Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Paper chess.

Got another letter from Chad yesterday. It wasn't long but I got out of it what I always want to know and that is....he's fine. He doesn't write often because he is "adjusting". He was moved from one unit to another but is still in R&O which means 23 hour lock down but now he has a window to look out. I know he is getting closer to being released into general population so I wonder if that's why he was moved.

He and his celly have a lot in common and play a lot of chess during the day. They made their pieces out of toilet paper. Wow....creative and I'm sure he will become much more creative as time goes on. I have never been fond of chess, I have to use my brain waaaaay too much for that game. Give me some checkers, go fish or Yahtzee and I'm down but I'm not about intense strategy so chess is out!

With his letter he sent me a bird he made...origami style. I LOVE IT!! I of course felt it too see if it was also made of toilet paper. It' wasn't. When you pull the back part of it, the wings flap. I will post a picture later. There is a joke behind it of course. For years now, I have always sang a portion of The Carpenters song "Close to You" around my brothers and sister. It drives them ALL crazy because once they hear it, it's stuck in their brain along with little birds fluttering around and that's all they hear for a day or two. ;) I have left them voice mails of me singing the lyrics, texted them the lyrics, snuck up on them while they're sleeping and sang it to them....ANY way I could find to get to them, I do. So Chad sent me my origami bird with part of the lyrics to that lovely song which by the way, I can't hit a note on to save mine or anybody else's life if it depended on it!! So a word of advice, don't count on me to sing if your in dire need, you won't make it and I will yet have another package of guilt lying upon my heart.

He went to court on December 9th in West Jordan. I guess that was because of violating his probation on the charges he had in that jurisdiction. He didn't say anything more than they moved it to another date in January. Weird.

That was about the jist of his letter. He had chess to win so he had to go. I know this time of year is the pits for Chad but I would give anything to have him home for Christmas. It's almost time for my Christmas baking I do every year. Cookies, candy, fudge....this year I'm adding cupcakes, and I know my brother would be right over my shoulder trying to sneak bites of the sweet stuff my kitchen has to offer.

I have thought much of "her name" family. I'm hoping their hearts are healing and they are finding happiness in this time of year. I hope "her name" is looking down on them, comforting them with her angel wings as they go about their daily lives. I pray if they are suffering, God will lead them through his grace and give them the strength and will to continue on for "her name" sake. Oh how I hope they are all ok at least and I hope they all have a very Merry Christmas and a much happier and better new year!

So until my next's my little jingle that cause's a stir of craziness in the siblings. Enjoy!!!

Why do birds suddenly appear?
Every are near?
Just like me, they long to be
close to you.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Please write dad a letter Chad!

Still no mail for my dad from Chad. It's been three weeks since the last one and it's causing my dad major stress and concern. I haven't gotten another one either but my sister "M" did last week. Chad said he's doing good. He's met some interesting people and some not so interesting people. He was moved into another cell but is still in the R&O unit. Still locked up for 23 hours a day but he's getting used to it. He said it's not as bad as it was in jail since he has a celly to talk with. "M" said he sounded like he's doing good.

Dad called me yesterday morning and you could hear the distress in his voice. It breaks my heart hearing my dad hurt the way his voice gives away but he will NEVER admit it out loud. He's hanging by a thread and that's the best way I can put it. Dad asked me if I would make a call to the prison and see if I could talk to Chad's case worker just to make sure he's okay. I didn't think it would be possible but turns out you can talk with their case worker and that's just what I did.

Good news to deliver to my dad. Chad is fine!!!! His case worker said he doesn't seem to be under any stress, he isn't having any problems with anybody and reminded me they have medical and mental care 24/7 there for the inmates. I explained that we went to the orientation and learned so much that night but my dad is struggling with this and he just wants to know his son is okay. Chad's case-worker will tell him I called on behalf of our dad and ask him to write a letter to our dad.

I relayed the information to my dad and it seemed to relieve some of the uncertainty he's feeling with the "not knowing." I really don't know why Chad isn't writing as much as he has in the past. It's like I said to my dad, maybe he doesn't have much to say, maybe he is trying to come to terms with this, maybe he is trying to find himself and realizing how the drugs have unraveled his life...I don't know!! But we have to be patient and believe that when Chad says he is fine, he really is. That, besides my little white pill, is the only thing that is getting me through right now...simply banking on his words when he says he will be alright.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

F.O.- Family Orientation.

It's been a very long time since I have gone through any type of "orientation". I've been at my current place of employment for almost 7 years, I haven't been pregnant in over 15 years and I haven't enrolled in educational programs so there hasn't been a need. Yep, my life has been pretty uneventful up until the last few months but my years of not participating in an orientation ended last night.

I got a letter in the mail about a week and a half ago, on behalf of Chad, inviting me and other family members and friends with valid ID and no outstanding warrants to attend a family orientation the prison conducts the first Tuesday of every month. Dad and I felt it was important to go so we did.

The meeting wasn't held at the prison itself but rather across the freeway on the mountain across from the prison. In the building there were pictures of the prison, inside and out. I started at the picture of the cells reading the footnote explaining the context of the picture. Inmates are housed in a 12x8 cell, two inmates that is. The cell has a 2 bed bunk, a toilet, TV outlet and a 5 inch window. God I can't imagine or believe my brother's life, by his choice somewhat, has resorted to a 12x8 space for a 15 to life sentence. I cannot for the life of me wrap myself around the thought that anybody gets used to living like that. TWELVE BY EIGHT.........12x8!!!!! Sounds like the epitome of hell to me.

I had NO idea there would be so many people there. I was surprised quite frankly. We all ranged in age, some of us quite young to middle aged to the elderly. Parents, siblings, name it, and we were all there on behalf of a loved one who has just entered the Utah State Prison for one reason or another. I couldn't help but ask myself as I looked around in this room filled with people if they were going through the same hell I and my family were. What exactly have they gone through with their loved one? How many nights have they been awake fearing the worst? How many of them risked everything they had and lost it all helping their loved one who has now become an inmate in the prison system. You start wondering what their inmate is in for. Is it their first time? Are they as scared as I am at times? All of us are a relative of a person who did something bad enough or enough times that jail was no longer an option so prison bound they were.

The meeting went over general information about commissary, visitation, mail, medical, education and religion, IPP (Inmate Placement Program) and the Board of Parole & Pardons. There was a representative from each of those departments there to give us information regarding their particular area and answer questions any of us might have had. WOW...what a run down! Visitation is a MAJOR puzzle of confusion. The officer was a woman, gorgeous by the way, who presented the rules of visitation that even confuse her and she has been doing this for YEARS. Hard ass in an understatement in regards to her. She was VERY informative, very nice but hard as nails as I'm sure she needs to be in her line of work. A tall but slender lady she was but those are the one's you should worry about. After all, dynamite comes in small packages and she portrayed herself with a "put's up with no shit" mentality. I guess you would have too after seeing the things she does and has in her career and the loops a person will jump through to make it into the prison. I wonder if getting into Fort Knox is this entailed.

My dad and I were blown away over the amount of information provided and the answers to questions that were asked not to mention learning a whole new vocabulary or set of terms that are referred too in the system.

While each individual and their area in the prison was interesting, the one who relieved me the most was the chaplain. He discussed the educational, work and religious opportunities offered to each inmate. But what caught my attention the most and eased my heart was when he said "don't look at this as the end but rather a 2nd chance." Of course nobody says "hey let's go hang out at the prison for a day, that sounds fun" he went onto say. He reiterated that this time in the inmates life is a time for them put the pieces back together IF they want too and get involved in programs whether it's spiritual, educational or work, that can help them become better people so they when they leave, they don't return. Again it is all in the hands of the inmate when they get out of R&O and what is offered to them in their areas of general population whether or not they want give themselves that "2nd chance" to do on the inside what they couldn't on the outside.

The rules are STRICT and rigid but necessary to secure the safety of everybody involved. Some seemed a little out there and others made sense but I understood and understand why they are the way they are. After all, we are dealing with a population of thousands of people that have indulged themselves in the game of crime that finally caught up with them. Some might be high crime, others petty crime, some are violent, others are not, but when it comes down to it, it's all the same and it landed them in the big house. The only difference is the length of time an inmate will do for their criminal activity.

