Sharing A Beautiful City With a Tough Memory

Looking across the Willamette River – D.D.

It’s a bitter pill sometimes to think of Marc being in another time and space. Yet some things hold good memories despite the pain.

Marc loved Portland, and it took me many years to come to my own conclusions about that city after having lived in So. California most of my life. My other son lives in AZ, which I love, so the rainy, damp weather in OR./WA, where Marc lived for some years was not on my ‘desirable’ list. I’m really glad he ended up in Portland rather than WA.

Marc’s last residence was a family friends condo downtown, so I got to know that part of PDX somewhat. He lived 30 stories high and when I first visited the lofty place I was so humbled. The view was breathtaking …. I couldn’t help but feel some compassion for all the tiny ‘specks’ down there going about their business. They were people like me, like Marc once lived …. traveling to work, raising kids, warding off colds, crying alone at night over some inner struggle.

Baby seal sculpture on downtown Portland sidewalk – D.D.

Then came the murder incident and instead of becoming a fearful place to me like you’d normally expect, Portland surprisingly became a refuge. Dealing with court, Marc’s places of work and study, his memorabilia all held heavy memories but they gave me a sense of rootedness in that city.

Marc and I loved the outdoorsy feel, change of seasons in PDX. He helped me get acquainted with certain streets, stores, sections of town so I felt somewhat comfortable finding my way around when I went up for the case, his affairs. Instead of giving me pain, the familiar areas we went to gave me joy. Can’t explain it. I guess I just wanted to relish his memory, talk to the trees, anything he may have enjoyed daily or we shared.

Portland is so different from Los Angeles. L.A. is in many ways one big wasteland ….. a huge cement city without any real seasons and …. very self-centered. There’s more diversity in So Cal, but the sheer contact with nature in PDX, breaks up the monotony of the sometimes large, stony buildings from bygone years. And having these huge rivers intersect just adds to the beauty, interest of the city.

Sculpture across the street from Starbucks. What is it? (D.D.)

I still read some of Portland’s papers, TV coverage at home in L.A.  One reason PDX appeals to me is it’s smaller population, and people are more interactive with each other compared to L.A. where everyone’s in their own world doing their own thing. I’ve cultivated some contacts there I don’t think would be possible in L.A. Obviously mostly due to Marc’s case or my blog and recovery but the quality of life in a smaller city is just better, more personal.

Another neat thing about Portland is that it has the best transportation system. Sure you can drive around town like in any city, but they encourage you to use the public system if you have to travel a distance …. and the light rail and streetcar services are so efficient and clean, and any day you’ll find grandparents taking the rail from the airport, college kids going to school or families going to a ballgame. I’ve traveled on other subways but the PDX MAX train is exceptional. Sadly, in L.A. ….. no such mass transit mind frame exists. It’s car, car, car … as communities are spread out and a bus transpo system is so beneath people, even gang members use cars. Everyone knows it’s not ‘cool’ to use the bus.

Portland leaders tend to be pretty liberal, but there’s still a conservative life style mentality to me. I’ve met a couple people from the City Council and visited Council sessions and there’s this transparency there you don’t find in L.A, and I find that so encouraging! In L.A we don’t really talk about our city government. We don’t know what the heck is going on most of the time with the City Council, Supervisors. In a city like Portland there’s immediate needs that have to be addressed all the time …. road or bridge conditions, problems with the school district or having enough decent housing for people … and you hear about it in the paper or TV news. And the Council, papers, TV share that news in a pretty proactive way, which is good to see.

The news up there in papers and TV is not as politicized like in L.A. or other major cities …. such a relief! They have enough immediate needs to deal with all their traffic, bridge, weather, lead in water, homeless and environmental issues and oh, protests ….. so they are not obsessed about what’s going on in D.C. I’m still in contact with a couple reporters from Marc’s case and they are normal people, not interested in writing, reporting a politically correct spin on Marc’s case or their other stories.

Finally, the city has these public art works around town that are so interesting, unexpected! It’s not like they are statues of old war vets, or business magnates …. but they reflect sometimes very charming or sometimes very unique images. In the local Star Bucks I visit I look out on a huge metal sculpture of I don’t what, but I’ve grown to appreciate the attempt to bring joy or beauty to the older city facade and rainy conditions of downtown Portland.

