Don’t Pretend You Know Me

I wrote this poem almost two years ago. It’s been posted on one of my MySpaces since then. I thought it would be nice to add it here as well.

Don’t pretend you know me.

Don’t try to understand.
You can never grasp the truth,
Of this person that I am.

I’m a more then just a girl.
See this smile on my face?
I’ve finally found happiness.
My heart’s in the right place.

I’ve struggled for years with uncertainty
Over a past I cannot change,
But in the past five years
It’s my thoughts I’ve rearranged.

I’ve gone from being someone
Who was unsure of life,
But with the miracle of birth of my daughter
I’m no longer filled with spite.

Some say I’ve made mistakes
And if I hadn’t I’d be better,
But who are they to judge?
I know myself to the letter.

You can sit and judge me
And talk about my choices,
But I’ve got the upper hand
I don’t listen to your petty voices.

©Nicole Normandeau-Ireland

Are You Going to Finish Strong?

My aunt sent me the link to this Nick Vujicic video this morning and I am not ashamed to say, as I watched it, I cried. This guy is inspiring. Wow! What a great message to send to people.

Keep a tissue handy. You might need it.

If you’d like to learn more about Nick, then visit his site Life Without Limbs

Child Abuse is WRONG!!

Yesterday, I heard about a man in the town near mine that broke his 15-month-old son’s legs. The father told his son’s mother that the baby fell. He also tried covering up what happened by giving the baby pain killers. What a dumbass!! You can’t snap a baby’s legs and think it will all be better if you give it pain killers. Not only did he break his son’s legs, he could have killed him by doing something so stupid.

The sad part is, this P.O.S. was let out on $500 bail. He hurt an innocent human being and they let him out?

It seems like each time I turn on the television, I hear some new story about a parent harming their child. What the hell is wrong with these people? Why do they think it is okay to do that to someone?

I’ve thought about it a lot, and I know it sounds extreme, but I think people that do these sorts of things should NEVER be allowed to have another kid. History tends to repeat itself. I know I may get flack for it, but these people should be fixed so they are never allowed to procreate again. You can think I’m wrong all you want, but picture this:

Picture being this father, your little boy is upset and crying, and you decide that the best way to get him to stop is to bend his legs outward until you hear them snap. As you do it, this innocent little baby is staring at you, pleading with you with his eyes to stop hurting him. All he knows is the man that he loves is making him hurt. He doesn’t understand. He’s scared and yet you continue to do it, not caring that you are causing harm to this child.

Seriously picture what I wrote because that is what happened to that little boy.

I know the look my son gets when I tell him no he can’t do something. His eyes well up with tears and he gets this frown on his face. Picture that magnified by an act of violence. That’s what that little baby felt. NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO DO THAT TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING!!

Every time I think about this little guy, and what his father did to him, I cry. My stomach knots up and I end up sick. Why aren’t these children being watched out for? What did they do to deserve that kind of treatment? All they want is to be loved. That’s not asking too much.

I’m sorry for my emotional tirade, but I’m really upset by this story, by any story like this. More so lately.

Difficult Decision Made

There comes a time in all of our lives when we are forced to make a difficult decision. At those times, you have to weigh both sides of the issue. A rash decision cannot be made. You have to reflect on the things that are bothering you in order to make the best possible informed decision.

I know some people are concerned about me and how I’m going to help my family get by now that I’ve resigned from my previous place of employment. Well, with the pay issues that I was experiencing, my resignation has no effect on the family, at least not yet. I know in a month, it could be a different story, but right now, the only thing that has changed is that I’m not getting up in the morning and working.

It’s a shame that I had to do what I did because I really enjoyed my work. I took pride in it. Even so, just because you like the work you do, and you’re good at it, it doesn’t always mean that the company is the best place for you to be. Sometimes that can be a very difficult distinction to make, but one that is necessary in order to remain true to your self and your family.

My decision truly was not an easy one. In fact, one of the hardest parts was telling two people that I answered to that I was done. I didn’t want to make their lives more difficult. I didn’t want to create more stress for them. It upset me a great deal to tell them I could no longer work with them. Believe me, I tossed and turned the entire night before. My mind kept playing over everything that I’ve seen, heard and experienced. No matter what I did, I couldn’t turn my brain off.

