Today is February 15, 2013 – This has been another of those weeks of heavy recollection for me. Looking back has brought me to so many places, and I now feel strong enough to try to share some of them with you.
A year ago today I didn’t really even know what had happened to Morgan. She had been stalked, and terrorized, had her privacy invaded, and violated in every way imaginable – and then – she had died, a perfectly healthy 20 year old woman, The daughter that Steve and I had nurtured through everything her life had thrown into her path, was no longer free to walk the earth.
A doctor I never met had decreed it was natural causes – from a disease she never had, and with a medication she did not take filling her body, but in his opinion a dose that was insignificant. It was a detached from the world kind of feeling I had, as my life is dependent on a very reality based existence, and this was not acceptable on any level.
Still a year ago, in a few weeks, I would meet with a doctor of Morgan’s. The woman who had helped Morgan put her life back together many years ago, a time when, “long term exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide,” were just words that most people were not aware of, and Carbon Monoxide detectors were something you could buy at a few stores, but were largely unknown and required by no one.
Today they are a requirement for every new construction in our state, every new home comes with many detectors, the dangers are now known. Criminal charges have been filed against contractors who were accused of cutting corners, and building inspectors who stood accused of failing to catch the code violations right here in Aspen, all for a family on vacation that had died of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
Morgan was fortunate on that front, she was not killed by carbon monoxide, but she was severely harmed none-the-less. And alas, back then, in her wonderful Morgie way, she quietly went about rebuilding her life with the help of this fabulous doctor who gave her all to all her patients.
Steve will always remember that day, way back when he brought Morgan on a trip to a store to purchase Carbon Monoxide detectors. And how his young daughter had stood in the aisle as he pulled two from the shelf, and she read aloud the label in complete surprise. “Carbon Monoxide, the silent killer!!!”, “Oh daddy, is that what I have?” He assured her that it was all gone now (the Carbon Monoxide), now that we had moved out of that townhouse, and this was just to be sure she was never exposed to it again where we now lived, but he will never forget just how shaken she was, and how thankful he was that we had caught it in time. If only we could have done the same with her stalker!
But as we met with her doctor again, for a completely different reason that afternoon, months after Morgan had died, we had no idea what to expect. If this mystery, which had killed Morgan were something that could now be lurking in our precious grandchildren we had to know. Only that was not to be the case at all. Morgan’s death was not from natural causes she told us, it was, without a doubt, homicide. And we believed her without doubt ourselves back then, she had an unbreakable history with us all, with me, with Steve, and with Morgan. And time has proven her to be oh so right again. We have not found a single doctor since then who does not agree 100%.
Except for the original pathologist of course, the sub contractor for Garfield County, the same pathologist who claims to know what the woman’s intentions were in the very recent, and equally tragic Jensen boy’s death in Mesa County. The same pathologist who, 9 months after Morgan’s death, decided he better retest some of her stuff and then claim to know pills she took every day, how many pills she took on the night she died, and why she took them. All completely dispelled once again by every other doctor. Just a moment for him to jot down an egregious error, ignore all facts presented before him, and then years of heart wrenching despair for us to correct. It will never make sense, or seem remotely fair to me.
But that little rant pales in comparison to the sacrifice Morgan was forced to make. Let it not be in vain, Steve and I always remind ourselves. And do it with love we are always reminded by those tirelessly helping us to stay strong.
Losing a child sets an arduous course. You must rise above your grief to do that which must be done to have a chance of maintaining their honor. You must find a way to carry on with all your responsibilities as if life had never hurled this unfathomable horror right into your heart. And you must find time for a life, all at the same time…it is not easy to do to say the least.
Knowing she was killed lead us right to the next hurdle. Someone was in her room that night. It could not happen any other way. And while that sounds harsh enough on its own, to believe and accept it is quite another thing. It was a long time before Steve and I fully accepted it. That the truth being clung to across the thick blue line that exists, instead of protecting the people of GarCo so far only separates them from the citizens of this County, a complete impossibility has not made it any easier, but we are learning to live with that. It is without a doubt a big reason we have found it so important to line up more, and more experts to tell us what the facts tell them – in capitol letters.
Our daughter Morgan was killed, and someone was in her room that night, perhaps that is as much as I personally can stand to let out for one day. So allow me to close unexpectedly, without telling all I had wished to, but with this one thought that helped me make it through the last year:
Beyond a reasonable doubt, is a high hurdle to attain from the point
which we have been forced to start – however; the statue of limitations to file
on a charge of murder – forever – is a long, long time. Where those two theories of law
shall meet is all that remains to been seen.