“Faith is knowing that it will get better than this.”

One of my best friends from high school was murdered last week.  Let that sink in for a minute.

 

Murdered.  By her boyfriend. With his bare hands. And left there to die. At 25 years old. 

I want to yell and scream and cry and see this coward pay for what he did.  I hadn’t talked to Kayla in 2 years.  We had an argument after another friend died and hadn’t spoken since.  And oddly, I don’t feel guilt about it.  I think she knows how I felt about her when we got along and that sometimes she might be too much to take.  I also think she grew up A LOT in those two years.  I hardly knew the woman they talked about today, the one who was called to work at SPARC and how much she loved her clients.  I would have liked to have known that Kayla.  We always had a lot of fun in high school and for the last almost week, I’ve been reliving most of them.  I was behind a car on the way to the funeral who was taking forever to turn and I yelled, “make it a career!” and had to laugh, because I got that from Kayla.  We were leaving lunch and the driveway was more like a short curb, which made me think of when we went to Baskin Robbins after a basketball game and she drove off a stepped curb when leaving.  All 3 of us in the car yelled CURB!! and it stayed a joke for a long time.  That and that I didn’t like nuts (on my sundae!!).  I remember the time we were driving somewhere and saw a billboard for Mariah’s restaurant and the eagle on the picture was almost as big as the restaurant.  When I wrote on the balloon last night, I told her to watch out for eagles up there. =) We have tons of other memories that haven’t come back yet.

I want to yell and scream at the thing that did this.  The paper said he showed no emotion while having the charges read to him in court. That doesn’t surprise me after what he did.  He was apparently sentenced as an adult at 13 (for attempted murder) and was just released in 2008.  I’m hoping on hope that she didn’t know that before they started dating.

I don’t even know what to say or what to feel right now.  I know other people are going through it, but I feel alone.  Like I’m going to have to deal with this on my own.  I know that’s not true, but I don’t ask for help, and it’s just hard.

I don’t ever want to go through this again. Ever. I thought the last one was hard, this was worse. 

 

Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.

I warn you now, you may not want to read this post because it’s not a cheery subject.  But it is one that needs to be covered.  More than it is currently.

“I didn’t think I was hearing a murder, I just thought I was hearing abuse.”  A woman on the news said this last night, like it was no big deal, like the abuse part was OK.  The woman screaming (the neighbor) was a good friend of mine from high school.  It appears she was killed at the hands of her boyfriend.  Yes, the police were called that night, but didn’t see or hear anything wrong and left.  They were called back the next morning and found my friend.  It was too late.  And while I could (and some will argue should), I will not sit here and blame whoever left after that first call, that isn’t the important part here for me.  The important part for me is the part that is rarely ever covered or talked about by anyone.  Except the media when a football player is involved.  I will not use his name, ever.  His victim’s name was Kasi.  You need to know that.  The victim’s name Wednesday night was Kayla.  The victim’s name 6 years ago was Michelle. 

I did not know Kasi and I knew of Michelle through an internet board.  Kayla, however, was a friend.  While we had arguments and hadn’t spoken in 2 years, she was still a friend and we had a lot of fun times during our four years in high school and the years after.  This whole situation bothers me and I’m not sure how to handle it.  I’ve never in my life had to say the words “A friend was murdered”.  I never want to again. 

Now, here is why I’m writing this.  Domestic violence isn’t talked about like I feel it should be.  Victims are blamed in most cases, because it always has to be something THEY did and not that their attacker is an ego maniac or sick.  Many victims refuse to report it or are scared to report it because of what might happen to them or possibly their children.  We should have a system in this country that women feel safe turning to.  They need to know they will be protected and taken care of. 

“Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.” Every day.  If this were any other form of violence, it’d be all over the news.  Why isn’t it? Why are we as people OK with this?  Why do we continue to ignore it unless an athlete or someone with a name we all recognize is involved?

Please don’t believe that only women are victims, either.  They just happen to be more likely to be victims.  “In 2000, 1,247 women and 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. In recent years, an intimate partner killed approximately 33% of female murder victims and 4% of male murder victims.”  This really affects EVERYONE.

