The Ebola epidemic

I have been praying for the victims of the Ebola outbreak in Africa.

My prayers have led to fasting and also web research. The result of that research is so disheartening that I am not linking.

Ebola is a plague with the devastating symptoms and prognosis of a plague.

People die horrible deaths and the death rate is high, very high.

So I am asking for prayer. Please pray for the people exposed to the disease and their families.

Pray for healing, but pray for this as well–

Many people in the countries this virus inhabits do not believe in it or believe health workers are infecting them.

So pray for healing and truth as well.
And thank you.

The no-bark collar

For years I labored under the illusion that child sexual abuse was rare and that the victims could find help, even if their parents were indifferent or the abusers.

Wrong and wrong.

More than half of all children are victims of sexual assault before they reach the age of 18.

Most if not all of us have known and/or been groomed by a sexual predator.

And yet…

The pressure to not talk about the known sexual predators among us is so strong that I frequently write posts and then refrain from publishing them.

I am an old woman and a mouthy one at that, but I have been told explicitly to shut up and shunned implicitly for speaking out against child sexual abuse.

The pressuring is convincing and effacing.

Imagine what it would do to a child.

Letters to Veronica

I lost your real name a long time ago when I lost you.

I am reminded of it every day, because when you lose a child you don’t recover. You might survive it, but you don’t recover.

You should remember when you grow up, meet your real mom, become who you will be–

A person is haunted by all those lost days–lost pigtails, birthday parties, school pictures.

You just miss the kid. All the time. And the very best you can do is look for her face in every crowd. Pray for her happiness at every meal. Wish her well.

Wish you well. I will always wish you well, because you were my baby.


Cassidy Stay

I wanted to title this “sea monsters”
Because no one believes they are real

So one less thing to worry about, right?

But an unrestrained, mentally unbalanced family member?

All too real.

It is an utter, shameless, flagrant failure of law enforcement that led directly to tragedy in a quiet Spring, TX neighborhood.

He should have been in prison for attempting to murder his wife.

He should have been in jail facing charges for attempting to murder his own mother.

Dozens of people knew this man was not safe.

And now a brave young girl faces a life of unspeakable sorrow because we did not stop him soon enough.

If we are not willing to pay to prevent crime, we leave it to the victims to pay, forever.

Philippians 4:13

Dearest M,

This was the verse tattooed inside a cross on a rider’s back yesterday.

I have gotten very good advice on doing the big kicker from him, but I have been too scared to take it.

What you did yesterday was a triumph. I could tell by your face you did not think so, but I know it was.


Because I fear the fall and I fear the hurt and I fear the scrutiny and you have left me no alternative but to face those fears.

Thank you.

So much.

It is so easy to be a coward. I know because I am.

But to be brave? But to risk yourself? Especially in front of others?

That takes such beautiful courage.

And quite frankly it teaches others to be brave as well.

There are no words for that kind of triumph. Trust me. I am an old woman. I know.

The Central American Crisis

For nearly 20 years young people, mostly women, have been the victims of rape and murder in Juarez, a city neatly adjacent to El Paso, Texas.

They even have a name for it–feminicidio, the murder of women.

Not once have I ever heard anyone in our government say we need to provide asylum to the women and children of Juarez.

Perhaps we should.

But as a one-time resident of Central America and a long-time advocate for children, especially those who have refugee issues, the sudden trucking out of an “emerging Central American crisis” feels deeply political and not very honest.

When in our lifetime has Central America been stable? The eighties?!?

Not a chance.

This particular iteration of the absolute disaster that is American foreign policy ignores completely the fact that…

These countries have been de facto war zones for decades.

The children have not just started coming, some of them came years ago. Many came to the US and joined gangs affiliated with the conflicts in their home countries.

And many also have the usual spectrum of emotional and mental problems that go with trauma, upheaval, social disintegration, and loss of caregiver relationships.

We cannot afford to anonymize these minors. Where they go, who they go with, and how they cope all matter so much.

What do you know about the gang affiliations of refugee and immigrant teens in your area? What do you know about attachment disorder?

You cannot haphazardly throw money or executive orders at children.

You gotta have an actual plan.

Yep. And I still think we owe the children of Mexico an apology.

Isn’t their failed state as disastrous as all the others?

The Symbols of a Broken Mind

He used structures, barriers, doorways, linens, athletic equipment to hide his aggressions.

And lies. So many lies.

This comes back to haunt me. I try to keep it in a mental suitcase because my grief over his aggression is still so intense.

Last night I had a dream that I saw a giant tire being pulled on a barge in front of me. I knew exactly what it meant.

I used to take children to play tennis. Right next to the tennis courts the football team had giant tires they used for strength training.

Charles used the tires to hide his broken actions, distorting play schema with devastating effect.

The elliptical nature of my description is for you, not me. I know too well what he did to hurt people with ordinary things.

I wish there was closure. I don’t really believe in it. Instead I think my unconscious mind will continue to bring to the fore these devastating symbols of lost innocence.

Barriers–he uses them to deceive and harm children, yet has no legal obstacle, tag or minder alerting others to his past.

It is one thing to not know how a predator isolates and subdues his prey. It is another entirely to know, and simply look away.

The Children’s Crusade

Are they insane?!

That was my first and unwavering reaction to the very quiet news that tens of thousands of minors are being transported and dumped illegally on our southern border.

And the administration’s response is simply to let them stay?

There are several profound issues here–

Parental consent and supervision

Apparent lack of any interest in arresting the criminals capitalizing on and exploiting these minors

The disturbing implications of labeling a potentially felonious 16 or 17 year old “a child” and giving him a free pass to stay or…

The open and volatile question–are young children being trafficked across our borders with the tacit endorsement of the current?

Each of these minors are at risk for exploitation by their coyotes.

Good people do not smuggle children for profit.

And last of all–this is a huge issue. Why would it ever be less newsworthy than bad movies and celebrity rumors?

What is wrong with us that this does not matter?

Tennis, anyone?

Yesterday I was privy to one of the greatest non-combat snap-out-it speeches ever.

I wish I had it written down verbatim, but the gist, expletives deleted, was still pretty good–

Snap the effe out of it. You have not been shot! I have seen men shot in war. And you have not been shot. This is not a war. These people are trying to help you.

So shut the effe up and man the effe up.

I need this speech myself sometimes. We all do, I suppose.

Take tennis…

I found myself gazing at a tennis ball one night (on a tennis court), thinking–I should play more tennis.

I should. I would have to practice a lot just to get back to decent, but I should.

It takes a lot, a lot of hours to be good at something. Then when you are good at it, people think it comes naturally to you.

Perhaps to you.

But not to me. I am a clumsy middle aged woman. I gotta practice.

A lot.

What you practice a lot matters.