Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Letter to my Son's killer

I wrote this letter below in a blog post, May 16, 2016 and stumbled across it today in my drafts. I have yet to actually mail this letter off. Maybe one day I'll be able to. Maybe not. I decided to post it on my blog for now. I know there are other Mothers going through this right now. I've met so many through my blog posts of Samuel and it hurts my heart each time I hear a story of losing our babies. May 23rd will be 9 years since we lost Samuel and the pain still cuts like a knife.

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I've written this letter a thousand times in my mind. I've often lain awake at night, thinking of what I would say to you. I've even gone as far as to start a letter on paper, but end up tearing it to pieces. How do I even start a letter to you? Hi? Mr. Foster? Latarus? I couldn't decide, so started the way you are reading it now. I'm not really sure why I've thought about writing you. Your actions changed my life forever. It has changed your life forever. May 23, will be 7 years since you took my Samuel's life. 7 more years and counting that you get to live. You were born the same year. Did you know that? Except Samuel didn't make it to 20. He will forever be 19. I've tried so hard to understand why. Why did you decide to shoot Samuel. From my understanding, he was knocked out on the ground, and you shot him in the back. On a dare. I've wanted to hear your side of the story, but my heart can barely handle the information I was given. And would you tell me the truth anyway. I've never gone to the place he died. I don't want to see the place he took his last breathe, it's not a memory I want. As I sit and write this, I wonder what you are thinking as you read? Do you have regrets? Do you even care about the people you left hurting? Do you think about Samuel? Do you see his face? I can't think about Samuel, without thinking about you. You two are forever linked. I don't know why or where I'm going with this letter. I'm not sure I'll even send it, but if you are reading it, you know I got up the courage to send it after all these years. I've often thought about forgiveness. Forgiveness for you. But I feel like I am betraying my Samuel. How could I even think about forgiving you? I know God says we should forgive, but I'm just not there. I've seen other parents forgive the person who took away their child, and I wonder how they found it in their heart to do it. Do you even want forgiveness? Do you even care? So many thoughts are running through my head right now. So much heartache, questions I want answered, but then I don't want answered. Conflicted. I have a hard time looking at Samuel's pictures. He was so full of life, hopes, and dreams and in an instant you took all that away. I can't look at his pictures without crying. 7 years later and it still hurts like hell. Just the other day, I was watching TV, 48 Hours. Our story could have been on that show. Wow - OUR story. It just dawned on me that you are forever linked to me also. On TV, it showed a young man, about Samuel's age, laying in a parking lot, shot to death. The person was covered with a yellow tarp and all they showed were his sneakers and the blood flowing from under the tarp and all I saw was Samuel. My first born son, shot and killed in a parking lot. Even though it wasn't him on the TV. It was. I couldn't breathe, I started to cry and my husband turned the channel. This is my life now. Often filled with pain and sorrow that I try so desperately to hide. I want to scream at you!!! I WANT TO KNOW IF YOU EVEN CARE!!!! ARE YOU SORRY? WHY! WHY! WHY! When you opened this letter, did Samuel's pictures fall out? Do you wonder why I sent them? I want you to see the smiling face you took from us. I don't ever want you to forget the precious person you took from me. See that headstone? That's all I have left. My baby's body buried in Texas soil. I get physically sick every time I visit the cemetery. Even when I get near it. Not living in Texas, it's so much easier to fool myself into thinking Samuel is still alive and well. That he is going about his life as usual. But visiting the cemetery is a slap in the face. No - a punch in the face. I can't pretend anymore. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him. And I can't think about him, without thinking about you. I hate it! I've never wished ill on anyone and I won't start now. I don't wish you dead, I won't wish bad things on you, because, just like my Samuel, you are someone's son. You have a mother somewhere who is also hurting. And I don't wish this pain on any mother. I'm done. I've poured out all I can right now. I'm wrestling with myself if I want to hear from you. Hear if you are sorry. If you care, if you think about Samuel. Your response won't bring my Samuel back, but maybe it would help with the healing, maybe not. I don't know. All I know right now, is I had a son, Samuel Rodriguez Jr. He was born October 20, 1989 and taken from me by your hands May 23, 2009. I hope you don't ever forget his face, and I hope one day I can find solace, some understanding, and maybe forgiveness. samuelbaby samuel7 Samuel Texas Christmas 09 013

evening walk, country roads, pink fields, setting sun

Titus walk Titus walk2
Sometimes all you need is an evening walk on a warm day, with pink fields and setting sun. And of course a companion.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Herb Garden and Galettes

DSC_0014_2 herb garden (1) DSC_0030_2 strawberries_2 IMG_0981 IMG_0987 IMG_1032 IMG_1033 IMG_1062 (3) IMG_1068 IMG_1154 IMG_1153 On this dreary, rainy Tuesday lets take it back to a sunnier day in the backyard with my herb gardens. I'm so enjoying the herb garden. I'm learning all I can about the herbs, how to grow them, dry them, store them and recipes that use fresh herbs. I'm learning that cilantro doesn't like a lot of water and I may need to plant it in it's own pot. I love rosemary and seems to be pretty easy to grow. Rosemary was actually the first herb I used from my garden in a pear, goat cheese and rosemary galette.

