Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Winter of My Life......


Out of the book" Dear Kim Blake," I find this particular poem describes well what many of us have been through and our struggles to let go of the past and surface beyond the dark clouds.



" The Winter of My Life"


The key to unlocking what the darkness brings is to release the memories trapped inside of me. I thought it was the season that froze me in my tracks, as I was continously afraid of looking back. Lost amongst the thicket and still caught up in the freeze, seized by the moment I had fallen to my knees.I beg the winter to be kind and release me from the past, as the chill is gaining very fast. The season of winter, whispered in my ear, it's not of nature that sent the despair, causing you to feel such rentless fear. The winter that you feel that pierces like a knife it belongs to winter "the winter of your life. "
Tear drops from the heavens, aimlessly earth bound.
Sent to cleanse us of our yesterday and encourage
the laugther to be found.

Angels rejoice, in the song of hope, the world
would be a better place, if love were
allowed to grow.
It was mandatory family night out at the cinema, the children had chose the Disney movie “Bridge to Terabithia”. At first the movie began to drag a bit as it reflected on the ever so common theme of school bullies, but then it expanded into friendship and fantasy.

The imagination is a very clever tool used by children to survive. It separates you from the current issues. Reality can weigh heavily on you at any age, that I found, I still escaped into the clouds, when the stress of the day surfaced.I watched the movie and then my mind rotating like a pinwheel in the wind, scanned my own life for a comparison. Falling back to the years of childhood, I peered through the window of my own soul. I am not sure at what age I stopped at, It was elementary school age, but the constant moves,make it hard to actually remember, what age at what house. I can't remember anything except for the basement. I guess we must have stayed there for at least a year, but I cannot vision the upstairs of the house, no matter how much I tried. The basement was dark and cool, the floors were of dirt. My parents were on one of their most raging battles. Mother lived upstairs, my father down he had two rooms, one where he ran his television repair shop and the other where he slept.


In the room was a box of mixed matched tea sets and dishes. One tea pot was of the finest china, I remember turning it over and it said from England. Father was a ham operator and he we could communicate with people in Europe, sometimes they would speak in other languages and I remember the feeling of distance as I had no Idea what they were saying.

On the floor made of dirt, I set the tea set, filling the fragile tea pot with water. For a child who had siblings, I felt very much like a only child or is that I was a lonely child. Not instinctively the tom boy like my sisters, slim chance to get them to have a tea party on the dirt basement floor.


Escape, I found that when I needed to get away many times I hid, whether it was for a moment or a hour, but sometimes I didn’t have to hide, my mind was working overtime. The imagination creates the perfect world and your the princess. That's the reflection of childhood fairytales, as we reach out for the" happily ever after. " I explored the world through my mind
and this was the gateway to the perfect escape.

I spoke with my sister some months back and asked what she thought of me as she was very maternal and very close to me. She said you had a extraordinary way of blocking out what went on. Did I,? Eyes and ears open, you can’t help but see and hear. She said you very quiet, I thought outloud, that's because my mind was doing all the talking.
'myspace






Meet me in the clouds, beyond the
darkness of the day.

In a world we’ve created, where only love
is invited to stay.

Dreams unfolding are magical at best
and when I close my eyes, I could be a
princess or a traveler on a quest.

Laughing and giggling, a sponge to all
the tears, as I hold your hand,
there is no room for fear..

Monday, February 26, 2007

Where did I fit in this madness? my father considered me fragile, he had literally said I was weak. I had the normal bouts of illness, childhood diseases and such, but I drew concern, as I didn’t conform to the violence well. There was definitely fear and confusion but at six years old, I couldn’t control from shaking. So much so that my first grade teacher noticed. Sent to the principals office, they called home, my mother was summoned to school.We don’t want her back to school until she is seen by a doctor. Our family doctor was this big German man, he wore glasses a bit heavy set and spoke broken English. My mother explained to him school wanted a release for me to return. In his heavy brogue, he said “ the little girl can’t take this, stop the shit.” A red flag, crazy enough to abuse, smart enough to hide it. The last thing they wanted was authorities alerted.

My sister compared me to a china doll, she had really sweet thoughts as she spoke. I became more shielded then most of the children in the family. I can’t tell you how many times, I heard my sister called take her to the park or something. They knew that the argument was escalating and that it wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. I learned quickly how to walk on eggs shells and avoid any confrontation that would make my father explode. But it didn’t slow his attitude and
violence from striking out at everyone else.


It wasn’t that my mother didn’t try to get my father out of her life, he was the ultimate leach, sucking the life from her. Times clouded at best, she was hospitalized several times, they separated several times and he always came back. It was the ultimate hate, love relationship if there ever was one...

Rare that I remember her to be a gentle loving mother, she was out of more then all together there. One night mother lay down beside me in bed and she left the knife under the pillow, I woke up that morning saw it there as I made the bed afraid to touch it, fluffed the pillow and made the bed. I had spoken with her some thirty years after it happen. I asked why, why she didn’t walk way? She said that for many a men marriage was ownership and he wasn’t letting go.

When the attraction becomes fatal..... the children pay the price.
Interpretation
Culture, sex, age and education or lack of it, all play apart in how we interpret everything from the experiences in our life, to the books we read, to the current situations that cross our path.
I was amazed at the varied ways that my writing was analyzed and whether they were seeing my intended personal vision. In everyone is placed a seed of thought, how that seed grows, and what is gained depends on where the person stands on life’s platform.


