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SUICIDE: Don’t Make That Choice!

Hello Friends,

I have been feeling a little reluctant to write about this, but honestly, I don’t see how I can NOT write about it.  This will be long; bear with me, please.

On the morning of May 5th, I learned that one of my brothers committed suicide on May 4th.  In a way, I wasn’t surprised when I thought back on the last time I had spoken with him.  He called me out of the blue about a month before this and asked me if I knew where his daughter was.  I thought this was a strange question since I have not seen her since she was three years old!  She and her mom left California in the early ’80’s when her mom and my brother divorced.  Anyway, I asked him why he needed to find her.  I asked him if he was sick.  He said he wasn’t sick, but he couldn’t hardly walk anymore. He said he wanted her to be able to have all of his part of the financial investments that our parents left us “just in case something happens to me”.  In the back of my mind I had a flash of what he may have been planning.  However, I did not ask him if he was feeling suicidal.  I wish I had.   I was actually surprised that he even called me to tell you the truth.

My brother and I had a very rocky relationship for most of our lives.  I never really understood why.  I am the youngest.  He was the middle sibling.  We were four and a half years apart.  He would have been 61 this July.  He always seemed closer to our other brother.  However, throughout our lives we all really went our separate ways.  The closest I ever felt to either of them was when we went through the death of our mother in 2006.  Our father died three years later.  So our eldest brother had to handle all of the inheritance stuff.  It was a very stressful time for all of us.  Since then, we have all lived separately; my oldest brother left the area and my other brother and I never knew where he was until two years ago.

That was when my middle brother decided to call me and apologize for everything he had ever done to hurt me.  He was crying and truly sorry.  This was something I had been praying for since 1987 when God had turned my life around.  I had tried many times to make amends with him, but he was just not ready.  Needless to say, I was thankful for that call.  I told him I had forgiven him many years ago and had been praying we might be able to have that conversation someday.  I told him I had always wanted to know him and I loved him.  I asked him if we could just start to have a relationship then, but he said he didn’t want to.  He was addicted to drugs and couldn’t get clean.  He was living in a trailer park where he had been for the last 20 years.  He didn’t know how to change, and he didn’t ask anyone for help that I know of.  I felt helpless, but I let him be.  I called him a few times just to see how he was doing, but he just didn’t know how to connect with me.

I believe he suffered from mental illness his whole life; most likely anxiety and depression, just as I have since I was at least 15.  Looking back on my childhood, I now believe my dad suffered from depression and this was why he drank.  I also think my mom had anxiety issues not just because of his drinking, but because of her own chemical make-up.  She was always worrying about everything and everyone.

I went through my drug and alcohol abuse days from about 1980 to 1987.  That was the year I quit everything and got help through counseling and an ACA (adult children of alcoholics) meeting every week for a couple of years.  However, both of my brothers kept using drugs and alcohol for the rest of their lives.  My brother who died was hurt on a job many years ago and was getting pain medicine through the veterans hospital.  He was in the Navy for four years when he was right out of high school.   Apparently, though, his back became so bad, he could hardly walk anymore.  I believe that he just chose to die to escape the pain that was consuming him.

I have been that low many, many times myself emotionally.  However, I am thankful to have a loving husband and two children who love me and would never ever want me to make that choice just to escape any pain I may go through in my life.  It doesn’t solve anything, and it leaves those whom the person left behind in shock, angry, and sad.

When I learned of my brother’s suicide, I was definitely shocked.  Then I was angry for a few days.  Then I had to begin dealing with the aftermath of what would happen to him and his stuff.  At the time I didn’t have a clue as to where his daughter was.  Then his best friend found my brother’s ex-wife’s phone number.  She was contacted and then my niece was.  Yesterday I spent most of the day on the phone with my 37-year-old niece whom I do not even know.  It was strange, but good.

Hopefully, just getting in touch with her will be the blessing that comes out of his sad choice.  My brother and his daughter were estranged from each other for most of their lives as well.  I always felt sad about that, but hopefully she and I can build a relationship with one another now even though we live very far apart.

