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I'm a single mom with two great kids living near Dallas, Texas. This is my life; day to day things that are probably only important to me. This is my record of my ups, my downs and the road that I've taken along the way. For whatever reason YOU'RE here, I hope you find something you can enjoy and/or relate to. God bless.

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Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Best Post I've Ever Posted

What you're about to read, I read this morning on a blog that was new to me. The author's name is Nancy and I've linked her in hopes that every one of you that stop by this silly piece that I put together will visit her blog and read what real heart put into words is like. One of the posts that I read touched me so much, that I shared it with both of my boys this morning, and we all had tears in our eyes. I hope you'll read what I've borrowed from her post, but even more so, I hope you'll watch the video that gives the words all that much more realism. It's something that you will never forget, I know that we never will here at the Bratcher home.

Team Hoyt
Sports Illustrated, by Rick Reilly

I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots. But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.
Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and peddled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day. Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs. "He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life," Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. "Put him in an institution."But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. "No way," Dick says he was told. "There's nothing going on in his brain." "Tell him a joke," Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.

Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? "Go Bruins!" And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, "Dad, I want to do that."Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker" who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. "Then it was me who was handicapped," Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks."

That day changed Rick's life. "Dad," he typed, "when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!" And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon. "No way," Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a triathalon?" How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathalon? Still, Dick tried. Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? "No way," he says. Dick does it purely for "the awesome feeling" he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.

"No question about it," Rick types. "My dad is the Father of the Century." And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. "If you hadn't been in such great shape," one doctor told him, "you probably would've died 15 years ago." So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some back breaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day. That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy. "The thing I'd most like," Rick types, "is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once."

Monday, November 27, 2006

Nyquil and Eight Hours, Please.

*Updates and corrections in red*

My house is set for Christmas.

The boys put the lights up on Friday and over the weekend we put up the tree and all of the inside decorations. Just on a side note, Hobby Lobby has some great trees and everything in the store from Sunday through Thursday is half off, every week. How cool is that?

For those of you keeping up on the Eagles football, we won the game this past Saturday, beating Mesquite 58 ~ 42. It was an excellent game. Way too close for comfort a few times, but a really great game. We play Roundrock next Saturday in Waco. My brother-in-law and his grandson met us at the game and I enjoyed the game all that much more having him there to talk and laugh with. It was a good time.

I took Casey's car in last week for some engine repair and a tune up. This morning, $1,500 and 7 days later, I had to take it back in...for the same problems it had before. However, that's not what I'm complaining about right now. This morning, as Casey was pulling out of the drive and I was behind him, following him, I noticed his front left tire was flat. F...L...A...T. I don't know how, but he kept driving. I started flashing my lights. Nothing. I began blowing my horn and the kid just kept on going. I tried calling him, no answer. Once I got behind him and started to get out to run up to his window, but he pulls off before I got out of the car. I'm waving my arms, flashing my lights and blowing my horn for five miles down the road, and when we finally pull into the repair shop, he gets out of his car, looks at his tire and says as innocently as possible "I've got a flat". I asked if he'd noticed all the lights, horn blowing and hand waving, and he said 'yeah, but I didn't know what you wanted'. He lives and I deserve a medal. He swears he couldn't feel the tire was flat. *It's going to cost me another $70 for the car...geeze, I feel a confrontation coming on*