I was amazed at what I heard about Kayla’s attacker.  He’d had a history of violence, like most do.  He’d served less than a month total on multiple domestic issues.  This is not right.  There needs to be stronger sentences for people who hit someone even once.  This cannot continue.  I don’t want to bury another friend because the justice system failed them and they were too scared to speak up. 

I was going to write this specifically about my friend Kayla and my thoughts on that but while she is MY face to this problem, there are too many others.  They deserve for their names to be known as well.  This is an issue that affects everyone.  During their lifetimes, 1 in 3 women will be affected by domestic violence. 

To Kasi, Michelle, Kayla and the others who’s names I may never know:  You were not lost for nothing.  You all made an impact on my life if you know it or not.  And I will never let your names or stories be forgotten.

And to all of those who have been fortunate enough to get out of an abusive relationship, you all are my heroes.  You have more courage in a piece of your hair than I think I could ever have.

All statistics from: http://domesticviolencestatistics.org/domestic-violence-statistics/ and http://www.americanbar.org/groups/domestic_violence/resources/statistics.html

 

“Fairness does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die young.”

This post is on DK. I don’t remember listening to Jack that much and sadly, have no memories of him with the exception of his poem after 9/11.

 

 

“I thank you for your patience. We regret to inform you because of a tragedy in the Cardinal family, that the commissioner has canceled the game today. Please be respectful. You will find out eventually what has happened, and I ask that you say a prayer for the St. Louis Cardinals’ family.” -Joe Girardi (June 22, 2002)

Those words, even 10 years later can make me cry like a baby. I can still close my eyes and see Girardi making the announcement. I can still hear the shaking in his voice and see him pinch his nose. It was at that point, even though he was a Cub, that I became a fan of Joe.

I was not much of a Cardinals fan when DK died. I was just starting to watch them because Tino Martinez had signed with them prior to that season. He was the reason I became a Cardinal fan. I remember exactly where I was June 22, 2002. We were driving around town looking for games to go to, which we did a lot then.  We decided to check the radio to see what the score was. There was just talk. Nothing had been announced yet.  We were near Chaimberlain Park, in front of the bar, just coming off the overpass turning the curve when they announced that they’re had been a death in the Cardinal family. We came home. We saw Girardi’s announcement. I don’t remember much else.

A team should not know what it’s like to lose a teammate or a cornerstone of their organization.  They shouldn’t experience in a week or twice in 5 years with teammates (even though many had left).  That team in 2002 was incredible to say the least. To come together like they did and to win (of all numbers) 57 games after DK died was amazing.  They could have fallen apart, and no one would have blamed them if they did.  But they didn’t and they showed Cardinal Nation what resilience really is. They invited DK’s family to important games. They made one of his twins, Kannon, a bat boy in the playoffs.  They sprayed his jersey with champagne when they clinched.  They adopted his family as their own. I was new to baseball at that point and it showed me what team is really about. They showed a lot of people what team is really about.

In 10 years many things have changed. A new team, obviously. A new stadium that DK isn’t a part of with the exception of the patch painted in the bullpen.  The Cardinals lost another teammate on April 29, 2007.  There were players in the clubhouse that knew how to handle it, even though they shouldn’t have had to do it again.  DK’s twins are in high school (HIGH SCHOOL!!). And, sadly, other teams have learned the pain of losing a teammate before their time.

 

 

Everything changes in 10 years. Except the memories.

30 Things. 1/30

Going to see if I can keep up with this for the next 30 days. Wish me luck! 🙂

I found this idea on Pinterest and loved it. The author suggested maybe using this for a date night, too.  If I ever have one, I might try it then, too. Would be good for a first date or something.

(The original blog is here: http://cherishinghopesanddreams.blogspot.com/2012/01/30-things.html#)

DAY 1: List 20 Random Things About Yourself.

– I’ve never met 3 of my good friends.
– I wish Mr. Right would walk into my life already.
– I do not drink or smoke.
– I’m ready to be done with school
– Catchers are my favorite position. Lefties are a general favorite….better if you’re a pitcher.
– I’m opinionated on a number of subjects. I don’t care who doesn’t agree with me.
– I want to go to Ireland
– I’m a Political Science minor… And I can’t for the life of me figure out why (just watch some ads.)
– I am an only child.
– Opening Day should be a National Holiday
– I’m not a patient person.
– I had an internship with the Chicago White Sox last summer
– I have a Lab/ Samoyed. She’s not spoiled at all.
– I love Nikes
– Cowboy boots are love
– I think Miranda Lambert and I may be the same person. =)
– I love Hello Kitty
– My dream job is working for the Texas Rangers
– I want a tattoo within the year
– Daisies are my favorite flower

Hope I can keep this going. I love this idea 🙂

It’s Baaaack…..

