Tragic Loss Of A Child

Loving Your Child Forever
This brief writeup on the loss and love of my son in an open letter format a few days before this awful massacre of  “our”  20 children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.  This massacre is nationally mourned by us all; it is the worst  massive school shooting in United States’ history.  I share this post right away, especially for the family of the victims.  I do hope something from my experience or something I share from such a similar experience where my child was the victim of a homicide,  that  there is something that  can help in one way or the other, have an impact.

My only biological son, I speak about.  Of course, I have loved you from the time that you became a part of my life.  Ever since that night when you became the victim of a homicide, my love for you have been in the highest degree.  It has been 20 years since that awful moment but I have to say that I love you every day of my life and I will always love you as I exist.  When you were no longer physically with me, of course, it has been very painful and just unbearable at times.  However, I asked Almighty God to help me  through all of what I will have to through in this terrible loss of you in my life, this void in life.  One of the first things I did is that I thanked Almighty God for ultimately blessing me to have you as my child for 19 years.

Even though his life was abruptly taken, I still want to say I appreciate every moment that Almighty allowed me to have Michael as my son.  He is not with me physically to this day but to this day and until the end of my life I will continue to love you, my son.  I realize I am not the ONLY parent who has lost a child, but still there is something that is different about you that makes me hang in there.   Oh, that awful horrific act where the gunman shot that fatal bullet and you were the victim of a dastard act, a homicide, your spirit is with me everyday.  Almighty God knows the very inner essence of me and my heart when it comes to my LOVE for you.  Sometimes I smile and many times I cry but somehow I am able to dry my eyes and allow for just one more smile that you were  a part of my life.

It does not matter if you had been with me for the short time of 19 years or 100 years.  I love you no less. In fact, I love you the most.
I think about when you were born as a premature baby.  You were in the incubator in the hospital’s care and  the hospital soon became my second home.  I would make visitations as long as I could and watch the doctors and nurses as they took care of you in the incubator.  You weighted only 3 lbs 4 oz when you were born.  However, I felt confident that you would soon gain your weight and continued being healthy  and I would then take you home.  I would care for you and watch you grow into the young man you were at nineteen years old.  (To be Continued)

Soldier was Adopted

Calling From Iraq

It was two years ago that my nephew called me. It was the first time he had made contact with his birth family.  He was in the U.S. Military; he was on his second tour of duty in Iraq.  He made his first contact with me, with his family while he was still in Iraq. That first phone call lasted for about one hour.

Ring, ring, r-i-n-g! I awoke, looked at the clock. It was 2:45 a.m. in the morning. It was unusual for me to receive a phone call at this time of the morning. It would ring only if there is an emergency. Well, I answered the phone, “Hello?”   He asked to speak to one of my nephews. I would soon find out my nephew was asking to speak to his brother. I told him that he was not in, not home at the time. However, I understood by his questions and tone that he was not sure who he was asking for. He did not know whether the name was his brother or his father.  I was wondering WHO it really is on the other end of the phone. Is this a crank call? Is he really my nephew?  I would soon find out.

Then he tells me his name. I recognized the name instantly. I am the one who named him when he was a newborn. I asked my sister if I could name him after he was born and she gave me permission to name her handsome son. I named him after my son, Michael. So, of course, I recognized the first name right away. But is this person on the other end of the phone my nephew? By now, I am all excited and did not know what to think. Was this really my nephew or a crank call? My next thought was to ask him his birthday. He told me his birthday. I knew he was correct and I felt that he was who he said he was. Of course, his surname was different. He still had his first name that was given to him at birth.  Apparently, his adopted Mother did not change his first name.

