The Club Nobody Wants To Be In (Part 2)–They are Still Fathers…

This is a link to an older article which does a “Where Are they Now?” type of thing on David Smith–Susan Smith’s ex…

http://www.hlntv.com/slideshow/2013/10/09/david-smith-susan-smith-killed-sons-where-are-they-now

Having lost a child, this is a common thing to happen–where he talks about having more good days than bad,  but still having those days that bring a person to the knees…I still have them, but my son’s twin wasn’t murdered…The baby died early in the pregnancy and they insisted at the doctor’s office that I was no longer pregnant…When I went back  later with the ever-present morning, noon and night sickness that went on for weeks after losing the baby, they discovered there was another baby in the other sac.

I simply do not understand why society expects men to be what I can only describe as “unattached” to their own grief.  This is something we as a society need to move away from. Those who push this mentality need to be strongly addressed.  Men are every bit as emotional as women are, and they may not always show it in the way society has demanded, but society and it’s expectations should not rule how an individual would handle this issue–ever…Quite frankly, I am surprised at how many experts on grief, as a general rule, think that they are qualified to address the issue of  how to handle losing a child. This is especially true of those who never experienced such a loss.

Losing a child in any way is hell, but losing two in the way that Smith’s were lost would break even the strongest of men. However this man, despite those bad days, still drives on.  For that I admire him.  Nobody likes this little club that anyone who has lost a child is in, but I would like to see society lay off of the men…They can hurt like everyone else. Let them grieve because they also lost a child or (as in this case) more…

And for those who lost a child like I did, the men are still fathers just as assuredly as women who lost a child are still mothers.  People need to understand this, so please think before commenting and be just as considerate of the fathers as you should be of the mothers. That lost child (or those lost children) will remain a part of them forever.

 

Nana Remembers the Steps…

I remember well when Dad put these steps in...

I remember well when Dad put these steps in…

I remember being around 5 years old and bugging Dad to take me to the store with him at one point when he was working on these. He’d take us to the store, Mann’s Grocery and we’d get either a Nu-Grape, Pepsi, RC or a Dr. Pepper on those hot summer days. He built these so we could get in and out house easier–especially since his youngest daughter (MOI) was such a bloody clutz…  Today they will be covered–but not removed. We are having to put in a wheelchair ramp for my mother now.

Ironically, he built the steps for the same purpose this ramp is being built–to make going into and out of the house easier. My mother fell a few days ago and has broken her back in two places.  Age has ravaged her, but it has not broken her spirit. She is slowly making her way up another set of steps into the unknown–just as all of us will.  Hopefully, we’ll have her around for a while longer. I’m not ready to let her go. Thankfully she is up, alert and eating again but we were very scared at first.

And soon, these steps will be covered, hidden from sight just as my dad now is.  Yet I feel his presence in my life today.  I remember the love he had for us, not wanting to see us fall and get hurt, when he put those steps in.  The ramp being put in is also a poignant reminder that one day I will be an orphan, and the little girl in me is not ready for that right now anyway.  For now though, I am grateful that the day I dread is not here–and hopefully not for a very long time.

Remembering the Monster

Part of Kit was terrified, and another part told herself that nothing would come of it.  Karen had knocked the crap out of her again after getting into a fight with her dad yelling, “This was your fault! If you weren’t here–” and she stopped as she reached into her purse next to her in the car and pulled out that damned pistol again.  She put it up against Kit’s head but Kit stared straight ahead. This was a child who had been down this road, in the darkness of the night with that gun at her head so many times, she simply didn’t give a shit anymore. In her mind, at least it would end if Karen actually did pull the trigger. As she felt the barrel against her left temple she stared up at the moon.

The air was cold since it was January and the stars seemed to be very bright. Kit loved looking at them. She often wondered what it would like to fly up into where they were.

“Are you listening to me!?,” Karen screamed, “You had better be listening!”

Kit then looked at her and said, “Nothing scares me anymore. Not even that gun. Not even you. Either do it or let me go live with Mom.”

The gun was now pressed against her forehead.  The barrel was cold and Karen’s hand was shaking as Kit stared into her eyes.

“Stop looking at me damn you! If you go to school one more time and tell them–”

“You’ll what?! Blow my head off? Do it. I told you I’m not afraid anymore. I don’t care!” Kit yelled as she kept staring straight into her eyes.

The now 13-year-old was quite resolute in her statement. She saw no way out of the house of horrors so she began to stand up to the monster.  That monster was Karen.

