Sunday, October 23, 2011
I remember at this time last year seeing nothing but black. The train ride we were on with Chad had finally hit a cement wall like no other. I felt like I had been smothered in a cloud of thick smoke with the train on top of my chest and no idea how too find my way out. I remember sitting on my front porch the days following "T's" death questioning who Chad really was. Did Chad have all of us fooled for all our years growing up as too who he really was? I asked myself silently over and over if I ever really knew Chad or was it all just make believe, and if so, how crazy it was to think that somebody can play charade's as well as he did for that many years. Who was he? Who was this person that I called my brother and where did he come from? My brain was so strained with agony that I had no idea what I was thinking at times. All I knew was he had committed the very worst he could have, murder, and I don't know anymore details than what I did, 365 + days ago.
I have convinced myself to believe that on or about September 29th, 2010, Chad was either out of his mind high or having a bad come down on heroin. Something happened and he snapped, doing something he knew would put him away for the rest of his life. I've seen Chad many times but I don't care to ask for details that I might regret having asked him for. I don't even know if he remembers much. And even if he does, what's the point anyways? It changes nothing for today, tomorrow and the future.
For several years now, I have seen the saying Live, Laugh, and Love. Sometimes you can't even go to the bathroom without seeing those words posted SOMEWHERE! And I have to admit, I have two plaques in my house with the same saying & trust me, there won't be a third. But in those three "L" words lies the true definition of life, at least for me. It seems as if our society has lost value in the meaning of living life to it's fullest, laughing until you damn near pee your panties, and really loving as we should. It's all about technology, speed, money, drugs, and politics. We live in a cut-throat world and we are losing everything that really meant something. I have faced lots of ups and downs in my life but it was Chad's drug addiction and the train wreck it caused for me to sit back and seriously Live, Laugh, and Love.
I have always cared for my family and friends the very best I could. But now, everything and everybody means more. I cannot say enough how short life really is. In the blink of an eye, two families were destroyed. Mine and "T's". An angel was given her wings sooner than anticipated and the demon of heroin that lived inside my brother, finally put him where he is today, prison for a lifetime. With life being as short as it is, we have all made it so much harder than it needs to be. I guess what I'm saying is we should all keep a little simplicity in our lives and look at life the way so many such as Chad couldn't.....that it's beautiful. If you feel like breaking out in a dance in the middle of the store aisle, do it. If you want to build a pyramid with girls or guys between the ages of 12 and 60, do it. If you want to go to heaven with the intentions of sliding in head first, than by all means DO IT because I sure the hell am. You don't always have to be your serious self. Laughing and loving is part of life and life is laughing and living. Don't wait for something so tragic to happen, as it did with my family, to finally let loose and give in a little bit. Realize it now with the very breath you take.
Chad has been sober (as far as I know) for 365 + days. Our family hasn't had to worry about the state Chad is in for 365 + days now. And for 365 + days, I haven't been scared or drained out of my mind figuring out what was too come. My heart beats as it should, I'm not grasping for air and I'm not walking in hell's haze. I'm finally seeing color again!!!
Monday, July 11, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Some days I find myself so wrapped up in Chad that I forget about....me. Things about me....the good, the bad, and the ugly. The silly, corky, off the wall and funny stuff. The little things, the simple things.... about ME. So today, I'm giving a little "Thursday Truth" about Mindy and will try to remember to do so on a frequent basis. Here it goes:
- I LOVE baby feet. Those precious, perfect, tiny little body parts that grow to a size fit too our own and will hold us up or let us fall in this thing we call life. For me, they are the sweetest feature on a newborn baby.
- I use entirely too much bath and dish soap. What can I say, I like bubbles. LOTS of bubbles and the more bubbles there are, the cleaner the object is.
- I refuse to walk on grass bare-foot. I know, call me weird. It's one of my "corky" truths. But since I'm speaking of the truth...I see no tranquility, nothing relaxing, and certainly nothing exciting about walking on or rubbing my feet through each bristle where animals AND humans tend to dispose of their waste no matter how soft it may be! It boggles my mind to hear people say "how good it feels". I guess if you like stepping in shit, on accident or not, or stepping in areas where pee, vomit or anything else might lie within the grass and its roots than gooooo for it, and ENJOY.