To this day I have no clue as to where my other brother lives.  We became estranged after our parents were both gone eight years ago.  He left the area and has never wanted to come back.  However, our brother who died did have a best friend who knew where our oldest brother was.  So the same month that my brother called and apologized to me, he also went and found our other brother to make amends with him as well.  However, I have no way to find our eldest brother to try and do the same.  He is living off the grid which is what he always wanted.

I know this has been a very long post; if you stayed with me, thank you.  I wrote this to encourage anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows anyone who is, to tell you to please reach out for help.  There is lots of help to be found!  First, try to talk to someone you know.  If that doesn’t help, call a local suicide hotline.  Or call 1-800-273-8255.  This is the number for Suicide Prevention Services of America.  Their website is http://www.spsamerica.org if you want more information.  I have never used their services, but I am sure there would be someone there to talk to.

Well, friends, I am definitely going to be reaching out for some help myself in dealing with this.  I have talked with someone locally whom I am planning to meet this afternoon.  Perhaps this is going to be the start of something good.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Crabapple in Opera Rose

The imaginary friend

Some lovely thoughts from my lovely friend, Julia, whom I met through blogging a long time ago. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful day and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Defeat Despair

Imagination to reality: meeting (again) in person, the smiles say it all.
Laurie, Matt, me, Kelly and Alys at Rustico’s in Old Town Alexandria, April 2017

“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.” ― Ann Patchett

I think most everyone who writes can identify with this quote. But for those of us who blog, the line takes on a magnificent blur as the imaginary friend we reach through our writing may, from time to time, step through the mist and become real to us. And for many of us, this might happen again and again, with several different people who read our words, and whose words we read, leaving us with an entire family of friends we might never meet face to face.

Just last week I was exchanging…

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Kangaroo Feet!

Hello Friends,

Here are some kangaroo feet I drew yesterday.  I was looking at this picture of these unique feet in a book about kangaroos.  This is the whole picture!  Just feet…..

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug.  🙂

P. S. May the 4th be with you!  😉

 

Hippo “Peek-a-Boo” in Pencil

Hello Friends,

Here’s a hippo I did yesterday in pencil.  I decided to venture out and get to drawing some other animals for a change.  I am in the process of working on preliminary ideas for an alphabet book.  I have some other drawings of animals for each letter, but they are small right now.  I will share them eventually.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Kangaroo in Pencil

Hello Friends,

Here is a little kangaroo hopping around, probably somewhere in Australia!  This is for you, Christine Stoner!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Hermit Crab Watercolor

Hello Friends,

Here’s a hermit crab I doodled a while back.   It is just crawling along to say hello!  It came out a little on the light side, but that was what I was trying to do since I have always tended to paint a little heavy for watercolor.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

Picture Book…Still in Progress

Hello Friends.

I know I have been working on this first picture book for a long time now, but it is coming about slowly.  Here are the paintings I have done of my illustrations so far.  They are really watercolor sketches on low-quality paper right now.   I plan to keep working on the colors; I’m not quite satisfied with the shades of grays or with how the yellows came out.  To me they look too washed out.  I have not finished all of the paintings of the illustrations yet either.  Also, I skipped painting some of the illustrations so I could do the jellyfish.  I am planning to do backgrounds for the title pages and do something for the cover, the back, and the end pages inside the book as well.

So here is my first picture book so far….

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

LARRY THE LONELY LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLE

WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED

BY

 PATSY H. PARKER

Larry is lonely.   He does not have any friends to play with.  Last week he had to say goodbye to his best friend, Alicia, because she wanted to go explore a different part of the ocean.  

“Bye, Larry.”

“Bye, Alicia.  I’ll miss you!”

 

Now Larry is sad.  He feels like crying.

So he does.

When Larry feels lonely,

he swims

 

and swims.  He is hoping to find a new friend.

Then suddenly he is surprised when his tummy starts growling.  He was missing Alicia so much, he forgot to eat!

Growl, growl!

So Larry decides to look for his favorite food.

Jellyfish!

Larry dives…

deeper,

deeper,

and deeper.

Diving is Larry’s favorite part of swimming.

