Archive for April, 2012

If you have information…find me.

April 28, 2012

4/28/12

 

Everything feels suspended these days…

 

I continue to work towards my goals as I watch others walk past me closer to the fruition of their own. A sister closing in on her nursing degree next week after marriage, divorce and 4 kids. Another sister hanging on the word of a successful interview for a job promotion…another who has already made that leap…a child who is walking the hard road back to closure in one relationship and another child walking forwards towards  the mending of hers… and then there is me.

 

I continue to work on my degree…my job…the book… the investigation and my life and somehow the days and nights continue to revolve, all the while I feel no closer to the goals. I know this year promised to be slow. They said that cabin fever will set in because things are not moving at the rate of speed I wanted, but they are still moving. They said to keep working, even though it feels as though nothing is happening- it is.

I am not depressed…just in limbo.

 

Yesterday I spent a lot of time on the book. Again, it is hard to separate Charley’s story from my own- so I haven’t. Some days I can feel him at my elbow, right beside me- cheering me on- letting me know that he is with me. Then there are days when I cannot feel him- as though he has slipped away to some other realm where he has no more need of me or my constancies. Some days I worry that I have hit the tail end- and I know I have, but somehow the end leaves me anxious and sad. So much still to piece together, so many clues, images and names that I cannot tie the strings to yet continue to wander across every page of my report.

 

If you have followed this blog from the start and for those of you just beginning…don’t just begin- go back to the beginning and start reading from there. From here it all looks so easy- it’s not now, nor was it before. From there I knew I had forever to go and it was both comforting and frustrating, because it was a direction and you just kept plugging away.

From here? I look behind and see the long road we have traveled together; emotionally, spiritually and clandestinely. I have asked a million questions- gotten back as many answers in kind and though I have been able to piece meal this case together from scratch…there are so many pieces left undone and they know how that bothers me. They know that for me, every balloon must have its string- every can must have its lid- every envelope must have its letter and every clue must have its segue. Intellectually I know I cannot possibly make everything fit perfectly and yet emotionally I know no other way.

R once said…no. R has said more than once that a letter from Tallahassee would be coming my way from a woman who has much to share. A woman perhaps who has information vital to my cause. Somebody in the mix has a relative there. I know it- he knows it. What does she have to say? What information can she tell me? What piece of this puzzle can she solve for me? One man’s wife continues to whisper in his ear- tell the truth, now before someone dies and can no longer receive redemption. One man’s ego will take him to his grave and then to the great fires beyond. One man is too crazy even to know he is already a dead man walking, because he has no heart- no soul- no hope of eternal forgiveness.

And then there is me- the keeper of the club. I watch them move from here to there. Listen to their boasts, watch their eyes dart from side to side-wondering who knows- who doesn’t. They mail letters, make phone calls, go to church, walk the graveyards of their past, cut ribbons and tie bows. All under the watchful eyes of those who follow this blog- those who know the collective truth- those who refuse to defend the historic lie that surrounds the death of Charles G. Covington.

 

The story is all but finished. I want the right ending for the book and you all can help supply it. Watch them. Follow their moves, remember their deeds and look for their mistakes. Who did they befriend- what did they do, where did they go? Who slept with who, who paid the price and with what did they pay? Who had the diamonds? Who had the lighter? Who had the coat? Who had the deformed thumb and the anchor tattoo? Who watched the fire from her window- who tied the barbed wire about the ankles? Whose fingers crushed the throat- whose lights swirled when they found her? Who pushed the package into the water? Who had the lunch box and who had the blades? Who pulled the trigger and who buried the goods? Who left this world in a fog of guilt? Who lives still thinking they will never get caught?

 

These are the questions that keep me up at night…they should keep you up too. Some nights it’s not fair that I cannot rest while others sleep. Some nights it’d be nice to have company to watch the stars.

 

If you have information…find me.

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Dead fish…

April 26, 2012

4/25/12

 

Sometimes I see things and worry that they mean something more than what they  apear to be. Take for instance, this morning at a ridiculous hour I was getting ready to leave for work and when I got to my car, I took a moment to take in the twinkling lights across the lake and sighed. Two minutes later I climbed in the Mustang, revved the motor and prepared to go up the hill of my long driveway. Midway, my lights caught the silver spackling of something and I slammed on my brakes.