Some people or places you never believe will ever touch your heart but …. we have to be open to the unexpected all the time –

Happy Passover & Easter …. From Marc, In Heaven

To My Mom’s Readers,

This is my 4th Easter in heaven! My Mom can’t believe it! Thank you for your love and support for her, she deeply appreciates everything! She’s been going thru PTSD and crying lately …. certain holidays really hit her hard so she needs that extra hug or word from you!

Marc feeling so blessed to be a chef finally –

From where I live, I get to celebrate Easter and Passover up close and personal! Of course, you weren’t able to see the huge gathering of people up here on Friday, or this Resurrection morning. Our Lord was center stage this morning, sharing the Father’s love for us, His plan for men and women down thru the ages. It’s mind-boggling to see people from so many times gone by …. men and women from all walks of life, famous or ordinary …. singing, testifying, crying and bowing down in gratitude to the Risen One. To hear angels sing in celebration is something so beyond your ability to imagine!

From up here, I also see you Paul, dad and Chris. I miss you all! I see you when you’re having some kind of trouble too, and want to have a sense of me being around, so I’m allowed to come down and accommodate you. Don’t be surprised that I’m hanging around your place at times, wanting to share some comfort, like I do with mom.

I’m glad my mom is writing about her journey in a blog, it makes me see there was purpose in my having to leave her so suddenly. God’s explained to me my quick departure from earth even tho it caused some of you much pain. We will greet each other some day soon!

All things will be revealed one day and we’ll understand the deep mysteries of life if we missed them. God never wanted to hide them from us but some of us have to wait till we arrive in heaven.

                                                 Happy Easter from Marc and Diane !

P.S. God gave my mom extra comfort today as she got to make omelettes for the church brunch with a young Cordon Bleu chef like myself. Chef Daniel turned out omelettes faster than she did but he said her sunnyside up eggs were perfect. He looked abit like me and in a way she felt like she was back cooking with me again. God brings little surprises like that!

  “And Jesus spoke to them …. All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”    Matthew 28:18

It’s A Shame ….. And I’m glad

The night Marc left earth I blurted out …. ‘It’s not over’. I don’t know why I said it but I think I was instinctively saying his legacy wasn’t going to be forgotten. Now I realize my life would come back into contact with some long known but forgotten friends.

For one thing, I got re-acquainted with an old friend/adversary since my beloved son was murdered. His name is shame. I say friend cause I forgot how he’s a necessary part of my life, your life! I say adversary cause I didn’t know how much shame had permeated my life not only thru the crime, but in other levels I just hid underneath. Cultural shame, family shame can be as strong as moral shame! That’s not how it’s supposed to be –

Shame’s had a rotten time of it for some years, what with everyone wanting to do what their friend or co-worker is doing, or what our culture many times promotes, whether it’s right or not. And often parents and teachers almost condone shameful behavior by glossing over or not correcting wrong attitudes or actions when they see it.

Having to deal with tragedy and painful facts about human behavior at it’s lowest point brought shame back into my life big time!  I’ve been reminded how important shame is and how we moral people like to think our minor infractions are often justified by the ‘times’ being so stressful or freewheeling.

Shame says certain behaviors or attitudes are going to cause you pain if you’re too friendly with them. He says if we try to block him out he’ll just give us nightmares or lead us into confusion, addiction, more bad choices. He’s trying to get our attention but we generally dismiss him and take a pill or drink to block his voice. And all it does is put off the pain and make it harder to break thru into clarity again. Sometimes we need to ‘fall’ just so we can face the fact we feel bad inside, and need to correct an attitude or desire in ourself.

Shame and guilt are often tied together. Guilt is judicial in character; shame is relational. Shame relates to how we view ourselves, others after a particular act was committed. Shame shows evidence of a conscience.

Sometimes shame makes us feel worse than guilt.

Many times we don’t know what’s wrong and seek a therapist, when it could be something we can easily correct in ourselves if we looked at our conscience or motives. I should feel guilty if I stole a CD but I should also feel ‘shame’ for having stooped so low as to damage my character or reputation.