Five children, one family and the same chaos and yet how each of us was effected, was quite different. My brother felt a disconnection with our parents, it was definitely in his mind, betrayal. His punishments were bizarre and his calm disposition was ruffled as he was made to feel inferior for not being aggressive. Dressed in girls clothing and kneeling on rock salt for hours. “ If you want to act like a sissy, look like one”. He was a artist with untrained creativity. I would sit late on Saturday night,the only night we were allowed up late, as he would sketch my picture and the little freckles across my nose. His steadiness of hand and his patience,created amazing pictures.

My eldest sister, she took the position of mediator, judge and terminator, small and stature, she was nicknamed tiny. Yet she became extraordinary protective. To walk in her shadow was to feel no fear, as she did what was necessary to protect her young siblings. Whether it was verbal
insult or physical threat, she without thought stood between danger and safety.


Each child victimized in different ways, left an un-glossed reflection upon the darkness of the night. It had taken almost forty years or more before we would ever share in the stories that had taken place in our lives. Each story was just a bit different depending on who was reciting it. In one set of eyes a hero, another a victim, caretaker, timid, strong, broken.

The only thing I am really sure of is that no matter what the interpretation, of each situation the outcome was the same. Survival, did they survive? I am not sure about that, I see in them a heart, shielded by the coldness. I saw the innocence of childhood swept up in the wind, I felt the pain as the first seeds of insecurity and fear were placed in each of us.

When the wind blows, the cradle will fall,
I don’t think they meant that literally......


Petals to a rose, thorns
to the stem, each one
discloses, the
beginning
and the
end.







The inner city does come with benefits. When we were younger, we spent most of our waking hours if not in school, down at the park as much as we could anyways.Adjustment to the park was the Avery, a beautiful exotic paradise that housed birds from all over the world. When my mother wanted to escape she would take us to this what I called the bird house. She would sit on the bench inside and my youngest sister and I would explore to our hearts content. There was such a peace and calm about the whole thing, very little caging and I loved to watch nature in balance. The turtles, the birds in flight, and koi swimming under the bridge. This magical place was one of my first lessons in respect for nature. How beautiful the sound of the birds singing , it made you never want to leave.

There was this one black bird of some sort that was caged in the walkway, he was a talking bird , every time I stopped to see him, he would squawk “hello and call me by name”. How does he know my name, I thought how does he know my name? I found it all to be a bit creepy.I went back when I was older to ask the caretaker how he always knew my name as a child. He said his wife had the same name and he taught the bird to say hello to her. I laughed when I think how frightened I was in not knowing. Giving to much credit to a talking bird. Looking back at it all now brings a warm smile to my face.
My very favorite bird at the Avery was the Victoria Crown Pigeon, it looked nothing like the pigeons in the park and I was always amazed that such a striking, beautiful bird, large in stature was related to the common pigeon. They were so calm and adjusted easily to people that they allowed you to pet them. I thought that was so cool. I loved the fact that they didn’t need caged, that you could hold them and allow them free.

My mind was reaching out to remember the good times that were so loosely woven into our days. It made me think of all the sounds that I inherently accepted as buffers to block the unwanted sounds from my life. My most favorite was the sound of the train. The magnitude of the shear strength as the metal on metal and clang and hum to the tracks snapped me up and cradled me , as the purr soothed and calmed my spirit and blocked the never ending arguing and fighting and unwanted sounds.

Evenings were especially difficult, as my parents seem to think, that out of sight meant our ears were absent from the sounds as well. I thought to myself how little gets by children.Children are able to interpret and understand so much more then adults give them credit for. I thought of the current times, were children really smarter then the generation before them ? I believe this era is much more open and children are not only seen at earlier ages but heard. Hopefully we are listening more.....


Silent cries, mask as fear,
children lost, are very near.


Sunday, February 25, 2007



The spin within fantasia, blocked the mind at best,
to the clouds I traveled, to escape the mess.


Slipping from the heavens, reality took a hold,
and earth bound I tumbled, as my life un-spooled.



In the sea of emotion, draped in the dark of storm,
the thunder and the lightening seem to be the norm
.

Someday.......


I dropped my son off last night at a high school dance, taking a glimpse at the social bonding that occurs in teenage years. My first inner thought, Oh! I would never want to go through that stage of life again. For many who grew up in a family where children care for children, you are
robbed of childhood. This can occur in rather large families as well, as responsibility weighs heavily on the eldest children.

The sun had already set and a shadow of darkness blanketed the evening.I looked on at the lanky, awkward bodies, maturing yet not quite adults. Bouncing back and forth between, the atmosphere of the evening and the days of my own teenage youth. I remembered such insecurities and this struggle to find my place in it all. I smiled warmly as I remember one of the few dances I attended. Applebee was the first boy that would ask me to dance. The lights dimmed, the soft music playing and the words “ how I waited for this moment.” Timid and
a bit shy, I smiled as he took my hand and we danced, we talked for a bit and it felt like the song would never end, or as I laugh, I couldn't wait for it to end.

I felt a greater appreciation for this current time of my life. I thought out loud, I would never want to relive those teenagers years. The additional confidence and wisdom that comes with age, experience and self acceptance. The 60’s were such a time of rebellion and I remember feeling caught in the change. From the little girl who was not allowed to speak, to a march for peace, from dresses and penny loafers to girls in jeans and boys tennis shoes. The worse thing that happen in school was if you were caught chewing gum or talking to much, but times were changing and drastically.

