Death Of A Flower

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                            LQINYRGQFR

                            Part 1

I saw Amy standing there. Alone. In

front of her old farm house. Just the way I left her the last time I saw her. It was dark, but I could make out her form in the silver light of the moon.

She looked just as beautiful as I remember. Thick, long, straight dark brown hair, perfectly framing her slender oval looking face.  Her large almond shaped, amber colored eyes seemed to stare right through me.

Welcoming me.

With a hint of a smile and a wave of a hand, she beckoned me to her. Just like when we were kids, and I would show up at her house to ask her parents if she could play.

She would always stand at the top of the stairs, with that look of mischief in her eyes. As if to say, what kind of trouble shall we get into today?

  I couldn’t help it I got so excited to see her, I ran straight for her. Only the harder I ran the farther away she seemed to get. Always with that same hauntingly beautiful smile.

Finally, I stopped as I felt the sting of hot tears hit my eyes. Why couldn’t I catch up to her? When I stopped, she stopped.

We both just stood there staring at each other with tears in our eyes.  Suddenly, I was under water. My lungs were burning, and I couldn’t move. I looked over, Amy was there next to me.

We were stuck in a car that was plummeting into nothingness. My head hurt. The whole car was full of water, and the doors wouldn’t open. The numbers 523 kept flashing inside my mind.

When I looked over at Amy I could see the smile was gone, and in its place was sheer and utter terror. That’s when it hit me. We’re going to die!This is how Amy died!

I screamed a long silent scream, and just like that I woke up. The scream which turned out wasn’t so silent, died in my throat. I was back in my room. Back in my bed. Shaking like a leaf. It felt so real.

Why did it feel so real?

I looked at the clock. It was 3 am, and I knew I wasn’t going back to sleep tonight. I never can after I dream about her…

The next day I drove straight to Amy’s house. It was empty now. Her parents had packed up and left town just shortly after her funeral, four years earlier. It looked just how it did in my dream last night.

A small shiver went slowly up my spine. Was it all in my head, or do my lungs really hurt?

I shook the feeling aside and started to walk around the old farm house. Looking for what, I didn’t know.

I began to remember the last time I dropped Amy off here. We had just went shopping for our senior prom, and we were supposed to meet back up the next afternoon at our favorite diner.

I remember being so mad at her when she didn’t show up, that Saturday night. She wasn’t answering her phone either. Something that wasn’t entirely out of character for her. I finally ordered and ate alone. Sitting there all I could think about was how I was going to tell her off good, the next time I saw her.

The following day I got the call. Amy never came home that afternoon, or the following morning. She was gone forever. Ripped from our lives with no notice. She was nation wide news for weeks. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about her. She was famous but in the most awful way imaginable. 

  It was an agonizing three weeks before they finally found her inside her car, at the bottom of the lake. They classified her death accidental. They think she lost control of the car while on the interstate, and knocked herself unconscious on the steering wheel. Which caused her to veer off the road, into the Icy lake below.

They say she never regained consciousness. That she didn’t feel any pain.

It was hard to believe. It all happened so suddenly. And of course there was the nightmares. 

I had been having the same recurring nightmares since the day she went missing. I had no idea why, or what they meant. Maybe this is my mind’s way of dealing with the tragic events surrounding Amy’s death, I thought.

Maybe it’s just the guilt I feel for living, while she’s lying in coffin for all eternity, after such a horrific end to her very short life.

No matter how hard I try though, I can’t shake the feeling there’s more to Amy’s death then what we know. I don’t know how I know. I just do.  

                           Part 2

Weeks had passed with no nightmares. Was I just imagining the whole thing? That night I decided if I had another dream I would find someone to talk to about it.

After dinner I went upstairs to get ready for bed. As I was walking into my room, I noticed a picture of Amy and I had fallen of the wall. Where her face was, I noticed a good size crack as if someone had punched it. I picked it up and placed it on the dresser, as I turned I saw something move out of the corner of my eye.

Standing about five feet behind me was Amy. She was dripping wet and looked angry. I wasn’t sure what it was, but she was holding something in her hands. A piece of shiny white medal. When I looked closer I noticed it read Ohio Birthplace of Aviation. I knew what it was. I had seen it a thousand times before. It was the Ohio state license plate. What it meant I still didn’t know.

Just then Amy lunged for me, and grabbed my arm. I could feel her cold, wet hands digging into my wrist. Suddenly, my whole room vanished!

