I’m No Fan of the Media

I will make this short and not-so-sweet.

It’s funny how when a celebrity dies, the media thinks it’s everyone’s business how the estate gets divided up. It does not matter how the math works out in one’s head because it is nobody’s damned business.

Duncan Jones’s mother left him with David Bowie long before Iman came into the picture. He provided for his education and such. That was well before his sister was born. If you figure that in, it pans out in the end. However the three of them just lost what no amount of money can replace–a husband, father and friend.

That being said, it is not the public’s business where the estate ends up, and the media along with the armchair experts should shut their collective pie-hole.

That is all I will say on that subject.

As She Lay Dying

Does it sound poetic? Well it isn’t. I’m in a house that I spent a few years of my life in while waiting for the most important person in my life to begin the next leg of her journey.  Soon the memories of my precious mother will overcome me and my family along with a river of tears.

However, as we come face to face with the fact that the four of us will now be orphaned,  this leg of the journey brings an end to her suffering.

I am sitting here listening to the old time gospel music I grew up on recorded by Grand Ol Opry greats…Yes, rockers always go back to their roots. My roots are deeply carved. into every bit of soil and through every river and creek my ancestors swam in and fished from around here.

There is an undeniable fact I will share here. God is real. The journey never ends. We merely are changed. I believe when my mother leaves us, she will be with my Granny and a lot of relatives who left before her. Even now I believe that she sees them or hears them waiting.

I don’t care what others believe, but I know from personal experience that God is not a figment of the imagination. God s the reason I have a love for nature and the a deep respect for the fury it gives us from time to time. God is also the reason I don’t fear what is to come. He is also the reason I can love and forgive others.

My mother’s journey on this orb we call Earth is about to end. I am grateful that God blessed me with her for 53 years. I will carry her forever in my heart, and will do my best to be there for my sons, for one day they will be in the position I am now in.

It is my hope that they will stand together strong and in brotherly love when faced with loss of a parent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

People Who Complete Suicide Should Never Be Judged…

I had originally written this as a Face Book status, but decided to share it here as well. We never know what is going on in the mind of someone who dies this, but I do know this much, for whatever reason they could bear no more–and should not be judged by some standard set by those who have not walked a mile in that person’s shoes. That being said, here is what I posted:

” Those who commit suicide should not be judged. My stepmother completed suicide in Sept. of 1978. She had more going on than a lot of us knew. She was truly mentally ill. She had actually became the different personalities that possessed her. One of those personalities loved to point the same gun to my head that she shot herself with. THEN it hit me when a year or so passed that it could have been me. She also had problems so severe that she was medicating herself beyond belief. Not all people kill themselves over the same issues .When I came to understand the hell that mental illness can cause another human being as an adult, it became much easier to forgive her. As a child I was unable to understand the depth of her torment. Some people can hide their torment rather well by channeling it differently. It is too bad that many hide it well but never truly overcome it. We have lost many a great talent due to this. RIP Robin Williams. “

I am not saying that he suffered as my stepmother did (before anyone starts in on that idea). I am simply pointing out that no one ever truly knows the depth of suffering one who does this goes through at the time they complete the act.

I’ve heard people talk about those who commit suicide as being “selfish” and such.  That is farther from the truth than Earth is from Pluto. It is more accurate to say that  those who do this tend to seek a permanent solution to what could be a non-permanent problem.

I’m convinced if my stepmother had received treatment–proper treatment–she may be alive today. She could not overcome her illnesses and demons on her own, so she escaped the only way she could see to do so.

As for Robin Williams, he fought with his own demons for years. He also learned that he was suffering from a debilitating and potentially (and often) deadly illness. In my opinion taking his own life in his mind and in others who are now aware of this is anything BUT selfish. In fact, I feel that in his mind he was probably trying in his own way to not be a burden to others as his illness progressed. He chose the means and way to go, and completed the act.

Now that this has been revealed, I have asked myself, “If things ever came to that would I take my life?”

The answer is “No. I wouldn’t.”  Why? “Because I would never want my family to suffer the way I did after Judy took her own life.”

I also have some very good reasons to hang around and here is one of them:

Here’s the Lil’ Man–My grandson…And he just turned 2.

 

 

 

Kevin with Football

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.

 

A Club Nobody Wants to Join…

I have been down for the past 2 days.  Depression over losing a child 28 years ago set in and it will pass, but what brought it on should not surprise anyone.  A friend of mine lost her daughter two days ago. She was waiting for a heart transplant. It is quite different to lose an older child but the pain is the same for us both.  We will never get to see our children’s “what might have been” and there will always be an empty space at the table.

For a while people seem empathetic and will listen to us. They will allow us to cry on their shoulders for a bit, but if they have never been in this unique club, there comes a day when they stop listening and we are left to deal with the wreckage alone. They do not know how to deal with our pain so they say things like, “You need to get over it.” or “You need to come back to the living.’  Well god forbid they ever have to join the membership of this club because then they will know the reality of the situation. Some even go so far as to say “You can have another child.” OR “You have other children.” Excuse me, but NO CHILD replaces a lost child. One can have 10 more children after and they still mourn the one that is lost. Believe me…I KNOW this for a fact.