In regards to parole, a first degree felony offender, as in Chad, normally doesn't see the board for a minimum of 3 years however, because there are so many offenders, they are trying to now spread that out to 7 years. It will be at that first parole hearing if Chad is denied, that the board will decide the next time he will face them. It could be 6 months, a year or twenty years. Once you enter the prison system, your life is now in the hands of the board. THEY decide your fate and when you will be "walking to the gate". That's one of the new terms I learned last night and means when you walk out of prison and into freedom.

I'm glad I went and I'm glad my dad went with me. We have to stick together and do as much as we can in this particular situation as a family. It's the only way we might get through this. It was pitch black outside when we left. The meeting was almost 2 hours. As I said earlier, the building was up on the mountain so as we were walking to my car I could see the whole valley. A valley with thousands of moving cars, millions of flashing lights, and life in general going on with a well lit, razor fenced community of buildings housing a population of criminals right in the middle of it all. Life continues to go on right around these barriers and somewhere in one of those many buildings is my brother. My brother who I miss so much and love with every bit of my soul.

Monday, December 6, 2010

These people mean EVERYTHING to me!!

Our hearts our broken into a million little pieces but I think we might make it. One second, one minute, one hour, ONE day at at time.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I FINALLY got a letter from Chad last night. I was SO excited to open it that bringing anything in the house from my car, ie; coffee cup, dishes, purse or anything else meant very little in my moment of happiness. All I wanted to do was rip the sticky seal and read my brothers words. We have all been on edge not hearing from him, especially my dad, so this would be good news to deliver to him, that a letter has arrived.

I could tell a form was in the envelope. I knew it would the form I would need to fill out to begin the process of a background check to approve my visitations. The envelope wasn't thick so I was kind of wondering if the form was all he sent and nothing else and thinking how disappointed I would be if that was it. But it wasn't. Inside the form was a letter from my Chadly. He is doing very well. In reading the letter, I was actually able to hear his voice saying the words to me. He is still in lock down 23 hours a day but he's not secluded like he was in jail. He is able to talk to people and it's helps make the time go by fast. The food is "ten times better and all around the situation is much easier to handle than being secluded."

He was the only one who was able to order this week so I'm guessing that's why it took some time for him to write. He's being treated good and told me not to worry, he's gonna be alright!!!!!! He asked about Thanksgiving. They all had a standard but good Thanksgiving dinner at the prison with a pumpkin pie thing that he described as "the bomb." He also was able to eat a PB&J sandwich and LOVED it. LOL.

He wants me to tell you all hello , he is well and he is working on writing everyone. He said thanks to all who have written and put money on his books. The letters help tremendously.

I feel like 10 pounds was lifted off my shoulders after reading his letter. I know my brother loves me with all of his heart. He reminded me to smile because it makes everything better. Oh how I miss him terribly.

It's funny how we go through life doing our normal routines and getting so caught up in the day and it's offerings that we forget how much we really take for granted. The small things like a PB&J that is really nothing big to any of us that can go right to our kitchens and make, but for my brother and the population he's with, it's a privilege to have something so little taste SO GOOD! Another example are the hugs Chad would give me. Chad didn't need a reason to hug anybody, he did it just because he wanted too. I knew in my mind and heart every time he hugged me that it would possibly be the last hug I would get from him. The last squeeeeeeze me so tight hug that I'd feel my back pop. Chad is quite a bit taller than me so I'd have to stand on my toes and hold my head back or else he'd smother me in his chest and I couldn't breathe, LOL. So when I got a hug, I tried to hug him back just as hard knowing that might just be the very last time I'd feel his arms wrapped around me.

Me and Chad, April 2010

I remember the last hug I got from him and I don't know when I will get another one. There is a matrix chart the prison goes by to determine the security level, privileges and type and number of visitations you get. It's done by the alphabet and I believe you have to get to the letter "R" or "S" before you can have contact visits. So sadly, it will be a very long time, if ever, that I get to hug my brother.

So realize that while it's in our daily routines to do what we do and we don't mean to take the little things for granted like a PB&J or a hug from somebody, be happy and grateful FOR those little things and cherish them because you just never know when you won't have them again.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Property pick-up & you've got "NO" mail!

I got a call Monday morning from a Deputy at the Davis county jail. He said Chad had listed me as the person to pick his property up and I could do so Monday through Friday from 10 to 3 in the afternoon. I kept meaning to contact the jail and find out how to go about doing this but as I explained before, I'm forgetting a lot of things and this is one of them. Thank goodness Chad took care of it before he was transported.

So today was the day I once again took a ride to the jail. I do a lot of thinking in my car just like I do in my bed. Yes cars are whizzing by, the heater's going and I've got the music up but it's my time to JUST THINK!!! I always try to put music in that Chad and I both loved when I'm alone in my car. Some of it makes me sad because so many of the songs are in relation to an overdose or somebody dying of their drug abuse. Just because you overdose doesn't mean you always die. Chad has overdosed several times. So many of the songs are that of a person who struggles or suffers and just can't find their way in this world just as Chad couldn't. Chad was able to relate to so much of this music as if those lyrics were written just for him.

I feel closer to him through the music and sometimes I will just belt out a lyric of the song because that's what used to make him laugh. Ya, I'm nut, I know. But I also love to do off the wall things like that just to make somebody laugh.
The property pick-up was just across the way from the court, the place I last I saw my brother. As I was walking towards building, I looked over at the court and saw in my mind the media van that was parked right outside those doors with one reporter and the camera man waiting to interview whomever they could the day Chad was sentenced. I saw the memory of my family coming out of those doors broken and dismantled. I thought that would be the last day I would be at this building but turns out maybe today is.

There always seems to be SOMEBODY around when I am doing these types of things. Like picking up property or making a visit or putting money on Chad's books. You always have to announce his name and your relation to him so I always wonder if those people around me remember who he is and what he's done and if so, what are they thinking. Are they afraid of me? Are they judging me? Are they whispering to anybody they are with "hey that's that guys sister that was all over the news. Remember the one who was involved in that homicide?" Homicide probably isn't the word they would use but I can't bring myself to say the "M" or "K" word. I KNOW what Chad did and I am facing it the best I can but those words are entirely to harsh for me to roll off my tongue. No you don't have to be afraid of me, I don't care what you're judgment might be and the answer is "Yes, I AM Chad's sister and yes he did do it."

I sat down waiting for Chad's property to come. My dad called me. He seemed in good spirits and wanted to know if I have received a letter from Chad. Unfortunately I haven't. The last letter I got from Chad was the one he wrote me the night he was sentenced. Dad got one letter from Chad that came from the prison but that's it. It's been a week since dad got that letter and naturally he's beginning to worry as am I.

His letter to dad said he was doing well. The food is a LOT better and he's happy about that. He was transported to the prison Friday, November 19th, 2010, the day after sentencing. I was shocked how fast he was transferred. I thought it would be a day or two, maybe even a week but it wasn't. It was the very next morning. He was transported with Wanda Barzee. Because she is doing federal time for her part in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping, she was held at the Davis county jail because it's a federal holding jail. Chad said they had to drop her off at the federal courthouse and the media was EVERYWHERE. From there he was taken to Bluffdale where the prison is. He got there that morning and did not get into his cell until 10:00 that night. He had to go through administration, see a dentist and a doctor so it was an all day process. He said it's not where he wants to be but knows it for the best. UGH!!!! He also said he is thinking of us all and loves us and to make sure everybody knows he's doing fine.

An officer came out with a plastic bag of Chad's stuff. He asked for my I.D. and gave me what was in the bag. All I got were the letters that have been sent to him from all of us while he was in jail. "What about his wallet and his clothes?" Geezus, really Mindy, you're asking for his clothes??? He said Chad wore the clothes he had when he was transported to prison and there wasn't a wallet. He double checked and came back out and said the only things that were inventoried the morning he arrived were the clothes he had on and a set of earrings, no wallet. So I wonder if the Bountiful Police Department, which is where they took Chad for questioning the morning of his arrest, has it and it's in an evidence bag. Another call to make IF I can remember to do it.

