My Low Carb Update……

An update on my article titled “Low Carbs is so simple they said, Eat it – you’ll like it they said – Enough Already!” written on May 30th of this year (2017) – almost 4 months ago! hard to believe it has been that long.

Not that anyone cares really but I have to say a few words about what I went through to get to this point. Being brutally honest here – I started out at 308 POUNDS!!!!!!! – I am now down to 245 pounds and the way I figure it, I am about half way there. I look back and think of how hard it was in the beginning to adapt to this lifestyle change. And let me tell you – it really was a lifestyle change. The first three weeks were the hardest but after that is wasn’t all that bad.

The very first thing I had to do was to purge my pantry and refrigerator of all of the High Carb foods that were in there. Now keep in mind, I have 2 kids still at home along with my wife (who has never needed to diet in her whole life – 94 pounds when we first met – Sheesh). You wouldn’t believe the foods that were High Carb. After the great purge, I went from sliced breads to Low Carb Tortilla wraps (because I loved my sammiches) ! Now with that being said – I also cut out high sugars and my favorite Sweet Tea. I switched to Crystal Light Sweet Tea which is really good and satisfied my need. I cut out potato chips and went to Carolina Country Snacks – Pork Skins zero Carbs and topped with Pimento Cheese Spread is the perfect snack for me! I also went from mashed potatoes to mashed cauliflower with cheese. It’s really good with salt and pepper. Absolutely zero Soft Drinks – the amount of carbs in those are through the roof!

I have still been doing Thrive for my energy level and feel great most of the time. As most of you already know, I have knee and ankle issues and so I take some heavy painkillers for that through pain management but overall, I feel pretty good. After all this time, my cravings are way under control and I even resist and refuse certain snacks and meals. Sure – I cheat every once in a while (I’m not trying to kill myself) but I do allow a bite of this and that every so often. It keeps my body and mind confused! I still stay between 30 and 50 carbs per day which keeps me right there at Ketosis and the state of constantly burning my own fats.

Now I am sure that this last leg of my journey is going to be a little harder but I now feel that I have the mental and physical faculties that are needed to make it happen. Although I now have to work on some toning exercises because of the loose saggy skin, I have no doubt that I can do this. Another product plug is for “Premier Protein” from Sams’ Club it has 30 grams of protein with only 4 grams of carbs and fills you up for a lunchtime meal.

For all of you Non- Believers  – THIS IS REAL! This really works – at least for me it has. I know that if I can do this – you can do this. You just have to make your mind up to do it. Even if it’s just a little change – you will be surprised at the difference it can make.

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Still ….. Living in the Promised Land

Still ….. Living in the Promised Land

Living in the Promised Land – a song written by David Lynn Jones and recorded by Willie Nelson in 1986

Willie Nelson

For those of you who have never heard of this song, I urge you to read the lyrics or better yet, listen to the song. This song depicts what America is all about. From the very start of it all – we are one nation…… “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under”. (Ronald Reagan).

The “Promised Land” is a religious term, which can mean land promised to a people by God.

It has several Biblical lines, and is about an America that needs to continue caring about others, especially immigrants seeking the American Dream.  That there is room for everyone is a multicultural message.

One verse from the song says:

“So they came from a distant isle
Nameless woman, Faithless child

like a bad dream
Until there was no room at all
No place to run, and no place to fall”

“Give us our daily bread
We have no shoes to wear
No place to call our home
Only this cross to bear

We are the multitudes
Lend us a helping hand
Is there no love anymore

Living in the Promisedland.

These lyrics clearly identify with a people who have nothing – nothing to call their own. No one to turn to and no place to go. These people are looking for shelter, love and Hope! So we as a nation, offer them shelter and “a place” if you will, but with our rules and our regulations and on our terms.

helping hands

Another verse goes like this:

“Living in the Promisedland
Our dreams are made of steel
The prayer of every man
Is to know how freedom feels”

THIS is what we, as a Nation, have created. Although we have let it slip away and decay a bit, it is still ours – our creation and our land and what we still believe in today. YES we are the United States of the Offended and for the most part – we sometimes act like we are entitled but the truth of the matter is….. we are still ONE NATION. If you have come to America with no place to go and no one to turn to, we are here. If you were born here, your ancestors came here looking for “a place” and they found it and made it what it is today. We are not entitled, we worked hard to establish this Nation and why it is important to see past the Color and let the “past” be the past. Come together as One Nation  and help Make America Great Again.