Karen threw the silver pistol back into her purse, started the car and sped off with Kit still inside. She took her across town to Jack’s house.  She then reached across the seat and opened Kit’s door.

“Get the hell out of here and go inside! If you say one word to Jack I swear I’ll–”

“Whatever…Same old crap!” Kit said to her as she shut the door and began to take a step back.

With that Karen peeled out with such force that Kit was knocked down.  The child got up, dusted off her jeans and went to the door. It took a long while for  her to go to sleep, and her sister-in-law was asking what had happened but Kit only responded, “With Karen what doesn’t happen?”

The entire family felt powerless to help the child.  The only way Karen stopped hitting her was when her mother got wind of it.  Her mother delivered a personal message via her aunt down the street.

“If you touch Kit or my son one more time, Bitch, I’ll kill you myself.” was the message.

Kit would not find out about this until she was in her 20’s but often wondered why during the last six months of Karen’s life she tended to just storm off when things got tense between her and her dad.  She didn’t even bully Kit during that time other than to scream at her once in a while. Kit got to where she would tune her out.

When Kit entered her cell she would look at the green shades and cringe once in a while. She would then look at the wall she decorated.  She put up a red tartan bedspread on her wall for an accent wall and then covered it with Beatles and Bay City Rollers posters.  She also had a huge poster of Paul McCartney and Wings on the other side of her room.

On the other side was her doll collection.  She had Native American dolls, Japanese dolls, the first Revlon doll ever made and a lot of other antique ones–which got sold out from under her little by little  after Karen’s death–along with her TV because her dad said, “You don’t need this stuff anymore.  He then replaced it with stuff Karen had–which she didn’t want.  She worked for her things and now they were taken from her one day while she was at school.  He gave the stereo she did babysitting  for to her brother and then gave her Karen’s which pissed her off totally.

While Karen did have a better one, she wanted no reminders. She liked her white one. She paid for it with her money. Now her brother had it. She had a 19” black and white TV she liked watching. He put Karen’s 9″ portable color TV in there.  That also pissed her off–especially since it had to be sent for repairs every time she turned around.  However one night she was watching and a video from the  year prior came on.  It was “Mull of Kintyre” by Paul McCartney and Wings.

It would be that video that would spawn her desire to see other places.  She loved how the kids in that video were having fun down by the fire on the beach–something she never got to do.  As thoughts of the monster began to fade a bit at night, those thoughts were replaced with new ones–and when the green shades came down, it marked a new freedom for Kit.  It was at this point she picked up a pen and began creating new worlds, new people and dreaming of a new life.  She had never seen mist  rolling in from the Ocean and longed for it…One day she would, but for now, the video had to do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5626WzsfMw

This was the video that started that journey for her so many years ago.  The open land and the beach…The smiles on people’s faces…These were the things that she loved to see on TV.  And later in that year–1978, she would find out what a “normal” family was…She would realize then how abnormal her life had been and it would also make new thoughts churn in her head as she pulled out her pen and paper.

 

A Sad Turn in a Long Story…

As many know by now, the remains of missing teenager 13-year-old Hailey Dunn were found in Scurry County, TX on 3/16/13.  This was confirmed after weeks of testing on the remains.  I am at a loss for words here.  As a mother, I am torn because I know how I would feel had my child gone missing, and at the same time, I also hope that justice has her way quickly in this case.  This girl deserves that.  More than that, I only pray she didn’t suffer too much at the hand(s) of the person(s) who killed her.

Please continue to keep her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.  Please keep this community of West Texas in your thought also. This entire community is heartbroken, to say the least.  This case resulted in a nationwide search. Thank God for all of those volunteers and those in law enforcement who never gave up on her also.

In their time of loss, let us  remember the family of Hailey Dunn in our thoughts.  Thank you.

In their time of loss, let us remember the family of Hailey Dunn in our thoughts. Thank you.

April 9, 1929

Kenneth B. O'Neill USAF Msgt. (Ret-1972)  1929-1995

Kenneth B. O’Neill USAF Msgt. (Ret-1972) 1929-1995

 

On this day in 1929, my father was born.  I heard the story about how hard times were–to the point where my grandpa often stole chickens and such to keep the family fed.  They picked cotton. They worked the fields and they were very creative.  My grandmother, Mary E. O’Neill played an organ, Dad could write and Uncle Jackie could also–in fact, my uncle had a photographic memory!  He could read a book and remember it almost word for word, page number and chapter of what he wanted to tell us about.  In short, Uncle Jackie was a genius!