I brought him home and he went back to bed, because he still had nearly 4 hours till he had to be at school. However, Charlie was getting ready for school when we got home and he told me that his right ear was in a lot of pain, and that when he had gotten up it felt clogged and he couldn't hear out of it...and that his head was throbbing above it. He said that he'd taken some Q-tips while I was gone with Casey and had tried to open it, but that it had really hurt. So, I'm thinking there was a chance he'd busted his ear drum. I gave him some tylenol and called the doctor. The doctor was going to call me back in about an hour when they could get him in, so during that hour I drove some papers to my attorney and dropped them off. Got home and took Charlie to the doctor, with Casey telling me that I had to be home by 10:30 to take him to school. Okay. So I set my phone alarm to go off when I needed to head home from the doctor's office, and when it went off, Charlie and I were waiting for the doctor to bring us back Charlie's prescription (he has fluid behind the ear) so I had to go find the doctor and tell her we needed to leave. She got us the prescription, we paid, and got home in time to get Casey and take him to school. Charlie and I went by the pharmacy to get the prescription filled, but the dr. had left off the directions for the meds., so they told us it would take about 45 minutes to get that settled. In the meantime, Charlie and I went home to get him some more tylenol, took my car to get it washed and we had lunch at Pei Wei. By the time we got the prescription, it was nearly 1, and Charlie's ear was pounding, so I just kept the kid home all day. He slept the afternoon away, so chances are he probably needed it anyway.

While Charlie and I were out, I'd gotten a call from a dealership that's been trying to find a part that Casey wants replaced on his car, and they'd found it but I needed to pay in advance before they'd order it, so I went there and paid for it. In the meantime, I'm thinking that on top of the migraine I've had for 2 days, my throat was really stiff and my body was aching, so when I got home I took my temperature, and yup...101.8. *100.8. I'm such a wuss, if it'd been 101.8, I'd probably called 911* Who knew? I thought I was just tired and whiney. Well, I was, but c'mon...I'm sick! Lol, I was too busy to figure it out till around 4 this afternoon, but since I know now, I'm going to take it easy. Right after I go get Casey from football practice, fix dinner and get home from the Touch Down Club meeting. *Laughing at that too, by the time I finished with laundry and getting some stuff off to TCU with Casey, it was after midnight before I got to bed. Tell you what, though, that Nyquil knocked me out...I'm still out, and as soon as I get Charlie off to school, I'm back to bed to sleep it off.* I keep telling y'all, parenting isn't for cowards. :)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Great Day

Hope y'all had a great Thanksgiving. We had a very relaxing day and a whole lot of food. I'd bought a 21 lb. turkey for the boys and I. Yeah, well, none of us eat anything but white meat and this gives us several days of leftovers. Plus, I have a couple of neighbors who visit relatives for Thanksgiving and always help themselves to my leftovers.
We watched movies, football, listened to Charlie play his new guitar (yup, got one on Tuesday. Traded the Jackson in for an Ice Man. Like I have a clue what I'm talking about), ate, napped and put up a few Christmas decorations. The boys are putting up the outside lights tomorrow, and then we'll start decorating the inside.
Got some pictures for you:

Charlie eager for me to start cooking!

My goofball attacking my Butterball

Charlie entertaining us with new stuff he's written

Casey watching football after dinner :)

Butchie sleeping off his (her... I meant HER, thanks Shawn)Thanksgiving dinner on my keyboard while I blog

Being surrounded by what you're thankful for most is the perfect way to celebrate Thanksgiving. All of this plus The Closer marathon too! Hope all of you enjoyed your day as much as I did.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Time For Me To Give Thanks

It's nearly Thanksgiving. I have pies baked and everything ready to go tomorrow morning. The boys have gone to a movie tonight and I'm enjoying some quality alone time...some much needed alone time.

While I'm by myself, I'm thinking about what I'm thankful for. Tomorrow, for me, is a day of thanks. That's all Thanksgiving means to me. I don't connect it anymore to the story of the pilgrims making nice with the Indians, because we know that story is a fabrication. But, I refuse to give up on the holiday all together, because I have so much to be thankful for and it's the day I, myself personally, have set aside to celebrate all that I have to be thankful for.

I have been so very blessed. I have a home I feel safe in, I have vehicles that I'm secure will get me wherever I need or want to go, I have friends that love me, I have a job that I like and am appreciated at, I have a church that I feel at home in and which cares about me...and God forbid I should fail to recognize the great blessing which is my freedom to worship openly without fear of persecution. I have been blessed with two healthy, sensitive and intelligent young men as not only my sons, but my best friends. And...I have hopes and dreams and great expectations for my future. Yes, without any doubt, I have been so very blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you. I hope you'll take a little time to give thanks. May God bless you and all those you love.

