THE TRUTH IS MESSIE…

My e-journal, all the nitty-gritty, overly-emotional, sappy stuff…

Fly High, Baby Girl. November 23, 2016

Filed under: babies,GRIEF & LOSS — MESSIE @ 3:05 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

This is Jessica Whelan. I didn’t know her. I’ve never met her. In fact, it wasn’t until I read an article about her today that showed up in my Facebook news feed that I knew she even existed. But that didn’t stop my tears or this feeling of utter disbelief and absolute sadness that has my stomach and emotions tied in knots even now—hours later.

**

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(You Can Read Jessica’s Story  –>  HERE !!)

**

I didn’t know her, it’s true. Something I do know, however, is that she was a beautiful, brave, and strong little girl—right up until the very end. The fact that I never met or knew her is irrelevant. What matters is her story. Her strength. Her long-fought—albeit unsuccessful—battle and her will to live.

 **

She was only four. Still a baby. A beautiful little girl who still had her entire life ahead of her. She’ll never have her first day of school. She’ll never go to her junior prom, or kiss a boy or fall in love. She’ll never have a chance to advocate for what she believes in. To fulfill her dreams. She’ll never get married, her Daddy will never have the chance to walk her down the aisle and give her away, dance with her at her wedding. She’ll never have children or a family of her own. Cancer stole all of that from her. Stage 4 Neuroblastoma—a well-known cancer that accounts for about 6% of all childhood cancers—with more than 700 new cases reported every year. The worst part of the disease is that it’s often diagnosed too late, its symptoms often undetectable. It angers me that there’s a way to test for it even before a child is born…and yet it’s not a standard after-delivery test. That it could be avoided—and possibly save hundreds of lives and children—and it’s not offered—is beyond me. It seems so inconsequential. It’s hard for me to accept that with all the technology we have these days, all the medical advancements and research we have…there’s still no cue. I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the cure to cancer has already been found—and Big Pharma is keeping a lid on it so that they can continue to profit off of sales of medications and chemo. I hate to say it, but money is truly the root of all evil. Big Pharma would rather people suffer and die than to do the right—the MORAL—thing. That doesn’t sit well with me, or ya’ll, no doubt.

**

These kids are so strong—so much so that it’s inspiring. It’s also so tragic and horrific—whether you know the child or not. When it involves a child—everyone (or most everyone) grieves alongside that child’s parents and his/her family. We’re human. So it’s only understandable that we care. And one of our most basic human instincts is to protect our young. Because of that, it’s hard to accept when we fail. But as humans, we can only control so much. The rest is up to fate and the universe. Some are lucky. Some live. Some don’t. It’s the ones that don’t, to some degree, that stay with you forever. That leave scars. That make you doubt yourself and the world and all the good that you hope and want so badly to believe still exists out there.

 **

This isn’t just another sad story. Not for me. It’s personal. I’ve seen first-hand what Neuroblastoma can do to a child when Lena, the niece of my cousin’s wife, who was diagnosed with Stage Four Neuroblastoma when she was only 4 years old herself. She fought so hard—went through so much—and nearly died. At one point, the doctors told her parents to prepare for the worst. She wasn’t expected to live. However, by some miracle, she proved them all wrong. She fought. And despite the ups-and-downs and the horribly painful tests, surgeries and aggressive treatments, she survived. Incredibly, she went into remission. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. Just a little over a year later, she relapsed. The news wasn’t as uplifting as we all hoped. Honestly, it was hard to imagine her going through all of that all over again…to imagine that she was strong enough to fight a second time. She was so little and vulnerable and fragile and weak—and no one would have judged her for giving up. But she didn’t. Not then. And she hasn’t, not even now. She’s by far, one of the bravest little kids I’ve ever known. She went through and survived more hell than most adults could even think to imagine, let alone go through.

 **

Cancer. I fucking hate it. It’s taken so much from us, from me. It nearly took my mother’s life. She’s in remission now, but it’s like walking around on egg shells, fearful that it might have come back. I watched my grandfather struggle and ultimately fail to win his battle with blood cancer. I saw what it did to him. How it ravaged his body. How it took his strength. How it diminished his will to live. He suffered so much, for so long. It’s a small comfort that he’s no longer in pain or suffering…but it also hurts like hell still, even now – 17 years next month later. I think about him now and then, wishing he was here. I sometime wonder what he would think of the woman I’ve become…if he’d be proud of me. I think of how my nieces and nephews never had the chance to know him—and how he would have spoiled and loved them more than anything, just as he did with me and my siblings. I miss him. So much. I miss sitting on his lap, driving in that old classic car of his and playing/singing along to Merle and Johnny Cash on his cassette tapes (cassette tapes—gosh I feel old). I miss that serious, stern look of his that he was never quite good at—he never could keep a straight face. My family is crazy religious and always saying that he’s in a better place, that he’s in Heaven…and I’m just not able to imagine, let alone accept that. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned a dozen times on here, I don’t believe in that hype – that heaven/hell bandwagon they’ve so easily jumped upon. I’m more about the science. And proof. I can’t blindly believe in something that I can’t see, or that can’t be scientifically proven. I just can’t. As wonderful as that scenario they paint seems and sounds—I have doubts. I don’t think they’re right. I don’t believe that our actions in life determine where we spend eternity—or that eternity exists—not in that sense, anyhow. Personally, I don’t believe there is more. I think that we live and we did and then that’s it. We get put in the ground, our bodies decay until there’s nothing left but our bones, and that’s it. No pearly gates, no second lives, no burning flames…nothing. Just the ground. The dirt. Just the marks we left on the world – if we made anything. Nothing more, nothing less. And until I’m proven otherwise, I can’t accept it.

