The doorbell rang, and there was a delivery, Edible Fruit bouquet - with apples dipped in chocolate. We were expecting guests that evening for our Friday dinner party, so it became the perfect dessert. Our guests came with prayer, more wisdoms and a certain air of excitement. Yes - excitement.
They were the ones that allowed me to see beyond myself.
There were telephone calls.
We continue to be grateful for our friends who rallied around us during this time.
Here is another section of the last Chapter 26.
Chapter 26 - B
With the email from Cloutier, I knew our wait was almost over. The next day, I arranged a three-way conference call so we could talk to our two adult children about the anticipated decision. It was hard to believe that, at the time of the trial, both our adult children were married but did not have children. Now Syras and Natasha had two; Larry and Odia were pregnant with their first – truly a miracle pregnancy but delicate. Odia was on bed rest till June. Both couples were preoccupied with their lives, and not as engaged with the issues as they once were. So we went through it all very quickly. First of all, we clarified for ourselves the three possibilities.
The first possibility was that the Supreme Court of Canada would uphold the original verdict of guilty. I assumed this would be the preferable decision.
The second possibility was that Supreme Court of Canada would rule in favor of the Manitoba Court of Appeal decision to order a new trial.
The third possibility was that the case would be dropped and Grant would go free.
What surprised me was how my preference for the first possibility -- that the Supreme Court of Canada would uphold the trial verdict -- was not necessarily my children's foremost choice. They were quite ambivalent about it all actually. This is when I realized that their entire adult life - the last 30 years - they had been living with this question, "Who killed their sister, Candace?" In their minds and lives this had almost become part of their identity.
We admitted that as a family, we had actually become accustomed to it. And that it had not necessarily been all negative; it had also held opportunities, privileges and learnings. We had learned to live in the tension.
If we were to take an image from the Old Testament, the people of Israel had first become very accustomed to slavery in Egypt, then they had become very accustomed to being nomads wandering in the desert for 40 years -- so accustomed that, when they reached the promised land, it is very clear that they weren't prepared to claim it for themselves. From all accounts, the people were always reluctant to transition even though it was from bad to better - just like us.
We didn't want to be like them. At the end of the phone call we did conclude that, even though we naturally resist change, we would want to step into this new reality, whatever it is. Just talking about it helped us let go of the comfort of the old.
Having had this conversation relieved me immensely.
We awoke Thursday – wondering. It was March 5, 2015.
The first call came from Meaghan Ketcheson, reporter from CBC radio Winnipeg. She said she knew the Supreme Court of Canada decision. I asked her what it was. She said something which I took to mean that the judges had ruled in favor of the guilty verdict.
It was exactly what I wanted to hear – not because it meant Grant was guilty – but because it meant that I would be free of this. I could go on – and I felt the soft grass beneath my bare feet – my image of ultimate freedom and joy.
When I expressed my delight, she said – “Oh no – you misunderstood me. They ruled in favor of the Appeal.”
I could feel my heart sink. I couldn’t believe it. They had what?
Their decision, she told me, was that the judges, all of them, “had upheld the Manitoba Appeal Judges' decision to order a new trial.”
When something outrageously unexpected happens, like in America's Funniest Home Videos, I laugh hysterically. I think I inherited this dreadful sense of humor from my mother - I do need to blame someone.
I just felt giddy. I just saw the ridiculousness of it all. I felt as if I was a key player in a tragicomedy, but I couldn't feel the tragedy, I could only feel the comedic side of it. I just wanted to laugh.
Crown lawyer, Mike Himmelman, was the next to call, and that seemed to release the flood of calls from everyone else, friends and reporters alike. Monica from Victim Services called. Everyone seemed shocked.
When the media began to call, I knew I needed to organize it all. I used my Twitter account to open up an invitation for them to come at 10:30 that morning.
(.... to be continued.)
Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing. - William James