Sunday, July 24, 2011

♫ The Itsy Bitsy Spider ♫

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

That is the basis for everything isn't it. For how all trouble seems to start. I can remember when I was a teenager. Mostly what I remember is that I was dumb. DUMB. But I thought I knew everything. The problem was, one of my parents really did. Know everything. My Daddy. He knew everything. And do you know why he knew everything? Because he had already done most of it himself. But as teenagers, we always think we're slick. We're doing it first. Doing it better. Had I known that my Daddy was such a renegade when he was growing up, I might have taken him more seriously. But that was one of those things as a parent, that he kept from me. Good strategy. As parents, make em' them you're the dumb ones, it works every time.

I was basically a good girl. I truly was. I'm not saying everyone I dated was the best company I could have kept. But I knew how to separate. I was never a drinker. When I was growing up, my Daddy was an alcoholic. He is now a recovering alcoholic, celebrating 23 years. And I never smoked weed, it just never appealed to me. I think the whole thing for me growing up was about losing control. When you live with someone who is in a constant state of no control, you crave the calmness and the reality of knowing what is going on every minute.

So, what was left for me to do that I had no business?  Plenty. I skipped some classes. Never school, because I was Miss Social. I had to go and see everybody. Sometimes I just picked and chose which classes it was necessary for me to see them. I snuck out of my house. To do stupid stuff. Like go to the store up the road with my girlfriend who was staying over. Because we wanted some candy. Yeah. stupid stuff like that. Not coming straight home, but going by my boyfriends house on the way home from school. All silly stupid things, but enough to make my already loose cannon of a Daddy go apesh*t when he found out.

So, I decided to take a different route with my boys. I decided a long time ago to be honest. Tell them things that I had done. Selectively of course. Because I wanted them to know upfront how smart I am. Kind of like when you're in school and the teacher gives you all the answers to the test, you just have to study, but it's so easy, it was handed to you, so you don't. And you fail an open book test.  Kind of like, giving somebody a running head start before you take off and catch up with them anyway, tackling them to the ground. Kind of like playing weak, and let them take the first punch, only to come back with a one two punch that knocks them on their feet. Kind of like that. Just to show them who's really the boss.

I have to admit, my oldest son Joshua gave me a run for my money once or twice. He had me at a disadvantage. He had never misbehaved. Never had a spanking. Never made less than an A in school. Never lied. Never lied that I knew of, being the key words here. So I'll admit, he punked me a time or two. Never saw it coming. But once I caught on, once my gut instincts kicked in, he was threw. You hear me, done.

So now I have my youngest son, Zachary. My snake charmer. I'm older. I should be wiser. But he's working me. Do you hear me folks? HE IS WORKING ME. I have to be 'on' every second of every day. That charm of his will knock you off of your feet. Believe me, I have tried to ward it off. I've dabbled myself with the perfume of doubt and deceit. I don't even look into those big brown eyes of his, or I'm sunk before I even get my paddles out. He's a very 'expressive' explainer. You have to listen hard. Don't look. Just listen. I try and approach him as a blind and deaf person would. I listen for the vibration of the words, more than the words themselves. The treble and timber of his voice. I gotta be honest and tell you, sometimes it works, sometimes not. He's good. He's pretty dang good.

As open and honest as I was with them, they have been with me. To an extent. They love telling me what everybody else does. The fibs they tell their folks. The white lies they tell to keep from getting a lecture.  So it's only natural to wonder at what point they will begin to use the tactics they have watched. And will their minds surmise, that because they have been so open with me in the past, when or if I will figure out, they have "gone to the other side". And that they are now "fooling" me.

He's sixteen years old. I'm not at all certain how successful I'm going to be. I question my mind. I question my gut. And I certainly question my heart. All teenagers are going to try you. I do not care who they are, I don't care how they were raised, or what parents raised them. It is going to happen. All I hope for, is that the little stuff, will truly stay little and for the most part innocent. And the bigger stuff, that I have the instincts I will need to see it coming.