 **

My heartfelt condolences and thoughts go out to Jessica Whelan’s family during this difficult, unimaginably horrific time. I didn’t know her or them, but my heart breaks for them nevertheless. Loss is loss…loss is universal.

 Xo MESSIE

 

 

You Should Be Here… July 28, 2016

Today was Avie’s birthday. She’s six years old already—yeah, it’s crazy. Where does the time go? Seriously. Where. Does. It. Go. Seems like it was just yesterday that I was sitting on those big blue foam mats in the kids’ playroom at my Gram’s, watching roll around until she ran out of room, and thinking “she’s mobile”. And in the next moment thinking “oh no, it’s starting”—pretty soon she’ll be walking and those gummy smiles and baby babble will turn into words—and that once the words started, there’d be no stopping her. Six years and I wasn’t wrong. She’s a little spitfire, that one. She just doesn’t stop…the talking, the running around, the attitude, the energy…it doesn’t stop. She’ll talk your ear off with that Southern accent of hers…which we can’t for the life of us figure out where she got it from. She’s all sass and Miss. I-Do-What-I-Want, so much so that it gets on your nerves sometimes, and other times when you can’t help but smile at her dramatics. She’s fiercely independent, and grows more so with each passing day (Gee, I wonder who she gets that from… lol). Six years ago she came into this world and she’s been a light in our lives ever since. That little girl, she changed me. Hell, she saved me.


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Her birthday’s always a little bittersweet, though. My grandfather’s—or Papa, as we called him—birthday is the day before hers. He would have been 78 this year. Sadly, he never even made it to 61. Cancer. He fought a courageous battle with it for years…but ultimately he lost. I still think about it and him some times. Of what could have been and never was. I think about him now and wonder if he’d be proud of the woman I’ve become, of all my accomplishments and successes. I think about how different everything would be if he’d lived. For the most part, he was really the only male/ father figure I’d had growing up. Sure, my actual father was still there in the background with his child support checks and maybe a call or two every few years or so, if that. But my grandfather was actually there. Physically. Emotionally. I was only 12 when he died, but I felt the loss of him, all the same. I have these little snippets of memories here and there : of him picking us up from school, taking us for ice cream when we’d had a bad day or just because or even the smell of that old beat-up, brown car he used to drive and how he’d let me sit up front in the middle and play any old cassette tape that I wanted. He spoiled us—all of us—rotten, but it was out of love. He was the one who started my collection of Beanie Babies (remember those anyone?? Lol) and add to it every chance he got. Even when he was sick and weak and on the very cusp of his final moments, he stood in line and waited with me for hours at a convention just to buy 2 Beanie Babies. Though he was in pain, he never complained or said “that’s it kid, pack it up, we’re leaving”. Though I wish now that he had. Maybe it’d alleviate some of the guilt I felt then with him dying no more than a week afterwards. I was 12. I blamed myself, convinced that his decline had something to do with my having him stand in that line all those hours despite his pain, despite the fact that his circulation and legs were so bad he could hardly walk. Looking back at that 12 year old girl, I know that rationally, it wasn’t my fault. It was the cancer that had invaded, overwhelmed, and weakened his body. It was the cancer that ripped him out of our lives before we were even ready to lose him. The cancer was to blame.


*Papa*

                         *PAPA*


It’s bittersweet, but it makes me smile to think of what he would have thought about the kids. He’d have loved them and spoiled them to pieces, no doubt. Just as he did us. That Avie of ours would have given him a run for his money, that’s for sure. And of course, they’d have him wrapped around his little finger from the very start. Without a doubt they would have.


The kids have a tradition of buying birthday balloons for their “Papa” in heaven. Sometimes they’ll write a little note on theirs to him, then let them all go—convinced that when they disappear from view, that’s a sign that Papa reached down from heaven and took them all.


I don’t do that God and heaven and hell stuff. I can’t just survive on blind faith, as they seem to so easily do. I have to have tangible proof in my hand, physical evidence to back up a claim of any kind—much to my grams’ horror and outrage. She can’t believe the little girl she’d bring to church every Sunday—who literally grew up in the church—would turn out to be such an outspoken atheist. But I did. And a lot of it has to do with my grandfather’s death. I just couldn’t justify some invisible higher power—whom people claim to be “loving” and “all-knowing”—putting my grandfather what he went through. Allowing him to suffer as he did. Taking him before he had a chance to meet his beautiful great-grandchildren. Is that the will of a “loving” God? I don’t think it is. When no one could give me a good enough reason as to why my grandfather…I guess I just eventually stopped asking. I wasn’t going to find the answers I needed in some book or hymn or The Bible, so I stopped looking. Still, I go along with the kids. It’s harmless, I guess. And they’ll eventually grow up like I did and they’ll have that some choice to ask themselves and the world. I don’t want to burst their bubbles. If they say there’s a god…and that heaven is real…then it must be true, at least to them. I want them to have faith (not necessarily religion), in whichever shape it comes in. It’ll ground them, I think. And the way the world is right now—how it’ll be for them, I have a pretty good feeling that they’re going to need it. Hell, we ALL are gonna need it.

xoMESSIE


 

When Karma Comes A Knockin’. July 31, 2015

I’m absolutely heartbroken right now. Like my heart is LITERALLY in pieces. Amanda, my aunt/biological sister/fucking-demon-spawn-bitch (oh, I can go on and on) took the girls, Emma and Ava. It’s only been 2 days, but it feels like longer. It feels like forever.

