KRISTOFF ST. JOHN – The Death of a Soap Opera Star

 

I haven’t blogged about grief in a while, but had to write about this sad story of how that thing called “GRIEF” can cause such destruction and lead to death.

I can remember vividly watching soap operas with my mother and grandmother. One of the soaps watched was “The Young and the Restless.”
They watched others, such as “Days of Our Lives.”
These soaps were a daily part of many women and men’s lives and each person who glued themselves to the television had their favorite actor or actress.
I can remember when this tall, young, handsome actor came into the Young and the Restless back in the early 90s, playing the character, Neil Winters. His acting skills were on point and he never missed a beat as far as his lines were concerned, or at least what we could see.

St. John began playing Neil Winters, a cosmetics executive who struggled with infidelity, alcoholism and many other issues, on “The Young and the Restless” in 1991. He recently resumed this role in January, completing nearly 1,700episodes of the show.

St. John would go on to win two Daytime Emmy Awards during his long tenure on the CBS soap opera “The Young and the Restless,” which brought him fame and fortune and a star-studded cast of great friends that were more like family.

Born on July 15, 1966, in New York City and grew up in Bridgeport, Conn., and Los Angeles. His father, Christopher, was a producer, director, and actor; his mother, Maria, was an entertainer. Both parents inspired their son to enter show business.

Early Acting Years:

His television career started with an appearance on the sitcom “That’s My Mama” in 1975. He played a young Alex Haley in “Roots: The Next Generations” (1979) and had a recurring part on the television version of “The Bad News Bears,” on which his father also appeared. He was also seen on “Family Matters,” “Martin,” “A Different World,” “Diagnosis Murder”

Personal life:

St. John was married and divorced twice. He had a son, Julian (1989–2014) and a daughter, Paris Nicole (born 1992) with his first wife, boxer Mia St. John. Julian died by suicide on November 23, 2014, following a long history of mental illness. St. John was married to Allana Nadal from 2001 to 2007, and they had a daughter, Lola (born April 15, 2003). On August 31, 2018, he then eventually dated again and became engaged to Russian model Kseniya Olegovna Mikhaleva.

St. John was a vegan and animal rights advocate and appeared in two PETA ad campaigns.

St. John was at increased risk for several mental and physical issues due to the death of his son, Julian St. John, who died of an apparent suicide in 2014 while in a mental health facility. Kristoff St. John became a “suicide loss survivor,” part of an unwilling group of millions of Americans left behind by loved ones’ deaths, who take on a mantle of grief and often shame and guilt. It is not uncommon for those left behind after the death of a loved one to feel some form of guilt. At some point in time, they feel as though they should have been there to save their loved one, and unfortunately, the guilt sets in and takes hold of the survivor. His son, Julian, an artist who suffered from schizophrenia, depression and drug addiction, committed suicide by asphyxiating himself with a plastic bag at a mental health care facility in Long Beach, Calif., in 2014. Mr. St. John and wife, Mia, accused the staff of negligence, and filed a lawsuit against the facility and aired their grievances in an interview on the television show, “Entertainment Tonight.” Mia was also quoted as saying in a 2017 statement to Entertainment Tonight, “No parent should ever have to bury their child, and for those who do, it is a nightmare that haunts you forever.”
The lawsuit was settled in 2017.

On Jan. 21, St. John retweeted a tweet about the loss of a child that reads: “Grieving the loss of a child is a process. It begins on the day your child passes and ends the day the parent joins them.”
He also responded to the tweet, writing: “Never a truer word was spoken. Thanks for posting this.”

Sadly, Kristoff St. John was found dead on Sunday at the age of 52.
The cause of death has been deferred “pending an additional investigation” after an autopsy was completed Monday, according to the coroner’s official website.
Parents of suicide loss survivors, especially, may have lifelong needs as a result of their loss and be especially afflicted with feelings of guilt and responsibility, according to a 2012 article in the medical journal Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience.

Suicide Lifeline: If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online. Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.

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WHY – A POEM

Sometimes I just sit and wonder why.
All the living things on earth must die?
Why do some animals travel in large packs?
Why do some stores refuse to give cash back?
Why do some people use slang instead of words?
Why people wear sagging pants and look absurd?
Why manufacturers create vehicles with no dip sticks?
Why do women allow men to refer to them as their chick?
Why does the younger generation think they have it figured out?
Why does the defective metabolism of uric acid cause painful gout?
Why do some people use their outside voices when talking and shout?
Why do some fools listen to schemes of others and obey their commands?
Why do people go to beaches and bury their bodies in the scorching hot sand?
Why do we watch horror movies knowing we will be awake in fear at night?
Why do you not see many children out in the wind running flying awesome kites?