I honked. It didn’t move.

I batted my headlights like a Southern debutante in heat… it still didn’t move!

Curious, I got out of my car and walked to the front of the car. There beneath the bumper of my wonderful car was a fish. A very dead fish!

I was flummoxed.

How the hell did a fish get all the way up from the lake and onto my 1/8 mile long drive?

Was it carried by bird?

Was it hauled by raccoon?

Was it deposited by demon as a message?

Hmmmm…

I pondered it for a moment then called my husband and warned him not to let the dogs drag it off. All the way into work I canvassed the limited analysis of references for such an interpretation in my mind. Dead animals in the driveway… dead animals anywhere…fish… any fish…dead fish.

 

Other than sounding like a really bad version of a lovesick redneck ballad I could pen…

“Oh, darlin. Dead fish on the driveway… garbage on the lawn. That’s how you left me baby…just a jailbird  without a song!”

(By the way Grim… I wrote that for you!!!)

 

So what does a dead fish in your driveway mean? Is this like the bloody horse head on the end of the bed like in the Godfather? Was this supposed to be the representative of some great misdeed to come? My Numerology today said that hidden information would be received, sooooooooooo…curious I began to investigate.

Once at work, I Googled the combination of words; dead +fish and waited patiently for my inspired interpretation- my hidden information… my nugget of wisdom.  I just knew it would have great meaning, so I salivated as the screen rolled and rolled. Other than producing a plethora of potential coupons for scented trash bags or links to Bass Pro Shop… I received nothing for my troubles.

At least, nothing that I cared to ascribe to MY life.

Exhausted by homework and the usual chaos of  my days- I now sit before you a tired, and unimpressed woman who has decided that if this was meant to be a sign… the messenger sucked.

I didn’t get it…I don’t get it.

But maybe the message wasn’t for me. Maybe one of you will know what this means? Maybe this has more to do with metaphorical fishing than actual fish. If I think about this long enough, I’m sure I’ll come up with something. But minus both energy and inspiration at the moment, I have decided tonight my dear friends, that sometimes a dead fish…is just a dead fish!

So in the spirit of… ok, the spirit! Take the night off.

Hum me a few bars of that tune, will ya Grim? How does it go again???

“Dead fish on the driveway, don’t always mean flies in the house!”

Enjoy…

It happened again!

April 22, 2012

4/22/12

It happened again…

Late last night after I finished with homework which has absolutely taken over my life, I was preparing to shut down my computer when the little white dog, Harley began to pace the office floor agitated. I threw the tennis ball for her as distraction, but that wasn’t what she was interested in. What she was interested in was something… or someone I could not see. I glanced at the 8×10 of Charley and less than 10 seconds later; she began barking and fixating on the ceiling. Again, she ran from corner to corner, onto the coach beside my desk and continued to bark…following the ethereal guest with her eyes and a low sullen growl. Understanding now that I have visitors in this office too, I merely began to ask who it was and went through a litany of names addressing the possible interloper.

Was it Charley?

Miss M?

Perhaps it was Jessica or Roxanne?

Maybe the MOT swung by to invite me to a game of golf!

Sooooooo… could it have been my dear sweet friend, Charley? Maybe.  But she usually doesn’t bark if he is in the room. Perhaps it was someone new or just someone she hasn’t seen for awhile. Maybe my parents? Or maybe…

Tick … tick… tick… tick…

I can tell the pendulum has begun its descent. The night before my husband pulled me away from my laptop after 12 hours, for a much needed break. He surprised me and took me to another Thai restaurant! Yes… in Covington! As fate would have it, I ordered the exact same wine and dish I’d had the other week. Sipping comfortably from my glass, I thought to myself about the previous premonition. You remember? The little girl with the big eyes and the curious nature? The little girl who should have been ordering Chicken McNuggets? The little girl whose fascination with a pecular character ran chills down my spine? The little girl who looked deeply into her mother’s eyes and asked…

“Who is the Grim Reaper?”

Ahhhhh, yes. That girl!

“I know who he is… why don’t you ask me?” I wanted to say, but instead sipped on my wine quietly and thought, soon…soon. The world will know soon. Perhaps I should start checking out the newspapers.

