Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014

Last year, at this time Raymond and I turned our daughter’s former bedroom, into a prayer & meditation room. This room has saved my mental state on many occasions, this past year. I also started using it as my art room too. I love having a quiet retreat in my own home.

We also completed a labyrinth in our backyard. It really means a lot to me to have this labyrinth. Raymond and I began to make the backyard labyrinth the very day that Matt was shot, Sept. 1, 2008. We never completed it until this year. I’m so very grateful to have this sacred space.

February 2014 came with more obstacles and heartache for our family and loved ones.  Matt’s killer was brought back to Solano County to fight for a new trial for himself. We continue to be baffled by our Justice system and the constitution, which allows all of this insanity to continue year after year. It is a blatant waste of time and taxpayers money. We will NOT STOP ADVOCATING for VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

March 2014 brought on more insanity. Matt’s killer makes the decision he wants to represent himself in court. Once again, everything is put on hold, so that Matt’s murderer can prepare his case. We continue to work and do what is in front of us all the while our hearts never get a reprieve from the devastating impact that Matt’s death has had on each of us.

April 2014 April is Victims Rights Week. Myself, Briana and Kathy drove to Sacramento and marched to the capital with our murdered loved ones faces on our shirts and signs It was a very emotional day for everyone but we were grateful to be a part of it.

May 2014 My oldest daughter, Briana got engaged. Oh my goodness we are all so happy and excited. Our focus has been on Matt’s murderer and all the drama he continues to bring.

 We are extremely excited to have a beautiful wedding to plan.  September 5, 2015 is the date that Briana and William picked for their wedding day. The month of September will be a happy month filled with love and celebration. I am so happy.

June 2014 Matt’s killer now decides that he no longer wants to represent himself. He is appointed his public defender. Once again, the hearing is delayed.

July 2014 Matt would have turned 28.

 I was asked if I would be willing to go into California State Prison Solano in Vacaville and speak to a group of lifers, mainly murderers. These men are taking classes in prison to improve their lives and help them take responsibility for their actions.

I was asked to give my impact statement. I talked about how Matt’s murder has devastated our lives forever. I shared how his murderer is STILL dragging us through HELL. I also shared how Matt’s murderer refuses to accept any responsibility for his actions. This experience has changed my life for the better.

August 2014 the scheduled court hearing was once again delayed because the murderer’s wife didn't show up. Also the investigators were unable to locate the juror in question.  Next court hearing is scheduled for October.

September 2014 my only son has been gone for six years. Our hearts will be forever broken by the absence of Matt. My mind is swirling uncontrollably by the insanity of our system.

 MY girlfriend took me to Hawaii for 10 days. It felt so good to get away. It didn't last long. We were again not notified of a court appearance.
 I felt terrible for putting such a dark cloud over this special time for my friend. Her daughter had just gotten engaged in Hawaii a couple days before.

October 2014 we were not notified that the Judge’s courtroom had moved.  We finally make it to the new courtroom to find out that the hearing will be delayed once more. We go back Jan. 16, 2015. 

The murderer’s wife comes up to us in the hall after court and begins to tell me how sorry that she is for bringing all of this on us. She admitted that everything she said before was a lie. She assures us that she has already signed a declaration stating the truth, which is, that the juror did nothing wrong.

 Oh My God, Was this really happening? Can all of this be over now that she finally admitted to the truth? NOPE! Now the murderer’s attorney wants to bring up myself and Raymond.  He wants us to answer questions about what we saw when the juror was speaking to the killer’s wife during a recess in the trial.

I spoke at the prison again. This has been a life saving experience for me to hear murderers take responsibility for their crimes. For the murderer’s to realize the devastation and destruction that they have caused so many, forever, is healing for me.

November 2014 we had a meeting with the DA and ended up having to give separate statements to the investigator because apparently the murderer’s wife never told her attorney the truth. Our prosecutor knew nothing about the hallway conversation that the wife shared with us, about her previous lies.

Briana, her bridesmaids and I, went to a wedding fair. It was a great time to focus on Briana and her upcoming wedding.

One of Matt’s dreams was to meet Oprah. He believed that he would be on her show one day. That day would never happen. I did however get to meet Oprah and tell her about Matt. I felt Matt there too. His dream came true that November day.