In its place was the inside of a huge truck, except it wasn’t one I recognized. It was old and smelled of rust. I noticed a bottle of Jim Beam whiskey was lying on the seat next to me, with half the contents gone. Again the numbers 523 were flashing in my mind’s eye. I looked to my left and noticed a man I had never seen before. It looked as though he had no idea I was in the truck.

He was middle aged with dark hair, brown eyes and a wide crooked nose. The stubble on his face told me he hadn’t shaved in awhile. The speedometer told me we were going much faster than anyone on this road should go. Faster than any truck this old should ever go.

The road was quiet. Not a car in sight. The slight rocking movement of the truck warned of the impending danger. A few seconds later in the distance in front of us I noticed headlights. As the car got closer I recognized it as Amy’s little Honda Accord.  Just as we got close, the driver of the truck I was in lost control, swerved into the oncoming traffic lane next to us, which caused Amy’s vehicle to swerve to avoid it. Her car drove off the road, and fell straight into the water below.

Immediately after that I was back in my room, and Amy was gone. The sound of my phone ringing broke the eerie silence that had settled over the room. It was my mom telling me to turn on the t.v. and find the local news station. She said she loved me, and she would be home soon.

Not knowing what I was looking for, I flipped the channels impatiently. Within seconds I found what I was looking for. My stomach dropped. There on a split screen under the words breaking news was a picture of Amy, and a close up picture of the man I just saw in my vision. He was standing next to the front of a rusty looking truck, with a license plate that read Ohio: birthplace of aviation. The first three plate numbers were 523. Immediately, a cold chill ran through my entire body. I knew then what those numbers meant. I wasn’t crazy! It was all real!

The news story went on to say that there had been a break in the case. A man came in to the police station earlier that day, and confessed to causing the accident that killed Amy. He had been drinking heavily on that night, four years earlier, and that was the reason he didn’t stop. He claimed to have been haunted by terrible nightmares of the accident, and the girl inside the car. The police arrested him on the spot. They charged him with vehicular manslaughter.

He would be punished and the world would know the truth of Amy’s death. I knew it was over.

I could breath again.

The next day as I got out of the car and walked down the path to the old farm house for the very last time, I felt a peaceful feeling come over me. I took the wildflowers I had in my hand, and laid them in the exact spot I last saw her alive. I felt a soft breeze come up from behind me, and watched it gently blow the flowers away.

Wild and free I thought, just like my Amy…

 

Family: One Mothers Evolution

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Growing up I didn’t have an ideal childhood. My father wasn’t around and my mother suffered from mental illness. We didn’t have much money and we moved around a lot. Years later when I became a mother to my own children, I realized I had very few normal past childhood experiences to gauge my own parenting abilities on. It was like starting from scratch. Almost.

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My hot stuff and I looking hot n stuff

I was lucky enough to have an awesome man in my life who had a wonderful childhood and a very loving family, so I wasn’t completely stuck.

 I was blessed that his parents who are the salt of the earth kind of people, welcomed me in to their family almost immediately and never looked back. They have shown me the true meaning of family.

Im sure the first couple years my mother in law (who is a christmas specialist) was ringing her hands around Christmas time. I would get off work to find her and my daughter decorating a tree (her own) in my house a couple weeks before christmas.

She must have found it odd, my seemingly lack of interest in Christmas; especially because I was a mother to a small child.  For me it wasn’t so much a lack of interest, it was more a lack of experience.

I didn’t even know how to wrap a present until last year, when my husband refused to be my wrapping go to guy for Christmas and birthdays (that man can wrap a present like nobody’s business!)

Apparently my plan to wait till the last minute so he had to help (or I would never finish) wasn’t going to work anymore. I like to say: you’ll know your presents from me if it looks like it’s been kick down the street 😉

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Exhibit A: present wrapping at it’s finest

It took some time but I now am a huge fan of camping trips, family vacations and of course holidays, thanks to them.

Especially Thanksgiving. I love eating massive amounts of turkey and then skimming through all the sales papers so I can plot out my routine Black Friday (Thursday) shopping trip. They have shown me the ways of a Black Friday Jedi Warrior.

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The Black Friday Mishap Of 2014

Except for last years fail, I think they are quite proud of my growing expertise. One year I got 15 towels for 22$! Who cares if they were brown, beige, and avocado colored? Money well spent in my eyes.

