What we talked about today before school… I wish it wasn’t true…I wish it wasn’t again…

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For years, since 2012 I’ve been posting on what I talk about with my kids on the way to school, and now that they’re in college just what we talk about.

Today we talked about:

  • The school shooting in Florida
  • Snarky shit about people who live in Washington DC
  • The Olympics

School Shootings:

27973291_10215310182698618_2142073823464310448_nThis morning I hugged my child as she left for her college classes. I almost cried.

My daughter told me not to worry. She has told me that so many times that I can’t remember. She said “I’m in college. Don’t worry.”

I told her, “Virginia Tech, UC Santa Barbra, Roseburg, Oregon.”

Another school shooting. Another mass shooting. I don’t know as a parent how much more I can say. How much more can I cry for the loss and for the families and friends left behind.

How many more of these posts do I have to write? I almost didn’t write this one. But I must.

Another school shooting. This time, on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland Florida, Seventeen People Were Murdered – SHOT WITH A LEGALLY PURCHASED GUN THAT WAS MADE FOR KILLING PEOPLE.

More parents, friends, and families are mourning tragic losses today. This has to stop. It is unacceptable. Thoughts and prayers aren’t going to help. We’ve tried that already. Your vote, your phone calls to your representatives, and your LOUD VOICES, are a needed. Never again. Shout it out NEVER AGAIN.

We’ve all seen the horror of the reports in Florida. Students filmed the attack. One girl said, “I watched my friend get her face blown off.”

Seventeen dead.

This wasn’t a foreign terrorist. It was a kid that was so fucked up that he couldn’t act like a human. It was a kid who followed hate groups. It was a kid who proudly wore one of Trump’s Make America Great Again hats. This isn’t making America great. And we all know Trump will do nothing because as his son puts it “Trump’s America is Red, White, and Green.” Follow the NRA money.

We need law enforcement to follow up when people are concerned about what they see on social media – yes, this recent shooter and others have been reported  BEFORE the crime and nothing was done about it. If you want I’ll make a list. Right now I can think of the Isla Vista killings (guns and knives were used.) It was planned. The killer rejected mental health care his family provided. His family alerted the police. The list goes on and on and on.

The Columbine shootings happened in 1999 the year my daughter was born. She is now an adult. She has NEVER known a time without regular mass shootings, and school shootings in the United States of America.

The should not the our children’s NORMAL. It is anything BUT normal.

Of course our leaders DO NOTHING.  They don’t want law enforcement agencies to take threats seriously. They don’t want any kind of meaningful gun control, they don’t want to address mental health, they don’t want anyone to dare talk about hate groups, they don’t want to make adults who let minors have access to guns share responsibility for crimes, they just want to say meaningless works like “thoughts and prayers.”

Thoughts and Prayers have NEVER prevented a school shooting. They have never made loved ones feel better. They are EMPTY words that now sound like insults.

I’ve written more than one article about mass shootings, including school shootings (links below). I always hope that each will be the last, but it never ends. This is the world my daughter grew up in. Today as she left for her college classes she told me not to worry – but I do worry. EVERY SINGLE DAY. This is not right. I am so heart broken today about what happened yesterday in Florida that I don’t have it in me yet to write a blog post about it.

I DID contact all of my representatives in the Senate and Congress. I will contact the local representatives today.

Below are links to just a few of the articles I’ve posted since 2012 about mass shootings in the United States. Contact those in government who represent you. This has to stop.

Sandy Hook: https://vampiremaman.com/…/in-honor-hug-your-kids-talk-to-…/

Las Vegas: https://vampiremaman.com/…/04/a-reflection-on-horror-and-h…/

Marysvile, Washington: https://vampiremaman.com/…/a-shooting-threat-at-our-high-s…/

Orlando: https://vampiremaman.com/2016/06/12/today-is-sunday/

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  • Snarky shit about people who live in Washington DC

It isn’t about Republicans or Democrats. It is about ALL of them. They don’t care about the people who elect them. All they care about is the status and the money. It is all about the next campaign.

Men who were born in 1959 act as if they were born in 1859. They act like it is 1918 not 2018.

We all agree that Washington D.C. is full of old boys who act like assholes and sexist pigs 24/7 because they can get away with it. Their mommies are all dead, their daddies were sexist pigs. It is what they know. It is what they’ve been allowed to get away with because they are rich and they are bullies.

Then I think of Melania Trump. I can’t even imagine how much she must hate her husband in real life. I can’t imagine what she is thinking when she hears about her husband having sex with porn stars (and others no doubt) while she was home with a newborn infant. I can’t imagine what she thinks when she knows her husband has always chated on her. I can’t imagine the disgust she must feel when Trump touches her.

Then again it is what she wanted. Her family got a free ticket to America. They live off of Trumps fortune. For some that might be a good deal.

A lot of political wives are like that. Had I been Hillary Clinton I would have had the biggest bonfire in history on the White House Lawn when Bill was cheating. But then again, the love of money and power is sometimes more tempting than a healthy normal life.

This is where I’m going with this… these people, men and women in Washington DC are so out of touch with reality that it seems like some sort of weird alternate universe that they live in. The know everything about low class and NOTHING about the Middle Class.

But back to our current First Lady (who would have looked so much better without all of that needless plastic surgery) I know what her current favorite songs must be. You can listen below.