Shame for real transgressions is a part of the way God made us. God wants us to have a gnawing inside if we are guilty and don’t deal with our wrong behavior. He gives us shame so we avoid certain attitudes if we want to feel good about ourselves. God makes something ‘shameful’ cause He doesn’t want us to demean ourselves or others.

Shame is there to remind us to stay away from certain people or activities where we’ll be pulled into lying, or ‘sinning’. Shame keeps us safe from getting into trouble, hurting others or ourselves. God doesn’t want us to ‘follow’ the crowd and be led down some path that will be painful to retreat from. Some sins can hurt us for years, even life!

Shame came around big time after Marc went to heaven. He said, ‘I’m one big reason people feel bad about murder’! They know it’s a shameful thing to happen to people unarmed, to a good man   ….. to a deeply loving mom! People think that shame belongs to the murderer or the victims family and not to society. They’re wrong. A city can carry shame for any number of crimes, behaviors they are lax about or condone.

More and more we’re becoming immune to shame, which is really tragic! What’s sad nowadays is that our families, schools, even churches aren’t sharing this truth to anyone, so people are often not living with a clear conscience as their guide. We’re learning at too young an age to judge a person by their looks, money, talents instead of their character. Sometimes a family gives off strong ‘don’ts’ that we learn very early, and we are being made into little robots of our family’s heritage and tastes and we squelch the individuals need to develop their God given conscience. Our conscience is a precious thing, it needs protecting!


* Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary ¹ gives this definition: Shame – A negative emotion caused by an awareness of wrongdoing, hurt ego, or guilt. In the Bible, the feeling of shame is normally caused by public exposure of one’s guilt (Genesis 2:25; 3:10). Shame may also be caused by a hurt reputation or embarrassment, whether or not this feeling is due to sin (Psalm 25:2-3; Proverbs 19:26; Romans 1:16).


                              SOME GREAT NEWS!!

My neighbor Linda told me yesterday, ‘Marc is doing good!’

CNN recently contacted me re: participating in an 8-part documentary! They read about my journey in after coming across an article in the Oregonian by Maxine Bernstein.

This could end up being a wonderful step in continuing Marc’s legacy in a new direction …. it’s an opportunity I’m actively looking into at the moment!

I wouldn’t have started a blog unless I wanted to get the issue of healing out there. Some of you really understand how this is a Marc-thing, a God-thing as much as my effort! I love how my neighbor instantly told me yesterday, after I told her about the possibility of a documentary with CNN … ‘Marc is doing good’! She’s got it!

Please keep this project in your prayers in the days ahead!! I’m passionate about this message reaching those who are hurting and needing healing!

     Look for more details on the possible participation in an email soon, I’m not at liberty to share some things here –



Florida Shooter, Marc’s Offenders

It’s important to me to keep my readers updated so you know I’m aware of the defendants I’m working with.

Church in KY. We need a bit more God in dealing with violence. (DD)

I read, listened to ‘911’ calls re: the recent Florida school shooter which may or may not be exactly accurate but it’s the general drift of his background that I want to compare with the guys in Marc’s case. The circumstances can be used to gauge the youth you may be dealing with.

There are indicators in youth that can give you an idea if they are a danger to themselves or a danger to society –

The FL shooter is unlike the defendants in Marc’s case, I don’t want my friends, family to think I haven’t thought about my own safety in dealing with them. There are kids out there who are open to help and some are not. Some youth feel guilt for doing wrong, some don’t.