I was a fan, and I could be again.

I got this from Rose, and I've got to say that she not only looks a lot like the old Whitney, but you can definitely hear a lot of the old Whitney too. I hope you'll take a minute to listen. I'll be playing this CD for the holidays.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Still Here

Well, I didn't mean to be gone so long. I kept thinking I'd post, but sometimes there just aren't enough hours in my day. If I had more hours, I'd still fill them up, so more time in a day wouldn't work. Would I change anything though? No. Life is about as good as it gets. Room for improvement, absolutely. But, it's been a long time since it's been this good.

Casey is healthy, thanks so much for all the emails and calls. The Z pack the Dr. put him on kicked the strep in a couple of days, but I did make him stay home on Tuesday because he had a fever. After that, he was good to go. Saturday I got to watch him run out onto the field at the Texas Stadium, and that was just awesome. Our Eagles won the game against Rowlette, 42 ~ 14. We'll be back there next Saturday in a game against Mesquite. If you're not from Texas, this means nothing to you, so sorry...but here, it's a pretty big deal.

The boys and I have gone shopping for Thanksgiving and got all our favorites. It'll just be the three of us, and it'll be different, but that's not a bad thing. Actually, there are ways that it being different will be better, and I won't go into details there, not at this time anyway. We've been invited to friends houses, and though I appreciate that, we are kind of looking forward to this time by ourselves. It's all new to us, and we're enjoying it. We bought our Christmas tree last week and the boys want to start putting up the outdoor lights and such this week while they're off for Thanksgiving break. Charlie rented the movie The Christmas Story and asked if we could watch it Thanksgiving to start off the Christmas season. A little early, but it's definitely okay with me. I am hoping to put off putting up the tree for a couple of weeks though, but I will admit I'm looking as forward to putting it up as they are. My shopping for Charlie is completely finished, and I know that every mom out there is laughing at that statement because we will shop, if for nothing else but stocking stuffers, up until the night before Christmas. My shopping for Casey...barely started. The only thing he has asked for is for a new headliner for his car, and thanks to my buddy in Oklahoma, I knew what to ask for and did find someone close to where I live to put a new one in. So, that's all good. Other than that, all he says he wants is a hug and my love...which I gladly give, but I hope to come up with something that will both surprise and excite him for Christmas morning. After all the kids have been through this year, I want to make this a good Christmas for them. They've kept asking me what I want, and I think I've given them something to work with that, together, they'll be able to afford and will have to agree on to get it, so I'm very excited about Christmas morning this year.

I always start thinking about my mom a lot this time of year. My mom died December 18, 1990. She called that night before she went to bed to tell us that she loved us and then she died in her sleep. A week after Christmas I received a large box in the mail with my moms handwriting on it, and it was full of wrapped presents in it to all of us here. She had mailed it the day before she died. I kept all the tags on the gifts and have them put up in the kids baby books and a couple that I keep in my Christmas ornament boxes, and I hang those on the Christmas tree. I love my mom very much, and I'd give anything to have had her to talk to over the past few months. I miss her still.

I'm sorry I've been absent from writing and reading, but if I can battle the kids for computer time, I'll try to get caught up on y'all soon. I hope all is well and that life is good for each and every one of you.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Strep Throat

*A bit of an update on yesterday: I probably enjoyed yesterday more than Casey did, he was unusually quiet. He slept all the way there and all the way home. After we got home we took his car in and dropped it off for a tune up, then he slept the rest of the afternoon because our doctor couldn't get him in. A friend told me about CareNow (which is really cool) so we went there around 8:30 last night. Turns out he tested positive for strep throat. So, he's on that pack where you do two the first day and one a day for four days after that.
Other than his coughing and sleeping, I'd never have known he didn't feel well because the kid just never complains. He said he hadn't felt bad enough to complain, and, as always, he'd refused to miss any school or football practices, so I hadn't realized that he was that sick. But he'll be back to his normal 110% before you know it because, as he'd say, "that's how he rolls".

