Sometimes it feels like you’re in the dark and there’s only an outstretched hand and a voice to help lead you out, but finally, you step out of that wracking, blanketing, stifling place and the sunshine falls on you like feathers, brushing away the fear and pain.
For Julie Amero, her husband Wes was that outstretched hand and soothing voice. Through her entire ordeal, he was there, steady as a rock, keeping her steady and walking through the nightmare she endured at the hands of Norwich, Connecticut authorities just four years ago. In fact, it was nearly four years ago to the day that she faced trial for committing the crime of protecting children from a computer full of malware and the resulting popup images. Julie was the victim of an incompetent, opinionated investigator and an equally incompetent judicial system. Still, with the help of many angels here on the Internet, she was able to prove her innocence but was still forced to give up her right to teach in order to serve up a pound of flesh. Unjust justice, but Julie was content, knowing that she would be with Wes and they could rebuild their lives.
In July of last year Julie wrote that Wes had been diagnosed with cancer and was given very little time to live. But in characteristic Wes-like fashion, he faced the diagnosis and treatment head-on until he passed away last weekend.
For Julie, it must feel like there is an infinite hole where Wes was, and now isn’t. It must feel like black is shrouding every step she takes, that there is no light around the corner or outstretched hand.
This is for Julie, this message and image at the top of this post. A flower in the dark, with barely enough light at dusk to cast a shadow. Yet the shadow doesn’t steal the light away. Even without the direct touch of daylight warmth, there is a glow. There’s still light. So, too will Wes be with you forever, right at the heart, at the place where darkness can’t reach. And always remember, Julie, that your friends are here with outstretched hands. They might not be as strong or sure as Wes, but together, we’ll do everything we can for you.
Rest in peace, Wes. You were a fine man, the kind of person who was just rock-solid good from head to toe. The kind of person who didn’t even know how to be anything but good. We never met face to face, but I know you like we did.
Much love to you, Julie. I wish this four-year saga had a different chapter at this point in time, but the end hasn’t been written yet, and there’s still light pushing the darkness away.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
If you’ve been reading my blog from the early days, you know about my involvement with Julie Amero’s fight for justice. But for new readers, know this: Julie Amero was the victim of a poorly secured network, vicious malware, and a culture of suspicion and ignorance within the ranks of the law enforcement community in Norwich, Connecticut.
After very nearly being sentenced to forty years in prison for the heinous act of trying to shield students in a class where she was substitute teaching from pornography being served via popup to her school computer, after losing the child she was carrying as a result of the stress of her arrest, after living for another two years in limbo until finally being “allowed” (and I use that term with all sarcasm) to plea-bargain the charges down to ones that credited her time served and closed the case, one would think it was time for Julie and Wes to move on, enjoy their lives together, and let the past live in the past.