But in the meantime we need to be aware & evaluate those around us so we don’t start fearing all troubled youth –

  1. The Florida shooter had a history of anti-authoritarian behavior, he had problems with teachers, different parenting authorities over the years. The defendants in Marc’s case did not have those problems with adults.
  2. The FL shooter we now know made many statements both in person and online about wanting to kill people, wanting to be a school shooter, even the ex-boyfriend of his girlfriend said Nick wanted to kill him and sent him emails of his guns. The boys in Marc’s case never talked to people about killing anyone. They are in fact pretty peaceful young men, not angry with society.
  3. The Florida youth, (and other shooters), had FB, Instgram & Utube pages that had been reported as being very violent and disturbing. I made sure I checked Wesley’s social media and he’s …. liked, by many. and he just posts general male teen stuff, some of it so sweet or silly.
  4. There were never any hate slurs from Andrew or Wesley in FB, or in court. But the FL shooter was in chats with people saying he hated blacks, police, gays ….
  5. Wesley & Andrew never talked of or broadcasted interest in violence, any weapons, while the FL shooter photographed his guns and threatened to use them to hurt others.
  6. The FL shooter was ‘feared’ by peers. I read he had problems with teachers in every grade, but Andrew got straight ‘A’s’, …. both W & A had close friends.

Being an educator has been a real eye opener re: the condition of our culture. While we love our children we see many problems growing out of hand. I’ve worked with very young children but it’s shocking how many kids start bullying, talking back or being aggressive at age 2-3 or 4!! I even have children who don’t understand the right kind of touching, proper personal space to give us adults. My staff and I have to deal daily with some parents who let their children hurt them, talk back while they fear saying ‘no’ to their kids.

My author friend Crista Haskins Crawford wrote the best FB blog post the other day. She’s also by day a speech pathologist in a high school and has noticed some changes over the years. In essence she said, ‘the times have changed. Where it once was true there were few unruly kids, it’s got to the point where most of the kids act out in some way.’ I was glad she said, ‘ it’s not the kids fault but the behavior stems from the family and society being out of touch and violent oriented.’

One of my favorites of Marc’s selfies –

Do you ever listen to TV? It’s so hard to, yet the more I look at it I can’t help but  see how we’re obviously going thru cataclysmic changes in this nation and we must make personal choices to keep ourselves and our culture safe. There’s just a decline of anything that makes sense, gives hope, deals with real issues people can relate to.

My main point is that …. we are living during an epidemic of violence, and it’s in many settings. Blaming or criticizing will not bring a sense of peace and strength to each individual but deciding your approach to violence will help you feel safe, strong. Freezing in the face of disaster is not an option to me.

Nick Cruz’ host family never checked his social media, which is a huge indicator of a persons social health. They said they never dreamed he had violent inclinations, yet he was in a fight with their son, threatened others recently and they admitted they had disciplinary problems with him. They said they let Cruz keep a gun locked in a case in his bedroom, but …. he had the key! I would never allow that in my home!

This morning at church we prayed for the survivors, the families affected and even Mr Cruz. We can’t be a people of ‘hate’, Jesus told us to not hate our enemies, but ….. boy, can we be glad that boy was caught!!

We have to remember we’re part of a whole. It’s not about personal pain only but we have to move to answers and healing, for our families and our nations sake!


  • The Minirth-Meier books, therapists are a great resource for emotional growth.
  • Dr Ken Herman clinic has been a big help in sharing guidelines in helping youth overcome depression, learning disorders, addicting behaviors.
  • Crista Haskins Crawford, Author, FB

Comparing Cases, Criminals

Sometimes to get to the next level in life we have to look back on how God has blessed us thru our times of waiting or trial!

So I look back with gratitude for many things in Marc’s case

The incident happened in the nicest city, the best Detectives solved the crime so swiftly …. & the attorneys’ in the case were caring, ethical individuals. I’m also grateful for the Newspaper and TV reporters who so creatively reported on the case at certain junctures. Then, to top it off …. the defendants are young men I can relate to!

I guess since the incident was such a terrible misunderstanding …. a true tragedy for all parties …. there was no yelling in court, no angry lawyers, no irate judge. No family or supporters being rowdy, making things more difficult. I believe we all felt more sad than mad.

Some parents have murdered sons who were involved with drugs, gangs …. or living a ‘double life’.  Some sons murders can’t be solved due to gang codes of honor. Some families live in fear or hatred of the offenders, one of my friends can’t face her offender yet. I know someone whose child’s murder isn’t being investigated due to corruption in the town. I think I have it bad sometimes but others are dealing with almost insufferable agony.