On my way home from work I got a call from my sister "M". I wish I could squeeze her street and my street together. Right now, everything that separates our roads from crossing means nothing. I would give anything to have her that close to me right now or vice verse. She is struggling. She sobbed to me and of course my tears began to fall. I wish I could have just held her in my arms and rocked her to betterness. Is that even a word? She's alone with nobody to talk too. Yes she has her children..amazing they are, yes she has her husband and yes she has her mother-in-law, but this situation is so massive in pain and none of them besides the kids have a direct relation to Chad so feeling what she does or what we as a family do is impossible. And while the kids are a blood line of Chad and "M" has been very open with the 2 oldest, it is still difficult for them to comprehend the impact and tragedy this really is for their mom.

I love you sissy!!!!

So I talked to her for a few minutes and tried to calm her down. The only way I knew how to do so was just tell her that Chad doesn't want any of us to STOP living because of him. He wants us to keep going, he wants us to be happy. He wants us to be everything he couldn't be. And the most important thing I could tell her is how much I LOVE HER. She is the only sissy I have and I cannot lose her!!! Somehow, even with 450 miles of separation, she and I have got to get through this just as much as my family that is within a 25 mile radius here has too. I can't say that any of us will be okay. I can't say any of us will return to the way we used to be. The pain we have carried everyday for the last 10 years watching Chad suffer as a drug addict and what it ultimately succumbed him too eats at us and there is just no way to tell if we will recover from it. Yes time may heal our hearts but the sting is always present, at least it is for me.

I got home from work and went to the mailbox. Still no letter from Chad. It's disheartening and worrisome. As much as I would like too it's not like I can pick up the phone and call the prison and ask if he's ok. He's an adult and he's in a correctional facility housing thousands of men. It's not like jail. Maybe he doesn't know he has money on his books yet to order envelopes and paper. There are usually only certain days you can order commissary and maybe it takes a while for them to get what they've ordered. Not to mention the prison reads their mail. I'm not sure if they ready every piece of outgoing mail. I'm sure they do if there is probable cause but if they do have to read it, that's a LOT of mail to read and process so maybe it's just taking longer than we are used too. And maybe Chad simply hasn't written anybody yet. He could be tied up with other things going on out there, getting used to the system, maybe trying to come to terms with his reality. I don't know why none of us have received anything but there isn't anything I can do about it either. I just keep writing him in hopes for a letter one of these days.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dazing through my bedroom window with the starlight, moonlight & sunlight

The window in my bedroom has been somewhat of a haven for me these days and nights. It's a big window and sits on my East wall right in the middle of the room. When I get in bed, I always start off laying on my left side which faces the window, cuddled up in the quilt my mom made me. That's when I seem to have the most peaceful time to think before I fall asleep. I lye there looking at the star and moonlight reflecting off the snow that seems to bounce enough light off my blinds to see outside. It's been so comforting and safe for me and my thoughts; very peaceful. I just lay there and think, pray, wonder and daze off into the light.
So many things go through my mind. I wonder if Chad is sleeping and if not, what is he doing. Is he okay? I wonder if I will get a letter from him tomorrow. I hope and pray to God that I will not find myself down this road with my own children and addiction. I fear that more than ANYTHING right now and it's a REAL fear that truly scares the breath out of me. All it will take is ONE person, ONE event, ONE time to come into their lives and completely destroy and take away all I as their mother have worked for and busted my ass to do and rob me and them of the life I have sometimes bled, sweat, cried and struggled to give them. Just ONE!!
I think about the afternoon Chad was sentenced. The words "15 years to life" are etched in me like an epiphany on a headstone. An eery feeling comes across me when I hear those words in my mind when it's so quite. It's when I really think what the true meaning of that phrase is. When I think of the "15", I associate it with not being so long and he'll be back before I know it but then when I hear the words "to life", it's almost like my heart stops beating for a minute, I get a cold feeling and I'm quickly reminded of the reality that life will more than likely be the actual time frame Chad will do if he holds on and makes it. LIFE! That's a really long time and I might not be alive if ever gets the chance to walk out of prison. So needless to say, I'm not coming to terms with the "life" part of it very well at all. Not yet anyway.
I hope and wonder about "her name" and her family. Hoping they are doing as well as they can and hoping her dad was able to read my letter. I include them in my prayers and hope nothing but the best for them. I ask God to bless each and every one of them with what they need and that he is healing their hearts as much as they can be.
I ask myself over and over what will my next entry be about? Is this blog even making sense? Is it helping me get through the hard times and face what my brother has become? Is it helping me forgive myself and not hold the tremendous guilt I do for his demise. There is 10 years of addiction and a lifetime before that of issues leading up to his addiction. That's a lot too remember, but if anybody can, I guess it would be me. For hell sake I remember things that happened when I was a little, little girl that people can't believe I'm able to remember because they don't until I remind them of it.
There's only a portion of my life I don't remember much about and that's when I was married to my first ex-husband (there are two). I was beat and abused for 6 years, the length of my marriage, and because of the abuse I suffered, I'm not able to remember most of the time I lived in Vegas which was 9 years. I guess it's a good thing I don't remember much of that time. It's a blank, a blur, and it takes a deep conversation with somebody or with my family for me to start remembering a certain memory they are trying to remind me of. I figure God doesn't want me to dwell on it because of how terrible it really was. I made it out alive and that's what I asked for so there is no need to worry myself and continue to think of that ugly time. Plus, I've been able to forgive my ex-husband for what he did to me and I am SO much stronger than I have ever been in my life. Even stronger than my ex-husband.
I would NEVER wish anybody to experience domestic violence in any way. I was lucky to get out alive but in a sick kind of way I'm thankful for what I went through because I know I will NEVER let that happen to me again and it made me unbelievably strong and a survivor!!!!
There are mornings I open my eyes and see the sunlight through my window. These are usually the weekend mornings because it's still dark when I get up during the week. Chad and his "time" are the first thing on my mind. Some days it still doesn't feel real and I'm in total disarray. On mornings like that, I just lay in my bed absorbing what I can. Staring at the walls just thinking and thinking and thinking. Some mornings take longer than others for me to get out of bed and some days open with a tear drop or two but I know I can't let this stop me from living. Chad wouldn't want this for me so I end up forcing myself up to begin the day. I'm not going to lie, it's hard, it's EXTREMELY hard but I have to do it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A letter to you all.

