Holding Strong When Tragedy Hits

Although this is the first real public acknowledgement from me, about the murders, I wanted to let you know what this post is all about…

As I stood in the room, my eyes rolled around… I could feel the presence of the violence that took place there. When I looked in front of me, a well-formed fist print was made in the drywall, my Moms lunchbox sat on the floor with her uneaten food inside… Blood splatter was all over the walls, ceiling… I felt a “stay of emotion”, emotion left in a place after such violence had taken place there…

I stood there, the tears of sorrow just dripped from my face… I was in shock, and my heart was just broken… I had driven many hours to return to my parents dream home, they were on their own homesteading adventure. I remember Mom had carried the drawings for her new home around for at least a year… Making sure that every detail that her and Dad wanted was noted there.

Scared myself from days of being a soldier, I had many ghost already. They had a grip on my life for some years, but those horror stories were about a job, not my family. I stood there and looked at the floor where bullets had been removed from the wood. Dad had been shot in the head 21-24 times, his blood stained the tops of the holes and you could see the oak fibers where forensics had dug some of the lead from the floor. The couch that he had been killed on had been removed by his half-brother Hugh.

Mom, Linda, was a stepmom… As you know I have long before this time embraced my step parents, both of them… Having no kids of her own, she embraced me as a son and tried to do the same with my sister Traci, but Traci wasn’t able to form the same kind of relationship that we had together. No we didn’t have the deep relationship that I had with my biological Mom, but it wasn’t to far off. She was a firm woman, I liked that about her, I didn’t always agree with it/her, but she was often right. Linda was kind, kind to everyone, she had worked in social services for some years and understood things. She had been stabbed 17 times, defense wounds found on her hands, and her throat had been cut. The struggle that took place there could be seen. Her handbag was filled with documents, including a unfinished will and notes leading up to the day about the suspect.

I do not pretend that my relationship with Dad was great, it wasn’t… We had over the years, had several falling outs that started back when I had to move with him to the city. We were just two very different people. As far as I know, even though he had trouble as a Cop a few times, he did the best he could out there on the streets. I do not make light of how tough a cops/policeman’s job is, but Dad or Clyde I sometimes called him, didn’t carry the same respect towards me as he did those on the street. I took on some pretty serous beatings, one landed me up in Riverside Hospital and was covered up because he was a cop… That was in 1986… But later in life, we did try to recover from that and he helped me a few times… He believed in me, he knew I was working hard even though my wages sucked, he would buy me new tires for my car as a birthday present or pay a electric bill.. He knew if he gave me the money I would have partied it away or something not intended for the purpose.

Today it has been five years since they were brutally murdered, the killer killed himself less than a year after he killed them. I have peace with that, but the senseless nature of this crime, and the aftermath it has left behind is huge… I will say that I refuse, I mean, I refuse, to let the murderer define me or my life now. I will not allow him to do that….

Sitting at the base of a tree, I sometimes just sit there and cry alone… I cry a lot… I sit there and cry in a soft manner because it is the only way I know how to deal with some of this… I go up on the hill alone sometimes, and I take in what is around me… I think about my folks and I wonder how we all would be today.  It is hard not to do this, people say ” give it to God ” and I have, but we are human, we suffer and hurt… I can look back and see the drag marks where God pulled me through this ordeal, I really can.

As I sit here and write this, tears flow from my eyes…. I don’t want folks to feel sorry for me, honest, just one of several reasons I have not fully opened up about this until now… Some of you knew, and have went down this path with me over the years… I am thankful for the support of my fans, in truth, the kindness shared has been priceless…

Everyday I do my very best to be as kind as I can to everyone, even as I carry on and meet people, I am mindful of my own story. I hug many folks, mostly in my own Church family, and some know the story, some don’t. The idea behind the hugs and being kind to others is to spread some love and offer up heart based friendship…

If your reading this, you have walked down some tough places in your road of life too. But I want to mind you of what I want you to take away from this… I want you to extend a little more kindness in the most diverse situation you otherwise would have lost control… Whoever you’re having dealings with is someones kid, parent, brother, mother, dad, sister and so on… They’re a human…. Even though they’re treating you like crap, let it go… Just smile and do the best you can to be kind…. You can’t tell the road a person has walked down by looking at their face… 

Without the homestead, my lifestyle, I think I would be pretty lost still in this whole ordeal. A long time ago,  materialism and money ruled my life… I turned to God, my family, land and love of this lifestyle to keep me going…



  1. One of my favorite quotes at the bottom there. I had no idea that this was a part of your life, I just stumbled on the post after reading the kefir one! What a truly horrible way to lose people you loved and cared about. I am grateful that you chose to share with your readers, I feel privileged to know this about you and I believe that, in sharing, you will help others to understand their own grieving. Being loving and open feels like a beautiful legacy for your father and step mother.

  2. wow how that is seered into your mind. Only the Holy Trinity can get you through this as you have found out. Not sure you’re ever through it. Life can be good again just a different kind of good. Love ya. In Christ, Helen J

  3. Cant begin to understand the trauma and suffering that you have coped with in your life. Words aren’t big enough to express my sorrow for you and your family. But I do see and know a wonderful, kind and productive person that has come through all of this. May God bless you for all of your days……amen.

  4. So raw, so real, so transparent – it was almost too intimate a blog to even read.

    Thank you for letting us in your soul like that.

    We’ll walk w/ you as best we can.

  5. Linda shaw says

    So sad to have to be so strong for this senseless reason. I wish you peace!

  6. Thank you.

  7. God bless you!

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.