I can't say exactly why this is coming up for me at this moment in time, considering she will have been gone for 33 years this coming December. I can say, though, that not one day goes by that I don't think of her. Not one single day.
They never caught the man who murdered my mommy. Yes, I say "man" as an absolute assumption. And yes, I say "mommy" because at the age of 5, I hadn't grown up enough to call her anything else. So to me, that man took away the only mommy I was ever going to have in this life.
I've never had the chance to say these words to him face-to-face. And I don't know if I'd actually waste even one breath on him if he were right in front of me. But if I did have that chance and some breath to spare, here is what I would say:
It doesn't matter why you decided to murder my mommy that cold night in December all those years ago. Maybe it was because you wanted her and couldn't have her. Maybe it was because you wanted the last word. Maybe it was because there wasn't anything good to watch on TV that night.
What I am sure of, however, is the following:
You are a coward.
It doesn't matter that you still walk the streets as a free man. I still believe your soul (if you even have one) is surely a prisoner to the act of violence you so selfishly carried out that night.
You are a sick and very sad man.
It doesn't matter that I'm 37 years old. I still think of her every day and wish so badly for one more hug.
You are a murderer.
It doesn't matter that I know she's gone. I still hope against all hope that she'll come walking through the door again. I looked over my shoulder on my brother's wedding day, on the day I graduated from college, and on the day my son came into this world. I looked over my shoulder hoping this was all one very bad dream and that she would be there, smiling like any mommy would smile on days when she was happy, proud, and filled with joy.
You are a sorry excuse for a human being.
It doesn't matter that you got away with such an outrageous act. I still cry thinking that my younger brother has no memories of the person he simply calls "Mom."
You are a destroyer of families.
It doesn't matter that you didn't care that she had children. I still have a child to raise on my own and have no mommy to call to ask for guidance.
You are a monster.
It doesn't matter that you get to wake up with a smile on Christmas morning. I still think of my mommy buried in that cemetery in Defiance, Ohio.
You are a hit man of the worst kind.
It doesn't matter if you have grandchildren of your own. I still long for my mommy to hold my son even once.
You are a thief.
It doesn't matter that you kept your pride. I still long for the childhood that was ended way too early with the loss of the woman who was supposed to be my best friend for years to come.
I wonder if you ever think of her. I wonder if you have any idea of the pain you caused those who still mourn her. I wonder how you live with yourself from day to day.
I wonder if you bothered to look her in the eye before you took away her life of only 29 years that night.
Know that you still can't have her.
And know that her spirit lives on through me, through my brothers, through my son -- so you see it's she, not you, who walks away with the very last word.