I knew this: That I had nephews and nieces who were under the care and control of Social Services. My sister no longer had custody of her son. I don’t remember any family member being considered for custody or adoption of my nephew.  There was a  few court hearings.  My sister and family was in court  without an attorney.  Much of the legal talk was difficult to understand.  The Court told Social Services to set up a schedule for my sister and family members to visit my nephew.  We would visit my nephew for only a few months.  The next thing we would hear is  that  my nephew had a new foster Mother, out-of-town.  So there were no more visitations and we never saw my nephew again; nor did we hear anything  else about my nephew.   However, we continued visits with his siblings; they were older and remained  in foster care.  Of course, when my nephew called me, it was the first time I heard from him since he was a baby.  He would follow that call up with others while he was still in the U.S. Military in Iraq.

My nephew told me that he was seven years old when his mother passed.   He would then be raised by her family. My nephew told me that upon the passing of his adopted mother, her family informed him and showed him the adoption papers. He told me the adoption papers disclosed some information that he found useful in his search for his birth family. I told him that we, his birth family, thought about him often and that we had tried to search for him.   I told him that we had inquired about the costs involved in hiring searchers and attorneys; that our minds were of the same, that we also wanted to find him. We were short of the fees being charged. I thought about him two days before he called my home the very first time.

After graduation from high school, my nephew told me that he entered the U.S. Military and did a tour in Iraq. He was now on his second tour of duty; he would be deployed in about two months.

My nephew told me that he had gotten married; that his wife was also in the U.S. Military. In fact, she was in the Military when they first met; then they decided to get married. My nephew told me his wife was on her tour of duty in Iraq. He stated that they would both be deployed the same time. He said he expressed to his wife that he wanted to find his birth family. However, sometimes he got frustrated after he did not make a successful search. He would stop searching. Even while he was in the U.S. Military he told me he still wanted to find his birth family. The desire was still there to find his family.  His wife encouraged him to continue his search for his birth family. That’s what he did. With the information he had, including the telephone number, my nephew made that call.

Of course, we the family made plans to see them once the U.S. Military deployed he and his wife to the U.S. What a wonderful reunion! My nephew and his family visited us in December during the Christmas holidays. It was our first Christmas we shared. There were many hugs and kisses! We ate dinner and took many photos. I will always cherish the memories! We cannot make up for the lost years, but we still enjoy ourselves as a family. You know what? I also give tribute to my nephew for serving our country; I give that honor to he and his wife. What a reunion!

Children and The Restaurant! #015

Children go to restaurants where adults frequent them the most. They disturb others by crying out loud; they may start making a mess with their food by playing with their food. They may even throw the food at each other, just a lot of kids’ play. Crying and hollering just like they do when they are at home. This will surely be disturbing to the other persons in the restaurant and cause them to leave. They will not come back.

I was watching the news about two months ago where a family was dining out and a child was sitting on a potty at the table in a restaurant. The parents of the child said they were training the child. I believe the parents were talking about even suing the restaurant because they would not allow this “potty training.” Well, I say this is pushing the limits! I have never heard of such in my life. What are the parents thinking about?

Children learn the potty at home, not in a restaurant at a table around others. Of course, the children do not know the where and when to do things; they learn the  proper place, where and when. Parents should have been discrete. The restaurant has to step in because it is unhealthy, unsanitary right out there in the open where everyone else is dining. There are health codes that the restaurants follow.   Just because you have a little “darling” you are potty training, you don’t do it just anywhere, especially at a restaurant. You would potty train the child at home, not in the public. You know what is going to happen. Everyone will get up, leave and never come back! Of course, I say,  “Don’t let children in a restaurant where the setting is adult-friendly.  Just get a babysitter!”

There are some places the little darlings just do not go. They do not go to your workplace, bars, and gambling casinos. In my town, the guards meet you at the door for your picture I.D. The guard will not let you in unless you are at least 21 years old. If you have children, you have to get a babysitter. Ever heard a baby or child crying loudly in a church just when the preacher is talking about something you wanted to hear? Sometimes the child will cry on and off while you are there in attendance. Some churches have babysitting care for children of their members while they are in attendance. Of course, the children can play and enjoy themselves in the nursery or with the babysitter. They can hear the minister and sing;  church activities enjoyed without interruption.

