Although sentencing is over, I have felt such a real void these past few weeks. I had spent the last year and a half preparing myself for justice, waiting for an arrest, waiting for a trial, waiting for sentencing, debunking rumors and speaking the truth, and now it is all over (at least in the legal sense) and I feel so…empty. I guess because everything I had been fighting for was now, for the time, over. I know an appeal is in the works, but that is a long way off and I am not yet even ready to "go there". Yes it is a weight off my shoulders but I am almost lost, like "what do I do now". I am left feeling empty and sad. I am still left with an empty nursery and a million questions.
I cry myself to sleep every night. I cry for Trevor and the malice and cruelty that he had to endure. I cry for me no longer being able to hold my son and tell him how much I love him. I cry for Dominic and what he has lost, and how he keeps his emotions inside, afraid he will burden or upset others. I cry for our families, our parents not only suffered the loss of Trevor but they also have to bear witness to the suffering of their own child grieving.
Everyday I get these why me, why us, why Trevor, moments. Moments when I almost have to remind myself to breathe. When I am teaching and the fire whistle in town goes off, I am reminded of that horrible day. I have to take deep breaths and get through until the sound is over. I have moments where I remember Trevor lying in that hospital bed hooked up to the many wires and tubes - I am also taken back to the last moment Trevor "looked at me" and I mean really looked at me. He was in "her" lap...crying...an image that haunts me to this day. Many of you who knew Trevor knew how easy going he was, never fussy.
My job was to raise and protect my son, and in a sense, I failed. It has taken many therapy sessions to understand and accept that this was not “my fault”. I did everything “right” - I had known Ms. Dobson for years, she came highly recommended, I called throughout the day to check on him. I took him to the ER on Monday when he was vomiting. I did everything right, and in the end there was nothing I could have done to save him. I would have laid down my own life for him.
I am very thankful the trial, the verdict and the sentencing is over. I am glad Ms. Dobson is behind bars, not in county jail, but in a state prison. The day of sentencing was so hard for Dominic and me. I read the words to the judge and courtroom full of people. Words I had written and prepared months ago, words that came from every ounce of my heart and soul. Words that brought tears to almost every one's eyes (except Ms. Dobson's).
We then had to sit and listen as other people spoke up for Ms. Dobson. All were friends of hers or former daycare parents she had. They spoke about how wonderful she was and how she would have never done this. One even tried to compare the loss of her adult son to our loss, she stated that she knew "exactly what we were going through". Those words sent fire through my spine and it took every ounce of me to stay quiet. I wanted to ask her if her son was murdered, I wanted to ask if people had blamed her for her son's death or judged her every move like they had done to us. When the other parents were going on and on, I wanted to stand up and say, I THOUGHT she was all of those things too, but medical evidence doesn't lie. I wanted to scream, "were you there that day"? But I didn't, I looked down at the ground as Dominic put is arm around me, we held on to each other, just as we have been doing since September of 2009.
So where do we go from here? What's next? The answers I do not know. What I do know is I have my husband by my side and the best family and friends behind me to help me get through everyday. I also know that Trevor's killer is behind bars, and although she still lies and denies her part in all of this, she is where she belongs - no longer able to hurt another child. That is justice - justice for Trevor.