The day my faith is turned against me is the day I walk away.
The day backbiting occurs to turn the family against me is the day I never come back.
Friday, December 15, 2017
Monday, May 8, 2017
This story is based on true events.
Perhaps I'm calling the tiny rural village of Upsala, Ontario (near the north end of Lake Superior) 'Canada's Children of the Corn' with my tongue-in-cheek, but then... perhaps not. Listen to this and tell me if you wouldn't be creeped out a bit if it happened to you; if not, then perhaps at least turning your head sideways and blinking a couple of times in bewilderment.
We merely needed fuel in our Buick. The drive from lower mainland, BC to southern Ontario had been long so far, and we just wanted to get to our destination. With our smartphone GPS in hand, we were shown that Upsala had a gas station along the highway. Little did we know that Upsala had other plans for us as we headed toward the gas station.
My husband and I passed a school first, but it was quiet—no children playing in the yard, and no cars in the parking lot. Erie. Across the street was the local firehouse, which looked in kept condition, yet it was empty too. There were no stores, no people, and no homes that existed within sight, so we drove on to the gas station around the bend and pulled up to the pump.
The convenience store in front of the gas pump presented a large sign in the window: "CLOSED". Where were all the people? Surely the unseen residents would need fuel? There appeared to be no town left beyond this point. We searched the GPS again, and the only extra two choices were to trek backwards to Upsala—with its empty firestation and abandoned school—and go off the main highway several kilometers to either of the only two things that were present on the GPS search—a lodge, or the Shell gas station. We chose the latter. Perhaps the main part of town was well off the main road?
We turned off the highway as per the GPS directions but immediately hit a gravel road. I stopped the car immediately and got a sinking feeling that something was off. I was suddenly transported in my mind back to when I lived in rural Nebraska. Thoughts of small town mentality in areas like the puny village of Loma, NE that was in the same vicinity of where Stephen King's book 'Children of the Corn' (and the cult-related mishaps that would happen to strangers that found their way there but weren't allowed to leave) was based. However, our need for fuel kept us committed. I was driving, so pulled forward onto the gravel-and-dirt road, cringing at what might lie ahead.
Snow covered the road except for two ruts left by local truckers that would pass through on occasion. Luckily the temperature was just above freezing so everything was melting. Sloshy snowy mud replaced icy conditions and slung itself up onto the sides of our silver Buick as the wheels ripped through the slush, making it fly. To the town of Upsala we went, wherever that was. My mind went back to 'Children of the Corn' and how in the movie all the local street signs would provide directions that would lure strangers into the local town, so escape was impossible. I put it out of my mind. This was not the farmlands of Nebraska, it was rocky hilly terrain covered with short spindly evergreen trees and spotted with lakes, in the territory northwest of Lake Superior, west of Thunder Bay.
The road was several kilometers long. After a bend in the road was a railroad track. No railroad light crossing signals or track arms to warn drivers of an oncoming train, so I did what I learned in first grade school: Stop. Look. Listen. We saw and heard nothing, so proceeded across the tracks safely. Occasionally we spotted a farm house, and several old mobile homes. Again, no people anywhere, just buildings and the occasional parked pickup truck. As we continued the trees got thicker on both sides of the road. The tires continued to wander across the ruts in the road to hit a patch of slushy snow, which made a sudden blasting noise as it hit underneath the fenders of the car while driving through it. It felt like we had to drive forever, but finally the GPS said we had arrived!
Nothing but trees surrounded us. Where was the Shell gas station? Not even a driveway or an old building or empty lot. Nothing.
“That’s it!” I said to my husband, “It’s Children of the Corn!”
I did a 5-point turn to turn the car around, and pulled over briefly to get online and check the GPS one more time. “I’m not taking any more chances with this Upsala place,” I said as I searched for the lodge and gave them a call on the phone.
No answer, just a recording that there was no such number.