  • The 2018 Winter Olympics

This morning we talked about ICE SKATING. Oh my goodness. I’m just going to post a video. This is so beautiful that you’ll cry for all the good reasons.

Yes, I’m so off today I can’t write much of anything, so just watch this.

The Olympics have been wonderful. We’re following and cheering for everyone there.

That’s it for today. I have to go hug my dog.

And what I can’t stress enough: TALK TO YOUR KIDS. Talk to your kids. Listen to them. Value their opinions. Teach them what is right and wrong. Teach them compassion. Teach them to be strong. Hug them. Kiss them. Protect them. Treasure them. It doesn’t matter if they’re babies or in their sixties – do all these things. Always.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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The Eagle Cried

I’m honored to share a poem from my friend, Northern California writer Richard Turton.

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The Eagle Cried

 

The acrid smell of cordite

Still hovered in the air.

No breeze to wash away

The scent of Satan’s hair.

 

The Medivac’s are fading now,

Their cabins filled with dead.

So many grisly pictures

Are surging through my head

 

Another hill’s been taken

The earth all charred and black

We all know what’s coming;

Tomorrow…”Give it back!”

 

The Eagle cries from barren trees

His tears, he cannot hide.

Where once a proud, young soldier stood

My Warrior Brother, died

 

The scorched ground that surrounds me;

Am I in Dante’s Hell?

This skirmish now is over

We saw them as they fell.

 

My Warrior Brother, Donny,

Died that gruesome day.

He took the bullets meant for me

With his final words did say,

 

“Tell Mom and Sis I loved them!

Please! Don’t let me down!”

I promised I would tell them

A promise I’d soon drown.

 

The Eagle cried that tragic day,

Back in Sixty-Eight.

A promise made…un-kept,

To my Warrior mate.

 

One thing that I’m sure of,

A thing that gives no rest.

The hounds of Hell still battle

Deep within my chest.

 

 

 

A bottle’d been my address

For forty years or more.

I’d take ‘most any drug,

I couldn’t find the door.

 

Somewhere there’s a record,

Of drugs and booze and tears.

When I crawled out of the bottle

I’d been buried in for years.

 

Half a decade sober.

Not a real long time.

That’s how long I’m clean tho’,

My life’s becoming mine.

 

The winds of war are blowing by;

In history books they last.

I’m in the winter of my years,

My best days…they have passed.

 

The one thing that I’ve never done

One thing I cannot face:

To visit the Memorial,

The headstone for that place.

 

My daughter said, “You have to go,

To honor those who died!”

I said I know I should…

But that I’d go…I lied

 

Then one day the phone rang;

A call I knew I’d dread.

It was Donny’s sister,

“Please help me!” Karen pled.

 

“I’ve spent these years just searching

I even hired a sleuth.

I finally found out where you live…

I need to know the truth.”

 

“The Army’s always been real vague,

And their answers never matched.

I need to know what happened;

They always seemed detached”

 

 

“Our Mother has passed on now,

But I still need to know;

I’d really love to meet with you,

Please…just show me how!”

 

The hounds of Hell are roused again;

Their howling has re-started.

I force their shrieks out of my mind,

My path, it has been charted

 

Quiet now, you dogs of war!

It’s time for a new quest!
It’s time for me to wrestle you,

And lay your souls to rest!

 

Then I thought the one thing,

A thought I’d never say,
Should I meet her at The Wall,

And put my hounds at bay?

 

I finally said I’d meet with her,

With a voice that was not mine.

“The Wall is where I’ll meet you.

I’ll see you there at nine.”

 

I saw flowers in her hand,

As she walked my way.

“Yellow roses were his favorite.”

Later she would say.

“Hello, my name is Karen.”

She said when we did meet

“Donny wrote me many things,

I knew that you’d be sweet!”

 

“I know this must be hard for you,

But I really need to know.

Please tell me how my brother died,

That day, so long ago.”

 

The moment had arrived.

I could hide this fact no more.

I said things I’d kept hidden,

Behind my mind’s locked door

 

 

 

She took my hand in hers,

And waited patiently.

My head bowed down as I thought

Of words I had to say.

 

I knew my words would stab her heart

But she would not look away.

She watched me as I told her

Of that ghastly day.

 

“Your Brother died in my arms,

In that nameless place.

He took the bullets meant for me

And died as we embraced!”

 

Her head dropped down, when I was done

Her chin upon her chest.

A single tear rolled down her cheek,

“Now Donny’s laid to rest.”

 

I walked with her as she made her way

To the Wall of Stone.

She laid the flowers at the base

Her silent prayer was sown.

 

At last I’ve honored those who fell,

Whose names are etched in rows.

We touched the name of Donny,

Who died so long ago.

 

And we cried…

 

The Eagle’s cry is heard again;

It lives within the Wall!

Each time a name is touched

The Eagle gives his call.

 

 

© Richard Turton

 

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Note from Juliette:

I met Rick Turton through his son who was my daughter’s 4th grade teacher. Rick joined a writing group I’m an administrator for.  We all soon discovered Rick is a talented writer and a man with a sharp sense of humor.  When I first read this poem I had no idea … I ended up choked up. A few years ago I visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. It was such a moving experience – a difficult experience – even though the war is long over. For many it will never be over. Thank you to Rick for your words of love and honor and for allowing me to share this poem.

 

Richard Turton and one of his sweet grand babies.

Richard Turton and one of his sweet grand babies.