly face myself until I’ve done what I know I should have done all along.. fight for justice. Am I wanting to open up court cases again and see anyone jailed.. No.. It will serve no purpose. If I thought it would bring Aimee back again, I would fight with my last breath but it won’t.. Seeing anyone brought to justice wouldn’t help either. I’m not in a place of revenge anymore.
What I can do is make sure her story is at least told. I can maybe inspire another person to leave before things get this bad. I can hopefully make another person feel they are not alone. I can perhaps give someone strength to know there is still hope in this world. I want to ensure she is never forgotten. I want the world to know what an amazing human being she was. I want everyone to know that she packed a lot of living, laughter and love into her 10 short years. This is a way I can do this.
Could I please get you all to go on over to the Aimee’s Voice facebook page, like it and share the page. By doing this, you are helping me get closer to getting the support I need to write her story. By being chosen to be on the program and getting the resources to support my mind, body and spirit, I can ensure that not only will Aimee’s story be told, but I will be able to cope with it all as it’s happening. I’ve come so far with my own wellbeing, that I can’t afford to be adversely affected by doing this. I need to stay well and strong.
Having so many of you along on the journey that this blog has been has been one of the great privileges of my life. I never expected so many people to care and to want to read my ramblings. So many of you have become friends over these last 3 years. I’m so honoured to have you along on this most important journey too. Below is the supporting video I have made explaining why I want this so badly. Please have a look at it.
Happy hearing Aimee’s voice… Livvy xx