December 2014 Here we are on the very last day of 2014. Again, we were not informed of a court appearance last week. Today, December 31, 2014 I was served a subpoena, at my job, for the court hearing on Jan. 16 for the murderer of Matt.


I know that God has a plan. I know that many, many, great and wonderful things are also happening in our lives. I will place my heart and soul into every amazing adventure that comes my way. I will continue to speak my truth regarding the justice system and victims’ rights or lack thereof. I will be there for my daughters every step of the way. I will do all of this with God, my family and my friends.


Our journeys are our own. We will connect with the people we are supposed to connect with. When we ask, we will be given EVERYTHING we need for this life journey.  I am so truly grateful for the amazing people in our lives. Thank you, you who continue to lift us up in prayer. You, who show up EVERY TIME for us, you who have reminded me that God is the answer.  Thank you!  2014 has been another year of living, loving and learning. I am willing and ready to do it again, even better!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Looking ahead while staying in the moment

I want to start this 26th day of December 2014, expressing my extreme gratitude for everyone who has touched my life this past year. I not only feel blessed for the lovely people but also for the challenging folks who continue to teach me so much.

Learning to live with a grateful heart, especially in the midst of injustice, has been an ongoing life teacher. I have learned that I can have happiness, peace and love even when situations arise that I am powerless over. I haven't mastered this yet. Although, I am getting better at it. I receive a bunch of opportunities, for practice.

My life, thus far, has been about loving and learning. As long as I am still here physically, and am open to the opportunities that God has for me, I can do anything! My daily prayer is for God to lead me to where I am to go and what I am to do. Help me on this journey of life.

My girls are doing well. Growing up and learning their own lessons. It has been amazing to watch them transform into the amazing women that they are today. Thank you God for giving me the gift of raising three awesome people.

I know that 2015 is going to be another year filled with lots of happiness, peace and love. I will remain open to the many new opportunities and lessons that I will receive.

 God, help me to be the woman that you have called me to be. Clear my mind and heal my heart. Give me the eyes to see, the ears to hear and the words to speak, with dignity and grace. Help me to be of help to whomever you place on my path. God, thank you for all the beautiful people that you have surrounded me with. Amen

Saturday, November 29, 2014

NOVEMBER 2014 What a month it has been!



First things First  I turned 48 years old on November 2nd. This is the first incredible event that happened. I had a wonderful birthday. The entire day and evening was shared with my awesome and amazing family and friends. I'm extremely grateful for all the LOVE that I have in my life.
Still my question is, how did I get to be in my late 40's? WOW, talk about sneaky. I am shocked to find myself here. Time really does move faster as I age. It's up to me to really LIVE in and CHERISH each and every moment. my48thbday
This brings me to the 3rd weekend in November. November 14th & 15th. I met Oprah Winfrey at her, The Life You Want Weekend Tour in San Jose. I had the amazing opportunity to tell her about Matt. This experience was definitely at the top of my bucket list. 
Matt believed he would meet Oprah after he was elected to the Fairfield City Council in 2007 at age 21. He never got the chance. He was murdered on Labor Day 2008. I could feel Matt's presence as Oprah ask about my t-shirt with Matt's face. I shared with her about Matt's passion and hope for our community and especially our young people. Don't ever give up on your dreams. MATT, YOU MADE IT TO OPRAH!
OprahWinfreyandmeMatt
I made another important decision in November. I needed to change my attitude with our newly elected Solano county District Attorney. My being angry at her was not going to help our situation regarding Matt’s murderer. I apologized for my rude behavior and asked her if we could meet to talk?
When we met in her office on Nov. 17th, I was informed that she was unaware of the situation that happened between myself, Raymond and the killers girlfriend/wife/ex-wife, in the court hallway, following the Oct. 24th hearing. After telling her about what took place that day, Raymond and I were separated and we each had to give our statement regarding that hallway encounter, to the investigator. We will be back in court on January 16, 2015 THIS INSANITY CONTINUES……
I have had the opportunity to speak to a group of prison inmates serving life sentences at the California State Prison Solano, Vacaville. I was a little less terrified this last time I went. Most of these men are sincere about changing their lives, even though, they may never get out of prison. What I know to be fact for myself, is that I do not need to be behind bars to feel like I am imprisoned. What I’ve heard several times from incarcerated people is that they can feel FREE even though they are behind bars.
Here is a letter one of the inmates wrote to The Matt Garcia Foundation Several of these men have donated over $80.00 and 5 books of stamps! AMAZING! inmatedonations
Conclusion: It’s all a matter of perception. I must continue to be present within myself. Atone for my wrongs and help others always.
Last weekend I got to hang out with my two daughters. Our oldest daughter is getting married next summer. We went to a wedding fair in Pleasanton. We all had a great time. It was a beautiful day spent with my amazing daughters and their friends.2014teresa 498
Last Thursday was Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for all the amazing people, places and things in my life today and everyday. Our hearts hurt more during the holiday's as we miss our loved ones. We cherish the time we all spend with each other even more now. My beautiful sister came for a bit. Briana, Will and my grand dog Oreo came over too. Raymond and T helped serve the homeless at Mission Solano. We even stopped by my sister-in law Nichole’s house to visit with the family. It was great to see my sis-in-laws’, the kids and of course Mom and her family. TRULY GRATEFUL!
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Moving into December things look bright for our family. We are healthy and grateful I will continue to be grateful for the many blessings in my life. God, guide me to where you would have me go. Give me the eye’s to see, the ear’s to hear and the words to speak. Clear my mind and heal my heart. Amen