Every generation places their era on life’s scale of justice, was it a better or worse time for people as a whole. I again thought about my own children,how much has really changed from my youth to theirs.Vietnam war, now a war in Iraq, fashion dictated by the industry, now fashion freedom. Though some things seem to have escalated, drugs seem to be more prevalent and easier to get. Children capitalize the industry more as they definitely are the marketers aim.

In many ways not necessarily responsible ones, children of today are truly in a age where childhood is lost quickly. TV’s are the baby sitters for the very young, video games the tools of isolation and violence. It catches you saying “when I was a kid”. If we have not learned from history and as they say “history repeats itself” what does our future hold? A scary thought I might add. Then I had to remind myself of all the good that has happened in my lifetime, vaccines for polio and many other diseases, the discovery of antibiotics and all over medical miracles. This new era of openness, reveals how little we have come in world peace and how far technologically. Always room for improvement. I am optimistic as the world becomes a whole lot smaller,we will learn to respect and appreciate more the cultures that are melding quickly into one. For we are not all that much different.


Someday... I believe that separtism will no longer exist,
my blood is red, what color is yours?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Speak when spoken ..

Out of the mouth of babes.. our church was assigned a new pastor and over the season of Lent, much attention has been made to reconciliation. My elder son said to his sister “ Don’t forget you have to confess all your sins, tell him all the things you did wrong.” with out hesitation she turned to him and said” I can’t do that, I don’t know him.”

I grew up in the era where children were " to be seen and not heard" and " speak when spoken to". One of my biggest joys raising my own children, was allowing the freedom to say what was on their mine at anytime.
I remember thinking it took me a lifetime to "find myself" and I wanted my children to know, to be able to express and explore their like and dislikes, as they grew and matured.


We Can.....


Our Guarantee

We have one earth, one life and one day,
respect, love and nurture
.......


Braking the cycle of abuse. Theoretically it is said that the abused become the next generations of abusers. So I decided to use my own family as a example. How did each of us handle our own adult lives and did we break the cycle and continue in a pattern we were pretty much accustomed to. I find looking at the extended families, that we all seem to have a trait or two. Four out of five us took to alcohol or drug abuse, three ended in abusive family situations and most of the time I found that in stressful situations, there was a lack of ability to deal with it.

My brother had everything going for him, intelligent, handsome, entrepreneur and yet his personal life he was failing. Alcohol, drugs and anger issues, took a tool on him personally. For someone who was at the top of the game, one alcohol related accident to many ,brought him crashing down. Deemed by the doctors to never walk again as he lay for over a year from the neck down in a full paralysis, his determination and struggle, helped him to gain partial use of his body, enough so that he could partially walk again. Crippled on one side, he struggled to gain some kind of life again, walking, driving, limited but with potential. Married twice, he never had children of his own and so yes there ends one cycle of abuse.

Though I do believe that society loves to place blame if we can’t fix it, blame it on childhood and back to the proverbial “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. I do think you can break the cycle of abuse, alter it, lesson it. Everyone of us that walk this earth has strengths and weaknesses and our families genetic codes can help find what we are predisposed to.

A friend once said that “life is filled with givers and takers” and we all fall on one side of the fence or the other.
Conclusive my response to all the hellish situations of the world are that we need to be responsible adults, setting a example for the next generation. Everyone wants to know why, why does violence occur? What is the weak thread and can we fix it?


This modern era we live in comes with its own set of problems. In the tight knit communities of days gone by and the closer extended families a block away, there was a clan like way of dealing with lifes problems. We are losing the small home town effect. Did this homey atmosphere induce, less violence? not necessarily, was there less abuse? can’t say that is so. But in a warmer setting of family helping family, neighbor helping neighbor there was a interaction that built a net to catch you and embrace to help through, those issues that will effect all of us at one time or another, death, birth, accidents, etc.
Scientist in the future will look back and say that man was evolving into a technological world and with that comes a new way of handling life. This world of technology broadens the horizon, and at the same time brings our neighbors closer. “The cup of coffee and can I borrow a cup of sugar takes on a whole new meaning.”
We are never going to create a paradise of perfection, and surely we won’t be able to cure all the ills of the world. So many cultures,with such variable views, that we wouldn't want nor expect everyone to think a like. I would hope that a broader appreciation for life, would shed the light on our vulnerabilities.


Sow

I sowed a seed into the soil,
rain, sun and love.

The key to understanding,
is the balance of the above.

Amazing are the little leaves
that appeared overnight.

But just like we, the little
plant has disease, the plight.

Warmth said the sun, water
said the rain, nurture said
the heart with a little
love.

Sprinkle of hope and
a bit of faith, to amend
the soil and give to it
strength.

Yesterday I took a glimpse
of where the leaves first
appeared and there I
saw the signs of love
a rose, I declare!






.......

Friday, February 23, 2007

My forever.....

My rock,
my life,
my love
and my .....dreams.


Our laughter,
our smiles,
our warmth
crosses the ....miles.

No sadness,
no tears,
no anger
and no ... fear.

Yesterday,
today,
tomorrow,
and forever...after.

The fall from Grace..

Not one for watching television, and still you can’t get around the media circus over Britney Spears and Anna Nicole Smith. Everywhere you go grocery stores, shops etc people are talking about them. Is it that we like to point fingers at those who have more and fall from grace? The old adage” we all put our pants on one leg at a time.” or is it “curiosity killed the cat?”