♫ The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the spider out. Out came the sun and dried up all the rain, and the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again. ♫

I have no doubt my son will fall down. I have no doubt he is going to skin his proverbial knee.  I just want him to hurt as little as possible. Act as wisely as I think I have raised him. And cause me as little  worry and sleepless nights as possible. I don't think that's so much to ask. Do you?

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

Friday, July 22, 2011

Everybody Say Cheese..AND SMILE

Who knows how or when it started. Who cares how it started. I just want it to stop. More than once when I was a child, I got my behind popped for such behavior. More than once when we were children, so did my sister. It used to be considered an act of ugly behavior. It used to be considered mean. Children used to be sat in the corner or time out for behaving in such a manner. Now it's common place. You see it everywhere. Pictures are abound with it. Face Book has it wall to wall. I just want to know, when did it happen? Who approved these actions to be acceptable?

Is it considered sexy? Is it considered funny? It is considered attractive? NO. To all three. I can answer all three of those questions with a resounding NO. At first I thought, oh, this is just a "thing", it will grow old and die out. Surprise. It's not. If we paid half as much negative attention to this as we do saggy/baggy pants, that would be wonderful. Because quite honestly, looking at someone with their tongue hanging out like a panting dog, is just as offensive to me as someone walking down the street with their a$$ hanging out of their pants. 

How anyone on this earth thinks it's attractive, funny, or sexy to lounge a cow tongue out of your mouth, I will never understand. And the thing is , it's not just teenagers with a fad, it's dang adults. Grown dang people, mostly women I might add, standing together in a circle, all sticking their tongues out as far as they will go, and begging someone to take a picture of it! Posing in public places, for everyone to see. And the teenagers, my land, it is rampant. Every other picture, they're hang dogging their tongues out. Do you really think anyone finds that attractive? I mean, let's be honest here, rolling your tongue around on a lollipop, or licking your lips, THAT might be considered seductive in some circles.  But all that tongue rolling, chin licking, I gotta tell you, not so much.

I've tried to think back, to a time when I could remember this being a fad. Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler and Gene Simmons. That's as far back as I had to go. And quite frankly, they weren't taking pictures, they were trying to seduce little girls and women all over the world. I guess. I have never thought those three men were in the least bit attractive. Tongues dragging their chins and all. Poor Elvis and his swiveling hips. Such a disgrace. Look where we are now. What we accept. Unbelievable.

Maybe I'm an old fogey.  Maybe I'm just not hip. Maybe I was born to be square. That's alright. I know what my tongue was made for...and I know it wasn't made to lick my chin, or wiggle it in mid air whenever there is a camera in the room.  Isn't it possible for us all to wrap around our arms around one another without turning your heads together and touching tongues for the camera?

For the love of all that is good, smile for the camera. Please. Use your tongue for talking and chewing. You're so much prettier when you do. I promise.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

Friday, July 15, 2011

As the Sky Explodes And The World Crashes Down

Joshua helping salvage what was left of Matt's apartment.
When I woke up, it was a day like any other. The sun came up. I went to work. Like any other day. Joshua called me sometime late that morning. Checking in. Talking about sirens going off. Tornado sirens had been going off for days. The sirens had been going on non-stop for hours. I told him I would call him back later. And I begin to spot check the Internet. Every other hour or so.

I went home at lunch. Like I do any other day. I checked the Internet for weather changes. I looked at the weather channels on television. Almost the whole hour I was at home, I was scanning and searching. Eating lunch. Changing channels. I called my son. I told him what I saw.  I ask him to find some of his friends. To get with other people. While I didn't know about the death and destruction that would take place later on, I did know bad weather was headed in his direction. He was five hours away from me, I at the very least, wanted him to be with the people who were his family now. He said he was fine. That conversation was over. I headed back to work.