Even tho Marc’s case was originally reported as this grisly crime by a few sources, we were so lucky to have the offenders we did. I don’t see how I could have dealt with drug-crazed, proud, life long criminals or violent anti-govt Antifa types. Actually one of the first suspects was a ‘sicko’ who ‘threw Wesley under the bus’, saying Wesley was a guy who looked for weak people to hurt, and got others to do his stabbing for him! I read that.

But, we got a gift in the circumstances of the case! I’m very aware that if the case hadn’t have been solved Marc’s legacy would be almost non-existent. I wouldn’t have much to write about in a blog, and there’d be no healing with any defendant. It would have been so excruciating for me to wait years for someone to be caught or the defendant to finally be remorseful. I wanted with all my heart and soul to get justice for Marc ASAP, I never thought we wouldn’t get it, to be honest. So many prayed for justice and healing for all 3 boys …. that was hard for me, but it ended up being one of those God things.

Nothing in life happens in an isolated fashion, everything is woven together.

Arm your loved ones with the rules of the road – (DD)

Most of us compartmentalize life. We see God here, family over there. We see our job or finances in one way and our community as another entity! We often aren’t integrated on the inside or feeling much joy or pain!

Along with this many of us don’t think anything bad will ever happen to us or our children. We assume just because we don’t have serious vices, we obey laws and pray over our kids, we’re safe.

Our kids often don’t learn what’s safe but learn what’s fun. We’re often so busy, or don’t believe the crimes on TV could ever happen to our child or loved one, so we don’t talk about potential danger or make any plans for disaster.

I found out it doesn’t take but a split second to be hit by a stray bullet, a knife swing or pushed off a ledge by some one who doesn’t care about human life, or someone who’s on drugs or ignorant of his weapon. It only takes one predator to say one word to a child who’s not prepared for evil, to rouse parents, police and alarm a community once again to crime. It only takes one desperately lonely daughter one night to hook up with some pervert online. One moment can change a family’s entire life!

It shouldn’t take a crime against us to make us connect the dots of our life. But unfortunately it does at times. It forces us to go up against our fears, our natural inclination to not consider evil or danger. Most of us want to live safely but we aren’t very equipped to deal with crime …. but we can learn to stand against it. Predators don’t care what race you are, they’re looking for those who are ‘weak’ …. or those who think no one will ever hurt them.

God can intervene in a crime but He also wants us to do our part and stay vigilant about danger. Don’t learn the hard way.  It’s never too late to share with your loved ones about being safe. You may think it’s going in one ear and out the other but some of it will stick –


My Recent Angelic Activity

You may think what I write now is weird, think what you want.

Most of us have heard about angels …. the Torah and New Testament talk about how God used angels to speak into peoples lives. I don’t know your experience but here’s something about mine.

God has assigned everyone an angel. I’ve listened to what people have said about their angelic encounters and no one has said angels are cute, cuddly cherubs but strong human looking beings. Kenneth Hagin Sr said he was introduced to his angel and he was about 8 feet tall.

I was once in an auto accident where our VW bug rolled over several times and even tho I saw before my eyes a potential disaster, something in me very peacefully put my hand on my future husbands knee and whisper, ‘everything will be okay!’ And we rolled over on the freeway and down an embankment and ended in some bushes cradled like a baby. Totally unscathed. God gave me a ‘word of knowledge’, and prepared me, in a split second. And angels protected us.

I had another experience few years back when there was a huge train crash couple miles away. I heard what seemed like several dozen sirens blaring past my home! I wondered what had gone on, and asked the cashier at a store a block away, few minutes later? He shared about the serious train wreck on the Amtrack line. (Chatsworth Amtrack crash ended up being one of the worst U.S. train disasters).

Anyway, I remember at the counter having this heightened sense of spiritual activity nearby, I couldn’t associate it with anything I’d known before. It was like the air was electrified, buzzing. I quickly understood it was pertaining to the accident, and had a vivid knowing the air was charged  cause angels were going about their business with those who were injured or were needing to be escorted to heaven. I was awestruck for a few moments. Even tho a huge disaster had just happened it was like God took me aside and showed me something about how angels work.

