On holding together

Michael Plumadore pleaded guilty yesterday. I’m not going to tell you what he did, because I’m tired of writing about what he did. I am so incredibly grateful for a guilty plea, I cannot tell you how much. That trial would have been hideous. There are no other words for it. And I fear our community would have reveled in all the gory details, right up until the sentence of death. They are outraged now on various webpages and social networking sites, feeling cheated out of the promise of an execution. I am embarrassed for us, I confess.

I, however, I am doing surprisingly alright. I awakened this morning to the sound of birds instead of sirens. I drank my coffee while walking to the barn to retrieve the errant pup. After that, I took him for a run in a nearby state park and I thought as I ran about how whole I feel.

I’ve lived in Fort Wayne now almost my entire adult life. I finished school here, found a faith here, and built a career and reputation here. But most importantly, I found me here. I’ve seen glimpses of the person I want to be. Through God’s matchless grace, I’ve been able to put back together something I thought was hopelessly damaged and broken.

Which brings me back to Plumadore. As I jogged through the woods, I thought about how just a year ago, I would have struggled more the day after writing that story. I would have struggled more the day I wrote the story. Don’t get me wrong, it was especially horrifying to hear someone say, with their own mouth, how they did what he did. And it was physically difficult to figure out how to put that into words for the reading public. But I know a year ago, I would’ve struggled longer to put myself back together afterward. There was little less of the “post-traumatic” stress about today.

Two years ago, I reached the end of myself as a solitary person. I felt like I finally found something in myself worth handing off to someone else, something worth sharing beside my inclination for protecting others. But I didn’t know what to do with it. For some reason, I found myself driving around and around, Sunshine snoozing in the back seat, listening to Coldplay’s “Fix You”, and Sufjan Steven’s version of “Come Thou Fount” over and over again, tears streaming down my face.

I don’t know what happened that day. I talked to my friend, one of the truest I’ve ever had, and something about that conversation made me feel like it was OK to put myself in a position to meet, to date, to fall in love. Four months later I did. Now, I type this with a ring on my left ring finger, our dog napping at my feet, and the birds singing still outside the windows of his home.

I know that A’s not the only reason I feel OK today, after Plumadore and his mess of a life. But I think the reason’s I was able to be open to A–to trust, to risk, to love, and to be loved–are are all part of it.

This used to be me:

I spend my life
Becoming invisible
It’s hard to maintain
And it’s hard to get by
I don’t recall
Fight or flight setting in
I have no introduction
I just breath it in like the air
And there’s nothing to remember
There is nothing to remember

I owe you nothing
That’s all I’ve got for you
And you’ll borrow nothing
That’s what you expect of me
So send me a lot
Out of thin sailors knots
And I fear underneath
Your radiant thoughts
My footsteps now
They will echo loudly
All I owe, all I owe
Strides I spend to the finish line
All I owe, all I owe
Strides I spend to the finish line
I’ll give you those

You told me something
That scared me to death
Don’t take me home
I can’t face that yet
I’m ashamed that I’m barely human
And I’m ashamed that
I don’t have a heart you can break

I’m just action
And at other times reaction

All I owe, all I owe
Strides I spend to the finish line
All I owe, all I owe
Strides I spend to the finish line
I’ll give you those
Just don’t make me go home
Give me something to remember
Give me something to remember
Give me something to remember (Neko Case, “Nothing to Remember)

It’s not anymore. For that I will be eternally grateful.

Sorry if this was over-sharing.


Author: Rebecca

Orthodox Christian. Journalist. SAR K9 handler. All three of those are deeply related.

4 thoughts on “On holding together”

    1. You probably don’t even remember that conversation, and I don’t remember exactly what we talked about. But whatever it was, working through things, helped. Love ya’ friend!

  1. I won’t lie what he pled guilty to was gruesome. For I also live in Fort Wayne. However, I know that it was never my place to judge him. I know that what happened is between him and God. I pray for him and all sinners that we all may come to God and seek repentance.

    1. In Orthodoxy, we pray simply “Lord, have mercy.” It is how I have prayed throughout, as I have covered the story, and lived with the knowledge of it.

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