You can never have enough towels when you have kids!

From chaotic family campouts to hectic holidays, it’s all the little moments with my family that make my life what it is today.

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The lost kids…

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I know what it means to be a lost kid….

I worked really hard to forget….

The pain and despair were a trial that most could not bare……

I know what it means to be a lost kid and have parents who don’t care

I know what it means to be a lost kid who runs away, trying to escape the chaos that continued to plague those they left behind….

I know what it means to be a lost kid and create your own chaos with other lost kids who welcomed you in without judgment  or fear, to a freedom you never thought you would find…

I know what it means to be a lost kid who dwells where no child should….

I know what it means to be a lost kid and realize that what all those lost kids thought was freedom, was actually chains in disguise…

I know what it means to be a lost kid, who wakes up one day to find that they are all alone, and all the other lost kids have gone away

To no one’s surprise….

I know what it means to be a lost adult who deep down inside is still that lost kid, who never really grew up….

I know what it means to be a lost kid who one day opens her eyes to see that she has broken free from the chains that held her down for so long….

I know what it means to be a lost kid who is lost no more…

The Four Cardinal Rules To Getting A Tattoo When You’re Young

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It was my 18th birthday when I decided I was going to get my first tattoo. I remember being really excited and not having a clue as to what I was going to get.

As I looked through the tattoo magazine that was lying around while I was waiting for the tattoo artist, I saw a huge winged angel and it spoke to me. I thought that’s the one!

Don’t judge me. I was only 18, and I never claimed I had the best taste 😉

I sat there for three hours give or take, until it was done (who knew if I would ever see that guy again since he was a friend of a friend, and just got fired from the local tattoo shop for being unreliable)

When it was all over, I was happy. My tattoo came out pretty good, not to mention it covered my entire left shoulder. Hey, go big or go home right?

13 years, 2 kids, and some on and off weight fluctuations later, and my sweet little angel doesn’t look so sweet anymore.

I later learned through experience I had broken the four cardinal rules of getting a tattoo

No.1 Never get a tattoo while still in your teens (or early twenties if you really want to play it safe).

The reason being; the older you get, the more your tastes will change. Weather because you got married, had kids or whatever else life throws at you, you are going to evolve.

You can never be positive you will still want that the giant Scooby Doo smoking a joint on the small of your back.

Not that I don’t love Scooby doo mind you, but I just don’t think it will be all that appropriate when your kid turns four, and wants to know what that is in his mouth and why his eyes are so red….

No.2  Placement is everything.

If your going to break rule one make sure it doesn’t cover an entire body part so its easier to cover up. Plus it will leave more options open to you if you do want to cover it.

No.3 Know what you want before you go in.

Give yourself time to think about what you want this tattoo to say about you for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!

No.4 Do your homework.

Make sure you check out the tattoo artist work before hand. Just because they can do tattoos doesn’t mean they are good.

Believe me, having a shitty tattoo sucks! I literally have to go four sizes bigger then my entire shoulder to cover it up! Were talking hours of work, and definitely more than one session.

So there it is my four cardinal rules for getting a tattoo. looking back now my tattoo reminds me of where I was in that moment on my 18th birthday, and that at the time I think I felt I needed a little protection and guidance.

Even though I wish someone would have mentioned all this to me before I got inked at least I can pass it on.

If I can just stop that one person before they get that giant colored mushroom with the weird googly eyes that covers the entire back of their calve then I will have made a difference.

Five Things We Do For Our Kids Out Of Love

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Today I am babysitting a five month old pit bull puppy, that belongs to our oldest son. He’s definitely a cutie. He is also a bit hyper and down right unruly at times.

I am really not much of a puppy person as it is. First of all there not potty trained. Which means for me, keeping a close eye and nose out for any signs of what I like to call “puppy love”.

Then there is the whole teething thing. I love ALL of my shoes! I prefer to wear them with out teeth marks, and still in one piece.

Not to mention that having two small children exactly school age apart, means I have literally spent eight years straight, taking care of a small child. Twenty four hours a day. Seven days a week.

So that’s probably the reason why I am hesitant about bringing a baby-anything in to our household, for more then a quick visit.

After I agreed to watch him, and the boy left me with this little hellion, (who is right now chewing one of my daughters toys) I started thinking about all the things we do out of love for our kids. Here are my top five;

1. Pets.

Obviously I’m going to throw pets on here because let’s face it, who really ends up training, feeding and footing the vet bill at the end of the of the day? (or at the very least babysitting them for your oldest who’s home from college for the week). You guessed it. The parents.