“Leave us your broken dreams

We’ll give them time to mend

There’s still a lot of love

Living in the Promisedland”

Now I say this – I believe that we are STILL living in the Promised Land where everyone is welcomed with open arms (IN GOOD FAITH). In good faith, we open our doors (borders) to any and all with a need or a struggle. We nurse the sick, bury the dead, clean the wounds and rebuild the spirit. All with the expectation that they DO NOT disrespect us or our ways – we, after all, are helping them. They should submit and adapt to our ways, traditions and heritages and because of this, is why we are the Greatest Nation in the World. Yes we should all learn from one another but the core is still the same.

With that being said, as with any infrastructure, there has to be guidelines, there have to be rules. As quoted from Forbes “America was founded as a religious and a Christian nation. BUT there is one inescapable fact: at the time of the American founding, the reason why so many Englishmen had come to settle in the United States was for religious reasons. They were Puritans and other sorts of radical Christians whose religion had been oppressed in Britain and who came to the United States to practice their religion in peace.

It is this crucial fact that gave the wonderful balance that gave rise to America: because so many Americans were fervently Christian, the Nation would have a Christian culture and society; but because they had seen their religious freedom oppressed, and because they were so many denominations, the government would be neutral with regard to institutional forms of Christianity and with regard to specific denominations. It was seen as self-evident that in a country where most people were Christians, their democratic representatives would govern according to Christian values.

And of course, it is no coincidence that the Founders proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that the reason why people had human rights was because they were so endowed by their Creator. (Even as they said nothing about the precise identity of this Creator, to protect religious pluralism.)

In short, it is totally correct to say that America was founded, yes, with a “secular” government, but as a religious Nation.”.

“There is a Winding Road

Across the shifting sands

And room for everyone

Living in the Promised Land…..”

“Leave It to Willie Nelson  – Only he can bring together Republicans and Democrats.”

 Willie Nelson once said in speaking of Texas (but I have to add that this applies to America as a whole) – “I know a lot of good people down there. I know more nice people than I do assholes. There’s a few of them down there also, but tell me a place where there’s not!”.

Statue of Liberty

Preparation – “What If”

First off I have to give credit where credit is due! First to God for – well you know – LIFE, and then to Caralyn over at Beautybeyondbones for the inspiration for this piece. As always, when I get the chance, I always read her latest article because she is so focused in her life with her religion. Truly a gifted writer and mentor for those of us who strive to become writers and authors.

Ok so enough with that – let me tell you a little about what I was enlightened with this morning. I first start off my day reading about all of the hoopla with Hurricane Irma and what everyone is doing to get prepared for this major Cat 5 demon of destruction heading to Florida.

To quote Caralyn – “I don’t know about you, but it seems like the level of devastation and destruction is at an all time high here recently. Between Harvey and Irma, mother nature has been giving us a run for our money. And I just want to say, my heart and prayers go out to all those who have been impacted by these horrific natural disasters. My heart breaks for those who are left to pick up the pieces. Hurricanes are something else. It’s like, you get two – maybe three days – of a “heads up” to plan for the end of the world”.

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While reading this article, I literally had to stop and think about the “what if’s” that she wrote about. This line really stood out for me “It’s like, you get two – maybe three days – of a “heads up” to plan for the end of the world”. Ok really? you had to go that far with this Caralyn? Well yeah she did! If you want to know the truth about it – stop and ponder this – “What if God was coming back – in two – maybe three days” Could you all imagine the level of panic that would occur? We all have many many things that we need to repent on and ask forgiveness for. I am not the only one in this entire world that accepts responsibility for the wrong that I have done over the years. I will be the first to admit that I am a sinner and I have done things that were morally wrong. But I will also add that I know my personal Savior and what he is all about. Faith, Hope and Love and the greatest of these is Love – 1 Corinthians 13:13.

