One Year Ago Today, My BF was shot and killed in his apartment. Here is my story.

Have I told you before that Jonathan and I were dance partners?

Yep… we were.

It got challenged when Dan Ford came into the picture. Jonathan did not like this. Jealousy perhaps? Competition? Oh, Jonathan don’t worry, I always come back for my one true partner. The one I’m really connected with.

After he died (1 yr. ago today) many times I feel him with music.  Have you lost someone? Does this ever happen to you?

It was only months after Jonathan left this world, the girls and I were dancing in the living room and an overwhelming feeling came-he was behind me- dancing with us.


I got goosebumps all over my arms, my chest, my heart. It was about 20 seconds and then he was gone. Immediatley I was warmed with my wet tears, caught in a moment I wished was longer and painfully wished was real.

I can barely listen now as hip hop music fills this house with beats, fast lyrics and little feet thumping all around. Giggles from innocence and tears from life.

I’m swept up in thoughts of you Jonthan. I almost feel in limbo. And as I think one whole year. 365 days. I think- seriously?

I’m glad the shock has worn away. I’m thankful to serve a God who is love and knowing he is there with him in heaven.

But yet  your death still stings to much to celebrate.

When someone dies unexpectedly the devil is thrilled you’ve opened your heart to him.

I felt so guilty. A horrible friend.

Many times Jonathan would call me and I just couldn’t find the strength to answer. I just had my first baby and was staying home with her after working full time.  I had a bachelor’s degree burning in my hand written on it was, You’re a stay at home mom? Why did you work so hard for me?

I felt I needed to prove my success by being something in this world. By that being something in the workforce. Twisted thoughts in a twisted world.

I didn’t have my mother close by. I didn’t have my best friend close by.  And now my closest guy fried and I were serperated in two different worlds. A single life and a married with kids life.  I had too much resent and pride to take a dip into his world. Selfish.

I can hold on to this.


Everytime he left me a message called me, texted me, he was inviting us out with him to do whatever he was up to. I heard it as an invitation to a world I was no longer a part of.  I felt alone. I didn’t understand this new role of motherhood.  I was torn with guilt of leaving this newborn baby for a night out for myself. As a mother, you so desperately want time to yourself, time to do something that you want in a random moment, but you also can’t part with the bond of your babies.

How do I leave this precious baby who I loved so much yet stole everything from me? That’s what I kept thinking.

I look back now smiling that he loved me enough to always still include me. I know he knows how much I deeply love him.

If you have ever wondered if it’s possible to love another man as much as your own husband but in a completely different way, for me the answer is yes. Friendship, true love as Jesus loves us.

Jonathan stood up in our wedding.

Jonathan stood by me all through the ups and downs with Eric, and other relationships.

He told my dad that he loved me on my wedding day.

It didn’t matter if weeks, months, or days passed when we talked or got together we both always said it’s like we just saw eachother minutes ago.

Minutes ago… I feel like you just left this earth… minutes ago…

We did so many things together. Yet it feels like we didn’t do enough.



Today one year ago Jonathan Pender a best friend to many was shot and killed in his own apartment. The man who shot him shot himself. Two lives lost hundreds, thousands of people affected.

My parents were here the day we found out. It sure did help. I was in shock for days. Eric called me at 6 a.m. saying he heard this story of Jonathan Pender being shot from Brighton. I said no that can’t be and went back to bed. I woke up with a pit in my stomach. I stumbled down the stairs opened my laptop and googled.

Jonathan was shot and killed.

I busted open our guest bedroom where my parents lay sleeping. Yelling Jonathan is dead.

My parents sat up in bed started crying.

I wanted to run. I wanted to scream. Than my emotions went blank. Earased. Gone. Numb.

My parents and I got to spend some great moments with Jonathan. I am so happy he got to see a crazy Handy get together. The laughs the fun we had.

Two days after he died. All I could hear was Jonathan. He was like a freaking commentary on my life. His laugh. His voice was so clear right there with me.

I heard him laughing prou saying “yeah I got shot bitch”! And laughing. And I laughed for the first time. He would so have been a bragger about being shot. He liked to brag.

Then I went into the bathroom in a daze. I was walking around like a zombie only hearing Jonathan. I was numb.

I slugged myself into the bathroom and stared in the mirror. I heard this:

Is this what you have let yourself become?

What a waste. You’ve let yourself go.

I was taken back by this. I felt defense. I felt something.

I started thinking of the excuses why I couldn’t even brush my hair anymore. Why would I bother to put makeup on? I let the lies of motherhood swallow me.

I undressed and got in the shower. I cried. I fell to the floor bawling wanting the water to wash all this away. I prayed and prayed. I got out and grabbed my crutch- Jesus’s word.

His voice stopped all the time after that. I ached for hearing it again like that.

That was a pivotal moment in my life. I stood taller. I took pride in motherhood in myself. I stopped the pity party of not having any family close by. Thinking I was all alone in raising my girls.  I stopped the resent of not living close to my parents. The resent of watching my brother suffer so much from a disease that is unknown, no cure. I just stopped.

My eyes were opened to what a gift life is. What a gift our children are. I realized that they could be taken away from me at any moment.

And in my best friend’s death a new brighter chapter opened in my life.  He may not be here physically but he continues to still help others.


I’ll leave you with a slideshow of beautiful Jonathan Pender.


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