Every would-have-been birthday is greeted with the utmost dread.  Every Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc…is greeted with thoughts of “what might have been”. In short, losing a child is a pain we never recover from–we just learn to deal with it in our own way.  To this day I cannot attend funerals of children/babies.  It literally tears me to fucking  pieces and nobody understands why. It is simple–it brings up my pain that I am still dealing with after 28 years and I feel so bad for the other parent(s) because having been a long-standing member of this god forsaken club, I know what they are in for in the long run.

If you want to help or understand a grieving parent, try not saying anything. Just listen. Wipe our tears when they come. Whatever you do, don’t say things like those mentioned above. While well-meaning they actually cut like a bloody knife.  I apologize for my language earlier but I am NOT having a good day today. I don’t know if I will have a better one tomorrow either, but at least I have a pillow to cry on and can be there for my friend as she needs me.

 

When There is No Justice, There Are Tears Without End

Today I am charged with writing something about my best friend.  This is the hardest post I ever had to write. Why? Because she is dead. She has been dead for years, but in high school she was my best friend. She knew everything about me and never shared it with anyone.  To this day I  still wonder why her killers got off with only a 7 year sentence when it was clearly premeditated murder. Had I been able to attend the trial,  I would have raised hell to the media about how HER character was put on trial rather than the actions of the bitch that pumped the bullets into her body.  She was lured out to a desolate road, shot and left for dead. The last conversation I had with her, we talked about my boys and such. Then she said she had to go to meet someone. That was the last time we ever spoke.

So what ended up happening? To make a long story short, they didn’t find the deposit. I guess they were high on drugs or something because they tore the rest of the car apart looking for it from what I am told. So what is there to say? My memories were of good, clean juvenile fun we had and a few in-depth discussions. Ironically I never met her father until well after she died.  She and I would talk for hours on the phone just BS’ing.  He remembered that. I remember the pain in his eyes. I remember seeing his tears fall as he relayed to me his thoughts about losing his only daughter.  Losing a child is a pain I can relate to, only I lost mine due to troubled pregnancies.

And as my eyes are now welling up, I can say no more–except this and that hope she is at peace, even though she got NO justice. Here is part of a song I wrote for her…Her name is Leslie.

“Childhood Friend”

“..Childhood Friend…Why have you gone out to play in all the rain, again?

Leaving me alone, your memory to defend to the end.

God it hurts so bad but I miss my childhood friend…”

I cannot write anymore.  I still miss her after all these years. I guess you can tell just from what I wrote above where the 2nd line came from…But she is dead and cannot defend herself. The person I knew is not the one the defense lawyer for these murderers tried to portray. That I do know and will go to my grave knowing it. I can tell you this…Not once did she ever try to offer me drugs of any kind–which is what the defense for these ass clowns tried to say she was doing in her free time to make THEM look a little better, I guess.  Given my childhood, which most who know me personally are aware of–if she were offering anyone drugs I would have been a prime candidate for self-medication back then just to escape the bull crap that went on in my life.

RIP Leslie…I still miss you, kid…

I also have an aunt who was murdered…They never found who did that either…Either way, Leslie got no justice and my aunt’s killers are out there and it sucks.

Another Year and I Still Think of You…

Dear Jay:

I wish you were here to share this with but you are not. A lot has happened since you went away. I thought of you when I heard a high school band playing a while back and how we marched on to make a 1 at UIL back then…Those were the days, man…I remember the pride we had in our work, and the times we were on top of the world when we did do well! I also remember the spirit of unity our band had back then. Those days made getting up and going to school worth it.

I remember going to your mom’s house for those awesome lunches too when she had the food stand! She and several others kept me going, even when it got tough and I’ll be forever grateful to them all for that. Knowing that you went to the ends of the Earth to get your son is an inspiration to me. I am grateful that you had such a wonderful and fulfilled life. You have a wonderful family and they will continue to carry your torch for your son until he can carry it on his own.

I am sure you are having a grand time celebrating today! Happy birthday, my friend…And just so you know, I may be going to another end of the Earth soon enough…I may be going to China for a while. This is the second time I’ve been approached on the idea. This time I may do it.

Tina

 

On a Not So Special Day…

In October of 2000, I remember going to Eastland Cemetery in Eastland, TX…I found my way to the woman whose suicide I blamed myself for many years…She wasn’t famous.  No one heard of her except the locals who knew of her tirades.  Her name was Judy.  She was my stepmother.  For about 3.5 years, I endured much at her hands but it was on this day that I came to one stark realization.  She could not help her mental illness.  In the last two weeks of her life, she thought she was four years old, and that I was her mother.

For years after her death, I kept asking, what if I had done this? What if I had done that.  The fact of the matter is that it does not matter, especially now. There are two things nobody has control over besides life and death and those things are the past and future. Neither can be changed. However I spent much of my 20’s trying to run from the memories of what went on in my home during the time she was with us. It was rather violent. I got shoved into walls, cabinets, picked up and thrown into one once–and those times were on the days when she wasn’t too pissed off and went off on EVERYONE.