No I’m not trying to preach to you today but I am trying to give you a Heads Up – God is coming back. Are you prepared? Do you know what it takes to be saved and to ensure your place in His Kingdom? “How am I preparing for salvation? Really. How am I preparing for the day when I come face to face with my Maker”? This is another thing that Caralyn brought up. When we stand before God himself and have to answer for the things that we have done or didn’t do – how will the scales tip?

In this day and age, “People would rather hold grudges or have public “beefs” that get played out in petty songs or catty Twitter fights than show any type of remorse”.

slap

“Preparing for the hurricane – there is a “life-and-death-ness” to the urgency people go about it with. Because it is: survival is in the balance. Why don’t we treat preparing for our judgment day the same way? Where’s the urgency? Where’s the priority? What is one thing I can do today – right now – to prepare for that day when I have to come face to face with God”?

No I didn’t steal Caralyns article but I did ask her for permission to use her words and excerpts. I truly felt the need to share this with you all today, not only for your sake but for mine as well. I have friends and family that I really love and care about and I would really hate to see them left behind when the time comes. Just the thought of someone I care about not really knowing where they will end us is a little unnerving to say the least. For those of you that feel inclined – I have included the Sinners Prayer or as some call it the Prayer of Salvation. Please feel free to reach out to God and plan for your future. Our God is a forgiving God, one who loves us beyond anything else imaginable. All we have to do is seek him NOW and let Him sort out the rest!

The Sinners Prayer:

Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life. AMEN.

Kneeling in Prayer

“Life” happens when you are making plans!!!!!

“Life” happens when you are making plans!!!!!

lifenotsmiley

Let’s face it – we all have plans for the future – whether it be the immediate future or the long-term goals that we so dream about. Marriage, children, buying and or building a home, buying a car, you get my drift. Anyway, just when you start dreaming of what you want to do – “Life” steps in and changes are made. Just look at the current weather situation in Florida. We are planning a vacation to the Keys in the near future but what if it would have been this weekend or next weekend? Monies would have been paid, time taken off of work, “plans” made all for what? Just to be rearranged, cancelled, or even lost. The fact remains that yes we make plans but plans are made to be changed. Just because you get pitched a curve ball doesn’t mean that your life is over or that it is the worst thing in the world. Think about all of those people in the Caribbean that were planning on – well – tomorrow! Their tomorrow will never come and their families will be asking themselves “what could I have done different”?

I have a very dear friend that, on and off over the years, we have kept in contact with each other and from the very first day that I met Mike Holland, I knew there was something different about him. Something strange! Strange in a good way though – the type of strange that you don’t see any more in this day and age. I was working as a Rent-a-Cop – a Security Officer at a local Mall in Henderson. This was all before I went to the Police Academy in 1990 to become a real Police Officer. I had been working there for over a year and was tasked with training all of the new hires and getting them acclimated to their surroundings. Mike Holland was hired on and he and I were assigned onto a shift together. Over the course of the next few weeks, he and I worked together and I learned a lot about him. For one, he built and worked on computers and from what I remember; he was quite brilliant at it too. Secondly, he had a religious upbringing and was very family oriented. Mike was an avid firearms nut and had a sense of self-sufficiency about him. He and his father later opened a towing business in the Lickskillet Community and ran that for some time.

Mike later joined the Marine Corps and served his tour of duty with them and learned many valuable lessons and skills which he transitioned into his civilian life when he got out. I am proud of and thankful to him for serving our country and doing his part for “our” freedom. Now Mike had this “thing” about him – he carried himself as “just a dumb ole country boy”  NC Redneck and never tried living above his means. Always treating others with respect but if you ever crossed him or done him wrong, you would definitely know about it – he has always been a straight shooter. You see, Mike is very intelligent and very well-educated but he interacts with people on their level. He was able to speak to the average person so that they would understand exactly what he was saying and he had a way of explaining himself to where you could understand it.

Mike married his high school sweetheart Kim and they had 4 beautiful children together. Since the beginning, he has always been the spiritual leader of their home and they have always, and I do mean always, helped out others in need. Since day one, he has lived his life to serve God and his fellow-man. After the military, Mike has held many jobs, some at the same time, but he has always worked in serving people in some form or fashion. From being a Law Enforcement Officer, a Licensed Private Detective, a Pastor, a counselor, a chicken farmer and countless other jobs,

Mike has learned a thing or two about people and he tries every day to teach you about what it means to be a servant of God. He truly lives what he preaches and leads by example. No – he is not perfect and he will be the first one to say it but at the same time, he knows what it takes to be highly favored by God. We have all been exposed to the “Instruction Manual” – Gods Holy Word – at some point in our lives – he just happens to follow it to the best of his ability.

