The 1927 Christmas Day Shootout

side_2It was a night the town wanted to forget.

The end to a year of tension in the small city — a place that dreamed of growing into an industrial magnet — that boiled over into violence.

In less than 10 minutes, five men lay dead in the street; another would die later from his wounds. Twenty-six children became fatherless. In a parked car 150 feet away, a little boy cowered in the cold as an exchange of shotgun blasts at close quarters shattered a window and blew away the car’s radiator cap.

It was Christmas night 1927 in South Pittsburg, Tenn., and the violence was all but inevitable.
This deadly clash, fueled by politics and a fight over attempts to unionize the town’s largest employer, will be commemorated today on the site of the shootout with a historic marker memorializing those killed and recognizing an event that for decades was spoken of in hushed tones or, most of the time, not at all.

In the mid-1920s, company owner Henry Wetter wanted to operate his stove factory on Cedar Avenue as a nonunion shop, but many of the company’s employees and four local unions wanted it to remain unionized, according to a 2004 Tennessee Historical Quarterly article written by Dr. Barbara S. Haskew and Dr. Robert B. Jones III., both formerly of Middle Tennessee State University.

Rather than give in, Wetter closed the factory’s doors to union workers at the end of 1926 and surrounded the plant with barbed wire.

Inside, a skeleton crew of nonunion workers labored under the angry eyes of strikers outside on Cedar Avenue.

In the year that followed, Wetter’s decision caused the local economy to suffer. Residents faced increasing fear, anger and picket lines. Many chose sides. Republican Marion County Sheriff Washington Coppinger led one group of union sympathizers. Ben Parker, the town’s night marshal, led the other faction.

In the fall of 1927, the Wetter company posted a man with field glasses on the roof to identify union workers who passed by the shop in violation of an injunction issued that summer prohibiting union supporters from “picketing and patrolling” near the plant.

South Pittsburg Mayor Alan Kelly, representing Wetter, prosecuted some 70 union men for defying provisions of the injunction, convicting 11 of them.

The injunction was dissolved at the end of November, but workers still were locked out when Christmas came, with only strike benefits to provide for their families.

The split was visible in the two community Christmas trees — one erected by the city and the other raised by union supporters. Union and nonunion men armed themselves and nonunion workers were escorted to Wetter by armed company guards.

On Christmas morning, a group of more than a dozen angry men accosted Kelly on the street, demanding that the guards and strikebreakers be disarmed and threatening to do it themselves.
Emotions ran high through the day, and a deputy saw city Marshal Ewing Smith push a union member and draw a gun on him. When the deputy tried to intervene, Smith and other city officers, including Ben Parker, aimed their weapons at him.

The deputy notified Coppinger of the incident.

Around 9 p.m., Coppinger and three other deputies arrived and encountered the “city gang” at the intersection of Cedar Avenue and Third Street. A group of men with shotguns jumped out of a car and joined the city officers, among them some Wetter guards.

Coppinger told the group he wanted no trouble but said he would have to arrest the officers who had drawn their guns on his deputy.

In moments, shotguns fired and history was made.

Onlookers reported that there was an initial hail of gunfire, a lull, then an endless exchange of fire as the city and county forces blasted away at each other, separated by a bare 30 feet. More than 100 shells were found at the scene, and gunshots pocked the brick of nearby buildings and shattered store windows.

The governor called the National Guard to restore order.

And the city buried its dead. The shootout claimed the lives of Coppinger, his deputy Lorenza A. Hennessey, Parker, Smith, Wetter guard Oran H. LaRowe, and South Pittsburg Police Chief and county deputy James Connor.

Twenty or more men were believed to be involved in the shootout and at least four were injured but survived. Those receiving slight wounds were, John Holden, Lafayette Nelson, and Charles Tidman. As a guard against other trouble that might arise between citizens as a result of Sunday night’s street battle, the city authorities were soon in touch with Governor Horton who rushed to the scene troops of the Tennessee National Guard, under Lieut. Col. Bushhotlz who at once took up their work of patrolling the streets of the city.

   

A Father Chooses Compassion When Confronting His Son’s Bully!

 

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A father in Houston, Texas, is being applauded for choosing kindness instead of anger when confronting the boy who’d been bullying his son at school. Their heartening story has been shared thousands of times, and now the father says the two boys are closer than ever.

Last week, Aubrey Fontenot uploaded a Twitter video of himself taking the former bully, whose name is Tamarion for a ride in an effort to get to the bottom of what was going on between he and Fontenot’s son, Jordon. Fontenot, a local tattoo artist, said he simply wanted to know why his son was being picked on. That’s when he got the answer he was not expecting.

It turns out Tamarion was himself being teased by other kids for wearing dirty clothes.

“I asked ‘Who? You’re big, who is picking on you?’ He [Tamarion] said ‘All the other kids, they make fun of me,’” Fontenot told KHOU, recalling their conversation.

A phone call to the boy’s mother revealed the family had fallen on hard times and was experiencing homelessness. Fontenot said he knew he had to do something and later treated Tamarion to a shopping trip, buying him new clothes and shoes.

‘We have no clue what these children are going thru these days because a lot of us just don’t care,” Fontenot wrote in an Oct. 17 Facebook post. “And this isn’t a uncommon story for a lot of people .. so I spent a lot of my day yesterday by shopping and teaching this young man about self respect. Integrity. Morals. Confidence. And other things that consist of going from a troubled youth to a great man

“We all come from different backgrounds but we all share the same goal of success,” he added.

A once timid Tamarion walked out of the store with confidence, and the two shared plenty of laughs, even singing a song on the way home, as seen in Fontenot’s heartwarming video.

The life lesson didn’t end there. The doting father posted a video the following day of Tamarion and Jordan sitting face to face, albeit awkwardly, to hash out their issues. The boys didn’t say much to one another at first.

“Speak your mind, son,” the tattoo artist says in the video. “This is a meeting. We’re having a meeting.”

Once the camera was off, Fontenot said the kids talked things over and were fast friends in no time, even playing video games together. The father said even he learned something from watching the two.

“It taught me something. I was angry at first, then I said let me try something different,” Fontenot told KHOU.

Fontenot has since launched a GoFundMe campaign to benefit Tamarion and his family, who’ve been staying at a hotel. So far, the page has raised over $24,000 in donations, more than exceeding its original goal of $7,000.

Love and compassion is always so much better.  We never know what other people are going through.

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The Painting

It was a beautiful fall morning. The brightly colored leaves were falling as the wind gently blew through the trees with a whistling sound. Sindy awakened from a deep sleep, panting and perspiring holding her head in her hands. As she sat up in bed, immediately her eyes widened as they searched around the room as if to make sure an intruder hadn’t entered. Her husband Alexander, whom she called Alex for short rolled over in bed asking, “Another bad dream?” She started holding her chest, yes, but this time, he is getting closer and closer to me. Honey, you’re not going to believe this, but it’s almost as if he is someone I should know. It’s just too weird! Grabbing her robe off the back of the chair by the bed, she begins putting it on, while saying, I don’t understand these dreams, but I do remember as a teenager having some over the top ones and talking to my mother about them. Mother would always tell me I had a very vivid imagination and would just leave it at that. Never once did she question me about the details of my dreams or ask how they made me feel. I wish she would have, that way I could have opened up and told her how frightened they made me feel and how the man in my dreams looked so familiar as if I should know him. Before walking out of the bedroom, she mumbles under her breath, no child should feel like they’re being stalked by a grown man.
Alexander and Sindy Langston had been together since college. They married right after graduating from University and had been married four years when their lives would suddenly take a turn for the Supernatural. Their love for one another was something out of a storybook, but one year ago Sindy was involved in a horrible vehicle accident where a drunk driver ran into her lane and struck the left side of the car as she tried swerving to keep from being hit head-on. She was taken to the hospital with a head injury and in serious condition, while the drunk driver was treated at the scene with minor bruises and abrasions. After arriving at the hospital, Sindy suffered cardiac arrest and was clinically dead for 5 minutes. The doctors worked on her and were able to shock her heart back to a normal rhythm. All medical staff said it was a miracle she survived the accident. Alex sat by her side day and night, talking to her, holding her hand, praying over her and making sure when his breakdown moments came, he left the room to cry and did not cry in the room with her. Sindy and Alex’s parents flew in to be of support, and both families were amazing and what this young couple needed to assure Sindy’s recovery.

Miraculously, Sindy made a full recovery and was released after spending six months in the hospital and undergoing therapy. Alex took his beautiful bride home accompanied by all four parents, but they would not expect nor have any idea of what they were about to endure or come face to face with. With Sindy’s head injury and the fact that she actually died and was clinically dead for 5 minutes, she had actually traveled to the other side. She came in contact with friends, family members and also people whom she never met who had passed away long ago and also recently. She would soon come to remember these things as time went on.
That first night went off without a hitch as Alex, his parents Rob and June, and also Sindy’s parents Terrence and Willa were there helping out since Alex had to return to work the next day where he was the CEO of a major Telecommunications company in the city. The second day would be a little trying as when morning breaks, Sindy awakens to find herself face to face with her grandmother Lannie, her mother’s mother who passed away 10 years prior. Her grandmother was standing at the foot of the bed; she was alone in the room because Alex had already left for work. Her grandmother was only there for a few seconds, but during those brief seconds, she telepathically told Sindy that she would always watch over her, not to be afraid of her new gift, embrace it, help others and that she loves her very much, then was gone. Sindy couldn’t understand what her grandmother meant and thought it was associated with her head injury. She didn’t say anything about it but it stayed on her mind and she was truly confused. As days, months and a year went by, Sindy recovered and the couple went on with their lives.

Sindy, a licensed Real Estate Broker, ran and operated her own real estate company in which she was very passionate about knowing she was helping people realize their dreams of becoming homeowners. The couple had drifted back into the lives they lived before the accident and were spending time with friends, enjoying going to the Symphony, Theater, out to restaurants and their true love, the Art Galleries. There was a particular gallery named “The Valiant Art Gallery” they frequented quite a bit and had a great rapport with the owner. The couple enjoyed standing to look at the paintings and showing one another their favorite and saying one day they would own one. Sindy fell in love with a particular painting of a handsome young man with dark raven colored hair and hazel eyes standing in a field of flowers with trees behind him, wearing a black trench coat. This was the painting she wanted badly and told her husband how much it would mean to her to buy the painting one day. They talked about it and he told her that maybe one day they could afford it, and left it at that.

A few months later, Alex came home with something huge, wrapped in beautiful paper. He gave it to her and told her to open it. To her surprise, it was the painting she admired of the man standing in the field! He told her he bought the artwork just to cheer her and she deserved it.

