On September 11, 1995, Sarah Whitson arrived home from her first day of kindergarten, beaming. An hour later, angry about missing the excitement, her father shot his way into her grandmother’s house, where they were living, and killed Sarah (age 5) along with her sisters, Rachel (age 3) and April (age 6 months), and her mother, Laura (Whitson) Magee. Laura’s mother (my mother-in-law), Margaret, was shot in the arm trying to protect one of her grandchildren and remained at the site with her son-in-law until a neighbor subdued him 30 minutes after the shootings.
My mother-in-law lived with the impact of severe trauma for the rest of her life, and I became her caregiver. Our entire family, as well as the small town where the murders took place, continues to feel an impact of this tragedy. I work, daily, to keep Sarah, Rachel, April and Laura’s memories alive.