Nine years. Or--if you are counting--3,827 days.
Those 3,827 days have been filled with beautiful memories of Kelly-Anne. Amazing tributes. But those memories can't bring her back. They can only console those of us who remain. And frankly some days they aren't all that much consolation.
But we've managed. Somehow. Everyone who knew and loved Kelly-Anne put one foot in front of the other and went on. Because that's what she would have wanted. Because we couldn't allow this heinous act to destroy any more than it already had.
And so we've done our best to keep Kelly-Anne with us. I've got a photo over my desk that reminds me of her every day. But I don't need that physical reminder. Because the 20+ years I spent with her as my best friend will stay with me forever. That's the kind of thing you don't forget no matter what.
And as long as I'm alive I'll do my part to tell others about Kelly-Anne. About her joie de vivre and her can-do spirit. About her love of adventure and travel. About her amazing, amazing curly hair. About her commitment to athletics. About her determination and grit. About how she pushed herself and never gave up. About how she loved and was loved.
And I'll never stop telling anyone who will listen about how quickly situations can spiral out of control. About how volatile people can snap in an instant. About how the last thing you would have ever expected was for someone as strong willed and confident as Kelly-Anne to end up trapped in an abusive relationship with a violent man. About how to this day, nine years later, I can't believe Kelly-Anne didn't leave before that fateful night on October 3, 2004. And about how Kelly-Anne deserved so much more than to be murdered in the blink of an eye.
I do this because its the only thing I can do. And because I think its what Kelly-Anne would want. I hope one day it makes a difference to someone in a similar situation. I bet it already has.