Shocked and happy, as she had admired this painting for months and expressed her love for it. She raved over what she called the chiseled features of the gorgeous dark raven haired man in the black trench coat. There was just something about a masculine man standing in a field of flowers with a backdrop of trees. She couldn’t take her eyes off of the painting each time she visited the gallery. It seemed like the painting drew her in and she could feel some sort of energy coming from it. As she stared at the painting she began to remember as a teen dreaming of a man that seemed to be in love with her and possibly even stalking her. This beautiful man looked just like that man from her dreams, but was it actually him? She was finding herself excited and it gave her a sudden rush, and her woman parts began to pulsate.

This was the surprise of a lifetime and she was so excited at the fact that number one, Alex remembered she loved this painting. Number two, he was willing to shell out $20 thousand dollars just to cheer her up and number three, it showed just how much he does listen to her, loves her and would do anything to make her happy. Sindy walked over to her husband, eyes still transfixed on the man, suddenly heard a voice say, “I have searched the world over for you and have finally found you, my love.” It took her back and for a second she thought Alex had said this but couldn’t make sense of why he would say something like that; furthermore, the accent was British. Still staring and gazing at the painting, she said, “Alex what are you talking about?” He said, I didn’t say anything sweetheart, I am just taking at the moment and relishing in your beauty, happiness and my love for you.

Finally able to break away from the painting, she smiled, wrapped her arms around her husband’s neck, thanking him for everything as she gently kissed his lips. She pulled back saying, this has to be one of the happiest moments of my life, and how you managed to keep it a secret from me, I will never know. Their parents had left a week earlier and this was something Sindy wished her mother could experience with her since she had expressed her love for the painting many times during their lengthy conversations.
Alex went to work hanging the painting for Sindy as she stared at it in deep thought, playing decorator as she told her husband where to hang it and after what seemed like 20 minutes or so, they both agreed to hang it in their living room over the fireplace, with Sindy assuring it was centered properly. Once hung, her eyes lit up as she smiled and took a seat on the sofa so she could continue gazing at it. For a brief second, it seemed to come to life, and she actually thought she saw the flowers, trees and man’s trench coat blowing in the wind! The artist had done an incredible job and she often wondered was this painted from an actual model, or could this man have been a figment of the artist’s imagination? Nevertheless, he still was familiar and she wanted to put her finger on why.
The couple ate dinner, showered and dressed for bed. As they were headed upstairs to bed, Sindy turned and gave the painting one last look and let out a loud gasp. It looked as though the man was no longer in the painting but standing in front of the fireplace. Alex, asking her what was wrong and holding on to her waist, she tells him, oh it was nothing sweetheart, I just had a sudden pain while climbing the stairs. He smiled at her and helped her to bed. Snuggling, the couple made love that night and Alex fell asleep, leaving Sindy in bed trying to find a comfortable spot to sink into, but unable to find one, she soon climbed out of bed and made her way downstairs to the kitchen for a cup of tea.

As she entered the kitchen, she pulled back the kitchen curtain and stood to look out the window at her beautiful backyard and the brightly lit swimming pool. She exhales taking in the beauty as she thinks to herself how blessed she is and grateful for her health, strength, and husband. She then turned and walked over to the cabinet and took a box of tea out and put on a kettle of water. As the kettle began to warm on the stove, she started gazing into the living room at the painting of her gentleman stranger. She must have been standing there a good 5 – 10 minutes when the tea kettle began to whistle, which startled her. After pouring herself a cup of hot water and dropping a tea bag into the cup, she walked into the living room to stare at the painting again. Before long, she starts feeling strange, as if she’s being watched. Brushing it off, she sipped a teaspoon of her tea and sat on the sofa to gather her strength as the feeling grew stronger and there was no doubt she was not alone in the room. Trying to brush the feeling off, she continued drinking her tea, saying to herself, Sindy, you’ve got to pull it together, before everyone around you starts to think you’re cracking up. As she was talking to herself, she heard a voice saying, “Yes knock off the nonsense, you’re not going crazy, you are mine and I’ve traveled through time to reunite with you, my love.” Terrified, she began to look around the room to see if her husband had awakened and was pulling a trick on her, although she knew that wasn’t in his nature to do that sort of a thing, she still gazed around the room.
After not seeing anyone, she took another drink of her hot tea and stared at the painting again, this time, the man was gone from the field of flowers and the wind was blowing through the flowers and trees. She couldn’t move she was stuck on the sofa, paralyzed with fear and she noticed right in front of her a dark mass growing on the hardwood floor, the room grew cold as a portal opened in the floor and a figure manifested itself right in front of her. It was the man from the painting and he was more handsome than in the portrait. His hazel eyes were hypnotizing, his raven curly hair was blowing and the air-conditioning wasn’t on, it was fall and the weather was nice and cool. He was tall, she imagined him to be at least 6 foot 2 and about 185 pounds. His trench coat was fluttering like it was being gently blown in the wind; his face was absolutely flawless with a small thin mustache, as though someone took a chisel and delicately chiseled his beautiful features. Unable to scream or take her eyes off of him, her body became weak and she felt as though she would faint and he glided, not walked over to her and carefully placed his arms around her as to secure her as he stood her up, embracing her with his body. Looking deeply into her eyes as if looking into her soul and she felt every ounce of his energy as he brought his lips to meet hers, kissing her deeply. She could actually feel the warmth of his breath and taste his lips, which were unlike anything she ever tasted before, but she loved it. Memories started flooding back to her that he was the man she dreamt of as a teenager, and he made certain she knew that. It was another place in time when life was simple, but yet beautiful, she and her dark-haired stranger were magically out of their minds in love. She immediately knew there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about her feelings, the flood of emotions were too strong. She was getting ready to give herself to someone she knew in another lifetime and this was almost too much to comprehend. She was paralyzed and taken by his eyes as she was transfixed on his and couldn’t do anything as he guided her hand inside his shirt to touch and feel his chest. He began to stroke her face. She then realized she wanted him in the worst way and wanted him in her world, or she is his? The answer would come much too soon!
The moment was so intense that she was trembling as she suddenly remembered the stranger wasn’t a stranger at all, but her husband in another lifetime. The two were married in the late 1700’s. Their love was not meant to last a lifetime due to Sindy being struck and killed by a horse-driven carriage driven by a drunken stagecoach driver. Her husband at that time was Alexander Crumwald, a wealthy banker. She remembered everything and as he laid her down on the sofa to love her; at that moment her husband of this time, Alex came down the stairs to see where she was, but it was too late! The atmosphere grew even colder; the lights began to flicker as a fog developed in the room. Alexander Crumwald entered her as her present-day husband Alex stared in disbelief and anger but was frozen in his steps, trying to move to save his wife, but he would not be able to save her. His heart was pounding in fear; he could feel the adrenaline rushing through his body. The lights began flickering faster as her mind was still flooded with memories of their past. She and Alexander kissed madly caressing one another, their bodies moving in perfect rhythm, as he smelled her scent, she held onto him as if she were afraid he would leave her again as they reached their peak; and slowly began to fade from the sofa, entering the painting above the fireplace. The couple now embraced in one another’s arms, she wears a long white dress with a sun hat, and he still dressed in the same garments. It was only when Alex was able to move and could not believe what he just witnessed. He screamed out Sindy’s name as he searched the room for her. She would not be found anywhere in the room or house for that matter. He sat on the living room sofa and began to cry and scream, but suddenly heard her soft voice say, “Alex, I have gone home with my true husband, look at the painting and you will see me. I loved our time together, but my true home is with Alexander. Farewell, my love, you will find someone and love again.”

The painting would remain hung in the living room, as Alex filed a missing report on his wife. After remaining in the house another four years. The police never found his wife, it was as if she just disappeared without a trace.

Alex eventually sold the house, destroyed the painting and moved out of state.

WRITTEN BY: JASMINE D. PARKER
10/27/18

Depression is a Beast!

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DEPRESSION IS A BEAST!

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called “Major Depressive Disorder,” or “Clinical Depression,” it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living. Feeling as though you’re trapped on the ocean in a dark storm screaming for someone to rescue you before the boat you’re in collapses and sinks to the bottom of the ocean.

More than just about of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. Depression may require long-term treatment. But don’t get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both.

For many people with depression, symptoms usually are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others. Some people may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.

Symptoms

Although depression may occur only once in your life, people typically have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:

Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.

Symptoms of depression in older adults

Depression is not a normal part of growing older, and it should never be taken lightly. Unfortunately, depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated in older adults, and they may feel reluctant to seek help. Symptoms of depression may be different or less obvious in older adults, such as:

Memory difficulties or personality changes
Physical aches or pain
Fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems or loss of interest in sex — not caused by a medical condition or medication
Often wanting to stay at home, rather than going out to socialize or doing new things
Suicidal thinking or feelings, especially in older men.

Signs that it’s time to seek help from a doctor:

If you feel depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor or mental health professional as soon as you can. If you’re reluctant to seek treatment, talk to a friend or loved one, any health care professional, a faith leader, or someone else you trust.

Call for emergency help:

If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Also, consider these options if you’re having suicidal thoughts:

Call your doctor or mental health professional.
Call a suicide hotline number — in the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Use that same number and press “1” to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community.
If you have a loved one who is in danger of suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Or, if you think you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.

For those of us who suffer from depression, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about and we should understand that there are professionals out there who are trained and can assist with this common disorder that has been around from the beginning of time. Depression is nothing new, it’s just something that many have tried sweeping under the rug and not talking about. It’s out in the open now and people are discussing it more and more, because it’s affecting more and more people in this world.

Many blessings to all and I hope this helps at least one person who reads it!

When did Working an Honest Job Become a Shameful Thing?

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It seems that every time you watch the news, log into social media or turn on the radio, you are hearing more stories of individuals who feel it’s their job and duty to either body shame another, call others names based on their skin color, religion, financial status and now we have people shaming an actor for taking a job to supplement his income while he’s acting. An honest living to pay the bills and keep food on the table for his family, but he has a photo taken of him working and plastered on social media and people start shaming and attacking him for working an honest job.

I don’t understand what this world is coming to, there’s way too much name-calling, disrespecting and humiliating one another and it seems to be getting worse than better. You don’t see people shaming the burglars, drug dealers, shoplifters and gangsters out on the streets about the lives they live and what they consider their jobs.  This is not a representation of what and who we are as people and sure isn’t making a positive impact on our young children who are already faced with the inevitable day to day.  It doesn’t matter if one washes dishes, sweeps floors or feeds cattle to supplement their income,  as long as they are working an honest job and taking care of their families.