Another recent encounter happened right after Marc left earth. I was pretty spaced out in grief, weariness and one afternoon was standing in Marc’s room looking down on the city of Portland and I heard what I later thought were 2 angels talking to each other. I only caught the exchange of 3 words. I didn’t even let the discussion register until much later, as I was barely functioning for some weeks. And I’m so careful about the difference in wishful thinking and reality among those who profess to have a special spiritual experience, so I felt cautious in admitting to myself what I heard. But when I recalled later what they said, I was so grateful for the 3 words as they were a prophetic comfort.

I had another experience few Sunday’s back, at the end of a church service. We were reading in preparation for Communion and for some reason I started to cry quietly and just couldn’t stop. I wasn’t feeling sad re: Marc, but I think feeling grateful for my worship community. But I kept crying, even in the line going up for the sacrament, tho I kept my tears at bay. I thought, ‘oh, I’m missing Marc, and the crying will stop soon.’ But the crying wouldn’t stop.

When I got back to my seat I reflected how I’d been planning on what to write to the main defendants mom and feeling actually a big relief in doing so. I knew she may be in depression over the crime, fearful to deal with me. The shame and confusion that come to godly people after a murder can be very hard to work thru for some. I didn’t know how far along she’d come in healing, so I thought I was maybe crying for her.

Anyway, I kept crying and wondered why this uncontrolled weeping wouldn’t stop, I thought it should have stopped by then. I wasn’t sure why God would interrupt me at church like this? Then all of a sudden, without warning, I sensed a ‘whoosh’ come down thru the air towards me, from left to right …. and I felt Marc was by my side ….. smiling and embracing me. I clearly understood he’d been summoned by angels to come to me at that time.

I can’t explain that experience like I can’t understand how the mystery of physics works. But it does. Just like God’s in the laws of physics, I could see from my church experience there’s a great communication and ‘order’ in the spiritual Kingdom! Angels knew I was in need without my saying a thing, and they knew to send for Marc. I was astonished at how swiftly things were carried out. I was just awed by God’s care for people. I couldn’t stop crying so I thought it best to tell my friends I needed to leave church early.

I don’t need ‘signs’ to prove God. or angels. I don’t need to ‘see’ angels to know they exist and they’re active in our lives. I just always sensed that world and believe in the Bible. I talk to angels when I fly, and seek their help and protection for me and my loved ones.

           Angels are real beings from God sent to help us in our life’s journey!

An angel came to Mary to declare God’s favor on her. Angels ministered to Jesus after He was tempted 40 days & nites. They opened prison doors for Peter, spoke to Paul in a severe storm on a ship at sea. One angel slew whole legions of Assyrians for the Israelites.

People have testified that angels protected them in wars, natural disasters or serious accidents. They protect and warn…. they declare …. they minister …. they escort to heaven!  They are being used in God’s kingdom more than you may know! Look for them in your life!

           Please share this blog and feel free to comment!

* Billy Graham also shares about angels, ‘Angels’ (God’s secret agents)

* Kenneth E Hagin wrote about angels in ‘How You Can Be Led By The Spirit Of God’ pg 115…

Pat Robertson wrote a book called, ‘Miracles’ & shares angelic activity

What Happens After We Die

Death isn’t an easy subject to talk about, but I feel led to share this today –

It gives me much comfort to refresh my memory on how God deals with our transition from earth to the after-life.  He’s so involved in the details of when we go, how we go. No matter how we or our loved ones pass on God’s put alot of thought and planning into this part of our existence, down to minute details. From what I understand angels take our ‘saved’ one immediately into the presence of Jesus. Jesus even said to the thief on the cross next to him that He would see him in paradise that very afternoon. I can’t tell you what that means to me as a mother, to know Marc had angels there immediately with him during his transition.

Author Paul Benware says, ‘ In death there is no a cessation of existence but a severance of the natural relations of life. The believer has the guarantee that nothing, even death, shall ever separate them from the Lord Jesus. Believers are not abandoned even for a moment at the time of physical death.  Jesus said he would never leave his people, and He will not do so.”…. ‘Jesus has been victorious over death, and in the future He will destroy it.’

