What I'm about to tell you is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God. The truth is a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it. In the movie "A Dark Truth" with Andy Garcia he says "at the end of the day all we can do is search for the truth, learn from it, and most importantly defend it." Search for the truth is the noblest occupation of man; it's publication is a duty. I'm asking for your interest and wisdom in believing in our series of events, and understanding my need to tell these stories. It has been said that every man has a story. I want to openly share all that we've seen, heard, and learned.

    I pray to God this book will touch your heart and help make people the persons we're all meant to be. Good, honest, caring, human beings. To do whatever you can to get your divine truth within yourself out. To stand up for what's right, pure, pertinent, and meaningful. Helping and encouraging others, however and whenever I can, has always been one of my life's goals. The purpose of life is a life of purpose.

    Almost half a century has passed, and a few of the details I'm writing may be a bit blurred, but the memories of my heart and mind are as alive today as then were back then. I remember all too well. Sometimes I wish my retention of things years gone by wasn't as good as it is. But be that as it may, they are very good. And so is my burning desire to tell it like it is. It's the memories that are hardest to forget that seem easier to remember. All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered, the point is to discover them. There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. That's why I started writing this book. The stories I had inside me I felt compelled to get out. I needed to speak my mind from my heart.

    This book does deal with a lot of very, intense, human emotions. Which everyone of us experiences at sometime in our lives. One of the most empowering lessons in life is to remember; it isn't fair. If you can make yourself understand that disappointment will always be a part of the equation, regardless of how unfair life can feel at times, you'll survive. Then your recovery will be much faster, the stress of it will feel much lighter, and the disappointment will be much easier to overcome. Like when my father passed away. Though I never truly overcame that tragedy. My only salvation was keeping my mind set on the fact we'd meet again in a far better place.

    The creative spirit thrives on freedom and a daring will. And what we do not claim remains invisible. And though I so often felt invisible, I no longer wanted to remain that way. I felt I had something important to say, and was hoping someone would listen. Each life has a story behind it. "We are all pencils in the hand of God writing love letters to the world. Though I wish this book projected a little more goodness in it.

    Writing this book has been my driving force, my goal, my passion, my challenge, and my belief in myself. It's what we as humans need to keep us going. Goals. You can bury the story, but you can't hide the truth. I believe every life has a story, whether it's lovely or not. And even more important, when it's more realistic then you ever wanted or felt it could be. Your story is what you carry with you through life, that you rightfully own. This is my story.

    

    Again and again the impossible is solved when you see that the problem is only a tough decision waiting to be made. The important thing about a problem is not it's solution, but the strength we have gained in solving the problem and to gain resolve. To feel good about yourself, move on, and enrich your life. And remember others who are deserving of your love and generosity along the way. I realized early on you must have willpower to understand life is a test of lessons and heartaches that you push yourself through. And you must force the courage deep within you to carry on. Courage is not the lack of fear, but the ability to face it.

      Simply put, life on earth is a test. And when you understand life is a test you start to realize that nothing is insignificant. That the smallest of incidences has a significant effort on the character development of who you are, and what you come to be. Life can truly throw you so off balance. That's why you need to try to be levelheaded. Problems do not go away. They must be worked through, or else they remain forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit. I'm always instructing myself to take deep breaths, and believe there's a silver lining. I remind myself all the time to feel happy for what I have, try and remain calm, trust God, and believe there's better for us. In this great somewhere out there?    

    And remind yourself of the small things, the important things, in life that bring you that joy and I hold tight to them. No matter how silly or misunderstood by others they may be. Their what matters to you and that's what's important. That is my only son, Michael. Thank God their there for you and hold them dear to your heart. Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

    While experiencing living, I have learned that life's greatest lessons grew within me as time went by. No matter how difficult they were, I still kept going. First, you must always do what is right. Second, every time you hear a "no" it can lead to a "yes." And that every loss can lead to a gain, even if your only gain was knowledge. For knowledge is the only weapon we've got left. I would not be the person I am today if I had not lost so much, and still kept the belief in myself to move forward. If I had not done what was right, rather than what was easy.

    Another chapter of our lives was about to open. And as often as our lives are always filled with such bad luck, or the wrong things happening, I was scared. Life changing events we were not looking forward to. We didn't want. Never warned about, remotely ready for, or aware of. We desperately needed time, but time was not on our side. Major decisions were needed to be made immediately. The stress, oh dear God, the stress. Our pleasant surroundings and wonderful lives were gone. I realized the obvious magnitude of our situations, yet still refused to give up.

    Why do so many kind people have so much heartache to deal with everyday? I'd look up to the heavens and ask God that question almost everyday. I have come to learn that that is just a natural part of our mortal existence and plays a vital role in the process called life. We would not find growth and strength if our challenges and goals were gotten the easy way out. And boy don't we ever know that. Growth is an erratic forward motion: two steps forward, and one step back. Remember that, and be very gentle with yourself.