One of the many stories that have been circulating social media has been the one of former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens working at a New Jersey Trader Joe’s supermarket. The story along with photos has garnered a strong reaction from fans and celebrities alike.

Owens is best known for playing the Huxtables’ son-in-law, Elvin Tibideaux, in the popular sitcom from 1985 to 1992. In August 2018, a customer shopping at a Trader Joe’s in New Jersey recognized him working there and took pictures of him weighing potatoes and bagging groceries.

Owens had been working at the grocery store for more than a year but had apparently kept that fact from his son. He has since quit due to the overwhelming attention that made it impossible to do his job.

“Even before the wave of support rolled in within an hour or two, he sent me a beautiful text back about how proud he was of me. I cried, I just broke down,” the actor admitted. “He felt the opposite of embarrassment. He was so proud that I had taken the job. It was beautiful.”

Naturally, after the photos went viral, they sparked outrage from many who believed Owens was being job-shamed. After the outrage, there were questions raised about just how much TV actors really make. Of course, there are some TV stars who are paid very well, many making hundreds of thousands of dollars per episode but that’s not the case with everyone, especially those who have smaller roles on the shows in which Owens did in the tv shows he appeared in.

On September, 4th, Owens appeared on Good Morning America to explain just how he felt about his picture being taken and the response he has gotten.

“I was really devastated, but the period of devastation was so short,” Owens said on the morning show as he proudly sported his Trader Joe’s name tag. “My wife and I started to read these responses from literally all over the world. Fortunately, the shame part didn’t last very long.”

He went on to say that he took the job at the grocery store because it allowed him the “flexibility” he needed to stay in the entertainment business.

Owens still acts and has been teaching acting classes for several years. He has a net worth of $300,000. In addition to his work on The Cosby Show over the years, Owens has appeared on episodes of Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, That’s So Raven, Boston Legal, Las Vegas, Medium, Without a Trace, Flashforward, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and The Affair.

Owens worked at Trader Joe’s for 15 months but had to quit because of the unwanted attention, however, the company said that he is welcome to come back anytime.

Tyler Perry seems to have offered him a job. “#Geoffrey Owns I’m about to start shootings OWN’s number one drama next week! Come join us!!!” Perry tweeted on Tuesday.
I have so much respect for people who hustle between gigs. The measure of a true artist.

Aretha Franklin – The Death of the Queen of Soul

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After hearing the news of Aretha Franklin’s passing, I was among the many thousands of  people truly saddened. I like many who loved her music, spirit, strength & soulful voice find comfort in knowing she is now at peace and in a much better place filled with beauty, love and no longer in pain.
Aretha is one of the talented singers that I grew up listening to and was inspired by. She with her strong, harmonious voice knew how to reach deep inside the depths of her soul and pull out the many feelings each of us may have been feeling at the time we sat and listened to her songs.
Franklin was born in Memphis on March 25, 1942. Her family moved to Detroit when she was 5 years old, and her mother, Barbara, died shortly before Franklin’s 10th birthday
She was strong and managed to triumph and carry on after the death of her father; Clarence LaVaughn “C. L.” Franklin. Mr. Franklin was a preacher at Detroit’s New Bethel Baptist Church where Aretha sang in the choir in her younger years.

CHILDREN: Edward FranklinClarence FranklinKecalf Cunningham & Ted White Jr.

SPOUSES: Glynn Turman (m. 1978-1984)Ted White (m. 1961-1969)

Glynn Turman, who was married to Franklin from 1978 to 1984, was joined by Stevie Wonder for a visit Tuesday. The actor said his former wife was ‘strong until the very end’ before her death that left millions of fans devastated all over the world.

Women fell in love with the songs RESPECT and the song became an anthem for women everywhere.  Natural Woman made women feel as though their natural beauty could shine through and they didn’t have to be afraid to show it. You could always leave it to Aretha to challenge what one may have thought of as the Norm and give us much style,  grace, beauty, strength & courage. Although her life was not always easy, she still gave us the chills with her dynamite voice and her way of bringing a song, making it her own and leaving the audience captivated.  Her special gift  was more about wringing profound emotion from a song lyric than about vocal gymnastics!

Aretha Franklin’s family has publicly  emphasized that the singer’s funeral is a private event. While some public seating may ultimately become available for the Aug. 31 service at Greater Grace Temple, the family’s guest list is still coming together. For now, the plan remains limited to “family, friends and invited guests,” said family spokeswoman Gwendolyn Quinn.

The funeral is expected to draw many big-name entertainers and dignitaries, as Franklin is laid to rest following her death last Thursday.

A public viewing will be held Aug. 28-29 at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.

We will all surely miss this great woman and are so thankful and grateful to her for sharing her beautiful voice & spirit with each of us!

Still in Love With You

This incredibly beautiful song speaks volumes of what Phil Lynott must have been feeling at the time he sat and wrote these lyrics.  Phil was an incredibly strong lyricist as well as singer and bassist.  Reading through the song lyrics and listening and watching as he sings this song, my heart bleeds with every word. He truly was a genius, phenomenal song writer and great musician.  Thin Lizzy will always be my favorite rock band and Phil Lynott will always be my favorite singer!

This song is on their album Nightlife which was released November 8, 1974.

Still in love with you

I think I’ll fall to pieces
If I don’t find something else to do
This sadness never ceases
I’m still in love with you

My head it keeps on reeling
It’s got me in a crazy spin
But, darling, darling, darling
Is this the end?

I’m still in love with you

They say time has a way of healing
Dries all the tears from your eyes
But, darling, it’s this empty feeling
My heart can’t disguise

After all that we’ve been through
I try my best but it’s no use
I guess I’ll keep on loving you
Is this the end?

Now that it’s all over
Woman, there’s something I think you should know
Baby, baby, think it over
Just one time before you go Call on me, baby
If there’s anything I can do for you
Call on me, baby
Help me see it through

Call on me, baby
Why don’t you call on me, baby
Oh help me see it through
I’m in love with you

Written by: Phillip Parris Lynott

“TEXAS OUR TEXAS “

As many of you know, we have entered into what is called “The Dog Days of Summer!” The temperatures here in Texas are horrendous and many have been experiencing heat strokes due to the scorching temperatures. This hasn’t stopped our homeless people from sleeping under bridges, standing with their signs on the side of the road asking for money for food or drink. My heart goes out to those with nowhere to go to stay cool and for our elderly who may not have enough air-conditioning and also to any pets who are left out doors in this scorching heat.

Construction work is everywhere in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex as far as the eye can see, and contracts have to be fulfilled which means, the men and women construction workers must take every precaution available and continue working in these triple digit temperatures.

Temperatures have been sky rocketing up into 109 & 110 degrees, which is even too hot to get out in the swimming pool until later in the evening, but while driving and running errands or on my way to work, I still see people out walking the dog or jogging for exercise. The car is terribly hot when you first enter and takes awhile to cool off before you start feeling the coolness from the air-conditioner.  I was born and raised in Texas and still haven’t adapted to this heat.  I am not a fan of  Texas summers at all, but I do what I have to do to manage.

What a great time to be in the Heating/Air-conditioning business. This is the life we live here in Texas and although we love our state, our steers, longhorns, State Bird (Mockingbird) and bluebonnets and are very proud to live here, for people such as myself, I will sure be happy when these sultry hot days are over and fall & winter visit again!

Here is a little something to leave each of you with:

“Texas, Our Texas,” the official state song of Texas, was adopted by the Legislature in 1929 after being selected in a state-wide competition. It was composed by William J. Marsh of Fort Worth. The lyrics were written by Marsh and Gladys Yoakum Wright.

Texas, Our Texas

Texas, Our Texas! all hail the mighty State!
Texas, Our Texas! so wonderful so great!
Boldest and grandest, withstanding ev’ry test
O Empire wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest.
(chorus)

Texas, O Texas! your freeborn single star,
Sends out its radiance to nations near and far,
Emblem of Freedom! it set our hearts aglow,
With thoughts of San Jacinto and glorious Alamo.
(chorus)

Texas, dear Texas! from tyrant grip now free,
Shines forth in splendor, your star of destiny!
Mother of heroes, we come your children true,
Proclaiming our allegiance, our faith, our love for you.

Chorus

God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.
God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.

 

“THIN LIZZY”

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You can know that the final show is coming up, and prepare yourself for it mentally, but when it finally occurs, it's like a dream. You stand there feeling the love the audience has for you, and you think, 'Is this really going to end? - Phil Lynott

As a follow up to my previous post about rediscovering Thin Lizzy and front man Phil Parris Lynott all over again, I have been listening to their songs more than ever for the past few weeks and falling in love all over again! Something that is puzzling me though is how could I have been such a huge fan of theirs but not know until a few weeks ago that Phil was dead and has been dead for over 32 years? The only thing I can think of is as I grew older and became a mother, life happened and I was so involved with my children and my studies that I lost track; but 32 years of not knowing? Maybe I did know at the time but was so involved with making sure my children were well taken care of that I didn’t have time to really elaborate on it. Marriage, children, work, college, life, etc., is quite a lot on people and that’s the only explanation I have.

I do know it hit me really hard a few weeks ago as I pulled them up on YouTube and started listening and seeing his last interview, the interviews with band members regarding his death, his statue and grave along with the interview of his mother, Philomena and his then wife, Caroline. I went into total shock and cried. How can this be that this many years has gone by and I started back tracking my own life and examining it and the only thing I can honestly come up with is that Life Happened and I was so engrossed with my sons and education, that somehow it was pushed out of my memory. “Still unsure.” The fact is, I know now and am savoring each and every song and the memories of this band. I do realize that in the Unites States, they were not as huge as they should have been, so there were only a few of their songs on the radio and/or MTV.

The sultry, soulful vocals of lead singer Phil Lynott with that beautiful Irish accent gives an extra bang to each song sang. His charismatic charm and the way he worked the crowd and just oozed with sex appeal was the icing on the cake. Brian Robertson & Scott Gorham were known to work the crowd as well.

The instrumental talents of each member brought a fiery explosion of excitement to each performance. The members of the band changed throughout the years, giving way to other performers having an opportunity to play and tour with this great band. Many talented artists have expressed their sincere gratitude to Phil Lynott for giving them the opportunity to play with Thin Lizzy and his other bands.

Original band (1969–1983)

The original band was led and run by writer, singer and bassist (and occasional acoustic guitar player) Phil Lynott. Thin Lizzy disbanded when he decided to end the group.