Trying to get the facts for my own childhood, I glanced over a few articles my sister had saved. For my brother and sisters, life for them seem pretty perfect, at first that is. We came from what seemed from the outside a fairly average family. But life was going to take a drastic change. My mother had quite the princess lifestyle. The only little girl in a rather large extended family, she had everything she ever wanted. In the era it was unheard of supermarkets and malls, everything was little shops.My grandmother owned her own Beauty shop. Grandfather was a music professor and my great grand parents owned the groceries stores that were so common to the city. Educated an attractive her life seemed almost perfect, until that is her father took his life, her world came crashing down around her. She was daddies little girl, the stories circulating varied. Some say he couldn’t deal with the fact that he was going deaf , a musician without hearing. Others said that he didn’t deal well with my grandmother asking for a divorce in a time when divorce was uncommon and unheard of . Either way it was devastating. Unstable and not dealing well with the loss of her father, she married far to young. Even worse she married a man from the wrong side of tracks. At first family extended a hand out, and they
pulled some strings to get him employed with a great company making a very comfortable wage for the times.
New home, new husband, new life and then came four children. The stories vary to some degree depending on who your talking to. My mother went about living the lifestyle she was accustomed to, She shopped only the finest boutiques, and her children dressed in the best of clothes. It was all about image, to the outside it was perfect.There was more going on as they say “ then meets the eye.” My father became ill, not manly to be ill,he didn’t go for medical help, instead he allowed a infection to get into his blood stream, one that would nearly kill him. He didn't recuperate very quickly and didn’t get back to work. Mother went on as if nothing
happen the children in dance classes , shopping for the best , a new car, life as usual. They used what savings they had to pay the bills and as my mother said" I thought he would make it back to work sooner." It didn’t quite happen that fast, taxes , utilities and store credit cards were mounting. She picked up some work secretarial and even went into a factory for awhile. But the pressures were mounting, Dr. prescribed drugs just complicated life, uppers, downers and something in between.

I was two years old and my sisters eight , ten and my brother twelve, when my mother in a very public display attempted suicide. She broke her back and was hospitalized for quite a long time after that, my eldest sister had become really the only mother I knew, what little visions I can remember were of her pushing me in a stroller and holding me. Ah... they grew up quickly as their childhood life shattered., ridicule from other children, the struggles that came with children raising children.

My father eventually made it back to work and I remember as a adult asking why he didn’t stay working he had children that to needed to fed, he said it was difficult with the other men, his pride had gotten in the way. What did he think was going on for his own children,had he not visioned his own childrens plight, what they were enduring in school etc.

Strict he was and the house was perfect, the eldest sister worked washing clothes by hand , ironing , cooking cleaning, she became a little adult. My brother did everything possible to make a few dollars to pay the corner store grocery bill from picking up odd jobs to penny pitching. I use to love to watch him penny pitch, he became so good that he could make a few dollars in one till and that bought a lot of milk and bread.
For me many of the memories from the years of ten and under are muddled, I think I have unconsciously blocked many of the extreme and violent ones out. Occasionally a word, a place, a conversation would evoke a thought and like a flash, a chapter would open.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Can't help me for trying...

I ask not how much shall we give, but how many can we reach?
Education and opportunity and a alternative life style
are the very keys that will unlock the doors
to a better future.



Winter, I was anxious to get out and make my way into town. This day would prove to be a very awakening experience. I was fortunate to have a in-depth conversation with a Episcopalian Minster on abuse and children. The magnitude of the problem goes further then how do we help the children, as I listened, I wondered as a part of society, were we responsible for creating the next generation of dysfunctional families dependent upon the system.

Intent on understanding the degree abuse of children and the system affected our own community. I listened as story after story I heard how many took advantage and abused those who were reaching out to help. Instantly I said say no! make them work for it. He said we can’t even get them to show up and volunteer for the vouchers. Troubled I was by what I heard, it seem pretty simplistic, say no. We say no! it’s the children who suffer.

Difficult he said they will spend five dollars on a pack of cigarettes and call us and say they don’t have money for aspirin to care for their sick child. I couldn't fathom that anyone wouldn't or couldn't care for the babies they gave birth to... what am I saying, I know better different degrees of abuse, but it’s out there. I had to consider the mentality of these people, uneducated, but street wise very sophisticated in away, they have the ability to manipulation the very organization that were set up to help. Weaving there way many used their children as a way to benefit.

I thought help was construed as when an emergency occurs, health, accidents, etc. But this was different, I was getting a glimpse of a much larger picture of the issues at large. How do we weed out those who are in need and those that are living off the system? and when we do what do we do about it, as the children they still will be ones who suffer.

I thought out loudly childhood intervention, cut the problem at its roots prevent the next generation of under-educated as well, as generational abuser. Easily said then done,
but it can happen I thought. Give them a alternative to their lifestyle, outreach programs sooner, not giving up on them during school age years.. It all seems in theory to be quite plausible.

Difficult, as we know the ability of some people will never amount to high paying jobs
and can minimum wage jobs compete with the social system. Few will ever recieve jobs
with health insurance or eye care or dental, more less be able to pay for the high cost of living.
It seemed like a "catch twenty two"

I thought it must be more though, mayber it’s a pride issue, let’s instill in them a strong sense of ethics, a morale code, one that they maybe lacking in their life? I believe it’s possible. If one child is saved, if one child is able to be a viable part of the community, is that one child not worth it?