 

We knew it was coming. The day that she’d take the girls…we knew it was coming. It’s that simple…and yet it’s really not. It’s really complicated, so I’ll just start somewhere near the beginning. So Amanda is the biological mother of my two nieces, Emma and Ava…but she’s no mother. What she IS however is a narcissistic, heartless, self-centered BITCH. That’s Amanda.

 

Her oldest daughter, my niece Emma, will be 10 in November and is Special Needs. She was a preemie and has a genetic/chromosomal condition that causes developmental delays, in addition to her having epilepsy and a range of other medical issues. Since she came home from the hospital, my grams –Amanda’s adopted mother (my grandmother and grandfather adopted her when my mother wanted to give her up) –like I said, it’s complicated–anyhow, my grams has been her (Emma’s) primary caretaker. She was the one that got up during the night with Emma for feedings and diaper changes. She’s the one that’s taken Emma to all her appointments with the pediatrician and the specialists. Because of Emma’s epilepsy, Emma sleeps in my grams’ room…basically so my grams can monitor her. Which is a good thing because Emma will literally spike a fever in minutes, out of absolutely nowhere, and go into a seizure without any real warning whatsoever. And it’s happened–the seizures–many, many times that I couldn’t even give you a number if I tried. But what I do know is that for a good 95% of the seizures she’s had, Amanda–her “mother”–wasn’t even home at the time. I can’t tell you how many times we’d call her with an emergency and she’d be elsewhere, usually with her phone off, or she’ll simply just ignore the call–even when we leave messages telling her it’s an emergency. And why is that? Because she doesn’t care. It’s really that simple. She doesn’t care. Not about Emma, not about Ava…not about anyone but herself. And she’s proven that multiple times over.

 

Emma, who is literally one of the sweetest little human beings you could ever hope to meet–who has been through so much in her short life already–can also be really, really difficult behavior-wise. She’s not your typical 9 year old. For starters, she’s the size of a kindergartener. Secondly, she’s got the intellect of a pre-schooler and zero safety-awareness. You can tell her she’s doing something wrong, but she doesn’t understand it. Not really. She just thinks it’s a game. And Amanda can’t handle her. At all. She’ll just yell and swear and rough-handle her to get her to do what she wants her to do. Emma takes a lot–A LOT–of patience. And she can drive you up the wall, let me tell you. But she’s just a little girl. A little girl that because of her condition, allows for her mother to receive a disability check every month to do with as she pleases. And that’s all Emma is to her. A check every month. She doesn’t care about Emma. She doesn’t love her. She loves the money. All the new clothes and shoes and designer purses and manicures and weekend getaways…that’s what Emma is to Amanda. That’s what Amanda loves. Not the little girl behind the dollar signs…the little girl that doesn’t see a cent of that money.

 

And it’s the same thing with her youngest, Ava…who just turned five this past week. Ava’s a bright, beautiful little girl with the sweetest personality and the biggest heart…and her mother has just as much disregard for her as she does for her sister. But unlike Emma, Ava understands what’s going on. She understands all of it.

 

Ava’s birthday was this week…and that’s when it all went down. Amanda–who hasn’t been living at the house and pretty much moved out and into her new boyfriend’s place–this guy that she’s been seeing for a year despite the fact that her divorce from Emma and Ava’s father was only JUST finalized this month–was at the house for Ava’s birthday. My mother and I had just gotten home after hours in the ER because of one of my headache spells and the second my mother walked in the door, Amanda was in her face telling her that “she’d see her in court…that she had the messages…blah blah…” Yeah. Apparently Amanda had gone through my mother’s phone while we were gone and taken pictures of text messages between my mother and the girls’ father. I don’t know what all was said in the messages or what–and I really don’t care–but that’s what started it all. Naturally, my mother was livid that she’d gone in her phone without her permission. As she should be. So my mother being well…her…called up the cops to see if there was anything illegal in what Amanda had done. They apparently told her there was nothing she could do and she was about to hang up when Amanda went out on the front porch where my mother had gone and starting yelling and swearing. Ava had followed her out and was crying, upset and begging her mother to stop fighting. The officer on the other end of the phone heard the commotion and said they were sending a car right over. My mother filled out a complaint, the cops left, and then Amanda went crazy. She started throwing the girls things into a garbage bag, telling the girls she was taking them–so of course they were both crying and hysterical because they didn’t want to leave. Then Amanda went out in the kitchen with my grams and tried taking Emma’s meds out of the fridge. My grams tried to stop her from taking the wrong meds and Amanda went psycho on my grams, hitting and shoving her. My brother and I were right in the next room and we both jumped up…my brother ran out to the kitchen and literally had to pull Amanda off of my grams, whereas I ran outside and informed the others what was going on. My mother, aunt, and the girls’ father ran back in the house and I had to corral a sobbing, screaming Ava–the birthday girl that hadn’t even had a chance yet to blow out her candles or open her gifts. After that, Amanda tried to get the girls to leave with her, but they refused to go, so she ended up leaving, threatening that she’d be back with “help”.