Monday, October 27, 2014

System of Insanity

My mind is still reeling from last Friday's court appearance. The blatant disregard for victims and their families by the people who are paid to be victim advocates and our elected official is simply insane. I can not wrap my mind around any of this!

I have been writing about all of this "JUSTICE" insanity for many years. I am sure I will be writing about it for many more to come.

Let me give a quick run down of last Fridays encounter at our second home...Solano County Courts.
The hearing was scheduled for 1:30PM in Dept. 15 room 202. We were there at 1:20PM sitting outside the courtroom waiting for the doors to be unlocked. It seemed strange that none of our other family members or friends were there waiting with us.

When the bailiff finally opened the doors at 1:30PM he mentioned that it was traffic court. What? Traffic Court? We then noticed that the name next to the courtroom door was NOT Judge Bowers. Omg! we are in the wrong place. Judge Bowers court room had moved to the third floor! Why didn't our Victim Advocate call us and tell us that the courtrooms have moved? Isn't that part of her job?

We rushed to get up the stairs since now we are late to the hearing. As we were going upstairs, we ran into our prosecutor who is also our newly elected Solano County District Attorney. I was justifiably irritated and voiced my irritation at not being informed of the court room move. Our prosecutor just gave me a dirty look and never approached me again. I still have not heard from her or our Court Victim Advocate! I am very disturbed by this.

The long drawn out court hearing date lasted less than 5 minutes and it was over until Jan. 16, 2015. I was livid. My heart was pounding and I wanted answers from our District Attorney. Well, she never came out to talk to us. In fact, after the hearing her investigator came out to inform us that if we were waiting for her she had to leave early and would not be able to talk with us. This is our Prosecutor! I believe this is the person who is supposed to inform us of what is going on. My heart hurts for my boy and for all of the many victims and families that are being victimized again by this insanity.

We sat in Judge Bowers new court room #303 for nearly an hour before he and the two attorneys came in. Then Matt's killer was brought in. The judge notified both parties that he will be unavailable from Nov thru Jan. 6th. WOW! The next hearing is set for Jan. 16, 2015. That makes it nearly an entire year that Matt's killer will have been able to have visits from family a couple times a week and he does not have to pay any restitution. In other words, he gets all the extra snacks and whatever else he wants because he is not held responsible because he is not actually in prison. While my son is dead and buried.

Here's the kicker, After the hearing, the woman who started the latest insanity, you know, the killers wife/girlfriend/ex-wife, came up to our family and apologized to us, for the harm that she has caused. She told us that the truth will be revealed on Jan. 16th. So, instead of putting an end to it all, right then and there we have to wait 3 months to have a hearing still. Our system of Insanity!