    Don't let yourself feel punished by your failures or problems. I'm constantly wondering why I have so many difficulties myself. There truly isn't any legitimate answer to that. The most important thing about a problem is not it's solution, but in the strength we gained in figuring out the answer. Challenges in life bring discovery. They bring out the best in yourself that you would otherwise have never known, and the opportunity to rise above them. For those who dare to fail miserably, can achieve greatly.

    We need to understand that the trauma in our lives is not what defines us. It's how we react, stay positive, and move on that makes us who we are. Being strong enough to believe in a better future, is what really counts. Though it took nerves of steel to get through it all, and get over our loses. But I would keep searching for our happy place, and I would work very hard at holding myself together. That you can never take away from me.

    I will hope for the best. I will make it work for us again. I didn't think we were going to make it. We were going to make it. "We are both strong" I kept saying over and over to myself. We have learned how much strength there is in us, and I know whatever knocks us down won't keep us down. We will continue to get back up and move ahead. One thing in life you are going to realize right away is that it is impossible to feel depressed while walking the walk. Even in the mist of all those losses I never gave up our relenting faith.

    And you need to believe somewhere out there are people that care. I truly believe what gives life it's greatest significance is the capacity to show you care. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, and to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter and to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all. Then you'll fulfill the purpose of living.

    

    These stories offer a glimpse of our unpalatable past, yet my unrelenting, somehow hopeful vision into the future. They are a deeply, consoling reminder that even when it's hard to believe, loss is also a component of hope. So work hard at consoling yourself, for you may never find anyone else who will. Depend upon yourself and always be strong. We are constantly reminded that bad things can and do happen to good people. We all should be prepared for what may happen to anyone of us at any given time.

    Because of my commitment to my personal growth and sanity I am able to handle a lot of difficult scenarios with a high degree of patience. Though sometimes it feels like I might lose it. I am always seeking the peaceful approach and solution to everything I encounter. Though I do not have to accept unacceptable behavior from others. I am always striving hard to replace the negative attitude with a positive one. Though that can be extremely hard sometimes. That was definitely the hardest of times I ever experienced.

    I will do whatever I can calmly, with trust in God, to ensure my son and I continue to thrive in a peaceful environment we create within us. Even when there isn't one outside our world. Life can throw you off balance like there's no tomorrow. Dealing with it is what develops a persons character, and either makes them or breaks them. We learn more from our failures and our setbacks than from our successes. I feel the more a stone is weathered by troubles the farther it will skip. And being scared doesn't mean you're not brave. Also it's not about what you have, it's about what you are, that matters. For you could have everything and be a nobody. And have nothing yet be a somebody.

    Bad things in life are going to happen to everyone of us. Even the good guys. There's no escaping it. People will hurt, lie, cheat, steal, and blatantly disappoint you. It seems the world today doesn't want to miss the opportunity to batter, embarrass, con, insult, baffle,  humiliate, or even murder any of us. Stomping on our self-esteem and bringing on this dark shadow to lay heavy on our hearts. But the ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances. All of life's circumstances. When things are not going well you need to look at it like a challenge to improve your life and become a stronger person. Then everyday has a meaning.

     Feeling some of the most lonely moments I had ever experienced, I started writing. It was at that time I started putting my thoughts and emotions in the form of words I would say to myself. For I didn't share my thoughts with anyone else. While writing this book I have found that getting everything out on paper has helped me find clarity, and is enabling me to be healed. I'd lay on my bed at night alone. There was no one to express my feelings to.

    I thought about what the toll the secrets and unspoken desires, that laid quiet in my soul, had on me. And how sad it was having no one to share them with took on those who, like myself, kept to themselves. I would lie there, deep in thought, with paper on a clipboard and a pen on the bed beside me. They were my companions. Besides it was the only time I had peace and quiet, and space time, to really express myself. In the written word.

    Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. Every chapter along the way defines who we really are. Life in general, and people, can drive you to absolute depths of hopelessness and bewilderment. But don't let them. And never give up. At that time, I was hoping that would be to have my son released back to his own home with me, and to write this book. I would not give up on either one of those goals. When my book is read by others I hope peoples lives will become better. I pray. Let any of those so-called rights of ours be threatened today, I hope others will step in and make it right.

    There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation and hard work. Use the losses and failures of the past as a reason for actions, not inactions. Pain damages your very existence and hurts your every emotion. And though tears can be good, pain is not. I have learned that my son and I cannot only withstand a lot of pain, loss, and heartache, and not only survive it, but rise above it.

    It didn't seem fair that two very decent, human beings should have to address so many issues in a lifetime. We deserved better. We all do. We so intensely wanted to go back to the time we were happy. That's what we so desperately needed: nothing else would do. I have always needed something to believe in, and have always found that something in my son. And in my unwavering faith towards a better future.