Mike and his wife Kim are always taking in people in need of shelter, heck he even volunteers his services to the homeless shelters and other places in the area. He has taught his family how to be self-sufficient, growing their own gardens, raising their own chickens and farm animals; he is even a licensed beekeeper and harvests his own honey. His children help him in every task required and he does his very best to teach them what it means to help others. peoplehelpingpeople

Now I have given you a good example of what Mike and his family do on a daily basis but what I need to explain to you is what he does aside from all of that. Mike is always going around to the elderly and making sure they have what they need to survive, he constructed a food truck to feed the homeless and hungry, he has cut and donated firewood to those who needed heat in the winter, he has Pastored to the lost in the prisons and he has traveled out of state to help others – all at his own expense. Just this past week in the wake of the Texas flooding – he, along with his family and friends, drove a caravan of supplies out there to donate his time, money and supplies to those in need. All to what end? Not for the fame or fortune but for the Glory that God himself will reward him with. Salvation and that leading others to God is the way that it was meant to be. You see Mike believes in the Bibles’ teachings not as a suggestion, but as a commandment from God. A requirement and guide on how we are to treat one another.

Holy Bible on wooden table.

Now to ask you this – is your life worth more than anyone else’s? Is how you live your life now able to help anyone other than yourself? What about those who were planning on but never got the chance to see their tomorrow? What if that was your Mother or your brother? What could you have done different? What will God think of you now?

God gives a good chuckle when you are making plans. After all – He has the final say-so in these matters!

If you get the chance – check out Mike Holland’s efforts and life at giftedfaithful.org

You just might be glad you did!

Durham, Charlottesville – Hatred, Racism and YOU

Where do you fit in….

square circle

I woke up Tuesday morning to hear the news of what happened in Durham, NC on Monday after the Charlottesville incident. Some people (white and black – male and female) and a Woman who climbed up a confederate statue, tied a rope around it while others pulled it over off of its’ base and to the ground. Then if that weren’t enough, they kicked it, stomped on it, spit on it and gave it the “finger” as if it were a living thing with feelings – taking pictures and videoing it and cheering like it was a prize bull that the Bullfighter had just conquered – all for what?????

bullfighter

I hear of all this stuff going on around the word but this hit really close to home for me – literally! I’m like 45 minutes form Durham. Really People – this really shows your true character. This type of behavior is totally unacceptable and you all need to grow up. You act as if you are entitled and when you don’t get your way – you throw a stomping little tantrum to bully others into giving in to your cause. The sad part of it is – the majority of the people in this land (America) have become so offended and so afraid of Offending that it is easier to fall into the crowd rather than stand up to the crowd. Everyone wants something for nothing and they all want their 15 minutes of fame – Good, Bad or Indifferent. People have stopped standing up for what is right! They have looked the other way thinking, Whew, glad I didn’t get caught up in that mess.

The national consensus is as divided as it has ever been. We have lost sight of God and our faith is so far recessed that we cannot make clear minded, level headed decisions. We “ACT OUT” instead of using our hearts and minds. What happened to us people? You think that the Government is against us and there is some sort of conspiracy against you.

Everyone likes Sausage but nobody wants to know “HOW” the Sausage is made. We just want the final product to taste good.

Allowed and Rejected

Now as far as the 22 year old Woman who climbed up the statue to help pull it down. This Young Person who was never really directly involved with or impacted by Slavery. She has been arrested and she should be held accountable for her actions. She destroyed something that she really knew nothing about. Just what others have influenced within her. She jumped on “the cause” and she listened to others. Remember, Hitler was a Genius – he was able to get thousands and thousands of people to do his bidding. You think this is just an isolated incident? What about Kim Jong-il, Lenin, Hussein, and Charlie Manson. See the pattern here. These cold-blooded leaders did not care for the value of life as much as they did achieving their own selfish motives of domination, power, and immortality. We are quickly becoming just like them! We all have it in us to do bad things. Scripture says that we are born sinners and that we are by nature sinners.

