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barbtries a blog
Wednesday, July 31, 2002

only three ratings in four months...and they do run the gamut,
from the best to the worst.
yeah, someone out there thinks my blog stinks.

i must really have developed a healthier ego than in years past.
or maybe i have just gotten too much for myself. maybe i am crazy
with grief, and everything i say is wrong.

what do i know?

because i [deludedly?] find myself thinking that whoever went and
rated my blog "the worst" was some fundamentalist christian who
happened onto it when i was educating the reading public about
the cult that is a so-called "church."

what do i know? i have faith that cannot be denied or destroyed. i
must, because i am still walking talking reading writing and that's
even after someone made it a matter of public record that this [my
blog] is the "worst."

did i ever mention that the last time bekah came through at open
circle the medium told me she was in cap and gown? what a great
validation that was. at the time i had just learned that her
commencement, during which bekah was awarded an honorary degree
posthumously, had come and gone without my advisement.

i have her diploma now, and have seen the video of the commencement
i should have attended. Her department head told the audience that
bekah would have undoubtedly been a "valedictorian candidate" and
successful in her chosen career.

ThoughtCafe Author Profile
this is molotovmouse
So her name is Kim Hecht. I began to read some of her stuff at writtenbyme and was so impressed that about a month or so ago, i emailed her to find out where she was posting her writing these days.

i'm not sure it was on my recommendation, but today i discover that she's signed up at thoughtcafe. give her a read. her subjects are dark and she writes with such an original turn of phrase.

on a different subject - here is my girl...from her friend brandee. i'm up and running and scanning and so on ...

Monday, July 29, 2002

Oh, alive [sigh].
Wha's that jive, you feel the sting?
Like walkin' into a beehive,
Alive - what you think?

Is it more or less on the other side -
Where you slap high fives on the queen
And thank her personally for your honey.

Don't need money. What about money?
Here seems wrong, ludicrous, funny
[A Smile, a Hug, a Radiance shared]

Over there, ain't nuthin' but money -
That's what's called love
Before we return
To where yearning don't mourn, where

Sorrow means wisdom and sad don't cry
Coming in this life don't mean good-bye
Passin' on back means to re-arrive
At the place of true learning

When we die we do not die

We return to learn how to be
Alive without birth, how to be
In the universe

Beyond this polluted pain-full dive
Otherwise known as Planet Earth
This screwed up world
Where all the hurts and hatreds thrive

Grants us entry
Commends us to
Eternity, Alive

Saturday, July 27, 2002
Sign in - Yahoo! Games
This place has kept me from blogging, working on my book, writing anything new, sleeping...and i'll have to make this post short so i can get back to it.

Literati - addictive for sure. it'll wear off after awhile.

in the meantime andy's joined the navy. he called thursday night and said, "my new job is okay, but the reason i called is to tell you that my recruiter is on his way to pick me up."

they put the recruits up in a hotel somewhere in LA; there was a phone in their room, but according to Andy, they were forbidden to use it. Its purpose was for the wake-up call that came at 3 a.m. yesterday morning.

his recruiter actually coughed up $20 to help andy be sure all went well. and all went well. i guess, well...he called again last night and said, "I'm in the Navy."

so my baby's going away to the navy, following in the footsteps of his Grandpa Frank, who i am so sure is hanging out with loved ones passing out high fives with pride. that was all i could say to andy, "Your grandfather is so proud of you right now."

actually so am I. with mixed feelings, terribly mixed feelings...sending positive thoughts to my boy with love...amen

Monday, July 22, 2002

babe. Got things to get: Milk - Cat Food - bread - something to put on the bread - DP - what else? The day stretches out and finally I do something. A very little something admittedly - but I'm not finished.

Bekah-la maybe you will be a household word. I am humbled and encouraged. Time will tell. And there will always be more, i know! More to do. More to write. More irony and epiphany. More wisdom and even more stupidity. More love and joy more pain and grieving.

Please every god and goddess every half-assed deity every force of nature every quirk of humanity!