“See!” I exclaimed, “Children of the Corn. They want to lure us in when there’s nothing there, then you get lost and can’t leave.” I snickered at the thought, but a part of me felt hesitant to go anywhere looking for anything in Upsala anymore. I headed straight back down North Road until we got back to the highway. We chose to turn east towards the next town, looking for another gas station since we had just wasted even more fuel searching for a place that was on the map yet didn’t seem to exist. I searched on the GPS one more time for another gas station further on down the highway and called the phone number. Someone actually answered and they were open!
Down the highway we drove, watching for this amazing place that actually existed that would hopefully have fuel. When we arrived we were not sure if we were still in the domain of the Upsala district or not, but we didn’t care. We pulled off the highway and paired our wheels with the ruts in the 3” of melting snow that filled the parking lot and led up to the gas pumps. There was no getting out of the car without stepping into ankle-deep puddles of meltwater that filled pockets of places where people had stepped before. Our shoes got soaked as we got out to pump the fuel. “Haven’t people ever heard of a snow plow or a simple snow shovel for their customers?” I grumbled, feet soaking wet with ice-cold water.
My husband went to pump the gas and I chose to go inside to pay and hopefully use the washroom. I carefully made my way through the snow-puddle obstacle course to the front steps of the convenience store and stepped under the eave that was dripping like an old faucet that no one cared enough about to fix. Huge drops landed on my head and shoulders, as if my feet weren’t cold enough already. I groaned and mumbled something about customer service and a cheap $15 gutter that the owner obviously had never heard of. Glad to be under the porch roof, I went inside the store.
The man behind the counter looked like he must have been one of the poor folks living at the old mobile homes in the road near Upsala that led to the invisible Shell station. He was tall, and thin as a piece of string. His Lanny McDonald mustache covered his mouth and his beard was copied from ZZ Top. His checkered coat was mismatched with a dark soiled baseball cap. “We’d like to buy some gas,” I told him. He snapped at me, “I can’t be two places as once! I can’t pump fuel when there’s people running around in the store.” Oh! I wondered, is this a full service station? There were no signs that we noticed. “Can we pump it ourselves, or do you have to?”
He was curt, “You do it.”
“Do I need to pay first?”
“No, just pump, I can’t be here and there both, with customers taking things in here.”
I just said, “Okay” and walked out to tell my husband he could pump the gas and we could pay afterwards. I made sure not to walk out into the snow and puddles again, or under the eave that dripped like a coffee maker on my head.
Next, the bathroom.
I found it in the back of the store, inside, thank God! I had to go so badly that I figured it would have been worth it even if it had been an outhouse. Inside were two stalls made of tan-painted warped plywood. The first stall was taken because the door was locked, so I moseyed on over to the second one. There was no door mechanism. In its place was a rubber band that someone had tied on there, which had since been broken in half. On the door frame where it was supposed to attach was a screw that stuck out. Zero toilet paper. I chose to wait for the first stall. I stood there for about 15 seconds and heard a plop noise in the water and then a huge fart. My face fell.
My choices were either: 1) pee without toilet paper, or 2) wait, listen to her poop, and get to smell it once she leaves while I go to the bathroom.
I chose #1.
I had to figure out the whole broken rubber band-screw concoction, which took a couple attempts to get it to sort of stay. You kind of had to wrap the band around and around itself for it to latch on to the screw without popping off. The door pulled on it fairly hard, stretching the rubber band about as far as it could go. I hoped it wouldn’t snap, flinging the door open wide while I was sitting down. I would have to make haste! Once done, I sat there a few seconds to drip dry, but then heard a grunt and another plop-and-splash sound by the lady next door. I looked under the edge of the stall and saw huge brown boots, which appeared to be more of men’s boots than women’s boots. I took a chance. “I am out of toilet paper here, can you please hand me some?”
No answer. Just silence.
The lady(?) got up, pulled up her(?) pants, flushed the toilet, flung the door open so hard that it hit my door, stressing the rubber band to its limits, and stomped out of the bathroom with ne’er a word.
“Okaaay, I guess not!” I said under my breath.
