Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Town and a Nation Broken Hearted

There is nothing worse than losing a child.My parents lost a child, my infant brother. Relatives say my mother was never the same. I only knew her really after the fact and she seemed fine to me, but I'm sure they know what they were talking about. I know she was overly cautious with us at times. I don't really remember her having a sense of humor. And she never talked about it. Never. Neither did my father.

While I have been watching the news coverage of the horrific shooting in Connecticut, more than anything else I am haunted by those 20 children. Twenty little children whose lives were cut down so violently; whose last sounds and images were filled with fear. Our minds can't wrap around the enormity of the horror......and then our minds switch to the parents. The siblings. The grand-parents. The world is broken-hearted.

The unspeakable turns in to the unimaginable when I learn the children and adult victims remain in the school building over night. That their families have not seen them, did not get to hold them one last time. That mothers and fathers spent the night filled with unimaginable grief and emptiness.

The internet, facebook, I imagine twitter, and phone lines, fill up with anti-gun sentiment. Pro-gun sentiment is there as well. Mental health issues and concerns about lack of treatment land on my computer screen. It's still going on today.

I have to tell you that I remain shocked as ever by the pro-gun fanaticism. I have believed in gun control for decades. This after all isn't the first tragedy to hit my television screen. But please notice I said "control". It seems to me the pro-gun people think control is something different than I do, something sinister. Something against our constitutional rights. They don't care about statistics. Nor do they want to hear that the fanatical gun culture in the United States has given us the highest gun violence death rate of any civilized country in history. England, China, France, Australia...many more...all with death rates from guns in the low double digits per year..the United States is up in the thousands...more than 10,000 to be exact. PER YEAR.

So I don't feel any differently about guns than I ever did. You want to hunt deer? Pass a test, get screened, buy a deer hunting rifle. Same if you want to protect your home and family. But there is no reason on God's earth for any civilian to own a gun that can shoot 6 bullets per second. No reason for a gun show to sell an automatic weapon to a teenager, or anyone else that hasn't been screened. No reason for a troubled twentysomething to be able to purchase thousands of rounds of ammunition and explosives off the internet as the Aurora shooter did. No reason, quite frankly for any one other than military or law enforcement to have guns like that. Limiting access to those guns DOES NOT TAKE AWAY YOUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS. All it does is make us safer as a nation.

All it does is allow parents to confidently send their children off to school in the morning.

All it does is make sense.

We are being sent a message, but will we listen?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Reflection

Wow, didn't realize it had been two months since my last post. Settled in to a small, very small apartment, more like a room with a closet of a kitchen, but oh well. Who do I have to cook for?

I have reflected some on what I have to be thankful for this year:
For one, I am closer to my children both physically and emotionally. Although since I spent almost every day the past year with my oldest,, I think he may be tired of his mom.

My youngest boy is doing better. Both boys are back to school, I should refer to them as men. I am both surprised and proud of that.

My three absolutely beautiful, fun, and loving grand children. The oldest, only 4 is wise beyond his years and just a lot of fun. My delightful grand daughter, 16 months, who makes me smile everyday. She is a handful just as her dad was as a youngin, but she is a kisser and a hugger and I need her presence in my life. The baby, 6 months, who I worried about them having and not being able to afford him..he is adorable and embedded in my heart at this point, that I barely remember wishing he wasn't coming along..and regret thinking those thoughts.

My sisters, all three, ......imperfect, bossy, sometimes judgmental. I don't care. They are my best friends and I only recently discovered that.

My niece. One of three, she is so kind and beautiful, and I am so proud of her. The rest of those cousins I have not gotten close to but they are all grown and don't live close.

The roof over my head. So many have recently become homeless due to Hurricane Sandy, I can't imagine their loss.

My parents. Long gone, but their influence stays with me. They instilled a strong moral compass in us that I have occasionally strayed from, but never got completely lost, and always find my way back.Everything about the way they lived their lives taught me to care about other people; try to do the right thing; and never lose sight of family.

I am thankful that I have had this blog and it's readers during this journey.

That through all my past mistakes; all the pain I mostly self inflicted on myself; through a tremendous health crisis; through every trial and tribulation I have ever experienced ~ I have survived.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dream Ended

My journey in plural marriage is done. Foolishly I thought being away would perhaps spark the old feelings and rescue what was left of my part in the marriage...I was wrong.

