Diary of a Mother's Mission

My son, Kevin Martin, disappered under mysterious circumstances in the wee hours of July 18, 2004. His partial remains were found on February 1, 2005 in the river. The Des Moines Police have not been helpful and this is my blog to tell what I have done as it's done.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

July 18th

Two years ago Kevin disappeared and we still have no answers as I've stated all along. I called Kevin on the 18th, 2004, late in the afternoon as I was in the habit of doing. He worked Sundays at 6:00 p.m. and so around 4:30 in the afternoon I could usually catch him. I wasn't afraid that I was waking him up since he had to be up and getting ready to go to Flanagan's. That afternoon, when I called, his roommate said Kevin wasn't there but he didn't know where he was. I guess I thought that was a little strange but then plans or work times could have changed so I wasn't worried. It wasn't until the 20th that his father called me to tell me Kevin was missing. That was a Tuesday evening. But I don't want to rehash that night, that phone call. I've even thought back to that Sunday and wondered if somewhere deep inside I knew something was wrong. I know I wasn't in a good mood but it could have been any number of things. I visited my girlfriend and then when I got home called rather routinely that afternoon, as I said.

But I'm so happy I made it to the library this morning and there are more pictures of Kevin posted. They've probably been there for awhile. I'm not that swift on the computer but getting a little better. I do go to the home page but didn't look down far enough to see the "link" to more pictures of Kevin! I guess I thought they would be directly below the ones already there and so didn't think to look any farther.

I guess I sort of feel a sense of relief. This is the last anniversary date for me in sort of a cycle. Last July 18th through all the holidays, Kevin's birthday, the anniversary of his memorial service, and now one year later. Last year at this time I was packing and getting ready to return to Des Moines. I wanted to be here on the 18th of July but was really afraid to and so waited until the end of the month to leave and make my trip half way across the country. It has been a really crummy couple of months lately but I'm hoping things will get better now. I'm moving again. This time only down the street but moving in itself is stressful - for me anyway. So it's really hard to sort out feelings.

I drove to Ankeny this morning as usual. We're having a brief respite from the heatwave blanketing much of the Nation. At least for today, anyway, and then back to more heat tomorrow. But it was a beautiful, clear morning. A beautiful sunrise. And that gave me hope and a little bit of peacefulness. That whatever could create that kind of beauty and order was taking care of Kevin on this July 18th, 2006.

I would like to say so much more. There is so much more to be said but I'm just thankful I made it here and that I have a little bit of peace in my heart today after weeks and weeks of anguish. This to shall pass... The pain, not the memory and love.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


I was driving north towards Ankeny the other day as I've done every work morning since June 5th and all-of-a-sudden I started thinking about my first trip to Iowa in April of 2001. I've spoken about it before but that morning the memory came back to me as if I was passing the mix-master, bearing left onto 235 off of I80 for the first time. It was about the same time in the morning although alot cooler that time of year. I had driven all night. Had tried to stop and sleep in Davenport but couldn't and so continued on to Des Moines to wake up Kevin that morning. It was something, though, how I seemed to traverse time at least for a few minutes anyway and felt like I was back over 5 years ago. But isn't that what happens when we "remember"? At times it's just an intellectual recalling where as other times, as I think I've said also, it is an actual feeling that I'm right then and there as happened while I was driving the bus to Ankeny to start my commuter run. I remember that I thought that the sky in Iowa was a different color my first morning in Iowa. I don't know whether I ever shared that with Kevin. Kevin loved Des Moines as I've said, too. I spoke last week about my going back to New York dinner. He gave me a card that early evening, an early birthday card. I still have the card. Part of it said the usual, you know, Happy Birthday, etc., and a safe trip, etc. back to Schenectady and Schenectady still sucks! I hear that I wouldn't recognize downtown Schenectady, now, and hopefully I won't when I go back for a visit in the Fall. They need alot of improvements and maybe they are starting. Well, even when I went back 3 years ago things had changed.