Enjoy yourself in a restaurant without the kids; let others enjoy their meal, too. Just like you would not take a child to a casino, you should not take your children to an adult-friendly restaurant.

Now, if the restaurant provides a section for children, that’s fine. I am all for that. In any case, I would not allow the potty training bit right at the table, not in the children section or adult section.  Potty train at home, never in a restaurant!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

All text for, "My Roses"

Remember the saying that something is or is not “like a bed of roses? Or a rose by any other name smells just as good”? My red roses are special to MY roses; my neighbors does also. My roses brought big smiles to my neighbors as I shared with them beautiful rose bouquets. My roses blossom in May each year; they will continue to blossom for at least a month. In the early mornings, I see my roses seem to blossom just for me. I don’t have a knack for gardening but I give them some love the best I can. I sprinkle them with water, not knowing just how much they really need.  It is okay because by day’s end, I have done the pruning.
I look and see what I have done in a year that stand out, blossom like my roses. Life is a bumpy road.  I  will give it my best and  I hope to come out smelling like a rose, my roses, that is. See, I look forward to my lovely roses. They will not let me down.
Take a look at my roses! I look for them religiously about the time I think they are going to blossom. I wake up each morning and out the door to My Roses. I anxiously await them to blossom. Wow! They are there the next morning, my bed of rolling roses! They will be here for a few weeks, about a month. Of course, I take my camera and snap many photos of them; I do this each year after they are in full bloom. They make my whole day! My roses are tops because no matter, my roses will bring out the best in you. You have no choice but to make a big smile! My roses are in abundance, so I share them with my relatives and neighbors. This one neighbor, I knew she had a knack for flowers. Well, a year later she has rolling roses, too. They are hanging on her fence just as mine were.

Adoption, Really?

Wonder what my siblings think about open and closed adoption? I will ask them that question one day.  For now, I will just savor the joy of sharing the rest of my life with them; no questions asked.  Most likely by them being my younger siblings, they would not care to answer too much about this adoption thing. This  thing was part of my life when I was young, about ten years old.  A Closed Adoption of my youngest sister  took place.  I did not see her again until 36 years later.  Of course, I would learn this was a  Closed Adoption.   Believe me,  it is “closed.”  There is no communication, no visitation. I did not understand all the ramifications.  I heard our Mother say many times that she would never sign any papers giving her children up, where she would never see them.  I just remember a social worker took my little sister  from my mother’s arms.   After  realizing she was not going to return her,  my mother  was crying;  I cried, too. Not my “dad,” though. That evening when he came home from work, he was angry and fired up.  He stated he was going to paint “this town red!”  Things were tense and seemingly no one had any answers.

Why would anyone take my sister away?   I loved her dearly.  She was like a beautiful doll; she was very special to me.   When I initially experienced Closed Adoption, my sister was three years old and  I was ten years old.  A successful search would not be made until 36 years later.

Our mother was a woman of minimal means, was doing the best she could to support her  family.  No such thing as public assistance or welfare. We never knew of anything like that.  Our Mother was a domestic worker. She was also a sharecropper and  held  a job title as a “field hand.”   At the age of seven, I  worked on various plantations with my mother picking strawberries and cotton, whatever. We had to fill the pints in the strawberry crate heaping. When picking the cotton, I remember the sacks of cotton were heaping.  She would use the money I earned to help make ends meet.  This was a way of life.  It

was not unusual that our grandparents would raise the kids.  Also, it was the norm  that other family members, friends, and neighbors  would reach out to help you raise your  kids. I never knew of any strings being attached. Or maybe I was too young to know. For there were times when I would stay with other relatives, like, my Aunt Nell.  She was such a wonderful aunt to me. She would also babysit for my mother.

She cared for my youngest brother while my mom went to her job.

Now, Open Adoption is just that, open. The child of concern is inclusive with all parties.  We tacitly understood someone other than our parents were raising our siblings; that they were living in a different household. I would not know that this was known as Open Adoption. All I knew when I was young is that one of my brothers were living with an aunt. My sister  was living with someone my mother knew.