At 3pm, I called Joshua again. He's got a sweet tooth he says. He's making cookies he says. I again, have been Internet stalking. Watching the rapid changes of the weather in his area. He's laughing, he's cooking, he's hungry for cookies, he's fine, he says. That conversation is over.

At 5:10pm, I am home from work. I walk in the door. I turn on the news. The city of Tuscaloosa is on every news channel playing. It's coming they say. Get to safe ground they say. I pick up the phone, trying to dial the numbers as fast as I can. Joshua answers. His voice is shaking, but no longer from laughter. His apartment is on the top floor. He is still there. Alone. All of the rooms in his apartment dump into a small hallway. All the rooms have doors that will close off. He no longer has power. He's sitting in the middle of that octagon hallway, in the dark, his voice trembling with fear.

I am now in full panic mode. As a mother, I can think of no worse thing he and I have been through together, yet alone. He is still five hours away from me. I cannot get to him, and it's now too late for him to get to anyone else. He sits alone, and we talk. He is scared. I can tell. I am his mother. I am scared. He can tell. He is my son.

He tells me he will call me back in about five minutes, he needs to call his friends. They are all systematically checking in with each other. Eight minutes later, I call him. I cannot wait. His voice level is high. He is out of his mind with fear. He is no longer huddled in his closed off hallway. He is standing in his living room. Looking out the plate glass window, as he watches the tornado rip off the top of the high school directly across the street. Eight lanes over, mass destruction is beginning. And he watches. While I am hollering, for him to get back into the hallway. There is no knowing where it is going, no knowing, whether or not the sheer force alone will not burst his plate glass window into shatters of shards. He says, he has to see, if it's his time, he has to know. He has to see.

I can no longer speak, everything in my body is in a state of frozen fear. I am listening. To his breath and his words coming in rapid, jagged succession. Then there is silence. He says, he thinks IT is gone. I slump down onto the floor, right where I stood. My legs were like jelly. My hands were shaking like a morning after an all night drunk from years ago. When I could find my voice, I told him, I would call him back in about 10 minutes. I needed time to gather my thoughts and tell the family standing over me, what was happening, five hours away.

Approximately ten minutes later, with a washed face and dry eyes, I am calling my son again. I can hear wind as we talk. My voice begins to escalate again. I ask him what that noise is that I hear. He is driving he says. I am hollering again, where? Where are you driving? They have all checked in with each other he says. Everybody but two of them. Matt and Lisa. No one has heard from them. He is driving to find Matt. I am hollering again, about light wires down, danger, and that if he out lived a tornado to die from active light wires, I would never forgive him. Ridiculous things come out of your mouth when you are scared to death.

He parks his vehicle and he begins to walk. I am still talking, still on the phone. Because I know, if something happens to him, this may be the last time I will ever hear his voice. And I cannot hang up.  I am giving him constant instructions of how to walk, where not to step, as if I am there and can see. He begins to shout, that he can see Matt. He is standing in the middle of the street. His apartment is gone. But he is alive. Matt is stunned and not moving. But he is alive. Seconds before the tornado hit his apartment, he dove into his tub. A full grown tree crashed into his bedroom and stopped inches from the only wall separating him and his tub from probable death, as he lay in the bottom of that tub.

They continue on foot to Lisa's. After much banging, they finally get her to the door. She is fine. She lost her phone in the struggle to get in the basement. But she is fine. All of their group, their family, is now accounted for and safe. And alive.

Who knew that day, the sky's of Alabama would explode with danger and death. Who knew, that the perfect storm brewing in the sky would forever change the entire state of Alabama and it's residents lives. Who knew, that for so many people, life would never be the same.  Who knew that the one side of eight lanes, the buildings would shake and shudder and on the other side, they would crumble and fall. Who knew, that day, so many lives would be lost. And so many people would be left to grieve the life they had known, less than 24 hours before.

Until now, this was just too much. Just too much for me to think about. To remember. Or to write about. It was all too raw and too fresh. I wasn't even there, and for weeks, I had dreams. Re-living that days phone conversations between my son and myself. Over and over again. For the people in the state of Alabama, I cannot imagine how they sleep in peace. Even now. I cannot imagine how they lay down at night, without visions of destruction playing like a movie across their minds.

