Hoping for Justice

I was scanning my Facebook feed today; looking at updates from the family when I saw a comment about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lCMDYNMOV0  There were calls for justice for this young man named Coran. I knew from the title it would be disturbing, but I didn’t realize how hard it would hit me.

For those that aren’t aware, my older brother was physically and mentally handicapped. He was very child-like and trusting. Like this man, he wouldn’t have thought to run away, assuming that telling them to stop would make them stop. He suffered many a beating just like this, often from supposed friends who lured him to a secure location just so he could be ganged up on. After all, it’s fun to beat up a tard (derogatory term for a mentally challenged person; a retard). My younger brother and I took our share of punches ourselves trying to protect him.

Watching this video and the one of the teen tricked into the ALS challenge brought all those terrible memories right back. Tears just began streaming unapologetically down my face. In this man I saw my brother Richard.  Hearing my brother’s cries echoed by this young man years later; laying on the ground begging his tormentors to stop, all brought my memories of him into my forethought. Richard was subject to bullying every day of his life. He was an invisible victim, even when he told teachers, etc what was happening there was nothing done. Richard was even blamed to a certain extent for the attacks because he did have limited mental capacity. You know, if he wasn’t retarded he wouldn’t let them beat him up. I remember him telling me places where one could hide along the route to and from school, just in case I needed a place to hide sometime too. It was a shame he had to learn that. He passed away at 22 and I miss him so much. He was a sweet kid who loved me; loved all of his family, loved the outdoors and even won medals in the Special Olympics for speed skating. Of course he wasn’t perfect, no kid is, but he never deserved the cruelty he was subjected to.

So today I’m hoping for justice for Coran; my wish is that he have a long wonderful life in which he is never subjected to this kind of behavior again.

 

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A Letter to my Brother

Feeling kinda morose at this moment. Just have a few things I want to put out into the ether. Feel free to skip this one if you’ree looking for something light and fluffy.

I find it so strange sometimes how a stray thought, a certain song or even a whiff of a scent can bring a memory of someone you lost back with such clarity that you feel their loss anew. 

My older brother Richard passed in March of 1995 at the age of 22 after battling a hereditary disorder for eight years. Richard was mentally and physically handicapped and presented with behavior issues as well, but he had a good heart and was a really sweet kid and I miss him so very much.

 

Richie,

Today I heard one of your favorite tunes while in the car; Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take It, remember that one? I of course had to turn it all the way up to eleven… I thought of you and and how many (mis)adventures we had. We would disappear for hours when at the ranch, sometimes in search for flowers for Mom, to jump from the hay bales, make boats to float on the reservoir and countless other shenanigans. Those were some of the perfect moments of our childhood, not marred by Mom’s drinking or Dad’s illness. Those days we still had our whole lives ahead of us. 

I often think about where I would be if it were not for you. The answer of course is that I would not be here. If you hadn’t jumped into that pool and pulled me out (even though you couldn’t swim either) after I had been thrown in I would have drowned; no doubt. I was starting to black out when your hand found mine. I owe you my life and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish that I could have returned the favor and you and Dad could see me now. 

So until we meet again Richie, every time I think of you know that I am remembering fondly those times by the campfire with everclear and grape Kool-aid; those hikes in the canyons; AC/DC, Ministry, Twisted Sister; that motorcycle that came from who knows where, and of course the time you tried to teach me to ski. I love you and miss you. 

Nene

If I died today… Some musings

As the title suggests, this won’t be a funny or flippant entry, however I hope it isn’t to dark and dreary for those that may choose to read this. Don’t mind me, I just needed to pause and reflect for a moment.

There have been many times in my life where I found myself wondering at the impact of my own demise, especially once I became a parent. This morning was another of those times. I was moving the little box in which I keep the gold band I wear at work; I don’t wear my wedding set to work as I’m fearful it may become damaged or get lost. I have told My Honey before where it is, just in case, and found myself wondering if there are any other important nuggets of info he should be privy to, just in case.

This thought quickly led to another, then another: Should I show him my father’s graduation ring that I want to be given to my son? What about the pin for my daughter? Is our life insurance sufficient? Does My Honey have everything he needs to provide for them? I should show him where I put the report cards/school/baby clothes I saved for them… and the question that weighs the heaviest on my heart? Does everyone know how much I love them?

Years ago the thought gripped me with such fear. Who would be there for my kids (when I was a single Mom), and what would they remember of me if I happened to come to mind (I was working two jobs and rarely home)? The father of my older children was in no way an option, and I was terrified they would end up in foster care should anything happen to me; terrified they would be split up. This though was probably precipitated by one too many Unsolved Mysteries episodes featuring children that had been adopted through the ‘orphan trains’ looking for long lost siblings.