After over a hour of discussion, I saw how much more complicated and diverse the issues we are dealing with truly are. Not one title to the madness, whether we are discussing senior citizen abuse, child abuse on any other of the atrocities in the world, the answer is our youth, if we are to make a difference, any difference at all, we must start with the children, they deserve every chance possible to flourish in a more peaceful, patient world.


Perfection doesn’t exist, we are human, with human fault,
but I believe every step forward, every one child saved,
the future is altered for the better.





The last frontier...


I was asked if writing about the skeletons in the closet and hellish conditions of the world was a way of purging myself, cleansing the soul, revenge or in away therapeutic.None of the above is even close to the truth. Reviewing my own personal childhood history and the ills that are presently taking place in the world is far from therapeutic. I am a strong believer that moving forward is very healing and a sense of complete inner strength. That to remain in the past is stagnant at best.
~
In my travels I have spoken with many people, more so I have listened to many people. Each person had a story to tell of their own personal hell that they were combating. One particular woman stood out in my mind, she told me of the abuse she endured and the hell and fear that still subside within her. After a good period of time, she made eye contact with me and
placed a red rose in my hand, she said “you won’t forget me, will you?” I have not forgotten.
~
From that time on I did a few things which I thought were help, I ran a race for mental health, I donated 50% of my earnings to domestic abuse and yet a emptiness of achievement for what little I might have accomplished in helping our brother and sisters of the world.
~
Time went on and people contacted me from places as far as Australia and other varied countries through out our great world. They said we have abuse here too. I said I am sure you do. My goal in removing the “ skeletons from the closet” is to educate and remove the stigma attached to that which we have little understanding of, “the weakness of the mind.”
~
Lately dwelling on the negativity has been a great drain on my spirit and has placed a great heaviness on my heart. I will continue to try and reach out to as many people and to educate, touch and and heal hearts. But I will posting less frequently, as my mind heart and soul need a chance to separate from the evils of the world and explore a more balanced reality. I walk with no shudders around the eyes, I am well aware, that it is rare a family who is not touched by drugs, alcohol and abuse.
~
The media makes a 3 ring circus of human weakness and the rich and famous and those of Hollywood only go to prove how common we all are. For the mind is the last true frontier....
~
I will continue to look forward to your comments and emails and thank those who take the time to relate and try to understand. We are all very vulnerable and at any time we could meet up with strangers violence upon stranger, domestic abuse, hardship, sickness, mental health issues as well as abuse of drugs. Shame should not be in holding oneself responsible, shame should be in denial.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fear


Threats the tools of control used to sow the seeds of fear.
~
threat (thrět) Pronunciation Key n.

1.An expression of an intention to inflict pain, injury, evil, or punishment.
2.An indication of impending danger or harm.
3.One that is regarded as a possible danger; a menace.
~
Threats, which will be carried out and which are being used to restrain the spirit, no matter how they are construed they are abuse.
~
"If you think of leaving me, I will cut you body into little pieces and spread them over the mountain where no one will find you. Sounds like a threat to me...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

In a less then perfect world...

My prayers go out to the families for their horrible loss.
No words can comfort at such a tragic time.

Little Angels

When little angels times have come and they no longer
walk the earth, our love and prayers are sent
to cradle them, for without them is the curse.


'myspace




Utility companies are a money making business, but heat, gas and water are necessities. Where is the line drawn, when furnaces are red tagged and companies are shutting off utilities necessary for a safe and healthy way of living.
Aprox. ten minutes away from where I live in a small southwestern town in Pennsylvania, a fire engulfed the Eddy’s home at aprox. 3 am. Seven people died in that fire, Rebecca Eddy
26, died along with her daughters, Tiffany Blake, 10, Rebecca Blake, 9 and Diamond Blake,7 and the three addition visiting children, Arthur children, Donna Jo, 5, Joshua Jr., 3 and Christopher, 2. Several were hospitalized with injuries in the attempted rescuse of these two familes.
Fire officials said the stove or space heaters may have set off the blaze in the Franklin Township home.The natural gas was reported shut off between 1 or 2 yrs ago. The facts are not quite clear, but it was reported in the Pittsburgh Post gazette that the gas furnace was red tagged.
Six children and a furnace is red tagged, does it not draw a red flag to authorities, that a family was in need of help. Living without a safe heat source, a family grasped to do what they could to keep warm in a extremely bitter cold winter.Is this another family whose children fell between the cracks, or it just not important enough for the fuel companies to look into the welfare of such small children. It is not their responsibility! Then who cares, for those who can’t care for themselves.
Cyril Wecht performed the autopsy and it was said all of them died of smoke inhalation, Mrs. Eddy found with the youngest cradled in her arms, she was over come by smoke. I ask that everyone keep the family in their prayers.

By all means I love my animals, but hell with the children lets save the dogs, my god do you know how many dogs are euphonized each year, I know there are plenty of children going without adequate care.

It's all there is


Monday, February 19, 2007

Asking a child to choose sides is...........

Consider that your in the middle of a war zone and then your asked to choose sides. This is what parents in domestic abuse situations do all the time. How unfair that the greatest gift of life , your own children be made to choose. Love works in unity... for the future depends on it!

Someone to watch over me....




