“And I will stand over your grave until I am sure that you are dead” –Bob Dylan
When I was 9 years old I got braces. I built a go-cart with my dad and named it after my soccer team. I went to bed each night thinking of how to build a better fort, or what I wanted for my next birthday. The days came and then they went. Then, like everyone else, I turned 10. Well, just about everyone else…
Jessica was 9 in February of 2005. Asleep in her home, unsafe in her own bed at 3 a.m. when she awoke to a man who’d snuck in through an unlocked door and whispered in her ear, “Don’t yell or nothing”.
He told her to follow him out of the house. Frightened and 9 she did.
She followed him out the door and only a football field away to a trailer where he lived. Once in his trailer, Jessica did as she was told. She went into his bedroom where she was raped. She was 9, he was 47. This wasn’t his first time, only hers. He went to the kitchen and cooked her a hamburger. She ate what would be her last meal, then she slept, or at least we pretend there was that moment of peace. He was shady on the details, but one thing is certain; first thing the next morning he raped her again.
Now it was time for him to go to work. My guess is it’s hard to juggle raping little children and holding down a full time job but some how he managed. He put Jessica in the closet and asked her to remain there. Raped, terrified and 9 she did.
For those of you that have or have had 9 year olds, you know 5 minutes is a long time for a child. She spent 3 days in that closet. She didn’t get any more food, and while that dark closet in a trailer 100 yards from home must have been a nightmarish hell, I’m sure she felt the other side of that door was far worse.
I wonder if she heard the police come into the trailer while she was there to look around the place. Like a scary movie where everyone yells at the movie screen in unison “LOOK IN THE CLOSET”, the police bumbled around the trailer looking for her. They passed the closet door without a peak, stepped out of that trailer and went to search elsewhere. They’d search the trailer again, but not when it mattered. This wasn’t a movie.
For Jessica, it was dark, she was terrified, hungry, raped and clutching her favorite stuffed purple dolphin she’d grabbed a few nights earlier when the boogey man took her from her bed. She could see a TV through a crack in the door where she watched news reports of the search for her.
After 3 days it was getting too hot for the boogey man. He opened the closet door holding two garbage bags. “Let’s get you home” he told her, as he held open one of the bags in front of her. Out of the frying pan and into the fire she went as she stepped into the first bag still holding her purple dolphin. Darkness again, as he put the other garbage bag over her head then tied the bags togehter in a knot. She thought he was carrying her home. He was carrying her to a hole he’d dug just outside the trailer.
Alone again, dark again, still terrified, still raped, still starving, still alive, still nine and now tied inside two garbage bags and buried in a 2 foot hole outside a trailer 100 yards away from her own God damned bed, Jessica poked 2 fingers through the bags trying and failing to get some air. That’s how it ended for Jessica and her favorite purple dolphin.
A beautiful girl, with a beautiful life, that ended before she was ten. Forever nine and taken by the boogey man as she slept unsafe in her own bed. Jessica Marie Lunsford is the namesake of “Jessica’s Law” now known nationwide thanks to the work of her determined father, Mark Lunsford. There’s really no telling how many lives he’s already saved, but his mission continues.
Wednesday, the boogey man John Couey died in prison from anal cancer. Mark Lunsford learned about the death at about 2 p.m. He said he didn’t have any immediate reaction and was going for a ride on his motorcycle.
Enjoy your ride Mark. Your boogey man is forever dead.
My son needed me to email something to one of his teachers this morning. I guess he forgot to turn something in. I thought it was pretty good, so I’ll park it here on my blog. Seems as though he gets it. Many adults don’t, but my 11 year old does.
Thank you Veterans
As I stand over his grave, I look down with sorrow. I look forward and see a stone that says, “honorable, Brave, Trustworthy”. I never knew him, but he will always be in my heart. As I think about him more, a tear dropped from my eye. I am proud of him, my great grand father, Robert Ferguson.
I also think of other soldiers and how they all fought for the red, white and blue. They’ve slain the worst of the worst. Some have died, and some have survived. Unfortunately, some of us have cried, and still to this day we stay strong.
We try to fix our flaws and forget about our losses. If it weren’t for Veterans, we wouldn’t have the freedom to be here.
Thank you Veterans
Now if I could just get him to turn his shit in on time, we’d be golden.
A week ago I posted that we were heading down to mom and dads. Good times as usual. Here’s the run down, and the typical visit.