With that I got up and zipped up my pants. It was time to flush the toilet, but where in the world was the handle? I looked on both sides, and then the top, but it was really old, so I pulled the toilet lid forward and hidden behind it was the spot where the handle should have been. In its place was a hole with a broken ring, but the handle was missing. I leaned forward and looked closer. In the middle of the ring was a button-looking piece of metal. I thought this might work if I push it. Push it I did, but it just sank in and didn’t do anything. My finger was stuck in the hole, so I had carefully pulled it until it popped out. No toilet flush, yet no one before me had used or flushed the toilet either, or else they flushed it and broke it. The handle was nowhere to be found. I gave up and walked out, not feeling it was my job to pull off the tank lid and inspect or fix their stupid broken toilet.
I met my husband back out near the bearded cashier, since he had just paid the fuel bill. I was happy to leave this creepy area near Upsala, Canada. I hoped I would never return. Beware if you go there… it may lure you in, and who knows what you might find or what might happen if you stay too long.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
King Leary sat upon his throne, with his wife, Queen Sabbatha by his side on her throne. "We need to expand our kingdom, my dear!" the king exclaimed, always excited to have more. So, in her great skill and knowledge Queen Sabbatha took leave of her throne to talk with the king's advisors and builders, and formulated a plan, which pleased king Leary.
However, upon her return the queen discovered a woman from the neighboring country sitting on her throne, and the king had put here there, saying they were merely there for friendship, but Queen Sabbatha started searching and found a gift in the king's chamber showing that the woman Justina had sent secret love notes to him from before her arrival, and wrote thank-you's for his love he showed her in return.
The queen was livid, but knew her power, and so packed her things and left the king to work on expanding the kingdom himself, knowing full well that he did not know how to do this or even how to organize his builders and the plan, nor would this woman be able to stay on her throne since she was due back to her foreign land, nor did the woman Justina--however beautiful--possess the queen's talents to do what the king wanted for his kingdom. Immediately after the queen's departure, the king was incredibly sad and worried so sent his messengers to request the queen to return home, but she refused to respond for a fortnight.
After the king became ill from heartbreak and begged for his wife's return multiple times, saying he had sent Justina away for good, the queen decided it was time to go back home and help the king to finally expand the kingdom. It was her kingdom too, after all, and only she had the legal and ethical right to her throne. She also had no remorse for her king's emotional suffering; as far as she was concerned he brought it on himself. Had she been removed without her choice, she had rights to half the kingdom, and King Leary was aware of this as well. No woman was going to usurp Queen Sabbatha's throne for she had the upper hand all along.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
My son died on January 23, 2017. We had him cremated (his choice) and the memorial was on February 4th, just two days before his 22nd birthday. We set up the service to accomodate about 40 people, but around 125 showed up... they pulled in extra chairs and were standing around the walls at the back--there was standing room only! Teachers and students from his high school attended and spoke, and his students/teachers/head of the Philosophy department at NMSU also attended/spoke/came up to give their condolences to us afterward as well. Jeremiah was an amazing young man... one college student told me that he looked up to Jeremiah, and that "he was the best student in the class" and he wanted to be just like him. Several young people said that Jeremy had touched their lives and helped them, or helped them become a better person, and two people said he "saved my life". My son's years in this world were short, but he made a positive impact. I wish I could have had the joy of having him here longer than we did, but I am grateful for the amazing time we did have together on this planet, in this physical reality. I look forward to seeing him in the next realms and worlds...
Here is what I read at the memorial...
I am Sharon Buydens, Jeremiah’s mom. When he was born we called him Jeremy, because Jeremiah seemed like such a grown up name for such a little baby. He was adorable with his light blonde hair and huge angelic blue eyes that sparkled when he smiled. Right away I knew he was special. Even as a baby, before he could talk, he would blurt out single words that he couldn’t possibly know, as if the Spirit of God were speaking through him. He always did well in school growing up. His childhood was pretty normal, at least Id’ like to think so. He was a good boy and easy to raise.
Jeremy had best friends and enjoyed skateboarding and watching super hero movies. Even at age eight his favorite hero was Spiderman, and he would dress up that way for Halloween, or other times. He had his big brother Tyler who was 8 years older, and his little sister Kira who is 2 ½ years younger. I can’t say that Jeremy’s death was expected, because it shocked us all when it happened. I am wanting to explain something that happened to me in alignment to my son, just a few months prior to his death, to show how Jeremiah and I had a mother-son connection, and what we can take away from this tragedy that has occurred.
