Day 75 threads of evil

Today is Monday.  Today I continued my reading of a novel by Ruta Sepetys, between shades of gray.  Ruta is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee.  This resonates for me because my grandparents emmigrated from Lithuania and settled in Boston.

Ruta’s novel gives a voice to the thousands of people murdered under Joseph Stalin’s reign of terror.  In the story, a woman who has a mental breakdown because she lost her baby, is murdered by the NKVD, shot in the head like a dog.

Over the past year, a series of controversial police killings of unarmed victims — including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Tamir Rice in Cleveland and Eric Garner on Staten Island — has raised questions over what it takes for officers to face criminal ­charges. Often, the public is divided over whether the police went too far. Only in rare cases­ do prosecutors and grand juries decide that the killing cannot be justified.

Such cases include a Michigan state trooper who shot and killed an unarmed homeless man in Detroit as he was shuffling toward him, the man’s pants down past his knees. The incident was captured on video, and the officer, who said he thought the man had a gun, was charged with second-degree murder. A jury accepted the officer’s account and found him not guilty. He remains on the job.” The Washington Post

I  compared this novel to Eric Metaxas’ great work, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.  This is another great book discussing how  “Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents and saboteurs worked to dismantle the Third Reich from the inside. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a pastor and author.”

One particular candidate calls Mexican people criminals, rapists, drug dealers and need to be walled out.  But, where will he put the current Mexican people in this country?  He advocates violence and offers to pay the legal fees of those committing acts of violence.  He asks his followers to promise they will vote for him no matter what.  They raise their hands in an eerie and chilling salute.

History always repeats itself if you let it………….

Day 74 Great Wealth

Today is Sunday.  Today I took a long walk around my neighborhood to get a bit of sunshine after several days of continual rain.  Mind you, I like the rain; but I like it interspersed with several days of sunshine.  🙂

I was thinking how wealthy I am.  Really, Leann?  Oh, not in a way that a politician or a Wall Street banker looks at wealth; the kind of wealth I’m talking about is in relationships.

Most people probably know by now that Paul and I lost pretty much everything when it comes to material goods and money.  We lost our house, our small retirement funds and I even had to sell the little bit of jewelry I owned. I would say our net worth as a family wouldn’t make it on any list.

Matt has said to me a number of times, “Mom, in all this terrible injustice, just look at all the cool people we have had the privilege to meet.”

No truer words can be said.  When I think about people who encourage us from all over the world, I feel like I have been given something very precious.  It humbles me and makes me swell up with deep gratitude.

To those who have become dear dear friends, you are priceless.  I would give up a hundred retirement accounts, houses, jewelry to be called your friend.

If in this world you have even one true friend who will stand with you and love you in all circumstances when many people are self serving and have no integrity, then you have great wealth.

In this ongoing battle against injustice and evil, thank you to all those who remain steadfast and loyal.  I love you all and it is an honour to be in your circle.

Peace, solidarity, and so much love….Leann

 

 

 

Day 73 Visitation

Today is Saturday.  Today, I had the privilege of seeing my son, Matt, and hugging him (more than once).

Today, Paul and I started at 8:00 am trying to get through security prior to seeing Matt.  After filling out forms and making sure ID’s, ones and fives adding up to less than $20 and our car key was placed in a plastic bag, we were directed to walk through the metal detector.

As usual, I did not pass.  I always set off metal detectors.  Maybe it’s my magnetic personality.  The two guards looked at me and asked me to remove my glasses.  Nope, didn’t work.  Now they asked me to remove the metal buttons on the pockets of my jeans.  You mean I had to rip my buttons off?

“If you don’t get rid of the metal, you can’t go through,” one guard informed me.

Okay.  I have to admit I was getting upset thinking I would not be able to see my son.  I stood out in the parking lot and had a bit of a 2 year old style tantrum.

Paul, who is infinitely more calm about these things, suggested I change my jeans and anything else that might have metal.  So, I pulled my other pants out of the laundry which in no way matched what I was wearing and yes, I ditched the bra.

So, bra-less and wearing pants that should have gone into the wash, I tossed my glasses in a plastic container as well as my shoes and I strode through that damn detector daring it to make one little beep.  I am the kid’s mother and no way was one stinking metal detector and two guards going to keep me from seeing my kid.

As, you guessed, I made it through no beeps.  Even the guards breathed a sigh of relief.  Do you think they could tell by the look in my eyes that things would not go well for anyone if I did not get to go through?

Matt looks great!  He has a tan.  He is dressed in Khakis and as Adrian Humphrey’s once commented on Matt’s smile as being large and goofy…there it was lighting up his whole face.

Six hours.  We got to spend six hours and some folks there suggested we get games because one runs out of things to say after an hour.  But, as you might imagine, the DeHarts did not run out of things to say.  It is the only time we can talk without being monitored.  Trust me, we had much to say.