My father called it discipline, I believe he stepped over the line. Sadistic he was, as he created new ways to carry out this so called discipline. From the razor straps, to his bored holed paddle. At night time when we were all snuggled under the tic blankets that my mother made, we would talk, tell stories and yes sometimes laugh and giggle. Then the voice of thunder “did I say quiet up there?” Then we would count as we heard his foot steps one by one, they had a sound of their own, a kind of slide step, slide step. We quickly pulled the blankets over our head. He called my eldest sister first and then each of us by name, line up. Sometimes beatings seem to have no obvious reasons. He would blame us for my mothers mood swings. It was always our fault.
It wasn’t that my sisters didn’t try to get away, many times they ran away, only to be returned to receive the most outrageous punishments and whippings. I thought I was
granted this special place in the line up the fourth born in a family of five. You didn’t have to tell me twice, I became the pleaser, silent, I dared not rebel. Though it is
common in children to think of running away.
I think how far I traveled alone at such a young age. I remember this one house we lived in, it was fairly close to a television tower. I wanted to see it up close a couple city blocks and a full set of city steps away. I was seven years old and I began to walk, I can remember the unfamiliarity with this walk, but I had that tower in sight and I was determined to get there. It was such a big tower I remember thinking, must be special. Finally at the top of last city step, I looked around at a few cars parked and this huge tower, it didn’t seem so special. Nothing particular was going on. I circled it a few times and then headed back.



I will say most of life I had this feeling of wanting to runaway, until I accepted that no
matter how far you travel, you take this old heavy luggage with you. Piece by piece I
began to review, comprehend as a adult, what a child viewed and tossing out the old, and
replacing it with new memories.


Someone to watch over you..... angels appear through many a disguise.
Sarah Heinz house is a wonderful youth group for inner city children, it was created to give children a alternative to the city streets. I consider heinz house one of the first set of angels working uncover that would enter our lives. Through these doors, waited salvation, opportunity, love, respect and knowledge and for many life long friendships... One day, one year or a lifetime with this organization gifted you with the tools needed to survive. Once inside this safe haven, you had an opportunity to flourish, enjoy and by all means learn.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Up in flames....

Guilt and Blame have no place,
in the book of survival.

We rarely stayed in one house very long. The house I was born in was lost to back taxes and from that point on we were constantly on the move. Another neighborhood, another house, another set of issues to deal with. I was ten years old when my family was reunited. My grandmother had bought us a house, the first house I would call home. Six years in one place, despite the problems at home, I was now able to place roots. Making friends and finally having a degree of stability, as for the first time I was in same school for more then one year.

This place that I called home, held both good and scary memories. It recently burnt to the ground and with that came a barrage of unwelcome thoughts. In one perspective, it was closure, the house of hell burnt to the ground, and another part of me felt a loss of connection. As if that
part of life now had the door slammed shut. I looked on as the flames filled the sky. I felt numb and a chill shook from within. It was as if this final farewell, lit a chapter of the book of life into uncontrollable flames.
The four of us girls started out in one room of the attic. A smile came
over me as I visioned us girls andthe sweet memories of my sisters singing and lulling to sleep beyond the fears of the day. With little resources, we were instilled with a love for lyrics and music. I could almost hear the second oldest singing, they called the wind.........and then quickly my head bounced around as thoughts of the screams in the night, the breaking of glass, the sound of police car sirens, replaced the beauty of her voice.
``
Conclusively paradise is not something you create,
or buy, nor is it a place you can travel to find.
Inside each of us is a magical place unexplored, when
you knocked at the door of my heart and I answered
I found home..... I love you and welcome home.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Silence is Golden



Recently a childhood friend had passed away. I had a special fondness for him, as I remember him always being kind. It stirred up restless memories of childhood. My eldest sister always said that we were the” boxcar kids” Children who had fallen between the cracks of society. What made us different? Well some would say we functioned fairly well in a hellish situation, so well! that no one reached out to help. Was it that we were intelligent enough to keep our grades up? attractive enough that it couldn't possibly happen to us? well dressed if you don't look like poverty then life must be fine, with no visible signs of abuse, we continued to function.
Though abuse was not uncommon to any of us,badly bruised my sisters camouflaged well with heavy wool tights. We spent as much time outdoors as possible, from local youth groups to the parks swing set. Still each day we woke in anticipation of what the day held. My mother being a very emotional soul could easily be red through the eyes. If the day were going to be calm her eyes were warm and inviting, If she was distraught then her eyes appeared like fire, not necessarily signs of fear, but loss of hope.
Nature became our best friend, we would spend summer swimming down at the river, I still have fond memories when I see soapwort growing on the edge of water ways. The river was a dangerous place and yet we made it our personal play ground.
One summer day I was approximately eight years old my little sister four years old, she and I were cooling of in the muddy green not so clear river water. We used the old intertubes as floats, ones that were from the abandon tires down by railroad tracks. We use to look forward to the boats coming by creating the closest thing to a ocean vacation we would ever get. Though the water wasn't deep in some places you could step one foot away and find the water well over your head. Without much thought we sat upon the rubber float. Suddenly the waves from the just passing coal barges moved in , the waves strong shook my little sisters body lose from the float. Without a scream she fell beneath the muddy waters. She was barely able to swim and she went under. I couldn’t see her, I panicked and my heart raced, I called out her name and her little hand reached up out of the water. I quickly leaned forward and holding the float with one hand, I reached for her pulling her closer to me. She had swallowed water she looked at me and she said you saved my life. I could see the fear in her and yet we never spoke of it from that time after. We were not necessarily close as little sisters go, we were so different, but we kept and eye out for each other. We were four very different young ladies, each securing our place in the sybling order. Dependent upon each other for our very survival.
Times were turbulent, we were with out of a place to stay. At this time our family would be split up. It was a dark and cold time in our life, nothing compared to the separation of family members that was soon thrust upon us. We dare not speak, and yet we still shared in the same pain of life.It's a bond between family members , when no voice is needed to feel the others pain. The violence that befell our family well known to the public and yet a huge secret. It was quite the silent oath, yet the skeletons were out of the closet and still we fell through the cracks. Each of us met the challenges, in the only way we knew how and for each for us that was very different. Rebellion, anger, withdrawl and silent tears.
The constant uprooting of family had me looking for some kind of stability, sometimes the moves were so close from one neighborhood to the next, to a child it was a whole another world. This house that looked like a mansion sat high on the hill, I could see it from almost every place I lived. I thought of it as a castle, as it had this huge steeple and a large ball that sat high on top of the steeple. It was my stability, something that didn’t leave me and I could relate to. It was close enough to see and yet so very far away. One day I promised myself I would drive by to get a closer look. I am not sure if it still stands, I haven’t been back to the old neighborhood in years.
My second born sister has been gone some 15 yrs now, her life was a ongoing struggle and she left this earth way to soon. I laugh when I hear tales of dysfunction , as we say we put the D in dysfunction. But that wasn’t necessarily true, we did learn how to function and survive in the most insane situations.
I have listened to many people through my recent travels,as many people speak of their lives, many quick to place blame.I never once thought to place blame for the decisions made in my life. Once my sister and I spoke as adults about childhood, She said to me what would it have been like to be born into another family. I think we might have been very different people, better or worse, is to be seen.
There is a stigma attached to seeking help. My father believed that help meant interference and unwanted interference was a unwelcome visitor. Silence is golden
.......
A rainbow holds the magic of hope and dreams.... I think I have found my beginning and my....

