Kay Scheinost can’t get her daughter back.
Even though it’s painful to tell her story she wants to keep Kim’s memory alive. And she also wants her death to serve a purpose: Saving another mother from having to go through the same thing.
The former Norfolk woman who now lives in Omaha said she didn’t know that her daughter, Kim Cox, was experiencing domestic violence during her two-year marriage and preceding courtship.
She didn’t know until it was too late. Cox’s ex-husband murdered her Nov. 9, 1998.
“I didn’t know she was in danger,” Scheinost said. “Back then, none of this was ever talked about.”
Scheinost will be speaking at Bright Horizons’ candlelight vigil Tuesday, Oct. 2 to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month. She has previously spoken at the local event in 2009 and 2004, and also at domestic violence events in Omaha.
She said Cox left her marriage and moved to Omaha for a fresh start. The ex followed. A week after the divorce was finalized, he called her. He had some of her things at his apartment. When she went to retrieve those items, he shot her.
Scheinost said she’s forgiven her son-in-law, who is out of prison after serving 12 1/2 years.
She chooses to remember Cox for the life she lived as an outgoing, beautiful woman who loved her job as a hair stylist.
“She loved people. She loved to make them laugh,” Scheinost said. “She was just a beautiful person inside and out.”
She’s hoping that people who knew Cox — especially those who may have also been 1992 graduates of Norfolk High School — will stop by the candlelight vigil and share their memories.
Scheinost also finds strength by pouring energy into the cause of saving lives by raising awareness about domestic violence.
“If I can help other women not die, then Kim serves a purpose,” Scheinost said. “I couldn’t save my daughter because I didn’t know. . . . I’ve learned a lot these last 14 years. I wish I had my daughter instead.”