From my journal dated July 4, 2002:
July 4th – Trying to get out and be more sociable. We met Debra* and her family for dinner and fireworks tonight. We went to Cheesecake Factory and then to the park across the street from Bellevue Square to watch the fireworks. Nicole* [Debra’s oldest daughter, Jason’s age] had met a friend there, Ryan, and came over to say hi.
Ryan had hung out some with Jason last summer and other times…came with Nicole to Jason’s 19th birthday party at the park. Debra said something like, “You guys know Ryan, don’t you?” I said, “Sure!” and said hello.
But people react so strangely to us now. It was like we were invisible to him. We were shocked! He just sort of looked around us like we weren’t even there!! He didn’t say hello. He just sort of looked through us. It’s not like he hadn’t heard Debra or me. We just disappeared.
Once again, we’re the oddity to be avoided…and we continue to pay and pay…all for something beyond our control. Some thoughtless, drunk 18 year old guy robbed us of our precious son. He changed our lives for ever in one split second in innumerable ways. We are now the oddity, the pariah, the unlovable, to be avoided, the invisible.