Updated: Aug 1
When I decided to do a press release after they found the driver that killed my husband I prayed and asked the Lord for the words. I tried to write out what I would say beforehand but I just couldn't. There were just no words. But God gave me the grace to answer all the questions the reporters asked me. Everyone always feels like they could answer better after the fact but all I could do was to just be as authentic as I could in the moment. Being in a place of such weakness in front of an audience is very uncomfortable but I felt God's comfort and strength has been present this whole time.
The message I want to communicate is that God has shown such radical forgiveness to all of us in Jesus Christ so how can we not in-turn give that same forgiveness back to those who don't deserve it? I know I certainly didn't deserve God's love and redemption but he still gave it to me. I pray that Miss Fields can find redemption and peace in God the way Charlie did - the way all of us in Jesus Christ have.
You don’t have to stay broken - you can become something completely brand new. That’s Charlie's life story. That’s what he loved the most about telling everyone and that is what he would tell Kyrie Fields right now.
Below is the audio and transcription of the full unedited interview I did with the press yesterday. May God be glorified.
Question: Meg I am sure, probably, when Miss field was out that day, she didn't have the intention of hitting your husband. What the police have said is that after she did it - she left. Not only that, she burned the car to try and cover her tracks. Obviously it took this long to find her. What do you think about all that?
Megan: I think it (finding her) came quicker than I expected. I didn't really know what that would look like, it felt more sudden (quicker) than a couple of weeks. I think it made some of the initial feelings of that moment come back. So a little bit scary in that sense - just kind of re-living that moment of shock, pain and fear and all those things.
Question: I guess from a practical point of view, your husband being the sole breadwinner, we understand and you have nine children living at home? I don't know if she has any kind of insurance or anything like that. But, I mean, there's the practical aspect of being able to take care of your family. What do you think about that going forward?
Megan: We've seen radical generosity. We've had people step in and pay off my house, my cars, putting a new roof on my house - It's been above and beyond, just shocking generosity. I think God's gonna take care of us. I think there's practical sides too. We have a (little bit) of income that comes in through another source and there's some insurance coverages and teacher benefits coming our way. Maybe it should be higher on the concern list, but that's not a really a high concern for me at this point.
Question: Can you talk a little bit about how these past few weeks have been coping with the loss and just trying to move forward as a family together? I know you've had a lot of support from your neighbors and even the church.
Megan: Definitely. It's been very different obviously. Our whole worlds were wrapped up around each other. But then in some senses, it just keeps moving. You know, the kids are homeschooled, so they've always been with me. My husband was studying so there was lots of late nights of me putting them to bed by myself and, hurrying them off here and there. I think we will definitely miss the difference of everything he had to bring. But there's 10 people whose lives are still here. We just got to wake up every day and keep moving.
Question: How are the kids doing?
Megan: They have been amazing! I think they're taking their cues from me. They have their moments, we all have our moments where there's tears and not knowing anything and then we get up from that place and we just do what we always do. We play, we we eat, we do chores, we do school, we just, we just gotta keep moving.
Question: I don't want to put words in your mouth. What struck me is that one of our folks talked to some of your friends after the arrest, and they said that they forgive Miss Fields and that there was no animosity, that's extraordinary. Do you forgive this woman for what she did?
Megan: Absolutely. Again, like I said, we've been recipients of lots forgiveness, we came out of some pretty broken situations. And so we've seen radical forgiveness from God, and we've seen radical forgiveness from people. I think it would be criminal not to respond like that. I don't know how I can hold something against somebody when I've experienced so much forgiveness.
Question: You mentioned the generosity. We checked, the fundraisers and saw that the GoFundMe, which has a target of a quarter million is already well in excess of $200,000. And somebody gave you $20,000, anonymously, what do you think about that?
Megan: I'm shocked, we are such small people. We literally live such mundane lives. Charlie went to work every day, I homeschool my kids every day, and we played on our front lawn. that was the extent of our lives. Maybe we went across the street to Ken's house but that's that was about it. So to see such a wide ripple effect, to me is it's appalling. I can't even believe that so many people would take notice and care enough to actually do something as big or small as it was. Every little donation has been amazing to me!
