For Lana Hollerud it has been easier the last few weeks to worry over the things that needed to get done, rather than confront what lies ahead.
Easier to plan the 21-hour car ride from Austin, Minn., to Philadelphia. Easier to search for a hotel near the Criminal Justice Center, one that will accommodate a two-week stay - the likely length of the trial, prosecutors told her.
Easier to pack and find a place to board Libby the dog and Fargo the cat. Easier to make one last trip to the cemetery.
Easier to do anything else than think about what begins Monday in Courtroom 1107, something she never thought would come: the trial of the man believed to have killed her son, Beau Zabel.
Monday, lawyers will begin choosing jurors for the murder trial of Marcellus Jones, 37, of North Philadelphia, who prosecutors say shot Zabel in the neck in June 2008 near the Italian Market.
Zabel, a Philadelphia Teaching Fellow, had been walking home from his summer job at Starbucks. The killer took only his iPod.
Lana, 58, and Beau's stepfather, Terry Zabel, 54, and his sister, Brook, will be in the courtroom Monday, along with other family. They will be there to the end, they said.
"I don't know how I could be anywhere else," Lana said.
It has been seven years since Lana drove Beau from his childhood home in Austin to his Italian Market rowhouse apartment - to his new life in Philadelphia.
That day in May 2008 she helped her son unpack his teaching supplies and a pocket edition of the Constitution. He dreamed of teaching math to inner-city kids.
That day she worried over when she would see him next. How in this new city, which he seemed to fall in love with upon arrival, he would find time to come home.
Then, 42 days later, a local sheriff came in the night. Something had happened in Philadelphia. Beau was gone.
Just that soon, Lana came back to Philadelphia to take her son home.
Since then, Lana has found solace in remembering the life Beau squeezed into his 23 years. All the experiences he had for a small-town Minnesota boy. College at far-away Augustana in Rock Island, Ill., near the Quad Cities, where he studied math, music, and philosophy.
A semester in Ecuador, where he decided he wanted to live a life helping others. He chose the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows program because he knew he would be needed in this city.
Thinking of those things helps Lana stave off the pain and unfairness.
"It's been hard thinking about the end again," she said.
She and Terry were there in 2012 when Jones was found guilty of shooting to death Tyrek Taylor, 19, his alleged accomplice in Beau's murder in order to keep him quiet.
She went home to Minnesota confident she knew who killed her son - glad he will spend his life in prison.
Lana, a crime victim advocate in Austin, a job she held before her son was killed in Philadelphia, says her closure will never be found in a courtroom. But she remembers the surprise of how satisfied she felt when Jones was finally charged with Beau's death in 2013. The charges came after Jones allegedly bragged about killing Zabel.
She wants to feel that satisfaction again. For herself and her family. For a city she feels has shown her kindness since her son's death. For Beau.
So she returns to a city Beau wanted to help build up, a city that took him in 42 days.
But first, she went, as she does almost daily, to visit Beau.
Kneeling in the early snow at a cemetery a short drive from her home in Austin, she told him that she was going back to Philadelphia: "Well, we're going to go and see what happens," she said.
Then she left to confront what lies ahead.