To Accept fault is not to accept failure, but repetitious failure is a fault.
~
Cutural differences aside, I believe human emotion felt through mothers world wide are the vision of hope. For they weep the tears that nuture the seed of tomorrow.
~~
In my arms I cradle the precious gift of life,
in my dreams I hold to faith,that all
will see the value in this
walk on earth.
~
Love.... understands that jealousy, greed and hatred flourish,
the challenge is to redirect through the pages of history
and live through the words of wisdom to educate
that the beauty is only seen through the
window of the heart.

War

To view each day like the first of spring,
is to leave behind a barrage of heaviness.
City life is something that is bred into you, a vile of pros and cons, it's not something that is actually taught to you. You do learn what places to avoid and how to live within a rather violent set of surroundings. Unfortunately with the break down of family geographically, the old family neighbors rarely exist anymore. More demands from work and family, have created a estranged atmosphere .
I looked back at the days of childhood and the heavy racial riots that had become the norm.
Friends and family attacked by angered young people, innocent victims of a less then stable time.The 60's were filled with rebellion, it was a blend of light and darkness as the changes were drastic. It led me to wonder if people left to their own recourse, would improve their lives for the better or take themselves down.
As time branched out, I never thought I would see the ravages of war and violence becarried so heavely into the future. I thought how could history repeat itself? How could we not learn from past experiences and mistakes?
Today more then ever we have a chance to make a difference in a peaceful way. Extremist set a side, all of the worlds people touch on the same set of emotions, a unique thread that weaves the world closer together.


The world....in a much needed group hug

Life would be so much easier if we all stepped off the same platform at birth, but it would be a much more duller world. There are many misconceptions when it comes to a child’s absorption of their surroundings. A friend of mine once quoted “ an apple doesn't fall far from the tree.“. I disagree, depends where the tree was planted, which one fell and rotted which rolled down hill and which set seed. The statement is a excuse to place blame. We do have choices, it has nothing to do with who we are, or does it? If we stir up the genetic pool does the blend induce a pragmatic view, a more factual “ what is”?. I pondered over my childhood years, and the path that brings us to this point in our lives.
Let’s review this hypothesis, if a child never saw red, would they know red when they saw it? One might say certainly not , another view might be if they were educated and told what red might look like they would be able to identify it. Will go a little further, if a child never felt love would it know love when it was presented to them? I say undeniably yes. With all facts set aside, humans consist of mass and emotion. You don’t have to be taught what feels good, you will know what feels good
.Smiling ... as I envisioned the world getting a much needed group hug.



Peace

Compassion sympathizes, Empathy walks in my shoes!

There is a huge misconception that abuse and violence is linked to the ignorant and poverty stricken strain of society. This is a widely abused statement, as the traits of evil know no barriers. Religion has since the beginning of time been the aggravating circumstances of war. Believers and non believers should review, the external as well internal picture. Is it not enough to want peace, we should be setting a example of how to live peace. Anyone who has raised a child from birth to adulthood will attest that more is learned from example then ever from the voice of thunder.
We underestimate the world at large for the mass of population has always been controlled by the few. The ever advancing technology can either be used as a tool to bring the world together, or a weapon to bring disaster. Who is responsible and who stands to gain the most? We all have something to gain the most from knowledge. We as parents, teachers, friends and family are the educators of future generations . We have been granted that much power, look unto yourself and ask have I been part of the problem or part of the solution? Education, respect and love are the keys, the doorways that need to be unlocked rest within each of us.
To Accept fault is not to accept failure, but repetitious failure is a fault.
~
Cutural differences aside, I believe human emotion felt through mothers world wide are the vision of hope. For they weep the tears that nuture the seed of tomorrow.
~~
In my arms I cradle the precious gift of life,
in my dreams I hold to faith,that all
will see the value in this
walk on earth.
~
Love.... understands that jealousy, greed and hatred flourish,
the challenge is to redirect through the pages of history
and live through the words of wisdom to educate
that the beauty is only seen through the
window of the heart.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The loss of Innocents


