Keteri was a beautiful young woman I met through the #Disabled chatroom a few years ago. Like most of my friends, she too was disabled, hers arriving in the form of losing a leg in an accident shortly before we met.
The members of her tribe (Ottawa) thought the best way to help her was to drop off a couple bottles of booze every day. In short order her only companions were alcohol and her friends online. Being both deaf and an amputee, perhaps they didn't think she could do any better.
I was always amazed by the cruelty of all the people in her life. Ket once told me how she wanted to take skiing lessons for amputees. She also wanted to work with kids outdoors. At the same time she was relating this to me, her friend (a social worker) would ridicule her by telling her to not do it because she would be nothing but a flying stump. Julie always made sure to let Ket know she considered her worthless. Julie was the one who was worthless.
Seth, another man from our chatroom, decided to pay her a visit one day and with him he took some booze to celebrate the occasion. He was insistent at the beginning and made her quite nervous. For the longest time I hated Seth for taking her alcohol when he knew she was an alcoholic. At Ket's insistence, we later became good friends.
Ket loved me like a brother and just because I asked, she stopped drinking. I don't remember at what point it was in our friendship, but one day she told me she had spent the day sober, outside in the snow naked making snow angels. :)
Though her life was becoming happier, her remaining partial leg was getting worse and it finally came to the point where the doctors decided to remove it completely.
After the disarticulation surgery, Ket's tribe assigned a man named Thomas to be her aide. On the very first night, her being helpless to escape, he raped her. I don't know when the tribal elders found out, but when they did they told her that she had shamed her father and forced her to marry that evil bastard. He raped her often, photographing it all and publishing them on the internet. He kept her locked in an apartment that she had no ability to get out of. She also found out she was pregnant with his child.
One day when Thomas beat her and then left for the day, I convinced her to call the police and leave him. She did.
Ket was living with another friend the day I went to Las Vegas to meet my friend Mimi. Ket said she would have loved to be a fly on the wall for that, and I wished she had been too. While Mimi and I were out hiking, Thomas convinced Ket to go for a drive with him to talk. During that drive, he plowed their pickup truck into a tree and killed them both.
Words can't describe how much I miss her, but at the same time I can't help but to be happy that she finally has peace and she is in the arms of a loving God she had just come to trust a few days earlier.
The only sadness left is Matthew. For the longest time I blamed myself for Ket's death, as perhaps I could have done more than I had. With everyone living thousands of miles away, how much can anyone really do except use words to try to make things better?
Matthew's words to date have also been to blame me. He thinks that I told Ket to stay with Thomas, that it was God's will. I don't know what his reasons are for telling these lies, but they still hurt me to the core. Julie was the one telling Ket she had to stay with Thomas because it was God's will, not me. I tried, Matthew! Thomas deserved to die, not Ket. I did everything I could to get her away from him. Please quit blaming me for something someone else did.