CHERRY BLOSSOMS

A grove of blossoming flowers is beautiful as far as the eye can see, one of the most mysteriously alluring places one could ever hope to be. The American Cherry Blossoms are lovelier than one would imagine, filling the air with the faint and sheer lilac and rose qualities, accented with creamy vanilla and soft, almond-like aroma from their pale pink flowers.

Walking through the grove is a complete dream with bees buzzing, butterflies fluttering, in one of the earth’s most majestic natural wonders. While strolling beneath those ephemeral petals and marveling at how amazing mother nature could create such an intense scene for all to behold. Taking it all in, held bondage by its beauty, you must continue to be enthralled by this captivating oasis of flowers.

As you make it to the end and take in a deep breath, you began to wonder if you’re ready for the whole adventure to come to an end? The sweet Cherry Blossoms of the US and the “Sakura,” Cherry Blossoms of Japan are a fascinating site to see. One great experience for the whole family, but the peak blossoms only last a week or two.

TWAS the Day Before Christmas – A Poem

“Twas the day before Christmas and all through the town,
Hundreds of people were scurrying and rushing around.
The once stocked shelves were completely picked bare,
By last minute wild shoppers who did not even care.

That perfect gift they looked for, but many could not find,
Store after store searching knowing they may be in a bind.
Buying that perfect gift would certainly make them look grand,
As they shopped and greedily snatched from other shopper’s hands.

Once completing the task that they had 12 months to complete,
They rushed home with their treasures to place under the tree.
Leisurely resting with a drink in front of the fireplace and tele,
They prepared for Santa and his jolly face and round belly.

Before midnight arrived, all were snuggled in their beds,
With thoughts of the day’s aggressions running in their heads.
Worn to a frazzle from shopping they fell fast asleep,
As Santa came down the chimney landing on his feet.

With a blink of an eye, gifts were left, and stockings filled with treats,
St. Nick was gone in a flash with a flick of his nose and a huge wink.
Everyone awakened the next morning with his or her hearts filled with joy.
Santa Claus had come and left gifts for every man, woman, girl, and boy!

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!

The 1927 Christmas Day Shootout

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It 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

Chapter One: The Dream

It was a beautiful fall morning. The brightly colored leaves softly making a crackling sound while fluttering as the wind gently blew through the trees. This almost communicative whistling sound was one of the many things; both Alex and Cindy loved about fall. Cindy awakened from a deep sleep, panting and perspiring while 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?” Yes, she frantically stated while holding her chest; 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.
Alex and Cindy Langston had been together since college. They met on July 4th at a fireworks party. One of Alex’s friends named Lan took a class with Cindy and knew she was very intelligent, witty, selfless and a down to earth young woman. He knew she would be perfect for his best friend, Alex, so he took it upon himself to invite them both to come along to see the fireworks with him and his girlfriend, Jarlin. Alex and Cindy were both smitten with one another and the chemistry between the two could be seen a mile away. They continued to date through college and married right after graduating from University in the spring. Their love for one another was something out of a storybook and was what dreams are made of.

Chapter Two: The Accident

The couple had been married four years when their lives would suddenly take a turn for the Supernatural. Cindy 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, Cindy 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 never cried nor showed any signs of anger in the room with her. Alex was very angry at the man who almost took his sweet Cindy away from him. Both his and Cindy’s parents flew in to be of support, and both families were amazing and were what this young couple needed to assure Cindy’s recovery. Miraculously, Cindy made a full recovery and was released after spending six months in the hospital and undergoing physical 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. The injury Cindy sustained to her head was serious and the fact she died and was clinically dead for 5 minutes, she had traveled to the other side. She met friends, family members and people whom she never met who had passed away long ago and recently. She would soon come to remember these things as time went on.