The unsaved, in case you wonder, stay conscious as well, but go to hell. I’ve read and believe there’s no ‘sleep’, purgatory or waiting station for the dead until the Second Coming of Christ and Judgement. We just go to either place immediately. I remember how Pastor Dana would explain good & evil, etc …. he said no ‘good’ God would force a person to go to heaven if he didn’t want to go. God gives us all freedom to choose what we do with our lives …. to choose God’s way or our own way.

Sign near cash register of local store – (D.D.)

Pastor Charles said at Marc’s memorial there’s a veil between us and our loved ones in heaven. There was something like a veil between heaven and hell between Lazarus and the rich man.  Or something like a chasm … a ‘separation’ where the occupants of both places could see each other. The rich man and Lazarus were in opposite eternal homes but the rich man asked Lazarus to warn his brothers about the torture in hell, so they would escape it,  But Jesus told him they have the Law and can decide for themselves where they want to go.

I’ve thought Marc is busily observing those of us on earth who love him, visiting with relatives in heaven or listening in heaven to the plans for the end of this age. He can see what’s gong on in our house, the White House, in the Middle East. I’m sure his days, (nights, ha ha), are so busy! But one day …. death will be totally destroyed and Marc will have his body returned to him! Hallelujah.

There’s been such a travesty done to us in the West the last 50+ years!

Do you know anyone nowadays who talks about heaven? Do you know of anyone who teaches about it, writes about it, even preaches it? My pastor touches on it. I never hear anyone share their thots about it, sing about it like we used to. I’ve loved songs about heaven. There was a gospel song I used to sing along to,  ‘How Beautiful Heaven Must Be’. Not that I want to go there right now, but it gives people hope to know God has overcome death, and has a place for us …. forever!

But why would any millennial, snowflake want to go there? Our culture teaches them to desire life now, their own way, mostly. Maybe they will see a painting of heaven somewhere, of cherubs or clouds? The younger gen’s don’t hear of heaven thru music, media or novels. Few parents teach their children about their religious beliefs. Dangerous issues that challenge our concept of mortality are not faced head-on often.

Some of my readers deal with the hurting in varying degrees and share their experiences. I’ve raised sons and observed theirs and their friends struggles. My generation many times tended to refrain from discussing heaven and hell. I can’t be quiet anymore. People will appreciate it.

When Someone ‘Uses’ You

Ugggg …. I had a wake up call the other day! I was stunned …. hurt! I had to backtrack in my thoughts for awhile.

It actually involved a situation I’d wondered how to handle? It was re: someone I care about. I knew change was needed, so the wake up was not so unexpected or damaging.

Coming to terms about a constantly troubling situation in life or someones character involves some pain.

Seeing the whole issue in new light can make you cringe, big time. Sometimes you have to wake up re: a person at work, church or close family member or friend. It’s really tough when you discover ‘there’s nothing really there inside you value’! Or  ‘ …. there’s bad things inside’ you never want to be associated with. You once held a fairly lofty opinion of someone and now it’s dashed on the sands of time.

There’s a storm brewing if you don’t take care of some relationships –

More and more I’m discovering quality people on my new journey, people who are such a blessing! But ….  recently I’ve had to wake up about a few. I found myself thinking twice about some and wondering about their ability to ‘promise’ things but never show anything for their efforts, never follow thru. I know we all have had that happen with a family member we thought we knew so well, or a co-worker who’s said all these great words to us. Often we have some reason to deal with them on a regular basis,  but when it comes time to get on a really human level with them, there’s nothing but rote answers, evasive or ‘I could care less’ jargon.  And when you really need to converse on an important family or social issue, there’s continual excuses, passing the buck on responsibility, caring.

‘Empty’ people really have thrown me for a loop at times. But they’ve taught me also to stay clear of certain personality traits. Some people are helpful for ‘appearances’ sake, they don’t really walk in anyone’s shoes. You start seeing the patterns. The good eye contact isn’t there. You feel they’re saying things to ‘listen to themselves,’ enjoy their power with you or others. It really makes me sad once in awhile when I get ‘over’ a person or thru a situation because I understand the relationship was not going to be a lasting one as it was based on flattery or society’s assumed worth of them. It’s hard to look back and think …. ‘what got me involved with them in the first place, what made me like them or think they had anything to offer me?’