I worked out last week and felt great, to the point I was going to start doing it regularly again and try and get back on my weightloss path.  So I went to the park today.  It was in the mid 60’s early and it was a great day for a walk.  I didn’t start out fast at all and was just walking at my normal pace.  About half way through the first half mile I started feeling kind of weird.  It was windy and I was going up hill, so I didn’t think anything of it.  I kept going another time around so I would be at an even mile when I was done.  I finished in 40 minutes and was pretty proud of myself even though before the concussion I was at about an 8-10 minute mile.  When I got back to my car, I wasn’t dizzy, but I was a little fuzzy.  I thought it was from the exercise and from it actually being semi-warm. Except it didn’t go away.  And I’m starting to forget little things (that’s one of my main symptoms).  I wanted to go out again tomorrow because it’s supossed to be nice again and I don’t want to be stuck in the house.  I guess I’ll see how I’m feeling tomorrow, but for now, my post concussion symptoms are back and I’m not happy about it. 😦

Avert your eyes!!! (Political post)

This is the one and only time you’ll have to deal with a political post from me.  I don’t usually like to put my views out there, even though I am a political science minor.  Hopefully this doesn’t get too long, and I apologize in advance if I talk your ear off.  Here are a couple topics that have got me close to fuming the last few weeks.

Birth Control/ Rush Limbaugh/ Uninformed Republicans

Now, let me say first that I don’t call myself a democrat or republican, though I find myself REALLY disagreeing with republicans lately. They are far too conservative for me to even consider affiliating with.

From what I’ve heard, Rush Limbaugh has always been nuts and he likes to run his mouth.  Usually, I can ignore it.  Except when it comes to something that concerns my life, whether he knows it or not.

There is a law student from Georgetown who testified for the dems that birth control should be covered by insurance (or something like that).  Limbaugh decided to take it upon himself to tell this woman (she’s in her 30’s) that she was wrong, only he didn’t just stop there.  He called this woman a slut and a prostitute and said that if he were made to pay for her birth control, she should be made to release her sex tapes to the public.  After sponsors pulled their ads and a lot of pissed off people, he came out and, as he said it, apologized.  Except not once did he use the words “I’m” and “sorry”.  He somehow made it out that he was joking and used the wrong terminology.  Now, for someone who SPEAKS for a living, shouldn’t you know what terminology you want to and should use? You had to backtrack because people flipped their lids.

Getting a little personal here, I have been on the pill for the better part of 13 years.  Not to prevent babies, but because I have a medical need.  I have heavy periods when I’m not on the pill to the point where I could pass out. I always have.  The pill has, I think, probably saved my life. This seems to be lost on people in this debate.  Birth control does not only mean condoms and things of that nature.  It also includes pills.  I know a few women who use it for reasons other than to prevent babies.  That’s a plus, but not the sole reason a lot of women use it.  I saw a comment on an article from a WOMAN who said that women should go to Planned Parenthood instead of insurance paying for it.  I don’t know if they hand out pills, but that’s asinine.  If it’s for actual medical need, then it should be covered.  And it should be free.  It’s also keeping kids off of welfare and out of foster care.  How’s that for saving y’all money?!

I’m not the most informed person about a lot of subjects, but if you don’t know what you’re arguing for, but you’re arguing against it because Obama wants it, I have no use for you.  You’re blinded by your party and that’s not right.

 

Rick Santorum

I don’t even know where to start, honestly.  First of all, the man gives me the creeps.  He just looks like someone I can’t trust.  I haven’t been a fan of his since I first saw him, but his views on the world are just…. I don’t even have a word.  Republicans say that Romney isn’t conservative enough for them, so they’re trying to get this guy the nomination.  A friend thinks he’s a troll, I think he’s a plant by the Democrats so they know they will absolutely win in November.  I don’t know how anyone could be that conservative and survive this long.  Romney is ridiculous because of his “We have money, my wife has a couple Cadilacs” thing, but if I HAD to pick a candidate, I’d pick him.  Santorum wants to almost combine church and state.  He wants to overturn any and all laws that allow same sex marriage, and annul all of those marriages.  He wants to outlaw abortion.  I’m sure there are other things that I’m forgetting.  Oh, and both he and Romney agreed with Limbaugh on the birth control issue.