Enjoy your day, Grim- for they may be numbered.

Stone fences…

April 17, 2012

4/17/12

Ok… so an angel I am not.

Surprised? Nah…

Sometimes I get tired. Sometimes I get frustrated that I am unable to piece something where I think I am led to believe it should fit. And in that frustration, I push where sitting still might be the better option. Is this a flaw in my nature? No… just in my judgement sometimes. My inherent response to all obstacles is to clear them by whatever means necessary, or to navigate with aplumb what I cannot manipulate by sheer will.

Again, is this a flaw in my nature? No… I simply need to learn how to manage the momentum of the decent as well as I promoted the eagerness and enthusiasm of my ascent. What I did last night was vomit into the cosmos my disregard for  a recent detour. What I got in return was a notice that I had disappointed myself and a dear friend for my uncomely behavior. In the same breath I inhaled, speaking of the miracle of names on shirts… I slammed spirit within the air of  the consequential exhale, bitching that I wasn’t getting enough information.

For such a slight, the universe has put me in time out until I can see the miracle again.

We live by the sword, we die by the sword. Each one of us has one. Mine is the pen. You applaud my my gift of expression for joy and for beauty and yet, it has its dark side too. I applaud and complain within the same blotter of ink and I must learn to curb my appetite for expression. I must learn that sometimes it is better to stare at the blank page and know that in its emptiness there is more unwritten truth, than what I might pen to soothe myself.

I do not always have to write upon it, though the invitation to do so is sweet.

I am patient most times and eager the rest. Habit my dear, keeps me from resting. I am one of Vern’s girls and so I do not rest as easily as another. I do not sit idly by when I know that another ounce of energy will move the stone an inch further away from the wall before the sun sets.

I am a Taurus.

It is my nature to plow the field so that others can sew what seeds be their delight. It is in my nature to clear the field of unwanted stone so that others might use them to build other, more loving fences  or to create strong foundations for other structures they might desire to build.  It is in my nature not to balk, but to dig my shoulder further into the harness and move steadily ahead and sometimes…  when I just hit a stone wall I can neither deconstruct or maneuver about…I will sit my butt down in front of it, ponder and snort about my displeasure in hitting a greater margin than I can budge.

Sunday I hit that margin.

Yesterday I sat before it and snorted.

So today I apologize and like Ferdinand the bull, I will sit at that great margin- that endless border- that stone fence and I will try to notice that before its endless impression…lovely daisies sprout from beneath its great mass and give irony to its existence. I will try to notice how beautifully the stone wall I have hit, frames the countryside beyond, allowing the horizon to level itself. I will try to appreciate the effort it took for someone to build it from all the other stones I have already cleared for them.

And most of all… I will try to remember that some stone fences are not placed in my path to keep me out of the greater unknown of greener pastures, but to keep me safe and protected where I can survey what I have already achieved and come to love.

Sometimes it is harder living on this side of the veil, knowing what truth lies on the other side and becoming frustrated to be so close and yet… and yet…

And yet…realize I am not so far away from things as it feels some days.

Sorry Charley…

Sorry R…

Sorry spirit…

Spirit must step to the plate…

April 17, 2012

4/16/12

It has been several days since I have written… mostly because I had need to leave spirit to spirit for a while and get back to mundane things like homework and housework.  I am caught this evening by what is and what has been and what could be. In this case I have done Yeoman’s duty to decipher and determine each tiny clue and innuendo… but tonight? Spirit must step to the plate and direct from this point forward.

Last night after a full days event, I watched a movie just before bedtime. In it again, a sign of impending doom. A baseball player on the back of his shirt bore the name of Grimmsley.  That came just after the repeat of the Long Island Medium’s ear candy about the Grim Reaper entering the room. This in the heels of black roses and a dining with the devil experience and I get the message. Someone is on the short list.

Ok… remedial I am naught! So what’s the deal with the recent bombshell, spirit? Do not begin to re-arrange the chairs on the deck of this Titanic. The night is late, the water cold and I have metaphorically pulled enough bodies from the water already. I have worked long and hard for over three years now and I grow weary.

State your case, spirit.

Name your victims… name your perps and let me be on with it!

Charley?