Let me die before any one of my sons, grandsons or Denise. Oh please thank you amen blowing kisses genuflecting holy rolling I speak in tongues oh whoever you are and even if you're not I still send these prayers out on all that is most sacred to me:

please let me die first.

love you Bekah XXXOOO

Carson man gets 12-year term

another case where something like justice happened. . . i just don't get it!
this guy pled GUILTY, got 12 years, did not leave the scene...

something is very wrong here. my daughter was not chopped liver mutha fuckers.

Sunday, July 21, 2002
The Research Kitchen of the Virtual Man
During the most stressful times of our lives, sometimes new friends manage to revive our hope the way old friends cannot. Tom is a drummer, a writer, a good person. He's a friend of mine.

Thank you Tom.

Friday, July 19, 2002
just another day...

check out tyler's blog. make sure you do it today! :)
just kidding, you can check it out every day. that's what i do. thank you, tyler.

and while you're at it, check out tom's blog:research kitchen of the virtual man thank you too, tom (see ya tomorrow!)

people are wonderful. here's another picture of a wonderful people. miss her...

Macromedia: Events
So, i'm going to learn Flash on July 30 - i'm excited. i've done one animation with a much cheaper application called swish, but let the 15-day period lapse without opening the program again.

it's gotta be a good thing.

i'm just awake and resisting this day. a friend of mine at grief counseling told me how she got through it: total denial! Her sister reminded her that it was the one-year anniversary of her son's death and she said, "No, it's not, it's not until tomorrow." Even though five days before that in group she had spoken about the imminence of that day....

so i'm not into denial. My daughter was murdered one year ago today, on July 19, 2001

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

this is an interesting concept...Tom, are you reading today? i think you should check out this link, it might be right up your alley...

my three oldest children on christmas 2000. The last christmas we were blessed with the gorgeous smile you see on the young woman sitting in the middle...

gawd i'm about blind with sleep which i would not do. i found some more diary entries i need to put into my book. have been splitting and unsplitting files so that the computer in the bedroom is as up to date as the [newer, faster] one out here.

jus' cain't do it no mo. no not now.

Monday, July 15, 2002
U.S. Navy - Welcome to Navy.com, the official web site of the U.S. Navy

does anybody remember that old song that at some time includes the lyrics, "blue, navy blue, i'm as blue as i can be, cause my steady boy set ship ahoy, and joined the na-a-avy" ?

i need that song. i'm planning a party in my head right now. while andy was here earlier, explaining why he wasn't quite able to sign up today, and why he was advised by his recruiter to drink several gallons of water daily between now and friday, when they will sign him up if they can, i downloaded the village people's song about the navy. now i need this oldie. you may wonder why they are drooling all over themselves to sign up this kid who needs to consume many gallons of water over the next couple days to be signed up. oh, just a 96 on his aptitude test. [yes i'm proud of my son]

any others? no, i have not gone mad. has andy? i guess not. though it fills me with dread on one hand, and i am especially fearful that it will make him so miserable he won't make it through boot camp, i have to admit that first of all it's his decision, and secondly it might be a good experience for him. lessons in taking orders, being responsible, etc.

[no war! no war! don't make my baby go to war]

i had to say amen because that is a major league prayer...my father joined the navy in 1941...was on the USS California on december 7 that year...his mother was informed of his presumed death and mourned him for about three weeks before learning that the announcement was premature. i still have the original telegrams from the war dept.

after pearl harbor my father was stationed on the USS Lexington and was present on that ship when it was sunk in the Coral Sea. He survived that too.

in 1968 my father returned to hawaii to begin his new job that would eventually require that our entire family follow him. Six weeks after he left CA, some 27 years after he'd been considered dead in Hawaii the first time around, he dropped dead of a heart attack. he was 49.

and none of that has anything whatsoever to do with andy, who has promised me that he will not enlist until he has a written contract promising that he will get the job he signs up for. Journalist. My son is going to be a journalist, and he's starting in the navy.

at least that's today's best guess. [dad, stop beaming! i'm worried! bush is president!] ok, what's that about? my brother enlisted in 1965: the marines. i was only 10 but somehow i still have the feeling that my dad was more upset that it wasn't the navy than that jim might get killed in vietnam.

he didn't - he got stationed in hawaii, to surf for the armed forces...but that's a different story for a different day