Holy Bible on wooden table.

Holy Bible on wooden table.

They say that it takes compassion for humanity, love for country; and a strong pursuit of justice and mercy to become a strong and respected leader. President Trump was tasked with a job that no one else could handle any better. Let the man do his job. The job that WE gave him to do. Just because you don’t like his methods doesn’t make him a bad leader. Again, nobody really wants to know “HOW” we make the sausage!

We are all searching for something. We get some answers along the way. We make good and bad decisions – but we haven’t quite found our way yet. That’s the typical exploration of anyone who is on a path to somewhere, but the destination is not in sight yet.

The more I write about this the more I get fired up! (but here’s the difference – I don’t have to stand in the street screaming or pull down statues of Martin Luther King to get my point across).

My roots are as diverse as this country. My father and his side of the family were from Kentucky but my Mother and her family were from Wisconsin. North and South combined and United  – they made a family. We love each other, we disagree with each other, we help each other but we are still a family. We don’t think any less of either side. Now 49 years later, I have family spread all over this country. From North to South and East to West – by Blood and by Marriage – complied of  different Ethnic Groups, black, white and Hispanic. I have roots that extend back from Norwegian, German, American and Sweedish. So what does that make me? I was born and raised in the United States of America and so were my Parents and Grandparents. So I consider myself American. Should I self-identify with my German heritage, should I self-identify with my Norwegian heritage? No – I am American. I’m not African American as a lot of people claim to be, I’m not a Sweedish American nor am I German American. All of these peoples Parents and Grandparents were born here in the US too just like me. We are Americans. We have a duty to God and our Country.

Mark my words – there is coming a day – where there will be another all-out Civil War followed by a true Revolution of sorts. Not just some pissed off people who want something for nothing.

Remember – God won’t Bless No Mess!

Praying

Durham, Charlottesville – Hatred, Racism and YOU…..Part Two

Durham, Charlottesville – Hatred, Racism and YOU…..Part Two

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In the United States of America, we have so many different ethnic groups and by rights, we should embrace our heritage. I understand that the People of Color went through a period of Slavery, yes it was an awful time for their ANCESTORS! From the time I was about 10 years old, I have lived in the South. So by rights I am a Southerner. But does that make me a Racist – does that make me responsible for Slavery? Does that make me hate Black people? No it certainly does not! I choose to respect others, and love all people. And in my faith – as we all stand before The Judgement Seat of Christ – we are all one and the same – His children created in His image who must answer for our own actions – not the actions of our family members.

I have attended Black Churches, White Churches and the Preachers and Pastors all preach the same thing. Now I get it – I am but one person. I cannot and do not speak for all of the White people. But I can tell you this – there is just as many Racists in each Ethnic Group as the other. Skin Heads, Panthers, White Supremacists, Black Live Matter, White Lives Matter, Chicanos, and Latinos,

All People have some sort of Heritage that is associated with them. It should not define us as people. In this part of the world it is Southern Heritage.  Perceptions of the Confederate flag depend upon context. At a national cemetery or national battlefield it is seen in the historical context of the American Civil War. At popular re-enactments of that war’s events, or in films like “Gettysburg” or “Gone With the Wind”, it is seen in a theatrical context. In the television series “The Dukes of Hazzard” the flag on top of Duke boys car has been seen as a symbol of a non-racist Southern spirit by millions of viewers internationally. To those 70 million of us whose ancestors fought for the South, both Black AND White, it is a symbol of our family members who fought for what they thought was right in their time, and whose valor became legendary in military history. This is not nostalgia. It is our legacy. The current attacks on that legacy, 150 years after the event, are to us an insult that mends no fences nor builds any bridges.

confederate flag died for this flag

It is obvious that some racists have appropriated and desecrated the Confederate battle flag for their pathetic causes but we must never lose sight of our Heritage. As Christians we fly the Christian Cross – does that make us Racist? We as Americans fly the American Flag – does that make us Racist? So where does it start and where does it stop – It begins and Ends with You. You and only You can choose to love or hate. You choose to like and dislike, to hear or be heard. You choose to start or Stop. Where do you fit in?

