On August 20, 2010 I posted this on facebook . I decided that the people in my sphere of influence will know me a little better through this note and maybe it will bring healing to someone, which is always my goal. I really hold my heart on sleeve here. It makes me vulnerable and I don’t care anymore.
I am going to the park tonight about the same time it all happened, like I do every year.
I am writing a letter to them and sending my love for them and humanity out to the universe tonight when I place a candle on the little brass plaque in their honor.
I want my grandchild to come with me. But I don’t want her to see me cry like this. There is the deepest shade of blue in this cry and no one that loves me should ever hear me cry this way. I don’t think I am ready to share these tears with my loved ones, ever.
My letter I left on the plaque that commemorates their deaths:
“Today is the 30th anniversary of my friends murders and my being shot by a racist serial killer. My friends always walk with me this day in August. I miss them. They were so young (19 & 20) when they were killed for being black. By the grace of the Goddess I am alive and they are not. I survived and lived to experience a full life with my two beautiful daughters and granddaughter. Ted and Dave didn’t. Their parents and loved ones miss them every single day and especially today.
The man that killed them used the n word with the same inflection in his voice that “Dr Laura” used when she addressed a caller who was hurt by insensitive people who used that word around her. She was black and her husband white. It has really struck a nerve with me…
So I send this message out to the vast space of the internet from Martin Luther King to offset the residual energy of racism left here from that horrible reflection of “Dr. Laura’s” ignorant, veiled, racist mentality.
“Let us all hope the dark clouds racial prejudice will soon pass away & the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities. In some not to distant tomorrow, the radiant stars of love & brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”
Rest in peace Ted & Dave. You are missed dearly. Never forgotten.
“The Safest Place” a song by Sade
(See the video and hear this amazing song at the bottom of this page)
“In my heart
Your love has found
The safest hiding place
Inside is a field
And trees and a lake
Around is a wall
No-one from Hell could break
In there you shine
In there you cry
My heart has been a lonely warrior
Who’s been to war
So you can be sure
In my heart your love has found
The safest hiding place
Inside is a stream
Around is a wall
No one from hell could break
In there will shine, the light of Heaven’s eye
And there you will cry,
“My heart’s been a lonely warrior
Who’s been to war”
So you can be sure
Your love’s in a sacred place
The safest hiding place”
There are some things in my life that are surfacing I think I should write about tonight. Praying is helping me clear away the clutter of my triggers, my core issues.
Tonight I realized how trauma has created a survivors guilt that has sunk it’s razor sharp teeth into me. It cuts past the bone to my soul. I started praying that I could find and repair the origin of feeling like I have to fight for my survival, my feelings of being forgotten and unprotected, trapped and fearful.
I prayed so deeply that at one point in the prayer I was weeping with a deep reverence for the gift of absolution and forgiveness revealed to me. I just had to sit and cry quietly and softly with the knowing that the terror and trauma involved was being cleansed and made into a lesson for me. This gift revealed was not the story of the murders. But forgiveness of all involved in that event.
While processing this, I realized that with years of self help books and counseling, I forgave the serial killer and the people who blamed me….but I never forgave me for accepting the blame and silencing the suffering in my heart. I didn’t realize I needed to forgive me, the 15 year old girl of my past.
When I said the prayer for my survivors guilt to be released and resolved, I held that 15 year old in my heart while I said another prayer to let her know that I forgave her and asked for her forgiveness of me for ignoring her, too.
I unlocked the door to the prison where her little spirit lived.
The murders of Ted and Dave was a responsibility to heavy for her tiny shoulders to bear. This was not her responsibility. But she assumed it.
For over 30 years I have tried to forget that night. Every time I drive by the park where they were murdered, I get a pit in my stomach as I drive over the crosswalk where they died and I was shot.
I felt helpless that night. But I am not helpless. I can’t make the world safe and whole. I can try my best but I don’t rule the world. I can’t take painful lessons for others so that they won’t have to experience life and it’s consequences. I wished I could. But I accept this truth for my healing.
Which leads me to the end. In the end, I took 15 year old Terry with me to play in the sun and hike with me in the mountains, today. She is just a young girl. I want her next to me always. I choose to cherish and protect her spirit. I choose Heaven. She is in Heaven with me, now.
Thank you Spirit. Thank you God from whom all blessings flow.
So I sent the writer a copy of the letter I left at the plaque.
The night I left the letter was so challenging. NO ONE was there. NO ONE left anything for them in remembrance of their brief lives and tragic deaths for the first time EVER.
