Jeff's Mom

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  1. I would like to talk about my son and what he represented. He worked for a temporary employment placement company. It was started by an ex-cop father of a friend of his. He worked for very little money and so lived at home with us. He saw the rough and difficult side to every day life. People that had just left prison, drug addicts, etc. Street people that worked for the day just to earn something to eat. He was no push- over... but he also had a heart of gold. He saw the good in most people and was very empathetic. The week before he died he was extremely concerned about a man that had set up a tent in a field behind their office. The temperature was freezing. He contacted the shelters. They told him the man had mental health issues and was afraid of people. He then contacted the police. They did not respond as they see this on a daily basis. What was one less street person? Empathy is the ability to relate on a one to one basis. I had noticed that often his gloves were missing. Blankets would start to disappear from my linen closet. He was deeply troubled about the future of this poor individual. When I saw on the news about those asylum seekers and how they had lost their fingers due to frostbite and the horrendous journey they had endured I thought of that man Jeff was so worried about. On December 12. 2009 we ate dinner together. He appeared quiet and tired. He walked into his room and two hours later he was dead. We performed CPR but we could not save him. He had lost the will to live. His heart was fractured in a broken world. I have had to live with the memories of that night for the past seven years. It was hell at first. I did not agree with what he did. Yet slowly I came to understand how it could happen. I needed to convince myself that he was wrong and life was worth living.. My heart aches at a world filled with so much turmoil. I try to see the joy and sunshine in all around me. Seven years has changed me beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I will say that time does soften the pain. If I could turn back the hands of time...oh, how I wish. Life is Life...fight for it as Mother Teresa said. I also had the opportunity to cross the Iron Curtain in the eighties. I saw the look of utter blankness on the faces of the people that I encountered. A life that was not free. Just imagine? My journey by bus from Vienna to Budapest and the experience of crossing that border lives with me still. When I heard about a wall to be built I was horrified. I have had the honor and privilege of knowing many Mexican people. Good, decent and hard working individuals that I would consider friends. I know that my political views have no place on this site. I have spoken my piece and will not bring it up again. But I do feel that I had the right to voice my opinion as the situation is affecting our country as well. Becky, I hope that your eyes will improve soon. Please take care of yourself. Georgina, hang on with both hands. You are going to get through this. Stay strong! Betsy, I am sorry that you suffered a heart attack. Thank you of making people aware of the risks. Women do indeed often present differently. I also have heart issues and found I had pain in my stomach and back. Take care of yourself. Dee, thank you for your poem. Love to ALL, Kate
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  3. Thank you Dianne for such a nicely worded post. I agree completely. I am afraid that I missed something here. I came in to read after yesterday and found tension building again. We are all indeed walking on egg shells when we discuss politics. I too am guilty of probably offending some when I stated my views on gun control. Also, my personal opinions regarding the refugees that are flooding our borders. They were my views and mine alone. Sparked out of outrage at the suffering of other human beings and the efforts they will go to find safety and tolerance. Just last night alone on our National news they showed two young men that walked across the Emerson Border a while back in freezing temps. They were released from the hospital yesterday after having had all of their fingers amputated! Did these men complain? No. They showed them arriving at a safe house and being given a guided tour. Their hands bound in bandages. And guess what? They were smiling. They are alive. All they ask is a chance of living in peace. One man is gay and feared death and torture if he was returned to his homeland. We are subjected to these stories on a daily basis up here. Why? Because of your guy. Sorry...but it is true. Sorry if you don't like it. This is "Real" news! Those fortunate enough to have never experienced this kind of desperation will hopefully find some kind of empathy, or will they? Have these stories awakened a sleeping giant? It forces us to face our own sense of common decency and it can not be buried in silence. It is out there for once and for all for all of us to see. Am I angry? You bet I am. I don't like what I see in other people that can tolerate this kind of injustice. It makes me mad as hell! They will be screened and sent back to the States to deal with if found unacceptable.I agree that when Jeff first died I was in far too much pain to give a fig about anything to be honest. Seven years has changed me completely. My son's death forced me to face what is really important in life. Life is meant to be lived. I will not stand by quietly and witness this kind of injustice without speaking up. Honestly, I wish it did not have to be this way. They are predicting 55,000. people shortly. Shame on those that approve of this.
