A Bad Page…

This is written by 12-year-old Paris whose father was a police officer. Paris’s father died by suicide over four years ago. These are her very powerful words over four years later…

Everyone needs courage and honesty when you face a bad page in your life.  Like your pet’s passing or maybe a chapter of pain in your life.  For my mother’s bad page, she got home from medical training and her four kids were tucked in bed, and her husband was sitting waiting for her.  But something is off, he isn’t normal, he is cold he is dead.

Everyone has had nature and nurture throughout his or her childhood.  Nature is what you’re born with, nurture is what the people around you make you.  My Dad had a wonderful heart, but he had hidden many mental problems.  He would strike us when we throw up or have an accident.  He would throw my brother by the neck when he got really angry.  It wasn’t just his fault he was like that.  He resided in an abusive home with his sister, mother, and father.   His parents argued and paid no attention to them, for they were too busy fighting.  He didn’t seek help though, which was his fault.  He didn’t have the courage nor honesty to tell anyone his horrible thoughts.

It was a normal day for my two brothers and sister, or so it felt.  It really wasn’t.  Dad made us spaghetti that evening, and it wasn’t that good.  We didn’t complain though.  He sent us to bed after we brushed our teeth like normal.  After we were all fast asleep in our beds, Dad then watched some TV, or so we thought.  When Mom got home, she found the suicide note and instantly broke down.  How can she be honest with us about this?  When she found Dad she couldn’t believe what he had done.  One of Mom’s first thoughts was “Will the kids wake up from the commotion of law enforcement and ambulances? And if they do, are they going to see Dad dead and Mom in distress?’

The following morning after the first bad page in our lives without knowing what happened last night, we went on our merry ways to play on our small LG phones.  My Mom needed to gain the courage and build up the honesty to tell us what happened.  We asked Mom “Where did Dad go?”  She thought up quickly that he went back to Minnesota for work (that’s where we were from).  We believed what she told us and reluctantly went outside.  When we were outside Mom made some phone calls to make arrangements to gather our family together. 

Mom told us that we were going to see our grandma in Minnesota.  When we got up there, Mom told us about what happened to Dad.  She told us that we are having his funeral.  When we got there, it took courage for me to go into the funeral home.  I DID NOT WANT TO GO IN.  I was just too sad to go in.  Mom let me wait in the car and weep for a short period before she knew I had to go inside.  She forced me out of the car to face my fears in tears and say goodbye.  I didn’t believe that he died.  Everyone was crying as I have never heard before, the atmosphere was horrible. Now I don’t think that she is a bad Mom for doing this. I am glad she did.  I am mad at myself for not going in the car with his casket to drop it off at the crematorium with my brother and mother. 

It happens to everyone, a bad page in your life one way or another.  Maybe not as tragic, but it does take courage to get over it.  This chapter of mine ends in a happy ending.  Now you may say this is horrible, but we are better off without him.  My family has never been happier and stronger.  Yes, he will be missed, however not his actions.  Throughout this chapter of my life, there is courage and honesty.  Courage and honesty are my laws of life.

If you, someone you love or someone you know needs help, call:

Safe Call Now:  24 Hour Confidential Hotline:  206-459-3020

For more information on the First Responders programing call Shannon Clairemont at 661-466-6352 or Vanessa Stapleton at 304-651-3008

America… We Are Failing Our First Responders & Their Families

By Vanessa Stapleton – President Armor Up West Virginia

Now, more than ever, as I watch the news or scroll through social media, I see story after story of chaos and violence. In the midst of all the chaos are the brave heroes sworn to protect and serve. This year has brought a wave of new and unprecedented circumstances like we have never seen in our generation.

Continue reading “America… We Are Failing Our First Responders & Their Families”

The Fallout…

By Vanessa Stapleton – President Armor Up West Virginia

In 2013, our world was suddenly stopped as police cruisers pulled into our driveway with the news that every wife fears. As I sat in the hospital later that day, I wondered what I would tell our children when I saw them again. What news would I bring them about their dad? Would I tell them that it would just be us for the rest of our lives on earth? Would I tell them their dad would never walk again? Would I, by the grace of God, be able to tell them their dad would be ok? I thought about them standing on the porch that morning as their dad drove off in his cruiser flashing his lights for them. I thought about our youngest son asking for “just one more hug” that morning. Did he know something horrific would happen that day? Surely, he couldn’t have known his dad would be shot answering a call within a few hours.

Continue reading “The Fallout…”