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.