India Kager - Family Crisis Fund
I'm living EVERY parent's worst NIGHTMARE!
We're in dire straits...and we DESPERATELY need your help to prevent foreclosure. ~ Gina Best (India Kager's Mother)
Late Saturday night, September 5, 2015 the life of my gentle, soft-spoken daughter, India Jasmine Kager was tragically and prematurely stolen away.
Our lives have been irrevocably changed... FOREVER!
The HORRIFIC Notification
Early Sunday morning, September 6th, I was awakened by the life-altering and devastating phone call notifying me that my 27-year-old daughter, India Jasmine Kager had been brutally shot and killed by the Virginia Beach Police SWAT Team the night before. The caller (India's father) had no additional information....for the State Police dispatched to his home did not provide details. For a brief moment, I thought I was in the midst of an intensely frightening nightmare. That was not the case.
India's Siblings - Brandon and Samar
Reeling from shock and disbelief, I recall feeling faint and sick to my stomach as I fell to my knees screaming at the top of my lungs. My son, Brandon and youngest daughter, Samar (pronounced ‘Summer’) came running - - and with my voice straining and trembling, I had to tell my two remaining children: "Your sister, India...is dead..."
I watched in despair as my two remaining children crumbled upon hearing the psyche-fracturing news that NO sibling could ever imagine...
This was the beginning of unspeakable horror, crushing pain - - and the crippling downward spiral that sent EVERY facet of our lives crashing into dark, emotional chaos and disarray.
The Shooting of Innocent India Kager
Chief Jim Cervera and Colin Stolle, the VA Beach Commonwealth Attorney, have declared the shooting of India, with baby Roman in the back seat: "accidental" and "not intended". They have also released press statements clearly affirming that India was; "In no way involved in any criminal activity", whatsoever. Nor was she under any investigation prior to her death at the hands of the Virginia Beach Police SWAT team.
India Was Innocent. Her precious life was viciously snatched away - - in front of her child. Baby Roman was orphaned and neither little Evan nor Roman will ever experience the loving embrace and sweet voice of their Mommy....
NO apologies were offered. NONE of the six-plus SWAT officers were charged. NO responsibility was taken for snuffing out India's life and future. NO acknowledgement for the multi-generational trauma and resultant damage they inflicted upon our family. Absolutely....NOTHING.
The Emotional Impacts and Struggles
Losing a child is one of the most traumatic and psychologically devastating events a parent can endure. The sudden and violent death of our beautiful India has created acute depression and crushing grief that has proven to be both overwhelming...and debilitating. EVERY day is a struggle - - as I'm constantly challenged with myriad emotions, the unpredictability of persistent "grief spasms" and torrential tears.
Although I've learned the various stages of grief via intense therapy and counseling - - NOTHING provides any measurable comfort. The horrific affects of India's death and permanent loss of her physical presence permeates EVERY area of our lives. The pain is inescapable and never dissipates...
Samar Alia - Her Courage in the Midst of Pain
My "flower" girls, Samar and India are ten years apart, with India being the eldest of my two daughters.
Samar's paternal family is from Khartoum, Sudan and she speaks fluent Arabic. Her name in Arabic means; 'Fruit from Heaven' and she absolutely adored her big sister, India. Samar is loving, articluate, loyal, poised, industrious and kind-hearted.
Two weeks prior to India's life being taken, my girls spent "Big Sister/Little Sister" time together hanging out, shopping, and grabbing a bite to eat. Hearing their melodic laughter in the other room warmed my heart.
Now, it breaks my heart watching Samar trying to process and make sense of the cruel and senseless killing of her big sister, India. I breaks my heart when I can hear Samar crying in her room, or when I can see that she's trying to stifle her tears when I enter her space to comfort her. It's further exacerbated by a pervading feeling of helplessness, knowing that there's very little I can do to protect Samar and alleviate her emotional pain and confusion. We mourn our beloved India...together.
Although Samar has a special group of friends, she has no one within her peer group who can fully relate to her trauma experience. Losing her big sister at age 17 in her milestone Senior year of high school is a heavy load for Samar to bear. We were robbed of India's presence at Samar's dance recitals, prom and graduation. Courageously, she's trying to move forward with life as best she can.
Unfortunately, Samar's plans to attend college have been derailed. Optimistically, her goal is to enroll in the fall semester and prepare for a future medical career in Nursing. In lieu of the original plan to attend college out-of-state, Samar now wishes to remain home, safe within her orbit of familiarity. I shower Samar with love, celebrate and applaud her.
My Profession and Employment Situation
Prior to India's premature death, I passionately enjoyed my chosen profession as a self-employed mortgage banker. My compensation was 100% commission based - - and with focused dedication, I derived tremendous joy in helping homeowners purchase or refinance their home.
As a single working mother, I took extraordinary personal pride and dignity in self-sufficiency and financial independence while providing for myself and my three children.
