Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I can feel him there

There have been several times since Jarod was killed that I could feel him near me. Yes I know it sounds crazy but i do. I talk to him all the time too. When ever I feel upset or frustrated I talk to him or if I do something really stupid I yell at him because I know hes laughing at me like he always did. If people saw me when I'm all alone at home you would really think I was insane. There will be nights I lay in bed and it just feels like someone is there in the same room with me. It really scared me at first because I live by myself, but after countless nights of getting up and sweeping the house to make sure no one was there I realized what it was I feeling, Jarod.

I practically lived with my parents for a month after Jarod died, I just couldn't stand to be at home by myself. I started sleeping on their couch but my sister made me a bed in her room on the floor which I like more because I was close to someone. I remember waking up Wednesday morning after everything happen. When I first opened my eyes I was looking at the TV. At first glace it looked like someone was standing in the corner of the room behind me. I closed my eyes and looked again, still the same image was reflecting off the TV screen. I knew right away what it was I was seeing. I wasn't scared I actually felt at peace. Calling hours started the next day so I hadn't actually seen him yet but there he was, in uniform like he always was when he would come seem me at night while he was working. It was almost like he was telling me he was ok, that I didn't need to worry he was in a better place now, he had a bigger job to do. I tried so hard not to blink, I didn't want him to go away but the minute I did he was gone. I really thought I was crazy after that, I thought losing Jarod had made me crazy. Could I want someone so bad that I was thinking I saw him? That wasn't the only time I thought I was crazy, in fact in the past 7 months I'm pretty sure I'm losing my mind.

I go to school at Kent State, and for the past few years I have been taking night classes which I don't really like but you do what you have to. I was leaving class one night about a month after everything. I had got to school late and had to park in the visitors lot in order to get to class on time. There really was no one around, and it was dark, and very very cold. I was in such a rush to get to class I accidentally dumped my purse out in the car trying to get my stuff together. My dad had given me pepper spray which Jarod had always insisted I take everywhere with me! There was never a time I went anywhere and it wasn't in my purse or my coat pocket. Well sure enough when I knocked my purse over it fell out. There I was leaving class on one of the darkest coldest nights in February and I had nothing to protect me if something were to happen. I tried to walk quick and get to the car as fast as I could. As I walked down the hill I had this feeling someone was behind me. I kept turning around to find no one there, but the feeling someone was following me didn't go away. I suddenly felt a little bit warmer like someone had put their arms around me. I smiled and started to walk a little slower, I was no longer worried about someone following me.

I was given a poem, a few days before the funeral, from Jarods friend Chris. It was called Pennies from Heaven.

Pennies from Heaven
Today I found a penny,
Just lying on the ground.
But its not just a penny
this little coin I found.
Found pennies come from heaven
Thats what my Grandpa told me,
He said angels toss them down,
oh how I loved that story.
He said when an angel misses you
they toss a penny down.
Sometimes just to cheer you up,
and make a smile from your frown.
So don't pass by that penny
when your feeling blue,
It maybe a penny from heaven
that and angel has tossed to you!
Never in a million years would I think a poem was so true, until I experienced it. I find pennies in the strangest places now. I'll be looking at something look away and when I look back theres a penny. The very first time I found a penny after Jarod died I actually found 3. I was having a really bad day, I was cleaning my house and it seemed like I kept finding all these things that were Jarods. I was going through some laundry and putting clothes away when I found 3 pennies in the bottom of a drawer full of shirts. Of course I started crying even harder but I cried with the biggest smile on my face. Things like that happen all the time after that, I remember stubbing my baby toe on the edge of the couch leaving the house one day. I yelled super loud and said alot of bad words. As I jumped around I looked over and right in front of my TV stand was a penny, heads up just laying there. I remember looking up at the ceiling and saying "bastard! That wasn't funny" for the next 3 weeks every time I would start getting upset about something I would stub that toe again, he always did have that sick sense of humor. That's something I really miss, he always knew how to make me smile even when he had just pissed me off.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Story

Everyone around me keeps telling me I need to get some help. They tell me that they hate seeing me the way I am and I really should go talk to someone. I saw that a friend of mine had a blog that she used to help her deal with some things that happen in her life not to long ago and well here I am. I'm going to give this a try and see if getting my feelings out there doesn't help. So here goes....