He dives all the way down to the bottom of the ocean to rest.

When he looks up to see the sun shining through the water,

He sees a swarm of jellyfish!  Then they see him, too!

They swim fast to get away…

and when Larry almost catches one,

he sees another Leatherback sea turtle swimming in his direction, but she does not see

him!  Suddenly they are face to face.

They bump noses.

Larry smiles widely.  He thinks to himself, maybe she will be my friend.

She smiles shyly.

“Hi.  I’m lonely…I mean…Larry.”  He feels embarrassed.

“Hi.  I’m Lucy.”  She giggles.  Then she winks at him.  “Do you want to go catch jellyfish with me?”

“Yes, I do!  Larry answered happily.  “I almost caught earlier today!”

So Larry and Lucy swam away to catch jellyfish together.

Then Larry, the lonely Leatherback sea turtle wasn’t lonely anymore.

The End

Lenny, the Leatherback – A Poem

Hello friends,

Yesterday after I wrote about writing being tough at times, I came up with this poem, which is weird since I don’t really write poetry anymore!  Ha, ha.  And of course, it is about a sea turtle! (This is not the same “Lenny” as in my other story.  I just love this name!)  Enjoy.  🙂

Lenny, the Leatherback

Lenny, the Leatherback turtle was as large as he could be.

He loved his home,

But he was all alone

In the salty waters of the sea.

 

Lenny, the Leatherback turtle tried every day to make friends.

But jellyfish swam away fast,

Whenever he was about to pass,

They were so afraid he might eat them.

 

Lenny, the Leatherback turtle felt as lonely as he could be.

He dove down deeper…down, down,

And when he saw a clown –

Fish, he smiled and was friendly.

 

The clownfish smiled back at Lenny,

She didn’t seem to feel afraid of him.

She swam up to his side instead of trying to hide,

And asked, “Will you be my friend?”

 

By,

Patsy H. Parker

4/21/17

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Writing…Sometimes It’s…toUGH!!!

Courtesy of Google

Hello friends.

I found this quote and picture on Google today, and it encouraged me.  I have not been posting much lately, but because of some personal struggles, I have been doing the best I can.  Struggling has pushed me back into tackling some writing projects again.  I am not sure if the writing is therapeutic or not at this point, though.  It feels a bit stressful at the moment…thus, the UGH!!! in my title.

One story I began a very long time ago is “Gracie, the Green Sea Turtle.” After re-reading it, I decided to remove it from my blog for now, because I realized how many mistakes were in it so I am doing a re-write and will hopefully actually finish it.  I may post it again someday, but I think posting it before was premature and showed that at the time I did not proofread it enough!  And I am usually a stickler about proofreading.  I must have been off my meds that day…

Lately I have been working on other turtle stories and a poem this week, too.  I just jotted a short poem down this morning which still needs work.  I haven’t really written poetry in years.  I already posted “The Most Ticklish Turtle in Town” this week.  It’s a good thing, too, because somehow it has disappeared off of my laptop. I have a printed copy, but I sure didn’t want to have to type it all over again!

My daughter and I did get some good news yesterday, though.  She does NOT have classes next week due to other students doing testing.  She is a senior, so she doesn’t have any testing this year.  I don’t think she is planning on doing college classes in the fall at this point.  She is planning to join the California Conservation Corps. soon, though, which is something she has been looking forward to for the last couple of years.

This has really been a trying week; to add stress upon stress, we have been having upgrades to our hatchery done in the past few weeks, so there have been lots of planned power outages so the people can work on our power poles.  It has been very frustrating to say the least.  In addition to this, we had to have our personal (not the whole hatchery’s) internet system upgraded, because our old one was having too many problems.  All I can say at this point is TGIF!!

Hopefully, the weekend will be brighter.  My husband and are planning to go to something called “Spoken Word Night” this evening.  We have never been to one, but I guess it is “an evening for serious poets, writers, playwrights, storytellers, comedians, actors of all genres.”

I may be the least “serious” of them all at this point, but perhaps we will meet some interesting people.  They meet once a month.  So we will see how it goes.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!

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