Nearly a decade after the murder of her five-week-old twin children, Baraboo resident Susan Bird is ready to share her story with the world.
"I've written a book to get some really important messages out to people. The first, of course, is to shine a light on domestic violence and child abuse," Bird said.
She says she's all too familiar with both after being in an abusive relationship with David Yates for four years.
"My two youngest children, Tyler and Savannah, were murdered by their father (Yates) in 2008," Bird said.
Yates was found guilty of the double murder in 2010 and received two life sentences without the possibility for parole.
"To know that he would be held accountable for what he did to our children gave me some peace," Bird said.
Bird says finding peace with herself, though, took some time.
"Forgiving myself was incredibly difficult," she said.
She saw the warning signs, but never believed her infants were in danger.
"I thought it was just me that was the target. I never expected it would be them," Bird said.
She says Yates was very active with her older sons, who are now 13 and 15.
After the tragedy, Bird made it her mission to raise awareness against any form of abuse. She regularly speaks to groups who ask her to share her difficult experience. Now, she's ready to reach a wider audience. She recently finished a book, eight years in the making, which shines a light on her experiences and gives advice to those who may be facing a similar situation.
"That's the only way what happened to Tyler and Savannah is going to be worth living through, is if it can change somebody else's life for the better," Bird said.
She's still looking for a publisher and doesn't yet have a title, but hopes it will be for sale soon.
Until then, she has her service dog, Tippy, her two sons and a strong faith in God to be at peace and find forgiveness.
"Regardless of what situation has gotten your heart broken, or found you in the depths of despair, life is still beautiful. It may not be beautiful today, but it will be tomorrow if you stick around to see it," Bird said.
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