  4. Just quickly stopping by to say that I am sending everyone warm wishes to all that are new to this site. I am sorry for your loss and I can also tell you that down the road you will once again find peace and happiness. After seven years and a very long struggle I can now say that I am at peace. There have been many challenges and hurdles to overcome. I too have found the support from everyone on this site invaluable. It has kept me afloat when I was at my darkest time. Susan, thank you for the amazing pics of your little cutie. What a doll! That smile can melt your heart for sure. Becky, I was sorry to read about your friend. My heart goes out to the family. Sherry, I certainly hope that you will be spared the colder weather that we woke up to this morning. This constant up and down is crazy. I will say that spring is around the corner and it gives me hope that before too long I will be out working in my gardens. The Canada geese have already started to return. They must be crazy. It went down to -18C last night. Yet, over the weekend it was +6C. Gretchen, the scientists are giving an alarming outlook as to the rate of polar ice melt. It cools the earth and when that has melted we will then be in serious trouble. Ever increasing drought like weather will cover the earth. I have to say that I have enjoyed reading and looking at all of the pictures that everyone has posted lately. What great looking kids! Bob. I was worried when I read your post. I know too well that feeling of not wanting or caring if you continue. You must try to stay as strong as you can for the sake of your son and yourself. These dark times will slowly lift. Do everything that you can that you find enjoyment from. Keep as busy as you can. You are a fighter. Be careful. We are heading into the city today to check out The Festival du Voyageur. It is a festival held in St. Boniface every year. They have outdoor activities and ice sculptures. The French food is amazing and if you are on a diet...well, forget it. They have a outdoor crokinole (sp) ice board set up for playing. It looks like a lot of fun. Wishing everyone a peaceful weekend. Love to All, Kate
  5. Tyler's Mom, I can not think of a better reason to celebrate than to remember the day our child came into our lives. I can certainly understand your feelings this first year. I, too... found the first special dates as something that was overwhelming to face. Take all the time you need to find what you are comfortable with in handling Tyler's death. My father died when I was a young adult. My mother went out with several of her friend's that were widowed on every special occasion for dinner. It was her way of remembering. We all go about it in our own way. Hold on.
  6. A young boy stands at the window of his bedroom looking down into the next yard. His elderly neighbor is sitting quietly on a chair under the shade of an old tree. Usually this man is full of energy busily working in his garden. He senses that something is wrong. He walks over to visit him. The man is crying softly and tells the boy that his wife has just died. Too young to know the right words to comfort him he sits up on his lap and softly places his hand over the mans hand. Sometimes we can only quietly wrap our love around those that are in this awful place. Words can seem inadequate at the beginning. That is what this site is to me. People from all walks of life that understand. Ferrin, we are wrapping our arms around you in loving comfort today. Kate
  7. Such an important lesson you are teaching the children Dee. They are the future of our world. With so much apathy these days it is so valuable to learn compassion and caring. Good for you! This weather is driving me nuts. One week it is warm and lovely... and the next it is cold as can be. Last night it went down to -28C and yet by the weekend it will be +1C... or so they say. We have not had all that much snow ...and yet they are calling for overland flooding this spring. Global warming is really making an impact in our part of the world. Something to take very seriously.