I thought this section would be longer, but just watch any of his interviews/ speeches and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  For the good of the country, I hope he’s not the nominee.

It’s in my head.

This story begins on February 14th, 2010. However, it’s not the amazing love story of my life.

I recently came upon a blog of a woman named Molly B. who has been dealing with Post Concussion Syndrome for 4 years.  Her blog inspired me to go ahead and write this entry.  I’d been thinking about it, but her blog made me realize that someone might come across this one and find they aren’t the only ones going through this.

It was a warm-ish Valentines Day, warm enough I could wear just a long sleeved shirt under my Joe Mauer jersey. I wanted to show it off, so it was good that it was warm.  Mom was off that day and the dog had a check-up and bath at the vet, so after class we had to find something to do after running some other errands. We went to JC Penney’s to kill some time. I found some clothes that I could wear for my internship, so I went to try them on. I was warm after that, but nothing unusual after trying on stuff.  We were standing in line because we’d found some stuff to buy.  I started getting dizzy, so I sat down (they were doing construction, so there were no chairs around) in line.  The people in front of us moved so I stood up. I got really tired all the sudden and the last thing I remember before I came to was putting my head on mom’s shoulder. The next thing I remember, I heard my mom saying my name, cashiers asking if they needed to call 911 and my head hitting my mom’s hand on the floor (she told me later that my head had bounced a couple times).  They got me something to eat and got me into a wheelchair but I still had to pay for what I was going to buy.  I blacked out again in line.  The manager wheeled me outside and I immediately started to feel better because of the cool air.  I got home and slept for probably 4 hours. 

I knew after I woke up that I’d had a concussion.  I’d done enough research to know even without going to a Dr. I went a couple days later to make sure.  My headaches still weren’t gone after a couple weeks, so they sent me for a CT Scan to make sure my skull wasn’t cracked.  My sensitivity was (and still is) to light, so being in a hopital was horrible. There wasn’t anywhere to hide from that light and the whiplash made it impossible to put my head down to hide from it.

Looking back, I made some mistakes in treating it.  I went to class the day after it happened and was on a computer for both of those classes.  I thought that if I acted normal that I would heal faster.  I was wrong about that.  The last year is proof of that.

About a month after I fell, I was talking to a friend online and got this horrible pain in my left eye.  It felt like my eye was going to explode. I didn’t know what I was going to do if something happened to my eye. The friend I was talking to lives out of state, and wouldn’t be able to do anything.  All the sudden, it felt like something popped in my eye, my vision went black and came back and after that, it was better.  I was told this was an occular or retinal migraine.  I’ve had a few since, but none like that first one.  About a week after I fell, I was sitting at home and felt my head hit something ( I was sitting on the couch).  Apparently, that was what it felt like when my head hit the concrete when I passed out.

I felt like I was getting better this summer. I’d hardly had any headaches, no dizziness and I wasn’t tired all the time.  I moved home and it all came back. I was sleeping until 11 or 12 every day for the first couple months which meant that I was missing classes and I didn’t care.   Instructors didn’t seem to care that I was apparently still trying to recover from this concussion.

I finally went to a neurologist a couple weeks ago.  She gave me some medication for the migraines, which seems to be working.  So far, I haven’t had any headaches (knock on wood).  I’m still tired a lot, but that’s normal for me. 

I’m hoping that the medication helps and I can get back to a semi-normal life and back to working out again.  I’ve tried, but I get dizzy and can’t do anything.  I can walk, but anything more that that, including steps, and it takes about an hour to recover from it.

I was nervous about writing this post because I’d have to almost re-live the whole thing.  I’m glad we haven’t had much snow or ice this winter because I was so scared that I’d slip and hit my head again.

I see stories about athletes who have suffered concussions in the last year to year and a half and still aren’t playing.  I shake my head, but I know what they’re going through.  It’s frustrating because I think I should be healed by now, but my brain has different ideas.

I’m dealing one day at a time…