The youngest boy kept me there...actually, I do believe he kept me alive during the worst of fighting breast cancer and during the worst of the marriage. I had known him since he was barely two years old and I could see my influence on him. Unlike his father and older brother, he is a social being. Dropping him off or picking him up from preschool was a joy. But I digress. Truth is, the youngest grandson in that house, also aided me in my decision to never return. I don't want to hurt him or his siblings by coming and going and coming and going. I hope someday someone will explain that to them.

I feel relief. Sadness. Frustration. Some Anger, mostly at myself. I was surprised there has been no grieving on my part for relationships lost, a marriage gone. Then I realized that I had grieved for that long ago. I have never experienced as much heartbreak as I felt when I was there. I'm a person that cherishes alone time, but I grew to feeling so alone. More than being alone, I was always even in the midst of all the many people who were in and out of that house ... just alone.

There will be no contact with what had become my other family. No phone calls, emails, Christmas cards. I am sorry for any hurt I have caused. So sorry that the dream ended. The hopes I had for a new, better life; for love and happiness and fun have been gone for quite a while. Truth is only the young children missed me all this time I've been gone. I try to remember the good times, but it's a stretch because they are long ago. Unfortunately they are replaced by memories of deception and pain, as though I had been emotionally raped and stripped of everything I ever held dear; especially a lifetime of working on my self-esteem. Financially I have gone from sailing on a ship to far away places to being strapped and stressed beyond my wildest dreams.

So, while I may not disapprove of the plural lifestyle, for me the journey has ended. the dream has vanished. And I am, I hope, alone in a good way.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Not quite farewell.

It's been a year now....It actually went faster than I thought this being away from my poly family.

Things aren't perfect here where I am at the moment either...nothing is perfect, you would think by this ripe old age I would know that! I am planning a trip back home hopefully this Fall...wish me luck!

I'm thinking of starting a new blog, since I have little to say about polygamy at the moment. I never really advocated nor did I ever feel disdain for polygamy/plural marriage. I just accepted it as a viable alternative lifestyle and for some people a religious belief. This has just been about my journey. The best and the worst of it.

I wish I was happier with the lifestyle. It could suit me so well as I like my independence and alone time...but that's not what my experience brought to the table. I am envious of those of you who have that experience, and of those of you who don't but at least have what you want.

My problem as the father of my children reminded me a couple of weeks ago, is that I've never been the submissive type...yes, he actually said that because I disagreed with something he said about the kids...but it applies to the experience I have in a plural marriage. Not that hubby ever expected me to be that way, but he did expect me to fall in line with the others when suitable. Hard to explain really. I think the hardest thing for me though is putting up and living within the same walls as sister wives. It just rubs me the wrong way I guess...I often say to them: I've had the college (and high school) dormitory experience long ago. This is way too much like that. I need a kitchen of my own, a bathroom of my own, I'm older and sharing space is not an agreeable option for me. Sigh. Oh well. They just don't get that. My sister wives are very much the sacrificing type...or is it just that all of the people in that house with the exception of hubby are their blood? I, on the other hand, have always been the outsider.

I don't know what the future will bring but I'm not sure I see the point of writing about this experience any more.

I congratulate D for writing her book! I feel joyous for her. It's something I always contemplated doing, whether about polygamy or something always got in the way for me.

Ana, you are amazing! Your wisdom has been very appreciated.

BC, I worry about you and hope your life gets better.

To L and M....I love reading about your life your ups and downs and hope everyone is happy...I will continue reading.

Until I find my way to the authorship of another blog I will drop in here and say hello, perhaps with some updates.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dreams and Ambitions and Life

So through the generosity of a family member I have had the good fortune to be able to watch a show on HBO TV called "Newsroom". I'll be honest the first episode didn't impress me except for the wonderful performance turned in by Sam Waterson. However, I felt compelled to keep watching. There have been 5 episodes thus far, each getting better and better, but that's not why I'm writing this.

I'm mostly writing this to remind myself of a couple of dreams and ambitions I've had throughout my life that were actually good!