Saturday, July 13, 2002

one of my groups...a person posting frets because as her friend's murderer's execution date approaches, the crime has become new again. she is in pain for herself and her murdered friend, and wonders how it can be that she had convinced herself she had forgiven the perp when it seems apparent that she had not, because she could not have been as okay as she thought she was if she had not forgiven....

i responded:

my daughter was murdered by a drunk, enraged 53-year-old woman, who dragged bekah's body down the street, ran over her, then drove away up a dark windy road with bits and pieces of my daughter clinging to her car, got home just fine, and was asleep in bed when the police caught up with her.

she was allowed to plead "no contest" to felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated and felony hit and run and sentenced to the least possible amount of time. she will be out of prison in less than two years and as far as i know a menace once again. her crimes were not even considered "violent" so she has no strikes and could kill again the same way she did bekah and still not get a substantial prison sentence.

i go to grief counseling, and recommend it. my counselor has assured me that i do not have to forgive bekah's murderer [that was my thinking, how can i ever recover enough not to be bitter and miserable for my entire life if i can't forgive this person, who will not afford me any basis for that?]. furthermore, that until the civil trial concludes, i even "need" my anger, to get me through that process.

it is not pleasant. but that's a fact of murder, a crime that should never happen! never. people should not kill people. you lost someone you loved because a person decided he would die. how unfair is that? i wish i could comfort you more, but all i can think to say is lean into your grief, live through it...and remember your loved one. maybe write keith a letter telling him about what's going on here on earth with his case...

i have not gone far enough in my counseling to elucidate how i will find a way to be okay without forgiving the unforgivable. but i will be okay, i believe, and you can be too. [for me] if no other reason than that she cannot have me too. she had no right to my daughter. she took choices away from bekah and all of bekah's loved ones that were not hers to make, and that is it. i can't change what happened but i do resolve that i won't remain a victim for the rest of my life and that my sons and their families will not, either. she can't have us.

take care, keep us posted how it goes.
love, bekah's mom barbara
comments very welcome, specifically with how you think you might deal with this heartwrenching issue. i really have no answers for this girl, i just have the validation of my own experience. how can we all be okay when murders happen?

Friday, July 12, 2002

on christmas eve 1995 i had lost custody of my son andy after bekah chose to move in with her father and he used the opportunity to slash my child support [which i had never tried to have increased in over 7 years]. in february of that year i had left my job of 18 years for a position that theoretically offered a future. two months later i was fired because i insisted on being paid on payday. by christmas i had been evicted from the apartment i had maintained since my 1987 divorce and was living at my sister's house in Lancaster while attending computer school in Torrance...that was a hell of a commute.

from my diary, 12-24-95:
So just sit here and wait on tomorrow. Know I'll be strong for it, I won't crumble. Good God if I WAS going to do that it would have been before I was 1 1/2 months to a Professional certificate and a REAL opportunity to better myself and earn back my babies.

Shit don't start that pain. Don't gnaw at that sore. Don't think about the little daily death this estrangement has meant. Don't keep thinking about petty revenge, like slashed tires (over and over and over and over) or all the other petty mischievous ways that won't really change the past or fix the reality that I am in someone else's house with a mere fraction of the children I should be raising DAILY.
That pain is physical - my heart hurts.
Tears that will ream the ocean well inside of me and the primal scream is: ANDY!
Let it lie.


Weep woman weep
awake or asleep -
Clutch at a pillow that isn't a child
Scream, sob, let yourself be
Your babies were taken, taken, taken
By a man who sleeps just fine -
Your motherhood is DEVASTATED -
where's respect? gratitude? recognition?
Where's your daughter? Where's your son?

ha. sad laugh. and that was when my children were all alive.

my ex-husband never seemed to respect that as my children's mother, i would always be important to them. When Bekah died he respected me. thank gawd, or bekah - anyway.

he is married and has been for years. tonight i got the strangest most disturbing email from this woman, who is apparently feeling extraordinarily contemptuous toward my 18-year-old son. [i NEVER wanted him to leave me - her husband took me to court to get out of paying child support after my eviction - i compare his actions to that of a common thief who happens upon a wreck and lifts the victim's wallet...and, shit, i have to be way past that particular bitterness. the shit, shit shit things people do].

anyway. i am not going to elaborate further. but i will say this. He just turned 18 years old in October, and his sister was murdered less than one year ago. GIVE MY SON A BREAK.

it really fries my ass when people affect superiority in situations in which they really should just recognize how lucky they are.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

the conclusion of my remarks.
Shortly after Bekah died, I visited with a friend whose husband was murdered about five years ago. She helped me open up to let Bekah's love begin to build faith back inside of me. She told me how her husband's visits after he died scared her at first and how over time, she accepted his ongoing presence in her life, so that now she lets his spirit help her raise their two young children. When I asked shouldn't she let him go, because she is too young to remain a widow for the rest of her life, she said, "Oh, I live FOR my husband." I didn't get it.

