Grief & Loss, Healing, Quotes & Excerpts, The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts

Thanksgiving

It’s been a while since I wrote something here. The tragedy that happened to our family had been taking it’s toll. At the end of the day, I was just exhausted so I’m trying to sleep more. At the same time, I didn’t want this website to be a pity party.

Thanksgiving Flowers For Steve
Thanksgiving Flowers For Steve

Continue reading “Thanksgiving”

Grief & Loss, Healing, Quotes & Excerpts, Thea's Thoughts

FBI Academy Class 08-17

“…when he shall die,

take him and cut him out in little stars,

and he will make the face of Heaven so fine

that all the world will be in love with night

and pay no worship to the garish sun.”

~ Romeo & Juliet, by William Shakespeare.

Steve's Graduation from FBI Academy
Steve’s Graduation from the FBI Academy

This was written on the card that Steve’s former classmates gave to me. A couple of his former classmates came over to my home a few weeks ago to personally deliver a gift to me and my little one. It was unexpected and I was really touched by their gesture. They shared a few stories about Steve and I was craving for any narratives about Steve at work.

When Steve was in Quantico, we talked almost every day and he mentioned that being at the academy was gruelling but he enjoyed every minute of it. Since he kept to himself, he connected only with a few people. Even so, he felt that he had a good vibe with the rest of his batch mates. He always talked about visiting his roommate who was assigned at Central California but we never get to do it. Life takes over somehow. This is just one of the countless things that we had planned to do together and now he’s gone. Gone…it still hurt to say that word.

When they left, I couldn’t help tears rolling down my cheeks. I read the letter and the card over and over again at night. It was like a piece of him that I have in my hands. His Field Agent Counselor talked about how he was a model New Agent Trainee at the academy at that time and the comforting words from his fellow special agent was a balm to my grief at that moment.

I am truly grateful to you all, FBI Academy Class 08-17.

 

“The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”

~Psalm 121:8

Forensics, Recovery, The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts

Seeking Forensic Help

Because of my husband’s work as a police officer at the time that I first met him, he introduced me to tv shows like Cold Case, Forensic Files, City Confidential, etc. It’s very interesting to me because it’s like solving a puzzle and I do love a good dose of mystery, especially if it’s based on a true story.

Steve's Funeral
Steve’s Funeral

I never thought that one day, I would be somehow involved in the forensic world. It’s quite ironic. There are so many things that I’m still frustrated with in terms of the findings regarding my husband’s death. Just one of the things from this list is the “Date of Death.” When the Medical Examiner declared that Steve’s Date of Death was July 30, Continue reading “Seeking Forensic Help”

Healing, The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts

A Dedication

Steve has been found. Some people might think that it should have been enough for me. That I’m lucky somebody had found him. I’m very aware of that because I’d searched for him and in my search and reaching out for assistance, I’d learned about the statistics for missing persons. I’d been through the agonizing days of not knowing where he was. And I wish that the families of missing persons would be able to find their loved ones soon, too. But I hope not in the way that I did.

My Love
My Love

Why am I still here? Sharing my thoughts? It’s quite unlikely that people will find what I write entertaining. I don’t really know where this is going. The two months of silence to take care of personal business has been building up. And I realized that this time, it’s for me. I needed to do this for myself. Also, this website is a testimony of my search for Steve. There will come a time when my son has grown up, he’ll have questions about his Dad. Lastly, I want to be able to speak about the issues that are important to me. Issues that people tend to have difficulty understanding and even discussing: missing persons, depression, suicide and workplace bullying. Maybe this is something that touches you, too.

When Steve was still missing, we were advised to focus on just the search for Steve. Any other issues will be dealt with later. Our fear of not ever finding Steve silenced me, silenced my family. Until now, there are things that I may not be able to share for self-preservation. And I expect people will respect that.

To those who continue to pray for Steve and our family, I’m eternally grateful for your kindness. Knowing that people cared, really cared and extended their assistance to me and my family without any agenda is important to me. In spite of this tragedy, I recognize that there are blessings that still comes my way. In spite of the uncertainty and despair that I feel, I do yearn for hope. I still choose to live. Living for today, one day at a time.

 

 

 

Funeral, Thea's Thoughts

Rosary Night

It wasn’t a good day. I had an emotional breakdown. With all the list of things to do, I just felt that I wanted to get away from all this “madness.” I felt like a bride who just wanted to elope with her groom. My mom held me for a long time and calmed me down. In all my years growing up, it was the sweetest thing that my mom had ever done for me.

Photo by Vanderlei Longo on Pexels.com
Steve on his Wedding Day
Steve on his Wedding Day

The later part of the day was better. A lot of the people that mattered to me and Steve were there. It’s a great comfort to me that a lot of people had prayed to bring Steve home safely. It wasn’t the answer that we all wanted but some part of me had been appeased. But in spite of the turbulence of emotions that I’m still feeling right now, I’m grateful.

Thea's Thoughts

77 Days

In spite of our family crisis, I do have little moments of happiness. When I look at the pictures and videos of Steve, those little things makes me happy. When I wear the stuff my husband has given me as a gift during my birthday, anniversary or holidays, it makes me happy.

Thea and Steve
Thea and Steve

My mom has always told me that I don’t really need to shop anymore because I have everything. But those are things – just stuff. All I need is my family reunited again. I need my husband back.

My stuff. Actually, I’m just stifling this urge to just throw my stuff away. The most practical thing for Continue reading “77 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

76 Days

Faith.

People wear their faith in different ways and I think that’s what makes a person unique from each other. I see rituals as a guide to keep me centered in communion with Him. I see my faith as a way to help me go through this current crisis in our family. My faith helps me in believing that miracles do happen. A miracle happened to my family a year ago and I believe it’ll happen again soon.

Saint Anthony with Jesus
Saint Anthony with Jesus

I’d always use the regular prayers to start off my conversation with God. That’s how I pray. Just a regular conversation like I was talking to my mom or aunt. A week before the Prayer Vigil for Steve’s Continue reading “76 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

74 Days

I just bought a roundtrip plane ticket going to Omaha, Nebraska since I finally decided to attend the “Keys to Healing Retreat IV.” It will start on the 10th of August and will end on the 12th. It’s the only retreat for families who have a missing loved one.

Swanson Retreat Center
Swanson Retreat Center

I remember when I was talking to my cousin the first two weeks that Steve had been missing. She suggested to have a time for myself away from it all and maybe a retreat will be a good idea. She Continue reading “74 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

73 Days

My little munchkin and I had taken it easy this Sunday afternoon. My mom and my aunt wanted to go window shopping and I went along just to get into a different environment. I went to the mall and after 30 minutes, I just lost interest in window shopping since I was already thinking about how it’s nice to lie down and take an afternoon nap. I just felt so exhausted lately.

Mommy & Daddy
Mommy & Daddy

When my little munchkin woke up late afternoon, we snuggled in bed and he watched Toy Story while I was writing down my “thoughts” from yesterday. I was browsing Continue reading “73 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

68 Days

“It’s not like on tv.”

As I browse through the family forums on the Project Jason website, I learned about other families struggle dealing with a missing loved one. Our family was still fortunate that somehow, we were able to get national media awareness during the first week that he has been missing which results in getting leads from the public. The law enforcement organizations were able to use helicopters with infrared equipment, canine units, and physical search for twelve days. Most families don’t even get any media attention, no searches and no investigation. I’m learning that it takes a lot of time and manpower to conduct a proper investigation and search. The LE’s (Law Enforcement) don’t solve a case in an hour or two.

And that’s the reality of it all.

I miss Steve's smile
I miss Steve’s smile

I did have twelve days and I should be really thankful, right?

The reality is that there are too many missing people and not enough LE to do the type of investigation that is needed in some of the cases. The reality is that most of the time, the LE err to the side of willful missing/will be Continue reading “68 Days”