On September 28th I woke up in the middle of the night from an attack in my body. It felt like the blood was pooling in my head, and I ached all over, and my face and head were completely numb, as well as my limbs. I thought I was dying, and I almost called 911. I went to the clinic that morning and they did a battery of tests but did not find anything. A week later another nighttime episode occurred, then a few days later. By the end of October I flew from Canada where I live down to El Paso and attended Jeremiah and Lauren’s wedding. It was lovely and absolutely perfect. I did not know it would be the last time I would ever see my son. I left and the nighttime episodes continued getting closer together, happening every other night, then every night, then several times a night. Each time I would wake up feeling like I had no blood in my head, my face was numb, and I would sit up and start breathing fast, trying to make my body stay alive. It was very scary and I was sure I was going to die in the night.
I started hearing knocks on the door at night and strange sounds in the other room—things that made no sense, since no one was in there. One night I woke up with one of these episodes and saw a tall lean figure about Jeremiah’s size standing by the foot of my bed looking at me, yet I could see no face. I suddenly wondered whether these episodes were something spiritual… but I wasn’t sleeping well, and had stopped dreaming altogether. I couldn’t focus on spiritual things, but even so, a sense of immanence was building, yet all I could see was anxiety about sleeping and what would happen in the night.
I was convinced that I was going to die in my sleep. But in reality, it was my son who died in my sleep.
Is it any coincidence that this intuitive manifestation of anxiety was akin to my son’s own anxiety in the night? I felt like that first night attack that blood pooled in my head, but that’s what happened to him. After that I felt like blood was not circulating in my body or my head, which is what happened to him after he died. It was at night, always at night… just like he died in the night. Yet I had no idea it was about Jeremiah until after he was gone. I put it all together because three days before he died these episodes stopped completely. Three days beforehand he started taking a new anti-anxiety medication, and three days before he died was the last time I texted him or talked to him. When the episodes were done that weekend, so was he. We knew he was stressed from work and school, but we had no idea that this would happen, or that he felt this way for what was evidently a long time. This event was officially marked as suicide by the medical examiner. Jeremiah left a note for his wife Lauren, and mentioned his family and that he wanted to be cremated, and what he wanted us to have of his possessions. It has been really difficult to come to terms with his choice to leave us at the young age of 21. This coming Monday would have been his 22nd birthday. Since his death I have heard him speaking to me, you know, in my own head, and heard him say, “I’m okay mom. I’m okay mom.”
Although his death has been challenging to believe, we all need to realize he’s okay now. We need to realize that if you have anxiety or depression, that stress is not something you have, it is something you do. Stress is a habit, a behaviour, a pathology in thinking, and death is a permanent solution for a temporary problem. I have viewed my own anxieties in a completely new light because of Jeremiah’s passing. From this point forward I think it is important that we all accept what has happened, and that we realize just how amazing he really was, and is. His spirit is still alive, and he has no more stress or worries or pain. Jeremiah is in the light because he was a light himself, with that sparkle in his eye, and his friendliness, compassion, and the great love he had for everyone he knew, which has been returned to him 100-fold by the people who are in this room, and beyond.
Everyone loved Jeremiah! Even to the end he was sweet and kind and considerate. He had these wonderful traits, you see. He helped people. He cared. We all saw it, and so it is important that we acknowledge this about him, to each other.
Jeremiah was such a good man, and as a boy he was a good boy… so easy to raise. If my kids were misbehaving when they were little I would count to three to make them listen… “or else”. My mom would sometimes watch my kids, and she would threaten to get the flyswatter to them if they acted like they didn’t want to obey, but she never really had to use it. They listened to their grannie and grandpa. As a kid, around age 9, I remember one time he ran into our house out in the desert exclaiming how he had found some bigfoot footprints near our house on some open land. He knew I had been doing some bigfoot research so we went out to investigate the footprints. I got there and looked at them, and their misshapen form, and said, “There’s no trackway, it’s as if bigfoot just walked into an invisible wall and disappeared! Where did he go?” Of course, I knew right then that Jeremy had made the footprints and so I called him on it. And of course, his answer was, “I know you wanted to see a bigfoot mom, and I just wanted to make you happy.” Of course he did. I just laughed and could not be mad at him at all. He was so cute, just wanting to make me happy. He always wanted to make people happy because he had such a wonderful caring heart.
