Friday, February 6, 2009

Six Months...the pain is no less...and the guilty go unpunished

Today, February 6th, marks the 6 month anniversary of the day we lost Amit...The pain is no is still fresh, raw, biting...echoing into the deepest chambers of our hearts. We must not only endure the greatest pain of all, his absence, but we must acidify those open wounds with the travesty of his killer, for all intents and purposes, going free...Amit was not the first, he was not the last, but he was one, one of far too many, stolen from this world, stolen from their families, stolen, from the hearts of their friends and loved ones...and worse yet...these tragedies continue to be ignored. I am one...each of us is one...but...if we each take a stand, take action against these tragedies and the travesties of justice that happen far too often...maybe, just maybe...we can make a difference...maybe we can prevent somone else from having to endure the utter and complete heartache of such a loss...Do something...please...

I am including a copy of the statement that Deepika had read in that you can see the words...hear in those words the pain and heartache of this loss...maybe, if my words cannot inspire...hers can...

There are no words and so many words to express the emotional suffering that Troy Hovey has brought in to my life through the murder of my husband.

I came to this country away from my family and friends to live my life with my love, my husband Amit Tandon in Dec 2007. I am proud to have a person like Amit in my life, proud to be the mother of his baby. Troy Hovey stole a wonderful man not only from my life, but also from the community, from his family, from his friends. Amit Tandon was only 32 years old. He would have become a US Citizen next year. He was a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a friend, a husband, and in December, he would have been a father to his son. Amit was a successful community member and business man who made Chico a better place. Everyone who met him was better for having him in their lives. He was my love, my life, my partner, my friend, he was my perfection. I must now face the rest of my life without him by my side. I must try and keep our business running without his help, his knowledge and expertise advice, his life. Now, for sure I will breathe but I may not be able to live my life. I have no family around but I am glad that the whole Chico is supporting me in this difficult time.

Initially I was excited, but now I am scared as I know he won't be here with me when I have to rush to the hospital in labor. I will miss him holding my hand in the labor room. I won't be able to share the joy of having my baby with him. It was Amit's dream to bring the baby home in a Mercedes, he was working very hard to make his dream for the baby come true, but now I can't fulfill his first dream for our baby. I must raise my child without him. His son will never get to know the joy of having a father, never get to be held, comforted, taught, teased, and loved by his father. All the kids in the farmer's market used to come to see their "Tomato Bhaji Man". He used to love the kids so much, but he was not fortunate enough to see and play with his own baby, because of Troy's decision to drive under the influence. Amit’s parents will never get to see their son become a father, to see him grow old, to see the success that Amit was achieving. Amit’s niece and nephew will never get to see their beloved Chachu (uncle) ever again, to know him, to have his love in their lives. Amit’s brother will never get to tease him, learn from him, to be with him. The community of Chico has lost an upstanding member of the community who touched so many lives. Amit was loved from Chico, to Redding, to Red Bluff, to Sacramento, to San Jose, To Truckee, to Stockton, to Paradise, to Oroville, to Malaysia, to Dubai, to India…Around the world, we have felt this loss.

Can one even imagine, even begin to imagine what the pain of such a loss can bring to one’s life? On Monday, August 4th, Amit found out that he was going to be father to a baby boy. On Wednesday, August 6th, Amit and I worked in the kitchen to prepare for the markets we would be having that day and for the rest of the week. We laughed and teased each other and then he left to go to his markets. He went to Red Bluff and did his market. On the way home he called, teasing me that he was eating my peaches that he was suppose to be bringing home…He told me to keep his dinner warm and that he would be home shortly…I had made a special treat for to surprise him…nine o’clock came and went with no call and no Amit, time continued to pass…I kept trying to call him, my tension, stress, and worry growing…I went to the kitchen, hoping that he was there unpacking the truck, that maybe his phone was off or that he did not hear it ringing…He was not at the kitchen…My anxiety, stress, and worry continuing to grow…and at midnight, my world was shattered, forever, irreparably…as I learned that my husband, my love, had been killed. There are no words to express the devastation, horror, trauma that one feels in that moment as your heart is torn from your chest and ripped apart, that your body screams out from the devastation, to pray to god that this is not happening, to beg that it is not true, to hope that it is all a nightmare and that they are wrong, that it was someone else, that Amit would come walking through the door at any moment…but he didn’t, he won’t, he never will.

The depression and heartache that I feel is unimaginable. My soul hurts. Ever time I feel a kick of the baby, I remember the excitement on his face when he felt the first kick of our baby. He bought a camera few days before his murder, and told me I want to take the pictures of the growing belly everyday, but it is sitting in the box like that. Amit was so excited about this baby, but now everything has changed. Each day I must wake up and realize that Amit is gone, never to return. Each day, I must face another bill, insurance inquiry, phone call that reminds me that he is gone. Each day questions and tasks that he would have handled were mine to bare. Every doctor appointment that he should have been at, listening to the heartbeat of his child, an appointment that I must have alone, without him to hold my hand and share in the joy and excitement of being new parents, as well as calming the fears of such an event…Each day I look at his pictures, wishing he was here, wishing that this terrible thing had not happened. Each day I must face alone, without the man I loved and each day, I am forced to look at my future, a future without my husband, a future where my child has no father, a future alone.

The devastation, loss, pain, and suffering of such a loss are unimaginable. I never thought that my heart could hurt so much…To literally feel heartache not just in the metaphoric sense, but the literal sense…to feel your soul ache and mourn. There are not enough words in the world, in English, in Hindi, or any other language, to express the pain that Troy Hovey has caused in my life and the life of so many others,

Troy Hovey is a murderer. There is no punishment that is enough to make Troy Hovey atone for his actions. When Troy Hovey chose to consume excess alcohol, chose not to call his wife for a sober ride home, chose not to ask or call a friend for a ride home, chose not to ask a bar patron to give him a ride home, chose not to call a taxi, chose to get behind the wheel of his vehicle, chose to drive drunk at three times the legal Blood Alcohol Content level, chose to drive at speeds that were almost twice the legal posted speed limit (through a school zone), chose to speak on a phone while under the influence and speeding, Troy Hovey, chose to commit murder, not only of an innocent man.....but he also murdered my dreams, to live with my love and my baby's right to live with his father and get all his love and guidance. On August 6th, 2008, it was Amit Tandon that fell victim to the careless, selfish choice of another person, it could have been you or one of your loved ones, on a different night it still may be…

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