I woke up this morning, early again, in to an almost immediate fit of hysterical laughter. I had a voice note waiting for me from my fiance John who was making a comment about the snack plate I’d sent him a photo of the night before. Now you have to understand, John is a man who can fly in to an accent at a second’s notice–he has Vinnie the guy from New Jersey, a british snob named Reginald Pate I think who speaks of Gentlemen and Knaves and a new addition Jethro. He went in to Reginald mode while remarking on my snack plate but ended up tripping over his own faux british tongue and it came out first “nack padladder” and then “snack pattern”. Preceeded by the words “your volumptuous”, in British of course.
my volumptuous nack padladder
He never fully quite stuck the landing on “snack platter” and I’m sitting here now all by myself typing this, again with a wheezy laugh hissing out of my lungs. It was one of those kinds of hysteria that I couldn’t even think about it without gasping again. Then I went back to listen again to start it all up. I was leaving inaudible messages on his voice notes wheezing and spurting about his “nack padladder”. Guess you had to be there and I for one am glad I was/am. John is one of the most naturally funny people I’ve ever met, at least to me. We spend loads of time laughing.
Maybe I needed that hysteria to prepare me for what I was about to face this morning. That kind of crazy laughter hit me hard in an MFR Seminar way back when…I mean for days it wouldn’t leave me. I was literally in the middle of our trials when that happened. Someone pointed out to me that the word “hysteria” is also associated with fear. Interesting.
I had prepared myself last night, that today was the day to really dive in to this box of papers. I got up in the dark once I could breathe again, made myself some apple cider vinegar water and green tea then sat in my designated corner chair to read.
I ran across lots of things from interviews with the two women who’d been involved with these killers to a trip our prosecutor made to Germany to interview their families etc. Rudi, the older brother, was married at the time he murdered Cindy, to a prostitute named Suzanne. Imagine that hooker was the one of the four with the highest values and the least evil. Yet she was still incredulous that her husband could do such a thing and refusing to believe it.
I ran in to transcripts from my answering machine and Cindy’s from the time she went missing. Seeing my message to her in black and white from 12:30am the night we filed the missing person’s report, well, it was just rough.
By far though the very worst, the thing I’d been dreading for all these years but the thing I faced this morning was the folder containing the autopsy report and testimony by the Medical Examiner. I won’t go in to it much here now but I will say I did it. I read it all the way through. And I survived.
They inflicted 54 wounds to her body including a stab wound so severe it severed two of her ribs on the way to her heart. He broke the handle of the knife with that force and a piece of it was found next to her body. Likely two knives were involved (both men stabbing together) and she was nearly decapitated. As a nurse I can visualize all of it. And that’s really all I can say about it anymore. I read it and I survived.
My throat got tighter and tighter and as my dear fiance was messaging me throughout the morning he reminded me to ‘touch The Precious” (which is what we’ve nicknamed my engagement ring around my neck–his father’s wedding band–which is how he proposed in the most amazing perfect way to me-read about it here). I literally moved it up to my throat and felt it start to soften. I took a photo to show him and saw that my throat had literally become red through the reading of all that trauma. In my line of work we call that a “vasomotor response” (a response to stress).
My beloved precious man just kept sending me messages saying “I love you Kathy” literally over a dozen times over and over peppered with “I’m with you Kathy”. I’m so fortunate to have met this man in this timing. I’ve never felt so supported by a man in my life EVER.
I got up and took a long hot shower and remembered the coconut layer cake slice I bought myself last night but forgot to eat. I thought “I’ll just have that for breakfast” with my strong delicious french press coffee.
Yet when I went to the kitchen, the words “Be smart Kathy” literally , audibly fell out of my mouth. Instead of the cake, I made a smoothie of strawberries, ginger, a banana, flax seeds and some green powder. I left out the greens though as it just isn’t a time for anything bitter. I came here promising myself “extreme self care” as I write this and I’m glad I’m being smart. I’m saving the cake for later but for now, it’s nutrition. “Be smart Kathy”.
I also decided today is a day for softness so busted out the fuzzy socks my friend Mya gave me for my birthday. I feel so loved and nurtured.
And protected. And not alone.
I may be by myself but I feel all of you here with me so I don’t feel alone.
I thank you (and friends beyond) for that more than you know.