I”ll share some of the funny stuff at some point but for now, I’m just going to sit back and remember some of the fun things–like when we all went camping at Ringling Lake in Eastland, TX.

He’s been gone since 1995, but I think of him every year. I’m a little late tonight, but I was always late for everything when I was young–except school and work.  I drove my dad nuts if I didn’t call when I was supposed to, but today I wish I could call him…I miss him more than anyone can comprehend, but if I could call him, I’d introduce him to this little guy–his great-grandson!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=409471489133877&set=vb.100002130892797&type=3&theater

I see a little of Dad in him…Just enough to lemme know that that boy has the Irish in him!  I think his hair is going to be like Dad’s too, but it’s too early to tell…

Anyway, if my dad is out there somewhere with his arms folded across his chest wondering what the heck is going on around here, I just wanna say this:  “Happy Birthday, Dad! You can put your halo back on now. I remembered!”

😉

 

 

Nana’s Favorite Pages and Blogs…

ON some o f these, there will be an actual link to a post that moved me so much at the time, it needs to be shared!  Here I go:

http://www.flaurena.com    Because Lauren’s jewelry appeals to my individualist nature.

http://www.fizgiggery.com/2011/other-mischief/nanny   I read this blog post every time the anniversary of my grandmother’s passing comes around, and it is one of the best posts I’ve ever read on any blog–anywhere!  In fact, a few years back, her blog post on “karma” got me to turn a few thoughts around in my head and get out of the correctional field.  She posts on many subjects, too! Check it out!

http://momsicle.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/caramel-apples-chocolate/  From food, to parenthood and everything in-between, including travel tips for parents of tots, this is a helluva blog…Check it out!

http://www.terribleminds.com/  Very blunt, honest and to the point–in short, when he posts about writing, he doesn’t post bullshit.

http://piperbayard.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/the-end-is-near-and-we-deserve-it-kindergartener-deemed-terrorist-threat-and-suspended/   Whether weird stories like this interest you, or historical fact, OR the impending Zombie Apocalypse–this is one cool blog!

This will be updated again I’m sure but for right now, these are my top 5. Have a great day!

A Day in the Hood–the Nanahood…And Some Deep Thinking…

As a grandparent I get a huge kick out of my grandson, Little Kevin…Here’s a new pic:

Is the guy rockin’ or what?!

That being said something crossed my mind the other day…Aging…That’s right…Aging…NO I’m not depressed about turning 50 later this year or anything, but I am concerned as to what would become of me should Alzheimer’s ever touch my life directly.  I had an aunt that suffered from it and it was horrible.

Aside from that, I am an avid movie lover and music lover and I truly hope to instill that in this little man! After all, children are the future are they not?

That being said there is a movie coming out that is on my mind heavily…It is going to be a wonderful film called “Posey”.

Here is the link to the FB page for this movie and please go click “like” and share it…I feel this will be an important picture this year: https://www.facebook.com/Poseythemovie While there, check out those pics! They are outstanding!

This movie stars Sally Kirkland and Christopher Pennock, who is another cool actor that some of you may know from the original Dark Shadows series, where he played Jeb Hawkes! He is  currently working on “The Dresser” at the Actor’s Studio, which will open in LA in early October.   Also, “The Four Horsemen” will start shooting again too! He also says that he’s recording the new Dark Shadows Audiodrama with Kathryn Leigh Scott…”Sebastian Shaw re-emerges in the Funny Farm!” is how he describes this.

However, this movie is probably going to be an important stepping stone in the careers of both Ms. Kirkland and Mr. Pennock.  Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease.  It literally robs us of our loved ones while living–bit by bit.  My grandson’s paternal great-grandmother has a brain disorder that affects her much the same way, and it is truly  a shame. One day she may know my ex-husband  and the next day she may not.  Sometimes she remembers my sons. As to whether or not she will comprehend being a great-grandmother remains to be seen.

I also had an aunt who suffered from Alzheimer’s that didn’t even recognize her husband who could be standing less than 4 feet away from her…I’ll never forget that either. She would put on lipstick, and then 5 minutes later put on more thinking she hadn’t done it yet…She also cursed like a sailor at times, which was sad because she never cursed prior to the onset of the disease.  Slowly it took her from us all.  And then one day I got word that her husband had passed away. She never realized it. Then one day, she was also gone.  Sad…People who have this, die alone even when loved ones are there and they are aware of someone’s presence. They seem to be trapped in their own world, in their own mind.