 

She never came back. Not that night, nor the next. It wasn’t until yesterday–two days later–when we got the phone call out at my sister’s where we’d gone with the girls to spend some time in the pool that Amanda had gone down to family court and was up to something. I’d already put together the statement for my grams’ custody petition for the girls, so my grams and I left and headed straight back and down to family court. But of course, the judge refused an emergency hearing. We had no choice but to give up the girls to their piece-of-shit mother who’d waited until she knew we were gone to pull her crap and go in the house and pack the girls things–95% of which she hadn’t even bought. But because she’s their “mother” and has custody, we had to give her the girls. Which is total bullshit because she doesn’t want them. She doesn’t give a damn about them. Only herself. And her doing what she did, taking them–she didn’t do it for them or because she thinks they’re better off with her. She knows damn well they’re not. She did them for the simple fact that she wanted to spite us. Because she knows now that no one gives a damn about her–and that its the kids we care about. And because of that, she hit us right where she knew it would hurt the most. The girls. Those two beautiful little souls that deserve far better than her.

 

As I said earlier, it’s not like we didn’t know this was coming. We knew. She’d been threatening for years to take the kids. She’s used them as leverage for years, holding them over my grams’ head to get what she wants. It doesn’t matter what it is. She wanted a new car and needed my grams’ to co-sign, so she used the girls to get it. She promised my grams that if she co-signed for her, she wouldn’t take the girls from her. Yeah…talk about a piece of shit. Who does that? Seriously, who uses a 9 year old and a 5 year old as leverage for a goddamn car? It’s fucked up. Plain and simple. It’s FUCKED up. And my grams has tried. She’s contacted the fraud department for the SSI I don’t know how many times to inform them that Amanda isn’t using that check for Emma on Emma at all, only to be told that there’s nothing they are going to do because apparently she doesn’t have to account for where the money is going. Talk about fucked up…that right there is prime example of how screwed up this government of ours is. RIGHT THERE. But that’s not even the half of it. We’ve tried calling CPS on Amanda…we’ve talked to the police…we’ve consulted with family law attorneys…and they’ve all told us the same thing. That there’s nothing we can do because even though she’s a shitty mother and she’s essentially left the kids with my grams’ to take care of 24/7 while she goes out and lives her life…she’s their mother and she has custody. And technically, it’s not considered abandonment or neglect because the kids ARE being taken care of…even though she’s NOT the one caring for them…my grams is the one that’s caring for them. It’s like saying “yeah, you’ve raised these kids since they were born, you’ve been there and she hasn’t–but she has the legal right to do whatever she wants with them”. And that’s exactly it. That’s what we keep getting told.

 

But we’re going to fight. She wanted a war and now, now she’s definitely going to get one. And it’s not like we’re making this shit up. She has NEVER been there. Never! And everyone who really knows her and knows the situation–they know. The doctors, the school, Emmie’s teachers…the neighbors…everyone knows. But the thing is–Amanda is a pathological liar. It’s a real thing and she is. Honestly, I think she’s gotten so good at telling her lies that she actually believes them herself. It’s sick. She’s sick. And while she may be blood–she means absolutely nothing to me. It’s a horrible thing to say, but if it came down to her or the kids, it’d be the girls 100 percent, all the way. And I wouldn’t feel the least bit guilty for the choice. I don’t know who or what she thinks she is, but she’s screwed up. We were all raised in the same house by the same people and I just can’t understand how she could be so selfish–and so spiteful to the people that have been RAISING her children FOR her, without protest and with pleasure. I don’t get it. How can you be that cruel to people who have done so much for you…and moreover–how can you do that to your own children–your own flesh and blood? To take them screaming and crying out of the only home they’ve ever known and bring them to a place (we aren’t even allowed to know where she took them–talk about fucked up) they don’t know and leave them with absolute strangers? How does a mother do that to her own children? I don’t get it.

 

We tried today…we tried again to get the judge to grant us an emergency hearing (especially when going through Amanda’s room last night for my headphones I came across a bag that smelled like weed, told my mother, and the cops came and confiscated a bowl and grinder–so we had the police report and everything…but he still wouldn’t give us even 5 goddamn minutes. Nope. It was the same judge that I’d dealt with before with that one ex years ago and then again with my bitch-ass aunt when she decided to shove me around. For some reason, the guy doesn’t like me and it’s obvious. But whatever…that’s not his job. And he doesn’t have to like me or my family to hear a petition that involves the welfare of two little girls. It’s his job to protect those who can’t protect themselves…not to take the law into his own hands and play on some little power trip. It’s corruption and it’s bullshit and I know it’s just this fucked up legal system that this country thinks is so great…but it’s wrong, it’s just so wrong. And in this little county, there’s really nothing we can do about it. We tried talking to the police. They just tell us there’s nothing we can do…that we have to contact CPS and go down to family court. And we tried that. In the past and again with everything recently. But CPS says they can’t do anything and family court claims its up to CPS to launch an investigation and it’s a game of passing the buck. No one cares and no one wants to do anything. We can’t request a new judge–that is, we could, but I doubt we’d get one I should say–so we’re stuck, unable to do anything but wait until the court date when the judge is going to hear all the petitions on the 5th. So in the meantime, those girls are stuck with a mother who doesn’t give a damn about them and complete strangers in a strange home for, at the very least, another 5 days.