Excerpts taken from: http://www.thefullwiki.org

Phil Lynott – Founder, Bass guitar, lead vocals, acoustic guitar

Brian Downey – Drums, percussion

Eric Bell – Guitar & backing vocals

Eric Wrixon – Keyboards & backing vocals

Gary Moore – Guitar & backing vocals

Scott Gorham – Guitar & backing vocals

Brian Robertson – Guitar & backing vocals

Snowey White – Guitar

Darren Wharton – Keyboards & backing vocals

John Sykes – Guitar

Songs I’ve been listening to:

Boys are back in Town, Black Rose, Emerald, Still in Love with You, Got to give it up, The King’s Call, Philomena, Bad Reputation, One Wish, The Sun Goes Down, Sarah, Cowboy Song, Jailbreak, Old Town, The Rocker, The Spirit of Man, Ode to a Black Man, The Rocker, Thunder and Lightening, Angel of Death, Chinatown, Hollywood (Down on your Luck), Don’t Believe A Word, Dancing In The Moonlight (It’s Caught Me In It’s Spotlight), Rosalie, Waiting For An Alibi, Do Anything You Want To, Somebody Else’s Dream, Chinatown, Mexican Blood, Killer On The Loose, Whisky In The Jar, Out In The Fields, Nineteen, (Gary Moore & Phil Lynott), Pariesiene Walkways (Gary Moore & Phil Lynott), Wild One, Fighting My Way Back, Showdown, Dear Miss Lonely Hearts, That woman’s gonna break your heart, Can’t get away, A Night in the Life of a Blues Singer & The Man’s a Fool.

It’s incredibly amazing how Phil was able to write so many songs, perform these songs plus find time to work with other great artists like Huey Lewis, Mark Knopfler as well as countless others. It has been so great to have the ability to listen as well as watch this amazing band perform and Phil sing these songs, weather it be with his band T.L., solo or with the other bands he formed. I can’t help but say that I did experience great sadness listening to his voice and knowing this incredibly gifted, talented and genius of a singer, songwriter, poet and artist is no longer here in the land of the living.

Songs, “One Wish, The Sun goes Down and Still in Love with You,” have a way of tugging and pulling at your heart as you listen to Lynott’s sultry, melodious voice and feel through his vocals the pain he must have felt while writing each lyric.

With that being said, I must say, that Gary Moore is much missed as well and both he and Phil Lynott made huge contributions to the music industry and the hearts of many fan. These two men and Thin Lizzy as a whole, are responsible for so many realizing their dream of becoming a performer. We can never forget Gary Moore’s bluesy voice and his ability to bring out the goosebumps on each and every listener as he played his guitar and sang. The death of these two men were a huge loss for the music industry and there will never be another Phil & Gary!

A famous quote from Phil Lynott: “I tasted freedom and I really liked it.”

I will continue listening to Thin Lizzy and will hopefully one day fulfill my dream of traveling to Dublin, Ireland to visit the grave and statue of the late, great Philip Parris Lynott. He has to be smiling upon his beautiful, strong & precious mother who has worked diligently to ensure his legacy remains intact and alive. I can’t even imagine the grief she experienced losing her son, and I can’t forget his ex-wife, Caroline who suffered a great loss as well and had to raise both daughters on her own without the love and support of their father.

One thing is for sure. Thin Lizzy will live on forever in the hearts and minds of their fans!

Philip Lynott: Born: August 20, 1949 – Died: January 4, 1986

Gary Moore: Born: April 4, 1952 – Died: February 6, 2011

Rock on and rest in peace brothers!

It’s Like a Heatwave

Everyone who knows anything about Texas knows that it comes with some extreme heat in the summertime. This summer has been no different. We have had temperatures in the three digits and nights in the smoldering upper 90’s as late as eight and nine o’clock at night. Running the air conditioning is a must and never mind what the electric bill is when received; because without it, a human being would not be able to stay in their home comfortably.

My thoughts are always with the elderly who are afraid to turn their air on in the summer or don’t have air conditioners to turn on, the animals living out of doors and the many homeless people living under the bridges and sleeping on sidewalks. I know for myself, I have to have air and it has gotten to the point now that I am considered middle-aged, I have to have not only my central air but a fan beside my bed as well. Oh, the joys of aging and going through the midlife crisis! It is what it is, but I sure will be so happy to see some cooler weather.

It has been wonderful getting out in the swimming pool and having my sons and their families over and watching my grandchildren have a great time swimming. While driving around town or through not only my neighborhood but others, people are doing what they have to do to stay cool. It takes me back to the tiny country town I grew up in out in West Texas. There was a man with a snow cone stand and he had to have had the best snow cones in the world, or so it seemed in those days. His machine shaved the ice so fine that it was almost the consistency of real snow. The cones were large and the syrup came in all flavors and was just mind-blowing delicious! Of course, I know that there are snow cone stands these days with modern technology that can shave ice so fine that it actually melts in the mouth, but back in the late 60’s, 70’s & 80’s this was great for that time and for a small town like the one I am speaking of.

Well, summer will stick around a little while longer, hopefully, I will get some good fishing in, but I won’t be doing any while the temperatures are in the triple digits. I am patiently awaiting fall and winter.

The Dog Days of Summer

The Dog days, a name for the most sultry period of summer, from about July 3rd to August 11th. Named in early times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean, the period was reckoned as extending from 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) and the sun. In the latitude of the Mediterranean region, this period coincided with hot days that were plagued with disease and discomfort. The time of conjunction varies with difference in latitude, and because of the precession of the equinoxes it changes gradually over long periods in all latitudes.

Due to a very slow wobble of Earth’s axis, the Dog Star now seems to rise later than it did in ancient times. Its ascension no longer coincides with the start of the Nile flood (which does not occur anyway, because the river is now controlled by the Aswan Dam), but Sirius still makes its appearance during hot summer days.

Old-timers believed that rainfall on the dog days was a bad omen, as foretold in this verse:
Dog Days bright and clear
Indicate a happy year;
But when accompanied by rain,
For better times, our hopes are vain.

Dog Days are approaching; you must, therefore, make both hay and haste while the Sun shines, for when old Sirius takes command of the weather, he is such an unsteady, crazy dog, there is no dependence upon him.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 1817

Discovering Thin Lizzy all Over Again and Frontman the Late Phil Lynott August 20, 1949 – January 4, 1986

 

I am a huge music fan and love music of many genres. I am especially intrigued by music from the 60’s, 70’s & the 80’s. I listen to a wide variety of music and at one time in my life chased the dream of being a singer. I still love singing and writing song lyrics.

Over the weekend I was relaxing watching YouTube videos and ran across a video by Thin Lizzy. Well, I was born in 1963, so I love music from that era and have always loved “The Boys are Back in Town,” but had no idea that the band was from Dublin Ireland and who the members where. As I listened to the boys are back in town, it brought back so many fond memories of growing up in the small West Texas town that I grew up in as well as my many friends. I continued listening and wanted more, so I started listening to more of their songs and ran across videos of them singing live and saw Phil Lynott their lead singer. I knew his beautiful voice but had never seen him and was drawn to him and the other members of the band. They were an outstanding, hard rocking band and he was an incredible lyricist. I listened to many of their songs as I watched their videos and started watching videos that his beautiful mother, Philomena made after his death.

Philip Parris Lynott (20 August 1949 – 4 January 1986) was an Irish musician and songwriter. His most commercially successful group was Thin Lizzy, of which he was a founding member, the principal songwriter, lead vocalist and bassist. He was known for his distinctive plectrum-based style on the bass, and for his imaginative lyrical contributions including working class tales and numerous characters drawn from personal influences and Celtic culture. Excerpts are taken from Wikipedia.

They sang a song called “The Sun Goes Down.” What a truly amazing song, with lyrics that gave me goosebumps. His deep Baritone voice and the band’s choice in music was hauntingly beautiful. It’s so sad that he and many of our great musician’s have passed away due to drug use. The song made me wonder if he were making reference to himself and his life. I don’t know, what I do know is that he left behind a great legacy with lots of wonderful songs for us all to enjoy and fans who still remember where they were when a new Thin Lizzy song played on the radio.

I admire his mother, “Philomena Lynott’s” courage, strength, and determination to ensure her son’s legacy is kept alive in a dignified manner. He has status dedicated to him, wax figures in his memory. He left behind two beautiful daughters who are now adults with their own families but still work diligently to keep their father’s memory alive.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Lynott

You Listen-Poem

You listen as the rain pounds the rooftops & window panes.
Leaving wet traces behind as you peacefully fall asleep.

You listen as the television & radio play favorite tunes and movies.
While birds, locust & crickets together sing sweet melodies.

You listen as the howling wind whips through the trees.
While sounds of rustling leaves create perfect harmony.

You listen as the ocean’s waves sway to a gentle breeze.
While friends confide in you their fears, hopes, and dreams..

You listen as aggressively dog’s bark protecting our home at night.
As you awaken to another day of great possibilities.

You listen patiently to so many things,
But why my love will you not listen to me?

Jasmine D. Parker

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!

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Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March, April, and June. Here in the U.S., Father’s Day is celebrated every third Sunday in June, falling on this Sunday, June 17 this year.

The nation’s first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in the state of Washington. However, it was not until 1972–58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official–that the day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday in the United States. – *excerpts from History.com

This is a day honoring fathers met with resistance at first, with many men scoffing at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the creation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products–often paid for by the father himself.

This holiday is actually a day to commemorate and honor the incredible men who stood up to the plate, took responsibility for their children and families and established bonds that will live on long after they’re gone. Fathers around the world making a difference in their children’s lives deserve to be honored. Dad, you are your child’s first HERO!

Happy fathers day to both of my sons who are incredible fathers to my grandchildren.

A very special Happy fathers day to my husband and my own dad in heaven.

Whether you plan to get him a new neck tie, a power tool, take him out for a nice dinner or just send a card, let Dad know how much you appreciate him. Please join me in wishing all dads around the world a very happy day. It is my prayer that it is filled with love and adoration from your family and friends. Let’s also celebrate those that are father figures – Godfathers, uncles, coaches, or a close family friend. A very special honor to our Military Dad’s who are unable to spend this special day with their families. We appreciate and honor you all on this day!

Not a Good Week to Remember!

Often times it’s hard to watch the news.  There are so many stories that don’t make the news that would enlighten so many and bring hope to those who believe there is no hope left.  Then we have the sad & shocking stories that do make the headlines that leave us all in disbelief and feeling like we just took a trip into the Twilight Zone.

Tuesday with the death of Kate Spade hitting the airways and the sad news that she committed suicide. Then Friday rolls around and we hear the news that Anthony Bourdain has died and he also committed suicide. These two sad stories brought so much sadness to so many people.  You could hear the pain in the celebrities that were interviewed and read the pain in those who wrote statements and fans who wrote comments on different articles.

