Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What does it all mean?

This July 14th my only son would be turning 28 years old. But, instead we will mourn another birthday without him. He was senselessly and violently taken from us on Sept. 1, 2008 Less than 2 months after his 22nd birthday. I believe that I am still in shock. I don't think I will ever get used to him not being here with us. Especially, due to the fact that this horrific nightmare never seems to end.

We went to court twice last month to sit and listen to the murderer of our son, brother, grandson and friend to so many, talk about how unfair this has all been for him. He spewed his unbelievable reasons why he thinks he will not get a fair hearing here in Solano County. This murderer was convicted over 3 years ago for shooting Matt in the back of the head on Silverado Drive in Cordelia, Labor day evening nearly 6 years ago.

This murderer, Henry Don Williams, was in prison scheming and plotting ways to have his conviction overturned, turned around, changed, deleted...whatever you want to call it! It's his right to do so!
And to do it Over and Over again.

This all leaves us with more court hearings. The devastating memory of the night we lost Matt is always forefront in my mind. But, to have this narcissistic sociopath continue to not take responsibility for his actions and on top of that, drag us through all of this...AGAIN... all because he can, IS INSANE!

 Our constitution of the United States of America gives this convicted and sentenced murderer all the rights and the victims and their families are left to, not only relive the nightmare, but also to have this very sick murderer Henry Don William's, Public Defender subpoena me! What kind of individual does this?

I respect most public defenders. I understand that they have a job to do. I get it! But, Oh My God, what type of person are you? The public defender already has several witnesses to testify regarding what they witnessed in the court hallway with the juror speaking to the murderers girlfriend during a recess in the trial. WHY in HELL would this public defender want to have the mother of her murdered child, subpoenaed to testify in his clients HEARING on August 15th?  How low will a public defender go?  Apparently, he is willing to go very LOW!

We won't give up calling on the leadership of the USA to help change the way that jurors and the general public are intermingled in the hallways of many, many courthouses throughout our country. We will continue putting people and situations on BLAST, for their many injustices to victims and their families, after already suffering the initial loss of their loved ones.

We will be there, in court, in Fairfield Judge Bowers Courtroom Dept. #15 on August 15, 2014 @ 1:30
I will not allow YOU to take anything more from ME! I believe God will have the final say in everything. It is just very difficult sometimes to sort through all this madness!

I'm forever grateful for the love and support that we continue to receive from so many awesome people. Thank all of you who continue to show up to court hearings with us. It means so much. We hope to see you all at the hearing in August.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. We feel them. God, clear our minds and heal our hearts. Give us the eyes to see, the ears to hear and the words to speak. Amen



Friday, June 6, 2014

AGAIN and STILL

Update: The recent court hearing was once again, ridiculous! Matt's killer has now asked to have a public defender appointed to him. HE has DECIDED, that he no longer wishes to defend himself. Matt's murderer told the judge that HE feels like he is being backed up against a wall. He stated he is being treated unfairly! It took everything I have to not jump up and scream at the top of my lungs about what is "Unfair"! Matt is dead! You murdered him! How UNFAIR is that? We,Matt's family and friends have to be subjected to YOU playing the system over and over again. WE have to listen to you whine about how, not one investigator in Solano County will take your case. REALLY? Why do you think that is? It's because you are a convicted MURDERER! You were sentenced in 2010 to 50 years to life. We should not have had to ever hear your name or see your face from the day you were sentenced over 3 years ago. But, our Justice System doesn't work like that! So, here we are Again and Still! We will return to court next Tuesday at 8:30 in Dept 15 where a NEW hearing date will be set. The murderer has asked for another delay for the evidence hearing. I'm sure he will be granted a continuance. After all, that is a convicted murderers Constitutional Right! I do know that God will have the final say. I am only human and my boy is dead because of this POS! My entire life has been forever altered. Our family's entire lives for that matter. I try and show up for others and still I continue to witness the pain and devastation of not only their losses from these violent crimes but then the insanity of the crimes against the victims and their families that happens after the loss. The crime in the court system that have the victims and their families constantly grasping for ANY sense of JUSTICE for our murdered loved ones. This is where things really need to change. My heart hurts. There is no changing what has already happened. But I can't pretend that I can simply just let this all go! God does have a plan I believe that God continues to shine a light on the horrific crimes in our JUSTICE SYSTEM. If Nothing Changes then Nothing changes! I'm in this for the long haul..what else do I have to lose? Thank you for all the letters you have been writing to our lawmakers Please keep them coming! Please let us pray for our broken system. The justice system which allows victims and their families to be victimized over and over again. WE Will NOT back down. We will continue to send letters and make phone calls to our elected lawmakers and our campaigning lawmakers to help amend the constitution for victims rights! Thank you all for being here for our family. The prayers, love and support that you all have given to us over these last 5 years and 9 months have been our saving grace. God Bless You

