Tomorrow is the second birthday we will miss celebrating with Amanda. She should be here celebrating her 34th birthday with family and friends. I miss looking for that perfect gift. I miss buying her favorite cake. I miss trying to surprise her. I just miss her infectious smile and gracious attitude. Ever since she was a baby, I have made it a point to make her birthday special in some way. I am so incredibly sad to not have her here, and I never want her forgotten.

I have no idea of how her story will end, I am trusting God with that.  I may never know the impact her life and death may have made on others. She is loved and missed by so many, and her story of injustice has reached thousands. She loved her family unconditional and the best she knew how. Looking back over years of pictures, it’s a beautiful reminder of the beautiful times with this beautiful woman. She always had a smile that lit up a room.

What is hard now is the inability to grieve her death. I have been in limbo between saying good bye and pursuing justice. Two years ago, I took her a cake and some presents for her 32nd birthday. I remember that day so vividly, as we stood outside of her house and ate cake, and I cried over the bruises on her face and arms. I wanted to save her so bad from the hell she was living in, but was not able to. The terror and abuse she suffered at the hands of pure evil was beyond my control, and now I know, hers as well.  Since taking her last breath on May 21, 2015, I’ve spent countless hours trying to make sense of her death. I made her a promise that day to never give up on finding answers to legitimate questions. Her life matters to me, her children, family, and friends—and it should matter to law enforcement.