Monday, April 19, 2010

It must be time for an update:

I've almost forgotten how to blog. I'm pretty sure that facebook is killing blogging.  That's where most of my communication takes place these days.

But I like blogging - rather, I like reading back on my old blogs to see what we were doing and thinking, and to see the old pictures again.  It's kind of like scrapbooking.  Facebook can't really replace that.

If we are facebook friends, then most of this update will be old news.  Feel free to click away.  :)

Some of you may remember that my son Nicholas (age 14 at the time,) was attacked and mugged last July.  He was walking home from a mowing site.  He was just two blocks from our home in our small town of 8,000 people.

He was approached by two men, who asked him for a light.  Nick was very unsuspecting, and ended up with a hard shoe grinding his face into the pavement.

One suspect was put in jail, and has been there since July.

The trial was several weeks ago.  Nick did well on the witness stand.  I thought I handled it pretty well, but following the trial I realized how difficult the entire ordeal, the ensuing year, and the trial itself really was.

It was hard to relive the event all over again.  It was difficult to see pictures of our son from the night it happened.  When it happened, I did not see him immediately.  My neighbor (a police officer) and his wife cleaned him up once the photos were taken for evidence.  So, in some ways, it is true that I was seeing some aspects of the crime for the first time.

He was covered in blood.  His face was just covered.  His shirt was soaked.  Several dishtowels were filled.  There was a picture of a pool of his blood in the street in front of the house where this happened.  One of his bottom teeth was broken out.

The defendant also testified.  He claimed that it wasn't him.  He said that he was the second man at the scene, that he tried to stop the first man from hurting Nick.  He told his side of things, how Nick was hit, and then kicked once he was on the ground.  We didn't believe his version of the story, because Nick is confident as to the identity of the man who had his shoe on his head, but it did give us a fuller picture of what happened that night.  We understood better the cuts and the bruising.  I understood the migraine and the vomiting during the wee hours of the night spent at the emergency room.

The 12 person jury didn't need long to deliberate.  Within 45 minutes they had returned with a unanimous verdict of guilty as charged with assault and robbery on a minor.  (This happened 3 houses down from a grade school.)  In our state, this qualifies as a Class B Felony, which carries a stiff penalty.  The defendant had a previous record, too...so even though he has already spent 9 months in jail he will likely have several years to go.  The sentencing is next week.

I think we're doing pretty good now, but both Nick and I were kind of sucker-punched as to how much this took out of us.  My husband could not get off work to come to the trial (it was two days long) and our older children watched our younger kids.  My parents are too elderly to come and/or be physically helpful in a case like this.  We felt pretty alone.  I think we both just needed some time to breathe and think and let things go - in retrospect, this has been ONE TOUGH YEAR.  When I think about it, in reality, it has been a tough decade.  :)

God was with us, though.  I'm not just saying that to tie a messy situation up into a pretty package.  We felt Him.  We felt his presence and His words as He said, "Do you trust me?"  The answer was..."Yes."  It was an emotional process, but we trust Him with our futures, and with the future of the defendant.  We trust that He will be working for the good of all involved.

14 comments:

  1. Wow, Holly. It HAS been a tough year, hasn't it? I'm thankful for God's presence with all of you.

    And...thank you for testifying to it here. I miss you and my other not-IRL friends now that I'm not on facebook. It's good to "see" you here.

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  2. Wow, that is quite a year. I'm glad that it is all over, and that you were able to trust God through the whole ordeal. I can only imagine how hard it must have been!

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  3. That would be a difficult situation for anyone but I think especially hard for a young man. Then I think how blessed we are to have the expectation of safety and justice. Thank God incidents like that are not common place where we live.
    Robin

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  4. Hey Robin...it was difficult. I should have said that we learned a lot, too! Homeschoolers always look at the educational side of things, too, don't they? (Well, likely all parents do that.) At least I didn't make him write a report on it. :)

    The prosecuting attorney told me that our area has virtually NO stranger crime, so this was pretty surprising. Given his age and where this happened, too, they pressed really hard on the robbery aspect (they took money from him,) to show that they are serious about this type of crime.

    And you're right...we (personally) do take safety and justice for granted. I'm sure that you don't, given that your husband is one of those who work hard to protect the rest of us! Thanks!

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  5. Anna, thank you. :) This event was only one iceberg. Our five year old was involved in a four-wheeler accident in September. He hopped on a parked four-wheeler (not running) but the brakes did not hold. He took a wild ride down a steep hill and landed in a ravine. We were in the middle of nowhere, and he had to be life-flighted to a larger city. His head was pretty messed up. It was horrible...BUT...he was fine and is fine. Just a couple of scars and long-lasting memories. (!!!)

    And that, too...was just another iceberg. Too many to count! But GOD really is and really was with us and gave His peace.

    April - so good to see you too. I totally understand why you left Facebook, too. I have thought to do the same thing but then, 3 of my teens are on there and I need to keep the door and my eyes open. :)

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  6. I have missed you! We lost our Internet connection a couple of months ago, so we have to "borrow" bandwidth from unsuspecting neighbors, which slows down the only computer that can get online anymore. For some reason, Facebook kills any connection we've found, so we don't go there now.

    But God has been working, as my husband likes to say "raising valleys and lowering mountains" so we're hopeful that things are going to improve for us.

    You've been in my thoughts and prayers too. You have had a rough time of it, what with you son getting beat up, and your little one falling and having to be rushed by helicopter to the emergency room - oh my heart has hurt for you dear!

    You are a testament to me and I thank God every day for you, and ask Him to keep watch over you.

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  7. You have really been through it! I have prayed for you & your family and I just want to Thank you and your son for following thru with this very difficult situation. My husband works in public safety (not an officer) and there are so many people who will NOT do the right thing & follow thru. Clearly God is holding you up, walking with you and honoring your committment to walk in His Ways. God bless you! Susan T

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  8. (((Holly)))

    That must have been tough. Glad you got through it.

    Praying that you'll have some time this year to heal and be strengthened and have a break from the "icebergs". :)

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  9. What a difficult time! I'm so sorry. I'm so glad, though, that through this you've been able to feel God's presence and continue to trust him.

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  10. Just saw an update on your family from Connie -- know that you are in our prayers!! You have encouraged me so much over the years and I pray that God is wrapping his arms around your family as you go through yet another challenge. {{{{{{{{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}]]

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  11. Like Krystal, I came here after reading on Connie's site. I will continue to pray for your family. Please let us know how your husband (and the rest of you all) is doing.

    Much love, Jennifer

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  12. I am happy you are back Holly. and I hope this year will bring you more peace and less struggles. but I really appreciate the way you see things and believe in HIs paths. thank you so much for your heartfelt comment!! love xxx

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  13. Sending you hugs - just wanted to say that I stop by your blog all the time. You always encourage even in the midst of your hard times. May God continue to bless you and your family. Thank you for sharing
    hugs Helen

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  14. Thank you, everyone. I am sorry for not replying earlier. It really HAS been crazy, but I do appreciate you!

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