 

I can just picture Avie. She’s not good with strangers and god only knows how they’re being treated. She’s probably been crying and begging to come home and it’s just not fair. It’s just not. She and Emma are the ones that are suffering here and it breaks my heart into a million little pieces. And I’m scared to death of what’s going to happen in court on Wednesday. I mean, god forbid that judge plays into her little game and lets her keep those girls…I don’t know what we’ll do. If she keeps custody, we’ll never see those girls again. And just knowing that could happen…it’d break us all. It’d kill my grams…that much I do know. She’s 74 years old and though you wouldn’t know it from looking at her,  57 years of raising kids has taken a toll on her. And those two girls have been her whole world for the past 9 years. It’d kill her…and if anything were to happen to my grams…I can damn well guarantee there won’t be a hole where Amanda can hide to protect her from the backlash of this family’s wrath if anything like that were to ever happen. She started World War III here and I don’t think she has a clue the hell she’s just unleashed. If she thinks we’re just going to sit back and watch her destroy the lives of those two girls…she’s got another thing coming. As we all know…you reap what you sow. And Karma. Is. A. Bitch.

 

I’m not the praying type, but I really do pray that if there’s a God, he’ll do the right thing and give us back these girls. That everything will go our way on Wednesday and we’ll get them back. I don’t care what it takes. I just want them back. Safe.

 

-Messie

 

Ride ‘Til We Die. April 21, 2015

Filed under: family,FRIENDS,GRIEF & LOSS — MESSIE @ 2:59 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Okay, so rarely does a film give me those actual chills…the kind where you literally just stop and go, “whoa.” But…I just finished watching Furious 7 and well…yeah. Whoa.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those mechanically inclined, car junkie type chicks or anything. I mean, I can change a tire…or probably could, I should say. I mean, I’ve watched how to do it and I’m sure if I really had to (and I had the right tools with me) I could probably follow along to some YouTube video instructions or something and get the job done. Probably. Once, many, many years ago, I had this crazy notion that I was going to learn how to do an oil-change myself…yeah. I think I got so far as buying all the stuff I needed to get it done…and that’s about it. Cars and me…well, I don’t have the best of luck with them. My very first car–totally blew up the engine/head gasket thingie. Yeah. Apparently cars really do need oil to keep running. Who knew. 🙂 Yeah. Then there’s my run-in’s with a couple of ditches that didn’t end too well…for the car, anyhow. And of course, let’s not forgot my little hydroplaning incident a few months back. Yeah, cars and me…no real love connection there. My brother and my uncle are the mechanics in the family. They pretty much know everything there is to know…which was always pretty convenient for us girls. Never really had to worry about that part. Even now, with AAA and road-side assistance and hell, even drive-thru oil-change stations–there’s really no need for me to really learn the mechanics at this point. As far as recognizing makes and models of cars…yeah, I suck at that, too. So basically when people ask me what kind of car this or that was, I’m usually like…um, an SUV/Truck? In other words, I’m totally clueless.

But just because I know essentially zip about cars, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a good racing/car action film. Having said that, I love the Fast & Furious movies. It’s not often that you find a film saga that ups  the ante and–amazingly–gets better with each new film they make. The Furious saga is exactly like that. I mean right on down from the storyline and all the crazy-intense stunts to the incredibly talented actors…it’s all just soooo good.

The latest film, Furious 7, definitely did NOT disappoint. I loved it. It has a perfect balance of suspense and action and drama and even comedy. Maybe it’s just me, but the characters of Roman–played by actor Tyrese Gibson, and Tej–played by rapper-turned actor, Ludacris–are totally hilarious. Their characters crack me up each time. And Vin Diesel–the actor that plays one of the lead characters, Dom Toretto–gosh, he’s just total eye candy. Not gonna lie–for a 47-year-old, he’s pretty hot. Just sayin’.

Then, of course, there’s Paul Walker’s character, Brian O’Connor–an ex-FBI-agent turned street racing-junkie turned criminal and fugitive turned world-saving hero turned father and family man. Paul Walker played the character so well, which makes it more tragic and even more of a shame what happened to him. I just think it’s horrible that he died the way he did. I think the irony of it all is just plain cruel. An actor who basically rose to fame by playing a character that was front and center within the world of street-racing, dies in a high-speed car crash?? It just seems so wrong–like a slap in the face, you know? If nothing else, it just goes to show just how cruel and unforgiving fate and the universe can be sometimes, I guess. And the fact that it was a freak accident sort of thing that happened, makes it even more horrible. It all could have happened so differently, you know. So many if-onlys. If only that car hadn’t been having problems that day…if only he hadn’t gotten in that car or gone on that drive…he might still be alive. While I know it was just an unfortunate, tragic accident, I can’t help but wonder (as many others have, I’m sure) what they were thinking driving that fast on that stretch of road. I think I read somewhere that the car was going like 90 mph or about that when it crashed. Seriously…what were they thinking? How it even happened is what I don’t get. I mean, not only was the driver the owner of a racing team, but was an avid racer himself. So he knew what he was doing. Or should have known. As a racer–he had to have been used to driving at speeds nearly double what he was doing the day of the crash. In light of that, it just seems odd to me that he lost control like he did. But he did. I just feel really bad for that Rodas’ guy’s family and for Paul Walker’s family, especially his teenage daughter. It’s one thing to have to suffer the loss of a loved one…but to know that their deaths were the result of deliberate recklessness that could have easily been avoided…that’s got to make it even worse. I caught a bit of an interview Paul Walker’s dad did after the crash where he mentioned that the Furious 7 movie was going to be the last film his son was going to make for awhile–that he was planning on taking a break from acting so he could spend more time with his daughter. It’s sad that he never got that chance. Which goes to show, I think, just how short and fragile life really is. You never know what’s going to happen. You think you have all the time in the world, so you put off doing the things you want to do and add it all to the “someday” pile…then tragedy strikes and those “some days” are gone forever. There are no guarantees. You just never know. It’s almost like a curse and a blessing, at the same time.