Thank you to all of those who wanted to send wishes and hugs; they were delivered..:)

 

 

 

 

Day 72 beauty from brokenness

Today is Friday.  Today, I had the wonderful privilege of watching a friend of mine speak.  My friend, David, was in prison for many years in California.  I was his academic advisor for a program he was enrolled in.  We became good friends.

Instead of giving into despair, he used his time to develop several programs in prison including surviving substance abuse.  He became a counselor and his programs were so successful, national level people wanted to work with him.

He was given early parole from a very lengthy sentence.  Since his release, he found a beautiful wife with a child and he is still making a difference in the lives of others.

I am so proud of my friend and how he has been so blessed.  Thank you, David, for your struggle and your willingness to use it to serve and improve the lives of others.

“It is simply a confession that with all that I’ve seen in the last few years, all the events I’ve been invited to, and all the people whom I’ve met, I am less and less impressed by “impressive” things or people who are presented as having things figured out. I am impressed by people who are honest and kind. I am inspired by moments of vulnerability, moments of confession and compassion, moments where someone makes it clear that they are a person in need of other people and someone else makes it clear that the first person is not alone.”
― Jamie Tworkowski

Day 71 Unrestrained

Today is Thursday.  Today Chelsea Manning’s legal team filed an appeal to challenge the exorbitant amount of time to which she has been sentenced.  Chelsea, you are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Today I wrote another poem as a tribute to journalists, truthtellers and whistleblowers.

UNRESTRAINED

Unless I speak truth unbridled, uncensored, unequivocally,

No one will really know the secret and evil plans wrought against

Remarkable people who still believe in powerful ideas

Envisioning a world of equality, justice, love and peace

Serving the greater good only to find themselves slandered as

Traitors, terrorists, criminals by power hungry madmen who

Rip off and alienate the poor and the working class to satisfy

Avarice and their unquenchable thirst for godlike control

Indiscriminately conniving, murdering, silencing and plundering

Nations for every resource without regard for the future generations

Ensuring the continual destruction of millions of  innocents.

Does this not validate why I must speak the truth unrestrained?

Leann 2016

Day 70 Candle Holder

Today is Wednesday.  Today, I was moved to write a poem to remember, to recognize, to applaud.

Candle Holder

He saw what was hidden, meant to be unseen,

He saw what was hidden, evil indeed.

He doubts, he second guesses, he wouldn’t believe,

But it nags, it gnaws, it pricks until it bleeds.

It moved silently with whispers of white dusty death;

No “God bless you” would save some a breath.

He saw what was hidden, meant to be unseen,

He saw what was hidden, evil indeed.

Three letters saw three letters until all letters became blind,

By power corrupted, power opaque, power redefined.

Thousands upon thousands would come to pay the ultimate price,

As ignorance, delusion and patriotism marched obediently to their sacrifice.

He saw what was hidden, meant to be unseen,

He saw what was hidden, evil indeed.

Virulent greed is ravenous and its belly will never be full;

It sucks the marrow and makes commodity of the world as a whole;

A cancer destroying brave vocal chords, crippling protesting hands and torturing brilliant minds:

Searching for disciples in the morally weak, the wealthy, the wicked in high places it finds.

He saw what was hidden but then evil knew,

Indeed evil disparaged, evil punished, and evil tortured him, too.

Truth has way of creating light for others to see,

When evil tries to extinguish the candle–

holder, you see.

Leann 2016

Day 69 Rain

Today is Tuesday.  Today the rain fell like endless tears from the brokenhearted.  The sky sighed as it squeezed its gray billowing cheeks, pinched its eyes shutting out the light and let the falling tears rain over as far as I could see.

Today as I drove into work and had to run from the parking lot to my building in a vain effort to keep from getting soaked, I felt irritated as large swollen drops splatted against my face.

If he has a window and that’s a big if, does he see the rain and wish he could stand in it and feel its cool wetness caress his face.  Does he breathe in deeply that fresh smell as it washes away the stench of prison?

Today, I ran errands during my lunch, frustrated that some of the paper goods I bought would get wet and possibly ruined.  I stepped in a puddle with my sandals and growled.

Does he remember jumping into a puddle right next to his mother just to see the look on her face?  Does he remember sticking his tongue out to see how rain tasted and could he fill his whole mouth with water if he caught enough drops?

Today as I drove home from work, I wondered if the stuff would ever stop falling.  I passed trucks on the highway because I am not a fan of being behind them as they seem to send waves of water in my direction.

Can he fall asleep while listening to the tap tap tap of rain beating on the roof above his cell?  Or, is it the just the sounds of other restless inmates, some crying, some snoring, others praying and still others shouting obscenities to no one, to everyone?

Today, I stood at the door and watched the rain fall like endless tears from the brokenhearted.  Today I breathed in the fresh smell and I will fall asleep listening to the gentle tap tapping of the rain.

Today, I think the sky is crying with those who have loved ones in prison.  Listen to the rain, my son.