A few of you know that the past two and a half months have been rough for me. I’ve had to go to the emergency room three different times because of one thing or another. I’ve been really sick. The last time was the worst. I ended up dehydrated and on an IV because I could not keep one thing down. I’d lost weight, which isn’t entirely a bad thing, but the way it happened was.

In addition to my health issues, I had the stress of the holidays and not having enough money to give my kids the type of Christmas I wanted them to have. I had to worry about not being paid on time. I had to worry about missing time from work because of a power outage. (I was without power for six days.)

Last week was the hardest time of all over the past two and a half months. My husband’s Grammie was killed when she was struck by a logging truck while on her way to check her mail. It wasn’t the driver’s fault. John’s Grammie didn’t hear him or see him when she stepped into the road. He did all he could to stop. None of us in the family blame him for what happened. We know he did all that he could for her. We also know that he has to live with the things that he saw for the rest of his life. That’s not something anyone should have to live with. Even so, we are heartbroken that we had to lose such an amazing woman in such a tragic way.

John’s Grammie was very special to so many people, me included. She had, I believe, 6 children, 19 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. You add in all the spouses and that’s one big group of people that cared about her. Through all of us, her legacy will on.

Part of her legacy was teaching all of us to never give up, to live our lives as best that we can, to make the most out of hard situations, to appreciate every moment that we are given on this Earth and to tell those around us that we love them.

Because of the lessons she taught us, I realized that decisions had to be made regarding my job. Last week I had not made any final decisions, but the thoughts were in the back of my mind. Things this week just clenched the idea for me. It was not a spur of the moment decision, but one that was weighed carefully.

My decision was partially based on the stress that I’ve been under because I couldn’t pay my bills on time. My stress was also partially due to the fact that our cupboards were near empty. I kept feeling like I was failing my family because I wasn’t bringing in the money that I was supposed to in order to help provide for the things in life that we need.

When I get stressed, I get moody, which in turn effects my family. That’s not fair to them. Why should they have to be subjected to that? They shouldn’t. It’s my fault for allowing my self to be that way. The best way to cut out that stress was to remove myself from the situation that was causing it.

Another reason for the decision I made was that I was losing all of my self-respect. I felt like a doormat. I don’t like being walked on. I knew the situation would not change though, so I had to change my involvement in it.

One thing I want to say is this. I will miss working with all of you. (You know who you are.) I’ve met some truly talented people and made some great friends. I’ve honed my writing skills. (They aren’t perfect, but they are a lot better than they were.) I loved the team atmosphere that we had. I loved knowing we were all working towards a common goal. I won’t soon forget any of it.

I do not look at my situation as the end of something. I look at it as the beginning of something new. I look at it as the next chapter in the book of my life. I look at it as taking a new fork in the road. I look at it as a necessary move that I had to make. Sure, it would be easy for me to let my anger and disappointment consume me, but I won’t. I’ve decided to take the high road, the one less traveled by some people.

As far as future employment goes, I still have my work at a pizza dough production company that I’ve been with since 2003. Among my duties there, I maintain our HACCP program, which I created several years ago. I know the work I do there is appreciated. It’s not overlooked and I’m always paid every Tuesday, without fail, sometimes earlier if it falls on a holiday.

I also have applications in to several places. Right now, it’s just a waiting game to hear back from them. I have no doubt that I will find other jobs to fill the void. I’m confident that my family will make it through this.

It’s Never Too Late

This year I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo. For those that aren’t familiar with the term, it means National Novel Writing Month. What that means is this. Each participant must try and write a 50,000-word novel by midnight on November 30, 2008. That equals out to about a175-page novel by the end of the month. Yes, that’s a lot of writing to do. It’s quite the daunting task.

This is not my first crack at writing a novel. However, it’s my first crack at NaNo. I’ve written novels in the past, but it’s been quite some time.

Writing has always been an important part of my life, but I set it aside for awhile when I found myself pregnant with my son. I was horribly sick and had little energy. We also moved into a new house during my pregnancy. Because of all the changes, my love for writing just kept being pushed further and further under the rug, where it collected dust. I sometimes wondered if I’d ever get back into it again.