I wasn't sure if we, Chad's family, would be able to say anything to the court, her family or Chad. But just in case, this is what I wrote the morning of his hearing and what I would have said if I was given the chance to do so.
It has taken me quite some time to write this letter. It has not been an easy task by any means and one I never thought I'd find myself doing. I can't tell you how many times I have gone back and read it, taking things out, putting them back in, fearing I might say the wrong thing or hurt somebody's feelings which is my very last intention. We have all been beyond hurt through this ordeal, if the word "hurt" is even appropriate. Shattered, derailed and empty all better describe my heart and feelings in the most horrible tragedy I have ever had to face in my lifetime.
There are many here that don't know Chad other than what you have heard in the media. Most of you know nothing about him before his addiction to drugs. Drugs have ruined Chad's life ten fold and it has been a complete blow to our family of the events that have taken place. If you knew Chad and the person he really is or was prior to his drug use, you would all know exactly what I'm talking about and understand why we are so blind sided by this. Nowhere ever was this in his character. Not one of his friends or family members EVER believed it would come to this. Not in a million years did I ever think my brother was capable of this. Not a single person that knows Chad and our family would ever tell you they say this coming or that he did it. Not even in a million years did anybody ever believe Chad would become a drug addict. I never thought this would be our life, that this would happen to us but it is, it has and it is something we will all have to face and live with.
I would first like to address the "their last name" family. I am SO sorry for your loss. There isn't a SINGLE thing I can say to any of you that will even make the tiniest difference in regards to your loss or about my brother Chad, nor do I expect it too. But I want you to know that from the bottom of my heart I am sorry. No this wasn't my crime, no I did not do this, but Chad is my brother and while I along with other family members have battled uphill Chad's addiction with him, I feel it is my responsibility to apologize to you. Please know there hasn't been a day that has passed that "her name" or any of you weren't thought of by me. Please know that there have been so many times I along with my dad have wanted to reach out to you but refused to do so through the media and we were told not to comment because the investigation was ongoing. I hope you don't feel that we are a cold hearted family with no console for any of you and your loss because that is simply just not the case by any means. you have not been forgotten and neither has "her name".
Both of our families have been shattered beyond repair because of a drug addiction. There are two fathers in this room, "her name"'s dad and Chad's dad who have both lost a child. I don't know what happened that morning, afternoon, or evening that "her name" passed but the fact is, she lost her life at the hands of my brother. I, nor my dad even knew Chad had reconnected with "her name" before her death until October 4th when we were both called into AP&P and notified of what had happened.
I did not know "her name" but I know that when Chad lived with her a couple of years back, she knew he was an addict and tried to help. It wasn't her problem and one Chad should have never put her in, but she tried to help him. Something all of us have tried to do to no avail. I am forever grateful for "her name" kind heart to Chad but forever devastated that it cost her her life. I hope and pray for healing to you all and hope that maybe one day you will find it in your hearts to forgive only for the fact that forgiving aids in moving forward in your lives. But if you aren't able too forgive, which is probably a lot for me to ask, I completely understand and hold no blame to any of you for not being able too.
My dad lost his son as well. No it is not the way Mr. "his last name" lost "her name" but it is still a loss. He lost Chad to a rampant heroin addiction that caused him to do the unthinkable and because of that, he will now be gone for a very long time. Please know that my dad, the sweetest man in the world to me, tirelessly tried with as much as he had to save Chad and help him and he is sick, devastated and heartbroken over your loss, his loss and the actions of his son, Chad.
I hope you will continuously reflect and remember the wonderful person "her name" was and know that while it's not enough, there are holes in the floor of heaven and I'm sure she is looking down on all of you, protecting and loving you all. I know you would much rather have "her name" here and I wish I could change what has happened and give that to you. I wish it were me instead of "her name". Only so the pain would stay within my family and somebody whose problem this was not, as in "her name" case, would not have lost her life and another family wouldn't be broken and suffering a pain that nobody can take away. God bless you all in your lives from this day forward.
To my brother Chad. I am so sorry to you as well. You have a very long and difficult road ahead of you. I am sorry these drugs have done what they have to you. I am so sorry that this disease took your life and you felt there was nothing you could do no matter how hard you tried. You did try harder than you ever have in the past this last time you came home and I am very proud of you for making the effort you made. But I am also saddened for you. I am saddened that you haven't felt for years you were worth enough to live a life as the rest of us do. I know you haven't been happy for a very long time and while there are many reasons for that, some I'm sure of, others maybe I don't know, I wish they would have been dealt with in another manner instead of getting high to numb you from your hurt.
I hope you know Chad that I love you with every breath I take. You are my brother and you have made some monumental, senseless and life changing mistakes, but I still love you like I always have. I hope and pray that as you face your punishment, as you should, you will find the help you desperately need. I hope you will be honest, strong and true to yourself. I hope that one day you will realize whole heartedly what you meant to me and the rest of your family. I hope that you will also forgive yourself. Yes this is something you will live with every second of every day for the rest of your life. But I hope if you are allowed, you will find the courage to teach others what addiction leads too and it isn't a life one wants to be caught in.
I have told you on numerous occasions that you had two choices when you relapsed. Prison or death. I believe a part of you died many years ago. The last time I saw you at the gas station you were a lifeless shell. Knowing you had so many friends that died from this very disease and seeing their obituaries in the paper, I prepared myself over and over again for that dreadful phone call that you had passed and I often wondered what picture we would use of you in yours. What would we say about you? It's a terrible, terrible feeling to have in your gut knowing this is the road a loved one is going down.
But instead, you will go to prison. You will face punishment and are taking responsibility for your actions. So be that as it may, I beg of you to dig deep within your soul and get help. Don't be afraid to face what eats you up inside. We all fear the unknown but you can do this and I hope that you will, for your own sake.
Your addiction just wasn't yours, it became all of ours and I tried to do all I could as well to help you and I carry an extreme amount of guilt for it turning out the way it did. I know I shouldn't and you have told me not too, but I do and it is something I will try and work through. I know I must remain strong and carry on. I know it's what you want me to do and I know I have my boys, sister, 2 other brothers and dad to take care of and be strong for, something else you want me to do.
As I bring this to close I will say again, I am sorry. SO sorry for every single one of us here today and for those that are not, for the loss of life and role Chad's addiction has played in our lives. I have been tremendously sickened over this and some days I am not sure how I will get through the day. But I will because somehow, while our hearts remain heavy, we continue to go on the best we can. While none of us will ever forget the reason we are here today, I hope "her name" family will keep her kindness alive and focus on all the good she was as I will remember the amazing person Chad was before his addiction took his life over.
Because I wasn't in the victim's family, I was not able to read this in court. But after all was said and done and we were outside by our vehicles, "her name" best friend approached us. I gave this letter to her and asked if she would give it to "her name" dad and make sure the media didn't get a hold of it. I hope he got it and hope he was ok if he read it. It's been 11 days since Chad was sentenced and I still think of them all daily. All I can do is pray they are holding on the best they know how and finding her twinkle in the sky at night.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving and a little black Friday shopping.

Once again Thanksgiving came. Time for family and friends to come together for a FEAST of food and some good football. Both of my boys were home with their mama this year and that is enough for me to be thankful for. Thanksgiving has been at my house for the last three years so I welcomed the change for it to be at anothers. Didn't have to clean and cook and then clean up again, another reason to be thankful.

Truly I have SO MUCH to be thankful for and I don't just remember my blessings on Thanksgiving. I recognize everyday how blessed I really am and pray I continue to receive them from the good Lord above. I know there are many others that are so much worse off than I am and would love my life if it were offered to them. I know there are many that might not ever have what I do for whatever reason it may be so what I do have in my life and who I have in my life I cherish and hold close to my heart and soul.

Anyways, my body goes into a "no eat" zone when Thanksgiving comes around. Weird, I know but it's been that way for years. As the season changes from fall to winter and the holidays approach, I can taste the turkey melting on my tongue with all the fixins that go with it and I get so excited for the big event, but when the actual day comes along, I am only able to eat one serving of everything. There is a TON of food and I put what I can on my plate and once it's gone, that's it. No going back for seconds or thirds. Not sure if that's unheard of or not but oh well, I guess I don't have a TON to work off because the pants of "tightened" up.

This Thanksgiving has been exceptionally cold. Colder than I remembered it in a LONG time. I've been home for 11 years now and I have never had to keep my faucets dripping a little so they don't freeze up and explode. My dad and I went to lunch Wednesday. We had a blizzard coming in that night so my sweet dad told me everything I needed to do to prepare and be ready for. This was the list of "to do's by dad":

Flashlights= check
Candles= check
Extra batteries= not so check
Outside faucet covers ("they're only a buck and a half at Lowe's")=check
Blankets= check
Stay off the roads as much as possible= check

I was ready for it. I'm so grateful my dad has the concern he does for his kids to make sure we are ok in situations like this. He's the best dad a family could EVER have and I'm proud to say he's my daddy!!!!!

My dad...detective John McClane..aka..Bruce Willis :)

My sister "M" called me today just crying and barely able to speak. She of course was had a heavy heart today for Chad. We all did. Chad isn't one for the holidays anymore. Ever since the divorce between our dad and his mom they have never been the same for him and it seems to be a time of year when he gets pretty depressed. I prayed for him hoping he was ok and in good spirits. I got one letter from him since he was sentenced. He actually wrote it the night he was sentenced. He was transported the following morning after sentencing, Friday, November 19th to the prison. I run to the mailbox everyday but nothing yet. I know he hasn't forgotten me and he's thinking of us all. I miss him terribly but respect his feelings during this time as well. I know he's with us all, he's in my heart and always will be.

Thanksgiving 2008 - Our last Thanksgiving together

I didn't sleep well after 4:00 this morning. Sleep is still a luxury right now. I tossed and turned and looked into space thinking of all those crazy shoppers out there tearing up the stores and possibly but hopefully not, each other, trying to get the last item on sale. I've shopped Black Friday in the past but value my life to much at this point to risk having to hurt somebody if they dared snatch something out of my basket or hands. So instead, I pulled myself out of bed and put the movie EAT PRAY LOVE in and became a couch potato. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to make it through the whole movie without dozing off but I did and what a great movie. I laughed, I cried, and was memorized by her courage to stop and leave everything in her life to find herself once again. So inspiring and something I would love to do, once my kids are grown of course.