- I am highly addicted to cuticle oil. It's to my nails what Dr. Pepper is to my sanity.....IMPERATIVE. Not to mention it does wonders for my nails.
- I once went to a club only to come home and find out that I had a HUGE hole in my very favoritist pants. At least 8-10 inches long. Who KNOWS how long I walked around not having the slightest idea that my right ass cheek was open for public display. And while I was in shock that I actually didn't realize it until I made it home that night, I was more upset about those pants that at the time were my very favorite. Completely unfixable.
Well there you have it for today. My blog is very sad and probably not the routine for somebodys daily reading, that is, if anybody reads this. So hopefully these little truths might have made you smile....or laugh...or think damn this girl is crazy! It's a bonus if you got all three.
Monday, May 23, 2011
It was dads birthday yesterday. Sweet 61 he turned, but it wasn't too sweet of a day for him. I called him in the morning to wish him a happy birthday, but he didn't answer. So I left a message telling him so and that I loved him. I went on to get me and his presents ready for the day.
Dad's oldest brother passed away this last summer. The last time he was here, somebody took a great picture of them all together as brothers and sisters, minus my dad's baby brother who died 15 years earlier of suicide. I thought it would be awesome to enlarge the photo and put it in a nice frame for dad to hang in his newly finished basement. And then of course, there was a bag of Raisinets, his FAVORITE! I highly disagree on the taste of them. Chocolate covered peanuts, you have me, but raisins? No way!!
As a few hours went by, dad never returned my call. I wondered if we were still on for dinner and couldn't get a hold of anybody to find out. I called dad again, no answer. I called his wife, no answer. Totally out of character for my dad to not answer his phone or return the missed calls. So I made one more attempt to dad's wife's daughter. Dinner was still on according to her but I didn't want to just show up since I hadn't heard anymore about it from her mom. Dad's wife called. Dinner was still on, but dad woke up in a not so good mood. He wasn't answering his phone, he didn't want to talk to anybody, he didn't do his weekend grocery shopping routine with her, he was mad that she planned anything for his birthday and had invited the family to celebrate. He was just pissed.
He was so different last year. We all went to Vegas for his 60th birthday and HAD A RIOT. I suppose with all that has happened in the last year with Chad, dad is living with a broken heart and sees nothing remotely happy about celebrating his day. For him, it's just another day, another day closer to death.
I was pretty devastated to hear how grouchy he was. After all, I was excited to see him and give him his present and just be with everybody. AND...actually get to go outside with the nice weather. But I questioned whether we should even go or not. Does he want us there to celebrate his birthday? Than again, my oldest is leaving Saturday, so I of course wanted him to see his grandpa before he left for who knows how long again. I just wasn't sure what to do.
I went. Walked into dads house and there he was, in his spot, on the couch. I was hesitant to say too much, not knowing what I would get back. I gave him his present and said happy birthday. He loved the picture! "D" sat on the couch with him and I figured it would be a good thing for dad to have some "manly" bonding time. Maybe that would relax him, so I hung out in the kitchen with the girls.
As family showed up and hours went by, dad loosened up a little. He even smiled when he blew his birthday candles out. We had a GREAT dinner. Steak, baked potato's, cooked carrots (HIT OF THE DAY I must say), salad and Better Than Sex cake (HIT #2). Chattering going on every which way, the boys outside playing catch, and some family time that sadly for me, doesn't happen very often.
Chad had called earlier in the day but I missed his call. I knew, that he knew, it was dad's birthday and we would be at his house, so I knew he would call back. I stayed for as long as I could, hoping Chad wouldn't forget to call since I'm the only one who can talk with him by phone. Nobody else has set their phones up or their numbers have been denied for whatever reason. It's quite the process getting approved for anything where an inmate is concerned. Right as I was getting ready to leave, the call came in. Dad got to talk to his boy on his birthday and "T" and "B" got to talk to their brother who they haven't spoken to since at least last summer, before everything happened.