Monday, November 13, 2006

UNT Bound

Casey and I are headed to UNT (University of North Texas) this morning for our visit there. Please pray for Casey today as he's not feeling well at all, head cold and all that kind of stuff, but he is nauseous too. I want him to feel good enough to enjoy this day.

Enjoy your day too. Hugs!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Eagles Take District!

Yup, 22 ~ 17! Way to go Eagles! And me, well, no trips, falls or rolls! It was one of the best times of my life.
I'd asked Casey earlier in the day what he wanted me to wear to the game and he told me that it didn't matter to him because I could wear sweatpants for all he cared and he'd still be proud to escort me across the field. Honestly, he is the best kid. I am so blessed.
I bought a couple of Eagle shirts to choose from, but they had the boys white jerseys for the moms to wear, so I wore Casey's white jersey with his number (#54) on it. The players wore their blue jerseys. Casey held my hand across the entire field with a big smile on his face and making me laugh the whole time because he knew how nervous I was. This will be one of my most favorite memories for the rest of my life. I am so proud to be this young man's mom.


First I want to thank Katy for her post yesterday. If you haven't read it yet, go ahead and do it now, I'll wait.

Been a fairly busy week here. Working and hanging out with the parents of the senior football players at night. Today is Senior Night and all the parents of football players, cheerleaders, and all the kids that have anything to do with band or those who perform at half time, will be introduced at the game tonight on the field and be escorted by their child. I don't know what any of the other parents are doing today, but the senior football players parents get to do a lot of things with their kids today, including lunch that a local restaurant serves them every Friday before a game. Our team is tied with one other school for district. We're both undefeated in district, and that's the team we're playing tonight, the last scheduled game of the season. So, everything about this game is a big deal...to us. :) Win or lose, both teams are in the play offs, but this school has always been our schools biggest rival. I'm just hoping I don't fall on the field tonight. That, basically, is my own private goal for tonight.
Last week, we played Lake Highland, at Lake Highland. The place was packed, and the sidewalks were crowded with people. In the middle of everyone, I took a nose dive to the pavement. Have no idea why, all I knew was that I was falling for no apparent reason (which is honestly nothing new) and somehow my feet got tangled up as I saw a group of teenage girls coming towards me with their eyes the size of saucers, watching me as I went down. I managed to get my hands out in front of me and I went down on both of my palms and my right knee, and then somehow sort of rolled to my right side and then I went rolling off the curb into the street. It's not like I was running or anything, so I don't know how I got all that momentum going...but the next thing I noticed was that Charlie wasn't with me anymore as I was trying to get up off the street with my palms scraped and bleeding and my right knee not wanting to cooperate. Charlie, as it turns out, was about 10 feet in front of me giggling. I've still got two years with this kid, so there's still hope for him. In his defense...I fall down a lot. I don't mean daily (not that I'll admit to, anyway) but often enough to where it's nearly joke material. Oh, who am I kidding by "nearly"?

So, please take a moment to pray that I make it across the field tonight during the most important and most crowded game of our season, without tripping, falling or rolling. Not so much for me, you understand, I just wouldn't want to embarrass Casey. :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Whiplash ~ Back to Reality

Written by: Katy
*Thanks Katy, not only can you paint, you can write. Love you*

We all have milestones in our lives. Those that are memories and
those that are still to come.

My husband and I have recently passed an 18 year milestone. Our son, Andrew, graduated from high school and is settling into his first semester away at college. We wanted to give him some space once he went away to school and not be one of those sets of parents that talked to their child 3 times a day. We have settled into a range of about 3 days. If he hasn't called us for 3 days we try to give him a call to just check in on him. We wanted him to have the space to make decisions on his own, good or bad, we all have to learn to do it sometime. We miss him very much, and knew things were going to be very different when he left for school.