    You know, while writing this book I made an amazing discovery. I realized what was missing in our lives that was making us so unhappy. It was the lack of freedom. I found myself constantly searching for our freedom. And I discovered that freedom from fear is far more important than freedom from want. I made peace with my path, but it lacked the desires of true freedom of choice. Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires. Plain and simple. This all meant, of course, that we were still very much off balance.

    But in the years to follow I started to believe when one door closes another door does open. I'm so happy to say I learned there's better out there for us all. Don't ever give up the search. Don't ever lose yourself. I analyzed our lives through my writing, pouring my soul out. My actions and stories were meant to be nothing but enlightening, with nothing but good intentions. The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all.    

       And from the bottom of my heart, I hope you take my words as the chance to reinforce within you the decision to always do the right thing. Thank God we get more than one chance at life to get it right. My life, thank God, took yet another unexpected twist when I discovered my passion for writing. It burns brighter in me than any desire I've ever known. And I know it saved me from the inner sanity I often thought I was losing. Finding out the truth is only half. It's what you do with it that matters.

   

    I believe we become more in tune with our feelings when we have suffered. You become keenly aware of your deep, inner self. Henceforth, I found myself concentrating more and forcing myself to think positive. Through all the years of drama we always seemed to experience, I still felt I was becoming a braver person. And my son, definitely was. The most important thing I found out about myself, that served me well, was being able to mend and change when a problem presented itself. It showed me, with a great degree of effort, I could handle any situation. And for that I was proud. And also proud of my son for always handling such adversities.

    The age of miracles is still with us. Many people are able to accomplish great things either in spite of their depression or because of it. Some research has shown that people in a mildly depressed state have a more objective and clearer view of reality than people with normal mood swings. I think it's because they sense things more intensely and need to find solutions, or they feel they'll go nuts. I've had to think that way or otherwise our life would be in shambles. And I would surely fall apart.

    Regardless of who you are, suffering, losses, feelings of rejection, heartache, and alienation are an inevitable part of life. I was on my knees all the time praying it would get better. I will not let anything or anyone crush us. Even the hardest things to bare, like the absence of your child or your family. I will give up everything if necessary, but I will remain hopeful even in the face of adversity. Our inspiration could not have been greater. Though it would soon be challenged again and again.

    At that time in my life I was constantly thinking about our future. Though I didn't know what the future would bring, I would only let myself think positive and wait it out. Time felt slower when we do nothing but wait. There are many times in life without reason we are asked to wait. It's hard, it's a struggle, it's unfair, it's painful. But in time there is finally a release. That release will come. Trust me, I know only too well. I knew then, and in the many times to come, that the fact was those challenges helped me to reshape my dreams and made me a stronger person. And to further reach my goals with an increased sense of urgency.

    Those dark days reminded me that we were survivors. I'm proud of myself and Michael for getting through it all. An individual must believe in himself and in his abilities. To do your best you must be confident enough to say "I can do anything if I put my mind to it. Then put the effort into it, and do it. Even though the vicissitudes of life may knock you down, keep hope in your heart that you are a survivor. Our decision to stay strong under extreme circumstances demonstrates our willingness to relinquish the negative preoccupations that stand in our way.

    Though I was always wondering when we'd have a life where we'd actually wake up and have something to look forward to. I know I'm an overly concerned, protective parent, but there are reasons and outside forces in our past that make me that way. There isn't a more aggressive creature on the face of this earth than a mother protecting her child. And I'd bet my life on it, there are millions of other people out there who feel the way I do. There isn't anything more important than your children. Period.

    The tension I felt on that invisible cord that every good mother knows exists was definitely there. It is not really severed at birth. There was this constant, unbearable, intenseness I felt worrying about him. It doesn't matter if your child is two or fifty-two, you should care and love them with your whole heart and soul. They will always be your child, and they should be able to depend on you. I will always want what's best for my son. What person who loves someone doesn't?

    Michael has always been my motivation my whole life. I worked hard because I wanted to be a good role model. Someone he could look up to. I wanted to show him that the right kind of person gives unselfishly to others. I wanted him to understand, through thick and thin, I'd always be there for him. And that being a mom is far more than clothing, feeding, and putting a roof over your child's head. Far more. I wanted to instill in him that we as humans are not defined by our mistakes, but by the content of our behavior. I wanted to constantly remind him to always treat others as he would like others to treat him. I wanted him to believe in himself and just as important, believe in me.

    Love out-weights everything else in life. Love is a symbol of eternity. It washes out all sense of time, wiping out all memory of a beginning, and all fear of an end. It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble, how hopeless the outlook, how muddled the tangle, how great the mistake. A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it. That was my father's beliefs. And that's so true it hurts.

    To me the key to all of it is relatively simple. It lies in having someone to share things with. Loneliness is lonely, and that makes you unhappy. Acquiring more happiness wouldn't just make us happier it will increase the happiness of those around us. Making the world happier for everyone. The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.