I was so happy Chad called, just in the knick of time. Dad got to actually hear the words "Happy Birthday" in Chad's voice. I hope it mended dad's heart for just a minute or two. I know my dad is hurting. I know he carries an unexplainable amount of guilt as far as Chad is concerned. Chad is one of his own, the one who is in prison for the rest of his life for taking another's life. The one who was plagued with drug addiction. The one who had so many opportunities, so much going for him, and let it all go because he was addicted to drugs.
The reality of who Chad could have been and what he could have done vs. who he is now and what he did, has changed dad for the rest of his life. It eats him alive. I try as much as I can to let him know how much I love him and how grateful I am that he is the one I call dad. But I also know his heart has been torn apart, not just by Chad, but by many things over the years. He's fed up. He's tired and I know at times he would much rather be gone than have to deal with the in and outs of everyday.
I enjoyed my Sunday afternoon/evening with my dad and the rest of the family but I cried myself to sleep, wishing he wasn't so hurt over so many things. Thinking of how things might be different today, the here and now, had life's downfall's in the past not unraveled what we all knew and were accustomed too as children. Hoping that having the rest of us there meant just as much to him as if Chad would have been there. Sometimes I feel like even though he still has 4 other kids besides Chad, it's just not enough for him. I don't doubt my dads love for me. But he's broken and he's bitter. He's 61 and had enough.
I understand dad's pain. I know the hurt....the anger....the disbelief and frustration Chad's addiction has caused him. I know what I feel as his big sister. But I am also a parent. And as the mom to my two boys, I know how powerful the love of is for your own. I want my boys to be happy and enjoy life. Be who they can be and follow their dreams. I want nothing more than for each of them to reach for the sky and earn all they deserve. Just like my dad wanted for Chad along with the rest of us. So it's no wonder the cuts remain open for my dad when he is faced everyday with the fact that his son, Chad, was a heroin addict who has been convicted of armed robberies and homicide, and is now spending the rest of his life in the prison system.
Regardless of how dad was feeling on his much deserved celebration of life day...his birthday, I love him with all I have. He has contributed beyond belief to the woman I am today. He has been my rock when at times I had nothing else to hold me up. He is who I call when I'm in the dumps or simply just to say "hi dad". So for every ounce of hurt or anger he had in him yesterday, I still hope he had a "Happy Birthday" and knows how much his first born, me, loves her daddy.
Friday, May 20, 2011
This is my fruitless plum I planted on the side of my home. Yes I need too and WILL be working on this part of my yard soon enough, so for now, ignore the weeds por favor. I love the pink flowers that blossom every spring and the hint of sweetness it gives away. But most of all I love the story behind this tree of mine.
It was April of 2008 when I purchased this tree. It was the very first tree I bought for my yard since moving in eight months earlier, and I was filled with excitement to play in the dirt and start accessorizing my front yard with trees, plants, and flowers. It was also the month that Chad was to be released "any day" after spending 2 years in the county jail for the pharmacy robberies he committed.
On my way home from buying my tree, which by the way was hanging from the trunk of my eclipse, an unknown number rang my cell phone. "Hello." "Come get me." It was my Chad calling. He was out!!! He had finally been released to freedom once again and oh how I was so excited to see him, face to face, without glass separating us. The day had finally come!!
Instead of taking my tree home, I turned my car around and it made the journey with me. I kept telling my tree to just hang in there as it was being whipped by the wind while I travel to the destination of jail, 30 minutes away, 75 miles an hour. I kept thinking my tree was going to die from either the wind or from the trunk bouncing on it from the bumps in the road, but it would have to be strong because I was on a mission. The mission I had long awaited for.
I pulled into the gas station where he said he would be. I remember looking all over the place for him and then in a quick blink, there he was, lying on the grass in a pair of clothes that didn't belong to him. Not even parking my car, I jumped out and ran to him. He scooped me up and whirled me through the air as he hugged me in his typical fashion. Talk about Kool-Aid smiles. I remember Chad saying, "take me home so I can get out of these wrinkled clothes." Off we went. Homeward bound we were, me, him and my tree.
