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    Posted February 2, 2014 by
    Atlanta, Georgia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    First Person: Your essays

    My husband murdered my 2 children, himself and then almost killed me from the grave


    What do you do when you go from something to nothing at all? 9:00 am on August 20, 2007, I was a working middle class mother of 2 and a devoted wife. 9:00 pm on that same day.. I was absolutely nothing. Every title that previously defined me had been taken. My 2 new titles were Widow and Mother of the deceased. My husband shot and killed my 2 year old daughter, my 7 year old son and then he shot and killed himself.
    What do you do when the man that once protected and took care of you was now the same man that stripped away everything that you once valued in life? What do you do when the man that you prayed to God for now fits the description of the same man that you pray at night that God protects you from? I can tell you what I did... I lost my mind.
    There I was in a 5 bedroom house that was once filled with chaos, children, clutter and noise but it was now filled with photos, memories and silence. In one day my entire life turned upside down. The things I had once complained about were now the same things that I wish I could have just one more time. Who should have to pick out 3 caskets, 3 outfits, 3 plots... 3 headstones? Mentally, I could not get it together.
    The following morning I got up and prepared to take my kids to school and head to work because I knew that I had to have been dreaming... Because I knew that my God in Heaven would not allow this to happen to me. There was No way. The doctors gave me pills so that I could sleep, pills so that I could wake up, pills so that I wouldn't cry... Pills that made me not be able to function. But nothing, not a pill or a person could help me escape my biggest problem.. Which was the silence. And the silence was so loud. I could be in a room full of people and as there mouths moved, there was silence.
    I began to go party, hang with people that weren't exactly my friends and I drank excessively. I would do almost anything possible not to be alone with my thoughts and my reality. My reality was that my children... Gone. My husband... Gone. And I was left with so much debt that I was basically broke. My next thought was how can God, who I had prayed to all my life allow this to happen to me. I lost my faith, my trust in God and every belief that I had learned in church. I was now a functioning Zombie. Without consciously realizing it every holiday, birthday or special occasion I would get tattoos and piercings. I engaged in unhealthy relationships because in my mind... A warm body next to me was still better than a very cold left side of the bed. This went on for about 4 years.
    I couldn't keep a job, I shut my family out of my life and I secluded myself inside of my house. Mentally I was in shambles, physically I was ran down and emotionally I was a wreck. I would look in the mirror and I wouldn't recognize me. One morning I went to my mothers house to have a talk with her. I walked in and said "Ma, do you need something from the kitchen?". No answer. Again I yelled "Ma, do you want me to bring you something?". No answer. I walked in her room and in her bed she had my daughters Dora doll and my sons Spider man and when I touched her, she was ice cold. My mama was dead. She grieved to death. She mourned over the death of my children so much that it consumed her and she stopped living. So here I am again... Another casket, another outfit, another plot another funeral. But, ironically her death took a different toll on me... I decided to live. Because I knew that if I did not start enjoying my life again, my brothers & sister would soon be burying me. I was not going to allow my husband to kill me from the grave. I didn't need pills, I didn't need alcohol, I didn't need people all I needed was to change my mindset.
    I remember looking in the refrigerator and staring at the food and saying... That is not the food that I really liked, my children liked this food. I bought it out of habit. I turned on the television and noticed that I really didn't enjoy the shows that I normally looked at... My husband did. I watched them because they were familiar. I examined the relationship that I was in, I wasn't happy. I was settling. That was the day that started to venture out into the world. I began to go out and try different restaurants and try different foods. I watched about 100 tv shows to discover what I liked. I began to "date" myself. I treated myself to the movies & dinner so that I would know how I should be treated and respected. Nikki had to fall in love with Nikki. I slowly started getting my faith back.. I started watching church online, then on tv until I finally walked back inside a church. And you know what I discovered??? I discovered that I was blaming God for what the devil did. I also discovered that silence is a source of great strength because it was in those silent times that I heard the most. It was in those silent moments that I found my purpose in life. My purpose is to honor the lives of my children and my mother by giving my testimony.
    I hope that my story has in some way touched you and has inspired you to appreciate what you have in life because there are people who are praying for your complaints. I hope that I have inspired you to realize that the most valuable possessions in this world are the things that money can not buy. I hope that you have been inspired to live. Not only live but live life on purpose. Embrace it. And most importantly, if you ever lose someone or are faced with a tragedy... A greater tragedy would be to lose yourself.

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