Consequences Will Follow The Chaos You Created

When the storm finally dies down, you look back at the chaos left and wonder if you will ever be able to make sense of it.  In the midst of the insanity your questions and concerns were constantly ignored.  You were not worth the breath required to respond.  The lack of human compassion and an unwillingness to see past the ignorance that blinds them, has left you searching for the strength needed to pick up the pieces crushed in their obliviousness.

You have tried to stop their idiocy for a year, shocked that their philistine way of thinking is unbreakable.  You have acquired the knowledge and skills needed to force the answers you seek from them.  The complaint you must file forces them to make a choice.  Answer for their actions legally, or keep their heads in the sand with the false sense of security that you are vacuous, with the brain function of a slug.  Consequences will always follow the choice.

 

Demons Drinking In His Head

He was slumped over, the brass buckle coming to rest on the silver hair that covered his head.  The cracked wooden bar hung above a pile of shirts, stained with his blood from the failed attempt to cut deep enough.  The leather strap tied in a knot had broken in two from the strain, his dead weight pulling on it for days.  A black tee-shirt and grey gym shorts were all that covered him, as his body started to decompose, in the tiny closet of his small run down studio apartment.

He had been sober for over a year, a fact no one knew about until it was too late to tell him, “congratulations”.  The struggle with alcohol had been seen as a character defect in his ironically addicted filled family, with most of them cutting contact with him years ago.  He knew he was an alcoholic, and during that year of sobriety knew that one drink would be the start of the end.

His last year had been filled with  hope and a happy optimism for the chance to once again have the accomplishments he craved.  His ability to make something from nothing had been acquired from the success and many failures he had experienced in his 63 years.  Four years of struggling with homelessness and  a year of not drinking had changed his definition of what he considered success and what it meant to have it all.

No longer was a Porsche wanted, just anything that would get him to his destination. The dream of buying a condo with cash no longer mattered, just the peace of mind knowing his weekly rent was paid. Having enough quarters to wash the few clothes he owned had replaced the desire to pick from a sea of garments covered in plastic from the local dry cleaner.  The ability to pick up dinner from a hole in the wall Mexican food place once a week, would have been the icing on his chocolate cake.

Sadly, a summer that had started with such promise had turned into a fall with too many disappointments.  The many hurts, and too much suffering, had crushed his fight to “keep punching the bag “‘, as he liked to say.  The pain unbearable, he walked across the street, knowing the purchase he was about to make would be the beginning of his end.

Days following his first drink, had been filled with unsuccessful attempts to reach out to the family that had turn their backs.  E-mails written, never to be sent.  Phone calls made, never to be answered.  Misunderstandings clouded with stubbornness and greed would continue to linger, the guilt never to be lifted.  He would remain alone with the demons screaming in his head.

His heart had been kind and generous, always giving what he was able…money, time, advice, friendship, encouragement, laughter…He was loved greatly, and forever remembered by the ones he left behind.

When Your Cyber-Bullies Are Family

As our entire world becomes immersed in social media, the increase in stories of teenagers who take their life over cyber bullying is alarming.  As a teenager it was difficult enough to deal with my three to four very close friends and the 100 or so acquaintances I would say hi to in the hallways.  With Facebook, I see kids with 900 friends checking to see who “commented” or “liked” the twenty-minute old post about their choice of breakfast cereal, and it could make or break their day.

It is so much easier to bully someone when you are looking at a screen with only your own words.  There is no face to face interaction, no back and forth dialog.  You do not see or hear the cue from the other person that tells your brain, “Hey, your being an ass, knock it off”.  School ground fights used to end with an adult stepping in telling everyone to break it up, the crowd dispersing and those involved dealing with the consequences almost immediately.  Now they have assemblies and pass out pamphlets about the damage cyber bullying can cause.  These are usually after some poor kid is tormented online, puts a gun in his mouth, and pulls the trigger.

My family not only allowed but encourage one person to make up whatever he wanted about me, my husband, and our 12-year-old son, and use the internet to spread it around.  So many things were copied, forwarded, and made up and sent or told to everyone they could find, I have no idea who thinks what and why.  The fact they flipped my life upside down with no thought, is telling on how easy it was to do from a computer.  Not sure it would have been that simple, if they had to look at my son’s face while it was happening.

After almost a year, I know longer care what they say.  Their efforts telling me I need to move on, I ignore.  That being said, it is horrible to go through.  I cannot imagine dealing with something even close to that as a teenager.  But, I can understand how they get to the breaking point.  Hopefully, society will figure out a way to keep human interaction from completely being lost in cyberspace before we forget what it is like.

I have sent my own e-mails, posted on Facebook, and created Spun, to deal with my mess as it was happening. And although I enjoy seeing them, I need more than a “like” or a “comment” to process what has happened.  I require the old, face to face, school ground fight. Except a judge, not a teacher will be the one to break it up, allowing for everyone to deal with their own actions.  Just like back in the old days.

 

Mom, I Am All Adventured Out..

Growing up I was blessed with being able to travel with my maternal grandparents several times a year.  Ranging anywhere from Disneyland and Sea World to camping and boating.  I was with my grandparents at  Lake Powell the day it was considered officially full in June of 1980. Lake Powell is my favorite place in the world and the resting place of my grandparents.

