Mother’s Day in Stillwater, Oklahoma

Since being named State Director for Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma, I’ve come into contact with many Oklahomans whose resilience in the face of tragedy is remarkable, to say the least. With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, I can’t help but think about the many cases we’ve discussed that have impacted moms across the state in various ways.

Every Oklahoman affected by crime has a unique story to tell, with an impact and support system that varies as well. They are all examples of why victims of crime in Oklahoma deserve Marsy’s Law. 

Kelly Vierling is from Stillwater and her son Alex was murdered at a house party in 2014, right before Christmas. To meet Kelly now is to know a woman on a mission. Kelly has experienced many struggles while searching for justice for her son, and has found that many assumed rights – constitutional rights that are guaranteed to the person accused of the crime – do not carry over to the family of a murder victim, which has led her to feel re-victimized by the complexities of the legal process.

Kelly so graciously took the time to muster the courage to tell us how she now spends Mother’s Day, in the wake of Alex’s death:

“Mother’s Day has always been a day I’ve spent with my children, their grandmother, their aunt and of course the rest of the family – visiting, eating and laughing. That has not changed, what has changed is the way it happens now. Alex’s death has added a destination to this day every year. Now I find myself making an early morning, private, trip to the cemetery where Alex was laid to rest. This is where I find myself telling him how sorry I am for failing him. I apologize for not protecting him like a mom is supposed to, I apologize for not being able to save him like a mom is supposed to and I apologize for not being able to find justice for him. So, I guess you could say Mother’s Day is just another day that I am reminded of all of the things I DIDN’T DO that God gave me the opportunity to do when he blessed me with the most amazing human I ever knew.”

So many families struggle in the aftermath of violent crime and holidays like this one can trigger indescribable memories and traumatic or remorseful flashbacks of what could have been. Please know that on this Mother’s Day our thoughts are with you all, with positive wishes for healing and of the fairness to come in our state.