Archives for posts with tag: murdered child

My life changed forever the minute my son, Carl, disappeared and my then six year old daughter (Ava) told me she thought she was at fault for his disappearance and began talking of suicide. Fifteen years after his disappearance, my son came to me in a dream which lead me to find him. He had been murdered at the time of his disappearance by a Dispatcher for the Sheriff’s Department who investigated the murder! Ava’s suicidal tendencies became more frequent…especially after we found out what had happened to Carl.

Ava was successful in her final attempt, as promised, after her estranged husband told her he had a girlfriend and, even after her pleas for him to help her through the transition and warnings that she was suicidal, he chose to ignore the warnings from me and others.

The night Ava died, I was with my mother in the emergency room with my mom…she was dying…too. I was always the closest one to her (and her to me) so I was the only one to take care of both of them. Ava was 2500 miles away. Mom was 100 miles away. I was awakened at 6:00 A.M. to my new horrible truth. Ava was dead. Mom was sick. I was alone in it all.

When I spoke with my therapist about how I felt, I was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD. Some of the symptoms were: I felt like I’d had a stroke and couldn’t remember words; I disassociated; I felt as if  my skin had been removed from my body; I couldn’t leave the house for any reason; and when I did, all I wanted to do was scream out, “DON’T YOU PEOPLE KNOW SHE’S DEAD?”

Montana became my lifeline. Literally. She and I are inseparable. She has traveled with me about 90,000 miles over her eight plus years and has been welcomed in hundreds of facilities since her Service Dog status. I’ve only had slight hick-ups but once told of her status, never refused.

I’m on this trip four years after Ava’s death in the hope that I can move another baby step forward with reconnecting with loved ones who live in the West and to see the places Ava and I had visited together as well as find new ones to hold dear with her in my heart. Plus, driving back roads has always been a healing exercise.

Why do I tell you all this? The groundwork for yesterday’s crescendo.

We went to Venice Beach. I hadn’t been there for at least eight years and I wouldn’t have gone had I known how nasty it had gotten. I wouldn’t have put myself, Montana nor my sweet daughter-by-another mother through it.

So many filthy, doped-up homeless people; crowds; confusion; more filth; a thousand bicycles & skateboards aggressively darting to and fro around us tormenting us all but especially Montana; coupled with great re-b0nding, understanding and love.

To end my visit in LA we decided to visit a middle eastern restaurant…Lebanese to be specific. We all walk in…my daugher-by-another mother, her husband, Montana and me. We were told at the door that they would not serve us because of Montana. I quickly corrected their mistake and a learned waiter seated us. The greeter called the owner (I knew that’s what she was doing) and approached us again as she spoke with the owner telling us  we were not welcome in their establishment even though they understood the ramifications of their actions.

When she told us to leave, I refused and said I wanted to speak directly with the owner at which point she handed me the phone. The woman on the other end of the line immediately started shouting in broken English that she did not have to abide by the laws of this country and other things I couldn’t understand. She rattled on incessantly not allowing me to speak and continued to speak.

The owner came to the restaurant and continued in this manner. I finally really lost it when she said, “This is California and I don’t have to let you stay here. I don’t have to abide by this law!”

I replied over her continued rant, “I don’t know what country you’re from but you’re living in the United States and California was made a state in 1850. This is a FEDERAL law you’re violating. I’ll be lodging a complaint which could result in a $10,000 fine against you.”

The owner’s parting words to me were, “You don’t have a disability! Get out!”

I was so shaken that I couldn’t eat. I was nauseous and horribly upset. All I wanted to do is be in my own home…3000 miles away. I knew this could happen because having PTSD is triggered by several very personal things. Could be loud noises, confusion, arguing, and many other triggers. Thank goodness I’d been proactive regarding the possibility of being confronted by this kind of stupidity and booked myself  to stay in a lovely and friendly AirBnB apartment by the PCH or else I wouldn’t have made it back before collapsing in tears for the whole remainder of the night.

It’s only now, over 24 hours after the fact that I can even write about it. I’m not proofing…just writing…puking, actually…the story because, for some reason, I’ve been chosen to TEACH people that just because you don’t SEE the mental imbalance, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist! DO YOU ALWAYS SEE CANCER? NO!