I decided I would do a little shopping. I've started early this year so it's not as hectic and it's working out awesome. Old Navy and Target it was and I made a little head-way. I worked retail at this time last year and looking at the mess those poor workers had to clean up once the store closed, I felt no envy for any of them. I did feel sorry for them and if I decided against an item I picked up, I tried my best to put it right back where it went. It's a habit I've taken on since working retail. If people would only put stuff back where it belongs things would be so much easier. Ya know people, retail workers have a life too and DON'T get paid an ounce of their worth. Seriously, it's pathetic so just a friendly reminder, remember their lives aren't lived in the stores and they, just like you, want to go home after work. They aren't your parents, they aren't your maids, they aren't your housekeepers and they aren't your babysitters. So while you shop anytime of the year, especially during the holiday season, be nice and keep them all in mind and put stuff back where it belongs!!! Okay now I'm done with my little rant and rave.

I wanted to put my Christmas trees and decorations up tonight. Not happening. Maybe tomorrow, maybe Sunday or maybe next weekend. I'll get around to it but for now, I'm going to enjoy the time with my boys and the rest of my week off. Maybe watch "A Christmas Story".

I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving and wish you all the blessings in the world.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A surprise for the media, forgiveness from a father and a plea & request from Chad.

After returning home from court yesterday, my sister and I decided we would do some Christmas shopping together. It's been YEARS, maybe 11, since the two of us have Christmas shopped together. We were both pretty burned out mentally and she is going back home for good this weekend so it was the perfect opportunity to share some "sister time" that we rarely get. So off we went. Jordan Landing was our destination. I got some fab deals on pajamas for 3 of my nephews for the holiday and bought a few things for myself as well at Old Navy. Love that store!!!!!! AND I found an awesome rice cooker for my oldest nephew for his birthday. Yes my 18 soon to be 19 year old nephew LOVES rice and wanted a rice maker for his birthday. I could think of other things a 18 year old wants besides a rice cooker but OK. They had red ones and since my sister's kitchen is red, I thought it would be perfect but I was ordered NOT to get a red one because my nephew's dad won't let him take it if he ever moves out. Lord have mercy REALLLLLLLLLY? My brother-in-law is a freak, plain and simple. So a black and stainless steel one I settled for but hey, it will get the job done and oh by the way, it makes up to 14 cups of rice at a time. My nephew will be in H-E-A-V-E-N!!! Mission accomplished.

So we packed up our shopping bags and headed home. My sister was exhausted but I was so thankful she gave in and we had this time together. It means so much on a normal day but even more with the circumstances we face. No sooner did we walk through my door and put our stuff down when her phone began to ring. It was our dad. He was calling to let us know what to be ready for. You see, Chad's FIVE minute hearing that took place yesterday was actually handed over to another judge because Chad was actually going to plead and be sentenced at the same time. That's right, no preliminary hearing and no trial. Chad knew there would one, be no chance he could fight these charges, two, he didn't want too and three, he wanted to face what he has done, move on with his life and let everybody get on with theirs and do his time. We were warned her family would be talking and that lovely little cohort of jerks, the media, were going to be there so count on a fiasco. We were told by dad who was advised by Chad's lawyer to just ignore the media and not approach her family.

Melanie was somewhat pale when she hung up with dad. I think I lost a little color too and could do nothing but hold to silence and let the emotions come to head. This was it. This would be done and over in just a matter of hours. What must be going through Chad's mind and heart I wonder. Is he scared? Is he nervous? Is he ready for this? I know it really doesn't matter, it's going to happen anyways, but is he??????? I can't even answer that.

I didn't sleep much last night after knowing what we were all ready to face at 4:00 this afternoon. I went to work for half a day. I knew if I stayed home I would probably go half way insane within my own walls so it was best to just go do what I had to do. I had to pick my brother "T" up at his mother-in-law's home. I left at 2:00 INTENDING to pick him up by 2:30 and head north. Those that know me really well know that I'm a very punctual person. A trait that was drilled into me over and over again by my dad as a young girl. Not all of us are that way and it's definitely a trait I inherited from him. There is NO SUCH THING as being fashionably late. If you're going to be late, call and let them know. It's just respect.

Getting out of downtown is such a joke anymore but I figured because I was leaving early enough, I would totally beat the traffic getting onto the freeway. Ha, not today. The 4 lane, one way street I always take to the freeway was moved to ONE lane for construction. I couldn't believe it. I was so irritated and antsy, freaking out that I wasn't going to make it in time. Of all days UDOT did it have to be TODAY? Don't they know I have an extremely urgent matter that I MUST attend and they won't wait on me or my brother. I kept praying to God, please Lord please let me make it on time. Please don't let them start without us. Nothing ever runs on-time in court but my luck it would today.

After what seemed to be 20 minutes was really only 7-10 that I was held up in traffic. I punched my gas pedal to make up for some time. Picked "T" up and we were on our way. Phew!!!!! It's been a long time since he and I drove anywhere together. We talked a lot and listened to some 80's rock. He was just as nervous as I was. Butterflies in our belly's, palm's sweating, body jittering. We were all in the same boat. We made it to the court house maybe a half an hour before 4. Dad and his wife were there and we walked to the court room where the hearing would take place. There were 2 women sitting on the little couches outside of the room. I wondered if they were there for Chad's case. Turns out they were. My sister "M" showed up and two women our family has known for YEARS, Chad's babysitter (who babysat all my brothers including my oldest son) and her daughter. They are the sweetest ladies I tell ya. I forgot to bring a toilet paper roll with me to dry my tears and anybody else that might have needed it so I made a TP run in the bathroom at the court. No I didn't steal the roll but I took a LOT off of it and stuffed it in my pant pocket.

Chad's lawyer came to talk with us. This was the first time I actually got to meet her. CLASS ACT!! She took us in a open room that you go through before you actually go into the courtroom itself. You can see in there. His lawyer said the judge was finishing up with the previous cases for the day and would be taking a short break than proceed with Chad. When the judge left the podium is when we would be allowed to go into the room. The room looked like there were quite a number of people in there. She explained that she "thought" her family was there but wasn't sure yet. She mentioned a couple in the front that seemed very upset so she was assuming it was her parents but wasn't sure. I asked her if any of us as Chad's family would be allowed to speak. Unfortunately we wouldn't be allowed as it is only the victim's family that is given the opportunity to do so. I had a letter typed up just in case (I will publish at a later date) but I understood and was fine with not being able to read it. She assured us Chad is fine. She has spoken to him and he is ready to get this over with and she really thinks he is ok. She told us the media is beginning to show up and again just gave us a head's up to not approach the family, not shout anything out during the hearing and not give into the media's "BS" tactics. Can I just say, I like her. REALLY like her.

The judge took his break and in we went. His lawyer had us sit in the 2nd pew. My sister "M" was the first to be seated so Chad's lawyer whispered in her ear the lady at the end of the pew was a reporter so to ignore her. OH,OH,OH and guess who was sitting next to that reporter?? Camera man Joe from yesterdays hearing. Remember Mr. snappy fingers himself? Let me remind you real quick, the media has NO idea that Chad is pleading and being sentenced today. They believe he is being bound over for trial at today's hearing.

I didn't dare look around too much. It was a pretty "cold" court room. The walls might have been white but in my head they reminded me of an institutional green. It seemed so dreary in there. Bailiffs, sheriffs, lawyers, district attorney's, and clerks all over the place. People kept coming in and out. Then a lady came up and sat right behind the reporter next to my sister. She was also a reporter. They were having their "Hi how are you?" conversation when I felt a tap on my leg from my sister. She whispered in my ear "The reporter behind me asked the one sitting next to me if we were Chad's family and she said she thinks so but didn't know. Then she asked her if her family was there and she said she didn't know. Then the reporter that was sitting behind the other reporter said I can't believe his family is here. They should have enough respect for her family and not be here." Oh dear God you just might see my sister jump over this pew and mop this court room with the reporters head.