I have been a stay at home mom for the better part of those 18 years and I knew that I was going to have some spare time on my hands. Since I didn't want to be one of those hovering moms, I thought I'd better come up with something to do with my time. I thought maybe I would look for some part time work, but I needed something that I could be able to take time off from to help my brother take care of our father. My father has been struggling with some serious health problems lately. I really didn't think that there were too many people out there that would hire someone who might have to take off work if they needed to, sometimes for weeks at a time.

A friend was also concerned that I might need something to keep me busy. She asked if I would consider working for her husband who owns an insurance agency. Originally they needed someone to answer the phones and take messages. They decided that it would be helpful if I became a licensed agent to be able to better help the customers on the phone. They promised me that it was a piece of cake to pass the test. They said that they only had one employee that had to take the test twice to pass, but that she was as dumb as a box of rocks.

I went back to school for a week of classes, along with 2 weeks of cramming, with the challenge to NOT be the new box of rocks! When you haven't cracked a book to study for a test for the better part of 25 years, you have some doubts about your abilities. Needless to say I had some anxiety!!!!! I passed the test with some points to spare, I really surprised myself.

First day of work at my new job I walked in assuming that if the State of Ohio says I could do this job they must know what they are talking about right? WRONG!

I was not prepared for the technology part of the job. MY HEAD WAS SWIMMING!!!!!!!! The phones - too many buttons, too many calls, transferring calls, intercom, speaker phone, voice mail... Who's on the phone, who isn't in the office, the boss is always in a meeting take a message. I had just figured out how to look numbers up in my cell phone, so I knew I was in trouble.

Then add the computers (see cell phone comment above).

Don't forget customer service. A customer calls and is hard of hearing, can't read their bill, is confused about why it went up. My options? I have several: 1. Tell the customer they have the wrong number and hang up (by the way they usually call back). 2. Tell them I don't know why their bill went up, which is true but not the answer that they are looking for. 3. My new favorite, transfer them on to someone else (incentive to learn the phone system).

I went home the first day thinking I had no idea I had been living in a cave for 18 years.

I have been doing this work thing for about a month now, some things are starting to click.
I am learning to dress myself all over again, why on earth it takes me 35-40 min to get dressed is still a mystery to me. I have learned to make sure you check your shoes before you leave the house. You guessed it, I'd left the house one day wearing one brown shoe and one black shoe. This week I brought two cans of soda to the office with me only to find that I'd brought one soda and one Coors Light. I considered pounding the beer in the parking lot before I went in since, right before my eyes, I was turning into the "New Box of Rocks".

Because I really don't want to be the "New Box of Rocks", I have an appointment to get my eyes checked. Glasses, not the milestone I had in mind, but better than rocks.

Monday, November 06, 2006

We've all got something to share

Sometimes you just have to stop in the middle of all the craziness going on around you and breathe. Sometimes you just have to remember that this is just a moment in time and it'll pass, just like everything else in your life has. May be sooner, may be later, but it'll pass. Whatever you're going through will be something you can draw on later, whether it's for your own benefit, or someone else's, it'll serve useful one day.

You may be going through times of joy, or sorrow. Doesn't matter, it all needs to be savored so that you'll be able to draw from it when you need to. If you don't learn from life's lessons, then it's as if you've gone through it for nothing...and honestly, that's pretty selfish. As a parent, you get to share what you've learned. You don't think they're listening when you share what you had to learn the hard way, probably because their attitude tells you that they couldn't care less what you've gone through, but then something happens and when you ask how they knew that, they'll tell you 'because you told me', and suddenly, everything you had to go through was worth it.

Whether it's for your kids, a neighbor, a co-worker, or a stranger on a bus, we all learn from one another. Our situation may seem unique to us, but there is honestly very little that's new in the world, and chances are that we can all relate to the lessons we've each had to learn. We may not learn how to avoid ( and I do believe that we may save ourselves pain by avoiding, but that we also cheat ourselves the growth from the experience), but we can learn how to deal.

