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“That responsible verdict changed into handed down to my youngsters and that i too,” she referred to. “It wasn’t simply him being sentenced to existence. We have been sentenced too.”
In determined need of a sparkling delivery, the family unit left their lifestyles in Springfield behind and moved away to reside with Simic’s brother, Steve Simic, as she labored to get again on her toes and build a profession of her personal.
Simic divorced Mark Winger and legally changed her and her little ones’s names from Winger to Simic, her maiden name. It changed into a symbolic step in her adventure to, as she describes it, “be considered for who i am and never who he was.”
Rebecca Simic and Mark Winger eloped in Hawaii.
despite the fact they now lived in a brand new city and have been freed of Mark Winger’s name, Simic found it an awful lot tougher to shed the stain left from his crimes.
together with the lack of her marriage, she additionally misplaced her economic protection. Making an attempt to find a job after seven years as a live-at-domestic mother and her home in foreclosure, she found herself making the painful decision to head on welfare.
on the identical time, her toddlers have been additionally growing up quickly and that they started to gain a much better grasp about why their father changed into in jail. She concerned how the trauma and shame might affect them.
Bailey, now 25, remembers the day her mother sat her down and told her about her father’s crimes. As a preteen nevertheless fighting her father’s absence, it allowed her to close the door on these unresolved emotions: “It form of just instructed me all I obligatory to know to simply damage issues off.”
The family changed their surname from Winger to Simic.
Simic strived to create normalcy and happiness for her toddlers whereas privately combating her personal grief. “after we lose somebody, we accumulate and we remember them and we tell reports and we have a funeral,” Simic mentioned. “however when a person goes to penitentiary, smartly, what do you do? I suggest, you can not grieve them. They’re still right here… you are simply kind of left with this vacancy.”
Out of that emptiness, Simic discovered herself on a course that she may not ever have imagined, and not using a road map or a guidebook. It also made her a member of a big membership that regularly continues to be hidden, of households left at the back of when a parent goes to penal complex.
It opened her eyes to the silent battle of countless families, she pointed out.
“You don’t recognize what they look like. You don’t be aware of what side of town they reside in,” Simic observed. “i’m now not particular. There’s 1,000,000 moms doing this a million other ways, a million different days.”
nowadays, Simic’s 4 toddlers are thriving younger adults who’ve spanned out throughout different states to pursue careers and higher education.
Bailey manages a cafe and hopes to run her personal animal sanctuary at some point. Anna, now 24, teaches seventh and eighth grade English. Maggie, now 22, is an artist who works with fibers and beads. Many of her items take care of her family unit story, in specific a memorial shrine she built to honor her father’s victims.
Maggie, now 22, is an artist who works with fibers and beads. A lot of her pieces take care of her household story, in specific a memorial shrine she developed to honor her father’s victims.
I’m not a widow I’m a wife to a beautiful husband with wings poster
with her personal kids safely past the hurdles of childhood and youth, she has now concentrated her maternal power on helping different children turning out to be up with incarcerated folks. She is participating with the mentorship program big Brothers huge Sisters and volunteering alongside her son Ben, who at 21 stands 6 feet, 4 inches tall, is a forward on his college basketball team.