I arrived at the same time the event happened that night. A flood of memories came over me, scenes of a nightmare. So vivid. So real. I could hear their voices and remember the conversations we had throughout the night until we came to the crosswalk where they were murdered. I could see the brilliant red blood against the black pavement and white painted lines. I can remember their last words they spoke before they left this place. I saw everything unfold in front of me. My past and my present. I stayed for a while and cried as quiet as I could.
Only one of the two trees that were planted, one on each side of the plaque, was still there. The other was removed last year, it was sick and died. I hope to get the parks department to plant another, even if I have to donate it and plant it myself.
I called her after my counseling session. We met within an hour and discussed everything regarding the letter and the story of Ted and Dave and where I am in terms of the post traumatic stress disorder. I felt good about the hour and a half interview. I asked her not to use any name but Terry in her article.
Why am I so scared?
I talked to my counselor about everything. We went deep into so many core issues I felt like I was renewed with strength in knowing my truth and my willingness to speak it. I know I shocked him with my growth and he mentioned how far I have come in the last 3 sessions. I gave him thanks and said that he was the one that I had to thank for that growth. He said, “Well I will take 5% of the credit and I think you earned 95% of the rest”. I agreed and smiled.
My heart dwells here….in Heaven…..
The truths that speak to your heart and makes you pay attention to the Light…..
where I was pastor and shared condolences with me. We talked a while, hugged,
and she and her friend cried. That’s the last time I ever saw her. Initially she
and her friend were a little reluctant to come see me because so many people
tried to make them feel guilty and wanted to put some of the blame on them. I
had to sit down and straighten out some of my own family members for trying to
persecute those two girls. They were Ted’s and David’s friends who were just
jogging in the park that evening. Terry is a marvelous person and I will always
love and appreciate her for all she did during the trial. Ted and David were
blessed to have her for a friend. Thank you so much for your interest and the
article you published. I also left a message on your voice mail. Hope to hear
from you soon.
But then…..I spoke to Ted’s father.Words fail me now. Until now, we have never spoken to each other.
He was so wonderful. So kind, forgiving and gracious. He is a pastor and he is a grandfather of 16 biological grandchildren. I didn’t know it but Ted had sisters. It was such a beautiful conversation.
Tears overflowed. Pure joy. He said he wanted to meet me and that we would be lifelong friends. He said that he was scheduled for 2 speaking engagements but canceled them as soon as he heard about the march today. He will speak with me at the march. Several of his family members from several states will be joining us!
My father came to the event. He was accompanied by three men from the motorcycle club to watch over me.
No matter what happens I know that this is a miracle in the making. I am not alone and I am so completely humbled and grateful.
I feel Heaven all around me.
I just talked to Ted’s father. He is flying in to speak at the march in the park tomorrow. I am also going to be speaking at the event.
Our conversation was so absolutely beautiful. I feel like someone just removed the biggest piece of broken glass from my heart and filled the void with Golden Light.
For those of you who can attend I hope you will be there. For those of you who can’t you will be missed.
MY SPEECH IN THE PARK
Thank you so much for coming to support the celebration of the 47th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther Kings I have a dream speech.
Until recently August has been a challenging month for me. My friends always walk with me in August. I miss them. They were so young (18 & 20) when they were killed for being black. By Divine Grace, I am alive and they are not. At the age of 15 I survived. I lived to experience a full life with my husband, two beautiful daughters & granddaughter. Ted and Dave didn’t. Their parents and loved ones miss them every single day and especially today.
August 20th was the 30th anniversary of their tragic murders and me being shot by a racist serial killer. At that corner, in the middle of the street, their blood was shed and they went to the Light. I stayed here, reluctantly.
I come here every year on the anniversary. This year I left a note, a candle and a crystal on the plaque. I arrived at the same time the event happened that night. A flood of memories came over me, scenes of a nightmare. So vivid. So real. I could hear their voices and remember the conversations we had throughout the evening until we came to the crosswalk where they were murdered. I could see their brilliant red blood against the black pavement and white painted lines. I can remember their laughter, their voices, their last words they spoke before they left this plain. I saw everything unfold in front of me. My past and my present.
I stayed for awhile and remembered the scenes of that night and the devastation it left in its wake. Racism is real to me. It is tangible to me.
The man that murdered Ted and Dave used the n word with the same inflection in his tone of voice that “Dr Laura” used when she addressed a caller who was hurt by insensitive people who used that word around her. The caller was black and her husband white. Dr Laura told the caller to “not be so sensitive.” and “If you’re that sensitive maybe you shouldn’t have married outside of your race.” That comment really struck a nerve with me… Will we ever just be one race…The human race. Don’t we all have red blood? When its donated and accepted there is no race attached to the type of blood it is…. We all bleed the same color.