I feel blessed to have known Jeremiah for his short life. It seems he was just getting started in life. He was such an incredible joy to us all, and I will miss him so much. I always, ALWAYS looked forward to seeing Jeremy every time he or I would visit. I sometimes wished that I didn’t live so far away because I only got to see him a couple of times a year, if that. I always looked forward to his warm hugs. I have so many wonderful memories of him coming to Washington state and to Canada to visit. He and Lauren both. We have memories of camping and hiking near Cloudcroft last summer, and going on the ferry to Vancouver Island in British Columbia a few years ago, and hanging out at the lake where I used to live where we hot tubbed and went to the dances and hiked to the waterfall. A few months ago I got to see him get married and we cooked a delicious meal together for the family. It was absolutely wonderful and I will cherish these memories of him always.
We were looking through pictures of Jeremiah this week and realized that many of the pictures we have of him show him joking around and sticking his tongue out at the camera. Perhaps like the bigfoot footprints, he always found a way to disguise good intentions with some funny jokester pranks. I guess he’s moved on to the Kingdom of a higher realm, and I hope in some way that he is NOT behaving himself, and is bringing laughter to someone in his own special way.
As a side note from my oldest son Tyler, Jeremiah’s big brother (who could not be here today), Tyler said… [LOOK UP AND POINT UP] About grannie, Jeremiah… "One day she's going to be there and she's going to have the flyswatter when she sees you!”
Gotta love ‘brotherly love’. I love my kids… and I will always love and miss you my sweet Jeremy. I love you more than you could ever know.
O my God! O Thou forgiver of sins, bestower of gifts, dispeller of afflictions!
Verily, I beseech thee to forgive the sins of such as have abandoned the physical garment and have ascended to the spiritual world.
O my Lord! Purify them from trespasses, dispel their sorrows, and change their darkness into light. Cause them to enter the garden of happiness, cleanse them with the most pure water, and grant them to behold Thy splendors on the loftiest mount.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
It turns out that my nighttime episodes stopped 3 days before my son's death. The last time I texted him was 3 days before he died. He started taking an anti-anxiety medicine 3 days before he died due to his high stress levels from work and school and life. I had gone to Saturna island as a get-away with a friend to de-stress from the attacks 3 days before he died. The episodes occurred only at night, which were like a countdown... getting closer and closer together since Sept 28th when the first (bad) one started, until they were once a week, to a few times a week, to every other night, to every night, and finally several times a night. I was convinced that I was going to die in my sleep... but it was my son who died in my sleep.
It was prophetic. Psychic. Spiritual connection. (see my posting from Jan 7, 2017) I am known to have these, but it is usually hindsight before I figure out the full meaning of my premonitions. I had even figured out the gun (he shot himself in the head) part, and did not know how true it was, or would be. I had no idea it was my son. I kept thinking it was a physical health problem. Then the spirits started making noise and I saw a tall thin male figure in the night during one episode, but no face, so I couldn't see who it was. I was veiled, probably for my own protection. But some part of me knew.
My spirit knew... somehow... even a passing thought, like an intuitive moment 2 years before, where the saying that "it is harder to lose a child than a parent" made me ponder, and the first thing I thought of was, "Oh no, not my Jeremiah..." and even the age 21 came to me, so much that--just in case there was an accident (I never ever expected suicide)--I decided from that moment forward that ALL moments we have with our children, and parents, and loved ones, and friends, are a gift... a blessing... a temporary time that we can celebrate and appreciate and be grateful for their existence in our lives. Life is too short. I absolutely made it a habit to appreciate these precious times with my kids, and my parents, and others. It can all end in a snap. You never know. Even I could not predict this, but my spirit knew.
