No, not really.
Unfortunately, the beat of Injustice in North Carolina goes on and on. It's almost background noise in our lives now. We wonder, "Will it ever end?"
But, in my world, far from Duke and Durham, I have heard comments like this often lately. "I thought that was over?" or "What ever happened to those kids?" or "Didn't that end months ago?"
How easily we all forget and lose interest.
The media understands this. Natalie Holloway's Mom has finally been abandoned in Birmingham, every bit of interest sucked out of her terrible saga. Chandra Levy just no longer sells, and the Jon Benet debacle wrapped up with a whopper of an "arrest" that flopped on all accounts. Night after night, we saw their faces and heard their names. We met the families. We ate popcorn in the presence of their anguish, and folded laundry as they fell apart. Then exploitation eventually begat exhaustion, and the media and our interest moved on. Now we are in the throes of the Anna Nicole morality play. Will the real Daddy please step forward! Was Danny murdered? Is Howard the "heavy"? No need to stay tuned ... it's on every channel and has it all - sex, drugs, a tropical locale, and an opportunistic judge "shopping" a show of his own! Ratings are soaring!
That's the new American dream - True Crime as Carnival Show. Someone's tragic loss is another's lauchpad to stardom.
But, I think of the emotional flotsam and jetsam of these spectacles: the Moms who finally went home without their daughters or sons. The ones whose lives were never the same. The families left with just old family photos and dance-school ribbons and memories of their lost child. When the media tires of them, these no longer entertaining tragic figures are turned away. Their living WITHOUT begins. But for us, we're ready for the next chapter.
"I'm tired of this same tragedy night after night!" we say."Get them off the stage! Bring us some fresh meat!"So, away from Duke and Durham, many think the Duke Frame is over. They believe that the families have returned to the comfort of life without crisis, of simple days again, secure without threat or pain or paralyzing fear. But the families know better. Reade and Collin and Dave know better. Sadly, we do too.
It's Easter again, but the boys and their families have not yet escaped from the agony that a woman's fantastic lies and a D.A.'s corruption have caused. It's Easter again, but the state of North Carolina has not yet risen to the task of resolving this infamy. We are asked to be patient ... to understand the political ramifications for those in power who must remedy this mess. We are asked to understand the subtleties of appearances, and protocols, and election blocs, and strategies, and special interest groups, and the high and holy principle of "political correctness." We are told to be patient and understand it all takes time.
It's April 4, 2007.
This Frame began on March 13, 2006.
The Special Prosecutors took it on January 13, 2007, after Nifong was safely and privately sworn in.
The mathematicians out there can figure out the days, the hours, the minutes, but the stress and the grief are incalculable.
My thoughts are elsewhere. I'm thinking about the families,the boys, the Moms.
How does one keep dealing with this? How do you cope with something so terribly unfair? An accusation without evidence. Indictments without investigation. Easter again with no relief. I'm just about breathless with indignation myself! Is this all a political show to placate the "Something Happened" crowd? Is it a face-saving strategy for folks who were suckered by Nifong? Is there a justifiable purpose here or just flat out posturing? Is this long wait just politics in North Carolina?
I think of a year's worth of days in the individual lifetimes of these families. Days that can never be returned to them. Days made unnatural by anxiety and dread. Is there a real reason to keep adding to the toll of precious days? How many days will Crystal be allowed to take from them, will the State be allowed to confiscate and fill with fear?
So how do you cope?
Well, I received one answer this week. One that again impressed me with the strength, dignity, and emotional resourcefulness of these Lacrosse families.
I received a short note from the Mom of one of the unindicted players. She shared no specifics about the case; she only expressed gratitude to all the strangers, now friends, who have tried to help.
"You give us all hope. We are amazed how many took up the fight for no other reason than they are just good and decent people."She went on to explain how she is trying to cope...unbelievably, now one full year later ... with the emotional burdens of the Fantastic Lies.
"I am trying to get past the negative. When my sons were younger, we always ate dinner together. My husband would always ask the boys to tell him one negative thing about the day and two positives. It was important that the positives outweigh the negatives of everyone's day. I have tried to go back over the last year and think of two positives that came out of one negative from the darkest days of last year. I call this "two for one."Yes, Mary Ellen and Kathy and Rae need peace in their lives, and so do Collin. Reade and Dave ... and all the team families. The Hoax needs to end. The Frame needs to die. They need their days returned to them. So as we face this annual season of renewal and reflection, please pray that the politicians will be moved to do what is right and make it ALL end soon.
"Over the past few days I have started to jot down "two for ones." This helps me get over the anger and bitterness. Hopefully, there will be few negative days left and only positives. Mary Ellen, Kathy and Rae need peace in their lives."