Half a year, six months, 182 days…

It has been six months since we got that knock on the door telling us the unbelievable news that we would never see Teagan again.  She is gone.  It has been 182 days since we read the media reports that our bright, beautiful, full-of-life, 8-year-old Teagan’s lifeless body was found in the trunk of a car.

How do you process that?  I still don’t know the answer.  I think it’s fair to say none of us know how to process this.  Our hearts and minds are simply not capable of understanding some things.

It has been half a year since we went into shock and were swirled into a disorienting mess of talking to police investigators, grief councillors, and funeral directors.  Time had no meaning in the days and weeks following December 10, 2014.  In some ways, it still doesn’t.

We talk about striving towards our “new normal”.  That is really our only goal for our family.  We have to because our boys need that, we need that, and Teagan would want that.  Within this journey, we have started Teagan’s Voice.  We have shared our stories, we have opened up our family photo albums, and we have even shared the attacks we have endured.  This has not been easy, at times it has not been comfortable.  But, we have decided to do this because we know there are so many other kids just like Teagan who desperately need a voice.  Teagan needed a voice. 

We want everyone to know Teagan and to fully understand what the world has lost.  We want everyone to understand how this happened.  We want everyone to think differently about taking action in another child’s life when they have that gut feeling that something isn’t right, that the child might be in danger or maybe they are being abused or are in an unhealthy environment.  We want a child’s right to a safe home to be a priority for our lawmakers, our courts, our child protection organizations, and our citizens.  That really doesn’t seem like a lot to ask.

I’m not going to pretend that this is easy, that taking this action during a period of complicated and overwhelming grief is something that comes naturally.  It doesn’t and frankly, it’s not always pretty.   But, we do it because we know that it is the right thing to do.  We do it because we know that we have mobilized a community of people who can and will make important changes to protect children.  We are doing this because our family needs to do something bigger in Teagan’s name to ensure her legacy is so much more than being the 8 year old who was murdered by the woman people call her mother.  We want Teagan to be able to help other kids.  That would make her so very proud.

This has been a difficult six months, which goes without saying.  I’m not sure that the next six months will be any easier, nor am I sure about the six months after that.  But, we have a community that supports us and a community that supports the mission of Teagan’s Voice.  We are very grateful for this support, we are humbled by it, and we are motivated to keep going even through the difficult days and weeks we have had and inevitably will have as we continue to move forward. 

Thank you for learning about our daughter, our family, and our struggle.  Thank you for taking an interest.  Thank you for taking action.  Thank you for donating, for volunteering, for planning and hosting events in Teagan’s name.  Thank you for caring about protecting children.  Thank you.