Except for the times my grandfather flew us in his Cessna, vacations were usually started with a Bronco pulling a trailer or a boat name The Beverly Anne II.  The drive was usually long enough for something to leak, break, fail, catch fire, or blow out along way.  Adding  adventure long before we were screaming at the darkness in Space Mountain

It was my grandmother who gave me the term “adventure” during those times that I still use to this day.  Living in a 30 year old pink single wide trailer with only a swamp cooler to get through the Vegas summer heat, was quiet an adventure.  My grandmother took one look at the trailer and told me to just pretend I was on a camping adventure.  There was even a big pine tree growing by the back door, reminding me of many Colorado camping trips.  After spending two summers “camping” and being pregnant with my second child we thought it better to end that trip and bought a house.

When the market went to shit in Las Vegas and we made the mistake of re-financing beyond our means we lost our home we had for eleven years.  So we started a new adventure in Arizona.  While most of my family lives there I was not really close to them.  I had spent 17 years in Vegas, I did not know them and they certainly did not know me.  They thought they did after reading all our private letters and journals, something I think they are proud of.  I do not think they would like me to do that to them. Actually, the thought to do that would not cross my mind.

A week before Christmas they kicked us out with our twelve year old son.  They have lied, stolen, and have turned into people I do not know.  I had an awesome childhood which makes what they did even more hard to deal with.  Something changed when my maternal grandparents passed away.  I know in my heart there is not a chance this would be happening if my grandfather were alive.

My grandfather’s favorite holiday was Christmas, and I think he sat in Heaven watching what was being done to his great grandchild, and if you can get pissed in the afterlife, I am certain he was.  My son was in a hotel room with his mom and dad who were on the verge of breakdown, while my parents got drunk with my daughter on a little holiday vacation at a bar in Laughlin.  Something is very wrong with that.

Two weeks after we were kicked out and we had been living in hotels, I told my son to think of this as an adventure.  I even said we could just live in hotels for a year while I wrote about our adventures.  Nothing is as easy as it sounds and hotels got expensive.  A twelve year old needs to be in school, not sitting in a McDonald’s on my laptop while his father and I figured out a way to get 60 dollars for a night at hotel in the ghetto.

A few weeks ago I was talking to my son about our adventures and he said something I will never forget.  He said “Mom, I am all adventured out.”  It broke my heart to hear him say that because I knew this adventure was not the kind my grandmother was talking about.  However, this adventure taught him to have compassion for others I have never seen, especially in a twelve-year-old.  Everyone we have come across has told me what a helpful and kind kid he is.  Teachers are telling me he is intelligent and articulate.  That being said, our adventure has done damage to his trust in people and given him a fear and an uncertainty a child should not have to deal with.

I know there are families and children who have horrible lives compared to ours.  I thank God every day for what we do have and I know it will only get better.  We will have the adventures my grandmother talked about, and our son will learn to trust again.

 

Our Valley Verde Sundays

I remember Sunday afternoons running through the trees. The sound of fall leaves being crushed under my tennis shoes as I reached the big flat rock I knew so well.  It was part of the mountain, but so barren and grand it looked out of place.   I felt the sting of the brisk air as I ran up the side, slowing only to drop to my hands and knees as the slant of the rock reached towards the heavens.  With the grand rock behind me, and my goal reached, I stood on the edge looking down. Not knowing how blessed I was to see the beauty of that untouched valley below me.  The sun setting and my stomach growling, I turned back to look towards the house. Closing my eyes I could see the chili simmering as the game of trivial pursuit was being put away. I raced the sun running back down the mountain,  Again, slowing on the huge rock as I looked like a crab climbing down. Reaching the house, I opened the mud-room door, the smell coming from the kitchen making my mouth water as I kicked off my shoes.  The chili warm and spicy, mellowed by the honey dripping corn bread filled my rumbling stomach.. As I half listened to the stories being told, I let the voices turn into a calming white noise.. I was content, I was safe. Years have passed. The calm voices are long gone and the beauty has been touched by greed. But, I will always be blessed to have known, and now be able to, cherish the memories of our Valley Verde Sundays.

Change is a Decision

Start by making a step in the direction of change…Keep putting one foot in front of the other…It wont be long before you look back and realize it would be a change to go back…

Simple Tom

Change is a Decision

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Rest In Peace, My Beautiful Friend…

When you hear about the loss of someone’s beloved animal, you call or send a card.  Being at what can only be called a war with that person, and  anyone associated with him, makes sending a card a non-option.  As does an order of protection.  While your war will continue, you make a choice that for today,  you will remember his friend.  The one he sat with late at night sharing his thoughts.  The one that gave him comfort when no one else understood.  The one who was unconditional love.

My Friend

For today… you will give your anger and pain to God…

For today… you will say a prayer for peace and comfort in your enemies loss…

For today… you will remember his friend…

May you be running free, across sunny fields of green…

With the warmth of heaven taking away your pain…

Know that you were loved, and will be missed by many…

Until we met again…rest in peace, my beautiful friend…