I must say when I look back, especially upon the last decade, I think I can at least answer the last one. I haven’t always been the greatest parent, Hell, sometimes I wasn’t even a good parent, we all have those moments, but my decisions were always guided by my love for them. When talking to a couple of my older kids they do understand that, whether they agreed with me or not.

Mistakes? I’ve made plenty, and yet when I look back at my life to this date I feel so fortunate. I have a husband who loves me and some incredible kids. It’s funny how the kids have grown, the people they are becoming, even my little ones. They are my greatest accomplishment. The relationship with my husband? Hopefully our friendship and respect for one another has left a positive impression on them.

If I died today I would feel secure in knowledge that I’ve done more good than harm, been the reason for more laughter than tears. I have a lover and partner that I know I can count on should anything happen, that in itself leaves me with a sense of peace about the whole thing and allows me the freedom to sit back and enjoy what life hands me. What more could I ask for?

I think I’m a closet feminist

I believe I may be a closet feminist. It’s either that or I’m just getting very crabby in my old age.
Lately I’ve been finding myself getting upset by more and more of what I see on the internet. It seems I’m being inundated by add videos photos posts all sorts of different things they’re derogatory to not just women; which is what the title of this post alludes to, but people in general.
I just get so tired of it all. Can’t we just love all the people?
This particular rant was brought on by a large number of posts alluding that all women are good for is sex. It wasn’t one particular site or person, just an overabundance of them. I linked to an article on a site and it recommended another article I may like, it invariably takes me down the rabbit hole that leads to ‘DD breasts!’ Or ‘hot chicks!’.
Call me a dreamer, but I really hope to see the day when the first thing that comes to mind when you mention women is not how many ways they can be used for sex, but our accomplishments and contributions to society.

Surprise!

So yesterday I was out running around, definitely pressed for time, and decided to stop at a local drive thru for a quick lunch. Imagine my surprise when my card was declined for the $4.99 charge. I asked the cashier if she could run it again as the strip was about shot and it sometimes doesn’t read. No luck. Debit card to the rescue.
I arrived home to find a message from our credit card company asking about suspicious charges. This had happened a couple times before when we needed to make an unexpected purchase so I wasn’t worried. I suppose by now you can see where this is going…
They told me there had been a suspicious charge for around $5 (I’m wondering if this was a ‘test’ charge to see if the card was valid) and then attempts to charge over a thousand dollars. They froze our card immediately, hence why I couldn’t charge a hamburger, and gave us a call.
I’m not the primary card holder so My Honey was going to have to call once he got home from work. When I asked if they would still be open when he was off work the guy gave me the best line ever, “Fraud never sleeps and neither do we.” Just awesome.
I have no idea how our information was compromised, probably never will. My Honey and I are very careful especially with our online financial footprint.
In the end I want to thank Capitol One Credit Card Services for saving us thousands of dollars and a huge headache. You guys rock!

The Borg

I sometimes find it funny, if not very enlightening, how we perceive ourselves.
I used to see myself as somewhat of a rebel; not your average suburban mom. I have tattoos, listen to heavy metal and try not to give a crap about what others think of me.
Today as I was debating the benefits of one type of pear versus another at our local Sprouts I stepped out of myself for a moment and realized I have been assimilated. Somehow the Borg snuck in while I slept and molded my mind to fit into suburbia.
Sure, I still have the tattoos and listen to heavy metal, etc, yet there I was in my yoga pants, looking at organic produce that I would schlep home in my SUV (perfect to bring home kids from soccer practice!) to our nice little ranch-style home. This is definitely not how I pictured myself turning out when I was younger.
All is not lost though. I vow that I will be the most ornery little old lady you will ever meet.

Just a Conversation…

Langdon: Hey Mom, do you know what would make fast food even faster?
Me: If you built a Mc Donald’s on top of an active volcano?
Langdon: No if you had a volca… (Smacks forehead with palm)
Me: You said volcano. I knew it had to be a volcano.
Langdon: No Mom. No volcano.
Me you sure?
Langdon: Sighs audibly. No. No volcano. You need to build a super fast conveyor belt…
Me: Through a volcano?
Langdon: (Glares at me and continues talking) And you could put the food on it and you could just shoot it from the kitchen directly into people’s cars.
Me: Does it pass through a volcano at any point?
Langdon: FINE! It goes on the conveyor belt, goes into a volcano and shoots into people’s cars on the other side. (Langdon, Trevor and I are all giggling uncontrollably at this point)
Me: Wouldn’t that burn the food, sending it through a volcano like that? You’d be shooting charcoal briquettes into the cars…
Langdon: Another sigh, then he an his brother start discussing the merits of shooting charcoal into cars.

Good thing I’m going to be paying for the therapy I guess.