I pray I never have to participate in another phone call marathon like that for the rest of my days. As a mother, the distance of five hours might as well been a million miles away. To know, that as you are speaking to your child, it may be your last, is more than any mother should have to bear. For a week, after that horrible, horrible day, I slept with the telephone under my pillow. I needed to know, should it ring, I could put my hand on it in an instant. The danger was long gone, but the memory was not. 

The phone is back on it's stand now. And the state of Alabama is still recovering and rebuilding. My dreams of that day have stopped. But I imagine, their dreams continue. Their thoughts and memories of before, still fresh in their minds. May God be with all of them, as they fight to bring back everything they lost. As they struggle to remember the good ole' days. And as they honor the memories of the lives who were lost that day. Amen.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

And Love Makes Us The Same

The problem is, he thinks he's just like everybody else. He puts his pants on, one leg at a time. He eats with a fork and a spoon. He gets mad. He cries. He dislikes. He loves. He's brilliant smart. Lacking a bit in common sense. He's beautiful in clothes and in spirit.

So why is it, everyone always wants to single him out. Separate him from the masses. Make him different from the rest of us. Does he have horns on his head? Does he squeak when he walks?

Once upon a time, even his own mother was surprised. Even his own mother, could not help but be selfish. Even his own mother could not help but be wistful for what could have been. Such a handsome young man. What beautiful babies he would have brought into this world. Surely, what a beautiful girl would have fell in love with him.

And yet, here he is. Still struggling to live. Still struggling to fall in love, with the love of his life.  Hold hands in public, without reprisals or worse, danger. Shop for groceries without sneers. Walk to his car in the parking lot, after dark, without having to firmly hold his finger on the alarm button to his vehicle.  Ready to press, should evil come. Walk to his car on campus, without making a call, so he has someone to talk to, someone who will hear, and call for help, should evil come. Here he is, ever aware of the dangers, most of us, never let cross our minds. 

And struggling to find, a mate, who was raised to believe in freedom. Freedom to be who you are, no matter who that may be. Freedom to love who it is most natural for you to love, without anger, or silent disapproval. Or worse, open and honest disapproval. Hurtful words and hateful thoughts. From your own family. None of which should be natural.

His own mother said to him today, please be patient with your love. Please be patient with the person who you choose to share that love with. For everyone is not as fortunate as you. Everyone was not fortunate enough to be raised and surrounded by a family, that will love you always. No matter what. His mother thinks she is delivering words of kindness and wisdom. How very foolish his own mother turned out to be.

He retorts, with loud indignation, and justly so, "WHY?! Why should I be considered 'fortunate' to receive and have what I deserve. What I deserve as a human being? WHY?! Why should that be considered 'fortunate' for me?" He goes on to say, "If I allow people to believe I am different, but that they should see me as the same and accept me, then I am enabling their behavior. I am enabling them to treat me less than I deserve, and if I get extra, or am accepted, then I should be grateful?!"

How right he was. How ashamed was his own mother. How dare his own mother ever say, to him again, that he should feel fortunate or grateful. How dare she not know, that in that one statement, she became everyone else. Making exceptions for a man, when there are no exceptions to be made. He is a man who loves another man. With all of his heart. And his mother accepts that and loves him no less than ever before. But it's time for his own mother to understand, that her son is no more fortunate to have his family love him than any other son or daughter. That is how it should be. No questions asked. No exceptions to the rule.

That mother cried today. For something that started out as a mother trying to help, trying to teach her son patience and forgiveness for ignorance, learned that she too, could be cured from ignorance. No matter how innocent her own ignorance may have been.