I decided that I needed to pick up my journals and begin to re-read my entries beginning back in April of 1999, when my cousin, Kathleen Sue O'Brien was murdered. I wanted to reacquaint myself with the treatment that our family received even way back then. Kathy was stabbed over 50 times with a sharpened screwdriver, Afterward her body was dumped onto Cherry Glen Road. Her murderer goes up for a parole hearing on Jan. 28, 2015 We will be there!

I feel powerless over the situation regarding my son Matt’s murderer, Henry Don Williams. Not only was Matt our son and a friend to many. He was an elected official in the city of Fairfield, CA. This fact also seems to mean NOTHING within our SYSTEM! The killers ex, signed a declaration last year, claiming that one of the murder trial jurors propositioned her for sex in exchange for a not-guilty vote. In 2008, the then-DA Paulson, elected not to charge the pregnant getaway driver, Nicole Stewart (heartbreaking) and now, years later, the murderer works the system through endless court dates/postponements.

 We, the family, take time off work to relive the nightmare of 9-1-2008, seeing this monsters face constantly, subjected to a judge who seems bothered by our irritation, and having to constantly call/email our DA/victim advocates because they don’t inform us. Lewis should’ve been arrested after the 9-19-14 hearing   (“no-show”) but WASN’T. When finally arrested after two missed court dates, she spent less than 24 hours in jail before being appointed a private attorney (the killer was also) and released.

 I was notified of this hearing 10 minutes before because our advocate “does not get her county emails on her phone.” I check court-connect constantly because I cannot count on those “helping” us. This is the treatment of victims and their families in our justice system.

 I in no way feel that we are the only victims of this system.  I HURT for the countless families who suffer also. Our hearts break for the families of the victims who are unable, financially, to attend the numerous hearings. Last Friday, the women in question came to us and apologized about everything. She says the truth will be told at the Jan. 16 hearing.

 After the hearing our prosecutor never did come out to speak with us. We also have not heard from our court appointed victim advocate since Sept. 29.   I’m grateful for the prayers and support of friends and know God has a plan, but I also believe that the public should be aware of the insanity/our justice system. If I could “Let go and Let God”, I would. But, my son is dead, murdered. I can’t bring him back. I CAN raise awareness to a system that victimizes victims. There’s not a minute that goes by when I don’t think about my boy. Matt never ages He will always be 22. Matt’s voice was silenced by a bullet to his head. I’m still here. I will not be silent. 

Just so you know, Not much has changed. And it won't change unless WE take a stand.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Every day brings new choices. ~ Martha Beck

My morning started with prayer and coffee. I'm very hopeful that the outcome of the hearing tomorrow afternoon will be the end to Matt's killer trying to get a re-trial. I understand desperate people do desperate things and that hurt people hurt people. I was that person as a young adult. It's time to move on Henry Don Williams.

In every moment of my life, I have choices. I can choose to be fearful and hateful or I can choose to 
breathe in the beauty that is all around me. So... in this moment I am choosing beauty and hope.
 
Life is too short to live in the negative. This does not mean that I will stop looking in to ways to change some of the insane things that are happening. It simply means that I will move in a way that does not harm myself or anyone else mentally, physically or spiritually. The choice is mine in every moment!

The gratitude that I feel in my heart for all of our amazing family and friends is what keeps us all moving forward. Thank you 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The sixth September without you

It was 6 years ago this morning, we were told by the doctors that you would not recover from the bullet that severed your brain stem. I could not believe what I was hearing. How could this be happening? Nothing could ever keep you down. You were filled with so much hope,energy and life. Now you lay there quiet and motionless.

Our hearts were forever changed that September. The grief that your sister's carry with them daily is hard for me to watch. I'm powerless! This fact haunts me. I can't help them and I couldn't help you.
 But we keep moving forward.

This year we went away with friends, to a cabin in the woods. Briana didn't want to go. I didn't like that we were not all together. We made the best of it. Dad, T and our friends took off to Calavaras Big Trees for the day. I decided to stay behind. I prayed, cried and painted some rocks to leave behind. I always leave something of Matt, wherever I go.

When we returned home, we were greeted with so many messages of love, thoughts and prayers from all our family and friends who have carried us for these past 6 years. Thank you! I have watched intently at how GOD blesses us in amazing ways. For all the beautiful people that HE continues to place in our lives perfectly, we are forever grateful.

Matt is no longer here physically but his beautiful spirit has never left us.