What can I say on a day like this? Not a word could capture the heartbreak, despair, yearning, and anger. Besides, my thoughts a scattered and my emotions are not to be trusted.
We miss our son. Oh, how we miss him. Every day it feels like he died all over again. We live a life of limbo. It’s not fair for this to happen to such a fine, gentle young man.
I guess there’s really nothing more I can say about that.
2 years = 104 weeks = 730 days = 17,520 hours = 1,051,200 Minutes = 63,072,000 seconds. Yes, Austin Vantrease and Jonathan May (and their families) had over sixty-three million chances to do the right thing. Over sixty-three million times they failed. Really, why would we expect any more from failures… than failure? They destroyed lives and turned their backs on the damage they created. Just like the night they attacked my son, they are still hiding. Worse yet, they became aggressive. Looking for confrontations in a parking garage and creating and using social media.
After the sentencing hearing, I remember a big deal made of something I said to the court during my Victim Impact Statement. Something that was twisted and turned by the Vantrease supporters until it fit their insanely illogical logic. I was asked what I thought would be a fair punishment for the convicts. My response? I said, “give me two minutes alone in a room with them and a baseball bat and a promise they will leave in no worse condition than Ryan”. Is this a fair punishment? Yes, I would think it is. Two things about my statement: 1) I never said I wanted to do it, I was asked what would be fair. 2) it made the point that the court couldn’t satisfy a like-for-like restitution and the maximum is the only option.
I had a friend ask me if I had a rifle and came upon either of those two, would I open fire? I said I wouldn’t, content to leave it at that… until pressed. “No”, I said, “I wouldn’t shoot them with the rifle. I’d be more inclined to beat their brains in with it.” I could never do this, of course, but given the hypothetical circumstances the bludgeoning seems proper. Sadly, I need their miserable selves alive to face their carnage every single day with the hope of somehow taking responsibility.
It’s clear to me that these men are surrounded by anger, aggressiveness, enabling, and denial. I almost fell out my seat when I read a quote posted by Gale Vantrease (Austin’s mama). She said, and I quote, “My heart is broken because of what the media and the state of WV has put Austin through, and Monday [sentencing] was an unbelievable travesty… A fight is a fight is a fight. When you start a fight, or enter into one, there is always a chance you will get hurt….. that is why as parents we BEG our kids not to fight!” (Source: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Truth-About-Austin-Vantrease/ on 11/18/2010). Amazing! She blames everyone except her criminal son! What a leathery piece of work she is.
As I see it, Bob Vantrease, Gale’s bitch, is a full-fledged wimp. He must have cried like a pussy when she ripped his testicles from his scrotum. If anyone’s interested, they’re likely in Gale’s purse. She probably keeps them in a pill box.
The other Vantrease siblings are spitting images — personality-wise — of each parent. The son is aggressive… a classic example of Napoleon Complex (or, as most would understand, a “little shit”). Like his mother, I can see the anger and hate engrained in his face. The daughter takes after her dad, a passive-aggressive. Remember, she’s the one who thought it was a good idea to start a support website for her felon brother (and then couldn’t understand why people though this was just wrong). She proudly proclaims “Austin wouldn’t hurt a fly”. Well, I’m sure all flies are greatly relieved.
As for the May family, they seem like they just don’t give a rat’s ass of what becomes of their son and the mess he created. It surprised me just how comfortable and care-free they were in court. They were lounging there reading a newspaper. Any more relaxed and they would have been sleeping. I almost expected room service to come in with tea and crumpets. Do you need your pillow fluffed? Anyhow, I suspect this is a family in disarray. All signs point to it.
Yes, it feels good to just let my anger flow. Sure, I’ll no doubt be told to forgive, or that I’m my own enemy, or how the anger will eat away at me. Who knows, maybe this is true? But I am what I am (real and raw, so I hear). I’m good with how I’m coping. I’ve found a way to get by and doubt I will change… at least not any time soon.
Please know how much we rely on you to help us through. Not a day goes by that I’m not thankful that you help carry the burden. Without you all, we would be in (greater) financial ruin. We would (and did) go days without eating. Ryan would not be in such great physical health, thanks to all you bought and do for him. You keep Ryan relevant… and healthy… and alive. This would be too much to do on our own.
Disclaimer: This article is my opinion… but I bet I’m 100% correct!