But Iowa. I still think it's very beautiful and reminds me of Long Island, New York, the low rolling hills, where I grew up, Downstate. Then I moved Upstate! I use to tell my fellow coworker about my walking route and how neat it was. New York State has the Adirondack Mts. and Iowa just hilliness but I have a much better walking route here, up and down, up and down, in Des Moines, than I did there. Out by the I80 interchange it's flatter, though, and reminded me of that early morning drive in late April to visit Kevin. After I got on 235 I had to continue on to Keo Way. I remember my conversation with Kevin as he was giving me directions and explaining how Keo Way was short for Keosequoia Way as he told me. I did get off at the right exit but then had to get directions to 15th street. Or, I think I got off going North instead of South. Anyway, I did make it and still arrived at Kevin's before 7:30 a.m. I'm probably repeating myself but that's okay. Kevin got such a big kick out of the fact that I drove 24 plus hours, straight, but was paranoid about getting to bed at 7:00 p.m. each night! He told that to someone and I can still hear him and the laughter in his voice as he was telling it.

Iowa, Des Moines inparticular, since this is where I live and have lived is beautiful. Once again, though, I question the quality of life here. What quality of life really means. Not that I've stopped questioning because I haven't. Then I start remembering as I did the other day when I first came out here and Kevin was waiting for me. I was filled with the beauty of this new state, Des Moines, the Sherman Hill area which I love, and excited about seeing Kevin. I was reliving all of that but then returned to reality and a dichotomy, which I feel right now, between a beautiful city and the ugliness of a young life taken, and nothing much done about it. Beauty and depravity. The almost total disregard for the death of a young man here in Des Moines. Depraved indifference and then C.Y.A. in my opinion. Not enough resources, budget cuts as I was told. That is gross and ugly and turns my stomach.

All of Iowa apparently isn't like this though. Lately there has been alot in the news about Evelyn Miller from Floyd who disappeared a year ago and was found dead 6 days later. They couldn't save her life but they searched and found her right away. Hundreds searched, sherrifs, deputys, and they're questioning what they could have done differently and trying to make improvements. Why not here? Why?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Dear Kevin Sweetheart,

A really hot day today and I had all I could do to muster up the energy to visit the library. Not a high energy month for me but it's over and so hopefully things will change. On the way downtown I stopped at your favorite Quick-trip on 15th and High and got myself a Quizzle bizzle Rooster berry Dew, as I call it, and I laugh each time as I tell the clerk what it is. Brian introduced me to the QT soda machine and mix your own drink concoctions as he does! 44 oz of energy booster and sugar fiz for 94 cents certainly beats Red Bull at 2 bucks a pop!

It's important that I come to the library. It's become very important, really, so I can write down rememberances that I might forget otherwise. I think of you always, every day, many times a day, and lately Brian and I have had more of an opportunity to talk. He, in just everyday conversation, has told me things about you that I had forgotten about, but probably never knew, since, obviously, you had a brother relationship with him. But he did mention "Danzig" and how he became the lead singer for the "The Misfits". You'll probably laugh as I'm sure I'm not getting this straight. Anyway, I do remember the name Danzig and how you liked that person or group, whatever it is. Brian even said that I watched a video of "Danzig" with him one time. That I don't remember.

Two days in a row this week I had #350 bus. It's one of the older buses that have the high cloth seats. I always think of you when I get one of those buses as we talked about them. There aren't very many, two that I remember off-hand, but maybe one or two more. I'll have to pay closer attention. The school kids even like those buses. Perhaps that was what we talked about. You can't see them because of the high seats and so they can get away with more. Especially in the back.

Also this past week I have been thinking of my going away dinner. Remember? Just before I returned to New York? I don't know why. I had told Brian that Crimmins Cattle Company had changed locations. It is still in existence, just over by Southridge Mall. I think he thought it had closed down. I would like to go there again. That night the four of us went together. It was funny because I had wished that. There were a couple of other times you or Brian couldn't make it. Usually you , I think, because of your work schedule. I had wished we could all go out together, one last time, before I left, and so I was thrilled when we were able to do so. Why that was so important, I don't know either, but it was, and so, now, another wonderful memory and, of course, you ordered a fish dinner.

Just little bits and pieces this past week. Little unrelated memories that have popped up. Like this morning. I saw your little name-sake. He had a hair cut. I think he had a little more hair at 11 months old than you did but it was still on the wispy side. Now he has a buzz cut. I think that's what you call it. His hair isn't quite as light as yours was. I remember when you got your first buzz cut. Your hair was a platinum color at the time and so at night you looked like a total baldy! I saved your first lock of hair when I cut it. I think it was a curl from the back around your neck and you were well over a year old, well, a little over a year, May 17, 1984, to be exact!

So, that's all for today, Kevin Sweetheart. I miss you and love you and think of you always... Love, Mom