To Do List:
1. Testify

It is 9 a.m. I sit at my desk, a ray of light traveling towards the doorway of my office, slowly creeping over towards and warming the sleeping pup at my feet. I look down at my “To do” list for the day: Call for hair appointment, complete update to master family calendar from son’s track schedule, pickup son at 4:15, ask daughter if she is attending driving class tonight so I know what time to have dinner ready. Since it is Monday, the list includes writing. So I do.

I keep imagining what it would be like to look down at my list and see “Testify in daughter’s murder trial,” as Lisa Siders-Kenney is doing so right now, on behalf of her murdered daughter, Esme.

I don’t know Lisa. I only know of her through the women at WWfaC. I bought a pendant from an artist friend of hers, a chiastolite stone, as part of a fundraiser for a scholarship in Esme’s name. Also known as the “cross stone” because of a natural cross pattern in the stone.

It is described as thus: “Chiastolite is a stone of balance, stability and harmony, as traditionally indicated by the cross. It can help with physical, mental, intellectual and emotional stability, enhancing problem solving and adapting to change. It can enhance spiritual awareness and inspiration, as well as astral travel and practical creativity.

Chiastolite is used for healing rheumatism, blood disorders, veins, blood circulation, balance of blood pressure (high or low), and lactation. It has a specific use in balancing all base chakra energies.”

When I researched which stone I wanted to buy, I knew this one instantly. Not from previous hands on experience, but heart experience. At the time, I was in need of healing, and a gentle reminder that I could always return to God, when the time came, with a whole heart, and a body that felt broken, or at least broken down. The astral travel is my favorite part of the above description. Astral Travel – or in layman’s terms – out of body experiences, seems a key in healing. If we can remove our selves (two words) from our bodies, and see how wrapped up we are in our body experiences and not the experiences of self, we would be further along in our healing, and certainly evolutionary emotional intelligence.

I pray that Esme experienced astral travel to escape the heinous acts that were done to her body. That the killer would sit with her body afterward, watching it burn, horrifies me in a way that I cannot articulate.

I wore that pendant everyday for a while, even promised myself I would wear it every day of the trial of Esme’s murderer, but I failed in the those efforts this morning as a barking dog usually throw my mind off track. I do not even have it on now, but am simply holding her mother in my care, in my writing hands and hoping that is enough.

My list also involved investigating vortices, in particular in Sedona, purported to also have healing energies, but this too reminds me of Lisa, Esme, her family caught up in a not so harmonic convergence of events – go for a run, encounter a man, offer him the wrong name, watch man turn into monster, remove self from body, become a force for change.

I am multi-taking now, trying to follow any news development that hinges on the words of this heart-sunken mother, for she must have pushed her emotions so far down, so as not to fall apart during her time of testimony.

She begins by telling about the day of Esme’s murder. She had been removing dust from their recent remodel. “Drywall dust is dangerous, you know,” she states. She is being asked to describe Esme for the jury. She says, “She just turned 13, just precious, so innocent and so sweet.”

Esme had asked her mom to go along on a run. “We usually went together as a family,” says Lisa. “across the street to the reservoir. Its where she learned to ride a bike. It was like our backyard.”

Some of Esme’s last words were about a cousin, “If Franny calls, tell her I’ll be right back.”

When the police arrived after Lisa’s suspected disappearance of Esme, they kept using the word teenager. “They just had a different picture in their mind,” Lisa confessed, obviously still frustrated that the police did not understand the true essence of Esme.

The police envisioned a picture different from the actual one shown by the prosecutor in the final minutes of Lisa’s testimony. I don’t know which picture it was. I hope it was not of her body wearing only socks and shoes. Lisa tearfully and proudly responded to the lawyer’s question, “That’s my baby, Esme Louise Kenney.”

When I look back on this day, I want to remember what it was like to be a witness to Lisa Kenney testifying – tears and fears about my own children, wincing at the prospect of a chaplain at my door, the horrors that Esme endured in her final hours. There is no reconciling Esme’s fate with the outcome of the trial with the exception of a mother bearing witness to the life of her “baby.” – 2010-03-08



  1. Hi Annette…really enjoyed reading this …how sad. Love how you brought it into our own reality through our own “to do” lists…doesn't quite compare.


  2. i actually love your writing style, very unique,
    don't quit and also keep posting due to the fact it simply just nicely to look through it.
    excited to looked over even more of your well written articles, cheers 😉


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