Some very important people in my life since Bekah died are those who do know my grief. Parents who have emerged to live again although their child was murdered are like beacons, mentors, ministers to me. Last February, after the person who murdered my daughter was allowed to plead out of the murder charge and sentenced to almost no time at all for killing Bekah, I visited with one of these friends. This man's 18-year-old son was murdered over ten dollars worth of crack and the case was dismissed on a pre-trial motion because the witness was around the corner when the shot was fired.

Well, my friend got justice for his son and spent several years in prison because he did. Now he is out, in love, living and working on happiness. As I sat there choking on the bitter pill of Bekah's justice denied, seeking the wisdom that will allow me peace even though Bekah's murderer allows me no basis for forgiveness, my friend looked at me with milleniums of sorrow and love in his eyes and said, "Now, go live for Bekah." I didn't get it.

I get it now. Living for Bekah means living for Bekah: going after LIFE with gusto, energy, sharing LIFE with any number of fascinating people, soaking up LIFE with joy, laughter, fun, friends.

Living for Bekah means living. When I get out of this place I will live for Bekah: live, as if Bekah is perched on my shoulder living it too. I ask those of you here today to do the same: give my little girl a ride on your shoulder; live for Bekah.

Live long love much be as good as you can be, to yourselves as well as each other. Laugh a lot, and be open to those moments when Bekah will show you her love.

To Bekah,
Love forever in eternity in time on earth in the sky and the great beyond, where you blow kisses sculpt turtles in clouds squirt water at your brother
Find many ways to comfort me

Be well be free bless your soul darling girl and fulfill your finest possibilities in eternity.

In time this will be understood by me: it is how it is so that must be how it must be.


and with that, my comments were concluded. the bagpiper played his rendition of "Big Country" and "Amazing Grace." Bekah's father, best friend, her mother, and my friend who is in the grips of a cult spoke, but her daughter changed her mind. Cried almost as much as me?

good GAWD it has been just so tearful and soooo significant. now, let me make it matter. let me live it amenamenamenamenamen

what do I know

i have yet to post the final paragraphs of the rather long sermon i delivered at bekah's grave on saturday...but as if to be certain i did not get too comfortable, with myself, my faith, or my grief, this spilled out of me last night.

these past several days have got to be counted up there with the most emotional days of my life. this intense push to get to that place where i can go after tomorrow though it is bereft of bekah. disability runs out; i have to make a living. i hate that fact, because i am so close to achieving that peace, i think.

but then again, what do i know? what the fuck do i know.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002
TINY Software - Tiny Software Inc.

MR Toolbox!

the third installment of the remarks i made at my daughter's grave on her 22nd birthday:

Love does not die. This is a statement often repeated to comfort the bereaved. This truth is the light I am beginning to perceive on the emerging side of the indescribably terrible place I was sent to when Bekah died.

I did not choose to come here. Bekah did not choose, court, or deserve her early exit from life. We are victims, each of us, chosen by random to know this pain and this loss where we should be knowing her voice, her laugh, her hugs….

Thank you Bekah, for your ongoing extra special efforts to reinvest me with a faith that allows hope, without which life is, if not impossible, certainly not worth my time. I have stalked your soul for almost a year and today it is your 22nd birthday…but you will never be older than 21 years 13 days. By the numbers I have learned that you were always 22, based on your date of birth. Those with a destiny number of 22 are especially special souls, with auras of gold and accomplishments of deep meaning. And so you lead your bereft mother away from the desert of despair back to life after your own life has been cut short.

