4 years ago, today at 9 am my son and I picked a very excited Shanny up from the airport. She was happy to be home, she missed so many things about home and she was so excited. She missed Dutch Bros coffee and being surrounded by green. California just didn’t have enough green and San Diego didn’t have Dutch Bros but she was happy with San Diego because it was closer to home then some of the places she could have been stationed and it had sunshine. She was excited to see her friends, some of whom would have been camping out in my house for some of the time she was home. She was excited to attend the wedding of her cousin and then the wedding of one of her friends. She was excited to go on the road trip Doug and I had been planning for months.
4 years ago, today Jerod and I had our last trip with Shanny to Dutch Bros. 4 years ago, today Doug, Jerod and I had our last lunch date with Shanny. 4 years ago, today I took my last pictures of Shanny.
4 years ago, today at around 5 pm, Jake Wright was driving my daughter, Shanny, home after hanging out for a few hours when two stoned unlicensed teenagers, Kevin Milanez-Gomez and Dianna Muniz, who supposedly took the car without consent, barreled through a clearly marked stop sign murdering both Shanny and Jake.
Today life is different.
Today I know DA Brad Berry is a liar and that DDA Alicia Eagan is no better, they both should be investigated and disbarred. I know that only one of my daughter’s killers is in jail serving 6.3 years (5 years if you count time off) for killing 2 people and the other is living it up like she did nothing wrong.
Today I wait. I wait for the parole notice so I can try and stop Kevin Milanez-Gomez from getting out of prison early. I wait for the police to enact policies that ensure citations are written for crashes where a death is involved. I wait for the day the Brad Berry is kicked out of the DA’s office for his lack of moral character. I wait for the legal system to wake up and punish Dianna Muniz for her part in Shanny and Jake’s deaths. I wait for Gabriela Gomez to admit to lying to protect her son from punishment for the crimes he committed. I am waiting for Kevin and Dianna to each actually grow a conscience and own their actions.
Today I watch. I watch my family dealing with the loss of her the best way they can. I watch Facebook and see that Dianna still lives her life like she never killed anyone or was even in a car that killed someone. I watch life going on around me wishing the Shanny was able to be a part of it. I watch the rosebush planted at the memorials finally blooming.
Today I hug a box that contains Shanny’s ashes and I write to her in a journal where I also put every
Today I still cry every time one of her favorite songs plays or I see pictures of her. I cry because I miss her voice. I cry because I miss watching Vampire Diaries and Coyote Ugly with her. I cry for the life she should have had. I CRY because I miss her so much, I can’t contain the pain of her not being here.
Today I talk about our experience with anyone that will listen in the hopes that what happened to us never happens to another family. I talk about our experience with anyone that will listen hoping that better police procedures will be enacted to ensure investigations aren’t mishandled. I talk about our experience with anyone who will listen in the hopes that people with honor and better moral character will replace Brad Berry. On this I could go on and on.
Tomorrow I will continue to cry. I will continue to wait. I will keep watching. I will continue to speak out. I will continue to write to Shanny.