Monday, January 30, 2012

Moving forward

It's Monday again! I had a good weekend. Me and my oldest daughter went to see a great movie last Friday night. A group of awesome people, helped clean up linear park on Saturday morning. We all went to hear Raymond preach on Sunday and then to Sandy's 101 Omelets for lunch.
I did get an interesting email a couple of days ago. I made it a point to be clear in my words, without hurting anyone, and still, some people Will not or Choose not to HEAR it!
 It's OK though, I did my part. That is all that I have control of.

I am going to be speaking in February, on the Paths to Healing. Dealing with loss in Recovery. I am not a public speaker. To be able to speak for an hour in a half, may be a challenge. I am used to sharing my experience, strength and hope. Just not at length. I usually have 30 minutes, at the most, to share.
I am looking forward to speaking. If my story can help, even one person, not have to use any mind or mood altering chemicals, including alcohol, to deal with a loss, that is the REWARD! It's easy to escape pain through alcohol or drugs, but the pain WILL surface AGAIN! I know this because this is how I used to live.

 It has been nearly 22 years since I used anything to alter my state of mind. At times, especially the nightmare of my only son, Matt's murder, where I would have liked to not have had to FEEL any of this PAIN. The only problem is, that I ALREADY know, that I will have to feel it eventually! I do NOT want to have to deal with this horrific pain over and over plus the added pain of putting a mind or mood altering substance in my body.
So, Here I am! Living this life to the best of my ability. Praying for Peace and Comfort. Asking God to Clear my Mind and Heal my Heart on a daily basis. Praying for guidance and direction to where God would have me go and to do what God would have me do.

I am truly grateful for all of the love and support that we continue to be blessed with!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Totally Dumbfounded.....AGAIN!

 I waited and prayed for a full 24 hours before I decided to write about this.
 I had sent an email to the California Office of Victims and Survivors rights and services. I wanted to find out how the 2 convicted killers of Matt, Henry Don Williams and Gene Allen Combs have to pay their restitution? I want to make sure that they are NOT getting TV's and special treats from their loved ones. I was informed that the killers can have money added to their books under another inmates name and there isn't a way of tracking this! I also found out that the CDCR(California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) didn't have any of my information on file?
  OMG, the paperwork was filled out after Matt was murdered and then more paperwork after the trial. This is part of the reason that I was never contacted about the appeal process that is moving forward. 
WOW, talk about a BROKEN SYSTEM! Had I not taken the initiative to email the California Office of Victims and Survivors Rights and Services on the CDCR website, I would have never known! 
I have faxed them more paperwork yesterday and hope to hear something soon. Like, Yes Mrs. Courtemanche we have all of the paperwork! 
Again, I feel sadness and anger for the families who do not have the information or knowledge to move through this CRAZY System. What is even more disheartening, is the fact that these murderers have more rights and information given to them than the victims and the victims family members! This is DISGUSTING! I will continue to follow up when and wherever I need to. 
I thank God for opening my eyes today. For giving me wisdom and knowledge. Thank you, for directing me to go where You would have me go, to speak to the people that You would have me speak to, and for the EARS to hear with.
Matt, I will continue to help others. I love and Miss you so much.
I will keep moving forward

Friday, January 20, 2012

Living in this Moment

It is nice to finally have some rain. Driving Miles to school this morning, with the windshield wipers on, just felt good. He loves the rain too. It is especially nice because it's Friday! We can relax in the house this weekend, without worrying about driving to and fro in the wet weather, that we so desperately need. I am looking forward to a weekend in the house with my sick family. Rest, Relax, and Renew.

My last couple of blogs were about the anger and sadness that I feel when it comes to our "justice system". I had mentioned in my last blog that maybe MY issues with this system, was an opportunity for me to step up and do something! I made the call to the Crime Victims Department in the D.A.'s office on Tuesday morning. I stated that I would like to volunteer to help other victims families. I want to help make calls, when needed, to allow victims families to know, ahead of time, when a court date is coming up, or any changes that the victims or victims family need to be aware of.  I'm not just about complaining about what is wrong with our system, I'm about trying to be part of the solution. I have not heard back from the D.A's office yet. I look forward to being a help to other families struggling through the unthinkable.

When I returned to work this past Tuesday, I was excited to see that we had an intern working with us. I introduced myself  to the lovely and eager young woman. We started talking and I soon found out that her twin sister was the woman who was murdered in her garage, just 4 short months ago. She had 4 children that are now left without their mother.  I know that God placed us together for a reason.
 God, I pray, Please Clear their Minds and Heal their Hearts! 

Now, it is time to get ready for my work day. I feel like I am living in each moment. I am truly grateful to God for opening my eyes and my mind. I will continue to ask for guidance to go where God would have me go. To place the people and situations, in my life, that YOU would have in front of me. Give me the words to speak and more importantly give me the EARS to Hear. AMEN

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A new Day!