I'm now in a continual state of mourning and "recalibrating". I have not been able to return to work since India's traumatic death. Further, to cover our living expenses I have depleted all of my cash reserves - - and I'm now in this suffocating, multi-layered financial crisis. Consequently, we are in severe financial need - - and dire straits.
Adding to the overwhelming distress, I’m in a terrible predicament - - as foreclosure is now a frightful reality, looming around the corner.
The grotesque irony is that during my entire career as a Financial Professional and Mortgage Banker, I helped individuals and families secure and maintain their homes. I am now in this dreaded position of extreme emotional and financial distress - - and the tables are turned.
Admittedly, asking for financial help in a public forum is far from what I've envisioned for myself. It is extremely hard for me to ask for assistance, but at this point, I've exhausted available options and I truly need the help. These financial hardships are an additional outgrowth and ripple effect of the crime committed against India and Roman. I never envisioned losing one of my children - - and certainly never at the hands of police.
If I can become current on my mortage and remain solvent over the next several months - - we’ll make it. There is a deadline, and I need to raise the FULL amount overdue - - plus the accrued late fees before the next court date scheduled for March 22, 2017.
We have treasured memories in our home - - with India's room being foremost amongst them. Being able to go into India's room helps me try to "reconnect" with her at times. To complement her white-ash colored bedroom furniture, India selected a warm chest-nut gold color and painted the walls in her room. Her amber wind chimes also remain as she left them. This is priceless to me.
I need your help to ensure that Samar can remain in the home she's grown up in, providing her a continued sense of stability in her "space" while she copes emotionally.
My greatest hope for Samar would be having complete assurance that if anything should happen to me...she'd be able to remain in her home - - and never have to worry about where she'd live. She's going through so much as it is - - and the road ahead will not be easy.
With your heart-felt kindness and generosity, Samar and I can cross this bridge and reach a place of financial recovery and sustainability.
Our Beloved India KagerSoft-spoken, gentle-spirited India was a loving mother, daughter, granddaughter, niece, aunt, cousin, sister, true friend, gifted visual artist, self-taught musician, U.S. Navy Veteran, U.S. Postal Service letter carrier.
A multi-talented instrumentalist she also displayed extraordinary talents in visual arts. India began sketching when she was a toddler and creating the most amazing and intricate drawings. Sensitive and a precisionist, India often cried when her sketches did not turn out the way she envisioned them. An animal lover for her entire life, India had several pets including cats, sugar-gliders and even lizards. India thoroughly enjoyed sketching animals, nature scenes, portraits and abstracts.
One of India's Sketches
A self taught musician, India learned how to play the piano by ear as a young child, and instantaneously picked up and played (melody and chords) classical favorites from Beethoven et al, and the songs from her favorite video games (Sonic the Hedgehog, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario World, and so forth). India also taught herself to play the guitar, bass, pan flute, and violin.
Helping others to become empowered where she had grown and evolved was another one of India's passions. India loved reading and was always open to learning things that enriched her holistically. Never seeking to be the center of attention, Indy loved sharing, explaining, and teaching others the things she learned. India was spiritually enlightened, artsy, intorspective, long-suffering and patient. Quiet strength and kindness personified.
After serving in the United States Navy, India worked for the United States Postal Service. She also dreamed of working for Disney Animation Studios or Google in the graphic arts division. Unfortunately, her dreams weren't realized...
India's sweet, gentle spirit is apparent in her two little boys, Evan and Roman. A very nurturing and attentive Mother, India loved her sons IMMENSELY and showered them with the sparkling warmth and light she radiated. Her light shines brightly through her babies.
Encouragement, Donations and Sharing
I have already been blown away by the amount of love poured out by friends and supporters offering encouragement as I continue to amplify India, Evan and Roman - - and seek justice on their behalf. Know that I am so incredibly grateful for each and every one of you!
Please don't feel obligated to donate financially if doing so is not feasible. I humbly ask that you please share widely within your social sphere. If you feel a nudge to pray or send healing vibes and energy our way in honor of India, we embrace the promises sent forth.
If you have any questions of any kind, please send me a message and I'll do my best to respond as expeditiously as possible.
Anything you can donate will help enormously and is thoroughly appreciated - - more than words can express.
With a grateful heart - - I thank you.
April 23, 2017 - I'm still in the midst of working through this financial crisis and navigating the legal process with the help of a compassionate friend - - who is also a practicing attorney.
He was able to negotiate an extension granting Samar and I additional time with the next court date scheduled for May.
Admittedly, the multi-layered grief, stress and pressures are overwhelming. However, I'm determined to press through - - - and I've established a plan to return to work as soon as humanly and emotionally possible.
I appreciate your continued support, donations, loving energies and words of encouragement Samar and I have received. I'm hopeful we'll cross this bridge with your generosity and help.
With love and gratitude. ~ Gina