Sat. Morning woke up, hit the patio with pops, a pitcher of coffee, and half a pack of smokes to watch the sun rise over the lake, and swap stories. His are generally along the lines of how great his retirement is, some bushes he needs to get the landscaper to move so he can perfect his view from the patio (an endless quest), or the fresh tomato’s he got from the farmers market while he was killing time away from the house so mom could have her friends over for the weekly bridge tournament. I’m really not sure which my mom likes more, bridge, or getting my dad out of the house for a few hours each week. My dads been retired for 2 or 3 years now, I don’t think I’ve seen him since without him telling me “ya know, this retirement shit is really pretty cool, I can’t wait till you get to experience this. “me either”, I’ll tell him. My stories are usually centered around how busy I am with work, all the bills I have to pay, and what the kids are up to. He remembers it all too well, and quietly grins and listens. Sometimes he’ll give me a couple tips, but generally not. I think he gets a kick out of watching me grow up, and find my own way, there was a time in my youth when I think he doubted I ever would. We usually get a couple of hours to talk before the house starts to come alive, and join us on the patio.
I’m not sure if it’s all women or just the ones in my life, but they’re all about planning. All I know is what was just a casual conversation now turns to more of an agenda meeting along the lines of who’s going shopping, when, and what’s on sale. When are we eating lunch, what are we having, where’s the rest of the family, has any called them, etc.. Mom rolls breakfast out on a cart to the patio. She bought a new table cloth for the patio table, “I’m going to sew a hem in it, I just haven’t yet, sorry about that” she says. “uhm…..well, I guess I’ll eat on it anyway” I tell her. She has to get the food laid out just right on the cart before anyone can make a plate. Breakfast taco’s in whole wheat tortillas, bacon, sausage, biscuits, strawberries, grapes, and some kind of orange juice slushy she always makes with maraschino cherry’s.
My folks still live on the other side of town where I grew up. You’d think they lived on the other side of the world as little as we make it down to visit. Juggling 3 kids, work, and a life that sometimes gets in the way, makes jumping in the jeep and running down to see mom and dad a “get a round-tuit” kinda thing. It doesn’t happen as often as it should.
I found a round-tuit, and I’m heading to mom and dads. Here’s a pic I took while floating in their pool last time I made it down there. I suspect between home cooked meals, and moving t.v.’s around (my dad can’t ever figure out which rooms he wants which t.v.’s in so I’m always having to rearrange them when I visit), I’ll spend the majority of my time floating in their pool, and chasing bass around their private lake with a lure.
Anyone know where the summer went? To say that time continually speeds up with age is an understatement. Seems like it was yesterday I was giving the yearly spring break speech to the kids. “Look, I know you’re ready for the summer, and it’s almost here, but don’t slack off these last few weeks of school. Suck it up, buckle down, make me proud, then we’ll have all summer to goof off”. Then I blinked, now we’re in panic mode again shuffling around town trying to find the “right” backpacks, notebooks, etc..
This years different for two of counts children as they enter Junior High and all that it entails. Numerous teachers and classes, lockers, big schools, tardy bells, study halls, D-halls. I tell my kids it’s that time in their life when their teachers take off their gloves, stop being baby sitters, and best friends, and start pounding them into shape with unrelenting lesson plans, homework, and projects that will no longer consist of crayons, yarn, or Popsicle sticks. Recess, has gone away to live on that farm with your favorite dog you thought was coming back. Gone are the days of having your own desks filled with half eaten, week old twenkies, and “love notes” made of paper corners torn off, scribbled on, and passed around class. Time to learn how to fold them fancy, “ask your mom”.
This week two of our kids toured the school, to find their classes. I sat them down and told them to make sure to count the doors between their classes and not to just goof around checking things out, but to pay attention. I remember getting lost the first few days of Junior High. It’s such a waste of the limited number of tardy’s each kid is freely allowed. I stressed the importance of deep sixing a couple tardy’s for those important things like carrying a chicks books to class, and or breaking up with a chick, cause sometimes, at that age, it takes more than five minutes (in junior high, love is a battlefield).
The kids are excited. To be honest, Counts excited too. I’m excited for a different reason. For the past 6 years, every graduation I have been to (they have them yearly now in case you didn’t know), and every teachers meeting I’ve had to attend, I’m always stuck in some little person chair, trying to carry on a conversation with a grown adult teacher, that is sitting in the only adult chair the room has to offer. It’s awkwardly condescending. I look forward to sitting in regular sized chairs for all future meetings, and graduations.
Here’s a pic of me and SoHoS at one of our kids graduations sitting in little people chairs at a little person table. It was a room full of adults trying to just play it off like it wasn’t something awkward.