As a child I wasn't a stellar student. I was what was known back then in the dinosaur age as an "underachiever." Today, many underachievers are diagnosed with ADHD or ADD. I wasn't hyperactive, I just preferred to sit in class and daydream. Dreaming of the typical young girl things like being a movie star like Tuesday Weld or Elizabeth Taylor soon progressed once I reached high school age. In a private Catholic boarding school one of the nuns recognized my ability to put my thoughts down on paper. I soon became a reporter for the school newspaper and in my senior year the editor of the Literary Magazine. College and the 1960's and 70's totally sidetracked me with an enormous interest in politics and the News. And then a couple of marriages and children got in the way. During the years I was a stay at home mother, volunteerism and activism fueled my soul. I volunteered at their schools; and campaigned for the environment mostly. Occasionally, I'm not sure why, I did PR work for whatever group I was active in. Newsletters, letters to the editor and guest editorials and features.

Then an eccentric woman who started a weekly newspaper with her grown son tapped me to work for her. At first I did everything but I stunk at selling advertisements so I stuck to reporting. In the newsroom, my nickname soon became "Front Page." I covered school board meetings, local crime (the most fun I hate to admit), and local politics. I can not describe how much I felt at home in the newsroom. I owe a lot to my now deceased mentor. To make a long story a little shorter, I wound up working for a Pol in PR and Press relations. I daydreamed occasionally that I worked for one of the TV stations I dealt with writing news. Though that never happened, it wasn't a bad ambition to have. It kept me focused on what was important to write and occasionally spin.

Life can get in the way of our ambitions. I've often thought I never reached my potential because I have always been an "underachiever." But I think my point today is that I didn't do so poorly...I worked in a field I loved. As I watch the show, Newsroom, my pulse beats a little faster; a smile comes over my face even though serious topics are being discussed.

I come to life for that brief hour. For that time I am not worried about finances; nor am I torn between polygamy and my life with my biological family. I am not sad and I'm not lonely. I have no regret. It's my Calgon moment. It's wonderful!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I didn't realize how long it had been since I last posted. No excuses, I just haven't felt like it. This journey .... I don't know what to say anymore frankly. To be even more brutally honest, my depression seems to have overwhelmed me.

I've suffered from depression on and off for most of my adult life, or so it seems. Throughout my 20s, 30s and even 40s, I managed to control it by myself. I used to just chase it away when it would pop up. Plus, children, especially when they are young, have a way of helping you smile and laugh, and laughter truly is good medicine. I practiced yoga on and off for years; and I always had a large circle of friends. I was busy. If I woke up sad, I learned to brush it off. Unfortunately I think what happens when you are busy trying to keep your sanity is that you neglect other things; make bad decisions; clumsy mistakes; and sometimes let anger take over emotions. There were even times when I had such terrible anxiety that my nerves literally would get the best of me. Eventually, at one difficult time I sought help from a doctor and started taking anti-depression and anxiety medications.

Today I woke up confused. Is this sadness? Anger? Just a funk? Medication doesn't always work...better decision making helps just as much even more sometimes. Decision making has always and continues to be my worst character flaw I think. Two hours after waking up, I just sunk in to despair. All I could think of was how I had ruined my life, my kids lives, probably all three of the husbands I've had, and god knows who else's lives. Remorse and guilt swept over me like huge waves crashing on the beach. After about ten minutes of self-pity I stood up and took some deep breaths. I'll get over this just as I always have. I will hug my grand-babies and smile because that is what I do. I will accept, eventually, that a loving, happy relationship is just not meant to be. I will not let heartbreak and guilt overcome the rest of my life.

I finally understand how my mother (now deceased) felt years after my dad passed away. More than once she would say, "I just need to touch someone and have them touch me." I was so busy at the time being touched (hugged, grabbed, tickled, kissed, patted, etc)by my young children and husband that I didn't empathize at all....Ma, I am so sorry.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A good day for America and for us

I don't know if any of you are for or against gay marriage. It doesn't really matter to me because I truly believe that we are all entitled to our different opinions. I just happen to agree with Clint Eastwood,over 50% of our citizens including Dick Cheney, and the President of the United States. After all, as Robin Williams has joked, why shouldn't gay people have the same right to be miserable as the rest of us!

All joking aside, yesterday was a good day for our country and for polygamists if you think about it. We are one more step, however small or large, to our neighbors accepting different marital lifestyles as the norm. That's an excellent thing.