Anyhow, back to the movie. I’m glad they retired Paul Walker’s character, rather than kill him off. And they did it in such an incredible, respectful, genuine way that just gives you the feels, so to speak. One of the best things about this particular saga is how, even though the movies are action films, they still manage to tie in this sort of genuine family element. The love and respect that cast of actors have for one another–on-and-off screen–really comes across in the films, especially so in this last one. I think it’s easy for people to get attached to these characters and their stories and forget sometimes that those actors are actually real people. Real people with feelings and emotions and families. I’ m completely in awe and impressed by that cast of amazing actors and all the heart they put into finishing the film. It couldn’t have been easy for them. And the way that they really about honoring their friend was truly and genuinely perfect. There are scenes in this last film, especially that very last scene, where you have to wonder how much of that is acting and how much is genuine. They were saying goodbye to the character obviously, but I think it was also that they were saying goodbye to their friend, someone they loved. It was a little heartbreaking to watch…and I’ll admit, there were some tears…but I’m human. And if you’ve seen all the movies–and I have–it’s true, you get a little invested in the characters and their stories. I mean, you know it’s not actually real…but it could be. And I’m sure that it is real for someone or some people out there, somewhere. Someone’s brother or friend or family. There are all kinds.

So yeah…great movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend getting off your behind and going to see it…if for no other reason than to see those incredible stunts. I mean…whoa. Big BIG props to those stunt people. Let’s just say that if it weren’t for the whole crash and die thing, I’d be adding “skydiving in a car” to my bucket list. That’s one of those thrills-of-a-lifetime things that you just know isn’t likely to end well…but you want to and still do it anyway because you know that life is just too damn short for regrets. And for wishing you’d done something when you had the chance.  As those hipster teenagers these days like to say, YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE. It’s true. So take the plunge, take the risk, break the rules. That’s right, don’t think or over-analyze it all…just do it. GO. Live a little. Today, right now. It’s worth it. It’s all worth it.

xoMESSIE

 

Depression Defined. August 30, 2014

Filed under: GRIEF & LOSS,LIFE — MESSIE @ 12:26 am
Tags: , , ,
#MaydayParade

#MaydayParade

I’m a little late, but I’ve had this post written for weeks now and just finally got around to uploading it. It’s about Robin Williams…

I still can’t believe that he’s really dead. I really can’t. Moreover, I can’t believe he did it by killing himself. It’s just so ironic, you know? That the man who made millions laugh, myself included, had a darkness so intense inside him that it drove him to kill himself. It’s just crazy. And unfortunate.

I don’t usually get emotional when it comes to celebrities and their deaths. I mean, why would I–I don’t know them. They don’t know me. I mean, I care…because despite their celebrity status, they are still human beings. They have the same feelings and their very own drama, just like the rest of us. They’re just people…granted they’re people who get paid millions of dollars and bathe in luxury…but they’re still people. They matter, too.

I don’t think people are crazy to be so affected by the death of someone like Robin Williams, despite never having known or met the man. I mean, you grow up with these people in your world and on your TV in your homes for years, and it’s like they’ve become part of your fold. You don’t know them, but you feel like you do. It may not be entirely rational, but it’s true. It’s just the way it is.

It probably shouldn’t, but it bugs me to no end when I hear or read that Williams was selfish and how so many people are judging him for his final act. For starters, it’s NONE of their business. Secondly, they don’t have a fucking clue (excuse the language). The man was clearly struggling. He didn’t hide the fact that he was depressed or that he had issues with his mental health. He wasn’t afraid to lay it all out there or to be open about it all. If you ask me, that’s one of the bravest things you could ever do. To put your world under the microscope for everyone to see–the good AND the bad. It’s called honesty and it’s a trait that few people possess. He was one of them.

The way I see it, he was brave right up to the very end. I mean, how could he not be? He went out on stages and on television to entertain and bring joy to millions of people–even if just for a few minutes.  He made people forget about their crappy lives and forget that the world is an absolute freaking mess out there. And he did it even though he had no joy for himself. That says a lot about a person’s character. His character. Was it selfish for him to kill himself–I don’t think so. I mean, I’m sorry for his family and for all of those who knew and loved him…but it wasn’t selfish. After doing so much for others, he finally did one thing for himself. Don’t get me wrong–I am in no way condoning suicide, but I will uphold his right to do as he chose. It was his life and his pain. He had a right to want it to end. I know a lot of people disagree on that, but I don’t care. Those people didn’t have to live with it. They don’t know what he was going through or how he felt. No one does. Only he had those answers and he’s not here to defend himself.

They say that in death, he’s become the face of Mental Heath and Depression. And in a lot of ways, he really has. He made a lot of people wake up and recognize that it’s a real epidemic in this world. People are finally talking about and trying to do things to change it. People are finally starting to take notice, rather than ignore it like we have for so long. Personally, I think we’re too scared to talk about it because we’re afraid that if we do, we’ll have to admit that it exists…and we don’t want to do that. We don’t want to focus on death or the hard stuff. We’d rather pretend that everything is just peachy clean. If you ask me, it’s just plain sad.