    

    Yet years of anguish and stress had been grinding away into our lives, trying to kill our inner peace and joy. In the world of the present, in our time, we feel that the suffering, anguish, the torments of body and soul, are greater than ever before, in the history of mankind. They definitely are for us. I prayed for guidance and strength to deal with everything we were facing. I wondered if we could ever have a life without struggles and heartaches. One's impression of the life we'd like is so often not the life that one leads. Outside forces have a strong guidance in directing you somewhere else. And the somewhere else Michael preferred to be was anywhere but where he was. Or any of the other facilities he was forced to live, for that matter. So This Is Life!?

    Life is not a continuum of pleasant choices, but the inevitable problems that call for strength, determination, and hard work. To say it's easy for the average man living in today's world is a drastic understatement. It is not. This country's hard on people. To say it's easy to understand what goes on in this world is a drastic understatement. It is not. Yet we are, like every living being, eternal creatures with endless potential and survival instincts.

    I cried so much, so many times, trying to make sense of things. Sorrow makes a man sincere. I've learned so many things. I realized I could cope. I kept on having hope. I can't always explain it, I ponder to myself. It confuses me at times. Though I don't always understand the reason why, we kept moving on. Believing there's a tomorrow will salvage everyday. But why were our lives constantly filled with so much stress, drama, fear, and bullshit, instead of peace, normality, and harmony?

    I tried very hard not to be judgmental of people. But that?! Nobody ever said "life would be footloose and fancy free." But that?! Don't be afraid of being afraid. Our aspirations should never be the denial of fear, but the refusal to let that fear keep us from living a happy, fulfilling life. And to keep us moving forward no matter what. Nothing is going to work for you unless you do the work. And don't be afraid of expressing yourself. That's why I felt compelled to write this book.

    When I think back to those worst of circumstances, even at my weakest moment, I somehow found strength. I didn't always recognize it as strength, but I know now I possessed it. So did Michael. And so can we all. The understanding and control of our own personal fears is one of the most important undertakings of our lives. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in a moment of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. I was constantly testing those waters.

    Though I stayed angry for what had felt like forever. And angry and humiliation was all I seemed to be feeling. I couldn't feel the confidence I always had within me any longer. So many bad situations had brought me to my knees. Though I often left so much rejection from other people, true self-respect I'll always have within myself. Self-respect is the cornerstone of all virtue. You couldn't burn that out of me.

    Though I did lose myself in ways that words can't express, the thing I strived for the most was to overcome all that stress. For the both of us. To get over all those horrendous, legal matters, to write my book, to be able to take good care of my son, and most importantly, to get him out of that awful incarceration.

    With enough perseverance and resilience you can redirect the direction you're going and have the life you want. The life we wanted. Freedom. The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the most important type of existence. We so desperately wanted that lifestyle. It is our right to find happiness. So where was ours? We will fight for that right until it is ours. And the joy will emerge from our inner being, our very souls, and make us feel real again.

    We had so much grief we'd gotten through. We would like to answer to no one but ourselves. We will have the last say this time. We will break free from victimization and oppression with every little bit of strength we still possessed within us. I'd like to see anyone survive what Michael had been through without becoming one very, angry fellow.  I'd like to see the second half of Michael's life to be as good as the first half was not. Dreams are birds on high, and our goals have the potential to swore with wings. So imagine yourself flying.

  

    There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy. Hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny. But more importantly, the most significant thing for all humans to have in their lives is freedom. We had given up the most important of all human rights for which man will fight and sacrifice for. Even put their lives on the line, and possibly die for. Our freedom. Which is one of life's truest riches. To choose to be whatever you want, when you want, to live where you want, and to accomplish what you want. And I know what makes life better; living it. If we could be somewhere unrestricted, and exempt from hatred and abuse, we could live it and be at liberty. Like we should all have the right to do. I want time to write about my life, but more importantly I want time to live it.

    Forgive, accept what's happening around you, breathe slowly, and respond to any negative energy with love. You will be amazed at how much happier, lighter, and healthier you will feel when there is true love in your life. Thinking to myself "with my son in my life we will get over this." Just like all the other bullshit that comes our way. What's most important is you are committed to someone or something greater than yourself. That life is good, even if you have only one person you can always depend upon to throw you a life preserver. That when things are out of control, or get really tough to handle, they are there for you. That one person in my life who truly loves me is Michael. If loving someone is a crime, then I'm guilty of loving my son too much. Do they arrest you for that?

    Life definitely has it's hard times. And if you let it get the best of you, you will end up playing into the hands of the powers of this world system that want to control you. Or worse, destroy you. Was this our path? Realistically you can only survive by accepting the powers that be, let go of the hurt, and try to make the best decisions you can. And never give up. Life is not a spectacle or a feast; it is a predicament. I believe my purpose in life is to be a great mother, and a good person. I feel life is about finding your purpose.