NTPW posted recently about a colleague seeing her husband and his other wife out to dinner. This is an awkward moment for a professional woman, should I explain or not? No, I'll just brush over, it's no one's business really, etc. etc. etc. Truth is it would be nice not to have to even think about it. Truth is, the family I (new#3)was born in to have never really accepted it. At first they expressed surprise and shock, then grudging acceptance that soon faded away the very second I expressed any concern, unhappiness or doubt.

For me the whole issue of gay marriage is one of liberty and equality. I have gay friends who have been praying for acceptance of gay marriage for years. I'm not sure I totally emphasized with them until I entered in to a plural marriage. To this day I don't talk about my marriage to certain people and don't mention it at all in social situations unless I am with hubby and he brings it up first. That has happened occasionally especially in the beginning when we would be on vacation surrounded by strangers...I was often surprised at the reaction...rarely did anyone care or say anything negative. Usually there would be a lot of curiosity. Which was fine.

So really, what's the big deal about gay marriage? I don't know but unfortunately several of my more conservative friends have expressed outrage which makes me sad. For some it's just another thing to hold against the President. Well, like him or not. Agree with his administration's policies or not. I admire his courage. And I'm happy for my gay friends.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Friends Who Ask Nothing

I don't really see myself as a painter/artist, writing is what I do, but I've been painting quite a bit lately. It's relaxing. the lighthouse is an old painting done for the painting class when I first moved across the country. I remember going to that class, a senior education class at a junior college, and feeling so strange with a roomful of strangers. I came to feel like that class was an oasis and those strangers my only friends.

They were women mostly, and approximately my age. They were so hospitable and nice, and some of them quite talented. The teacher was great...easy going and encouraging. She provided a list of needed supplies; and she never said an unkind word. Some of them had taken the yoga class I took for a while. None of them knew my circumstances or lifestyle and there was no need to go in to all that in order to be friendly. All they knew was that I had moved from the Northeast; married a man much younger; and had children, step-kids, and grand-kids. We didn't socialize outside of class but they did invite me to shows an art organization they belonged to held on occasion. They invited me to join, but I never did. Once I drove to the teacher's home to give her a kitten she wanted to adopt. Sometimes one of them would bake and bring goodies in to share. We exchanged small gifts at Christmas or hand-painted greeting cards. When after a year or so I became sick, they comforted me. They were empathetic and offered help that I graciously turned down. When I returned to class some months later with a bandanna around my bald head they complimented me. When my hair grew back they were thrilled for me. We spent the class painting and swapping stories about our grandchildren. I sorely miss those women.

People you meet in life who ask nothing of you except occasional camaraderie are undervalued. They are the best kind of friends. When I left, after that last class, I sat in the parking lot in the car and cried.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Good news and conflicts I think about constantly

Some good news...I am painting again. Completed two new paintings and gave them away. I wasn't very thrilled about them because they were in a new medium for me, acrylics, but the people I gave them to liked them so voila, instant gift! D asked to see some of my work, as soon as I can figure that out I will share. Some not so good not so sure news...I still don't know when I will be returning to Hubby's house. It's a huge distance and I do miss the family, but not all the confusion to be honest. I find I miss Hubby's friendship and companionship, oddly enough most often when I am watching tv alone at night. I miss the grandchildren tremendously. My conflicts are too many and too confusing to list here in full but I know for certain what some of them are. My biological family. They really don't want me to go back except to pick up my things, which would be an enormous project. And very, very emotional. As I get older conflict is not something I look forward to. But I do miss some of my things, particularly books and photographs. I have become very attached to the grandchildren here. At the point at which I left our finances were strained in that we were all living pay check to pay check, and not always so well. I brought half my income here so that I can exist, but I find more and more that it isn't enough. Easy solution would be to go back, a much more difficult would be to take more money from the family pot. In a way I'm not sure that's fair to them since they are going through some major financial problems at the moment. #2 lost her job and hasn't found a new one! The eldest son needs surgery and can't go back to work until that is finished and he goes through rehab. The conflict? One of my sons is out of work, the one with a family. It is super expensive to live here. I feel, perhaps irrationally, very torn up inside about all this. Another problem that has multiple facets to it is the state of our marriage....see? I could go on and on.... More good news is that the coldest of the weather seems to be gone. Spring, my second favorite season, is here! I haven't started keeping a daily journal again...I don't know why. And I haven't gone back to writing for the website I used to write for, again, not sure why that is. I wish some of my favorites like NTPW/H and Older/Wiser would start blogging again, I miss reading them. And BC, you should really start a blog!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Writing and Painting

I used to think I couldn't paint...well I can't lol very well...but it is the hobby I took up when I moved to Hubby's part of the world, as a way of meeting people etc. I believe Hidden Sage first suggested it. I met this group of women roughly my age who while I didn't have a hell of a lot in common with them, I liked them. Of course, the friendships only went so far as I didn't feel I could share my lifestyle choice with them, but in a way I miss them. And I missed the painting so I've begun to pick it up again, it relaxes me. It has taken the place of my writing for the most part. Writing is more disciplined and exact, and my concentration isn't great at the moment.

