Longform

Lethal Rejection

Page 10 of 10


Smoking too many cigarettes in her Azle home, Jeanette Popp is taking time out from the fray, rethinking her activist role before the Legislature convenes in January, wondering if it's time to stop. Her activist friends don't want that to happen. They are raising funds so she can live and lobby in Austin; they want her to make another push to get a moratorium bill passed. For two years, however, she has neglected her home, her husband, her mother; she has maxed out her credit cards and gone into debt; she has suffered indignities from strangers who think she couldn't have loved her daughter if she didn't want her killer to die; from those who think she craves the spotlight too much; from those who think retelling her story just keeps an old wound from healing.

Truth is, she doesn't believe in closure. She believes she was cheated out of her daughter--first by Nancy's father, then by Nancy's husband and finally by Nancy's murderer. Keeping the cause alive means keeping Nancy's memory alive. She can't give up her activism any more than she can give up the ghost. Her nightmares may have stopped, but for Jeanette Popp, the battle must continue.

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Mark Donald
Contact: Mark Donald