Missing Person. Could have been me

In about 7th grade I was walking to middle school youth group at a local church. It was probably about a mile from our house to the church I attended for youth group. It was in a somewhat busy section of town or at least near a busy part of town. First Baptist Church in Eugene, OR. I was accustomed to walking around town at a young age.

This day I was about 2 1/2 blocks from the church on a very busy street near the eugene bus station when a man pulled over and asked if I wanted a ride. I was not scared, people often asked if I wanted a ride. I said “no thank you, I’m not very far.” He asked me again and I said no. He becam more adamant and asked a 3rd time. He did not have a gun or knife that I could see, but at this point I became nervous that he was not a good guy.

I said “no.” and started walking away. A little over 2 blocks later I was a the building next to my church when I noticed his car sticking out (but not far enough that I could see him) in the alleyway between buildings. He was waiting for me!. I turned around and went behind the building I had started walking in front of. I looked into the alley where he was waiting. He started to back up.

I was so scared realizing he was waiting for me. He knew where I was going! He realized I might see part of his vehicle and backed up so I wouldn’t see his car sticking out, but he was to late. I ran past the alley way. Ran into the church basement. Saw no one (I was early) and hid in a side room and hid/cried until I heard familiar voices.

I told my youth pastor what happened. I wish we had called the police. I don’t recall whether he offered or not that night. I remember wishing I’d have got his license plate number. To this day I regret that. I wonder how many more “kids” he has preyed on. What if I had done something more to stop him.

At this point I don’t remember his features, anything about his car, mostly I remember the fear. I don’t know what exactly his plans for me were that day, but I know they were not good. I am glad I did not become a missing person.

I am a regular walker, which seems to be less common in this day and age. I walk with my kids regularly and frequently have people ask me if I want ride (even though they have no car seats). They are trying to be nice I believe, but every time I wonder what is wrong with society if they think a person needs a ride if they are walking? Walking used to be the norm and it’s healthy.

I don’t want my kids to be afraid every time someone asks them for a ride some day, but with the frequency and commonality of it now it scares me. I don’t want my kids to be afraid of people and don’t teach “stranger danger”, but do teach don’t get in the vehicle with someone you don’t know.

I was talking to someone recently at the park and she said she had a pass code for her kids. If someone said they were there to pick up her kids they were to ask for the pass code. I like that idea. I hate that we live in a place/society where pass codes are needed and I have to almost weekly decline a ride from people when I just want to go for a walk with my kids.

Please teach your kids not to take rides from strangers and know that YES, it does happen that strangers ask kids for rides AND it could be your child. I don’t want any child to go missing EVER.Think ¬†about using a pass code for your family.

 

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Joyful Thunderstorm

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Rumbling thunder

Making my heart sing

Looking onward

Looking up word

Where are the majestic lights

Flashes before my eyes

Reminding me of bygone days

So many steps taken

Running out of childhood home

To see you light up the sky

To hear you crackle and boom

Remembering dancing on down

The closed down street as the rain pours

Down my face

Laughing

Free

My sister and her friend dancing too to

The sound of your music

Roaring through the night

Magic

There is magic again as I see my baby

Looking in wonder

Pointing at each new bolt

Another generation enjoying

The majesty of a thunderstorm

As a rainbow fills the sky

And the sun sets

The storm clouds move on

Joy fills my heart

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Multigenerational friendship

I recently travelled 35 minutes or so to another city for an ultrasound appointment. My babysitter had something come up and so I was scrambling to find a babysitter last minute. I called a friend of ours that lives in the city I was traveling to for my ultrasound. She is our friends (my husbands best mans) stepmom. She was available to babysit.

When I picked up the kids we talked for a short time. She informed me that she wouldn’t be able to attend my middle child’s birthday party Sunday because she would be visiting a friend in the hospital going through chemo. She is extremely kind hearted and regularly visiting friends in the hospital or at home.

She encouraged me to make younger friends. She said that she is finding it hard to keep losing friends. A large part of her friends have died or going through cancer treatment. There was a sadness in her eyes. She also said she was glad to watch my kids and see the other end, the next generation.

It reminded me of when I was younger and sitting on my adopted grandpas porch. He had never married and had no children of his own. He told me he was sad that all his friends had passed away. It saddened me at the time.