  8. Tyler's Mom, I am so sorry for your loss. I just read your post. Please come to The Loss of Adult Child forum and join us. You will have understanding and support with us. I too lost my son at Christmas time a few years ago. I know how much this hurts. Kate
  9. Susan, wise words indeed. Thank you for sharing those pictures. Nature has a way of offering solace to a hurting heart. How is your little wee one doing these days... and his Momma? We did enjoy our time at the ranch and the Texan hospitality was beyond belief. They had the Cups proudly displayed in their dining room. The Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, Triple Crown, among a few. They were really something to see. They sent us home with their own homemade chili sauce. I can honestly say that I have never tasted anything so hot in my life. Those peppers were a killer. Jeff loved it. By the time we worked our way to the end of the jars I will say it had grown on me. Off to watch the game. Sending wishes to all for a restful evening. Kate
  10. Cheryl, your granddaughter is absolutely gorgeous! You must be so proud of her. Bob, I understand that making guns is quite an art form. My only experience was a few years back when we were staying with friends in Arlington, Vermont. Our hosts took my husband for the day to upper state New York for trap shooting. He had never shot a gun before. Everyone else in his party had their own. One of the guys was the then President of Beretta Guns USA. At the end of the day he offered to give my husband a shotgun to take to our cottage for over the fireplace. My husband was excited about the idea. I would not allow him to accept it. He went on and on about how beautiful it was. I do believe the most beautiful gun in existence was the one I saw while staying at King Ranch. The men were in meetings and I had the free roam of the house. I saw a shotgun in a glass case mounted on the wall in one part of the house. Henrietta King was pictured in an open car standing with that gun in her hands and heading out for a day of hunting. She looked like she meant business. Not too far from that case was another case that held the biggest snake skin that I could ever have imagined. It made me really nervous I have to tell you...as it had been killed on the ranch. They have 3/4 million acres and over five hundred miles of paved road on the ranch. Texas has so many snakes. After seeing that baby I could not sit comfortably around the pool... as every sound made me jump. They had peacocks roaming around the place and so there was a lot of movement going on. Had I seen a snake that gun would have been out of that case in a jiffy. How long did it take you make your rifles? Have you pictures? Hope you pepperoni turned out good. Laurie, I'm still getting chills from your post. What timing for everyone. She is definitely letting you know she is still with you offering her support. Super Bowl Sunday today. One of Jeff's favourites. Beer, snacks, friends, and the whole nine yards. Have a good day everyone. Kate
  11. Laurie, wow...I got chills reading about the outing. My goodness, Julie is definitely giving you a heads up she is supporting you all! Dee, good luck with your fund raising! A wonderful cause for sure. Colleen, good to hear from you. I am so happy that you post how there is light at the end of this tunnel and happiness will once again be found after a determined time of grieving. Kudos to the Doctors from the States that contacted the Toronto Sick Children's Hospital to ask them to take children that require life saving surgeries that they can no longer perform... due to the fact these kids are on the list of banned countries of origin...and without the surgery they will die. Also, prayers for the refugees from Ghana that walked in freezing weather to safety at the Emerson border. They suffered frostbite to their toes and fingers and had to have them amputated this week. Prayers for a return to sanity!
  12. Wade, I have been thinking of you the past few days. I imagine that the funeral is now over. How is everyone doing? How are you? Sunday...SUPER BOWL! BRING IT ON! Fleetwood Mac...40 years tomorrow. Rumors album. Becky, let us know how your appts. went. Hope everything is fine. Georgina, in time you will be able to go through James treasures and not feel as overwhelmed as you do now. In fact, you will come to treasure those keepsakes. I know that I do. They had the funerals today for a few of the Muslim men that were killed on Sunday. They played an important part in giving back to their community. One was a Lawyer, a Pharmacist, and University Professor, a Store owner, etc. They volunteered with kids and were highly regarded by all. How sad. Dee, thank you for sharing the shaft of light picture. It is always a sign of hope to us all. Wishing all of you a very peaceful weekend. Love to All, Kate
  13. Along the sleepy street where the man charged in the Quebec City Mosque shooting was raised his neighbours painted him as a kid that was like the others when young. He played baseball, swam in backyard pools and explored the nearby forest like many his age. But something happened to him. He was bullied at school. Called different and a nerd. He started to fixate on guns and the death of Castro and Trump news. He was arrested on Sunday having stormed the Mosque while men were quietly praying and shot at random. It left six dead and 19 wounded. He had learned to develop a thick skin and the events of the past while in the news triggered something within him to act in this despicable way. He turned himself in. Where did he get that gun? It was an assault rifle. Banned in Canada. My guess is the obvious one. We are living in very troubled times. Our kids are watching how we react to the events on the news. We need to clean up our act. Guns kill. May they rest in peace. God give their families comfort and also his own Mom & Dad. They were decent people.
  14. Wade, here is one little trick that I use to bring me into check when I feel overwhelmed with things that are going wrong. I know it sounds simplistic but it has really helped me on many occasions. There are days I feel angry and seriously ticked off as to the events that have happened to me over the past few years. It is so easy to look around us and see others that appear to have it all. Families that are intact, happy lives, etc. I ask...why me? What did I do that has brought me to this place of hurt? It is easy to cite many grievances. I say to myself that I could make a list as long as my arm...I already know that which is seriously pushing my buttons. What I then do is to make a mental list of the good things that I currently have in my life. The things that I often take for granted. Those things that we are surrounded with on a daily basis and have become used too. Why not try something that is just for you? Try a course that is something off the wall. Right out there. Something that you have always wanted to do for yourself but never made the time? Then focus on doing just that. Do you still go salmon fishing? Are you into photography at all? I imagine you have some great opportunities to take some fabulous shots. Whatever turns your crank is what it is all about. And remember that your boy is along for the ride. The whole way! He will always be with you. One day at a time.