2. Toys.

I bet you didn’t think that one would make the list huh. Well I’m here to tell you that it does. Here’s why; just because you have kids it does not mean its mandatory for your house to look like a used toy store.

It takes a special kind of parent to allow their house to be over run by Lego’s and Polly Pockets, as well as those huge toys that take up half the living room like kitchens and play vanities or barbie dream houses (I have at least two of each in my house for both of my girls).

3. Extracurricular activities.

Sports, dance or any other event that takes up quite a bit of time, and/or costs an arm and a leg. I’m sure there are a ton of parents who love to go to those events. I’m just not one of them.

Recently I went to my daughters first talent show, she was literally the LAST act to go on. I had to sit through 28 other acts, before we got to her three and half minute song (which I worked on with her for two weeks!) that was cut off unexpectedly after only two minutes. Apparently they ran out of time. Go figure.

4. Friends.

You may or may not end up being the local hang out spot for your kids, and their friends. Our house was where my sons band practiced through out high school.

Now don’t get me wrong many of those kids still come around on occasion, and I’m so glad we had the chance to get to know those extremely talented young men.

Then again when you have a small baby who kept you up all night, and your just trying to get them down for a nap (believe me as much as I love that song) A.C.D.C’s, T.N.T is not what you want to hear in place of utter silence.

5. Birthday Parties.

Of course I saved the best for last! First of all, you will probably end up with somewhere close to fifty people (most you probably never met, since your child invited the entire class) walking around spilling their cup of juice or soda all over your house.

Plus there’s always that one person who’s sick, coughing all over everyone making you wonder why the hell they didn’t just do us all a favor and stay in bed. Instead you have them in your face, breathing on you while asking where the restroom is.

Now it’s a party.

Then there are always those last few stragglers who hold up the whole damn thing until your ready to just cut the fucking cake and be done with it.

Screw you stragglers! 2pm means 2pm!

Finally its present time. When its all said and done after first cleaning up all the wrapping paper, you realize only a third of the stuff they got (if your lucky) they will actually use.

The rest of it will end up just adding to the clutter in and around your already chaotic life house.

Like forgotten memories from birthdays and Christmas’s past. Just waiting for your annual yardsale to be bought by another more grateful child, who’s looking for a deal. Who doesn’t love birthday parties?

The parents who throw them, that’s who.

So thats the top five on my list. I’m sure all of you have your own list of five or more things you do for your kids because, hey there your kids.

No matter what, we love our children unconditionally, and want the world for them.

Even if that means baking in the hot sun for hours watching them play sports, or sitting through several renditions of Frozen’s Let It Go, just to get to hear half of your own child’s rendition of the same song.

The truth is, the pro’s far outweigh the con’s. The excited look they give you when you tell them they can KEEP the puppy, or when they see you in the stands at their talent show or baseball game makes it all seem easier some how.

In the end being a parent is one of the hardest jobs there is, but its definitely one that’s worth it.

We do it all, out of love!

For The Love Of Camping…

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Every year, our family goes camping. Sounds fun right? It can be, but if your not careful it can turn into a hot mess, fast.

First off it usually takes around two hours to get there. That’s two hours locked in a car, with two excited little crazy people! You know what they say; pent up excitement, breeds irritation.

OK maybe it’s me, that says that.

It wont be long before they are ready to kill each other, and you’re only twenty minutes in.

My number one rule is always, ALWAYS, make sure everyone has used the bathroom before leaving. A no brainer right? Of course in the midst of packing everything up, my number one rule gets lost in the shuffle.

My kids are what I like to call, public restroom connoisseur’s. They love a good public restroom (or any public restroom for that matter). It’s like they intentionally hold their little bladders until just that right moment, when you’re in the middle of nowhere, not a restroom in sight.

So of course good old GPS, takes us thirty minutes in the wrong direction, to find the nearest restroom, and we end up in one that looks like a wet shaggy dog shook itself off in it.

As you delve further into the abyss of piss, (while simultaneously trying to not touch anything) you notice a lovely note on the wall from a nice girl name Sadie, who’s  looking for love in all the wrong places.

Not to mention you spent weeks preparing, only to find out once you get there, you forgot the bug spray.