    My goal was to make us both happy. Back of every mistaken venture and defeat is the laughter of wisdom, if you listen. I reminded myself over and over that someday we would laugh and have loads of fun again. Maybe not right away, but someday. I believe that laughter is a language of God, and that we can all live happily ever laughter.   

    Though pain and stress does hurt your very being and damages your emotions. And what happens in our past that's painful has a great deal to do with who we are today. Too often I felt like such a shattered spirit. I wondered everyday where our strength and wisdom came from to handle all those humiliating obstacles. Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain. Though...........there is no man living who isn't capable of doing more than he thinks he can do. Thinking is a thought, doing is a motion. So do.

    I had always taught my son to hold strong to the truth. That as much heartache as life can bring, that the soul of a man never dies. I have come to discover over the years that hostile matters can seldom be avoided. So rather than complicating the situation, and suffering under the consequences, I let go. Though it may be unbearably difficult to accept peoples mistakes, just go along with it all. Go along to get along. For as much as you would like to change things, some things you can never change. And; Disregard for the past will never do us any good. Without it we cannot know truly who we are.

    Striving to make things right for yourself and those you love. Forcing ourselves to make a change to find happiness. That's what it's all about. That's what's important. It's about accepting things that cannot be, and changing the things that can. Acceptance is the magic that will make it possible to have the ability to deal with change, and all of life's other problems. And problems don't ever stop coming, especially if you have bad luck like we do.

   To survive you must reach deep down in your heart and soul, and believe better times are ahead. And create those times for yourself. Though in times of suffering and sadness our inner vision can become blurred, and we can easily miss the good things that are a part of our everyday life. I remember my parents telling me that when life knocks you down, you gather your strength and get back up.

    I'm a firm believer that no one is given a burden they are not capable of handling. Though at that time in my life the number of burdens that fell on our shoulders were so great I wasn't so sure I'd ever be able to handle all of them. "Keep the faith and remember how grateful you are to have Michael in your life" I'd tell myself over and over everyday.

    Though, as strong as I am, I don't think I could have gone through what my son has been through. Whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. Sad but true. The tremendous amount of unpleasantnesses and disappointments that were far beyond his control. I think I would have gone insane, and despised the human race. Though deep, deep down inside me I pretty much do. For most of my faith in man is completely shattered, and for good reason.

    To drive all my negative thoughts away I'd think of Michael and how he was always so easily content with the simple things in life. How he learned to take all the garbage life throws your way and still be a better person in spite of it all. How he could keep sleeping through the night, then wake up with a smile on his face the next day, was beyond me. He is truly an inspiring individual. A wonder to be reckoned with. I model myself after him.

    

    Though it wasn't the end of the world it sure changed my view of it. Everyday our lives got a little bit shorten, yet our problems got a whole lot longer. But don't panic at the prospect of losing part of yourself at times of trouble. Focus on staying whole. Don't bury yourself trying to answer the question "why"? For a lot of times in life you will not get an answer as to why. Someone may not want to give you an answer. Don't dig yourself an early grave. As we all know, everything in life doesn't always go our way. Boy, is that an understatement!

    Quite often life's problems don't give you much control or choice. And boy do we ever know how true that is. You just have to go along with them. Go along to get along. And don't beat yourself up, just let the emotions flow like water in a stream. Flowing, flowing away. You've only got one life to live, so make the most of it.

    Though I became so used to feeling upset and anxious all the time, it felt normal. But there isn't anything normal about it, and there definitely isn't anything pleasant about it. We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes. I can live a day without sleep or food, without family or friends, without a job, without money, without a place to live, without fun and laughter, but I cannot live a day without hope.

    Who said life's not a challenge? Sure enough I proved myself to be right about life time and time again. It's an ever weakening challenge that needs the strength of hope and faith to survive. And though I'd cry myself to sleep a lot, I'd also wake up thanking Jesus I was blessed with another day. And more importantly, blessed to have my son. Who always sustained my belief in life being worth living, even when it was filled with frustration and heartache. Though my emotions were up and down like a teeter-totter. One is certain of nothing, but the truth of one's own emotions.

    I was in a fatigued and disorderly, scrambled state of mind, but was still thanking God for waking up alive. And I kept praying for a better, happier future. You have to believe you have a future, something to look forward to. Walking away from something bad means you believe in something better. So run to it. Embrace the opportunity ahead. Courage is not the absence of fear and despair; it is the capacity to continue on despite them, no matter how great or overwhelming they become. Each action you express in your daily lives are the direct result of your knowledge, your acceptance, your intelligence, and your intentions. Our intention was to no longer allow others to victimize us. The test of a belief is not exclusively in the belief itself, but also in the intentions and actions of those who embrace it.