It was the first time Chad saw my new home. He loved it and loved having his very own room. Sadly, not many inmates leave jail to a nice home with a room they can call their own. Chad had it so good so many times, if he could have only realized. After showing off my little brick house, he went through some things in his room. He came across the obituary I had saved for him. It belonged to a friend who had died earlier of an overdose. Tears streamed down his face at the heartbreak of losing his friend and never being able to say good-bye. I let him be to absorb his pain and adjust to the outside life he was facing to live in.
My little tree was a trooper and made it. I got her planted and slowly she progresses with growth every year. She blooms more each spring and seems to be prettier and prettier every time. It's a constant reminder of the small road trip we both endured and happiness I had on that April day.
I haven't seen Chad in about a month. The last weekend I planned to see him, the prisons were put on lock down. There were three violent incidents at one of the other prisons in the state, one leading to the fatality of another. Because of the rise in violence, the prisons were locked down and all visitation was cancelled until further notice. It's finally been lifted and I will plan another road trip once again. I have spoken with him though and he's doing well!!!!!
Life has been extremely busy. My oldest has completed his second year of college. I cannot believe he has already done two years of college. Time is flying by quicker than I want it too. I made the trip to pick him up but unlike last year, I did it alone this time. Driving through the canyons and over the hill tops I laughed and cried over the memories from the last trip doing the very same thing......only with my dad and Chad.
That morning started with Chad and I sitting on the front porch waiting for pops. He is ALWAYS on time but wasn't this morning. I was almost ready to call him for the "status of his location"....lol....when suddenly he came rolling around the corner. Both Chad and I laughed as we tapped on our wrists pretending as if we had a watch because he was TEN minutes late. He rolled his window down and we both said laughingly "you're late". He smiled back at us and said "oh whatever, get in the truck".
Dad had packed us cookies, muffins and Gatorade's just like he used to pack snacks for us when we would go fishing in our early days. I by far have the best dad one could ever wish for. My heart holds such a special place for this man I call dad. Chad took the front seat with dad and I took the back. It was surely going to be a day of laughs and bugging because I was going to make it that way. It was almost like I knew there would come a day when I couldn't make memories with the three of us together again so I was gonna make it worth my while and I did.
We both love the movie "Step Brothers" so I wanted to do to Chad what Dale and Brennen did to each other. Pick pick and pick. So the road trip turned into giving Chad wet willy's, pulling his hair, tickling his ears, putting my feet in his face and ears. Yes, I was the pestering sister that wanted nothing more than to make us laugh and do things that we hadn't done to each other since we were little kids. Dad referred to us as children of the corn, LOL. He laughed at the two of us instigating the other and wondering how he's made it all these years with his crazy kids and the things they did and still do to each other, even at 27 and 38. I'm sure by the time dad dropped us home that night he was more than happy to get rid of us. My plan was accomplished!!!!!
It was a very quiet trip this time around. Just me, once again, on the same road to pick my twenty year old up. The lake is still frozen, snow still packs the mountains and the rivers and streams are rushing for time as the run-off fills their beds. I'll be sure to insert pictures soon.
I thought about both of my boys and pray so much that they will never dabble with drugs. I'm truly frightened beyond repair I think. I know how I've raised them, I know the mother I am to them and I know the values I've tried to instill in them. But I can't be there with them every minute of the day. I can't be there to say NO or please don't when and if the opportunity of hell comes to their lap. I can only keep praying and keep talking to them in hopes that the choices they make will be the right ones and that they will never fall victim to a drug addiction.
There were two more major drug busts this last week in different counties of the state. Counties very close by mine. Twenty three people arrested in one encounter, three in the other. How sad and angry I feel for those as they are guided by law enforcement in hand-cuffs. They are so lost and so controlled by the money and highs heroin or any drug provides. It's honestly just sickening. I remember when I was a little girl.... if you used heroin, you were doing the BIG stuff. It was hard to get, expensive, and seemed to be the "extreme" if you were using it.
