First, as most of you already know, this past year was extremely challenging and significant for both of us when it comes to our justice journey.
We will always remember 2017 as the year of the second trial, starting January 16 and ending on October 18, and finalized on November 8 with the surprise ruling of "acquittal!" We still can’t believe that the wait to find out the truth of our daughter’s murder 33 years ago is finally over and that we feel satisfied with the resulting "poetic justice" that has set us free. We are still trying to unpack this unexpected kind of closure.
We truthfully actually find ourselves in a very sweet spot.
First of all there are our two children with their families. (We have 3 beautiful, wonderful, smart, active, exciting grandchildren!) These two families are all doing well. We could list growth, achievement and wonderment for each one of the grandkids. Even Candace, who has gone before us, is still a vital force. Candace House is doing so well.
Personally, we are also doing great.
Cliff, (that's me,) is absorbed in his new career as art teacher at St. Aiden’s Christian School. The art show at the year end concert went very well. Thank you for all those amazing cards, letters, notes and gifts of thanks. Also the wonderful words from parents. Thank you all, I am so overwhelmed and honored to be an art teacher and part of your lives.
I also taught a clay class for adults on Thursday evenings and that was very exciting, meeting new people and having a relaxing creative evening together one night a week. It was so fun. This will happen again in Jan. of 2018 but on Wed. nights.
It's kind of hard to explain but I am also working on a new artistic expression – yes – I am still exploring and creating new things. And for now, I am keeping it a big secret! I do anticipate the news of something very new coming out in the near future. At this juncture we do not expect to do a personal family Theotrinsic Art Show this coming spring in 2018 as we've been doing in the past, but look out 2019! Then we will have a show and it will be new, different and exciting! Remember you heard it here first!
Wilma is enjoying her new career as a therapist at the Oakville Wellness Center. She's also been teaching a course called “Write Your Life Story” at the Good Neighbors Active Living Center, in fact whe will do it again in '18. She's continuing to accept speaking engagements and writing books of her own. Her goal is still to write a book a year.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that we are extremely grateful.
We are grateful for the justice system, investigators, all our trial friends, and the prayers of our friends and family. We are over-whelmed with the beauty of the human spirit that we have witnessed throughout this entire ordeal.
We realize now that we are in a new space. That dark cloud of another trial coming, and having to wait is gone. We are slowly getting normalized to this new reality. So, I find myself beginning to dream again.
Thank you all for your friendship and support.
Love & prayers to you all,
Cliff (and Wilma) Derksen
If your answer is yes, think again.
Not knowing is the greatest life motivator.
So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you
in its proper sequence
-- a surprise.”