Pull some strings, buddy. I need some freaking answers to two questions and you already know what they are!

People long silent are waking from…

April 11, 2012

4/11/2012

Last night another visitation. The little white dog who rests beside me night after night as I ponder over text books  or plow through pages of the book, bit and barked at the air above my desk for over ten minutes. A microscope in my text book was named after oneof the four in flannel. A TV show medium announced the arrival of the same.

There is something going on in the cosmos.

People long silent are waking from their eternal repose to put in their two cents…and I don’t mean G’s! The man with the camel coat, the damaged thumb and the air of authority is getting nervous. The man with the crooked teeth is crapping in his drawers and shuffling money from here to yonder. Mr. Pocket Protector is so scared he’s half blind with fear. The man who carried the lunch box all day waits for something to convince him he has no other option.

Each day we die a little more. And by the way? I owe Miss M a big apology. I totally misread the Albert Einstein portrait before- but I got it now! One was Albert Einstein and one was more like Ada Wets’s butler.

Gonna watch TV-Land late night re-runs now, aren’t you?

Oh… and here’s another riddle! Anyone for canned peaches??? You know if you place them to near a fire…a really BIG fire… they become poached peaches.

Don’t you just love a mystery?

I don’t either!

That’s why I solve them.

Sleep tight, Grim and don’t forget to breathe…

The mention of the Grim Reaper and the premonition of death…

April 10, 2012

4/10/2012

I have no control of what comes through or what is presented. I can only observe and take note of what is placed in my path. Again last night… the mention of the Grim Reaper and the premonition of death.

Time appears to be running out.

CONFESS

The pendulum has already swung …

April 7, 2012

4/7/2012

I woke early this morning to disgruntled sounds of dogs needing use of the outside facilities. Once the walk was completed and all returned to the house…I noted that someone had stolen the lake and in its place, huge cotton balls of fog meandered the once visible shoreline. Like the victims in this case who visited the other night, only the boat was clear and all else a blur of pink tinted gauze. By 9:17 all the haze had burned away and the opposite shoreline emerged, complete with requisite cabins and dwelling just as they had been the night before. The full moon had been brilliant last night, the stars equally showcased and it felt as though I had run a marathon. Yesterday many things happened and it was as though the veil had been torn and all the small tid bits of information that had fallen from the shelf like dust began to mesh together.

The large shiny car, the Ferris wheel, the pickled peaches and a necklace which sank to the bottom of the lake.

The clarity of the moon, the fog of the morning…both a metaphor for recent events.

How do I appeal to you? How do I ask you all to give up the charade of innocence and ask you to join in the culmination towards justice? You who read this with clever eye and concealed lips have much to say- much to share. I have given you the frame. I have painted the canvas with broad strokes, shaded and created shadow and margin. I have outlined and outlived lies that have worn thin like the shirts upon their feeble backs.

Their bodies are now betraying them…their consciences run ramped confused in the maze of their twisted and contorted truths. I cannot ask you any more plainly than this.

Confess. Confess it all or confess at least as much as you know.

The pendulum has already swung and its speed is swift and its course predetermined.

Do it… do it now before the striking edge cuts through the best of intentions and leaves you hanging in the lurch.

After three years of learning the shorthand of the dead…

April 6, 2012

4/6/2012

Today is Good Friday and just like the Easter story… something else has arisen that defies logic. That being my curiosity and the undeniable fact that the universe is apparently not finished with me yet! Why?  Because the other night I finished with work and after a grueling week and weekend of back to back shows, long drives to and from the theatre and copious amounts of forensic homework… I arrived at home to something unexpected! Instead of reading my text books while my husband grilled on the deck to the backdrop of beautiful ripples on the lake… and I getting comfortable in shorts and sipping a glass of wine… I arrived home only long enough to get out of my car, take the dogs out and then get back into the car!

Now, I do not begrudge my husband for not wanting to cook occasionally… because in truth, it wasn’t really that. I think the boy had cabin fever and even though we have a lovely cabin… I got the hint! The man needed scenery other than what he stares at all day long! So, homework postponed and plans to become an intellectual slug…I made a deal. If I had to delay homework for a few hours and get back into a car after driving home for over an hour, it was going to be on my terms! Thai food!