NONE OF AVA’S FRIENDS KNEW SHE WAS SUICIDAL SO DID THAT MAKE IT UNTRUE? IS SHE REALLY ALIVE SOMEWHERE? OR IS SHE DEAD?

If you want to help support our website avascorner.org  [Ava’s Corner, Inc., a non-profit public charity & 501(c)3] which I stared after Ava’s death to provide one-stop-shopping for education on mental imbalances and creative coping skills, please share this post so others will benefit from this horrific exercise I experienced. I never chose this path. Quite the reverse…I was chosen. But, if it were my choice…I’d chose to have my daughter back.

Email me if you want the name of the restaurant.

TODAY? I shared some of my story with my new friend…the lady who owned the AirBnB apartment where I stayed. Thanks for listening. You and my closest and dearest helped me get okay so I could drive to Vegas Baby today…swollen eyes, headache, broken heart and all.

These pictures are AFTER the LA cluster expressway nightmares and finally got on I-15 North. Temps from 87 all the way up to 113 degrees!

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The good news? I’m staying with another wonderful daughter-by-another mother! I’m safe with her. She made sure of it before I left by telling me she had my room all ready for me and Montana.

Now I can look forward to seeing more of Ava’s friends and my other Chirrens.

HAPPY TAILS!

The last picture taken of the three of us in March, 1984. Twenty-eight years later, Ava was gone too in that same month.

The last picture taken of the three of us in March, 1984. Twenty-eight years later, Ava was gone too in that same month.

Even though both my children are deceased, the mothering instinct, although weak at the beginning for me, became stronger than death through the daily practice over forty-six years of hands-0n caring, nurturing and loving another human being. It’s become so involuntary that it spews from your soul in turrets-like spontaneity directed at strangers and loved ones alike. I refuse to apologize for it. It is what it is.

With her beloved big brother, Carl. They loved each other so much!

With her beloved big brother, Carl. They loved each other so much!

I loved both of my children in their uniqueness. Both of them had a wonderful sense of humor, loved to have a good time, had an innate artistic talent which still baffles me and possessed a sensitivity to the world which made it hard for him to stay around long.

Carl loved to fish better than anything and Ava loved her brother more. Here's Carl with his prized catfish.

Carl loved to fish better than anything and Ava loved her brother more. Here’s Carl with his prized catfish.

Ava loved animals more than anything else. She even saved spiders from the bottom of my shoe. If she knew I was in hot pursuit of a spider, she'd run in, collect it and set it free outside.

Ava loved animals more than anything else. She even saved spiders from the bottom of my shoe. If she knew I was in hot pursuit of a spider, she’d run in, collect it and set it free outside.

Did I screw up in my raising him? Absolutely. Did I learn from those mistakes? Absolutely. Would I do anything differently? Absolutely. Will I love him forever? Absolutely. He was my son and there will never come a day when hearing someone talk about “their son” doesn’t cause me pain in my soul because my boy is gone. So gone that I don’t “hear” from him any more. It’s been 28 years with a count in a million seconds since he disappeared.

Although it’s been only a year since Ava left…it’s counted in milli-seconds. After all, we were connected at the hip from her birth to her death. We had an umbilical-telepathic connection which I’ve only felt with one other person in my life…my mom. We’ve been able to communicate transatlantic, transpacific or trans-life. Although she’s been quiet these last few days, I know she’s still around because when I ask Montana, “Where’s Ava?” she always looks toward the same corner (usually over my right shoulder) toward the ceiling where she first “appeared” a few months ago when my daughter-by-another-mother, Stacey, was up here visiting.

I still see her in her Rainbow Bright costume for her “Moving to Vegas party” in 2008 because she was such a fun-loving, child-at-heart blessing in my life.

Ava Rainbow Bright 2008

Ava Rainbow Bright 2008

I’m working hard on staying focused on my 92+ year old mom’s day but couldn’t help but digress into my own space while she napped…watching “Guarding Tess.”

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Trails!