When I tell you that galette was some deliciousness! Hubby would disagree, but he didn't even taste it, so his opinion on this one doesn't count.  He couldn't get past the goat cheese. His loss and more for me! For the galette I used my favorite crust recipe found here. This was my first time baking with pears and won't be my last. I'm kind of loving the pears. I kept eating the slices as I put them in galette. I had to stop myself before I ate them all. Once I assembled the galette, I sprinkled with sugar in the raw, then baked. Once out the oven, I drizzled with honey. YUMMY!

Since Fonzy didn't like the pear galette I made one with strawberries (with 2 strawberries from my garden) and fresh basil from my herb garden. It wasn't as good as my pear one though. I have another crust in the refrigerator right now waiting for another galette. I'm thinking apple with salted caramel sauce. That might be on the agenda for dessert tonight. Need a little goodness to brighten this dreary day!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Herb Garden, Roses and Wildflowers! Oh My!

IMG_0756 IMG_0760 herb garden (44)_2 IMG_0887 IMG_0877 strawberries herb garden (49) IMG_0859 IMG_0896 IMG_0813 IMG_0822 tree line_4 tree line_3 IMG_0853 IMG_0908 This past Saturday it finally warmed up and was a perfect day to work in the yard. I've been longing to get out to plant flowers and my herb garden, but the weather hadn't been cooperating. Until now.

I was up bright and early, coffee in hand and new garden boots on! I was too excited about my bright yellow boots with chickens on them! I've been wearing them every time I go out to work in the yard. They are my new favorite.

So on the agenda for the day was to plant an herb garden, wildflowers and 2 rose bushes. There's already 3 rose bushes when we moved here, but one of them is really struggling. I'm hoping to bring it back to life. I was most excited about my herb garden. I have them planted in window box planters I got off Amazon and hung on our back fence. I couldn't risk anything on the ground for fear of Titus peeing on it! I have rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, cilantro (which isn't doing so well) and chocolate mint. I have more, but drawing a blank at the moment. The smell of the fresh herbs was so heady!  I'm excited to watch them grow and cook with them. I've already used rosemary in a pear, goat cheese, homey and rosemary galette I'll be sharing here on the blog. It was delish! While buying my herbs to plant I saw a strawberry plant I couldn't pass it up. We already have berries ready to be picked. I never had an herb garden or strawberries, so I'll be learning along the way, but excited about it all.

Next are the wildflowers. I'm so hoping they actually grow. We have a tree line along our property that I'd like to brighten up with wildflowers. There's not a whole lot we can do with space, but if I can get beautiful, colorful flowers to grow amongst the tress I'd be too happy. Fonzy and I cleared a few areas that get some sun and I planted away. Let's hope we'll see flowers in the next few weeks. And of course I couldn't resist getting sunflowers! I have a couple packets I haven't planted yet, just need to find a nice sunny spot.

And last but not least, I have a grapevine. Yep, you read that right. A grapevine. While searching for a burn barrel to burn leaves and brush from our yard, we found a man less than 5 minutes from us who had barrels. We went to pick it up and ended up spending over 30 minutes talking to him about gardening and family. He had a greenhouse and gave me a little grape plant he had from his own vine. I repot into a bigger container and hope it grows. While reading up on growing grapevines it says it may take a couple years to bear fruit, so I'll just be growing the plant for now. The vine is in the clay pot, with yellow boots, so very small right now. But since I've gotten it, it has grown more leaves on it.

Saturday was definitely a good day, even though I got sunburned. Now to stalk the wildflower patch and watch my herbs grow.

So have you done any planting? Any ideas to help my cilantro? I'm thinking it needs it's own pot and less water, but not sure. I'm learning as I go along.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Making of a Rainbow Sweater

rainbow sweater1 rainbow sweater IMG_7756 IMG_7788 IMG_7781 rainbow sweater3 rainbow sweater4 rainbow sweater3 rainbow sweater_tryon rainbow sweater2 rainbow sweater
rainbow sweater5 rainbow sweater13 rainbow sweater7 rainbow sweater11 DSC_0333_3 DSC_0359_2 DSC_0392_2 DSC_0399_2 Ta-Dah! My Rainbow Flax Sweater is done!

This was such a fun project and my first pullover sweater! I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I'm pretty proud of myself and looking forward to knitting more sweaters, even another Flax. It was a great beginner sweater. Of course the weather is warming up, so other than taking these pictures I haven't had a chance to wear my sweater. I guess I'll save it for the Fall. Then it will be in heavy rotation.

Flax pattern here.