My number one prayer for a very long time, has been, that my son, could marry the love of his life, in a ceremony just like everyone else, if he so chooses. Not some place five states away, because it's now legal. But wherever his heart chooses. And that I, as his mother, am able to give him away. Because he is ready to fly now. I suppose he has been ready to fly for quite some time. When you are teaching your mother a thing or two about life, it is obvious, you are ready to live your own. Safely. Freely. And happily, ever after.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Separation Anxiety's of A Career Mommy

Early summer of 1987. My husband then, ex husband now, was the manager of a local grocery store chain. He came home and announced there was to be a Manager's meeting in a few weeks. It was going to be held in Jacksonville, Florida. We would leave on a Friday and come back late that Sunday. Essentially a whole weekend. Spouses were expected to attend. The picture of family togetherness and all. But not children. Togetherness that would not involve children.

My first born was just over a year old. We had never been separated. My parents lived in the same town. But Joshua had never spent a night away from home. Away from me. Even with my parents. Ever. Upon this news of a weekend at the beach, I should have been excited. I should have reveled in a weekend away. A weekend paid in full. Hotel, meals and the beach. The works! Paid.

I was a wreck. I couldn't imagine leaving my baby anywhere. Not overnight anyway. I talked to my parents, who said of course, they would love to keep Joshua for the weekend. I knew there was no safer place for him to be. With no other people could he get better care or more love. I began the job of trying to psyche myself out. Convince myself what fun we would have, how much I deserved this, and how much I probably needed it. The time away. The quiet. The grown-up time.

I did a fairly good job on myself I thought. I was hyped. I went shopping and bought some new clothes. A new bathing suit. Some cute sandals. I was ready. The initial weepies were gone. I was going to be fine.

We drove down to Jacksonville, scheduled to arrive in time for a late supper out with everyone attending. All the big wigs and their wives. We pull up to the hotel, we find our room, and unload our bags. We shower, change for supper and are ready to go. I suddenly feel 24 years old again, not so much like a 24 hour mommy. I'm all dressed up and feeling good.

As the supper proceeds, with a lot of introductions and talking, some drinking, everyone gets a little looser. The men have meetings all day Saturday and the women, us wives, are discussing what we'll do all day long. Hitting the beach sounds grand! What fun that sounds like! I'm picturing me in my new bathing suit, lounging in beach chairs, drinking some fruity drinks with umbrellas in the glasses, soaking up some sun rays.

When all of a sudden, one of the women turns to me and says, you're going to have so much fun with your little one on the beach tomorrow! I looked at her, not quite thinking I was following her end of the conversation right. I said, "I do have a little one, but he's not here". She said, "Oh, what shame, he would have had such fun discovering the waves". To this day, I can remember my mouth moving, but my voice sounding like the teacher on Charlie Brown. My words coming out in slow motion, and sounding like  "wah, wah wha wha wah"....unintelligible sounds. My heart started pounding faster than is the limit for normalcy. And I asked the dreaded question, "I thought we were supposed to leave our children at home?" She said "No, not that I know of, we all brought our children with us. We wondered where yours was before dinner, since we have a prearranged sitter for them all in another hotel room".

I have no idea how I made it through supper. My food felt like lead in my mouth. I could barely chew. Much less make social conversation. The arranged seating separated my ex and myself. Which was a God send for him. I think I would have stabbed him. Repeatedly. Under the table. With my fork. Had I been near him. One of his many plans over the years that would go horribly South for him. I'm sure the way the weekend went, was no where near, where he had intended, when at first he decided to mislead me. For his benefit.

Somehow dinner was finally over. Much to my ex's dismay I am sure. He was already in pain. From all the daggers I had been shooting through my eyes, across the table, to his entire body throughout supper. But the real pain was yet to come. When we got back to our hotel room, all hell broke loose. It was a dang wonder the police weren't called for domestic dispute. I went crazy on his behind. For two hours. And then, I cried. For another two hours. Needless to say, there was no "grown up" time for us that Friday night. Or the entire weekend for that matter.

