Selma’s Story Time – 8/13/14

She made a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup for dinner and kept thinking about whether she should do it or not.

Should I do it and find out something bad.

Should I not do it and wonder for the rest of her life.

Should I do it and get the answer that she wants and put the thing to bed once and for all.

Curiosity got the better of her in the end. After cleaning up the dinner dishes, she grabbed her after dinner tea and sat down at the computer. She started typing but decided to keep the e-mail short and to the point.

Dear Jerry Givings,

I am the mother of the police officer you are now serving time in prison for killing. I know a lot of time has passed since it all happened. I have struggled to deal with the loss of my son ever since that day. He was a husband and a new Dad. He had a lot of good things happening in his life when you made the decision to kill him. Because of what you did, his son never knew his dad except for pictures and stories that we have shared with him. 

The reason why I am writing this is to ask you one question. Are you sorry for what you did to my family that day? That’s what I want to know so I can maybe start my healing process.

I would appreciate a reply to this e-mail but understand if you are unable to.

Ed said that her email address would be hidden from him and not to sign it, to keep the process more anonymous. But she all but gave him her name in what she wrote, he will know who it is from. She read through it a couple more times before she hit send. When ‘your message has been sent’ appeared on the screen she wanted the email back. She didn’t want to stir up the feelings with him. She was scared of the answer and hearing from him. Keeping this line of communication open with him made her nervous, but now all she could do was wait and see.


It was the anniversary of Marty’s death. Mrs. Stockton would bring flowers and spend a little time with her son today as she has done on October 12th every year since it happened. 

After breakfast, she took the rest of her tea to the computer to check her e-mail messages. She had two new messages. One was from her son David, just letting her know he was thinking of Marty today. Then she saw one from an address that didn’t look familiar. It was a little bit scrambled. She had heard somethings from Shelby about not opening unfamiliar e-mails as they could have viruses in them that would damage the computer’s hard drive. She was about to delete it when she saw the word prison in the subject line. It may be an e-mail from Jerry Givings. She double clicked on the message and started to read


There was an envelope on the center of the screen. Mrs. Stockton clicked on it and the following message appeared.

Dear Ma’am,

I received your e-mail a couple of weeks ago. I had some time to think about things and finally got some computer time to be able to respond.

I was just a punk kid that had no idea what consequences were. I know that is a bad excuse for what I did, but it was the only reason I really have. I didn’t want to get caught with the drugs and thought I could get away if I shot your son. Obviously, I was wrong.

I will be spending my life in prison paying for what I did. I think about that day and what I did every day that I am in here. That is the hardest part. I could have been out many years ago if I was just caught for possession of drugs. If I had only known, then what I know now.

I am sorry for what I did to your family and his son. He should have never had to grow up without his dad. I hope that my response helps you to start healing.

She didn’t know how to feel. She got the answer that she wanted. She felt relieved but was also saddened by the fact that he would be in jail for the rest of his life because of it. 

Upon arriving at the cemetery, she walked over to his grave and put the flowers in the vase. Kneeling down by his headstone she started talking,

“I got an e-mail from Jerry Givings today, Marty. He’s sorry for what he did. I don’t know if I will be able to forgive him, but at least I know that he didn’t do it to take you away from me. I needed to know that so I can start to heal. I miss you every day Martin Stockton and I love you more than you will ever know.”

She went on to share the current family news with him and enjoyed being with her son’s spirit, more at peace with things than she had ever been before.