The world's tears weep threw the eyes of a child,
for our future is tarnished at birth.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Violence

When Hell Comes to Visit

To those people who are not instinctively violent, there is a curiosity to what causes a person to step over the line and become the perpetrator of violence. The spawn of evil that is like a wild seed blowing in the wind, spreading dangerously throughout our communities. Unfortunately there is not one cause, and so to annihilate the problem, is complicated. As I have looked into the eyes of violence from early childhood on, I saw that evil was not choosy as to whom it chose to carry out the dark side of humanity.


It could simply be a genetic weakness, drug and alcohol related, or the even more complicated to decipher, mental illness. I have witnessed extreme violence several times through out my life, each came with a very distinctive set of circumstances. The first time it fell under domestic abuse, and I believe alcohol and drugs played a large part in edging on the violent behavior. You never become numb to scenes of violence, I believe you become more aware. The repeated behavior taught children how to live under the control of fear. It also teaches a person how to read others attempted actions through the eyes.
Inner city living came with its own set of rules, fear, lessons, pains and confusion. As violence in the city escalated, I witnessed another type of violence. Stranger upon stranger. Here I was in a city gift shop as I looked into the gunmen's eyes. All I can say is that I knew, he knew, I knew, no humor in that. Our eyes locked and I saw his desperation, I saw his fear, I didn’t necessarily see hatred in his eyes. He allowed me to walk out of that store, as he pulled the gun on the store clerk. I saw that hell walked many a path. It's not that evil goes through stages of morphing that we cannot not always identify it, it's that if effects so many people in so many ways.
Which brings me again to standing at the gates of hell. This time it fell to close to home. I could sense at this moment anger, here we had a situation with no drugs, no alcohol, no evidence of mental illness, yet the breakdown of one human who had inadequate sleep and food and was hell bent on expressing his anger and hatred by wailing a gun through the air, no particular reason, no particular day, just stepping on the edge of insanity.
There are so many ways that evil makes its way into peoples live, that it is impossible to identify them all, who will be the next perpetrator or the next victim? The motives are endless, we have greed, hatred, revenge, sickness, desperation and the list goes on. Can we isolate the gene that might promote violent behavior, the weak gene, or should we? This dark characteristic side of humanity.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

In a Childs Eyes

The temperatures have dipped down into the single digits. Overslept, I was awakened by the scream of the well. I looked at the clock it was 6:30 the fire had long since burned out and the well frozen for sometime.
Flash backs from youth to my present day situation, a chill came over me as I saw how they often paralleled. I never had a gas furnace growing up, we had this little space heater, that kept the house from being the same temperatures as outdoors. An older home, was well over a hundreds in standing. I mention this particular house as home, as I hadn't stayed in
ten or so houses long enough to consider them home.
The windows always had such condensation built up on them, that full sheets of ice covered them from top to bottom. The few months of the year that the north east regrets.
I remember visiting my grandmother she has a gas furnace, I can't remember the first time
I heard the furnace kick on and heat blow from the floor duct. I quickly felt the heat and the sound soothed me like a baby being sung to sleep. The little things a person does to escape their present situation. Indeed, I was often called a day dreamer. I never quite remember my grandmother referencing me by my name. If she did call out a name, it probably would have been the wrong one. It wasn't uncommon for her to not know which one of us girls it was, as famly said we all looked alike. Yet we were so different down to the color of hair, height and eyes.
It's cold, I don't want to get dressed. I pull the blankets back over my head and wonder how I
allowed myself into a position that so resembled the past or did it. In some ways it is worse.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

World Peace

We are here on earth experiencing both our oven heaven and hell. Many of us have been told as children, that someone always has it worse. In one way it was condoning domestic abuse, or maybe even a means of survival. What could be worse for a child then to be placed in the center of a war zone, with no side to choose.
It seems like a fairly common scenario, a predator of sort and then a victim.In domestic abuse this is clouded, who is the predator, who are the victims. In my eyes children are always the victims.
What makes my parents different from someone who is sitting on death row for murder, hmm bad aim, poor shot,etc the list goes on, fate, timing, just not their time.
I had wondered at some point what was my crime to serve such a sentence. The old adage "silence is golden" for whom ?
The repetition of such violence taken to the extreme, I had heard it said that the more you see, the more numb you become. I find that to be a farce, you can never ever adjust to violence , but you might do what you think you have too, to survive such abuse.
Physical wounds heal over and I guess that is true to the emotional abuse, at some point if your released from the abuse it might just have a chance to heal.
Almost everyone on this earth has the ability to create life and to destroy it. It's a fine line people walk and a weakness that exist in the human structure," the weak link."
World peace, that is difficult, when we can't bring peace within ourselves. The intricacy of emotions are many, on one side we have the positive and on the other the complete negative, where love flourishes, hatred attacks , happiness and then sadness.
Historically, further back then even the tribal people, we have those who were warriors and leaders of violence and the peaceful, loving people. Unfortunately genetics of the violent warriors were carried on because not only did they rape the tribes, villages of peace loving people but in the mass murders and share numbers they continued to breed the gene of hatred, anger and violence.

Where does it end, first we have to find out where it begins
........

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