1.16.2012

Bitter Sweet

I've alluded to a horrible thing that happened last year (while also actually talking about all of the other death) I haven't been ready to talk about the really horrible thing - but I guess today's the day.


A really horrible thing happened last year, it was devastating to me, my co-workers and our community. We lost two wonderful young women to a senseless act of domestic violence. Trini Do and Michelle Ta are sisters, I worked with them (almost daily) for nearly 4 years. Trini had two wonderful children and a psychotic husband, while Michelle had recently gotten married and hadn't started a family yet. 


At her son's 11th birthday party, Trini, Michelle, their mother, father, sister, two brothers and sister-in-law were shot by Trini's husband in front of their children, friends and extended family before he took his own life. There were five earth-shattering fatailities that day. I was watching television that Saturday night when the news came on and a story about a shooting was the breaking news of the evening - I switched the channel. I didn't want to know about it. (at this point I had no idea it was anyone I knew). I went to bed.


Sunday morning, I look at Facebook before I get out of bed (because that's what all women in my demographic do, right?!) and see several stories posted about the shooting, but I don't click on one. I just have no desire to know any of the details about the tragedy. After managing to miss tv, facebook, radio and basically all media for the morning, I decide to clean the kitchen. At 11 a.m. my phone rings and I run into the bedroom to get it. It's my co-worker and friend Renee. She's upset. The conversation when something like this:


Me: Hello
Renee: Sit down
Me. I don't want to sit down
Renee: Sit down (sniffles)
Me: Okay, you're freaking me out. Stop telling me to sit down. I'm sitting down.
Renee: Trini & Michelle are dead.
Me: WHAT?!?! 
Renee: It happened last night at a skating rink in Grand Prairie.
Me: WHAT?!?
Renee: Trini's husband shot everyone
Me: WHAT?!?! You're joking. This isn't real.
Renee: I don't joke about death
Me: WHAT?!?! This is real?
Renee: Cory (Renee's husband): Renee can't talk anymore...
Me: HOLY SHIT! THIS ISN'T REAL
Cory: Yes it is. I'm so sorry.
Me: Oh My God!!!


Michelle & Trini
I lay on my bed sobbing pretty well uncontrollably and the dog comes in to comfort me - except he doesn't know what to do so he just lays there and looks at me. I try to get myself together. I make phone calls. I have a drink. I feel numb.


Monday, we go to work. All I do the entire day is cry. 
Tuesday, we go to work. All I do the entire day is cry.
Wednesday, we go to work and then the funeral. Have you ever been to an all day 5 person funeral? All I do the entire day is cry.
Thursday, we go to work. There aren't anymore tears left.
Friday, we go to work. Big Boss is there and we have to have the "splitting of the job duties" conversation because the world can't stop just because we can't make it through the day without tears.


I volunteer for all of the non-financial duties that Trini had. In hind-sight a lot of those duties should've been mine to begin with - but we're all so busy. 


For 5 months, my co-workers and I pull double duty until we can get just one person in to pick up some of the slack. We still cry, but those days are fewer and further between. People have moved into their offices although we still call them Trini & Michelle's offices. 


The somewhat "sweet" part comes on February 1st when my employer is going to do something unprecedented. They are awarding a pay supplement to the handful of us that picked up the slack these last 5-6 months. We get a "bonus". I'm actually going to be paid for all the extra work. I may even be able to get a car...


This is huge!


While one side of me is beyond ecstatic that I am getting a fairly substantial windfall and that I'm actually going to be able to do something with it - the other side hates where the money is coming from and would gladly give it back and then some to have my friends back at their desks, cooking smelly food and finding crazy cheap deals on everything you can imagine. 


I can't believe it's taken this long for me to write about this. I realized yesterday, that I hadn't stood at the stove and cleaned it since that day. Of course, that's what I was doing when I got the call, so it seems a little like tempting fate to do it again. (Yes, I'm on medication for the crazy...) But I guess by being able to tell the story in writing, I'm moving to the next step. 


Trini & Michelle - I miss you fun & funny ladies! I know heaven got (at least) two more angels than it bargained for last year.
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