And when I thought I could not cry anymore, the next day was here, and all of those women were on the beach with their children, some babies, and that was to be my day. To watch all of them playing in the waves, splashing, and laughing at their children's antics. All day long. It was one of the most awful days in my memory bank to date. I wanted to go home so badly. To go home, get my baby, and hold him as tight as I could.

I have a new friend, who took a weekend off. This weekend. A much needed (she thought) weekend to herself. To be a woman, not just a mommy. But all day today, I have watched her vast need to still be a Mommy, no matter where she is today. And I sure can identify.

I'm not much different myself.  I'm still that mommy. The one who misses her children immensely when everyone is not in place. I always think I need the break. The alone time. The grown up time. And when it gets here, I have no idea what to do with myself. Well, I do for a little while. But after a few hours, I'm ready for the normal stuff again.

Zach will be gone a week. Today is day one. A week of no funny stories, funny faces, no demonstrated, cracked out jokes.

But what I should be thankful for repeating myself five times. No washing five more loads of clothes than I will have to this week, no stinky shoes left in the middle of the floor, and no fussing about chores he forgot to do. And a clean house! Yeah! A clean house. All that's something...isn't it? Nah, not really.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

Friday, July 8, 2011

Welcome To Paradise, Kornbread Jr and Tater

We were city folks. We went on vacations every year, but they were city people vacations. Or learning vacations. My parents would go on searches for our learning vacation spots. More specifically, my mother.  Every year had a theme. American History at it's finest. Sometimes we went to the beach. But that was rare. And we seemed to spend more time at the pool than we did the actual beach. So, while I learned a lot growing up, riding the roads with my folks, it wasn't the kind of fun a teenager really wants to experience.

From the ages of fourteen to seventeen, I had some of the best summer vacations of my life. Vacations that were spent with my best friend Debbie and her family. Her very large family. I'll admit, the first year I was invited, right from the get go, I wasn't so sure this was gonna be my bag. They didn't stay in hotels. With air conditioning and television. Or running water and electrical outlets. Outlets that were needed for hair dryers and curling irons. They camped. In campers. Old timey campers. The kind that are tiny and cramped. And hook over the cab of the truck. The kind that if more than two people are standing in it, it's one too many.

But I was ready by golly. Ready to experience the wilderness at it's best. On the beach. Not just any beach either. No sir. No houses on this beach. No hotels. And only one store. Back in the late 70's, you could actually camp on the beach itself. You could drive on the beach. And people did. There was an actual camping area, but the first year that I was invited, we, slept on the beach, in a tent. On the ground.

Now let me back up a bit. Me, my best friend and her Dad always went up a day early. He would drive the truck, (of course) and we would ride in the top of that camper. Way in the top, lying on the bed, with the windows rolled out and the wind blasting our long hair in every direction imaginable for the better of three hours. Talk about some tangled up knotted hair when we got there! Whew! Tears would come to my eyes trying to comb all the knots out! We would laugh and sing and giggle about how many cute boys we were going to look for. There were no cell phones. Oh my, what did we ever do without texting and talking to anyone and everyone but ourselves?! We survived and we loved it.

I always knew when we were half way there. We came to this old timey looking place with a pretty town square. A big old courthouse sat right smack in the middle of the streets and big pretty trees lined the lawn. Sometimes if we got hungry, we'd climb down and make us a ham sandwich. Man, talk about having to have your sea legs. Making a sandwich in an old truck with a camper add on ain't easy. It sure wasn't no luxury liner! We'd finish eating, and climb back up, faces into the wind, counting down the minutes.

We always stayed a week. Never eating anything but what we brought with us, or caught fishing. No where to go, no matter how hot. No sleeping late. Well, you could. If that sunrise didn't wake you up! If you could stand the heat bearing down on your tent on that hot sand in the mornings. Everywhere you turned, all you could feel was sand and heat. The only relief from the grit and the heat was that warm salty water. Which we stayed in more than we stayed out.