Friday, April 11, 2014

A VIGILANT MOURNING



 My spiritual journey took a sudden devastating detour on the night of September 1, 2008. My only son was visiting a friend. She and Matt were talking outside of her home in a quiet neighborhood, when all of a sudden several shots rang out and Matt was hit.
There are no words to describe what transpired within me as I was faced with the knowledge that my child had been a victim of violence.

After all, helping to decrease violence in our city had been Matt’s passion. Just 10 months before Matt was shot, he was elected to a seat on the Fairfield city council in December of 2007 at the age of 21. He was the youngest person to have ever been elected to public office at that time. We were beyond proud.
The horrible call that night had to be a mistake. This could not be happening – it could not be our son, not Briana and TeaRae’s big brother. It had to be someone else. I prayed that this was a nightmare that I would soon awaken from.


A police officer was dispatched to pick our family up and drive us to John Muir Trauma Hospital miles away from where we lived in Fairfield. It was approximately 9:00 pm by the time the officer arrived. Our youngest daughter had already left to head to the hospital with another family member.

Word was spreading fast that Matt had been shot. Our cell phones were ringing nonstop as my husband Raymond, my oldest daughter Briana, and I sat in the cramped back seat of the police car. The seat felt like I was sitting on hard and slippery ceramic. My message to everyone that called was to Pray! Pray! Pray!

It was Monday, September 1, 2008 on  Labor Day night. We were inching slowly forward in massive traffic as folks were returning home from their Labor Day weekend festivities.

 The only thing that I could think of at the time was that I needed to get word to my boss that I would not be coming into work the next day. It is strange to look back now and notice how the mind works when faced with a horrifying situation.

 At this point we had no idea what part of Matt’s body was hit by gunfire. It never even occurred to me that we were being driven to a trauma hospital.
 The last time I had been to John Muir Hospital was seven years earlier. My friend Melissa’s father had been in a terrible car accident on interstate 80. Tom was in a coma. Many of us stayed several nights on the floor of the John Muir ICU waiting room. We waited with Melissa praying for a miracle. We prayed that Tom would heal and wake up. Tom died 12 days later.

It did not seem to us that he officer driving us to the hospital was using all the resources he had available to get us to the hospital quickly. We started yelling at him to turn his sirens on and get us there already! My God, my son has been shot! I will never forget my question and the officer’s answer as we were driving over the Benicia Bridge.   I asked him, “Do you know what happened to my boy?” His reply will forever echo in my mind: “All that I know is that he was shot in the head.”  Everything from that moment on until we reached the emergency room is a blur to me.

Upon arriving at the hospital our family waited in the crowded but eerily quiet emergency room.  It was filled with city, county and law enforcement officials. I felt like a vacuum had sucked everything out of my mind, body and spirit. I was an empty shell sitting there waiting for word about my son.  In that silent space, I literally felt God’s arms around wrap around me.

When I finally was led to the area where my son was, I was horrified to see him with tubes running through every part of his body. The image that I have of him laying there will never leave me. I can still remember the blood that was in his ear. I wanted someone to wipe it away from him.

 I was hysterical and horrified. Our beautiful Matt had been so alive just hours earlier when I stopped by to see him at his grandmother’s house. My son, who was doing so much with his life by helping others, was now lying there motionless. 

When I asked the emergency room doctor about Matt’s condition, he just said that Matt’s wound was “devastating.” What did that mean? Could he recover from devastation? My mind was flailing. I was confused and shocked. I just could not comprehend this situation.

 Being in a place of complete and utter powerlessness is both frightening and humbling. People began arriving at the hospital in droves. Matt’s friends were angry and wanted to find whoever did this to their friend. We all held hands and prayed.  As our prayers lifted, everyone came to a quiet agreement that Matt would not want more violence to come from this.

 Our friends came wanting to support us. The news media was there for a story. It was all so surreal.
 I remember telling my friend Laura, “This is why I have been working on all that forgiveness stuff.” In that moment of clarity I understood that God was preparing and carrying me. That moment was fleeting.

Nothing could be done for Matt. He was on a ventilator. We would know nothing more until the neurologist came in at 9:00 the following morning.
I was thinking of our daughters. How are they going to get through all of this? Tearae has already shut down at this point. Briana was hysterical.
Like a mantra, I repeated in my mind, “God, Please clear our minds and heal our hearts.”

 After several hours, Matt was transferred to the ICU. Armed detectives were assigned to him. The shooter had not been caught. It wasn't clear if Matt had been targeted and they couldn't take the chance of someone coming to finish him off. I never had the opportunity to sit with my boy alone. I am still so sad about that.

I thought, “How ironic, my friends and I are again sitting together, just like years before in that same ICU waiting room.” Only now our prayers for a miracle were for Matt.

There was no sleeping for me. I went in to see Matt several times. Nothing had changed. He didn't squeeze my hand when I asked him to. He didn't blink his eyes. He was just laying there, with the detective beside him, the loud sounds of the machines surrounding us. The blood in his ear was gone now. Someone must have cleaned him.Deep in my soul, in that quiet place inside, I knew that he was already gone.

At 9:15 the next morning, the doctor called us into the ICU. He informed us that Matt had zero brain activity. He showed us the X-Ray of Matt’s brain. The bullet had severed his brain stem and was still in his head. There would be no surgery. Matt would never wake up.

 Even though I had felt that Matt had already left us, I was not prepared to hear the finality in the doctor’s words. I am sure that no parent is prepared to hear that.Oh My God, Oh My God! How could this be happening? Why? What did I do? This is so crazy! God, please I will give anything. Please, let my boy live. My pleas went unanswered.

Everything went so fast. The next thing that I knew, we were in an office and the donor network people were there to talk with us about donating Matthew’s organs. Matt liked the fact that he was a donor.  He was also proud that he had the much needed 0 negative blood. He donated his blood often.

Knowing all of this about my boy didn't make this discussion any easier. I was still completely in shock from everything that had already happened. And now I am expected to have a conversation regarding which one of my son’s organs will be donated. They asked if we would consider the donation of his eyes and his skin. It was all just too much to even try to wrap my mind around.

Matt was a very handsome young man. He was also a bit vain. We teased him often about how he had to have his hair cut twice a week. The answer to the donor network was No! Matt’s eyes and skin was not negotiable.

The beautiful correspondence that we have received from the donor recipients has been amazing. The gratitude they share with us for the gift of life that Matt gave to them is so humbling. I know that God is here.
Since Matt’s death I have been on a journey of seeking. I have reached out and attended many different spiritual and religious teachings.

 On my journey I became friends with baseball Hall of Farmer. He is Buddhist. I began to attend Buddhist meetings with him and his wife on Monday evenings. We chanted for an hour and then ate wonderful Japanese food.

During this time a woman named Jenni sent me a message in regards to Matt’s gift to her. She mentioned that she corresponded with me a couple years before but I had no recollection. The email stated that she felt the need to write me and tell me that she is Buddhist, and when she meditates, she and Matt breathe together. Jenni had received Matt’s lungs. My heart smiled reading that and I knew that my seeking was exactly what I was guided to do.

 I don’t know that I will ever get used to Matt not being here. Learning how to find a life of hope, love, and forgiveness after the murder of my son has become the quest of my life.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Becoming fearless

I am having a hard time comprehending so many things lately. One of these many things is that we are already near the end of March. Where is the time going? I must be mindful of each moment.

I have found this mindfulness to sit in each moment very difficult in these last 5 1/2 years. It feels like I have been in terrible nightmare. But then, in another moment, I  feel the immense love of my family and friends. The support, compassion and empathy from so many, lifts me up again.

 So, I guess it feels more like a roller coaster of emotions. Whatever the feelings, I want to be present and fearless to walk through them all.

Being reminded lately that whatever is happening in my life at this moment, is an opportunity. I get to control how I'm going to react. These last few months I have felt powerless. I have felt victimized and I have felt SCARED.

In this moment I truly believe that I can move forward in a positive way. I can help create change without harming myself in any way. I can be full of love and compassion and still be a voice for the voiceless. I am becoming FEARLESS!

Thanks be to God and my amazing family and friends

Sunday, February 9, 2014

1,953 Days Ago

 One thousand nine hundred fifty three days ago my son, Matt was shot and killed.
 Oh my God, how I would do ANYTHING to go back to that day and change EVERYTHING about it. Although, there is no going back. This is our reality.

Our new normal is going to court to make sure the murderer of our Matt, has to live with the consequences of his decision on  Labor Day night of 2008. We don't get a second chance or a "right to an appeal".
 No, We are forced to live with the consequences of Henry Don Williams decision 1,953 days ago. Matthew is not coming back.

Our hearts are forever broken and our minds are never free from the thoughts of what could have been. Although, we continue to move forward because we have to. We want to be sure that these horrible acts of violence and injustices STOP! Why is it that the victims and their families are forced to suffer the nightmare over and over again? We are forced to make sure that the murderers of our loved ones rights are not violated! It really doesn't make any sense.

We must keep moving forward though. Holding our heads up and demanding change for victims, families and loved ones.

We will be back in court tomorrow morning. We will, again, have to face the person who stole from us. He robbed us all. He took away our boy. He shattered our lives and took a piece of each one of us. We must sit there and pray that the people who have been unaffected by Matt's murder, determine if this person gets to have a new trial because he believes his last one was unfair due to juror misconduct.

What is unfair is, you took our Matt over a $50 drug deal, in which Matt knew nothing about, he just happened to be visiting a young lady, 2 doors down. We have had to sit and listen to you, Henry Don Williams. We have had to run into your sons mother at Target. You know your  9 month pregnant girlfriend who drove you to shoot our boy and drove you home and never told anyone, until she was told on, almost 2 weeks later. That one!

 We are forced to write letters and talk with anyone who will listen, to come up with ways to change the way jurors are seated in hallways with the general public. To help eliminate the possibility of the defendants family members/friends speaking to jurors. There is really not much that can be done because there is "NO MONEY" to fix the hallways or add rooms for the jurors to be recessed into instead of the hallways.
 TALK ABOUT UNFAIR!

We will be in Dept. 15 at 9:00AM tomorrow Feb. 10, 14 to hear all of this, again. Once again, there will be another reason to postpone and another hearing will be set. We already know that Henry Don Williams, who has been convicted and sentenced to 50 years to life, for the murder of Matthew Garcia, now wants a new public defender, because he is no longer satisfied with the one he has. And you guessed it, He has that RIGHT!  This will be another long and painful ordeal, that our family/friends will endure together.

We will be leaning on God and all of our friends for strength, guidance and comfort.
Thank you all for always being there.




Thursday, January 9, 2014

My quiet space

With this new year has come a new room for myself. I call it my prayer/meditation/writing and quiet room.
Most mornings I awaken with negativity blaring inside my mind. I immediately begin repeating my daily mantra: God, clear my mind and heal my heart. It usually works. But I also needed to have a place to go to, where I can sit in quiet. A place within my reach. A sacred space that has no cost to get to or to enter. Welcome to my quiet space!

This room has a calming energy within its walls. I have been mindful with the things that I have placed here. It is filled with beautiful items from around the world. Its like an aromatherapy room as well with the smells of  incense and candles.

I am so grateful for this quiet space. These past 5+ years since my son's murder have been devastating, difficult, heartbreaking but also I have found hope, faith and a peace that I still find hard to believe could ever be possible.

As we are learning to live our lives without Matt, we are also learning how to maneuver through a legal system that is so in need of repair. I know that Matt would be encouraging us to continue to help with this process.

 I do also understand the need to forgive others, Not for Them, but for myself!

 We all have consequences for our actions. The murderer of my son is unwilling to accept those consequences due to his actions on September 1, 2008 and is trying to work his way through the legal system to help him get out of his sentence. I am praying that this doesn't happen.
I'm also going to see that this type of injustice doesn't happen to another family. We will meet again with a few lawmakers on Feb 6th. We must secure a "Path of travel" for our jurors.

This is much of the reason that I love my quiet space. I can sort through the stuff swirling around in my mind and ask God to guide me on this journey. He continues to give me the eyes to see, the ears to hear and the words to speak and write.
I am truly grateful in this moment

Monday, December 30, 2013

Saying goodbye to 2013

As another year comes to a close in a couple days, I am looking forward. Our family and friends have been a beautiful lifeline in my moments of difficulty.  I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

This new year holds so much hope along with some hurdles. But as I, and so many others know for sure, every year holds these same hopes and hurdles. Life is life. It's up to each one of us to focus on whatever it is we choose to focus on. We will ALL encounter situations and life events that will bring us joy or bring us sadness. 

I continually remind myself and others that WE can help bring the change. I don't want to see this happen to anyone else. 

7. Killer of city councilman may get new trial

 What will I choose to focus on?  How will I bring Joy to others? How will I help to bring change for a better tomorrow?

Making each moment amazing.

Happy New Year