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued a statement Tuesday calling for the removal of more Confederate monuments. He also said that “I don’t pretend to know what it’s like for a person of color to pass by one of these monuments and consider that those memorialized in stone and metal did not value my freedom or humanity,” he said. “Unlike an African-American father, I’ll never have to explain to my daughters why there exists an exalted monument for those who wished to keep her and her ancestors in chains.”

Furthermore, Cooper said that “he will also urge the legislature to defeat a bill that grants immunity from liability to motorists who strike protesters”. Really?? What the Hell are you thinking Roy Cooper? I mean that is a BS way of copping out. Talk about Not Standing up for what is Right. You are supposed to be our States Leader. Enforce the enforceable, defend what is right. Clearly, what these people are doing and have done is illegal. They should be arrested, charged and held responsible for their actions. Instead of bowing down and trying to be popular so that you may win another election, take the high road, do the right thing and do your job. These people need to realize that there should be a time in their life that they have to grow up. Realize we are not who we were 100 years ago and that the people of today have learned a thing or two over the years. I’m sorry if you are offended that I don’t like you – but wait – you don’t like me either – it’s just a fact of life. Get over it and get on with it! Try to rush my vehicle and beat me out of it and watch what happens – you will get run over. I’m not going to stop my car, let you break my windows and pull me out, beating me to near death – and neither would you Mr. Cooper! Our Government needs to quit being an “Enabler”.

Racism exists in every Ethnic Group in the USA. Red, Yellow, Black, Brown and White. It is not just something White people or Black people do. Sadly it is something that unites us. We share this in common. But again, shave off all of our skins and see if you can tell the difference.

Ok, so now if you have read all of my last two posts, I’m sure that you have already formed your own views and opinions about me – you probably think that I’m a racist, a hater, an activist. Well you would be sorely mistaken. I love Black People, I have Black people in my family. I love Mexican People, I have Mexican people in my family. I love White people, I am white. I love me and I love you! So what? If you peel off your skin and peel off my skin – we are just the same! We are people – we are the Human Race!

It is 2017 – don’t you think it’s time we all grow up and learn to get along. Yes we all have different views and opinions but this is exactly what Martin Luther King once preached about. Equality, Love, Understanding and Forgiveness. God Bless the USA and God Bless its People!….. which hey – includes YOU!

Peace Love and Understanding

A Little Girls Story….

A Little Girls Story……..

WARNING – First off I want to warn you that this post is very raw and may touch a nerve. Reader discretion is advised….. I really feel that this story needs to be told – if not for the child, then for other children or parents that may need to hear this – My heart breaks as I begin to write this – WARNING….

Researchers-Identify-Cellular-Elastic-that-Keeps-Nerves-Resilient

As some of you may know, I have an older Brother and this story relates to him and his granddaughter. His youngest son was married to this girl and they had a daughter which is now 12 years old. In the beginning, this little girl was full of energy, beauty and pure innocence but at some point during their marriage, the son and the wife realized that they were very toxic for each other and decided that it would be in their best interest if they parted ways, They finally split up a few years ago and both have remarried now. The mother and the child moved in with her new husband and have lived in Henderson, NC for the past four or five years now- they even had a new baby together. During the course of the last few months, we (the family) have learned that the 12-year-old girl has been sexually molested and raped by her stepfather repeatedly for the past two years.

My brother had noticed that his granddaughter was acting out, the mother, who is less that anything fit to be called a mother, had been back and forth with the father of the child trying to pawn her off and get her to move in with him. The father, with a new baby himself and two other children said he had no room for the oldest daughter. After some time, my Brother and his wife took the 12-year-old child in to live with them and that’s when “Pawpaw Bill” found out what was really going on. The child complained of pain, sickness, was acting out and just plain disrespectful at times. My brother told me that the child asked him one day about keeping her safe from the nightmares and bad things which triggered him into further questioning the child. That’s when the child came out and told him of the horrors that had been going on. The child reported that the stepfather would come into her room and make her touch him, kiss him, and he forced her to let him touch her. The child described in detail of the stepfathers’ anatomy and distinctive marks. We also learned that the mother of the child was in the home when some of these things were going on.