Here’s where this gets really interesting!!

There is a wonderful Thai restaurant on the square in… (Are you ready?)…in downtown Covington, Georgia! A Thai restaurant that I have been dying to go to for over a year now. And since I have waited forever to go there… as somebody else’s choice has always superseded my own- I decided that would not be the case that night!  I was going to get what I wanted and so, armed with obligatory guilt… I told my husband that I would agree only if we went where I wanted. Happy to get out a bit, he agreed and I set my course for the restaurant of my choice. Once there, I ordered a White Zinfandel and perused the menu! Eventually he decided on the wonderful special of the night and I, my favorite…the Curried Masaman Shrimp soup and an order of Spring Roles.

Because it was still early, we enjoyed a bit of privacy … but not for long. Soon, one or two couples began to dot the tables besides us. The restaurant was not cheap, but we seldom splurge these days and so with progressive jazz in the background, I decided to just enjoy the ambience and skimp on pennies somewhere else later in the week.

Appetizers done, we sat and chatted about the day’s events and then I watched as a young couple sat at the table right beside us. They were a lovely family… two young athletic parents and two precocious youngsters. A boy and a girl, ages approximately 9 and 6 respectively. Why is this a matter of curiosity? You will see… just bear with me.

 She ordered white wine, he a beer… the kids some sort of cola. As we ate, I remarked at how cute the kids were… but that I would not have thought to take my girls to such an expensive restaurant when they were that young. After all, there were no Chicken McNuggets or French fries anywhere on the menu to be had. Not even a grilled cheese sandwich or a plate of macaroni and cheese. I decided they were not only cultured souls, but brave as well! Riveted, I sat and listened for their choices as the waitress stood with pen and pad in hand to take their orders.

“No…” said the mother; it would be a few more minutes before they could decide. Vindicated, I chuckled to myself and smiled at my husband- kids were kids and I remained curious as to what they would be able to order that the two imps would actually eat.

In between my vindication and the next round of drinks…I overheard the little girl ask her mother a question which almost shot a shrimp from my mouth to the opposite wall. Ready???

“Who is the Grim Reaper?’ she asked her mother.

I half choked and croaked at my husband… “Maybe she should ask me that question!”

Her mother was a bit startled. “Why do you ask?”

 The child remained constant. “I saw it in a cartoon. Who is he?”

“Well…” the mother began tentatively. “The Grim Reaper is the guy in the hooded cloak… you can’t see his face usually and he has that blade thing on a long stick…but he’s the guy that shows up just before somebody dies.”

“Is he the guy that kills them?”

“No… he’s just the ghost like thing in a hood you see before somebody dies. Did somebody die in the cartoon?”

“Yes…” the child said.

The waitress interrupted their conversation and so taken aback by the impromptu epiphany… I missed their orders. Obviously not the important issue here!

Now, I am not saying that all this didn’t give me great pause, because even after the other night- I still freak a bit when this stuff happens. I took the hint, but was uncertain as to how I was supposed to apply the information to my current standings in this case. Why would she have asked about something so random… or was it? And what is it about that particular family unit that rang so familiar??? A girl, age 6… a boy, age 9?

As we finished our meal and paid the bill; I commented to my husband that the Grim Reaper question was just a little too coincidental for my comfort level. What are the odds that anyone sits in a restaurant in Covington, Ga. and a child the same age as Julie and a boy the same age as her brother asks about the Grim Reaper?

Hmmmm….

 We left the restaurant- which by the way was excellent- and headed towards the Mustang. When we got to the stop-walk, we paused and waited for the light. Just as it turned from red to green, a car went passed us and well… you know me! I read the tag for a numerological sign. The tag read, 1111.

Good numbers to be sure- basically saying pay attention!

Now all this you say seems to be just a big bag of hokey-pokey fluff… but is it?

Today I talked with R about a few things that have been flopping back and forth in my brain like a half dead Mackerel. Charley gave me the TIC-TAC-TOE sign the other day when asked something about my 4th in flannel. He gave the sign and I immediately found positive energy there. Positive- but not inclusive! Why?

TIC-TAC-TOE only gives you three in a row. There is no diagram or graph that allows for 4 in a row- unless of course you are playing BINGO… which Charley was not. So…back to the drawing board!