Mom was the one that introduced me to Jarod. He was an officer here in Windham where I live. At first I shot Moms little hints about dating him down, he wasn't the kind of guys I normally dated. When I finally gave in and agreed to go out with him I experienced what it was like be around a good guy! He was nothing like I thought he would be I never in a million years thought I would ever date a cop. Jarod was one of the most amazing people I think I have ever met. He was totally in love with his job. Ever since he was little he always wanted to be a police officer, and he was good at what he did. His favorite was working with the kids at the schools. He was Windham's School resource officer and he did an amazing job at it. He ran Safety Town and even agreed to get pied for the carnival the PTO put on. I think the kids loved him as much as he loved them. I remember when he worked midnights he would come over after he got off work and talk to me while I got ready to go to work. My favorite days were when he wouldn't get to my house till just before I left, and when I asked where he was he would always say well I stopped up at the school and had breakfast with a few of the kids. The smile on his face was priceless. It made me think about the day we would have kids and what a great Dad he would be! Jarod and I had our ups and downs, I'm pretty sure we lived to fight with each other but I cant explain how happy that boy made me. We decided to move in together when my parents asked if we wanted one side of the duplex they owned. We had a great time getting everything together to move in. So many little things make me smile thinking about it all. Jarod haggling with the guy at the furniture store is one of my favorites he just had to have those couches. Things got pretty rough for Jarod and I and he decided not to move in. I still moved and he still came and stayed all the time I guess he just wasn't ready. But it didn't matter if he had officially moved in or not that was "our" place not just mine. Jarod got a job working for Boston Heights out on Route 8 new Akron. We broke up for a little while and it hurt but i got through just fine. Right after New Years we started talking and hanging out again. Now when I look back I wish I hadn't been so stubborn and let him back in earlier. I was so afraid of getting my heart broken again. Things were looking up and I knew within the month Jarod and I would be officially back together and things would be normal again. January 19th changed my life forever! I remember every little detail of that morning.It was a Monday, Martin Luther King day actually. I didn't have to work because the banks were closed for the holiday. A day to sleep in and do nothing, the last day I had before school started again. Me and the dog were all snuggled up in bed when the phone rang I remember looking at then clock it was only 8 then rolling over and looking at who was calling, it was Mom. Was she crazy its only 8 and I don't have to get up early today. I didn't answer I figured she just forgot I didn't have to work. I went back to sleep but only for about 20 minutes. There was a knock on the door and as always Bailey went crazy barking and running into the living room. I got up and grabbed my robe and went and answered the door, it was dad. He looked really upset and being half asleep I didn't really get that at first. He told me to come sit down with him he needed to talk to me, I noticed he was shaking. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said " Jarod was killed this morning". All at once I was awake and all these thoughts rushed into my head and I remember thinking "oh" and then it hit me, my mind grasped what my Dad had just said and all at once I was on my knees in my Dads arms. The tears came like waterfalls that never ended. My Dad said to get dressed and come over to the house. When he left I went and got my phone, I hit the speed dial and Holly answered her phone. "Hes dead Holly Jarods gone" I remember saying, " He was killed this morning" and at that very moment regret hit me. All the things I wanted him to know everything I ever wanted to say and never did were in my mind. I sat in my hallway in a ball and cried to Holly. She kept telling me I couldn't have regrets that no one ever thought this would happen. She told me she was heading into work but if she could she would leave early and come be with me, I told her ok and we got off the phone. That was the last time I really ever talked to Holly as my best friend. Bailey sat next to me with her head on my leg just looking at me. She crawled up in my lap and I just sat there and held her and cried. I finally got to my parents house and went up stairs I hugged Kelsey and then went in Lindsey's room. I crawled into bed with Lin and held her she was crying too. Kels came in and we all cried together. Mom had went with Windham's Police Chief to go and talk to the Chief Varga of Boston Heights. She got home and came to sit with us. I remember telling her I loved him over and over again. That he couldn't be gone cause I loved him. Then I got sick, I ran to the bathroom cause I thought I was going to throw up. I didn't but the thought was there, the sick feeling in my stomach wouldn't go away. Mom asked if I would like to go and see his parents and I said yes. I went back home and got dressed. She came and picked me up and then we went to Chris and Jason's first. They were friends of Jarod's, Jason is a cop and Chris is a dispatcher, both here in Windham. Jarod was actually the one that got them together, they got married this past June. Chris was the only one home, Jason was still at work. She took us upstairs and we sat in her kitchen. I remember being numb, I just sat