Heaven forbid, you have to stay out there for four days with no OFF! I did this one year, by the end of the trip my girls and I looked like the elephant man’s wife and kids. It wasn’t pretty.

Then comes the fun part: setting up.

Now if you’re lucky, you get the tent that someone who knew what they were doing put away. If not, lord help you. You will end up spending the next three hours trying figure out why there’s no door, only to realize you were missing the pole that holds up the door to begin with.

Of course by the time you’re done setting up, the kids are all ready to go swimming!

Yay!!! Swimming!!!

Everyone loves swimming right? Except you’re in the mountains, and the water is freshly melted snow water, that’s 30 below.

Finally when your kids lips are pleasantly purple, with hands and feet that look like they’re ready to fall off, its lunchtime!

Who doesn’t love lunch?  I don’t know about you, but by this time I’m ready for everyone to shut the hell up, and go the fuck to sleep. A nap is the only thing on my mind, in this heat.

I don’t want to grill hot dogs, and hamburgers, or wait on little people. Of course, they are little people, so you’re kinda forced to make lunch.

Guess who gets to sit in the shade for a few and relax? Not you, because you have little people who need entertaining. Its time for a walk, some kickball, and who can forget sand castles?

Just when you think it’s finally time to take a load off, (hey you’ve earned it right?) it’s dinner time! If you’re lucky like I am, this is where the hubbs really shines. He’s a barbeque master! He masters that barbeque.

Once all the dishes are done, (because who wants unexpected visitors in the middle of the night) you finally get a little me time.

Wait. What’s that Lassie? The little’s want to go on a hunt for wood, to build a fire?

Of course if they want a fire, they’re probably going to want to make s’mores.  Of course if they want s’mores, you can’t go relax because their going to be near fire.

Fire is bad.

We like to take a stick and draw a huge circle around it. No one is to cross that line. EVER.

This goes on for four days and three nights.

Don’t get me wrong, the memories we make with our children, will last a life time. Each year my children get a little bit bigger, which makes things a little easier. The best part is, once a year we get four days off the grid together, without distraction. Mostly…

I must be a glutton for punishment, because I’m already excited for our annual camping trip next week. Time to go finish packing!

Kindergarten Camp: A Mothers Tale

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As a parent I have had the pleasure of escorting both my children on their first day of school. Never has there been two polar opposites quite like my thing one, and thing two.

Thing one started her first day in preschool. She was such a sweet thing even then. She looked up at me with a smile, gave me a kiss and ran off to join in on the fun with all the other little things.

Apparently I took it way harder than she did as a small tear threatened to trickle down my left cheek. On one hand I knew she would be just fine and this was one of those milestones I would never forget.

On the other I knew I would miss her greatly. School would be her main concern from here on out, until she graduated college.

God, I had no idea! First time mom syndrome was in full effect.

Fast forward four years, and one wild child later, things weren’t exactly the same. Thing two unlike thing one was not an easy-going thing to say the least. If I would have had her first she’d probably be my only thing.

On the first day of kindergarten camp for thing two her dad and I walked her to her classroom to meet her new teacher.

When we got there I could sense the fear in her, or maybe it was the iron grip she had on me. As I attempted to pry little fingers from my inner thigh while my life’s blood was slowly being cut off from the rest of my body, I started to think we might have a problem here.

Thing two was shaping up to be a stage five clinger!
While I was trying to calm thing two down, I suddenly noticed the room got very quiet.

As I looked around I could see all the parents had left. Their tiny things left sitting quietly on the ground with their legs crossed and hands folded into their laps.

All eyes were on us.

When the teacher neared us, the look of utter helplessness on my face must have betrayed me because she came right over and helped me gently pry thing two off.

It was like she could read my mind (or possibly my lips, as I had said as much to my husband while amid the struggle) when she said “you guys go ahead and go I’m an expert in stage five clingers”!

As we exited the building I thought good luck with that. Thing two began to cry hysterically, and they literally had to hold her back to keep her from going after us.

Great we traumatized thing two, on her first day of school!

Within a few minutes after we left, the crying stopped! When I looked through the small window on the door, I could see thing two quietly sitting next to the teacher, as she read a story. What the hell? I guess her teacher really was an expert!

Later as I watched her quietly walk in line with her oversized backpack hanging on her tiny body, I thought to myself how lucky I was to have a brave little thing like that.

This would definitely be one of those milestones that I would never forget, and something tells me she won’t either.