I saw an interview with Dr Laura talking about taking back her rights to free speech. Sara Palin stands with her on this issue. The n word is okay to use in Sara’s house but not the r word. We all know that words are powerful. They can leave you feeling like you are on top of the world or on the brink of killing something. We know this.
Clearly though, with the infamous Dr Laura n word incident we know we have a long way to go. I don’t know about you, but I had to force myself to listen to her disgraceful behavior and advice to one of her fans.
Why are we tolerating hate speech? Why do our political leaders shy away from creating protection for those who are effected by hate related crimes and affronts? We are at a point in time where we must rationally acknowledge and discuss the history and effects of racism and other hate related energies and crimes, on our economy, community, humanity, the sacredness of life and spirit.
In many civilized countries it is against the law to be racist. It is a crime. It is a crime that America is not one of those civilized nations. Someday I hope that the United States of America will stand with the HUMAN RACE and protect us all.
Today we celebrate a speech that is a part of our nations history. A speech that brought about civil rights in our country. It stirs you to a place of understanding the far reaching effects of racism. Even though it was written in 1963 many of the truths Dr King spoke of are still true today.
Some people say that now that we have a black president that racism is gone. Like a magic wand waived over us all and it disappeared. Wouldn’t that be nice? But racism is like cancer. If you don’t address it immediately it will grow until it kills. We are in need of rational dialogue to kill it once and for all. We have to talk about it.
My children know some of my pain over this event in my life. Of course sometimes as a mother, my pain is their pain, unfortunately. But when I look at them I see them as Life’s perfect union of all that is good in humanity. Our family is like many in our country. We are fortunate to have the rich colorful hues of strong black, Mexican, Indian and white ancestors that created the ties of who we are physically, emotionally and spiritually. We come from a long line of open minded love. By life experience alone I know that love is not the color of skin, it’s the color of water.
For me, these are the timeless truths that speak to my heart and make me pay attention to the Light, that brought us here and will escort us on the way home.
I think Dr King said it best in 1963-
“Let us all hope the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away & the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities. In some not to distant tomorrow, the radiant stars of love & brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”
Rest in peace Dr King, Ted Fields & Dave Martin. You are missed dearly. We have never and will never forget you.
Day After the Speech
Later when I went home I looked on the internet and found that my whole name was printed on the stories on the internet and on the news. They cut out my speech and just said that my speech said I miss them on the news. That’s it. UGH!!!!! 😦
I came home exhausted from the march and my speech.
My head was throbbing with fearful thoughts about my info (possibly my kids info) being in cyber space. I tossed and turned, sudden fever and fatigue was sucking the life force out of me. I kept going over the night in my head. Something wasn’t right.
I just want to rest right now. So I will rest and pray and choose Heaven.
It was so great to see you. I’m so happy to have you as a friend. I got back home about 7:15 tonight (Sunday).Will call you in a few days.
T. (Ted’s father)
My whole extended family is thrilled and excited to meet you.
My father asked me to pass along his info.
He’s old school, no computer, no emailI hope you let me know if you are ever in town. I would love to see you.
It blows my mind how many people die violently at the hands of someone not dealing with their post traumatic stress disorder. That’s what caused JPF to became insane enough to kill your wonderful brother.
I don’t know what it is, but I believe, right now God is asking us all to pay attention. I think I am supposed to make some people pay attention to these issues. They are all appendages of the same core issue, ignorance.
Well ignorance is curable. All we have to do is educate.
Anyway, I hope I get to meet you someday in person. Your family is beautiful. I loved looking at your old family photos and seeing Ted. Do you have more pictures of him?
Yes it was awesome. I never dreamed it could be like this. I went to visit his grave before I came home. I said a prayer for you also. I pray that you will have a healing from all that you have been through. One thing I have learned is that it is never too late for closure and healing. I am so glad to have met you, sorry you have suffered so much. I believe our meeting will continue to help all of us to heal. (from Ted’s beautiful mother)
My speech was posted on the Salt Lake Tribune Website!
Thank you so much Terry. When you spoke, it was with such passion, sincerity,and feeling. Ted’s mother and I have certainly fell in love with you and your beautiful family. I look forward to our relationship growing deeper. Blessings to you and your family.T.
How terrific that they connected with you. I know that my father is changed from this most humbling experience. I hope you like Montana. It is truly special.