there and zoned out. Jason came home and then mom and I left. We went to Jarods parents from there. we parked and walked to the house there was a Hudson Police car sitting in there drive way. He asked if we were family and I said " um well I'm his girlfriend" he shook his head and I walked to the house. Jarod brother John answered the door and invited us in. I went right over and hugged Marie Jarods mom, then I hugged Tom his dad. I didn't remember much of being at his house, I kept wanted to ask if I could go down stairs and sit in his room, but I didn't dare. We stayed for a little while and then we left. My phone rang all day, phone calls and text messages from everyone telling me how sorry they were for what happen. People I hadn't talked to since high school some how found ways to contact me and tell me they were there for me if I ever needed anything. The rest of the day is kind of a blur, in fact the rest of the week was kind of a blur. Little things stand out and I remember then very clearly. That Thursday was the first day of calling hours. Mom went with me and we met the family at the funeral home before everything started so we could have a chance to see him before everyone else got there. I remember walking in and one thing that stuck in my mind was when the funeral home director asked said " we did the best we could but we ask that you don't touch his face" My heart sunk again, I didn't think it could get any lower. The director opened the doors and I heard Jarods mom start crying again. I was shaking, so hard I could barely walk. I couldn't see his face yet there were other people standing in front of me. Then someone moved. I looked up and there he was, just laying there. I spun around and closed my eyes, that wasn't him, it couldn't be. My mom was holding me and I was crying again even harder then before. I turned back around and walked up to the casket. I looked at him for what seemed like hours. It wasn't him it just didn't look like him, and I kept telling myself this was just a really bad nightmare and I was going to wake up at any moment. I never woke up needless to say. I went and sat in the front row of chairs and just stared, I was in that zone out mode again. People started to come in and John, Jarod's brother came and asked if I would like to stand up in line with the family, I didn't know what to say. I felt part of their family at that moment. I stood up next to John all day, and the next day. I met so many officers from across the state, there were officers from so many other states too, even officers from Canada came! I met Chief Varga and all the guys from Boston Heights. They kept telling me how much Jarod talked about me. I found out from not only them but also my mom, sister and Chris that Jarod was going to propose to me on Valentines day. I couldn't believe it at first, with everything going on it just made my heart hurt worse. The day of the funeral came I want ready for this. I never took my coat off I remember just being cold. There was a little service at the funeral home and then everyone was to pay there last respects before they closed the casket. I went up almost last as I stood there I tried to make the time stand still, this time it seemed like the fasted minute of my entire life. I leaned over and whispered " I love you Jarod, with all my heart, and I always will" , then I kissed him for the very last time. We went to the church and when we pulled in I couldn't believe all the police cars. There were officers there from just about every department in the area. Out of state officers, there was even a U.S. Marshal there. There were news crews there in front of the church I was hoping they wouldn't be aloud inside, and they weren't. After the church we left and followed the most amazing precession I have ever seen. They blocked off on ramps, and roads. People stood outside with signs that said all sorts of things like RIP Officer Dean, You will be missed, Never forgotten, there was even an older man standing on the side of the road who saluted the car and it drove by. As we turned into the cemetery there were two fire truck with their cranes up and attached to the middle was a flag. As we stood out there while the last few words were said I remember shaking because I was cold but I couldnt really feel the cold. Bagpipes played amazing grace a song I can never hear played by bagpipes with out losing it, and then taps. Gun shots were fired and his last call. I walked up to the casket and placed the rose someone had given me on top, I kissed my hand and layed it on top. John came and gave me a hug and told me Jarod would be so proud. I didn't eat for the better part of a month and well I still don't sleep good at night. They recently just layed his stone I haven't been to see it yet. The Cemetery he is at is surrounded by a not so great neighborhood so I was told I can never go alone. I hate that! Some days I just wish I could go and sit there and be alone with him. I'm going to get my CCW soon and then maybe everyone will lay off and let me go alone. I'm getting better, I really am. I can talk about him without completely losing it now. I've stayed in touch with his family which helps a lot too. My sister Lindsey and I are closer then we've ever been. Life is still rough at times but with my amazing family and my friends I have learned to start living again. Jarod was killed January 19th 2009 at 5:30 in the morning. He was clearing debris out of the road from a previous accident when a box truck struck him. He died instantly. I feel as though my heart will never beat the same, and life will never be quite as sweet as it was, but it will go on. I will always have my angel watching over me until we finally meet again.