That love is a force and a need as well as a feeling is not a new concept for me. Little did I know that my daughter would be taken abruptly and rudely by a human who is for my purposes the embodiment of Love's antithesis. So it is people who feed my faith and it is people who threaten it. People who want me to be happy and fulfilled and people who would happily relegate me to a lifetime in hell.

An irony attending Bekah's tragedy is that because of it, I have grown close to family members I never would have otherwise, I have gotten to know and come to love many of Bekah's friends who would have maintained their distance had she lived, and I have been comforted by and allowed to offer comfort to bereaved people from around the world. These people bring more and more love into my life. At times I want to wail and often I do cry, because why did Bekah have to die to enrich my life?

But in the final analysis, though as I have learned I cannot turn back the clock, make Bekah be alive again, or even effect justice for her, there are some choices left to me. Choices regarding whether I settle down in or work my way through the desert of despair. Whether I wail and protest the wrong done to Bekah from a vacuum of bitterness, or work to make a change and maybe save one mother and one child from having to endure this. Whether I accept everything that has been left to me and offered to me because Bekah died, or just the grief that wants to own me.

The bottom line is: if I choose only the grief and allow the rest of my time on this planet to be dictated by this bereavement, if I refuse the gifts, of love, friendship, companionship and comfort that have been presented to my children and I by generous caring people in the aftermath of her murder, because she should not have had to die to make this happen, Bekah will still be dead.

Monday, July 08, 2002
to continue the text of my remarks:

Obviously Bekah's death did more than shake my faith: it disproved it. The second lesson was, I have survived my daughter, a lesson that was accompanied by many more questions than answers. The biggest question was, "Will I live again between now and when I die?" Because I must distinguish between survival and life. Losing Bekah was a blow of such proportion it took my vitality the way getting punched in the gut takes your breath. And to my mind, survival is hardly worthwhile if life is left behind.

To survey a point in time after Bekah's death where I might anticipate the future instead of chasing the past, pursue happiness instead of endure pain, experience joy as well as grief, was impossible for months after she died. First of all, I had to believe she was dead - that took about two and a half months. I never knew a person could be in shock for two and a half months. After I learned Bekah died, another few months were spent trying to make her be alive again, a task that my mind recognized as futile, but which my heart insisted upon.

After about six months I had traveled to where I am today, acceptance. Not the calm and peaceful knowing I had imagined, acceptance is perhaps the single longest span within this desert of despair, and it is comparable to the Sahara. During the hot season. At noon. Naked, alone and burning, so that no suggestion or threat of a hell beyond this earth will ever mean anything to me, I speak on my daughter's 22nd birthday.

No cake no ice cream no candles. No birthday girl? This day has rolled at me like a silent locomotive. There is no sound, because eternity has claimed Bekah's noises. I wanted on this day to celebrate the life of my precious girl, but her passing is too new for me to be happy, or even pretend to be.

And so instead I offer this testimony: There is no death but the shedding of mortality. Though you may say there is a god and I say there is not, don't think we're headed for separate eternities. Because I do perceive a plethora of souls on the other side. Souls who love me. And if god is not love, what's the point?

Love is god, love is why, love puts faith into my soul and brings Bekah into my dreams. Love will lead me back to life in time.

"the Song is Love"
[by mary travers: first of all, i would like to say a word or two, i know you won't be thinking this applies to you, but it's true, and it do...all your life, you have had to sing your song alone, not believing anybody could have known, but you're wrong, and you know...

i found a song let me sing it to you, let me say it now while the meaning is new, but wouldn't it be good if we could sing it together? don't be afraid to sing me a line, sing about the joy that i know we can find, wind them around and see what they sound like together...the song is love/the song is love/the song is love

last of all, i would like to thank you for the word or two spoken in the moments when i needed you ah to see me through, and they do...

i found a song let me sing it to you, let me say it now while the meaning is new, but wouldn't it be good if we could sing it together? don't be afraid to sing me a line, sing about the joy that i know we can find, wind them around and see what they sound like together...the song is love/the song is love/the song is love]

[tom:] i didn't sing the song, but i played it...here's a picture of my grandson micah giving the song to bekah on her 20th birthday:

Friday, July 05, 2002
Cartogra: View Photo

here's my graphics server in case you're looking for one. my account is "barbtries" and the public album is "blogphotos"

first i'm going to read The Waking

If you know me at all you know I write poems. You may not realize that poetry serves as the spiritual touchstone in my life. I do not embrace or subscribe to any religion, and my concept of god is essentially the opposite of what is popularly believed.