I CANNOT believe, no I take that back, I DO believe she would have the audacity to say such a thing because that is how the media is. They are in their own little bubble and all they are there for is a story. Plain and simple. They don't care who they hurt in the process as long as they get what they came for. I wanted to so badly to turn to her and tell her just what I thought and that I as well as MY family had EVERY RIGHT to be there and really chic-a-dee YOU should learn the definition of respect and ask yourself WHY THE HELL ARE YOU HERE because it certainly isn't in the best interest of any of us who are directly involved. But I held my tongue and kept my cool. If it weren't so important that I see my brother for what might be the last time for a while believe me, it would have been on and I myself may have been detained.
"All rise" came next. While I stood up, my heart went to the floor. Again, THIS WAS IT. I am in a court room with my family and hers and we are facing along with my brother sentencing for a homicide that he committed. "You may be seated." The judge than stated the case that had come forth and asked his lawyer if Chad was ready. She went to get him and he entered in. He didn't look at any of us but I know he knew we were there. Snap snap snap goes camera man Joe. The hearing began. Chad plead guilty to 1st degree homicide and 3rd degree desecration/abuse of a body. SURPRISE. I bet the media was like "whooooa" wait a minute. Chad then requested to the judge he be sentenced today. SURPRISE again. Those little fingers on those women just couldn't write fast enough on their little tablets.

Her family was given the chance to speak. Chad and his lawyer remained standing at the podium. This is something me, my dad, my sister and brother were all terrified of. This was the part I wasn't sure if I could take. I wasn't sure I would be able to listen to what they had to say. Only because I know who my brother is and the family he was raised in. But they were entitled to their feelings and they deserved to feel however they felt and Chad deserved to hear what ever they had to say. You just don't commit a crime like this and not expect to hear the words of the family who's life you took from them. Not only that but if you are man enough to stand up and face your charges and request sentencing that very day, than you are man enough to hear what the family has to say.

My sister grabbed my hand as her father approached the district attorney's side first and gripped it as hard as she could without pain. He didn't look at any of us as he walked by. A gentle soul he seemed to be and I couldn't imagine the race his heart is running. He stood up and looked at the judge and the very first two things he said as he opened was "I'm not mad at Mr. Mecham and I have forgiven him." My eyes wept with tear drops and I looked to the ceiling and said thank you Jesus. I had hoped one day they would be able to forgive Chad and her father has. He then went on to speak about his daughter and the joy she brought to his and her families life. The conversations they had, the things he could turn to her and ask if he needed help with a country song or about NASCAR and just the sweetness that she was and had. You could tell they had a very strong bond. He then went on to say that while he has forgiven Chad he does not feel he should receive any leniency. He believes that when someone does wrong, they should be held accountable and asked that Chad be sentenced to the maximum amount the law could allow. He was absolutely right. Chad DID do wrong, WAY WRONG, and had to be held accountable for his actions. Chad knew this and that's exactly why today went as it did. Too face his punishment and move forward.
Her brother than stood up as her dad did and talked briefly of his relationship with his sister. How much he misses her and what she meant to him. His words were not nearly as long as his dad's but it came down to the same point, he wanted Chad to be held fully accountable and asked that the court give him the maximum sentence allowed.
I was amazed at how calm these two men were. I was grateful for what they said. I know it could have been so much worse, but it wasn't. My dad thought they would for sure shred Chad to pieces and they very well could have, but they didn't. They said what they had too and somehow by the Grace of God spared all of us anymore hurt I guess.
Now the time had come. Sentencing was here. The judge talked to Chad in a calm but authoritative voice. It was nothing like you see or hear about in other cases when the families are lashing out, acting like fools in the court room and a judge ripping into the person standing before him for a crime he/she committed. It was nothing like that at all. He just simply stated the facts. That what Chad has done can never be restored, he can never fix what he has done, he can never take it back. But what he can do is make himself a better person in prison and possibly one day be able to apologize to her family for what he took from them. It all made perfect sense. "So on the count of 1st degree felony murder, I sentence you to the maximum time allowed of 15 years to life and on the 3rd degree felony desecration/abuse of a body, I sentence you to the maximum time allowed of 0-5 years at the Utah State Prison and they shall run concurrent." The judge went on to say that while he will have the opportunity for parole, when you have a sentence where life is on the end, it is usually closer to that time frame you do in prison rather than the minimum. After that, I don't remember what was said but when the judge was done, Chad was taken back to the holding cell by his lawyer.

I LOST IT. It was over. This all had come to an end. I bent over and put my hands over my face and just wept. Every emotion I had been carrying inside for the last 6 weeks just hit me. I KNEW it was coming and I KNEW "life" would be involved but actually hearing it from the judge and REALIZING this was the real thing, it just hit me so hard. I sat there for a few minutes and just cried, trying to catch my breath. I could feel my sister rubbing my back. I left the courtroom and went straight to the bathroom dodging every possible reporter I could. I put my elbows on the vanity and sobbed my heart out. I heard two people come in and thought my hell it's them. It's those reporters. It wasn't though. It was the babysitter and her daughter who rubbed my back and hugged me. I thanked them so dearly for being there for him and our family.
I composed myself enough to get out of the bathroom and who should I walk out too was my dad. He was waiting there for me with open arms. I grabbed him and hugged him so tight and told him how sorry I was. I told him I tried everything I could to keep Chad sober and on the right path and I really did. My dad was so upset. Crying himself, telling me he knew how much I did and how much I love Chad and still holding onto me. It was that daddy hug that you get when you're hurting so deep and nobody can make it better but him.

I looked back at the hallway I hope to never see again to find the reporters talking with the D.A. and I don't know who else. Dad wanted us to get out of there as soon as we could so we did. We walked out of the courtroom and walked past Chris Jones from Channel 2 and camera man Joe. I thought Chris was going to approach us but when he saw the tears on my dads face he looked as if he new better. After all, he was the one who called my dad the day Chad was arrested and my dad gave him a tongue lashing and hung up on him.

We all had parked our cars far away from the court. We all sat out there for a bit making sure we were all ok. Suddenly a lady approached us and asked my dad if he was Chad's dad. It was her, the victim's, best friend. She gave my dad a big hug telling him and the rest of us how sorry she was and they held no ill will towards any of us. We talked for about 10 minutes with her, well my dad did. I didn't know what to say. But she assured us all that there was no ill will and wow did that make my dad feel good. While he was torn up and his own tears were falling, he was so grateful to know that others cared from her side. As she was ready to leave I did ask her if she saw the victim's father often. She said once in a while but she sees the brother more often. I asked her if she would make sure that the father got a letter I had in my purse. I explained that if we would have been allowed to speak in court, this is what I would have said and to please make sure he received this and not the media. She assured me she would.
It's ironic. Today was EXACTLY 2 months to the day that Chad made the first withdrawal of $240.00 from my checking account to buy heroin and cocaine and 6 weeks from his arrest he has been sentenced for murder. Just three short months ago all seemed so good. Chad and I laughed together, we went to work together, we drove home from work together, we ate together, we hung out with each other, we lived together. I was so proud of him and the effort he was making to stay sober. I thought his life was finally changing. And now today, I along with my family, watched and heard the words said by a judge that my brother's life would now be a life sentence at the Utah State Prison. Life in prison. We have all been handed a life sentence. Just like his addiction became all of our addiction, the same stands for his 15 to life sentence.

In a months time (August to September) something went wrong. He lost hope, he lost faith and he lost his will to fight and he began to use his cocktail of choice again, speedballs. I don't know what happened the day he snapped and our lives including her familes lives hit a tailspin and I don't know if I ever want to know what happened, but I will say this. I know who my brother is. Yes we all have dark sides as I'm reminded of everyday in the case of Chad, but I know him as the loving brother that would give the shirt off his back and anything else he had when he is sober just like I know him as a drug addict. There are two sides to him and I'm proud he stood up and faced what he should have today. It was very admirable and responsible for Chad to do but most importantly, the RIGHT thing to do. I'm proud that he didn't put any of us through an unecessary trial which would have meant most of us being called to the stand. While this is NOT the life I would have ever wanted anybody in my family to go through, least of all a sibling, Chad has stood-up and is taking responsibility and that is all he can do at this point and for that, yes I am proud of him and I love him!!!

Fortunately for our families, Chad's case got little media attention. Yes it was still on some, not all, of the news channels and in the paper but because of the media frenzy the Elizabeth Smart case was attracting since Brian Mitchell was on trial this week, our family story wasn't the "main event" for the news to talk about so it didn't get a ton of attention and for that I'm relieved.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010







Let me just tell you about the MEDIA!!! These people that we refer to as our local news reporters, reporters that we COUNT on to deliver us the current events that are going on in our cities, states and nation are for the most part the most arrogant and idiotic people to deal with!!!! When it comes to the term accuracy, they fail. When it comes to the term compassion, they fail. When it comes to the saying "Leave me alone", they fail. No is not a word they recognize well by any means. It all comes down to that almighty story and who can break it first REGARDLESS that there are families involved. HEARTBROKEN families mind you.