I have no idea if Kate or Anthony knew one another, but the situations surrounding their deaths are still sad all the same.

Not only were they both celebrities; but they were around the same age.  Spade was 55, and Bourdain was 61; both with different careers and fan-based demographics.

The media has not released whether or not Anthony left a suicide note or not.  At this time it looks as though no note was left so that still leaves the question as to why he felt so lost that he couldn’t reach out for help?  Many people wear a mask and are one way around people or the camera if they are famous and a complete other way when they are alone. The Great Coverup!  As sad as it is, two great people are gone suddenly and two families are devastated and two daughters are left without their parents.  Kate’s daughter cannot go talk to her mother when older about boys, her Senior Prom and all the things young girls and mother’s talk about or help her daughter prepare for her wedding when older.  Anthony’s daughter cannot go to him and discuss boys and the fact that a boy wants to take her out or to Senior Prom and he won’t be there to walk his daughter down the isle one day when she gets married.

Common Denominators:

Both highly successful in their careers and both left behind young children to forever be confused as to why their parents chose to leave this world the way they did; and questioning, if it might have been something they did or if their parents loved truly loved them.

Kate Spade did leave a note telling her daughter how much she loved her and ending it with ask Daddy. The note only leaves more questions than answers for a young child and who knows if her daddy really has the correct answers or not?  The last I read Kate’s husband stated that she was suffering from depression.  Let’s just hope he and the rest of the family can provide this beautiful child with the love, attention, and therapy she is definitely going to need to pull her life together.  My heart goes out to them all.

Often times when a person commits suicide, they have been contemplating it and maybe have even tried and failed.  When celebrities take their lives, it usually creates a spike in suicidal thoughts and actions. Fans and everyday people look at Celebrities as individuals who have it all together and are living the good life that many of us would love to live.  Many of us forget that these are just ordinary individuals who may have careers on television and are in the limelight, but they are human just as we are, with emotions and problems that they face on a daily basis with deadlines to meet, bills and taxes to pay as we do.  These people have marital problems, family issues, and have an image they must try to live up to for the public.

There has been an increase in suicide in the last few years and the age of the victims are getting younger and younger.

Risk Factors According to the CDC:

More than half of the Americans studied by the CDC who died by suicide did not have a mental health condition. Substance abuse, financial stress and relationship problems or loss are all factors that contribute to suicide risk, data shows. Suicide remains the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the CDC.

Questioning suicide? Call someone, anyone: A friend, neighbor, family member, religious figure, hospital, doctor, mental health specialist, the police department or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Anthony Michael Bourdain – The Death of a Great Man. June 25, 1956 – June 8, 2018

Anthony-Bourdain

Anthony Michael Bourdain was born on June 25, 1956, to Pierr & Gladys Bourdain in New York City.  He was an American celebrity chef, author, travel Documentarian, and international culture, cuisine, and the human condition.  He was noted by popular sources as one of the popular sources as one of the most influential chefs in the world.

Bourdain was a 1978 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a veteran of numerous professional kitchens, including many years spent as executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles. He first became known for his 2000 bestselling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. His first food and world-travel television show were A Cook’s Tour, which ran for 35 episodes on the Food Network from 2002 through 2003. In 2005 he began hosting the Travel Channel’s culinary and cultural adventure programs Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (2005–2012) and The Layover (2011–2013). In 2013, he switched to CNN to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

Though best known for his culinary achievements and television presentations, along with several books on food and cooking and travel adventures, Bourdain’s lesser-known writings include both fiction and historical nonfiction.

I remember watching my first episode of No Reservations back in 2010 and The Layover which premiered November 21, 2011. I was immediately hooked on both shows and Bourdain’s charismatic personality and no-nonsense approach.

He leaves to mourn his death his daughter Ariane, who was born in 2007 to Bourdain and Ottavia Busia, his parents, Gladys Bourdain & Pierre Bourdain, his younger brother, Christopher and his partner Asia Argento.

Many friends and celebrities have given their condolences and shared many fond memories of the handsome, colorful chef that we all had the pleasure of enjoying and traveling via television each week.

He will live on in our hearts and many prayers go out to his family & friends!

If you or anyone you know may be contemplating suicide and need someone to talk to, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ‘1-800-273-TALK (8255 …(1-800-273-8255) or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org..

Today is My Birthday and the Anniversary of the Death of My Husband

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Grieving the loss of a spouse is hard. Death, regardless of the details, can be devastating to those left behind. The loss becomes greater when it occurs on a special day such as the surviving spouses birthday. I am writing this because my husband passed away 6 years ago today, on my birthday while talking to me on the telephone.

Stan, my husband was an incredible man and human being. He had a way of looking at a person and peering deep into their soul and finding good within. All who knew Stan loved him and his amazing personality. I tell people he and I fell in love over Sirius XM Radio.

Stan loved Sirius XM radio and had one in his vehicle and another for the house. When he and I met and started dating, it was unconventional for some but a sign of the times for others. We met online, clicked, started dating and eventually married. It was a match made in perfect heaven. I didn’t really know anything about Sirius radio, so he used it to his advantage asking me what type of music I liked listening to and programming it into his radio. We would ride around talking, listening to the radio and just enjoy our time together. Talking about finding love on a two-way street! We fell madly in love! After dating almost a year, he asked me to marry him, I said yes, we were married and our lives were filled with bliss. Our families blended very well and we created a love haven and our marriage left an incredibly positive mark on all who met us. One thing about my husband, he truly loved me, supported me, encouraged me as I loved, supported and encouraged him. We lifted each other up daily. I shared my passion and love for writing with him and he thought it was just the coolest thing and was most encouraging. He loved sitting and/or lying in bed reading things that I had written and would encourage me to go further.

My husband was a truck driver and I enjoyed traveling the road with him. We traveled many places and were able to connect to one another one a much deeper level. Having met so many people out there on the road, I can truly understand why men and women love the trucker life.

June, 4th, 2012, I was not out on the road with Stan, because I had started back working. He and I had talked several times that day and he jokingly was teasing me about getting older as this was my birthday. We laughed and talked and told one another we would talk again when I got off work to discuss what we would do to celebrate on the weekend when he came home.

When I got off work, he called and I talked to him while driving home, but during our conversation, the call dropped. I just figured it dropped because he went through a dead zone and after trying him back and no response, I just figured he would call me back when he was able to get a better and stronger signal and drove on home.

Later after showering and climbing into bed to do some writing, I saw the State Troopers pull up in front of my house. The one on the passenger’s side pointed to their computer and then to our house. They both exited the vehicle, put their hats on their heads and proceeded to walk up our sidewalk. I put my robe on, they rang the doorbell and I answered the door. The officer standing closest to the door asked me if I were Mrs. Parker and I stated yes and he then asked if I knew Stan Parker?, and I said yes; But as I said yes, I started shaking my head saying no, no, and tears flooded down my face as I started screaming and instinctively knew my sweet husband was gone. The officers confirmed that he had passed away while driving down the freeway. Onlookers stated that his truck slowed down, veered to the right, ran off the highway and through a bobwire fence and came to a stop in a hay field. The troopers both stated that my husband was deceased when the EMS arrived on the scene.

It was confirmed that my husband passed away from a massive heart attack caused by degenerative heart disease. To lose my husband was hard enough, but to lose him the same day of my birthday, became almost too much for me to bear. The pain and heartache of losing him caused me to sink into a dark depression.

The pain of having to tell the children he was gone and to put one foot in front of the other was harder, but it had to be done. I am so grateful to the family and friends who were there for me in my time of need. I truly am thankful for people who dedicate their lives to counseling those going down the dark path of Grief!

Through my faith, I found the courage to hold my head up high again, love myself, love life and continue to pour my feelings and emotions into writing. I had no idea that there are so many people in this world who are in such a deep state of Grief. I meet people at the mall, grocery stores and other places who start talking to me because they feel something or see something in me that makes it genuinely easy for them to talk to me.

My name is Jasmine Parker, today, June 4th is my birthday and I remember the love that I lost on this day 6 years ago. My husband, Stanly W. Parker. One day we will see each other again, but as selfless as you were in life, I know you would want me to find love again and live a wholesome life!

Grieving the Loss of a Beloved Pet

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We’ve all heard these various animal quotes:
“A Dog is a Man’s best friend,”
“Outside of a book, a dog is Man’s best friend.”
“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.”
“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”

These are humorous quotes and when you take a look at your beloved pet, you can truly see why these quotes were created.  Animals can truly become a best friend and a huge part of one’s family.

The love and bond shared between a family and their pet, is truly unbreakable. A pet is truly a member of the family and often times pets accompany their families on vacations, to the pet stores as well as their daily walks in the neighborhood & parks.  A pet can detect when someone is ill and have often detected when a person was having a seizure.  Dogs have been known to assist the blind, bring joy and happiness to the elderly, sniff out cancer, illegal drugs as well as assist in finding missing people or recovering the bodies of individuals who have been murdered.

Animals are a huge asset to society and love their human families as much as they are loved by their human families;  But what happens when that beloved pet becomes ill or passes away suddenly?  The trauma of the loss of a beloved pet can be as devastating as the loss of a human family member. The passing of a pet can bring out emotions one never knew existed and the loss can send that pet owner or pet family into a journey of grief and mourning.  The pain is real and for anyone to say that it was just a dog or just an animal, can be very insensitive to the grieving pet owner.

If children are involved, it is best to sit down with them and break the news of their beloved pet gently and allow them to be a part of the going home ceremony depending on their age.

These days there are pet cemetery’s, headstones and grave markers for pets.  Many may find themselves needing to reach out to support groups and/or therapist to help with their healing process. Going out and buying or adopting another pet right away,  may just be what some families or individuals need to help with their healing process, but for others, they may feel it’s too early and require more time to heal.

One thing is for sure, pets are amazing,  loving and faithful!

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You will know Your Loved One’s in Heaven

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“At the resurrection, people will neither marry, nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” (Matthew 22:30)

We won’t be married, but will know our loved ones in heaven!

Just to know we will know our loved ones in heaven is an incredible thought!

We will see those smiling faces again and have the ability to touch and hug our loved ones again.  When each of us arrives in heaven, it will not matter to us that marriage does not exist; but just whom will be at the core of our relationships, and how will those relationships be affected?

Even though our Bible says we won’t be married in heaven, it will never take away or detract us from our joy.  We will still see and know our spouses and other loved ones who passed before us.  “Amazing!”  Most importantly, we will know and be with Jesus Christ forever.

I look forward to seeing my late husband, my grandparents, aunts, and uncles and I also look forward to seeing my friends who have past.

I spend time talking to God daily and I thank him for allowing me to see another day.

Each day is a blessing and I feel empowered as I share the Grief Journey that I started almost 6 years ago with others.

 

The Assumption that Makes Grief Hard

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Many people throughout the years and within different cultures may have assumed and believed that life on Earth would be easy and pain-free.

The fact of the matter is; that is not the case at all.  We shouldn’t give up hope of a pain – free life and/or existence, because God has promised each of us a better place for those who trust in Christ as Saviour and encourages each of us to console ourselves with that very HOPE.

We should all remain encouraged. This journey we’re on may be a long, tough one, but it’s one that we all can conquer and know that there are greater things waiting for us at the finish line!

In The Orchard

“I thought you loved me.” “No, it was only fun.”

“When we stood there, closer than all?” “Well, the harvest moon

“Was shining and queer in your hair, and it turned my head.”

“That made you?” “Yes.” “Just the moon and the light it made

“Under the tree?” “Well, your mouth, too.” “Yes, my mouth?”
“And the quiet there that sang like the drum in the booth.
“You shouldn’t have danced like that.” “Like what?” “So close,
“With your head turned up, and the flower in your hair, a rose
“That smelt all warm.” “I loved you. I thought you knew
“I wouldn’t have danced like that with any but you.”
“I didn’t know. I thought you knew it was fun.”
“I thought it was love you meant.” “Well, it’s done.” “Yes, it’s done.
“I’ve seen boys stone a blackbird, and watched them drown
“A kitten … it clawed at the reeds, and they pushed it down
“Into the pool while it screamed. Is that fun, too?”
“Well, boys are like that … Your brothers…” “Yes, I know.
“But you, so lovely and strong! Not you! Not you!”
“They don’t understand it’s cruel. It’s only a game.”
“And are girls fun, too?” “No, still in a way it’s the same.
“It’s queer and lovely to have a girl…” “Go on.”
“It makes you mad for a bit to feel she’s your own,
“And you laugh and kiss her, and maybe you give her a ring,
“But it’s only in fun.” “But I gave you everything.”
“Well, you shouldn’t have done it. You know what a fellow thinks
“When a girl does that.” “Yes, he talks of her over his drinks
“And calls her a—” “Stop that now. I thought you knew.”
“But it wasn’t with anyone else. It was only you.”
“How did I know? I thought you wanted it too.
“I thought you were like the rest. Well, what’s to be done?”
“To be done?” “Is it all right?” “Yes.” “Sure?” “Yes, but why?”
“I don’t know. I thought you were going to cry.
“You said you had something to tell me.” “Yes, I know.
“It wasn’t anything really … I think I’ll go.”
“Yes, it’s late. There’s thunder about, a drop of rain
“Fell on my hand in the dark. I’ll see you again
“At the dance next week. You’re sure that everything’s right?”
“Yes.” “Well, I’ll be going.” “Kiss me…” “Good night.” …
“Good night.”

`By Muriel Stuart

Dirge Without Music

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.

So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go, but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

`By Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

“ The Paradoxical Commandments”

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”

-Kent M. Keith

Tim Bergling, aka Avicii – 09/08/1989-04/20/2018

The music world has truly lost a talented and gifted artist and music producer.

Tim Bergling was born on September 8, 1989 to Anki Liden an actress in Stockholm, Sweden.
Better known by his stage name Avicii , was a Swedish musician, DJ, remixer and record producer.

One of the most popular DJs of the late-2000s EDM boom, Grammy-nominated Swedish producer Avicii went on to top the charts in multiple countries and tour the world with his uplifting house anthems. Born Tim Bergling in Stockholm in 1989, he began making music at the age of 16, posting his remixes in online forums of electronic music. At age 18 he was writing and remixing tracks in his bedroom and uploading them onto the Internet, which landed him to sign his first record label deal.

He took great pride in remixing tracks for Dizzee Rascal, Robyn, and also Little Boots. Bergling issued a handful of his own singles, like “Bromance” and “My Feelings for You” in 2010. “Seek Bromance” — which added the vocals of Amanda Wilson atop his earlier track — became a modest hit across Europe. However, it wasn’t until his next single, 2011’s “Levels,” that his international popularity exploded. Featuring a sample of Etta James’ “Something’s Got a Hold on Me,” the track topped dance charts across the globe and reached platinum status in at least ten countries, launching Avicii into the mainstream.

He rose to prominence in 2011 with his breakthrough single “Levels”. His debut studio album, True (2013), featured electronic music blended with elements of several music genres and received generally positive reviews from music critics. It peaked within the top ten in more than fifteen countries and topped the Australian, Swedish, Danish and US dance charts.

It was supported by the lead single “Wake Me Up”, which topped most music markets in Europe and reached number four in the US. In 2015 he released his second studio album, Stories, and in 2017 he released an EP titled Avīci (01). In 2016 he retired from touring due to health issues.

His catalog of music also included the singles “I Could Be the One” with Nicky Romero, “You Make Me”, “X You”, “Hey Brother”, “Addicted to You”, “The Days”, “The Nights”, “Waiting for Love”, “Without You” and “Lonely Together”. Bergling was nominated for Grammy Awards for his work on “Sunshine” with David Guetta in 2012 and his track “Levels” in 2013. Several music publications credit Bergling as among the DJs who ushered electronic music into Top 40 radio in the early 2010s.

Sadly Tim Bergling died on April 20, 2018 in Muscat, Oman at the age of 28.He leaves to mourne his passing, his mother, Anki Liden , siblings, Anton, Linda and David in Stockholm, Sweden.

Six days later, his family stated in an open letter that he had suffered from severe stress and mental-health issues for a number of years. The letter was widely interpreted to imply that the manner of his death was suicide.

The letter read: “Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions. An over-achieving perfectionist who traveled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress,” read the statement, released Thursday. “When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most — music.”

Avicii had in the past suffered acute pancreatitis, in part due to excessive drinking. After having his gallbladder and appendix removed in 2014, he canceled a series of shows in attempt to recover.

The Swedish performer retired from performing in 2016 but still produced albums and songs.

The Music Industry has truly lost a gifted and talented artist!

{REST IN PEACE AVICII}

https://news.search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0geK9efJeta7RIAnGdXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyanNvNWYzBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjQ4NTNfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=avicii%27s+tim+bergling+family&fr=yfp-t-s&fr2=cosmos

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/avicii-death-family-says-late-dj-wanted-to-find-peace/

Unjust Cause

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“She could almost feel him prodding her; urging her to go on. As the wails of pain and torment assulted her ears, she knew that’s exactly what she would do until the war was over and she could crawl into a quiet, dark corner and mourn for the part of her that had died with him.”
― Jaclyn A. Wilson

Prince Rogers Nelson – Our Prince 06/07/1958 – 04/21/2016

Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Mattie Shaw, a jazz singer, and social worker, and John L. Nelson, a lyricist, and pianist. His father’s stage name was “Prince Rogers”. His parents were both from African-American families from Louisiana. They separated during his youth, which caused him to move back and forth. Prince had a troubled relationship with his step-father which eventually caused him to run away from home.

He was adopted by the Anderson family and soon after became best friends with their son, Andre Anderson (Cymone).
Together along with Charles Smith, they joined a band called Grand Central. The band later renamed themselves Champagne and were a fairly successful live band, however soon diminished.
His early music career saw the release of Prince, Dirty Mind and Controversy, which drew attention for their fusion of religious and sexual themes. He then released the popular albums 1999 and Purple Rain, cementing his superstar status with No. 1 hits like “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy.” A seven-time Grammy winner, Prince had a prodigious output that included later albums like Diamonds and Pearls, The Gold Experience and Musicology. He died on April 21, 2016, from an accidental drug overdose.

Prince’s Death
On April 21, 2016, Prince was found dead at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota. The week prior, his plane made an emergency landing and the singer was hospitalized for what was purportedly a severe case of the flu, though reports later stated that the musician was actually given a life-saving “safe shot” for a Percocet overdose. The Carver County sheriff’s department and Midwest Medical Examiner’s office launched an investigation into the cause of death. After the autopsy was performed, his remains were cremated and his close family and friends gathered for a small, private funeral on April 23.

Almost two weeks after the musician’s death, a lawyer revealed that Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a California-based physician who specializes in treatment for those dependent upon and addicted to pain medication, had been called upon by Prince’s team to aid the musician. (The performer had undergone hip surgery some years earlier and was believed to have endured recurring discomfort while giving concerts.) Kornfeld’s son had reportedly flown to Prince’s compound to initiate the recovery process and was among those who found him dead. While Prince’s state of health at the time of his death is unknown, attorney William Mauzy said the artist “was dealing with a grave medical emergency” when Kornfeld was called, as reported by The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Prince will always be remembered as a musical genius and artist who inspired millions through his music and set an inspirational platform which others still abide by.

He was loved by so many, his death mourned by millions and his legacy will live on forever!

Barbara Bush: Phenomenal Woman!

 

The world has lost a Classy, Elegant, Beautiful and most Phenomenal woman!

Barbara Bush was born in New York City on June 8, 1925.

Her father, Marvin Pierce, was a distant descendant of 14th President of the United States Franklin  Pierce and president of the McCall Corporation, which published the well-known magazines McCall’s and Redbook. Growing up in an Episcopalian family in the bedroom community of Rye, New York, Bush was an athletic and witty child who loved — above all things — to read. She received her primary education at Rye’s Milton Public School and Rye Country Day School before going off to Ashley Hall, a boarding school in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1940.

Barbara Bush was the wife of George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, and served as First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993.

Married to her longtime love of 73+ years, Barbara Bush once said “I don’t fear death at all, I’ve done it all”.

The mother of six children — one of whom, a daughter, Robin, died as a child from leukemia — Barbara Bush raised her fast-growing family in the 1950s and ’60s amid the post-war boom of Texas and the whirl of politics that consumed her husband.

 

“According to Time Magazine” ‘I am still old and still in love.’ Barbara Bush paid tribute her husband a month before her death.

Even though English professor Randa Jarrar, wrote and I quote:

“Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal,” Jarrar tweeted .

“Fuck outta here with your nice words.”

I do not and will never agree with her comments, but of course, they are protected under the Freedom of Speech.

I absolutely loved and respected Barbara Bush and am saddened by the negative comments.

My own personal opinion of Barbara Bush is: She was a Unique Woman, a woman who was absolutely phenomenal, she did not bite her tongue and said what she meant and meant what she said, disciplined her sons, and grandchildren and raised them on Christian morals and standards.

Barbara Bush was said to love living in Texas.

She and her husband, George H. W. Bush shared a love for one another than can teach others of not only how to be a spouse, but a best friend, confidant, patriot and humanitarian.

This woman brought levity, love, and literacy to millions of people as well as her own family. Not only did she keep them laughing and on their toes, she also kept them studying and reaching for higher grounds. She was the true Matriarch of the Bush family and they along with millions of others will truly miss her.

Letter from Heaven: A Poem

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When tomorrow starts without me,
and I’m not here to see,
if the sun should rise and find your
eyes, filled with tears for me.

I wish so much you wouldn’t cry,
the way you did today,
while thinking of the many things
we didn’t get to say.

I know how much you love me,
as much as I love you,
and each time you think of me,
I know you’ll miss me too.

When tomorrow starts without me,
don’t think we’re far apart,
for every time you think of me,
I’m right there in your heart.

`Author Unknown

As I Grow- A Poem

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As I grow to know you more and more,
your strong, masculine beauty I adore.
Your strength and grace is so amazing,
my life so great now interchanging.

Our lives together have grown so great,
my feelings will never be of any debate.
My actions are truly louder than words,
saying only I like you would be totally absurd.

Your chiseled face shows strength and wisdom
with dark eyes to match from another kingdom
You say my lips are soft as a rose.
I thank our father in heaven, for me you, he chose.

Your beautiful, kind heart I will never take for granted,
bathing in these feelings, our lives truly enchanted.
My prayer is for our love to grow stronger each day.

Will my love for you stop growing?
To this, I say “NO WAY!”

~Jasmine D. Parker
02/19/2013 

 

Perhaps

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Perhaps some day the sun will shine again,
And I shall see that still the skies are blue,
And feel one more I do not live in vain,
Although bereft of you.

Perhaps the golden meadows at my feet,
Will make the sunny hours of spring seem gay,
And I shall find the white May-blossoms sweet,
Though You have passed away.

Perhaps the summer woods will shimmer bright,
And crimson roses once again be fair,
And autumn harvest fields a rich delight,
Although You are not there.

But though kind Time may many joys renew,
There is one greatest joy I shall not know
Again, because my heart for loss of You
Was broken, long ago.”

~Vera Brittain

The Loss

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For those of us who have ever walked through the Valley of the death of a loved one, we may feel after the first few months, that we can begin to move on with our feelings and emotions. However, we soon find ourselves grieving as we did before because the feelings are still present in our lives.
Often times, Family and Friends assume that a grieving person is moving on with their lives and putting everything in the past. No one can even begin to gauge how another person is feeling. Our Grief Journey is our own personal journey and everyone grieves differently.
Understanding our own Grief will also be beneficial as to the types of help we allow Family, Friends and our counselors to provide for us.
They don’t know how we are feeling until we open up and tell them.
There will be days we don’t feel like talking on the telephone and shouldn’t feel guilty because it is normal.
It is a good idea to journal our thoughts and feelings. This is a great way to track our progress. The grief journey is not an easy one, but it is one that we all must go through at some point in our lives and when we continue to have faith that we will be fine and God will provide comfort, healing, and support as we walk down our dark path of grief.

Thanatophobia is a Real Phobia Suffered by Many Individuals

While reading up on this phobia, I found this article on Wikipedia.

Death anxiety is anxiety which is caused by thoughts of death. One source defines death anxiety as a “feeling of dread, apprehension or solicitude (anxiety) when one thinks of the process of dying, or ceasing to ‘be'”. It is also referred to as Thanatophobia (fear of death), and is distinguished from Necrophobia, which is a specific fear of death or dying persons and/or things (i.e. others who are dead or dying, not one’s own death or dying).

Additionally, there is anxiety caused by death-related thought-content, which might be classified within a clinical setting by a psychiatrist as morbid and/or abnormal, which for classification pre-necessitates a degree of anxiety which is persistent and interferes with everyday functioning. Lower ego integrity, more physical problems, and more psychological problems are predictive of higher levels of death anxiety in elderly people because of how close to death they are to dying.

Predatory death anxiety

Predatory death anxiety arises from the fear of being harmed. It is the most basic and oldest form of death anxiety, with its origins in the first unicellular organisms’ set of adaptive resources. Unicellular organisms have receptors that have evolved to react to external dangers, along with self-protective, responsive mechanisms made to guarantee survival in the face of chemical and physical forms of attack or danger. In humans, predatory death anxiety is evoked by a variety of dangerous situations that put one at risk or threaten one’s survival. These traumas may be physical, psychological, or both. Predatory death anxiety mobilizes an individual’s adaptive resources and leads to a fight-or-flight response: active efforts to combat the danger of attempts to escape the threatening situation.

Predation or predator death anxiety

Predation or predator death anxiety is a form that arises when an individual harms another, physically and/or mentally. This form of death anxiety is often accompanied by unconscious guilt. This guilt, in turn, motivates and encourages a variety of self-made decisions and actions by the perpetrator of harm to others.

Existential death anxiety

Existential death anxiety stems from the basic knowledge that human life must end. Existential death anxiety is known to be the most powerful form.It is said that language has created the basis for existential death anxiety through communicative and behavioral changes.[11] Other factors include an awareness of the distinction between self and others, a full sense of personal identity, and the ability to anticipate the future.

Awareness of human mortality arose some 150,000 years ago. In that extremely short span of evolutionary time, humans have fashioned a single basic mechanism through which they deal with the existential death anxieties this awareness has evoked—denial. Denial is effected through a wide range of mental mechanisms and physical actions, many of which go unrecognized. While denial can be adaptive in limited use, excessive use is more common and is emotionally costly. Denial is the root of such diverse actions as breaking rules, violating frames and boundaries, manic celebrations, directing violence against others, attempting to gain extraordinary wealth and power—and more. These pursuits are often activated by a death-related trauma, and while they may lead to constructive actions, more often than not, they lead to actions that are damaging to self and others.

Thanatophobia

Sigmund Freud hypothesized that people express a fear of death, called Thanatophobia. He saw this as a disguise for a deeper source of concern. It was not actually death that people feared because in Freud’s view nobody believes in their own death. The unconscious does not deal with the passage of time or with negations, which does not calculate the amount of time left in one’s life. Furthermore, that which one does fear cannot be death itself, because one has never died. People who express death-related fears, actually are trying to deal with unresolved childhood conflicts that they cannot come to terms with or express emotion towards. The name Thanatophobia is made from the Greek figure of death known as Thanatos.

Wisdom: Ego integrity vs. despair

A developmental psychologist, Erik Erikson, formulated the psycho-social theory that explained that people progress through a series of crises as they grow older. The theory also envelops the concept that once an individual reaches the latest stages of life, they reach the level he titled as “ego integrity“. Ego Integrity is when one comes to terms with their life and accepts it. It was also suggested that when a person reaches the stage of late adulthood they become involved in a thorough overview of their life to date. When one can find meaning or purpose in their life, they have reached the integrity stage. In opposition, when individual views their life as a series of failed and missed opportunities, then they do not reach the ego integrity stage. Elders that have attained this stage of ego integrity are believed to exhibit less of an influence from death anxiety.

Terror management theory

Ernest Becker based this theory on existential views which turned death anxiety theories towards a new dimension. It said that death anxiety is not only real but also it is people’s most profound source of concern. He explained the anxiety as so intense that it can generate fears and phobias of everyday life—Fears of being alone or in a confined space. Based on the theory, many of people’s daily behavior consists of attempts to deny death and to keep their anxiety under strict regulation.

As an individual develops mortality salience, i.e. becomes more aware of the inevitability of death, they will instinctively try to suppress it out of fear. The method of suppression usually leads to mainstreaming towards cultural beliefs, leaning for external support rather than treading alone. This behavior may range from simply thinking about death to severe phobias and desperate actions.

Death and adjustment hypotheses

Main article: Death and adjustment hypotheses

Mohammad Samir Hossain postulated the Death and adjustment hypotheses. With the declaration of the hypotheses, two things were postulated. The first part of the hypotheses theorizes that death should not be considered the end of existence. The next segment states the belief that the immortal pattern of human existence can only be adopted in a morally rich life with the attitude towards morality and materialism balanced mutually.

Martin Heidegger, the German philosopher, on the one hand, showed death as something conclusively determined, in the sense that it is inevitable for every human being, while on the other hand, it unmasks its indeterminate nature via the truth that one never knows when or how death is going to come. Heidegger does not engage in speculation about whether being after death is possible. He argues that all human existence is embedded in time: past, present, future, and when considering the future, we encounter the notion of death. This then creates angst. Angst can create a clear understanding in one that death is a possible mode of existence, which Heidegger described as “clearing”. Thus, angst can lead to a freedom of existence, but only if we can stop denying our mortality (as expressed in Heidegger’s terminology as “stop denying being-for-death”).

Meaning management theory

Paul T. P. Wong‘s work on the meaning management theory indicates that human reactions to death are complex, multifaceted and dynamic. His “Death Attitude Profile” identifies three types of death acceptances as Neutral, Approach, and Escape acceptances. Apart from acceptances, his work also represents different aspects of the meaning of death fear that is rooted in the bases of death anxiety. The ten meanings he proposes are finality, uncertainty, annihilation, ultimate loss, life flow disruption, leaving the loved ones, pain, and loneliness, prematurity, and violence of death, failure of life work completion, judgment and retribution centered.

Other theories

Other theories on death anxiety were introduced in the late part of the twentieth century.The existential approach, with theorists such as Rollo May and Viktor Frankl, views an individual’s personality as being governed by the continuous choices and decisions in relation to the realities of life and death. Another approach is the regret theory which was introduced by Adrian Tomer and Grafton Eliason. The main focus of the theory is to target the way people evaluate the quality and/or worth of their lives. The possibility of death usually makes people more anxious if they feel that they have not and cannot accomplish any positive task in the life that they are living. Research has tried to unveil the factors that might influence the number of anxiety people to experience in life.

Personal meanings of death

See also: Meaning-making

Humans develop meanings and associate them with objects and events in their environment, provoking certain emotions within an individual. People tend to develop personal meanings of death which could accordingly be negative or positive for the individual. If they are positive, then the consequences of those meanings can be comforting (for example, ideas of a rippling effect left on those still alive). If negative they can cause emotional turmoil. Depending on the certain meaning one has associated with death, the consequences will vary accordingly whether they are negative or positive meanings.

Religiosity’s effect

The thought of death causes a different degree of anxiety for different individuals, depending on many factors.