This is where you need to sit down…I’ll wait. (PAUSE) Sitting? Comfy? GOOD!

Among many things today, which as always are pertinent to the case and my dogged determination to get things right; another image was presented…

Black Roses.

You do the math. What are the odds? Strangers discussing the Grim Reaper as a ghost who comes as the harbinger of death and then the image of black roses?

Now, I may be going out on a huge limb here, but…after three years of learning the shorthand of the dead…and I could be wrong…but, I think somebody needs to confess and they need to reach out and do it fast!

The night before…

April 3, 2012

4/3/2012

This may be the last entry…

In the midst of my living, I have been touched by many events…the birth of my children, the deaths of my parents, the discovery of life after death and the event of last night. Exhausted by recent schedules, I worked a partial day and then came home to do some light homework and rest.

Once released of minor chores, I indulged and watched some episodes of my favorite’s to catch up.  As fate would have it, the chosen episode of the Gilmore Girls turned out to be the last episode where Rory gets a job as a traveling reporter and Luke and Lorelei make-up and the end scene hints of their renewed relationship. It is a bittersweet episode full of endings and beginnings…of holding on and letting go. Later that night, I watched another favorite, Castle…There too, Beckett and Castle struggled to get their timing right in love.

Now, I am not the diehard sap queen this makes me sound like, but I am always deeply touched at the potential loss of love for want of someone being unable to step forward and claim their heart, or because they have suddenly had an epiphany to set someone free from an untimely obligation. That being said, I thought about recent events with my own children. The hole in my heart at their independent strides away from me…their heartaches, triumphs and disappointments…the daily battles with coming to terms with the empty-nest syndrome, work struggles and the lag in between where I am and where I want to be. All this to say that aside from an interesting phone call, a stray thought to Jessica and Charley that evening, I was as far from connection with the case right before I went to bed as I have been of late.

That is why this is so incredible. My dreams have been so vivid of late. One night it involved pastries in the form of a frog decorated case and my having to choose between the yellow and green checkered cake and a pastry on a tray in Bavaria and feathers in my hair from a little girl. (I know… what did I eat for dinner that night?) The night before, I dreamed about a snake- an Asp to be specific and I was struggling to stay safe, trying to hold its head away from me so it could not bite me. Then, later in the dream I lost the snake somehow outside a house and when I went inside, the building was full of theatre props which began to spontaneously combust as I walked past them. It was so odd… Needless to say, I ate a healthy meal- very light with mostly vegetables, but it didn’t matter, the dreams continued to haunt by night and confuse by day.

So last night…

No sooner had I fallen asleep than I was mentally placed back inside my theatre with the set fromCharlotte’s Web still intact. The barn set design was still untouched and as I was pulling props from the scene and down from the walls… a group of people began to enter. I felt bad because I knew the show had already closed and so as the group began to form in a line,  I advised them that the show had just closed the weekend before…but they didn’t seem to care and then I noticed there was something about this group that suddenly pulled me out of step.

There were four women, two men and one small boy. When they came in, they looked around and after I informed them a second time that the show was closed, they went to the seats and sat awaiting my recognition. The odd thing was, everything around them was in full color, but the people and their immediate auras were that color of Sepia that you sometimes see or create when you process photos.

I went to the first woman; she had short hair and pearls on. The hairdo gave her away and I immediately recognized her as Hazel. She said hello and thanked me. Stunned, I smiled and turned to the next seat which held a man I did not recognize.  He smiled and nodded his head…puzzled, I moved on. The next woman had long blonde hair done up and she smiled big like Adele and I suddenly knew she was a slightly older version of the debutante Roxanne. I spun around and saw another young woman I deemed to be Jessica and ran to hug her too. When I pulled away and wiped a tear, I saw the last woman at the end of the row waiting. She had a cold look on her face and though I did not immediately put 2 and 2 together… I could not understand why she would not look me in the eyes. I moved to stand in front of her and asked why she would not look at me. Her answer confused me. “I cannot look you in the eye…it would pierce my soul.”