Chad has made the headlines twice now. When he robbed the pharmacies for Oxycontin years ago, he was all over the news and then of course with the new charges he made the news as well. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to contact the newspapers AND the stations themselves and just let them have it. I mean when the manhunt was on for Chad this last time, one station had the car he was described as being in as a completely different vehicle than what it was. I mean really, if you are going to report on a manhunt and you expect the public to keep their eyes open and report any suspicion to their local authorities THAN HAVE THE CORRECT INFORMATION TO DO SO MORONS!!!!

Then there were the stories in the newspapers in reference to me, his sister, and that he stole $200.00 from my account to purchase heroin. I KNOW they got this information from the police report and or witness statement I had to fill out so head's up reporters, if you are going to report on a breaking news story and discuss what you found in these reports THAN READ THE WHOLE REPORT AND REPORT THE CORRECT INFORMATION IDIOTS!!!! It wasn't $200.00 that he took, it was $440.00 and it cleeeearly stated that in my reports. Yes it looks much worse for Chad but if you are going to write such a story and put your name on it than have the decency to know what the hell it is you're reporting on. In other words, GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!!!

Chad jumped from the balcony inside his housing unit at the jail on Thursday, October 7th. I was at my desk on Friday morning working when my cell phone began vibrating over and over again with text messages. I was being asked if I was ok and most importantly if Chad was ok. What struck me and I realized that I didn't have a clue what they were talking about is when somebody asked me if I saw the news that morning. So I pulled it up on my computer and there you have it. "Person of interest in Bountiful homicide placed on suicide watch." Tears fill my eyes and once again my stomach flips over as I continue to read the story that our reliable media reported on. They said he jumped head first from the 2nd balcony in the pod he was in and suffered head injuries and was taken to the local hospital. He was unconscious but responsive. When my brother jumped from the 2nd balcony at the jail, do you think anybody in his family was notified? Nope. Not one. Not even our dad!

So of course I pick up the phone to call my dad who didn't know either. He hadn't watched the news yet that morning so he had no clue of the current event. I then made a call the Davis county jail and left a message for the Chief asking one, was my brother was ok because the story stated he had head injuries and two, why did the media know about it before his own dad knew of it? To say the least, I was PISSED annnnnd not sure how much more I could stand or take!!!!!

Some who might read this would think "who cares if he jumped and was hurt, he gets what he deserves" or even harsher statements and I completely understand where they are coming from. The fact is, in a case such as this where a life has been taken, it is very easy and expected for people to judge and throw their opinions in the wind, even if they do know the facts. That's just how we the people have become. Most of us never think before speaking or most of us don't care what we're saying, as long as we get to say it.

Well here are a few facts about his "jump" or "leap":
  1. Chad didn't jump head first as stated NOR did he have head injuries! He jumped feet first.
  2. He stood up on the top railing of the 2nd level of the tier, 20 feet high NOT 10 feet, in the pod and jumped FEET first!
  3. He was taken to a local hospital and was found to have a broken lumbar vertebrae!
  4. The Chief didn't know the news already had the story and he didn't call our dad because it wasn't considered a "life threatening" incident and if it would have been then his family most definitely would have been notified.

So there ya have it on the jump story.

Then came November 17th. A status hearing for Chad. My dad, "M" and I went to this hearing. The court doors didn't open until 1:00 so we stood in the hall way hoping to dodge anybody media related. We sat on the little couches conversating about other things and acting non-shalant. A reporter was there and I knew he was so because he had a little tablet, pen and a badge around his neck and looked at the docket on the outside of the court door and Chad's name was the very first one. Then he walked straight towards us and all I could think in my head was "shit, please don't ask me a single thing. NOT ONE!!!"

Soon after a man came whipping around the corner with his turbo zoom camera and scopes that looked like they belonged in a Star Wars movie. Out of breath, he professed to the other bystanders waiting around the halls that he was there for the "Mecham" case. GREAT!!!! He was frazzled and rushed being that he was "at lunch" when he got the call and had to rush from Ogden to get to the court in time to snap his pictures for yet another story about Chad.

We sat in the back of the courtroom as far away from the reporters as possible. "M" said she heard the bailiff had ask him who he was there to take pictures of because camera's aren't allowed in the courtroom. He responded he had a warrant signed by the judge allowing him in to take pictures while Chad was in the court room. Really????? Does he look THAT different during each court appearance that you find it so intriguing to continue taking snap shots of him for your story? The public has no clue what he looks like right? Let's just keep twisting the knife through all of us, after all, he is no relation to you RIGHT? PRICK!

Chad was the first case. His lawyer wanted him in and out of there as soon as possible. When the courts announced Chad's name, "The State of Utah vs. Chad Mecham", camera man Joe went into action. The door opened and Chad walked into the courtroom, not knowing we were there, and snap, snap, snap, snap his camera went. The hearing was a FIVE minute hearing and I'm exaggerating the word "FIVE". Chad waived his right to a preliminary hearing and it was requested by his lawyer and Chad that it be turned over for arraignment to Judge so and so for tomorrow, November 18th at 4:00 p.m.. The judge asked Chad if he concurred with this, "yes sir" he said AND THAT WAS IT!!! Chad went back to the jail and voila, it's over.

Do you think the reporters stayed to take pictures or notes of the other cases. Nope. Those people aren't interesting enough. They don't have a story to tell. So they left. We stayed behind giving those vultures time to leave before we did.

The lesson I have learned through this entire ordeal and our media is that I will never pre-judge, judge or believe a single thing they report on. I mean for God's sake half the time the weather isn't even right, why would I ever believe anything else could be remotely right? Yes something may have happened but the facts or I should say the so called facts that are reported on the T.V., in the newspaper, or on the radio should be left for those at the core of the issue to tell once they can. Ever heard the saying "don't believe everything you hear?" Live by it!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A visit among all walks of life.

My dad, my sister "M" and I were granted a visit with Chad yesterday. He is in a maximum security unit at the jail so he isn't allowed visitation or phone privileges. Being that "M" was in town and we weren't sure when she might be able to see Chad again, gratefully the Chief approved an hour visit with Chad for the three of us. I haven't seen Chad since my first visit with him at the beginning of October so I was excited to see him and be able to share it with my dad and sister.

Walking through the parking lot and up to the building you can't help but look at the people entering and leaving the jail for visitation. Jails carry a stereotype in my opinion and I understand why. But if you have never been to or in as a visitor, it's easy to think the worst of the worst are their to visit the very worst of the worst. Not so. Not so at all!!! There are all different walks of life with different stories that enter through for visitation with an inmate. People dressed in their Sunday best, grandma's, grandpas, mom's, dad's, friends, aunt's or uncle's taking little one's into visit THEIR mommy's or daddy's or another relative. Upper, middle, and lower class NORMAL looking individuals all walking in and around the jail. Some look as if they are worried beyond belief and holding on with all their might. Some who you can tell it must be their very first time experiencing such a thing and they aren't sure of the process and there are those who have done this many, MANY times and it is just routine. In fact when you visit enough times, you begin to see the same people from time to time and if either of you are inclined to talk, you realize how many of us really are in the same boat....... just for different reasons, and you quickly realize, a bond has been created. Then you see those looking at you with the look that asks through their eyes "who are you here for and what did your inmate do?" I'm sure I have had that very same look on my face a time or two. Different walks of life making a jail visit to a loved one as part of their everyday lives JUST....LIKE....US!

We were put in a room with cold, cinder-block walls, two stainless steel stools and a huge window to separate us from Chad. An empty, sterile appearance best describes the room. We waited for maybe 10 minutes while they transported Chad from his pod to the area we were in. He arrived; red scrubs accessorized with a chain around the waist with Chad's hands handcuffed and attached to the chain in the front of him and his ankles shackled with handcuffs. I hate seeing him like this but I have so many times before that while I really never get used to it, I know what to expect. He looked great. He looked at me and I looked him and just smiled and said hi. He was a little dark under the eyes and thin but it is NIGHT and DAY from his mug shot.