Question: Talking to friends, and even reading some of the GoFundMe notes that people were leaving shows he left an impact on the people that he came across. What do you want people to take from him and move forward with? What do you want his legacy to be?
Megan: I guess that your story doesn't really have to be perfect. I think when you make amends with your past, there's lots of hope for the future. You don't have to stay stuck, you don't have to stay a mess, you don't have to stay broken. You can become something completely brand new. That's Charlie's life story, and that's what he loved telling the kids most in the classroom - It doesn't really matter your home situation or where you come from. He was a high school dropout who became a teacher with a specialist degree.
Question: This generosity is not over either. I understand that there is a bike ride on Saturday. And, you know, there's obviously a very strong biking community in the Kansas City area. A lot of people are out on the road, it could have been any one of us that could have been in the same kind of boat. I think that's touched a chord with a lot of people.
Megan: Oh, yeah, it's touched so many different streams - the church, the school settings, and the biking communities, our neighborhood. It literally could have been anybody. So I think it was just very sobering for anybody who hears the story. To be like, 'I don't necessarily know if tomorrow is promised to me.' So really to take advantage of every moment, even the little mundane ones. I think that's one of the things my husband did the best. He just made peace with just living every moment with lots of love. And it just made a huge impact, a huge impact.
Question: As you keep telling the story and keeping his memory alive, are there certain moments that keep coming back up? your kids, and loved ones, any specific ones?
Megan: For us it probably Charlie's goofiness. It was always a song or dance or some just some random outburst. I'm not quite as funny as he was. We have tons of videos so the little ones will grow up watching those. I think they will keep watching those videos hearing the stories - the outrageous ones. I think we're just gonna learn to keep laughing, keep remembering how much fun we had, and keep having lots of fun ourselves.
Question: Are you starting to see traits in your kids that came from him? And will you appreciate them more now?
Megan: Oh, yeah, some more than others. Yeah, I think everybody's got a little. A little bit of that wild, fun spirit. They're all a hoot. Some are strong, some are very intense - like they know what they want and they're gonna go get it. Some are quiet but very diligent. They don't necessarily have all the skills naturally, but they're not afraid to work to get them. There's just so many things - they love people well.
Question: Meg, as you know, there's gonna come a point here in the not too distant future when all of us are gonna go away. There's not going to be as much attention on what has happened to you. But you still have to raise nine children that live in your house. What are your thoughts about taking that on going forward.
Megan: Our whole journey in parenting always felt like it was something that we were called to not necessarily something that we were equipped for. We studied the Bible a lot. We prayed a lot. We asked for help from the community a lot, like, 'Hey, can you watch my kids' or whatever so it's always been something that was always beyond us. So now it's still beyond me. I just keep doing what I've always done. And I believe the community is going to come through, God's gonna come through, my family has been super supportive - they are thinking about moving down here. So I know when all the cameras and lights disappear, that we will still have so many people that are willing to stay and support us and see us through.
Question: What else can the community be doing?
Megan: I don't think there's anything anybody hasn't done. I have a basement shelf full of toilet paper, diapers, and if I put it on a needs list, it shows up in my basement on a shelf somewhere. I can't think of anything else. Everybody's come through in so many ways.
Question: Pretty clearly, doing this at a church speaks volumes. I mean, you are a person of faith. And that's that's a big part of what's pulling you through this, correct?
Megan: Absolutely. Yeah. Number one. I think our lives were well grounded before this. This isn't our first round through hardships - through life. You know life gets real. So we've worked this muscle a few times. It just seems the natural response. Something that's already been there. We're just drawing from it.
Question: Anything else that you want to add?
Megan: I think always in the back of my mind. (my kids are in the front of my mind.) I think right behind them are the kids, the students, in the classrooms that won't have that connection point (with Charlie) anymore. But if they want to be like him, if they want to emulate him, just walk in His footsteps, do what he did, one day, one step, one right choice at a time.