I admire those who can just sit down and write. I need either inspiration or an assignment...and I have neither right now. This blog has taken the place of a journal. Unfortunately, it's not daily. I think it would be even more boring to people than it is now, if I were to start blogging every single day. So...where is my notebook? lol

Thursday, February 23, 2012

An Update of Sorts

I haven't posted in almost a month because honestly, I don't have much news. Things are the same. The new doctor was nice enough and I have no bad news to report from tests and such. Thanks for asking though BC.

Well, ok, there is something that is irking me. Hubby's youngest son is getting married. It's not the marriage that is irking me, although I am one of those people who believes in folks waiting until their life is on track before taking that leap. He and his fiance are young. Too young in my opinion but they've been together through high school and initially were going to wait even longer (he's only 19 and she's just about 18) but they have their parents blessing. So what irks me is they are getting married on hubby and my anniversary! Not their fault. Hubby and the sister wives forgot. Then the plan was made and there was no turning back. Honestly, I don't know how they could have forgotten because anniversaries were always a big deal in our house. Perhaps they just didn't think I would care. In any event, it irks me.

I don't think I've ever mentioned this but this young couple, again with both sets of parents agreeing, are living in my room at the moment, until they get a place of their own which could be god only knows when. Now what bothers me about this besides the obvious things, is that supposedly (and I hope so) my "things" were packed up and put away safely. I guess I'm feeling frustrated at the moment. I just hope and pray that my personal belongings aren't "lost" in a storage shed somewhere. Or worse, still in the room being used by everyone, or should I say "broken." A trip down there isn't feasible at the moment I'm sorry to say.

To add icing to this "delightful" cake, my family here has turned against hubby and the whole plural marriage thing. I think another fall out from my illness has been that my family, kids, sisters, etc. wants me to be near them more than they did. When I first moved across the country for a new life, though skeptical about polygamy (once they knew about it), they were at least glad for me that I felt I had found happiness. It was hard not to notice at the time how changed for the better I was after meeting hubby. Someone commented once that it was as if I had come back to life. I looked younger, happier, prettier, and was definitely more actively engaged in the world at large instead of just my "career."

Anyway, that's it for today. I will try to post more frequently.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cancer Changed Things

I wasn't able to fly home for my 6 month check up with my oncologist, so I found one here...It was kind of weird going to a different doctor but I did it yesterday. Somehow this feels like an accomplishment :) I didn't fly for several reasons, the two most important: 1) It was too expensive. and 2) I was nervous about it.

It seems like I've been gone so long...I am worried about my relationship with Hubby. We don't seem to communicate from a distance with the ease I thought we would. After all, we had a long distance relationship for many years, why isn't this working this time? I honestly thought putting a distance between us would help bring us closer again. I really thought it would, but it hasn't. Oh my god I miss those grand babies! I don't think they could possibly understand how much. But I didn't enter in to this plural marriage for the grand babies it included, so I have to try not to focus on my love for them so much. I even miss the extended family..nieces, etc. I miss the practicality of #1 and her sisterly ways. I wish I could say I miss #2 but I'm not sure I do. Hubby, well I'm just confused about him. I miss him and yet it's different than when I used to miss him.

Having cancer changed me. It changed our relationship too. But it didn't change me necessarily for the better or our relationship either. I don't want to say I've become a selfish, self-absorbed person, but I do find myself focusing on myself. I want what I want. I don't feel like doing a lot of things I used to do regularly, like writing for instance, or cooking. The changes in the relationship with Hubby are super complicated and hard to explain, but they are bold and bothersome.