He is doing as good as can be expected under the circumstances he endures. He is locked up for 23 hours a day in his own cell. They aren't the type of cells that have bars. They have doors that have holes in them to circulate the air. The inmates can't see each other unless they are being escorted outside of their cells. They only way they communicate is by talking through the doors. He said they memorize each other's voices and that's how they know who they are talking too. Because of his security level, the only commissary he is allowed is hygiene, envelopes, paper and pencils. He said this jail is a lot different from SL County and it has its pro's and con's but he is adapting and doing what he must do.

Having that much time in a cell with NO T.V. and no "out" time other than his hour to shower and exercise, he has a LOT of thinking time and it sucks he says. It's hard on the mind but he's getting used to it. He reads when he is able to get a book and writes letters and that helps him. He is anxious to leave the jail. He is ready to face sentencing and just wants it to be done and over with so he can be moved and start his new life and begin facing what he must, his punishment! I have no idea what is going on in regards to that part of things. That is something for Chad and his lawyer to know and when sentencing comes, that is when I will know, unless he decides to tell me before that.

I'm so happy my sister got this time as well. It is excruciating for her because she lives so far away. The miles of distance and the "not knowing" get to her and she has had many breakdowns because truly at times, this is unbearable to live with. I have had one breakdown thus far. It happened last week. I have avoided his room at all costs as I have mentioned before. I feel like he has passed away, therefore it's so hard for me to walk in a room with his belongings and scent. Remembering him in his room, cleaning it or folding his clothes or just walking in there while he slept, making sure he was ok and telling him I loved him. It's unbelievably raw!! But with "M" coming up, I had to put the comforter on the bed after the bedding had been cleaned.

What an eery feeling to confront. A room in my very own house that I have to become reacquainted with. I picked up the white T-shirt he last wore before he changed and left Sunday, September 19th. I held it with both hands, squeezing it to my face and breathing him into my heart and mind. The uncontrollable tears welled out of my eyes and I just let them flow. They drenched my eyes and face and it felt so good to let them go but man I was and continue to be SO heartbroken. I want my brother back damn it!!!!!! I want her to be alive!!!! I want all of this to go away, not be real, be that nightmare I'm still begging to be shook out of. But sadly, it's not. It's no longer what I want anymore, it's what it is and what it is is what we will all have to learn to live with as we continue to breathe and live on.

It's been 4 days since "M" has been here and she has yet to sleep in his room. It was difficult enough hanging her clothes next to his in the closet and just being in there. We both do the same thing when we go in there, go in quick and get out quick. It's straight up HORRIBLE!!!!

Our visit came to a bittersweet end. We said our good-bye's and turned to leave. I had yet to take my first steps to walk out of the room when I looked back for a quick look at him only to find my brother lying flat on his back on the floor laughing. I shouted out "are you okay, what happened?" as we all looked back at him. The shackles around his feet somehow got stuck on the stool I guess and he lost his balance and fell backwards. Of course we were laughing to because he was but I was so scared for him. When he jumped off the 2nd floor balcony a few nights after his arrest, he broke his L5 vertebrae and now he has fallen backwards on his already injured back. GOOD HELL!!!! The laughing among us all after we realized what happened and as we watched him pull himself up definitely lifted the heavy hearts we began to have as our visit came to an end but I still had to take those steps to leave. I kept looking back for one more look. I don't know when I will see Chad again but I thank you Deputy Chief Yeaman from the bottom of my heart for giving me, my sister and my dad today!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A midnight email.

I get SO many emails and I decided while things are quiet in the office I would go through them and get rid of the ones I don't need. I stumbled on this email I received from Chad on August 11, 2010, just a month before he relapsed. This is just a small example of who Chad is when he is free from heroin.

From: Chad Mecham
Sent: Wed, August 11, 2010 12:14:39 AM
Subject: Hi

I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate everything you do for me. I hope you know how grateful I am to have you as my sister. You have done so much for me that words can't express how greatly appreciated you are. You've stuck by my side through thick and thin, yes we have had our problems and issues, but we've worked past them and I hope we can continue to build our relationship. I feel like I can talk to you about anything and you'll keep an open mind regardless if it's wrong or right. Thank you so much for being the person that you are, I look up to you more than you will ever know. I know if I ever need to talk, you're the first one I would go to. Thank you far all your help with my bullshit, you don't have to do what you do, but you continue to do it. Why? I don't know, I can't answer that. All I know is that I love you tremendously and always will, you mean so much to me, you've impacted my life in so many ways that it would be impossible to list them...You are an amazing person, sister, mom, daughter, aunt, and so on...You have so many great chracteristics about you. I love having you as my sister. I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am, I don't think I tell you how really grateful I am...Thank you so much Mindy, I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for you. I love you so, so much and always will...Thanks for keeping me positive during my low times and your constant motiviation to try and keep me positive...You are loved so much by me and others, I love you sis...Have a good day...
Your little bro,
aka "cabana boy"

I love you

Monday, November 8, 2010

The black out

This weekend was a HUGE rival game for our Utes. It was the black out game against TCU. Chad and I went to the same game a couple of years ago. Their were a couple different things from that game vs. this one. The game a couple years ago was on a weeknight, this one was on a Saturday so needless to say I was exhausted when I woke up and had to go to work. The game Chad I went too was an evening game and FREEZING cold, but this game was during the day and it was a very abnormal 70 degrees. The Ute's won at the game Chad and I went to but this year the Ute's unfortunately got their tail-feathers stomped. I am extremely thankful for this memorable time I had with Chad. I almost didn't go it was on a weeknight and I hate dragging ass to work because I haven't had my many hours of sleep but I had a little somethin somethin nudging me and I went. Must have been my sweet grandma up above pushing me knowing one day I might not have another opportunity with Chad. She was right, thanks Grandma. The story of our college game night is a funny one. Here is how it rolled:

My big little brother got tickets from his boss for the TCU vs. UTAH Utes game. For anybody out there that knows anything about college football...this was a VERY important game for the Utes and I hate so say their name but the BYU Cougars as well. TCU is known to be a REALLY good team and that they are. They are fast....extremely fast and their QB is allowed, way, way WAAAY to much time in the pocket. So Chad wants to know if I want to go to the game with him. Why not? It's football which I love, spending time with my brother which is a rarity, and being out in the cold for some reason just made the game sound more fun. So I went and we had a BLAST!!!! Paid $4.00 each for a cup of hot chocolate that was oh so yummy and $8.00 each for a smothered burrito that was cold by the time we got to our seats but who was football stadium food.
Kickoff started and the game began. There was a cool breeze that kind of chilled you to the bone if you didn't dress appropriately which by the way, was the case of my brother. DUH!!! How do you go to an OUTSIDE football game that starts at 6:00 at night the day after a snow storm not to mention the fact that your stadium just HAPPENS to sit under the snow packed mountains????? Once again can you say DUH?? He wore thin socks, Levi's, a T-shirt and a hoodie. That's it!!! Can you say a tad under dressed for the occasion. MOOOORRRROOON!!! I swear while he was getting ready for his favorite color had to have been clear. Again, I was the smart one...I wore three shirts, doubled up on socks and had a coat!

The game went on, the cheers went on and after 3 hours of wondering if we could pull it off...we did. The bad thing thought. My brother was so cold that we left the LAST 4 minutes of the game, Utes were down by 4. I had a gut instinct we shouldn't leave but feeling bad for my freezing brother, I gave in. What a sucker. Walking through the cold air, knees and toes aching from the cold after sitting so long we suddenly hear "TOUCHDOWN" Utah and a ROARING crowd that we should have been in. Can I just say my brother is lucky to be alive. How could he be so cold that he couldn't stick out 4 more minutes? And if he really was that cold, it was his own fault for dressing like all he was going to do was walk through a parking lot to get into a warm store. UGHHHH!!!! I missed the best part of the game because of his stupid shivers.

Oh well, I am thankful I got to go. It has been a long time since I spent time like that with Cheek. We had awesome seats that mind you were free AND I got a free towel. Yep Yep. It was all worth it. At least for me it was. I was warm!!!!

So, so glad I can look back on this night. Thanks Chad for the free tickets and thanks for thinking of taking me. I know you could have taken anybody but you chose me. Thanks again!