    But none of that seemed to matter. We were shit out of luck. So there we were again with no control over our own lives. The more control we have over our lives, the less we fear. The less control we have, the more we fear. To gain control you have to create a distance first, which doesn't mean you won't feel pain or resentment. The source of the pain is inside your heart, but mostly induced in your head. That's where all of life's hardest battles are fought. You have to decide to stop fighting some of those battles and ignore them, or you'll go crazy. And in this world today it's not so hard to go crazy.

    My son and I have been through more disappointments and heartaches than I could begin to explain. We've experienced a lot more drama in comparison to others I've seen or known. And we watch tons of movies, a lot of T.V., and I read quite a bit. We've overcome a massive amount of genuinely, desperate undertakings and obstacles. But we refuse to let this world get the best of us. No matter what, we are all going to face the unwanted or the unexpected in our lives. That is inevitable. What matters in life is the way you cope with them.

    Bad things do happen to good people, and sometimes far too often I'm afraid. I don't understand why? Yet we all need to keep plowing ahead. In our lifetime we have had a lot of irrevocable circumstances early on. Through no fault of our own I might add. I have learned an awful lot about life and what it can put you through. And some of us pick up more pain from life than others along the way. Don't we ever know that. Life is unfair.

    My father would advise me, yet gently say "when you get out there on your own, people will abuse and disappoint you. Life is hard, so fasten your mental safety belt tightly. Don't let bad things destroy you. I know you have the fortitude to survive." With tears in my eyes as I'm saying this to my father in heaven "I can only hope I learned some of your wisdom. I know there is quit a bit of you in me dad, and I'm proud of it."

    Tears are the silence language of grief. So let them speak to you, for while they flow they'll cleanse your soul. They'll calm your emotions. They'll make you feel in touch with yourself and feel human again. Those who mourn Jesus promises are blessed. And though resentment and sorrow crept in, I refused to give up. I was definitely making the effort. I have not yet met with a sorrow that could not be borne, nor with one who's passing did not leave me stronger. Speaking of effort, we forged onward, even as difficult as it was from all the pain and rage of the last few months. Or should I say years.

    The past can be senseless and the future look bleak, but you must have faith certain things we want in life will happen in time. There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic as powerful as expectation of something better. Everything worth having is worth waiting for. Because once you reach that goal, like my effort of writing this book, or whatever it might be, the feeling will "take your breath away." And make you feel high as a kite. Oh, if I could only know that feeling. That conviction has been my saving grace, and my constant companion. If I didn't think that way I can't imagine what a mess I'd be.

    You will always need faith and patience to control your life and help you guide it along. Try to understand it's not always possible to expect immediate insight, inspiration, or the right answers right away. And then there's always your faith. To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. Though sometimes life can really get to me, I keep going even when it feels like a driving force is pulling me back. Pulling me down. I was constantly trying to turn off the sad feelings, even though they always seemed inevitable. But even through all our problems and pathetic situations we hung in there. Anyone can, it's called making the effort.

    

    I am not interested in power for power's sake, but I'm interested in power that is moral, that is right, and that is good. That's what's important in this bizarre world, full of injustices, that we had surrendered to for far too long. I had come to feel this unsound deterioration breaking us down. Relinquishing our rights to live life freely. Justice is the truth in action. I can only hope my actions will always speak louder than my words. And hopefully in doing that, it will help others so they never encounter such wrongful, indefensible infractions like we went through. No person should have to, I pray to God. We are all creatures of our supposedly God given civil rights. We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.

    Most of the children in this world (I pray) have a happy place to go to, but Michael never found his. He was definitely screwed by our system. I tried everything financially, legally, and emotionally to remove that fraudulent infraction from our lives. But to no avail. When something's worthwhile you've gotta be hardheaded enough to stick with it. As helpless and exhausted as I felt from all those problems, I would not let them break me. I still had faith. My faith and inspiration from within me, helped me stand tall. Even when all I really wanted to do was lay down and try to block out everything going wrong. Sometimes, I felt like I was drowning. Yet somehow, I still hung in there.

    You do what you have to do, and you don't always know why until the end. Always remember there is an end to every beginning. Always find inspiration in the moment of need. Always remind yourself how smart and brave you can be. Always be grateful for what you do have. Then forge ahead and carry on. To bigger and better things. The love and enjoyment of my son will sustain me through any kind of situation that may come our way.

    Though he had been through more pain, bullshit, and sorrow in those horrible six years than any person deserves in a lifetime. His grief and confusion frightened me far more than my own grief and confusion did. All the thousands of times we were not able to be together still hurts like hell when I think of it. And I will never forgive them for that. Ever. Yet his gracious, sweet-natured personality still shown through. Even more important, he retained his will-to-live and his kind and sensitive heart. How one handles success or failure is determined by their early childhood.