The nighttime episodes were difficult. The first one was different than all the rest. The first one was as if blood was pooling in my head. My entire head was numb, as were my limbs, as if plastic were over my skin and I could not feel. My circulation felt like it had stopped, yet I was alive. My entire body felt ill, and I almost called 911. I went to the clinic that morning and they started tests, but after 3 months and desperate visits they still could not find a cause, calling it anxiety or "panic attacks" at that point. I was picking up on my son's anxiety, and adding my own to it (I was afraid to sleep at night because I thought I was dying).
After that all the episodes became less severe, yet more frequent, and as if there was no blood in my head (rather than pooling), like they were getting closer together as if counting down to the moment of when death would occur. I wasn't getting rest. I had insomnia, like my son... and anxiety. Always between 1-4AM, being the worst of it. I stopped dreaming at night. I could not focus on anything spiritual in the day. I tried to meditate but only saw a waterfall or water or such, glimpses of things that were indicative of too much emotion and not enough answers. I knew I had to wake up and understand what was happening, but it was not available to me for whatever reason. Jeremy also had troubles at night, insomnia, and thoughts that haunted him. Existential anxiety. Guilt and voices in his head that he couldn't shake.
3 days after learning to de-stress at the island I found out my son killed himself. I lost it. I had to use what I had learned to cope and de-stress and worked on accepting what was happening... what had just happened. It helped me, although it did not take away the pain or the fact that we all missed him.
Somehow a mother's connection with her child is stronger than we realize. All of the nighttime attacks stopped except for the one night (3 days after he died) after I first flew into El Paso and stood on the spot where he dropped to the ground beside his car at the Sunset parking lot at "A" mountain on the NMSU campus in Las Cruces, NM. The attack that night was all me. I was responsible for it, for living out the anxiety from before, for the empathy I felt, and had trouble letting it go. I learned quickly that what I learned on the island is true... "stress is not something you have, it is something you do." Evidently my own son also experienced the doing part of this, and chose his fate the only way he knew would stop the stress once and for all. I do not blame him, I understand. I wish I could have shown him what I learned, but it is too late. I can only pass on the knowledge and hope it will help others. We cannot always know, even if our spirit knows, what is coming. Just be prepared for anything, and remember to love deeply and authentically, and focus on positive things.
As for me, I will focus on my son's life, not his death. He was a joy and a wonderful human being, full of compassion and love and sweetness. He was a straight A honors student in philosophy and we are proud of him, even though it was too much for him to bear. I will always love you Jeremy, and I will see you soon enough. I love you more than you could ever know.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Oh the pain of knowing that I will never hug or talk to or see my 21-year old son Jeremiah ever again in this life! He committed suicide yesterday morning, January 23, 2017 between 1:42-8:00AM MST at the Sunset parking area of A mountain on the NMSU campus where he attended school in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was working plus going to college, and was starting his last semester before earning his Bachelor's degree in Philosophy. He over thought everything, like I do. He said the stress from everything was too much, and he said sometimes it felt like his head was going to explode from all of the things in his head. He was so close to the degree and was still making A's and was an Honors student. Everyone loved Jeremiah. He wanted to teach. He had that sparkle in his eyes, that life and warm love that everyone felt. What a fantastic man and new husband he was! Oh, how I grieve his passing! He hated being alone at night when his wife was at work... insomnia and thoughts about reality and guilt or whatever else seemed louder, he told me when I saw him 3 months ago. He wrote a note to his wife yesterday morning, in the night. Then he drove to the mountain and shot himself in the head... his head exploded his brains, just like he said it felt like. Oh My God, my sweet and precious son Jeremy! My shining star! I am so sorry that you felt this badly... that the anti-anxiety medication you just started on 3 days before didn't work. Was there a reaction? Or contraindications? You had always talked about stress and anxiety, but never suicide. Never. I'm so sorry. I wish I had known more, paid closer attention. I miss you so much. Never again will I have that chance to help you. I didn't even get to say I love you one last time, but I know you always knew it. I don't know what else to say... I'm so sorry my son. I love you so much.