Can you imagine the awful feelings that this child had knowing that something this terrible was happening to her and that her own mother was in the next room and not being able to say anything.  The psychological torment, torture and terror that she had to experience without someone to talk or to tell would be unbearable. Upon reflection, I feel the rage building up again for the pain that she has gone through but at the same time, I feel the joy that she must have had when she was moved out of that situation and put in a safe place. About three weeks ago, my brother brought her to my house for a quick visit and I have to say that she looked amazing. It had been quite some time since I had seen her last and she came up to me and said – “do I remember you?” I reassured her yes sweetie and gave her a big hug and she immediately felt at ease. She then turned to her Pawpaw Bill and said, “can I go play now?” which of course just thrilled her and you could see the happiness was starting to come back while she was playing with my daughter and some other kids that were over for the day.

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Fast forward to this past week, my Brother called and told me that Joe had been arrested this past Saturday in Henderson and that his wife was yelling at the police and was trying to get them to let him go. Apparently she is on his side and believes that he is innocent. Even after Physical Examination by a Doctor and verified that she had been assaulted and raped over an extended period of time. Even after Police Investigations and interviews with the child, this “mother” remains by his side while the child is left thinking that this is somehow her fault and that her mother doesn’t believe her or even love her.

During the investigations, it seems that Joe, the stepfather, was “having his way” with the child and performing sodomy, fellatio and even full penetration and rape of the child over the course of two years. Multiple times this child had to endure pain, anguish and terror inflicted by another human being that was supposed to be in charge of, taking care of and providing for her. A person who she should be able to feel safe with and depend on in a positive way – one to always keep her safe – yet he is the one that she had to fear the most. On top of it all, she felt that she could not tell anyone, especially her own mother who lived in the same house.

There are so many circumstances to this sad story and so many questions that cannot be answered like, why didn’t she tell her father or her Pawpaw?, why didn’t she just tell a teacher? Why didn’t her dad pick up on the fact that something was wrong? Why did it take so long for someone to realize that this child was not the same as before. I can tell you a factor or two in it all and that is that the child was used as a pawn between several people to get their way, there wasn’t enough parental involvement in the day-to-day activities with this child. There wasn’t enough love in the homes between her dad and her mother and there was never any home training for the child. She simply didn’t know what to do. She had no guidance in her life and was allowed to do whatever she wanted until it finally broke her in such a way that will affect the rest of her life.

She will forever be different now and in many ways changed for the worse. As far as trusting, loving, or enjoying another person or even becoming a mother herself one day (if that is even possible after what she has endured), will not be an easy task for her and may lead her to a life of depression, eating disorders, self-harm or even suicide…..the list goes on. Without the proper nurturing, guidance, love and support, she will have a very rough and troublesome life and I fully blame the parents. I blame the parents for allowing the innocence of this sweet young child to be taken away. I blame the parents for not “raising” up this child in a positive environment and keeping her safe at all costs over their own wants or needs.

So now, this creature has been arrested and is being held with no bond in the Vance County Jail awaiting court appearances and undoubtedly a bond reduction hearing. If I know the Court System like I used to, this scum will be out in a matter of days and surely they (the mother included) will try to strong-arm and influence the child in some way. Now I have talked with my brother about Lawyers, Domestic Violence Protection Orders and even a Guardian Ad Litem but apparently the District Attorney’s Office and or the Vance County Clerk of Court cannot agree on what steps to take next so I fear that this child may be on her own. My brother has vowed to be her guardian and protector and to do his very best to save her from what is to come. I truly hope that she finds some form of peace within and that her Perpetrator is adequately punished.

My take away on this whole ordeal is that……. I want parents and guardians to know that this type of crime happens every day to men, women, and children.  You never know what someone is going through but we always need to be vigilant and look for the signs – to always be there to lend an ear or a heart to someone who may be in need of help. I want the children to know that it is not their fault. They did not do anything wrong and it is not ok for people to do these things to them.

This type of crime happens in all classes of families from the richest to the poorest, from the south to the north – in the Country and in the City. Evil is in our nature but God gave us the choice and the Will to do the right thing.

What if it were your 12-year-old Daughter??

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