What happened

On February 18th, 1993 I got the call that is every mother's worst nightmare. My oldest son was shot and killed. The worst part is that he pulled the trigger. He was 17 years old.

On September 22nd, 1999 his little brother (then 22) went to the cemetary where Shane's ashes are and shot himself in the head. He wanted to be with his brother--wherever that is when you kill yourself.

It was also what happened between their deaths. Howie, Ryan's best friend, was murdered. His brief story in the blogs posted.

How much could one 22 year old take?

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Parents Who Did Something Grand

I first wanted to widely open up the discussion of suicide prevention, especially in young men. Maybe I could finally write like I've always wanted to and out of that will come words that will lift the pain of others. I had visions that sales from this book would open a new organization or place or something that would be safe for these young men to go for help.

I'm a private person and have always felt sorry for those in the limelight who have cameras flashing at them, have stories from their past told on the front page of a rag magazine, and condemning critics. I was willing to give myself totally to the effort, take the flashlight and point it.

I wanted to make something of this like Mark Klaas did when his daughter, Polly was murdered. Or how John Walsh started such a wonderful organization and made us all aware with Adam's story. Wonderful laws are being made to protect our children by the energy of grieving parents all over this country.

To get out my writer's nervous energy, I now write to our Soldiers overseas. I'm on the official Soldier's Angels Letter Writing Team.It makes me feel good to think that because I spend a little time each week and one stamp that I can comfort someone serving our country if only for the few minutes it takes to read it.

After I made a couple of quilts for our wounded troops, that led to the information about the Women's Center being built and started in Afghanistan. I volunteered to take on the need for aprons for these women who are desperately wanting to learn how to can food.

So, maybe I don't have the courage or enthusiasm to open up the wounds of suicide and try to help someone else. But I CAN write a letter and sew some scraps of cotton together to make quilts and aprons.

For now, that's how I'm coping. I once heard that sewing is a number one stress reducer. All I know is that when I'm sewing and making something that others will truly appreciate and make them feel good, it keeps me going. It's actually quite addictive.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Then there was Howie

A few years after Shane died, Ryan was finally getting to the point where he could go hang out with friends and have fun. One night his friends came to pick him up and go to Howie's house (out in the country) to play pool and hang out.

The next morning I was awakened to Ryan crumpled over on the stairs with a living room full of teenage boys. Ryan was crying that Howie got shot and died. They had all spent the night at the hospital.

It also happened to be the morning of the Oklahoma City bombing. What in the heck is happening in this world?

Evidentally, a deranged, drunken father of a girl from their school showed up at midnight, forced his way into Howie's home, held a gun to his forehead and pulled the trigger. Mistaken identity. He was looking for another one of their friends. He chased my son through the house like an animal while Ryan pleaded for his life. The shooter didn't shoot Ryan.

We had to go through not one, but two trials. If none of you have ever been involved in a murder, when we got to court (which was many miles away each day), there were 16" x 20" enlargements of Howie's face with a black hole in his forehead on display throughout the entire 4 day trial.

Surreal. I finally learned what that word means. I sat there in a courtroom out in the country hills looking at a man who tried to kill my son, and did kill his best friend, Howie.

It was a few years later when my uncle, Phil, died and we had to go to the funeral. Uncle Phil was Ryan's father image. Phil and Ryan were very close, and Ryan had as much as any 19 year old could take. His brother, his best friend, his father figure. Ryan sat next to me for the longest time and then disappeared into the men's room. I convinced him to come out and we'll go home.

A few year's later Ryan went to the cemetary to join his brother and his friend. He told me once that he wished that shooter had of just killed him, too, right there that night with Howie.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Even though I think of my boys every single day of the year, today my precious Ryan left this world 11 years ago today. God rest his soul. I love you, Ryan.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Some years when the boys' birthdays come around I do pretty good at saying a prayer and moving along through the day. Other years, like today, I wake up remembering what a beautiful day this was 35 years ago when my baby boy, Ryan, came into my world. And I feel sad. And I can't seem to pull myself out of it. Even by making fun plans for this afternoon with my little man, I still just want to go crawl back into bed under the covers. And so it goes. Oh, I know, after this many years one would think I'm used to celebrating the boys' birthdates without them. One would think wrong. God bless my boys in Heaven, and please give me strength to make it through yet another special day without my precious boys. Amen.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy July 4th!

This is one of the holidays I miss my boys the most. The family getting together, picnics full of food, parades, and fun blowing up little toys.  I don't, however, miss the day full of nail-biting praying that they stay safe from fireworks. In that respect, it was one of a mother's worst days.

I only pray now that Shane and Ryan see the beautiful celebration of fireworks from the best viewing spot in the Heavens, and that they watch out for all the little people and keep them safe from harm.

God bless my boys, and God bless the USA.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Shane

                                                October 25, 1977 - February 22, 1993

Happy Birthday, Shane!

You would have been 34 today.