  15. Hi Wade, I can not tell you how often Ross has asked me how you are doing. It is so good to hear from you again. I agree with Dee in her response. We keep going. One foot in front of the other. There are no magic feel good pills. How I wish there were. I know it sounds corny...but we have to take each day as they present themselves with whatever challenges come. I too am sick of death and illness. Fact of life. It is always particularly difficult when we see a young life that has so much promise that is cut short. Where is the fairness in that? Who can give us a satisfactory answer to that question? There is none that will satisfy a parents anguish. We had six consecutive deaths in our families. One was diagnosed and then we went through the trauma of the illness and eventual death. One would go and then another took their place. We did not have time to come up for breath. The only way we actually were able to cope was to deal with each crisis as it arose. One day at a time. It knocked us off our pins after the dust settled. Our health was compromised in a serious way. You have seen how that has affected many of us here on the site. STRESS is a killer. How to deal with it? I can see from the background that you are working out. You look great and I love your t-shirt! I'm sorry for your friend's loss. I know personally this is affecting you. You are in a position like no other around you in that you have true connection to his feelings. I know you are a kind and caring person and will offer your support. Your boy will be so proud of you as you are remain standing on your two feet and helping those around you. It takes guts! Hang in there. Kudos for all you are giving to others. Ross says "HI". Kate
  16. Dee, anybody that knows you knows where your heart lies. I hear you. You are entitled to an opinion. This situation is HUGE! The concern is HUGE! It is the only thing people are taking about these days. Are we not indeed fortunate that we can openly discuss this without fear of being hauled away to jail? Our freedom is everything. Building walls is insane.
  17. I feel I would like to respond in defense of Dee. As a neighboring Canadian... I along with my fellow countrymen... and indeed the rest of the world are concerned about the direction in which your new President is taking your Country. Indeed, it is all we hear on the news these days. We must admit that everyone of us has at some point in our family history arrived from another place. That is what the basis of the foundation of Canada and the States was built upon. A better life for all and freedom to pursue our own path in life. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Freedom of Speech also includes people that do not agree with us. To openly discuss our views and at the same time listen to that of others with an open mind. When that is taken away...you lose your freedom. On this site over time we get to know a little about each other and their lives. That also includes their concerns and daily issues that they deal with. Losing a child places us in a very vulnerable place. We can be extra touchy at times and it can be triggered by many things. I personally enjoy reading the viewpoint of others even if I do no always agree with them. That is what makes the world an interesting place. And that is why I love living where I do. I value my freedom. I do not take it for granted.
  18. Georgina, I think it is safe to say that for everyone here... no matter how far along on this journey that we are...we will always have those good and bad days. We have triggers that set off those memories that can often send us onto a downward spiral. For me, just a song that will come over the radio, or on the TV...can often choke me up. After seven years I have found that I can keep the tears from flowing if I am outside in public. That need to run and hide that I used to feel has now left me for the most part. Yet, the holidays and such will always make me more aware that my boy is absent. Gosh, how I miss him. I hold on to my faith with all my might when I am feeling particularly low. We here are all behind you and never feel you are alone in this. I can only pray that you will find that justice that you are so wanting for your precious James. Hang in there. Dee and Sherry, gosh...that sounds awful. I remember poor Helen could not even get up from her bed on those bad days. Sick, etc. Nasty stuff for sure. Dee, hope you make sure you are taking good care of yourself...as I hope you all are on this site. Sherry, your evening sounded just to my liking. Do you like Diana Krall? Becky, how did it go at the Dentist? Thinking of you. Laurie, how are you doing these days? What is the news? Our weather is actually quite sunny and warm this past while. Just to my liking. The Mercedes race is for a four week period. They have set up five different designed famous race courses on the lake... and then on the last day they hold the actual race. Exciting all around. Five thousand dollars for the four days each week. Not to be sneezed at! Take care everyone, and have a peaceful day. Love to All, Kate
  19. I now find that this was a complete hoax and she is not dead. This does not change the fact that someone felt she deserved it because of her behavior. Perfect example of how people judge others.