I’ve learned to be kind to ‘fake people’, to have my own peace in life, and not expect them to be real with me. If I need their help I try to make sure it’s an easy request. I know from experience with them they are not capable of any genuine comfort, inspiration, one on one sharing. Once you get to trust them, you’re open to their way of thinking, their lies, their rationalizing! You understand they are using you for their collection of people, experiences. Like in a Gatsby novel, or a Proverb character we’re to be wary of. They can say the right thing seemingly all the time to you, but then to someone else they say the opposite in order to please their ears, and then laugh like it’s no big deal to switch opinions so instantly!

Sometimes you can get over a user in your family but you fall for the same line from someone at church. This would make me feel crazy long time ago. It’s important to me to make sure I’ve got people on my side who have integrity, some inner values they’re consistent with. And values they hold me to as well. It’s hard being around those who you can’t respect or have to get along with for family or society’s sake. We’re forced to do that in this day and age at times.

‘Using’ people is normal to many. It’s becoming institutionalized too. There are ‘users’ in business, government …. the media …..  and even the church.

Always ….. test the spirits!

Relationships aren’t like shopping for wheels for your car. They have to be reciprocated to a degree with a good sense of the others worth. Being valued is a core need in our personality!

*  Dr. Phil’s book, “Life Code’ has some excellent examples of users, abusers, manipulators – Check it out!


Happy New Year 2018

                                Happy New Year!!!  May 2018 be your best year ever!

Thank you all for reading ! I’m deeply grateful for your support and love during these past 3 years! I know my posts have a very sensitive message and for some are hard to take, but you have walked with me. I’ve discovered how tragedy can open doors that teaching, preaching can never do. So, this is my ministry!

Marc and I send a toast for the best 2018 –

I’m blessed with such a good group of followers! You all are from many parts of the U.S., and from so many professions. I’ve cultivated a personal email list as I’ve noticed FB and other sites are not the best promoters of a blog like mine. My personal list works well for me as my posts are pretty intimate or strong in nature, they aren’t the normal FB fare.  I’m so glad I don’t have to chase down some elusive FB algorhythm. It gives me more peace and freedom to say what I want in my blog when I have my own list. Quality of reader is maybe more important than quantity in this venture.

Some of my posts veer away from grief, the case or defendants, but I’m so glad for your comments as I’m finding out I’m touching on issues that many of you think about or have some expertise on. For example ….. I really appreciate it that some of you relate to PTSD and grief while others relate strongly to forgiveness. Some of you have an interest in justice and some youth or homelessness. Some have a heart re: healing, while others know about the world of violence in our homes or streets.

You almost invariably share thru email, and I thoroughly get that you don’t want to pour your heart out in a public comment, but  …..  I really like it when you post on the site, as others can see what’s on peoples minds. Your comments largely are to comfort me but I also know you’re interested in the many issues in this nation that we all think are troublesome. I just want you to know I think of you guys when I write, it gives me great comfort to know you are there. I don’t write for you but I write to include you!

Marc and I would dialogue or share experiences on many levels of life, many subjects. I miss that. I can’t talk with him now but this blog is a great outlet for me. I could not have made it thru the last few years without it or you, I’m so aware it takes a ‘village‘. That’s another reason I’ve cultivated my list as I care about each of you, I know most of you fairly well. And having connections is ‘where it’s at’ in this crazy, impersonal world.

A lovely spot in a park near the site of the incident – Downtown Portland (DD)

2018 is going to be a great year!

I don’t know exactly how things will pan out re: the defendants and I, and their life journey’s but I’m trusting God!  I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I’m anxious.

I wrote a screenplay few years back titled ‘Saralicia’s Sojourne’ and I’ve been working on another, which will use some of the experiences of the last few years after having lost a son. I really wish for people to take a better look at Marc, the defendants, certain cultural issues, etc. and it seems a screenplay will be able to reach a broader audience. True forgiveness is so misunderstood, being used so recklessly. Some people think God’s not watching ~