Now I’m not saying I didn’t write anything. I did. In fact, I wrote several small article pieces for a friend’s website. I also wrote several editorial-style pieces on David Cook while he was on American Idol. I also worked for Mahalo.com, which involved a great deal of writing. But none of these things had to do with writing a novel. They were more like exercises for me to flex my writing muscle.

A month ago, I started noticing my coworkers from Mahalo talking about NaNo. I was instantly intrigued. I checked out the website and told myself, “you know what, I can do this.” I knew it had been awhile since I had tried to, but that didn’t matter. It’s like having a new baby five years after your first one. You think you’ve forgotten how to take care of a newborn, but you find as soon as you hold it in your arms for the first time, it all comes rushing back in a flood.

Since starting my current work-in-progress, it has seen so many changes that it’s a wonder my head hasn’t exploded. I originally started out with the idea that my story would take place in Scotland during the time of William Wallace. Well, it wasn’t long before I started changing things up. Now, I find my characters aren’t in Scotland during that time at all. In fact, they are in a completely fictional reality that I’ve created to suit their needs and lives.

I also started the book out in a third person point of view, but just last night I realized that the story would be more affective if I changed it to a first person POV. Am I crazy? Maybe so, but it felt like the correct decision to make.

What do both of these changes mean? Essentially, December is going to involve a great deal of rewriting and filling in of gaps. Am I up to the challenge? Let’s put it this way, in the words of Sarah Palin, “You betcha.”

I can say this, out of everything I’ve ever written, this story has filled me with such an immense amount of pride. Maybe it’s because it’s such a monumental task to reach the 50,000-word goal when you have other things going on in your life. Maybe it’s because I was on hiatus for so long. Or maybe it’s because I’ve connected with the characters in my story so much that they truly have taken on a life of their own. Or finally, maybe it’s because this story feels like THE ONE. You know, the one that finally ends up published.

Whatever the case may be, I’m so happy that I took the time to participate in NaNoWriMo. Whether or not I hit the 50,000 word mark by November 30, it won’t matter because I already feel like such a success for getting this far.

Before closing, I have to give a special thanks to two people.

Jackie – You have been such an amazing friend to me over the past few years. You have been a great support and the ultimate cheerleader. You’ve pushed me along and helped me to become a much more confident person. I can’t imagine a better best friend than you. Yes, we are separated by many miles, but you’re always in my heart, offering me the guidance that I need. Thank you for that.

Jenny – I know we’ve worked together at Mahalo for quite some time, but it wasn’t until very recently that we started talking. I’m a firm believer that people come into your lives at a specific time for specific reasons. I know you came into mine exactly when you were supposed to. In you, I’ve found a kindred spirit. One who doesn’t think I’m a complete head case when I’m being indecisive about my writing. In the short time I’ve known you, you’ve already taught me so much and I thank you for that. It means so much to me.

My Writing Soundtrack

Not that long ago, my friend Jenny blogged about the music she listens to while writing. I, too, listen to music when I’m working. I tend to listen to music that has a common theme and could be used as a soundtrack to the story that I’m creating. I don’t stick within the confines of one genre. It tends to be spread out and all encompassing.

Currently, I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo. As I sit down and write each day, or at least attempt to, I turn on my music player and let the music carry me along, transforming my thoughts and feelings into coherent ideas that I can put on paper or computer screen. Sometimes it provides me with additional inspiration that I need in order to follow through with an epiphany that I’ve had.

Here’s a partial track list for my current work-in-progress. American Idol fans will undoubtedly notice that a vast majority of the songs are ones recorded by Idol contestants.