Do I hate her? No.  Do the memories of a pistol getting pointed at my head still haunt me? Yes. That is probably why I never owned a gun. However times change and I do often think about obtaining one now. Please, if you’re into gun control, don’t preach at me. My family hunted for decades and before that my ancestors did also.  Not everyone who owns a gun is a nut-case.

Anyway back to my point.  There is only one thing that enabled me to get beyond the shadows of the past  when it came to her and that was to make this particular trip, on this not so special day to her grave.  It was in the 60’s and the sun was out.  And I stood here for a long time pondering what I would say if she were to stand next to me. It was then I said something very close to this:

This is my stepmother's grave. My father was buried elsewhere

This is my stepmother’s grave. My father was buried elsewhere

 

“It has been many years now. I have done some digging and now I can understand why you were so tormented over several things. Losing your own children and losing two sisters prior took a toll on you. I understand now, Judy. I understand the hell you went through at home as a child too. I forgive you.  I actually forgave you a long time ago but I had to come here to say it. I hope that you are at peace and that you are no longer suffering. I would wish what you endured on nobody now that I have put it together.”

Her suicide took a devastating toll on my emotions all the way through high school and beyond. I buried myself in my writing and my school work. I almost ended up getting into cutting but one of the counselors saw my journal and encouraged me to channel my energy elsewhere.  That was when I picked up a pen.

The chilling remarks when I came back to school after her death were the most cutting. Some new kid asked why anyone would shoot themselves.  My teacher in that class was a coach everyone got pissed at every day it seemed.  As I sat there he said, “I don’t know but women usually don’t go around shooting themselves because they are afraid to mess up their looks.”

I was livid. There is no way he didn’t know about her suicide being that he worked part-time for DPS.  I got up and bolted out of the room.  I stayed home for a couple of days and was in a different class after that. My dad made sure of it.  Even in her death the bullying and idiotic behavior of some of the other students continued as well. I never forgot that either. To them it was all a joke.  Well I hope they enjoyed their years at school afterward, because much of their entertainment came at the expense of others who were broken. This is why I don’t attend class reunions either–along with many others who opt not to show.

It is actually them I feel sad for. Even in adulthood they do not have a clue as to the scars they inflicted with their actions and words, yet most have suffered their own tragedies and seem to forget their past actions.  Ironically, I forgive them too. Some will have much to answer for one day. Until then, I will live my life and continue to work to get questions answered. For Judy, it’s the least I can do. She deserved better than what life dealt her.

 

It Is A Wonderful Life

It was still warm outside and humid, so she sat in the car for a bit with the air conditioner running. She looked down to check her cell phone and dozed off. That 17 hour shift really made her feel all of her 50 years and then some.  She closed her eyes. All was tranquil. Peaceful…She remembered looking up at the stars for a bit before checking the phone.

She isn’t sure how long she slept but suddenly she felt a hand on her shoulder and heard her son cry out, “Mom!”

She looked up and said, “What?!”

“Mom, you scared the shit out of me! I thought you were dead! I mean it! I’ve talked to you for five minutes and you didn’t hear a thing and I saw my world crashing down!” he said.

“Sorry…Just had a long day–”

“I know Mom, but that really scared the living shit out of me! You need to get to bed.” he said, as he ran his hand through his long, black hair.  She saw the concern in her son’s eyes. They had started to well up. Then he calmed down.

She didn’t argue…She merely got out of the car, crawled into her bed and cratered once again.

It was then that she began to think…In an instant the lives of those around her could have changed forever.  She is sure that is what he was thinking as well.  However it doesn’t change the fact that working long hours are a part of her life. It doesn’t change the fact that she loves and cares for everyone around her.  However, at this moment, she does wonder how her absence would affect their lives, but since she saw her son’s first reaction, she had come up with  an  interesting thought.

The only film that addresses how the absence of one from the lives of loved ones affected family members  was only addressed effectively by the movie called “It’s a Wonderful Life“.

Well, it may not be Christmas. The woman may have her troubles at the moment.  However it is a wonderful life.  Things will get better–health-wise and in other areas.

Her hope is that it gets better for some of her friends who are having some issues of their own as well. She looked out over the Brazos River last week and said to the 4 winds, “Be with them and guide their way.”  She left it at that for the moment. And now she is going to rest her tired eyes once again.

Have a good evening.

Brazos River, TX

Brazos River, TX

That’s How You Left Me

Everything fades into a blindness

from lights within my mind

and all I can see is what is left here

memories of our time

with mourning shades the cloud

lingers on and still I wait here…

Not that you would care

but all I see is all that is dead

but you’re still there…

And yet wonder why it is you left me waiting

for a sign that never comes

And all I know is that I’m empty

A space is all that remains

of where my heart should be

It’s been that way

that’s how you left me…

The pictures will fade in time from my memory

as I grow old alone

and all I do know is that I once had a place

That I dared call my home.

But all that remains are faded pictures

since that’s now turned to dust

And all I can see there is

what has come of love and trust.

And yet I’ll wonder why it is you left me waiting

for a sign that never comes

And all I’ll  know is that I’m empty

with the rising of the sun

while I embrace the stars

that’s how you left me.

And all that’s left are dreams.