While it’s tragic what happened to Williams, his death has helped so many people. People who are no longer ashamed to admit their emotions and fears and struggles. People who are no longer afraid to ask for help. People who will ask now that they know they aren’t alone…and that what they’re going through can and does happen to anyone. Even celebrities. Even people like Robin Williams.

No one’s immune.

No one.

#RIPRobinWilliams

xoxo Messie

 

 

 

Loss Is Loss No Matter WHO You Are… December 2, 2013

So I came across a post on my news feed on Facebook earlier that kind of rubbed me the wrong way, so to speak…of this guy complaining about the statuses regarding actor Paul Walker’s death over this past weekend. This was the actual post (and I really hope I’m not alone in my frustration over this):

“Oh I didn’t know all of you were that close to Paul Walker. Pathetic, how someone none of you personally knew matters so much, yet all you chicks are ready to kill yourself over it and dudes act like they just lost their big brother.”

Yeah…wow. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about the 1st amendment and the freedom to voice one’s opinion, but come on…seriously? That’s a bit much, don’t you think? If you ask me, it’s just cold…not to mention just plain rude. I mean, granted some people are going a bit overboard on this…and yes, I too find it a little odd how insanely crushed and heartbroken some fans are claiming to be…not for the fact that I think it’s pathetic–but rather that I think it’s somewhat insulting and offending and it kind of diminishes the suffering of those who actually knew him, you know? I don’t know, that’s just how it feels to me. Still, people mourn and grieve in their own ways and for their own reasons. And nowhere does it say that you can’t be saddened by the loss of someone you never knew or met. After all, I mean, no one thought it strange when fans lined up by the thousands to pay their respects to Elvis and women all over the country cried for weeks…same goes for Princess Diana and the handful of other celebrities that have died so sudden and so tragically over the years. Or for that matter, when the country came together to mourn the lives that were lost on 9/11…or the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing…or the 26 victims from the Sandy Hook school shooting tragedy. Most people didn’t know those individuals either, but they mourned them nonetheless. So, tell me please, who’s to say or dictate who someone can or cannot grieve over? It just doesn’t seem right.

I was lucky. I didn’t lose a friend or loved one on 9/11, but I sat at my desk and cried along with everyone else in my math class as we watched it all unfold on the TV at the front of the room. They may have been complete strangers, but they were still victims of an unjust attack who didn’t deserve to die that day. Moreover, they were still human beings. They were mothers and fathers and siblings and friends and neighbors. They had families and plans and dreams. They had the rest of their lives ahead of them. Just as those in Boston did. And just as those 20 1st graders and 6 teachers in Newtown, Connecticut did. Paul Walker’s no different. That said, I think it’s just wrong to call people pathetic for well…caring–is essentially what it is. For being sympathetic to the loss of someone they never met. For actually having the ability to empathize and show kindness towards a complete stranger. If you ask me, the only “pathetic” individual here is the one (and those others saying similar things) that complained in the above post, for he must not have a sympathetic, caring bone in his body. And for that, I pity him. I really do.

A man died. He was only 40 years old. He was a father, a son, a brother, a friend…people loved him, respected him, and looked up to him. He loved his family. He loved life. He was kind and charitable. By all accounts, he was a good person. That he was a celebrity and an actor–(and a gorgeous as sin one as well, I might add)–well, that’s not all that he was. Society puts far too much emphasis on fame and celebrity and they cast these individuals as these god-like figures. So in turn, people get too caught up in the glamour and dazzle that they forget that these are just people…individuals like you and I…that just so happen to have a job that pays them millions of dollars. That doesn’t make them superior or invincible…and it certainly doesn’t make them immortal. They live, they breathe, they feel, they love, they hurt, they bleed, they die…just like anyone else.

Personally, I’ve never really bought into the whole Hollywood hype. I’m not sure why really. (Ha you know what…maybe it was that love/fan letter I sent to my very first celeb/heart-throb crush Andrew Keegan when I was like 10 and only got some stupid autographed photo in return that turned me off from it all..LOL.) No, but really, I don’t see what’s so great about being a celebrity and having all that fame…aside from the money, maybe. Even then though–all that lack of privacy and the constant intrusions into your personal life and the press hounding you and paparazzi jumping out from bushes just to snap pics of you in sweats and no makeup…well, call me crazy, but no amount of money in the bank is worth THAT. Not for me, that is. I value my privacy far too much for that.

Anyhow, to the Paul Walker RIP haters…all I have to say is this…if it bothers you so much, then turn off your news feed. Or better yet, ignore the notifications like the rest of us do when we see things we don’t want to read. And while you’re at, you may want to buy a chisel for that ice-cold heart of yours.  Just sayin’…

xoxo MESSIE

Image(© Lyrics Used In Image Manipulation: A Life That’s Good)

 