I believe it’s good to have friends at all spectrums, young to older. I hope that none of you one day are looking at your life and realizing all your friends are dead or not doing well.

Valentine’s Day

imageI remember Valentines Day fondly when I was a child. In elementary school we would make Valentine mailboxes or envelopes with hearts all over them. Everyone brought everyone Valentine cards or sweetheart candies. It was a lot of fun, even if you knew a few of the folks didn’t really like you much.

Middle school and high school (and on) it all seemed to switch to being about crushes and “love.” I didn’t receive Valentines anymore except from my mom. There was a girl friend in high school who sent me a “crush” pop in high school. I think she had the right idea.

There is no need for Valentine’s Day to be solely about celebrating love between couples. I think it would be great if friends gave each other more “Valentines.” Today a friend brought me by a bouquet of flowers and said something along the lines of “I didn’t have a chance to get a card, but if I had it would say I know we haven’t seen much of each other recently but I cherish our friendship.”

Unfortunately, my husband will not be home for Valentines Day, but I love my Valentine flowers from my friend. I also made out Valentine cards yesterday for some of my friends and family. I encourage you to remind those dear to you of how much you care for them. It will lift their spirits.

To lose a friend

we were close

like a tree to its blossoming flower

you played with my hair in the church pew until many would say I  was to old

we walked together through life’s meanderings

the sales we went to are as numerous as the stars I see at night

our laughter rung out, up to the clouds

The theatre we attended no longer exists, but my memories of being there through the sunny and rainy days of our lives will be there cherished and many

with monthly pain I would cradle myself in your loving embrace, feeling your love emanating my soul, allowing true rest, my pain a distant memory

why, oh why did you have to leave

mentally, you started to leave me

it started with others, few to many

out to ruin you

i could not remain through the mental onslaught

i left you, I left us so I could remain whole

one of the hardest things

you were gone

gone

my love, my anchor

now anchor less, a chain moving around in the vast ocean

no one could fill your place in my heart

a yearning for you ran deep and wide

but there was hope

come back, please come back

let me see your smile, let me feel the warmth of your embrace

slowly it seemed you were coming back to me after years of being…away

i saw your smile far and between, but there amidst a toilsome mind

we had a special day, you and I shopping like we used to

it was wonderful, magical

you were with me, completely

then, like a hammer shattering glass

cancer

no, it can’t be

i was starting to see YOU again

why

how

NOOOOOO

dont go away

dont leave me when I am finally finding you again

you wouldn’t get help until it was to late

slowly, then quickly your body changed

i could feel your ribs against mine as you held me in your last days

please don’t leave me

dont leave my future children without knowing you

my pleading heart couldn’t save your dying one

i held your hand as you went to heaven

i knew you were free, but I wanted you back for even a moment

don’t go, don’t be GONE

but alas, you were

for a little I held your empty shell and cried until the rain stopped

finality set in

i miss you

i miss you when I see someone who looks a little like you

i miss you when I hear a song on the radio

i miss you with salsa music as I remember you dancing so wild and free growing up

i miss you as my children take their first steps

i miss you on the anniversary of your leaving

i miss you in moments and days

i love you mom until my last breath escapes my body

 

 

Sit with Me

imagesit with me

why don’t you please

we can share our dreams

or in silence

watch the leaves fall

beautiful yellows, oranges, reds, and greens

the stream gurgles by singing its song

as we sit and watch

we listen

we talk

as nature talks back

we love nature together

listen, the birds sing their cheerful lullaby

watch, the grey squirrel flitter it’s tail as it prances by

the sun shines though the trees

rainbows show themselves amongst the mist of waterfalls

sit with me

why don’t you please?

My God

imageHeart to heart
Soul to soul
I search for thee
You are here
With me
In my heart
In my soul
You fill me with your love
Only you can fill me with peace
I want your joy to fill me to full
I want the emptiness no more
Why be empty when I can be full with your love, your peace, your joy
You are my Lord,
You are my God,
You are my Saviour
You are my Comforter
You are my Strength
When I am weak, you carry me through the darkness of this world
You are Light in this dark and weary world
I can reach you even in the darkest places and you reach down and take my hand, you take my heart in your hand and comfort my heart and soul.