Friday, October 12

FIVE GOOD THINGS FRIDAY: THE VERDICT IS IN

Bam.

There's nothing like some good old fashioned justice on a Friday morning.  Like penitentiary-flavored, maize-and-blue-tinted coffee thrown right in your face.

Five good things?

Good Things 1-4:
Kenneth Bluew found guilty of 4 charges:
  1. First degree premeditated murder of Jenny Webb.
  2. Assaulting a pregnant individual, intentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth of a fetus or embryo.
  3 & 4. Possessing a firearm while committing both felonies ("felonies" being charges 1 and 2).

Good Thing 5:
After a long, long year, this trial is over, the jury came to a just verdict, and the families (both Jenny's family and Bluew's) can begin to pick up the pieces and heal after this nightmare.  ... But good things?  I don't know.  No one really wins.

Like almost everyone I know, I was glued to the trial yesterday.  I was sitting in my office at 4:25pm, just inches from my computer screen, earbuds in, wide-eyed, heart pounding, and waiting for the jury to read the verdict.  Per reporter Andy Hoag, "Bluew is sitting in his chair, just took a deep breath.  Legs slightly shaking/moving around."

Guilty.  Guilty.  Guilty.  Guilty.  Unanimous decision from the jury.  No emotion from Bluew.  Relief in my mind, as well as in the hearts and minds of every single one of Jenny's loved ones.  This man is getting what he deserves (as far as the state of Michigan will allow, anyway).  And this punishment will pale in comparison to what may lie ahead of him in the afterlife.

So yes, I was relieved that a fair trial was made and justice was served.  I hugged my boss, who's also been following Jenny's story.  And then I went back, alone, to my office and sat down.   An email notification popped up - from one of my suppliers who's been following the case: "GUILTY!"  I pulled out my phone and texted my cousin Jamie (a very dear friend of Jenny's), and via the wonderful world of mobile phones we shared our joy in the verdict.

Jamie said:
"I know it won't bring her back, but it's justice... You be proud of your story, you're here to tell it for her and you! Xoxo kiss that baby girl for me!  Kiss her for Jenny today too!!!  I love that u both stood up for what u believe in.  Sending all my love to u sweetie!  U inspire me, know that you inspire many!  Tell your story, be proud to walk in your shoes!"

Yes, Jamie, I will tell our story one day.  Jenny unfortunately never got a chance to verbally tell her story, but as the prosecuting attorney stated, she was "her own best witness."  She fought the ultimate fight, and left enough evidence to convict Bluew of the crimes he committed.  No, she never really got to tell her story, but she is a legend.  Jennifer Marie Webb was is an amazing mother.  She could have chosen the "easy way out," but instead stuck to her principles and chose the life of a single mother, when it's perfectly clear that she had very little support in that decision and would have no support in the years to come.

I know the emotions that surely coursed through her as she made the monumental decision to bring Braxton into the world.  I know what it's like to hear the father of your child screaming that your child doesn't deserve to live.  I know what it's like to hear that because you've chosen to give your child life, you don't deserve to live.  I know what it's like to see the monstrous rage and anger in his eyes when he realizes that he has no way out.  I know what it's like to sit in his car and feel trapped and helpless, to feel terror, to feel that your number is up.  I know what it's like to hear that someone wants you dead and "a jury would understand" (for the record, moron, this trial proves otherwise), all because the man who loved you can't handle the reality of a baby.

To the corrupt, prideful, deceitful man who I KNOW is reading this blog:
You are no better than this monster.  You are the same man.  The only difference between you and Ken Bluew is that he carried out all the things you threatened to do.  As Bluew was reminded, "the truth will always manifest itself."  No human ever has the right to take the life of another, and no human should ever make another human feel like their life is worthless, or that they don't deserve to live.

I'm not Jenny Webb.  I don't claim to be her.  However, our stories are incredibly similar, but for some reason with very different endings.  And the realization of that hit me as I sat alone in my office yesterday afternoon.  It was like every ounce of pent-up emotion was released, and I started to sob.  I cried, and my heart broke for Jenny as I thought of everything she must have felt as she fought so desperately to save herself and her beloved Braxton.  My heart broke for Braxton, who will never have a chance to walk this earth and meet the countless people who already loved him so dearly and were anxiously awaiting his arrival.  My heart broke for everyone involved, for both families - both Jenny's and Bluew's, for everything they lost.  My heart broke for Don and Dawn, who will never get to meet their grandson in this earthly life, and for Angie and Jeff, who were robbed of a sister and a nephew. 

This was a stupid, arrogant, senseless act of selfishness and pride.  Because of Bluew's actions, our world lost a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, an aunt, a cousin, a nephew, a grandson, a friend, a father, a husband, a brother.  Because Ken Bluew was too prideful to face reality, he took two innocent lives and snatched loved ones away from countless other innocent victims.

Jenny and Braxton will never be forgotten.  They are known and loved by so many, from all corners of the world.  To the family and friends who are still reeling from this whole nightmare: I think of you every day and will continue to pray for you and support you.  May Jenny and Braxton rest in peace.

****

And one good song, in a video compiled by my dear cousin Jamie.
Smile, laugh, cry - it's okay :)
Per Jamie: "Share, share, share!  Everyone needs to see her smile and how contagious it was!"

10 comments:

  1. You did an amazing job on the blog and video. This is awesome and yes I cried like a little baby. Such a senseless act. Gone but definitely not forgotten!

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    1. Thank you! Sometimes it's good to cry. And while I wish I could take credit for creating this beautiful video, it was Jamie Hammond who did it :) Send her your love!

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    2. This blog was so well done. The video was so touching. The one thing that is comforting is............you know Momma and Son are together.

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  2. I am speechless . . .All I can say is Amen!

    Vanessa

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    1. Amen indeed, Vanessa. Jenny's story is a true testament to what humans are capable of when they're backed into a corner. Senseless, stupid, selfish. A baby is a miracle, regardless of the situation. A baby is never cause for taking someone's life.

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  3. All I can say is thank you for writing this Melanie, I love you and God Bless you and baby Sol.

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    1. Thank you for reading, Stephanie! Such a sad, tragic story. I know I speak for you, too, when I say that our thoughts and prayers go out to the families here. Reminds us to be thankful for our loved ones.

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  4. Wow just beautiful

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    1. Thank you! Jenny's love for her Lil Man is a beautiful thing, certainly something to celebrate. If we can pull anything beautiful out of this situation, it's the fact that we know a mother who loved her son very much, even before she had met him.

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  5. Absolutley beautiful - the words you wrote, the video that Jamie made, the justice that was served, and that you are here to tell your story. I danced with Jenny when I was in high school, but my husband and her were each others first best friends. Thank you for sharing.

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