I keep thinking these issues are going to resolve....but honestly, I don't think he misses me one bit. Ok, maybe one bit but not much more than that. At one time I thought we had an extremely close relationship, like best friends...but I'm not feeling that vibe so to speak at the moment and haven't ever since I got sick. Having and fighting cancer changed all that.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Politically Speaking This Is Me

Politically I guess you would say I'm a liberal some that would seem a contradiction to plural marriage. To me it makes sense.

Political conservatives (and most Republicans) are not in my humble opinion socially inclusive. Most don't believe gays should marry, or adopt, or in some cases even exist. Polygamy? Plural marriage? Alternative life styles are not their cup of tea. Which brings up the Tea Party Republicans who I don't quite understand at all.

Liberals and I venture to say most Democrats and some Libertarians are broad minded enough to be able to embrace folks who live differently than the mainstream.

And then there are the poor among us. The Bible is full of passages in both the New and Old Testament about our obligation to take care of the poor and disadvantaged. Those I would identify in that category would be the unemployed, the disabled, the elderly, young children and others who are homeless. And yet many among us particularly those who wish to be in "power" in our country, seek to eliminate "entitlements" they consider not to be of their unemployment benefits, medicare, social security, medicaid, etc. etc. Oh they seem to say, we have millions of folks without healthcare? Oh well, not my fault they are lazy.

The irony of the Evangelical Christian Right is not lost. Someone posted this quote from Stephen Colbert on my facebook page and it made me sit up...

“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it.”

You don't have to be a "Christian" to see the truth in that. Most religions have as a tenant to help the poor.

Yet every time a politician wants to do something to forward the poor and unfortunately now, what used to be the middle class, he or she is beaten back by a stick wielded by a political conservative. Thus, I simply cannot relate to those who identify themselves as such.

Of course I would like to see a balanced budget and lower taxes. All though I will never understand why the rich don't pay more. Of course I want our country to fight terrorism. Yes, of course I would like to see your business prosper and our citizens safe. Yes, I am conflicted about the undocumented residents harbored inside our borders, I am after all the grandchild of immigrants, but I also recognize the problems. And of course I would like to stop the flow of drugs in to our country. Being liberal doesn't equate to being stupid or un-American or even a socialist.

You may disagree with me of course, as is your privilege, and I will like you anyway, as is my way. I just wanted to open a window for you to see who I am.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Forgiveness is the Solution to Everything....Courtesy of Steven Tyler

I haven't written here in a while mostly because I was feeling like I was whining too much. But I have something I would like to share.

I'm not a HUGE fan of Oprah Winfrey but occasionally she does something that strikes a chord in me. She has started a new show on her network OWN, called The Next Chapter. Her first show was a two hour long interview with rock icon Steven Tyler at his home in New Hampshire. I knew I always like Aerosmith's lyrics and I know lead singer Tyler has had a tumultuous life, in large part because he was/is a drug addict. But he is enormously talented and apparently a strong person with strong ties to his family and his roots. This interview was amazing..

At one point in the interview Oprah asks him how he has survived what with his infamous drug use, his conquering hepatitis C and his professional/personal troubles. He says something like..Forgiveness is the solution to everything..or the answer to everything..I can't remember which even though I watched it twice. But the concept struck a deep chord within me. I sometimes have trouble forgiving. And then when I do manage to forgive, I can't seem to "forget." That's a problem I will always have to work on.

Forgiveness. What does that mean? Why is it so hard to forgive? And why is it so necessary?

Years ago, an acquaintance of mine lost her 19 year old son in a terrible car accident that was probably the fault of the driver of the car her son was in. At the funeral in the church, the young man sat next to her. He came out of the accident barely injured physically. The whole family embraced him and comforted him as he comforted them. He was never quite the same afterwards but he eventually moved forward, joined the Navy and had a did they. Of course they were deeply saddened but they were able to continue in a way their son would have wanted.

A few years later a good friend lost her young son in a car accident when the driver of the vehicle fell asleep at the wheel and they hit an enormous tree. Again the driver was barely hurt. But he did not appear at the funeral and my friend never spoke to him. Both she and her husband became unhappy and bitter. I don't think the sadness ever lifted from their eyes and their professional and personal lives suffered.

I remember at that first funeral remarking to someone how heart warming it was to see the family and the driver together. The answer I got was similar to Steven Tyler's thoughts on forgiveness.

Even if forgiving just chases the negative thoughts out of our heads it's worth a try. But I think, from what I have seen, it can do so much more.