12 years ago today, my beautiful niece was murdered by her boyfriend’s brother. It was the forth murder involving a family member, in my lifetime. People sometimes ask ‘do you remember what you were doing when…blah blah blah. I remember that day because it was my patient’s mother’s birthday, and I was at work when I got the call.Today brings the memories back of my brother and his ex-wife coming to Niagara Falls to arrange their daughter’s funeral. It brings to mind the trial that my brother could not be a part of, as my sister-in-law traveled constantly from Virginia to Niagara Falls, New York to have her presence and her loss at each hearing. It brings to mind my niece’s 10 year old son testifying about the memories he had of his mom. It brings to mind the shrewdness of a defense attorney in wearing down a grieving mother who, at first did not want to allow the murderer to take a plea, but instead to get the maximum sentence for his vicious act that destroyed families and took a little boy’s mother. It brings to mind the day she said she was tired, she couldn’t do it anymore and allowed the plea to be offered. It brought to mind my own mother’s murder, and my nephew who was sitting in jail for a murder he had committed, and my cousin who was murdered while defending his sisters. All these murders, these deaths come to mind today and tears at my heart. Then it finally brings to mind that it is my patient’s mother’s birthday and that his family is especially missing their mom today, and because they miss her, their minds will miss their youngest brother and their oldest brother, and a young son, and so on. And because this all was brought to my mind, I had to write about it, because love and hope and memories will always be there, always brought to mind.