I've learned from Kellie that trust and patience has it's own reward. I've learned from my dear friend, Pat, that love is a gift, not something earned. I've learned from Tom so many things lately, but one of my favorites is that Auto Zone will install what you buy from them for free...this came in very handy last week. I've learned from my friend, Terri, that real love is worth the wait. I've learned from my best friend, Katy, that distance has nothing to do with how close you are to someone. My list of those I've learned from is way too long to post about, but it does range from my kids, who teach me daily what is important and what isn't, to the guy that bags my groceries at Krogers, whose deformity would make many bitter, and yet he is one of the kindest and funniest people I've ever met.

I hope, that in some small way, I'm giving back from what life has given me, what life has taught me. The sorrow, the joy...the heartaches, the simple pleasures...I hope I've learned from it all. I also hope that I've been able to share those experiences with others. Knowing that we're not alone is sometimes what keeps us going. I hope you'll share today, let someone know that they're not alone.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cowards are a dime a dozen...

I've always been a fighter, had to be. So is my sister. It's how we were able to survive our childhood. Not so much a fighter in the physical sense, though I've had to depend on that as well a few times in my life, but mentally and emotionally. Learning how to survive physically will never get you as far as learning how to survive mentally and emotionally. I learned early on that tears never get you as far as strategy and clear thinking. I learned early on that people are quick to anger and often let those feelings, those emotions rule their circumstance. The results are often regrettable, but once acted upon, hard to recover from.

I have no problem saying I'm sorry, when I am, and admittedly, I often am. It's sad when people can't say 'I'm sorry'...sadder still when they're not sorry when they should be. There are those that, regardless of the circumstance, view others to always be in the wrong and their own actions always justified. We all know people like this. The people that talk over you when you try to get a word in...ever. The people whose opinion of what you're going through is much more important to them than what you are actually going through. Seriously, the old saying 'unless you've walked in my shoes' is so very accurate. How easy it is to judge, especially when you've never experienced what you're judging.

You know, NO ONE ever deserves to be mistreated, to be cheated, to be lied to or lied about. It's like saying that a woman deserves to be raped because of the way she dresses, or the rich deserve to be stolen from because they have more than the thief. We're making excuses for those who have wronged, and placing blame on those who were wronged. How is it ever acceptable to make excuses for those who have wronged others, simply because it's easier than holding them accountable? I understand the enabler mentality, I simply don't agree with it or approve of it. Holding others accountable for their actions teaches them not to repeat their mistakes, teaches them to stand on their own and face what they've done, and that they will be held responsible for their actions. Why put your arm around a rapist, patting him on the shoulder, comforting him while saying 'She was dressed like such a tramp, look at all that makeup she was wearing!'...or coddling the thief saying 'Why would anyone need 4 cars? I can't believe they'd buy a house that big!'? Does it in any way hold them responsible? Victims are victims and those in the wrong are wrong. Period. Is it not bad enough that the victim has been wronged, must they also come under attack for having been the victim?

Sometimes those who refuse to jump on the bandwagon to beat up those who've already been beaten, are also rebuked and cast aside. I think it's one of the reasons people are shy to stand up for what they believe, and thank God for those who do stand up for what is right. Thank God for those who chance the ridicule and judgment of others to offer help and comfort to those who need it, to those who deserve it.

I learned as a child, a long time ago, that I had to hold up for myself because I had no one to hold up for me. I learned that just because someone was bigger than I was or because there were more of 'them' than there was of me, alone and all by myself, it didn't make them right, or give them the right to abuse me. Even though I have always been there for my kids, and I always will be, I also teach them that they don't need anyone to stand with them to stand for what is right. Regardless of what has been thrown at them lately, and all they've lost, they've still not felt sorry for themselves or ever played the victim card. Seems that card is played mostly by those in the wrong, in fact...they've probably had to buy several decks lately just to have enough victim cards to go around.