Other studies have found a strong sense of religion in a person’s life can be related to a lower sense of anxiety towards death. Although there has been no association discovered between religiosity and death anxiety, it has also been shown that death anxiety tends to be lower in individuals who regularly attend religious meetings or gatherings. On a recent study, one hundred and sixty-five church participants have been asked to fill out the “Intrinsic Religious Motivation Scale, the Revised Death Anxiety Scale” and the results were analyzed using factor analyses, Pearson correlation, and linear and quadratic regression. All found an inverse relationship between intrinsic religious motivation and death anxiety. In short, the more religious you are, the less anxious you are about death because you may associate death with another beginning that is promised through many religions. The study also found that gender did not have an effect on religiosity and total death anxiety. A 2013 study involving people from the US, Turkey, and Malaysia found that religiosity is positively correlated with increased fear of death, meaning more religious individuals fear death more.

Children

The earliest documentation of the fear of death has been found in children as young as age 5. Psychological measures and reaction times were used to measure fear of death in young children. Recent studies that assess fear of death in children use questionnaire rating scales. There are many tests to study this including The Death Anxiety Scale for Children (DASC) developed by Schell and Seefeldt. However, the most common version of this test is the Revised Fear Survey Schedule for Children (FSSC-R). The FSSC-R describes specific fearful stimuli and children are asked to rate the degree to which the scenario/item makes them anxious or fearful. The most recent version of the FSSC-R presents the scenarios in a pictorial form to children as young as 4. It is called the Koala Fear Questionnaire (KFQ). The fear studies show that children’s fears can be grouped into five categories. One of these categories is death and danger. This response was found amongst children age 4 to 6 on the KFQ, and from age 7 to 10. Death is the most commonly feared item and remains the most commonly feared item throughout adolescence.

A study of 90 children, aged 4–8, done by Virginia Slaughter and Maya Griffiths showed that a more mature understanding of the biological concept of death was correlated to a decreased fear of death. This may suggest that it is helpful to teach children about death (in a biological sense), in order to alleviate the fear.

Relationship between adult attachment and death anxiety

There has been much literature that supports the existence of a correlation between one’s state of coping skills, mental health, emotions and cognitive reactions to stressful events, and one’s ability to regulate affect concerning one’s death anxiety. A series of tests determined that significantly high levels of death anxiety tend to occur in close relationships with an intimate partner (more so amongst females than males).

Sexes

The connection between death anxiety and one’s sex appears to be strong. Studies show that females tend to have more death anxiety than males. Thorson and Powell (1984) did a study to investigate this connection, and they sampled men and women from 16 years of age to over 60. The Death Anxiety Scale showed higher mean scores for women than for men. Moreover, researchers believe that age and culture could be major influences in why women score higher on death anxiety scales than men.

Through the evolutionary period, a basic method was created to deal with death anxiety and also as a means of dealing with loss. Denial is used when memories or feelings are too painful to accept and are often rejected. By maintaining that the event never happened, rather than accepting it, allows an individual more time to work through the inevitable pain. When a loved one dies in a family, denial is often implemented as a means to come to grips with the reality that the person is gone. Closer families often deal with death better than when coping individually. As society and families drift apart so does the time spent bereaving those who have died, which in turn leads to negative emotion and negativity towards death. Women, who are the child bearers and are often the ones who look after children hold greater concerns about death due to their caring role within the family. It is this common role of women that leads to greater death anxiety as it emphasizes the ‘importance to live’ for her offspring. Although it is common knowledge that all living creatures die, many people do not accept their own mortality, preferring not to accept that death is inevitable and that they will one day die.

Age

It is during the years of young adulthood (20 to 40 years of age) that death anxiety most often begins to become prevalent. However, during the next phase of life, the middle age adult years (40–64 years of age), death anxiety peaks at its highest levels when in comparison to all other age ranges throughout the lifespan. Surprisingly, levels of death anxiety then slump off in the old age years of adulthood (65 years of age and older). This is in contrast with most people’s expectations, especially regarding all of the negative connotations younger adults have about the elderly and the aging process (Kurlychek & Trenner, 1982).

Measuring death anxiety

There are many ways to measure death anxiety and fear. Katenbaum and Aeinsberg (1972) devised three propositions for this measurement. From this start, the ideologies about death anxiety have been able to be recorded and their attributes listed. Methods such as imagery tasks to simple questionnaires and apperception tests such as the Stroop test enable psychologists to adequately determine if a person is under stress due to death anxiety or suffering from a post-traumatic stress disorder. The Lester attitude death scale was developed in 1966 but not published until 1991 until its validity was proven. By measuring the general attitude towards death and also the inconsistencies with death attitudes, participants are scaled to their favorable value towards death.

Thanatophobia: The One Fear Everyone Has

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Managing Depression During the Holidays

With the holiday season upon us, many of us push harder than ever by keeping ourselves busy and believing we are really just fine. That is until we stop for long enough to realize how exhausted we really are. Many feel they can’t afford to slow down, but at times like this, it is more important that we take time to replenish our inner resources. According to experts, more people become depressed or anxious during the holidays than any other time of year, due to an increase in demands, family issues, being unable to manage expectations and also increasing financial worries and wanting to fulfill your Christmas list for family and friends. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed by multiple responsibilities, not to mention your monthly bills.
FAMILY ISSUES:
The holidays are synonymous with family, so any and / all family related issues may come to the forefront during this time such as loss, dysfunction, addiction, disconnection, abuse, separation, estrangement, divorce, and financial issues. If you are someone who is already working on managing your depression, this will be an additional emotional roller-coaster and burden. This is something that won’t go away on its own without effective communication, love, and support.
Unfortunately, when we get wound up too tight, it can be hard to figure out how to unwind, but I’d like to share some simple ways to relax that can be beneficial for your mental and emotional well-being and make your days a lot more enjoyable and comfortable. My suggestions include rest, laughter exercise, plenty of water and healthy eating.
Sometimes it is hard to admit that we need to rest, but it’s a simple truth. When you sleep, not only are you physically recharging your system, you are also giving your mind and eyes time to rest as well. For those very reasons, it is extremely helpful to establish a regular sleep routine. By sticking to it as much as you can, you should be rested and ready to face those busy days ahead. Even when you aren’t actually sleeping, you can still rest your mind by finding some pleasant activity to do for short periods, like reading a book, playing a puzzle game, working on a favorite hobby, or just relaxing, listening to some soft music. Music is a powerful way of loosening up and releasing built up stress.
As for my next suggestion, many have probably heard it before. If you want to relax, find reasons to laugh. Laughter oxygenates your blood and relieves stress, which in turn boosts your immune response. It naturally improves your mood and even burns off a few calories as well! In order to get your daily dose of laughter, enjoy a pleasant visit with friends, read a funny book, or watch shows on the television that make you laugh. I guarantee that a good 15 minutes of laughing will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.
And let us not forget about exercise. Exercise helps boost your endorphin levels and is good for your heart and blood vessels. Even if your schedule is busy, try to set aside time for daily exercise, even if it’s just 15 minutes. Walking around the block several times during lunch, making a short dash to the local park, or even putting music on at home and dancing through a few songs will do wonders for your body and mind!

They Refused to Leave!

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Heavy rain and flooding are expected to continue throughout the weekend, and local officials said hundreds in areas hit by Florence still need rescue.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered ahead of the storms landfall in parts of North and South Carolina, though many people chose to remain in their homes for reasons ranging from financial concerns and the need to care for pets that they may not have been able to take to some evacuation shelters, some who stayed in their residences told ABC News ahead of the storm.

A 41-year-old mother and her 7-month-old son were killed in Wilmington, North Carolina when a tree fell on their home, officials said. The woman’s husband was injured in the incident and taken to a nearby hospital, according to police.
There have been reported deaths in Wayne, Lenoir & Cumberland Counties.
Those of us on the outside looking in might question, why these people didn’t heed the warning and leave when they were they were advised to.
So many answers; but the most are that they have been through that before and already know the ins and outs and what they should do to remain safe.
Sad as it sounds, but people grow increasingly attached to their belongings and no matter what, don’t want to part with them nor leave them behind, not even in cases of emergencies.

Florence isn’t the first hurricane and certainly won’t be the last. In the event there is another one, hopefully, residents will take measures to evacuate in a timely manner as to not only put their lives in jeopardy but the lives of their pets and first responders rescuing them.

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Teens & Suicide

“There is no greater tragedy than the death of a young person!”  With that being said, it leaves us to wonder why so many young people are taking their own lives? This same question has come up before in conversation between myself and other adults and some of the answers were quite shocking.  I have been told that these teenagers today have nothing to worry about, they have the internet, laptops, their own vehicles, cell phones, bank accounts, credit cards, access to shopping, traveling, video games and more selections of television shows and movies that those of our generation or before, so what do they have to worry about?

What teenagers have to worry about:  Many teenagers are not growing up in households where they have access to the luxuries listed above.  There are so many teenagers growing up in households where there’s substance abuse, physical abuse, as well as verbal abuse.  Hidden in the shadows are children who don’t have clean clothes to wear, enough food to eat, who are being cyber bullied or bullied at school, their neighborhood or even in their own household.  Being a teenager is not easy, their hormones are all over the place, they are trying to find themselves and their place in this world and with the gang activity in schools and / or neighborhoods, it places an extra burden on a teen, besides, peer pressure can be something many teens just cannot handle and are afraid of talking to their parents or school counselors about any of it.  Sadly it has gotten to the point that when this sort of thing happens, people read it in the news and it’s just like another random story. Even reading an article about the suicides in California, one mother ask her son what happened at school and he said suicide just like it was nothing.  It has happened so much and teens have had to see so much in their reality as well as the video games, movies and violent music videos they listen to.  They are young and impressionable.  “Sadly, many have grown Numb & Disconnected!”

The California students had attended Rancho Cucamonga High, Etiwanda High, and Alta Loma High which are in the Chaffey Joint Union High School district.  The fourth student attended Victoria Groves Elementary School.  He was only 10 years old. “None of these students attended the same schools,” said San Bernardino Sheriff Department Public Information Officer Cindy Bachman. “And there’s no indication that these students even knew each other.”

There have been past incidents of students making a suicide pact with one another.

March 12, 1987By New York Times:

BERGENFIELD, N.J. —

Four teenagers — two sisters and two young men — killed
themselves together Wednesday in a suicide pact, authorities said. The victims were found at about 6:30 a.m., seated in a car with its engine running in a garage at an apartment complex where teenagers often gather at night to socialize and drink. {Excerpt taken from the Orlando Sentinel}

 

This is something that has been going on for a long time and is only getting worse. There has to be more done to try to prevent these types of tragedies, but what can be done if there are no signs?

“The district has rallied around the families, students and staff to provide support and resources during this difficult time. We will continue to provide multi-tiered systems of support for all of our students throughout the year.” 
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).