When besieged by the intractable questions that torment and baffle our human race, I read poetry. It rarely lets me down. Of all the poems I've ever read, there are two that I love most of all. You just heard one of them. The other is The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot. He opens this masterpiece with a quote from Dante's Inferno, and to paraphrase, "I tell you this fearlessly because to my knowledge not one soul has ever returned from where you are going."

I am speaking from that place, otherwise known as hell, or as I think of it, the desert of despair. Looking around I see that among this crowd of people I am quite alone here. That cannot be helped, because this place is reserved for mothers like me, those who have sustained what Shakespeare called "the unkindest cut of all."

I strive to make my way out of here and live again before I die, and believe that I stand an excellent chance of succeeding. For that I must thank my daughter, Bekah Zask, for going above and beyond the call of duty to let me know that she is with me, her love survives, and she is in a good place. A place that is so much closer to earth than the word "dead" implies.

Here on earth, we live in time, our souls outfitted with the trappings of mortality. In the great beyond where Bekah was sent before her time, souls live in eternity. Eternity is to the other side what time is to our mortal side.

During moments of appreciative epiphany, for instance diving into the ocean or watching the sun rise in the desert, we are allowed to partake of the same eternity that characterizes the dimension where Bekah lives. Likewise the souls who inhabit eternity visit time at will.

I am able to say this, and even believe it, because my daughter has demonstrated to me in a number of amazing ways that she is near, very very near, that she is still Bekah, and that she loves us in a vital, ongoing sense. I won't take the time to recite the catalogue of Bekah's post-mortem unexplained phenomena and incredible small world stories, but if you want to know or if you have something to add to it, see me afterward, email me, or call and we'll talk.

This catalogue enables my recovery from the most profound and painful loss. It includes the truly phenomenal occurrences where physical matter on this plane was affected by what I believe to be Bekah's post-death energy, and many other less striking instances, which a skeptic might charge do not constitute evidence of anything.

To know that Bekah is hugging me because I get the chills up and down my body independently of any observable physical cause is to apply faith to my experience. With faith my soul transcends this place where I am bereft of my beloved daughter, and Bekah and I are together.

Faith is a difficult thing to summon. For someone as logical as myself, who has looked around this world for almost 47 years and observed no evidence of a cognizant god, faith rests by necessity on people and is driven by love. Of many lessons taken since Bekah was killed, the first was that, of any and all faiths I had ever entertained to that point, the most deeply held of all, the one thing I believed one thousand percent unequivocally, was I will die before my children.


this is as of this moment the first paragraphs of the speech i am planning to give tomorrow at Green Hills Cemetery as we memorialize my dead daughter on her 22nd birthday

Wednesday, July 03, 2002
So i spent all day holed up in my bedroom writing it. When bekah's best friend called it was almost 5 pm, which blew me away. i thought i had been writing for 2 or 3 hours and it would be 1 or 2 pm. But no, i had been writing for like 9 hours! Seven to nine hours.

So, i am going to open the proceedings with "Ooh Child" and "A Thousand Miles"

Then I am going to read The Waking after which i will give my speech.

Rory and I have to go, get some food, maybe our fireworks....

As we get closer and closer to the 22nd anniversary of her birth, i think more and more about what will i say on that day? How do i balance the desire to remember and celebrate this blessing of a child with the wisdom i wish to impart, which has only been presented to me by virtue [for lack of a better word] of her death?

how do i say it economically and truly too? i don't want to drone on for ages; i don't want to beat them over the head with my message; i don't want to let the opportunity go without trying to gain respect for what i say. i know it flies in the face of most people's personal beliefs. but so what?

We must choose our beliefs. I want to share mine, understanding that you may reject them, but i want you to understand that as far as i am concerned, this is what it is. i know that at least as well as you know your bible....

Tuesday, July 02, 2002
My Wish List
Moviefone.com: - Showtimes - Closest Theaters

Who am i, what am i
A picture's worth

moon phases

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I stand on the sand, and I'm rocking grief to sleep in my arms.

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