    I cannot seriously think of anything on earth that's more painful then being separated from someone you love. We were like persons doing time for a crime they didn't commit. And we'll never get those most influential, important years back. Wonderful moments we would have cherished forever. Gone. And no one can stop time, or give them back to you, when you've lost them. That's when life, as it has a way of doing, suddenly hands you a big nasty lump that you can't begin to swallow, let alone digest. We hated every minute we were apart, our days poisoned by lonesomeness and longing.

    Strain and sorrow can swallow you up, then life will spit you back out. You can't erase the past, or kill it, or wish it out of existence. It just exists. And what happens in the past never really goes away. Nor can you will away the present, or chance what might be coming. Total control is not in your power. So again we foolishly held on, because we refused to believe that the Lord would let us down. As we had been let down so many times before by man. What would the world be like if the guiding principles of our lives were this simple; we will do nothing, conspire with nothing, and support nothing that could possibly hurt one another. So we could all be decent, loving, gentle human beings.

    We were predetermined everyday at becoming stronger, propelling ourselves forward, and bringing as much pleasure into our lives as we could muster. We were adamant about that and wouldn't give up. And I also became adamant about telling our story to enlighten the world and hopefully bring about some positive changes for everyone. A significant change came over me. I will always try to remember things that are worthwhile don't come easy. But with God and a strong conviction, nothing shall be impossible. Anything in life that's worth doing is worth pursuing. The world will step aside for nearly anyone who has the courage of his or her opinions. I pray that's me.

    

    Michael and I have had a lot of heartache and tragedy in our lives. Way too many times. Where fear is, happiness is not. Many times we may need to shut down the emotional part of our being to enable ourselves to turn off the fear. And to survive certain circumstances or traumatic events in our lives. Even when you think it's impossible, you can. Trust me and believe me, as hard as it might sound, you really can. I force the enormity of my fear into tiny compartments. To feel the fear, then cast it away.

   A little at a time, day after day, month after month, we'll work towards forgetting all those injustices and heartaches of the past. The reason we cried and who caused us the pain. We'd persevere towards the realization that the secret of having a free spirit and a good conscience is not revenge, but letting things unfold on their own space and time. After all, what matters in this world is not how the story is, how it came to be, or what it's all about. It's how the chapter ends that counts.

    The memory of our past accomplishments, and the knowledge we have come away a stronger, wiser self, has always kept us going. An immovable object, opposed to what is wrong, fighting for what is right. And never staying stuck in a problem, that's what counts. Being courageous when we fall, we'll get back up. We should all have an objective in life. Ours is to be true to ourselves, and that's something anybody can be proud of. There is nothing more reassuring or empowering then striving forward in search of your goals and your lifelong happiness. To give and receive love and caring for others and from others, because we all deserve that from one another.  

           

    The world is so unpredictable. Things happen suddenly, unexpectedly. We want to feel we are in control of our own existence. In some ways we are, in some ways we're not. And life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself. Every new day is another chance to change our world. That's the most important and informative part of this book I'm trying so hard to express. Please make those changes for the betterment of man. Anyone can have a house, but it is love that makes a home. One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is love.

       

      My heart ached when we drove away, leaving those thoughts in the dust like a distant memory. It was one of the most difficult things we had to deal with in a long time. Knowing it would never be home for us again, I cried. It had shattered my heart like a bullet. People can't help getting attached to things. That's just the way it is in life. Familiarity creates comfort. Forced change creates discomfort. No one like's forced changes happening to their stable life's.

    Maybe I'm just stubborn, but I wasn't ready to give up. Did I want to succeed and continue the effort? You bet your sweet ass I did. I wouldn't sit tight with the way things were. We'd keep plugging away, kicking the bucket, until things got better and we found a roof over our heads.

    The only way to see a rainbow is to look through the falling rain. If you don't create a little humor, you'll not survive life. Even with all the corruption and obstructions in our way I'd stick with it, and eventually make things right for us again. I was madder than I was upset and that just seemed to ignite the fire in me. What sustains a life? When God feels far away, pray. Remember whatever is going on at that present moment, what you are experiencing in the here and now, is only a "bridge moment" to that time which will take you from one place to the next.

    And as you face your setbacks and loneliness take time each day to take stock in everything in your life. Both the good and the bad. Then you will find some small, often unexpected, blessing supporting your hope and faith. My blessing will always be my miracle baby, Michael.   

    Late at night and into the wee hours of the morning I would sit and write. Writing was my comfort and therapy to help make me stronger. I felt compelled to spill my guts out. And that in itself became a very passionate, important purpose to me. I pray this book will enlighten you. I wish you won't just read my words, but the stories will truly speak to you. I hope they will inspire you to keep the courage that is deep down inside everyone of us, and to keep us growing stronger. To move forward in life, to let the light shine thru, and to enhance your wisdom. No matter what life throws your way. That you stay steadfast to your dreams, enjoy family and others, and not let heartless people ever break you down.

