This one was staring at me from Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA. Charles never wanted to live anywhere else. He loved Richmond. He loved the graffiti, the statues, the cobblestones, the river. Whatever his goals were as a famous rapper, he wanted this city to stay his home.
My friend Laurie sent me this as a “thinking about you” #griefheart. She and I are part of that club no one wants to be in. She and her husband Scott lost their son Dawson to an overdose in 2014 and I am dedicating this one to his memory.
For 4 1/2 years, we went to Families Anonymous and after every meeting, the group says this prayer.
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
This is not to take the place of appropriate mental health care. It is a self-help guide is for those who self harm and want to stop but are not sure how from a woman who has struggled and managed to break the vicious cycle of self harm.
Self-harm is on the rise at an alarming rate, not only amongst teens but adults as well. If you are sitting in a classroom or a school auditorium, glance around you.
Would you think that any of the people you see, be it friends or strangers have self-inflicted scars, bruises or injuries? … Read more...
Charles loved his dog. He wanted one forever. He begged in middle school and I felt so guilty for saying no. I knew a dog would require my time no matter what my kids said about “doing everything.”
On his 15th birthday, we finally got Charles a dog. The world rejoiced! We got Andy from my friend Diane’s daughter who had to move to a new apartment that didn’t allow dogs. It was love at first sight.
Andy is still with us. I never thought the dog would outlive our son.
On the eve of the millennium, I wrote both my children a letter that I ended up giving to them on their 16th birthday.
Charles kept his letter and the creases and letter were well worn which indicated he had opened it and read it often in the 4 years before he died at 20.
After his suicide, we got his backpack back and in it he had every single card or letter I had written him while he was away at boarding school, every family picture he could find and have printed out– and this letter.
Jenny sent this to me. She said when she saw it, she thought of this project. I never saw hearts everywhere until I started this project. In fact, I confess that I kind of hated them. I thought they were corny. And now I have a project featuring hearts. 180 degree turn around. And it’s contagious because now all of you are seeing them.
Pie seems so appropriate today because we had a cookout with family and pie always reminds me of family gatherings. We missed you Charles but we carried you in our hearts.
Charles wrote his raps in a composition book, the kind he used to use since kindergarten. This heart is made out of the cover. He used some spiral notebooks, too. About 15+ are missing. Could be as many as 25 or 30. He was a prolific writer.
My heart is with them and I wish I could get them back, especially the one he loaned out in rehab and never got back. He had had that one with him since the Family School days in Hancock NY. I have to hope his words are out there helping someone else now. … Read more...