The only place to shower was the public showers. With that wonderful smelling sulfur water. Cold, stinky, sulfur water. Whew washing your hair and body with rotten eggs. I can remember washing my hair with Suave Strawberry Shampoo, and straining to smell the sweet smell of those strawberries when I was done.

Our "treat" was walking up the road to the only store and getting a bottled Pepsi Cola and a bag of chips. Well, that's what I drank, my best friend always drank bottled Dr. Pepper. Plus it was the only place to go for a piece of heaven...air conditioning!

No such thing as sun screen back then. Not like now. And surely no 50 spf's had ever been heard of...our skin painted such a brown, you would strain hard to remember our skin when it was pale. We did meet a lot of cute boys. But rarely saw the same ones from one year to the next.

What wonderful memories all of those summers are for me. And who would have thought, out of all that, I would re-experience a part of that when I got older. That I would ever see that little town with the pretty town square almost every day of my life.  The sense of deja' vu was crazy incredible the first time I came here to look for a home for me and my boys. I lived here in Quincy for almost a year before I understood the connection.

This week my son will be visiting that same vacation spot. He's been there many times before with my parents and friends. But only for the day. And now, it looks so much different. It has hotels and houses galore. But the beach is the beach, the sand is the sand, and the pretty girls, are still the pretty girls. He won't have exactly the same experience, but I have no doubt, Kornbread Jr and Tater, will have the time of their 16 year old lives this week. My only hope is that they hold onto those memories in their heads for a day that will come along years from now. So that they too, can sit back, smile, and remember "the good old days".

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

And The Gavel Falls...

There is a lot to be said for a mother and the unborn child connection. The bond that has already been created, as the mother carries her child inside her body. I believe, the draw of maternal instinct begins the minute a woman knows she is pregnant. The minute.

July 1981, a little boy named Adam Walsh was found. Murdered and decapitated. He had been kidnapped from his parents in a shopping mall. March 1986, I was watching the movie of Adam and his life on television. I was eight months pregnant with my first child. I have never in my life been so distraught over something I watched on television. I had nightmares for months.

In the years that would pass, both of my children paid for, and benefited from, Adam's life story. Because of Adam's father, and his internal strength and will, he presented his son's story to the world. In doing so, many children were saved. I believed it then. I will always believe that. I for one, never let my children out of my sight. And I taught them from a very early age that roaming away from me was dangerous. It was necessary all those years ago, and it is more necessary now. As good as this world is, it is just as evil.

Caylee Anthony and her death is a story I could not follow. I know the main storyline. But to sit and watch it day in and day out, would not have been healthy for me. I personally, can not and do not watch anything that has to do with children and abusive deaths. I do not read books that are in relation to any of that, whether they be fiction or non-fiction. I cannot separate the images and stories from my mind. It all becomes too real and too disturbing for me.

I have watched and listened to all the commentary for weeks regarding this case. And the explosion of comments that have erupted across the world today. Ugly remarks in regards to the jurors and the decisions they made. I have to believe, that those twelve people made the best decision possible with the evidence they were given. I do believe that for weeks, they have lost sleep and sanity over this case. And I do believe, when this becomes but a memory for all of us, and it will, that it will never be just a memory for them. They will carry those words, the faces, the lies and the truths with them forever. There is no way, that this child and her awful death, will not be a part of them forever more.

So, please present your thoughts and comments with facts and intelligence. Give these jurors the respect they deserve. Do your due diligence before passing judgement. Act responsibly with your spoken words. And pray. Pray a lot. For all of them and everyone else concerned. Judgement is not ours to pass. God is the only real judge and jury in this world. He will make the right decision. He already knows what will come to pass. Justice will be served. And I am convinced, if there is a Hell, and if people truly burn in eternal Hell, it will not be those twelve jurors. I choose to believe Hell and all it's evil is reserved for doer's of evil.

The human trial on Earth is over. The rest is not for us to know. May sweet, beautiful Caylee Marie rest in eternal peace. And may anyone who caused her early and abusive departure from this world, know their judgement day. Amen.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims