Justice – Part 1

Posted: September 5, 2013 in grief, justice
Tags: , , , ,

Who I was…

I was an innate believer in the goodness of man, naive to think that evil would not touch my life.

Who I am now…

The evil of my son’s murder is the hardest thing I have ever had to endure in my life.

Tony was robbed of his life. He was robbed of the gift of time. He was robbed of the opportunity to mature and grow into responsible decision-making.

I was robbed of dreams and hope. What I have to live with is profound destruction in a trail of broken dreams and lost hope for visions of a future that included my only child. The devastation and pain I feel every day is beyond words, and it is a loss that I will carry with me forever.

That makes me as much a victim as my son.

I was thrown blindly into a war that I never ever conceived of fighting.  War was declared on my soul on August 8, 2011.

That war continued when I had to learn the terminology of the justice system that I was thrust into.

It continued as I forced myself to be in the same room as evil, in hearing after hearing.

It continued when I had to face the new reality that I must live in.

That reality includes a world forever without the warm hugs, the smiles, and the goofy faces. It includes a future without the children my son would have fathered. I will never hear the word “Grandma” in reference to me. It includes knowing that I will never see my son’s elderly face at the end of my days.

I am battle-scarred from this war. I have no visible scars on the outside, but nevertheless, I am a wounded warrior who lives with a deep gash in my heart that can’t be seen.  Time will never heal that wound completely.  I am badly scarred, but I survive to ensure that my son’s spirit lives on within me.

Tony James Phillips will never be harmed again.

Tony was…

A spirit who must have known he had a short life contract.  And so he experienced life full speed ahead.

As a little boy, an elementary school teacher wanted to advance him a grade because he was so bright, but I kept him in his grade so that he could mature more. I enrolled him in gymnastics, and soccer, and baseball thinking he would find his passion in sports. But he would draw, and dance, and write, finding his passion in the arts.

And then he discovered music. He played trumpet in the middle and high school bands, all the while teaching himself his true passion of being a drummer.

He crammed much in his lifetime. He got to drive his beloved Subaru Impreza. He especially enjoyed taking the curves of the Tail of the Dragon.  He got the college, dorm room experience.  He enjoyed the beauty of East Tennessee on many hikes. He knew physical love and emotional love and was loved in return by a girl and then a strong, young woman for six years. He experienced independence, working full-time, renting an apartment, and making his own way.

Throughout all of his experiences, music was the major part of his life.

When he was invited onto the stage of a local bar for an impromptu drum solo with a band called Jay Storm, he felt like a star. He was just beginning to realize his dream of being a paid musician in a band. He was the drummer for the Delightful Desperados. He experienced gigs with the band in Knoxville and Maryville, and he was able to ring in the 2011 New Year in Hilton Head as one of the Delightful Desperados.

I am thankful for all he was able to experience in his 22 years, 10 months, and 5 days on earth.

He wrote prophetically on several occasions about how life is to be enjoyed and not taken for granted. He wondered about what happens on the other side. I am so very sorry that he knows now. Tony lived as he believed: fully, with abandon, and with passion, as if each day might be his last. He just didn’t know that day would be August 8, 2011.

And life goes on…

My relationship with my son is forever changed, from physical to spirit. I will never be able to change the nature of that relationship. And what cannot be changed must be borne.

There are logical consequences for every action, whether those actions are positive or negative. Tony paid dearly for his actions; he paid with his life.

And one defendant pays with incarceration because of his negative, greedy, evil actions. I don’t know if there is any good in him. If there is, I believe it only flickers dimly. What I do know is that no one escapes their own justice–if not in court, in the walk to the Infinite Light, where everyone is accountable to themselves in the end.

I am glad for both kinds of justice. I leave this defendant’s fate to powers greater than me and devote my energy to preserving the legacy of Tony James Phillips and the love that death will never erase.

  1. Amparo says:

    Thanks, Annie. I will share the video soon.

  2. Orlando says:

    I only wish I could somehow, someway, be able to help you through this path that you have been led to.

    Your words convey emotions really heart felt. I love you so much.

    • Amparo says:

      I love you too. Always hold Tony in your heart and remember him in every beautiful thing you see around you because his spirit lives on through LOVE.

  3. Geraldine Weaver says:

    Once again Amparo, your words touch my heart. So sorry you had to endure this evil man in court on top of everything else you are dealing with. My thoughts are with you often, was talking about you last night with my daughter. My love stretches out to you across the miles.

  4. Debra says:

    You did an amazing job in court. I am sure Tony was proud of his mama.

    • Amparo says:

      Thanks, Debra. It meant everything to me that you were there, whispering encouragement, holding me close, and continuing to lift me up as you do always, through your example and strength on the journey that no mama should ever have to endure.

  5. Anne says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I was hoping I would be able to read it.

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