These days, it's nothing to get a balloon and it's CHEAP. It's everywhere! Buying heroin is as easy as buying ice-cream from the ice-cream truck. I can walk down the street in my neighborhood and find it just like I could in the ghettos of town. Heroin is not prejudice in who it picks. It goes after anybody and anyone that is willing to use it. It takes the soul out of its shell and slowly chisels it's way through the hearts of families as they watch their addict dwindle away too nothing but a junkie. It pisses me off honestly.
In other news, Lacey has figured out that the bed we bought her for Christmas is exactly that, her bed. She has always slept with us, fault of my own, and it has definitely been a challenge working out the sleeping arrangements. But the switch has turned on and she is now sleeping in her own bed, Lacey's bed. I guess I owe a thanks too Grizz and Odie, my nephews dogs. By bringing them here for visits and them plopping themselves in her bed when they're all tuckered out, might just have been the wake up call for Lacey to realize what the definition of a bed is. I must admit I miss having her cuddled up at my feet or in the bend of my knees but it's also been wonderful not wrestling for space and her winning every time.
Life is good and I'm moving forward. Enjoying the days of spring and rain. I'm a busy girl with lots on my plate but I'm taking it for what it is, one breath at a time, one day at a time and being grateful for it all. I will be taking another road trip next weekend to Grand Junction, Colorado where I will be dropping my college boy off as he embarks on another chapter in his life. Working and summer college classes in Denver. He is a free spirit and not afraid to take on new beginnings. Spring has definitely sprung. New life, new beginnings.
Monday, May 9, 2011
I could only say to myself inside how glad I was the manhunt wasn't on for my brother this time but oh how I know what her family is getting ready to face and the heartache that will fill their lives from the moment of notice onward. I hope God will help each family and heal them the best they can be healed with a tragedy such as this.
I'm triggered every single day I look to the north of my home. There sits another home, a drug house that met Chad with open arms when he was released from jail the first go around. They are all pill poppers and heroin addicts themselves. One brother used so much acid back in the day that his brain is fried. Another brother is the drug dealer in the home, doing his drug deals at night. I refer to him as a hermit because he NEVER comes out. I honestly can't remember the last time I saw him and when he does come out he is grossly pale from no outside light. He looks like powder. It is now my understanding that he himself is using much more than he used too. So much so that he's paranoid and walks around the house with a gun around his waist. And guess what could end up in his crossfire should he ever go off? MY HOUSE! Not to mention that Chad was able to get pills from him and never paid him so if he really wanted to get crazy (which I hope he doesn't) he could do something ridiculously stupid and aim at me or my home.
Then there is the little sister who refers to herself as a "hood rat". This happened to come out late Saturday night as she mozeed to my house and stood outside talking with my boyfriend and his friend while drinking a beer. She is also a heroin addict who has supposedly been clean for 4 months. 20 years old with an almost 2 year old baby boy. Man is locked up, she is scared of her gun strapping brother, she informed my boyfriend of things she supposedly "let Chad do to her" (she is damn lucky I was asleep), and told my boyfriend he has sexy lips. I had to laugh about it all and think how sad for her and her son. What a life to be proud of at 20 years old.
I planted a magnolia tree up against the fence that separates our homes in hopes of it growing so big I don't have too see that house as often as I do right now. It is beyond me why the house has yet to be raided by police officers and taken down. Just beyond me. The drug dealing is so obvious and with summer right around the porch steps, things are certainly going to heat up for some summer "high times".
Then there was the story this weekend of a huge heroin bust resulting in the arrest of 8 people, $80,000, and HUNDREDS of balloons filled with heroin ready to distribute. Our heroin problem in this state is FAR out of control. It's easy money and a beautiful high too many. It's so devastating to hear the statistics our state faces along with the number of lives and sadness this demonic drug has control of. It's horrifying and what I wouldn't give to put MY hands around the throats of the dealers and take the very breath out of them as they have the millions of families who has had to endure the pain of a loved one's addiction.