1-You Redeem Me – Ace Young
2-Hard Hand to Hold – Ace Young
3-A Daily AntheM – David Cook
4-Light On – David Cook
5-Never Think – Rob Pattinson
6-I Wanna Grow Old With You – Westlife
7-Obvious – Westlife
8-I Did it For You – Westlife
9-In This Life – Collin Raye and Westlife
10-Wait For You – Elliot Yamin
11-Avalanche – David Cook
12-Crush – David Archuleta
13-Permanent – David Cook
14-Du Hast – Rammstein
15-I’d Lie For You (And That’s the Truth) – Meatloaf
16-The Girl That Got Away – Ace Young
17-Take My Breath Away – Berlin
18-Stare at You – NKOTB
19-(Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
20-One More Day – Diamond Rio
21-Hungry Eyes – Eric Carmen
22-Your Man – Josh Turner
23-Better in Time – Leona Lewis
24-Faithfully – Journey
25-What Might Have Been – Little Texas
26-Amazed – Lonestar
27-Angel Eyes – The Jeff Healey Band
28-Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
29-The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack
30-This Woman Needs – SheDAISY
31-You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
32-Queen of My Heart – Westlife
33-Unbreakable – Westlife
34-Music of the Night – Phantom of the Opera soundtrack

I Just Don’t Understand

I’ve been following the story of the murder of Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother, along with the subsequent disappearance of her nephew. Today, a body of a young boy believed to be Julian King was found. An official ID has not been made, but the FBI are saying that the body is that of Julian King. Jennifer Hudson was reported to be en route to the coroner’s office to make a positive ID.

As the day has progressed, further details have been released about the body that was discovered. Every new piece of information just turns my stomach more. What did this little boy do to deserve such a fate? Regardless of whether or not it’s actually Julian, what child deserves that? NONE! It’s not fair that this poor child had to go through such an ordeal. The pain his family is feeling is beyond belief.

UPDATE: As I write this, a press conference is now being held regarding the body. It has been confirmed that the body is that of Julian King.

I’m just heartsick over this news. Every time I hear news about a child that is missing or murdered, it makes me ill. I start thinking about how I would handle if it was one of my children involved.

I am beyond words right now.

Please Read…This May Just Change Your Life

Good evening!

As most of my friends know, teen suicide prevention, and suicide prevention in general, is extremely important to me. When an opportunity arises for me to address this issue, and to possibly make a difference in someone’s life, I take it. Below you will find a message from a good friend of mine who dealt with a very tragic loss a year ago. Please take the time to read his message, along with his mother’s. It just may make a difference in your life or someone else’s.

If you are reading this blog post and are having suicidal thoughts, please visit SuicideHotlines.com to find help in your area. Please remember, you’re never alone. I know at times it may feel that way, but there are people out there who do love and care about you, you just need to let them in. Please, don’t think that suicide is the only way out.

Thank you!







Message From a Mother’s Broken Heart

This letter took me one year to write. I believed and hoped that with time it would be easier to write, but one year ago I lost my son and I have to say it’s not any easier to write now than when it happened. I have so much to say, to tell the world about a young man, who had so much to live for, but who didn’t know how to forgive himself and he felt escaping life was the only way he could tell everyone how sorry he was.

What I want to say to everyone who will take the time to read my message is; don’t take for granted that your loved one will always be here. It doesn’t matter if you have a disagreement with the person you love. It’s o.k. to be angry at them, but make sure you also let them know I STILL LOVE YOU, because we all make mistakes.

I just want to tell you a little about my story; the main message of my story is to TREAT others the way you would want to be TREATED, in everything you do in life. Kenneth, my son shot himself in the chest and died in his car in my arms because he couldn’t forgive himself. All the reasons behind this is another story for another time. When the ambulance got there, they asked me to step out of the car, and they spent all of 2 minutes with my son. They got out of his car, took their plastic gloves off and proceeded to go back to their truck. I’d like to mention it wasn’t an obvious thing what had happen; when I got there I didn’t realize what had happened for several minutes. I started yelling to them,” please Mister, please help my son”, to that I received no answer, “please Mr. please don’t walk away”. For I saw them do nothing, they didn’t get any reviving machines or equipment out of their truck to try to revive my son, they spent all of 2 minutes in the car with him and walked away, “Please Mr. please help my son!” but there was no help for my son. I wasn’t allowed to go back in the car to hold him one last time. I waited outside the car crying for over 2 hours looking at my son, still hoping and praying desperately for a miracle to happen and to see some kind of movement from him. I kept asking everybody, please try to help him, please don’t give up, but no one tried. I waited for the police to come to declare a crime scene. I watched as my son’s body lay in his car for over 2 hours, until the coroner came to officially declare him, dead. I cried, angry at them, angry at God, angry at myself, how can this be happening, how can this be real. I just saw him earlier that evening dropping his kids off and when I asked him, where he was going, he said to me “mom I’ll be right back”, little could I have known those would be the last words I would ever hear from him. My son was 6’1” tall, a body builder in perfect health and one of the most handsome men ever. When the police arrived they showed a little more compassion and called the Chaplin, who tried to be as helpful as she could, comforting my daughter-in-law and me.