    My desire to express myself is buried too deep inside me to ever give up. Writing has inspired me like nothing else ever has. It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. I know deep down inside me I need to tell these stories. There is this wonderful feeling inside yourself when you accomplish something you didn't think you could do. The fulfillment and satisfaction for me comes in knowing I have hopefully made other peoples life a little better for having known me. The truth is I care about people, as I so very much wish others did as well. Wisdom is found only in truth.    

    And directness and honesty are the only policy. Never forfeit the truth, or allow someone to pull the wool over your eyes. Trust yourself. Trust what is truth. Always. There is a difference between truth and fiction. It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense. I would like my life to stand for something good. The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention to one another's existence. And seeing and hearing is believing. Almost every decision I've ever made in my lifetime has come from the heart. It only seems fitting this book was written from deep down inside my soul.

    

    Like myself, the majority of Americans today are uninspired, unhappy, uninterested, and unhinged. Society today has broken their spirit. Their general feelings seem to be of too much disappointment in people, and loss of faith. And not knowing what to expect for their upcoming lives. But, in the end, it all narrows down to being confident in yourself and not getting yourself get too disappointed when people let you down. That's why I pinned all my concentration and efforts to the tasks at hand. To moving forward in spite of it all. Life has it's ups and downs, and losses and heartaches, but time has to be your partner and friend. Really, time is your true soul mate. Try hard to embrace every moment of it, even at the worst of times.

    Why do people do such bad things to one another? Some people are so heartless, and are hell-bent on the destruction of another human life. I feel the more people hurt you, the more determined you must become to continute on. Tell yourself you're strong, and not a quitter. And focus on the days to come that will be better. That's pretty much the only thing we all can do to get by. Especially in a world that gets more complicated everyday.

    And you can't go around hoping that most people have sterling, moral characters. The most you can hope for is that people will pretend that they do. Pain and death are part of life. To reject them is to reject life itself. I won't do that. And I won't let people get the best of me. Though it does take a lot of emotional energy to fill the gap left by a loss of someone you love. Like the loss of our family. Grieving is not a symptom or something unhealthy. It is as natural a process as breathing. And if you believe that someday you can laugh again then you can except that someday you'll be happy too.

    Understand we are all troubled souls. So always try to comfort yourself with situations that bring you gladness, and remind yourself that no failure is final. Failure is success if we learn from it. And everyday everything is a learning process to make us stronger and wiser. Live by that and you'll be amazed at how you can get by. Day after day, month after month, year after year.

    Though humans do have this uncanny ability to absorb only what they want to see or hear. While blocking out anything and everything that contradicts what they felt was in their best interest. I so often wonder why it seems to be that so many people go through life with blinders on. Refusing to view or feel things the way another person might. Though a lot of times things will have to work themselves out in time. It's all so heartbreaking to me. I don't understand it at all.
 

    Whoever said life is easy? But life does go on. You just have to force yourself to let it. I forced myself to see those setbacks as a learning experience, a chance to do something different and important, instead of the loss they really were. I've maintained my sanity by living my whole life thinking like that. It works for me, it should work for you. And in all honesty I am grateful for all of the lessons those hardships and challenges taught me. They taught me the strength I would have never known I possessed. And my unwavering desire to move forward. And do something fun to distract your unhappy thoughts. Even if it's only temporary.

    The problems won't go away or mysteriously disappear. They will still be there, and they will still need to be resolved. Or it might be a problem you'll just have to live with for the rest of your life. So be it. But at least the sadness and worry should vanish while you're having fun. Think of a joyful approach to your life. It's your survival mechanism working.  

 

    Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes. And to expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect. Maybe this book is my contribution, revaluation, and retribution for the actions and deeds of the people who touched our lives. A voice for the mistakes I made, and hopefully becoming a wiser, better person for them. And for the vast amount of mistakes other people made, so they might look at themselves differently and try to have more compassion. To have a heart.

    My stories were meant to inspire all of us to change into the best we can be. And that kind of change is a good thing. My writing was meant to be inspirational, deep, and moving. I hope when others read this book they will be motivated to give for the betterment of man. Compelled to offer what they can, and be moved enough to make some serious changes to this world we all share.

    And I want to also thank you for sharing this journey with Michael and me. I hope you found enjoyment and wonder from this book. But more importantly that every single one of you is able to receive a message from my words that will help guide you on the days you are facing adversity. And take your own tough times in stride. Always keep moving forward, for you will win when you keep plugging away. Will the disappointment ever end? Will the hurt ever end? Will the chaos ever end? Not really. But if you work hard, and sincerely concentrate on moving forward, you'll get by.

    And you can't change what's past, it's the past and it's over. But you can change the future, for it's just begun. What looks like a loss may be the very event which is subsequently responsible for helping to produce the major achievement of your life. Mine was being the best mother I could be, writing this book, and telling our stories. I'm going to end this book pleading for your help to make this a better world for all of us to live in. The rest is up to God. Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness, give me truth.