She was about forty miles away.  My brother was about 70 miles away.  I visited both my sister and brother as I was growing up, while I was in middle school and high school. I would travel the 40 miles to visit my sister.  Many times I would sleep overnight and share my sister’s bed. Then I returned  home the following day.  My brother was living farther, about 60 miles from me. Our bond was very close, too.  Never were any problems.  Throughout the years we visited each other.

I felt I was always welcome to visit my sister. But there was always the eerie feeling I had when I was young.  I began to wonder why my sister would not visit me sometime. I may have misdirected my thoughts. I just felt my Mother was not  able physically to care for my sister.   A big part of that time, my Mother was a single parent. She and my dad had parted ways.  She

Adoption, Really? Mystics of Open And Closed Adoption
Wonder what my siblings think about open and closed adoption? I will ask them that question one day. For now, I will just savor the joy of sharing the rest of my life with my siblings, no questions asked. Most likely by them being my younger siblings, they would not care to answer too much about this adoption thing. This adoption thing was part of my life when I was young, about ten years old. No, I was not adopted. Adoption took place with  three of my siblings, one by closed adoption, two by open adoption. My siblings are younger than I. When I initially experienced Closed Adoption, my youngest sister was three years old;  I was ten years old.   A “Closed Adoption” took place with my youngest sister.   A successful search would not be made until 36 years later.
As for Open Adoption, I like and appreciate more. However, years ago when I first experienced Open Adoption, I was unaware of it by that name.  I only knew that two of my siblings were living in someone else household; that someone else was helping my parents to raise some of their children. That was a practice that was known in my community as “raising a child up” as you would your biological child.
Part of the time, my Mother was living  with one of her sisters in cramped conditions.  They shared a two or three-room shot-gun type house.

A Hurricane’s Fury!

Did Hurricane Isaac pay you a visit by showering you with some of his fury?  Well, if he has not visited you, perhaps he is on his way  via rain, rain and more rain, wind, wind and more wind;  or perhaps,  the mixture of rain and wind and  combinations of who knows what.  Oh, if he feels like it, he may just drop a tornado or two in the form of a tropical storm. However weather conditions lends itself to him, he will transform himself in  one or the other. That’s not to say that Hurricane Isaac does  hold back his fury when it comes to our rivers, lakes and oceans.  He has not and will not. Time and time again, our waters, i.e. rivers, lakes overflow in many areas causing flooding.
Of course,  Hurricane Isaac is not concerned about the destructive path he leaves behind.  Nor does he concern himself with the fate of  anyone; whether they become one of his victims is of no concern of Hurricane Isaac.  Many are victims of this hurricane,  losing their homes,  some victims drowned in their home when they could not escape and no one could rescue them in time.  This  would happen in wake of Hurricane Isaac’s path in Louisiana.  In Mississippi, two people lost their  life because of Hurricane Isaac.   As of this writing, the reports are that there are seven fallen victims as a result of Hurricane Isaac’s fury.  What great is that the deaths are at a minimum by far a record of much less than Hurricane Katrina who claimed as many as a 1,000-plus lives just a few years ago.
One upside to deal with some of the fury of Hurricane Isaac  and other such hurricanes, we can lend credit to advancing technology, weather  radars; thus, ability to stay on top of what’s happening on a 24-hour basis. Also, we can thank the quick actions of our President. We can thank FEMA, the Red Cross and private citizens for  doing their part for each others to help  each other.

As of this writing, we are having impending visits by Joyce, Kirk and Leslie, all we hope will lessen their  fury upon us and will take a turn away from us.

An update:  I was thinking that we would not have anymore hurricanes.  However, we see that is not the case.  It is now the end of October; the East Coast is experiencing  the fury of Hurricane Sandy.  She will make landfall  tonight or tomorrow.  The President, governors, mayors and other officials have asked people to heed  warnings in wake of Hurricane Sandy.  I use the telephone and  social media to reach out to relatives, friends and others on the East Coast.

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