I did not understand what she meant. Had I harmed this woman somehow? Had I done something to anger her? Why was she so cold to me? Who was she and why would she say something so odd when the others seemed so happy to see me? It was then I realized the only person left in the equation for her to be was, G. It took me aback and I stumbled away from her in silence and stared. Struck by the assembly, I realized who the group was. The other man I did not recognize must have been the MOT. So where was…

I heard a child laugh and turned to see a young boy run from the hands of a man who stood silent on the other side of the room and smiled. The child I assumed to be one of the children Hazel  had lost. A child who ran about as playful as my own at that age… a child that would have captured my heart had it not been for my need to see someone else– the man who watched him. I looked up from the child and saw him. A man I have talked to and cried with for over three years. A man who waited 44 years to save me. A man that took the broken pieces of my life and glued them back together with the fragments of his own….a man you have come to know as, Charley. Grayed at the temples and minus hair, but for the sides of his head he walked slowly towards me. His eyes shown softer than the painted steely blue of his 8 x 10 and his voice graveled like the snippet on my recording.

No longer in black silhouette, no longer made of wispy smoke…this man was real and he was Charley. My Charley…. my shepherd. He smiled again and told me I was beautiful. It was an odd compliment and I brushed it aside, knowing I had gone to bed in PJ’s and a ponytail. He said it again and I knew it to be the compilation of his impressions of both heart and soul and it made me cry. He was there- a whole person just as I had prayed he might appear one day. Not a bust of a man or a postcard imprint of a personality- he was there in person, just the way I imaged he appears to R.  Filled with gratitude and love, I ran to hug him and prayed that I would be able to feel something more than air beneath my fingers.

I hugged that man for everything I was worth and sobbed into shoulders that held up to the touch. He was real…Charley was real and I knew in that instant that maybe the reason why I had not been able to finish the book and let justice follow its own course, was because I had not been able to let go of something I had never held. He kissed me on the cheek and I held him tight as I cried like a child begging him not to go. He thanked me again and I held tighter knowing that heaven would soon take him away. I whispered I loved him…that I had done everything I could to help and that I never wanted to lose him, though I knew he couldn’t stay.

I held tight until I awoke with tears on my cheeks. It was 1:11 AM.  Even now as I write, tears stream… but for joy, not for sorrow.

Yesterday while driving home with the top down on the Mustang, I said a prayer that I wanted for us all to be able to move forward… that the case would come to fruition, that those living would confess and those that were dead would repent and find a new path for their evolution. I prayed to be able to finish writing the story because I wanted to be able to release them all to where they needed to be, but confessed that while I wanted Charley to be free…I did not wish to lose him. That maybe that was why I could not commit to the ending.

For three years, this man and his life and death have been my constant companion. His lessons, my lessons…his strength, my strength and my weakness… a reason to hold on tighter to his tragedy. Last night I received the gift I’d prayed for… a hug from a man I could see and feel. A solid validation that the connection was as real as the flesh I felt beneath my trembling fingers… a glimpse at a face I could recognize…a word and smile I could calculate. I needed to know it was real- all of it. Charley, my parents… life after death, Karma and consequence, and a chance to rewrite my own life.

I have that validation now. I have that peace.

I do not know where we go from here, my dear readers. The dice are cast…the game afoot and the players now begin to scramble upon the board. What will be from this point forward is what the universe has designed-not me. My portion of this may now be finished. Know that I will continue to seek the truth…to follow the leads and pass them on accordingly to those who can cause real effect for that is my duty and my privilege.  This was my part in this; my journey and I have carried my stone in the building of this bridge between life and after-life as far as I am allowed. It is not my time to cross that bridge…along with R, it is my job to help build it and we will…one case, one soul, one book at a time.

Like Terrance Mann, in the Field of Dreams, I have been to the cornfield and now have my duty to finish my portion of this grand adventure. The wheels can now move forward without my oversight at the helm. Greater powers now prevail and I must follow their lead… the yoke of discovery has been replaced by the mantle of responsibility and I have another chore to finish now. I must let go and let God.

Charley was right… we are forever. I not only know this academically, but now feel it inside. I have finally held the man inside the 8 X 10 and he, the hand of a woman who thought she had lost her way.

Found…I leave you all to look at your own lives and make the connections you need to make to the one’s you love, to the one’s you’ve lost and to yourselves.

Blessings in your travels…

T.A. Powell


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