That is why this movie is important…It is important because one day my family may be faced with putting me into an assisted living facility or a nursing home.  This is the issue faced in the film…The disease is frightening enough for the family members faced with having to care for the victim of this disease, but for the family member who suffers from it–it can be twice as devastating…Here is why the film is important–straight from the Facebook page:

“…The film seeks to examine the seeming hopelessness of the disease and the fear from both the victim and their families, while at the same time finding hope and humor. The film is supported by the Alzheimer’s Association http://www.alz.org/  and a portion of the profits from the film will be donated to help fund research for this devastating illness…”

The film is not yet listed on IMDB but it should be…This could be one of the most important films to début this year.  I also feel that this role could get Ms. Kirkland a much deserved statue for a job well done without even seeing a trailer yet.  Seeing Christopher Pennock play opposite her is going to be a treat for this viewer as well. Now here is the synopsis–again from the Facebook page:

“…POSEY is the story of Linda Flemming, played by Erica Rhodes (A Prairie Home Companion, Killer Eye, Plague Town) who must make the heartbreaking decision to take her grandmother, Posey (Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe Winner Sally Kirkland), to a retirement home. Posey suffers from the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, and in a desperate move to avoid the inevitable, she escapes. While her loved ones desperately search for her, Posey finds herself in the middle of a unique situation…one that will change her outlook on her future profoundly…”

I know that the very fact that someone cares enough to make the movie has changed mine.  I will support this film with all I’ve got and I hope that others will follow suit. Thank you so much for your time.  As I said, this could be one of the most important films to come out this year.

A Big Day in the Nanahood!

 

Meet my grandson, Kevin D. Thomas! He finally decided to make his début onto the world stage at 1:20 p.m. on 7/18/2012! He weighed 7 lb. 14 oz and is 20″ long. Believe me when I say this kid has a set of lungs on him too!

Well everyone, without further adieu,  Nana is getting some sleep! I had a big day and came home to a ton of laundry to do! LOL!  I got it finished-finally!  I got called at 1:20 yesterday morning and 12 hours later, the little guy arrived!

 

Nana Gets the Double Whammy!

I am not expecting a grandchild…I’m expecting TWO!  I am a bit overwhelmed at the moment. I feel kind of torn.  All I can say is, the 2nd one will probably be here two to three weeks after the first one and I have massive planning to do…I was almost to a point where I could plan around one–but two that close together? Oh boy…I always said if it’s weird or unusual it will happen around here when I’m around…

I can get to the front of the checkout line at Wal~Mart and the power will go dead–among other things.  Can someone send me a bottle of  Hendrick’s Gin? I could really use a few mixed drinks about now…I know this much–better those girls than moi! Now I’ve got to figure out the Holidays every year all over again–and it’s going to be weird…

Then I hear the youngest really leaning toward naming his son AFTER another family member. To me this is a big no-no. I don’t go for that.  It’s just a thing with me that it seems rather silly to give a child a name they’d have to live up to–or one he or she would end up changing as an adult because he/she hates how it sounds–or he/she simply didn’t like the story behind it…  A child’s name is to be something taken very seriously. It is something they will own, and the responsibility should not be taken lightly.

I held my babies for a bit before I could even begin to come up with a name.  Then when I did, it just felt right. Sure I pondered several but the names REALLY came to me when I held them…It was the most awesome feeling to look into the child’s eyes and know I picked the right name, even though my middle son doesn’t like the meaning of his.  Oh well…Such is life. He can get over it.

Picking names for a baby is not that hard, but some people make it a chore.  I think my way is the better one.  I never needed a baby name book either….

The Mistress

Once upon a time, a wise grandmother got onto her son for telling her grand-daughter to go get him a beer. The grand-daughter was only six. “You are teaching her that it is alright for her to drink when you do that.” Her son told her to mind her business. “I am. I never let you get your father’s drinks either. What you put into her is what you will get from her and by letting her put that in her hand, you are teaching her to follow your path.”
“I did not teach you to follow your father’s path. You defied me. You wake up and get a beer and you go to bed with one. It has become your mistress. I do not think it takes much to figure out why I am the only relative who comes here to help you. You loved that bottle more than her mother before she passed away, and now you love it more than your only child.”
He told her to go home and take his daughter with her so he could sleep late. He didn’t want to hear her preach at him any longer. She complied. That evening both were killed by a drunk driver as they left the market. IT was then he decided that she had been right all along. He had to lose the two people he loved the most to finally part with his mistress.