Chapter Three: A Visit From Grandmother

That first night went off without a hitch as Alex, his parents Rob and June, and Cindy’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; Cindy awakens to find herself face to face with her grandmother Lanny, 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 Cindy that she would always watch over her, someone special from her past would be paying her a visit and not to fear them. She also said to look after your mother, she is still grieving your grandfather’s and my passing. We are both very happy and don’t want to see Willa cry as much as she does when no one is around. She also told Cindy to not be afraid of her new gift, embrace it, help others and that she loves her very much, then was gone. Cindy 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. Both sets of parents said their goodbyes and left to fly back to their homes. As days turned into weeks, weeks into months and months turned into a year, Cindy recovered, and the couple went on with their lives. Cindy, a licensed Real Estate Broker, ran and operated her own real estate company. She was very passionate about her career and 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 looking at the paintings and showing one another their favorite saying one day they would own one. Cindy fell in love with a painting of a handsome young man with dark raven colored hair, hazel eyes, wearing a black trench coat standing in a field of flowers with trees blowing behind him. This was the painting she wanted badly and told her husband how much it would mean to her to purchase it one day. They talked about it and he told her maybe one day they could afford it and left it at that.
Chapter Four: A Huge Surprise
A few months later, Alex came home with something wrapped in beautiful paper. He gave it to her and told her, here open it. She took the gift and could already tell it had to be the painting and it was huge! She rips the paper off and there it was, the painting of the man in the field! He told her he bought the artwork just to cheer her up after everything she had gone through, he felt she deserved it. Shocked; but happy, 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 this masculine man standing in a field of flowers with a backdrop of trees. She couldn’t take her eyes off him each time she visited the gallery and it seemed like the painting had an aura about it that drew her in making her want it more and more. 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. The man in the painting looked just like that man from her dreams, but was it him? She was finding herself excited and blushing at the same time.
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 $10 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. As Cindy walked over to her husband, eyes still transfixed on the photo, she suddenly hears a voice say, “I have searched the world over for you and have finally found you, my love.” It took her aback 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 it all in and relishing in your beauty, happiness and my love for you.” Finally, able to break free 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 must be one of the happiest moments of my life, and how you managed to keep it a secret from me, I will never know. Cindy had expressed her love for the painting many times to her mother during their lengthy conversations and couldn’t wait to call her and tell her that the painting is now hers.
Alex went to work hanging the painting for Cindy 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 on the Livingroom wall with Cindy 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 life, or could this man have been a figment of the artist’s imagination? Nevertheless, he was still familiar, and she wanted to put her finger on why.
The couple ate dinner, showered and dressed for bed.

Chapter Five: A Feeling of Being Watched

As they were headed upstairs to bed, Cindy 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 Cindy 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 out a box of tea and put on a kettle of water. As the kettle began to warm, she started gazing into the living room and the painting of her gentleman stranger. She must have been standing there less than 5 minutes when the tea kettle began to whistle. Startled, she began pouring herself a cup of hot water and dropping a tea bag into the cup, then walks into the living room to gaze 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, Cindy, 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.
Chapter Six: He’s Here

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 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 the middle of 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 flawless with a small thin mustache, as though someone took a chisel and delicately chiseled his features. Unable to scream or take her eyes off him, her body became weak and she felt as though she would faint as 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 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 and she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt he was the man she dreamt of as a teenager, and he made certain she knew it. Long ago in another place in time when life was simple, yet beautiful and love was true, she and her dark-haired stranger were 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 hypnotized by his eyes 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 and not ever thing of her current husband, Alex asleep in their upstairs bedroom.
So intense was the moment and she was trembling when she suddenly remembered, the stranger wasn’t a stranger at all, but her husband back in the late 1800’s. The two were happily married; but their love was not meant to last due to Cindy, who’s name back then was Cinda being struck and killed by a horse-driven carriage driven by a drunken stagecoach driver. Her husband at that time was Alexander Cromwell, a wealthy banker. She remembered everything and as he laid her down on the sofa to love her. Alex awakes and finds Cindy not in bed came down the stairs to see where she was. What he walks in and finds is enough to make any man go mad. The atmosphere had grown colder, the lights began to flicker as a fog engulfed the room. Alexander Cromwell, entered her as her present-day husband Alex stared in disbelief and anger and frozen in his steps, trying to move to save his wife, but he would not be able to save her. His heart pounding in fear as he felt the adrenaline rushing through his body. The lights 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 is wearing a long white dress with a sun hat, and he still dressed in the same garments. It was only then Alex was able to move and could not believe what he just witnessed. He screamed out Cindy’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.”
Alex filed a police report on his missing wife. The police never found any signs of Cindy; it was as if she just disappeared without a trace. They certainly didn’t believe she had entered a painting and was now a part of the art décor in their living room. The painting would remain on the wall in the living room for two months as Alex tried investigating himself. After visiting the local library, he found proof that both Alexander and Cinda were real people who lived in the 1800’s and also located a photo of them both. It was too real to deal with and Alex unable live in the house eventually sold it, destroyed the painting and moved out of state.

The End

Written by: Jasmine D. Parker
10/27/18

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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