End To The Madness… January 7, 2013

Oh. My. God. When will the madness end????? I was on Facebook earlier and came across something on a page that was set up for little Emilie Parker, one of the victims from the Sandy Hook shooting, that literally had me staring at the screen in absolute shock and disgust. It was a link in a comment, I think, that brings you to a page that essentially lists all these so-called “reasons/evidence” that supposedly prove that the shooting was a hoax. Now, I have nothing against conspiracy theorists…usually. I mean, people are welcome to believe what they want to believe. It’s a free world, after all. But seriously? It’s one thing to think that the whole “space exploration” and man walking on the moon was nothing but an elaborate governmental setup that was filmed in some “Area 51” sound stage somewhere…but to say–let alone actually think–that what happened in that elementary school that fateful day is all a hoax…that’s just…WRONG! I mean, people are sick. Really, really sick. To even suggest something like that…god, it’s so twisted and ridiculous and seriously messed up, that it’s not even funny. And to post it on a memorial page for a 6-year-old little girl that was MURDERED…that’s beyond disrespectful. It’s unforgivable. Hell, it’s unconscionable! Who does that? What kind of sick and twisted individual would do that? And it wasn’t just that one person’s post…there were others as well. To think that we live in a country, in a world, where people spend their days coming up with these conspiracy ideas and then use their contrived and illicit data to fill the heads of others with such trash…it’s unreal. It really and truly is.

People died that day. Innocent people. Twenty beautiful and completely innocent CHILDREN died that day. Shot to death in cold blood in a classroom, of all places. They didn’t ask for what happened to them. They didn’t deserve to die in such a cruel and horrible and completely senseless way. They woke up that morning, brushed their teeth, got dressed, had breakfast, and went to school. They said hello to their friends, their teachers, and sat down at their desks to listen to the morning’s announcements…just like any other day. They didn’t know what was happening or why. I mean, I read these interviews from the other teachers and staff that were in the school that day–how they heard the gunfire and immediately hid themselves. They understood what it meant. They knew the nightmare that was unfolding inside that school. But those kids…they didn’t know. I mean, how could they? A 6 or 7-year-old doesn’t know what gunfire sounds like. They shouldn’t know. They’re not supposed to. That’s the whole point…they’re innocent. Rather, they WERE innocent. The tragedy of that day wasn’t just that 26 lives were cut short…it was that twenty children lost their innocence, along with all the countless other children that were in that school that day. People are always saying how resilient kids are when it comes to things like death and loss–how quickly they are able to “bounce back” from such things. But something like this–it doesn’t fall within the parameters of the norm. This is in a category, all its own, I think. Sure, with counseling and time, most of those other children will heal and move past this and past what happened that day. They’ll move on, but they’ll never forget. They’ll carry the images and events from the day with them the rest of their lives. They too, lost their innocence that day. It’s not right and its sure as hell not fair, but that’s what happened. God, I can’t even imagine it…nor do I want to…what those children must have felt in those final, horrible moments…how terrified they must have been. I remember reading an article somewhere about how the teacher in one of the two rooms tried to save her kids by hiding them in closets and cupboards around the room and when the shooter came in, she tried telling him that the kids were some where else in the building. It went on to say that some of the kids got scared, came out of their hiding spots, and were killed as they tried to get away–despite the teacher’s heroic attempt to save them by using her own body as a human shield. I know the medical examiner stated in his official report that if the children did suffer, it wasn’t for long. I pray to God that was the case, but it just doesn’t seem like much of a consolation. They might not have suffered physically…but they suffered. My niece Emma is 7 years old, the same age as many of those young victims–so to think about a child the same age as her having to experience something like that–it’s unimaginable. What’s worse–if that’s even possible–is knowing that not only were their last moments spent in that terrifying hell, it was that sick bastard’s face they saw last, as well. That, to me, is ultimately the cruelest injustice in this whole thing…

That being said, I think it’s absolutely despicable what these naysayers and “hoax-criers” are doing. I also feel that Facebook should be doing more than what’s being done now…which isn’t much, if anything, if you ask me. Granted, the journalist in me is all for protecting the first amendment and freedom of speech…but that’s not what this is. This isn’t about public awareness or the right to express an opinion. This is a grievous abuse of social media, as well as to the first amendment. There’s a line…and these misguided individuals have long-since crossed it. If you ask me, its people like this that are why this world is so screwed up. People who take advantage of the freedoms they’ve been given…and in doing so, ruin it for the rest of us. These people have no morality, no conscience. If they did, they wouldn’t be spreading these vicious rumors or making these atrocious accusations. They wouldn’t be disrespecting the memory of those victims by saying such horrible things and posting their nonsense. They wouldn’t be going around trying to discredit the hell those young victims and those six women went through that day. It’s just not right. Those victims don’t deserve to have their deaths be considered as being in vain. They deserve more. They deserve respect.

I’m sorry for venting like this, but I just can’t wrap my head around this. I can’t for the life of me understand how someone could do this and call it a hoax. It’s sick. By their logic, the government made this up. That reasoning alone makes the suggestion itself completely outrageous. It doesn’t even make sense. I mean, what could the government possibly hope to gain or achieve by making something like this up? There’s nothing…because there IS nothing to be gained. It’s disheartening to think that we live in a world and a society that could condone something like this. That people are so sick and twisted that they’d spread such drivel and not only prey on the memory of innocent victims, but on the suffering of the families of those victims as well. It’s just so wrong, on so many levels. I guess my only consolation in all of this, is that I believe in the power of Karma…that what goes around, comes back around. One of these days, these people are going to wake up and step out of their little conspiracy bubbles and realize their ignorance. They’ll have to face the ramifications of their words and their beliefs. One day, they too are going to find themselves in a state of despair and suffering. I wonder…what will they do then…

xoxo
MESSIE

 

 
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