The scenario goes on till they took my son out of his car almost 3 hours later and I was then allowed to kiss him and say my last good bye to him.

There is a point to my story, it is much more than just telling you how my son died, it wasn’t until I had to experience such horror that the reality of how we as people, treat each other became very real to me. The moral of my story is to treat people the way you would want to be treated in everything you do in this life. We all deserve that, no one should be treated less because you never know when one day it may be your child or loved one.

This part I know may read as if I’m trying to place blame but that is not what I’m doing, just please continue to read and try to follow what I’m trying to say to you.

My son sat in his car in a parking lot, at a place, which is said to have 24-hour security and surveillance. A place where you are suppose to have a parking permit to park there, yet he had no parking permit and no one ever approached him to ask him what was he doing there, or to move his car. He just got to sit in his car and decide that the world was better off without him. What if the security personnel really did their job that day, I may not be writing this story.

I can’t help but think, what if this had happened to one of the ambulance people’s child or loved one, I wonder if they would have spent only 2 minutes trying to revive him. I can’t believe that they wouldn’t have tired everything possible to try to revive him before giving up so soon.

What if it were your son?

We were told by coroner’s office that because they were told it was a suicide they did not feel the need to perform a detailed autopsy report. Wouldn’t you want to know every detail and not hear a bunch of assumptions if it were your child? Wouldn’t you want to make sure that there was no foul play involved in his death? I say just do your job to its best each and every time; treat every case you get as if it were your loved one.

Weeks later I tried to get the police report, and to get my son’s belonging from the coroner, which I am sad to say I was never able to get. I was told to hire a lawyer to get a subpoena in order to get the police report. The coroner said they didn’t have his belongings, no one knew where his things were. After going to the different places to get my son’s belongings and the police report it finally became apparent to me I wasn’t going to get these things and I finally gave up.

What if this was your child, how would you feel?

Aside from all of these things I know I’m suppose to just grieve and get over it, but really what if this happened to you and it was your child, wouldn’t you want everything possible to be done in each and every situation? Why then should I have to be satisfied with the poor uncaring way that my son was treated as well as my family?

Kenneth Fredrick Fuller was an extremely important person in our lives and we shall never forget him. I wish no one has to experience the cold, uncaring treatment my family and I have had to endure.

It’s been a year and I have to get this message out, the message is to – TREAT OTHERS LIKE YOU WOULD WANT AND EXPECT TO BE TREATED, IN EVERYTHING YOU DO IN THIS LIFE. Do your best or don’t do it at all. And if you are a person who feels as my Kenny did, that the world is better off without you, please, please know that you make a difference in someone’s life. Yes you make mistakes and yes you may feel no one will even miss you or notice that you are gone, but it’s a lie.

Someone will notice and you not being here will change someone’s entire world, there is a reason you are here, please find that reason, take it from me and my entire family – you will be missed! I now know the answer to the question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The answer is YES!

Kenneth Fredrick Fuller
March 20, 1976 – October 6, 2007
My son, I wish you understood, you were not a mess up, you just made mistakes like all of us do. The world isn’t a better place without you, you have left a very large empty hole in the world and in our hearts, a hole that no one will ever be able to fill. You thought everyone would be better off without you, you were wrong, we will NEVER be better off without you, you are and always will be apart of us. You were a GREAT man to us, yes you made mistakes, yes you were not perfect, but neither are we. You were the best son a mother could ever have; you were also a loved brother, husband, father, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend. It may have been a year ago, but to us, it was yesterday.

Kenneth, May You Find peace