At 10:29 pm EDT tonight the Earth will have equal amounts of light and darkness – day and night are balanced to nearly 12 hours each all over the world, tonight is called the beginning of Fall and the Autumn Equinox. Meteorologically speaking, Autumn began on Sept. 1st, but the Autumnal Equinox marks the astronomical start to the Fall season.
In some places like Colorado the leaves are starting to change, there is a briskness in the air, and I must admit this always was my favorite time of the year, and I know Morgan loved it as well. Now nightfall will come sooner – in 2011 that was not a good thing for us.
Today is a day of reflection for me. I have been thinking back to the Fall of 2011 when Morgan’s stalking had been ongoing since August 2nd, but that Fall we had no idea that her stalking would end her life in just a few short months. I remember at that time Morgan was determined not to let the actions of her stalker keep her from the things she loved. She was frightened, and cautious, but determined not to allow anyone to take her love of life away. She was enjoying school, ballet, photography and being with her friends. At that time her stalking terror was confined to our house – she felt much safer away from home. With nightfall coming earlier her bright days of feeling safe were now being cut shorter with the Fall Equinox.
My days of beating myself up for not being able to protect my daughter are over. They were very painful days, but I now realize that it was something that I needed to go through in order to finally come to the realization that it wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t her father’s fault, or her siblings fault, or her friends fault that we couldn’t protect her – it was the fault of the person that took her life. We all wanted to protect her – we all loved Morgan so much.
I now realize that we all make choices in our lives, and when someone chooses to do evil things to another, that is their choice and they are the ones, the only ones, that should carry that burden. The night Morgan was murdered it was the perfect storm…everything went wrong for Morgan. She didn’t want to sleep at home, she was scared. She tried to sleep at a friends house, and when that didn’t work she tried to have another friend sleep over, and when that didn’t work she came home alone.
Steve and I were so exhausted we both made huge mistakes. Earlier in the evening we were all gone out of the house between 6:00 – 8:00 pm. I shut the dogs up in the laundry room, so it was possible that a person could have come into our home while we were away, and hid out until all were asleep (we didn’t leave the dogs loose like we usually did, because Morgan’s puppy had just ripped up a stuffed animal), and when we returned home Steve turned off the driveway motion alarm, because every time the sheriff’s cruisers drove by it would go off and scare everyone awake in the middle of the night.
After Morgan went to sleep that night we closed the door to our room instead of leaving it open – we always left it open so our dog could guard the whole house (even though she wasn’t much of a guard dog, at least we hoped she could alert us if anything happened.) Steve and I both took sleeping pills to insure a good nights sleep – normally we took turns, so one of us could be on alert. Steve was always moving around the location of various motion detectors, and that day he had taken the detector from the back patio to the garage in order to paint it, so it would be more concealed…unfortunately this left the back of our house more accessible that night. And that night Morgan hadn’t managed to get a friend to sleep over, so she was now sleeping in her room alone, on the the other end of our house, approximately 55 feet away from us…much too far away, with both doors closed we couldn’t hear anything. We thought because she had a panic/alarm button on her nightstand, as well as her cell phone in bed with her, that she could alert us if anything was wrong – she had used both many times. This was not a good plan because obviously if she were asleep and someone came in her room they could have easily overpowered her in her before she could send a text from her phone of push her panic button…and that night someone tore her panic button off it’s mount and tossed it on the floor away from her bed, and as for her cell phone it was found the next morning under her bathroom door…I now wish we had had cameras inside our home, along with motion alarms inside our home, among so many other regrets. I just really want others to know what went wrong for us – it may help them somewhere down the line to be more aware than we were of what could possibly happen. A stalker is always watching – that’s what they do, and they can always wait for that one perfect moment to strike, while you on the other hand have to be hyper-vigilent 24/7.
So again I will repeat that Fall is a beautiful time of the year, and nature has absolutely nothing to do with Morgan’s murder – only the person that made the choice to kill her, and steal her from this world. I believe someday there will be justice for Morgan, and her murderer will receive his punishment, along with anyone who assisted or covered for him…just like Morgan’s murderer made a choice, anyone that knows what he did, and doesn’t come forward is just as responsible, and that is a choice that they are making. It’s not too late for people that have information to come forward…it’s just too late for the one responsible for taking Morgan’s life.
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it
Martin Luther King, Jr.