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  22. Dianne, I completely and totally agree. I remember vividly after a couple of years how that curtain of protective covering lifted. The immense pain and shock was now gone. I stood and looked up at the night sky and knew that it was me... and me alone... that was about to carry this loss for the rest of my life. When I turned off the computer to this site, when others had become used to knowing that I was the Mom who had lost her son...and I watched them continue with their own lives in a normal way. I felt as if I was set adrift on open waters. I had to find my own inner resources to successfully continue. Tying to not focus as much on what had happened...keeping as busy as I could with outside interests...until one day it dawned on me that I had no thought of Jeff for hours. That was OK. I had to learn that it was indeed Ok to get back to living again. I was not deserting him by doing this...just getting back to functioning normally. He was always going to be with me in my heart. I would carry him along my life's journey...but I had to continue to live. His life was completed on this earth, and mine is yet to finish. I hit a wall when what seemed like well-meaning people made hurtful or ignorant comments. After a time I have learned that it is not their fault. They simply can not know what it is to lose a child. They do not understand. They offer comments that are frequently given not with the intention of any ill will. They are frustrated as to how to help. And so I basically just shut it out. And there are others that are just plain mean about it. Let it wash over you if you can. They really don't matter. Keeping as busy as you can will definitely help the grieving process along. There are no short cuts in the end. The tears will flow. They need to be out in the open. Seeking all the help available is only just plain common sense. Professional help if you are in a position to be able to afford it is invaluable. Whatever will get you to that point of feeling some relief is essential. You can be your own worst enemy, or fight like a trooper to challenge yourself to be strong. In the end, it is your own choice.
  23. Dee, so sorry to hear that you are suffering with vertigo. I am glad that you felt a bit better later this afternoon. Helen suffered from Meniere's Disease when the kids were young. I had many a call to pack an overnight bag and stay with her for a few days while she rode through the episode. Take care of yourself and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. Georgina, thanks for posting the song and advice about grief bullies. I have encountered my fair share over the past few years and sadly they are out there. Slowly over time you become more skilled at handling the situation. Thinking of everyone and wishing you all a good evening. Kate
  24. Becky, you look positively radiant alongside your father! How nice that you found those pictures. I have a box that I have titled my Book of Treasures. In it I have kept all of those things that are especially precious to me. The handmade drawings that my boys gave to me over the years from school. Pictures that are extra special. It warms the heart to sit and look over them as they bring back the special memories of those great times. Your health has taken a real beating after losing your precious Jared. I know that the stress levels hit the roof. The important thing here is that you make time for yourself to try to heal your body. You have earned the right for some major "ME" time. As we age we find ourselves caught between looking after our aging parents and trying to care for ourselves. Often we come up short when it comes to ourselves. We tried to get out for a walk this afternoon. The fog rolled in and the roads were far too icy to go far. I can not believe how much snow has melted. Can Spring be far off at this rate? Looking forward to watching Young Victoria this evening. Love to All, Kate
  25. Becky, it is so good to hear from you. I am really sorry to see that you are struggling with so many health issues. Also, very pleased to see that Jerry is making good progress. It must give you a huge amount of relief and comfort to know that his surgery was a success. Your beautiful little Libby has come into your lives at the right moment. What a pleasurable and happy occasion when a new child arrives. Do take good care of yourself and keep us posted as to your appointments. Good luck with the Dentist. Susan, I am so happy to hear that your little man is thriving. How can he not in such a loving environment. Good luck with your renos. Enjoy it! Dee, we watched the National News last night on CBC. We saw the many Marches that were held across the world. A couple was interviewed from here that had taken a bus trip down to join a peaceful March. They were questioned in detail as to their political views and if they were Trump supporters. This is the very first time that we have encountered that kind of flack at the border. Is this the beginning? As Canadians we stand for basic freedoms such as freedom of speech, religion, freedom of peaceful assembly. We are very proud of our role as international peacekeepers. We respect democratic decision making and the "rule of law". I agree with Dianne, the countdown begins. Georgina, I am happy that there is a positive turn in your quest for justice for James. Hold on to that with all of your might! Our weather has been glorious this past few days. That snow that had formed drifts a few weeks ago has now melted and the deck is wet. I know it is a concern for our Global Warming issues, but for now... I say... bring it on. That cold was nasty! Sending warm wishes to everyone for a peaceful Sunday. Kate