 I am feeling somewhat rested, even though I fell asleep on the couch. My mind was going in a million different places all day yesterday. I made the decision to stay home and try to relax. I didn't want to put myself and my funky mood around anyone else. So sorry that my husband happened to be the one! Quickly thereafter he got out of dodge!
I was just reading the many comments from my blog yesterday. I am so blessed to have you all in our lives. You all are so special to me and our family. God does have a plan and I truly believe THAT! Although, I do get  turned around at times, and it sometimes takes a minute to regroup, I always know that God has THIS!
Like my cousin Maureen posted, We have been through all of this before. My cousin Kathy (Maureen's sister), was murdered here in Fairfield in 1999. Our family went through 8 years of Mack West claiming innocence by reason of insanity. Finally in 2007 he was sentenced to 16 years. One year later, Matt was murdered.
Those 8 years of going in and out of court brought similar thoughts about our Justice System. There were many times we would not get a call about a hearing, and then read about it in the paper. I would write letters to the editor, and complain to the victim rights advocate, and the D.A's office. But, it continued to happen. And, it continues today.
I totally believe that you are innocent until proven guilty. YOU BOTH  have been found Guilty! Why?  Because YOU killed my son Matthew. PERIOD end of Story. Do your time. None of this will bring Matt back to us.
I'm sure the 2 killers are pissed that the 3rd person (the driver Nicole Stewart) was NEVER charged with ANY CRIME Whatsoever!YEAH, I'm still pissed and outraged by that fact! CRAZY!  None of this will change the fact that our family has been forever affected.
One thing that has changed for us, is that we will not just sit back and allow injustices to continue to happen without opening our mouths and voicing the outrage.
I understand that due to the economy we have fewer victim advocates. I'm just much time does it take for someone, anyone, to pick up a phone and say?....... Just wanted to let you know that the appeal process for the killers is happening NOW, so you will probably begin to see things in the newspaper. Less than 1 minute. That is all the time it would have taken!
Maybe God has just revealed to me my calling? I will pray about it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our Crazy System

I logged on to the DR last night and this is what I found! CRAZY

Appeals for councilman’s killers move forward

Matt Garcia
Matt Garcia
FAIRFIELD — After languishing for more than a year, the appeals of murder convictions for the killers of Fairfield City Councilman Matt Garcia in 2008 moved slowly forward this past week.
Henry D. Williams, the man who shot Garcia in a case of mistaken identity, was ordered Wednesday to have his written appeal to the Court of Appeals in San Francisco by Feb. 9.
The appeal of Williams’ accomplice, Gene A. Combs, is due to the court Feb. 6.
Both killers started their appeals in 2010, after juries found them guilty of murdering Garcia.
While transcripts and case records for Combs’ appeal were received by the Court of Appeal in March 2011, attorneys wanted more information about the court proceedings. This week they received additional documents, such as the jury seating chart, the questionnaires of potential jurors and any juror notes penned during deliberations.
In separate jury trials in 2010, Williams and Combs were convicted of murder. Williams was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. Combs got 25 years to life in prison.
Williams and Combs had gone to Cordelia seeking a drug dealer who had stiffed Combs for $50 in a methamphetamine buy earlier in the day. As the pair drove from the dealer’s home on the night of Sept. 1, 2008, Williams saw Garcia drive past and thought it may be the dealer. He fired several shots toward Garcia, striking him once in the back of the head.
Attorneys handling appeals frequently ask and typically receive additional time and extensions of deadlines.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Another Adventure

My oldest daughter and I took a ride to Bodega Bay yesterday. The day was perfect. The sun was bright the sky was blue and the temperature was in the 60's.  We decided to stop at a little cafe and have a bite to eat. I also wanted  Bri to have some green tea with Ginger and honey, to soothe her stomach. We then went to the little store, next to the cafe, and bought some salt water taffy. It was AWESOME!
We decided on a spot to sit on the beach. It was actually in a cove area with high rock behind us. It was like an open cave. It was obvious that this was a popular spot. We noticed some beer bottles and a man made fire pit. We then noticed a sandwich baggy filled with something green. We were wondering if  it was a baggy of marijuana! When I moved the baggy with my foot, the scent coming from it, made the discovery of the weed undeniable. The baggy was fairly full, so we both knew that someone would definitely be searching for their lost weed.
We quickly gathered our things and moved on to a new spot to sit. We took lots of pictures and talked for a while. I just could not stop thinking about that bag of weed, which was sitting there in plain site for anyone, possibly kids, to have access to.
On our way to the car I suggested that we go back to the baggy of weed and bury it. We did!
We piled lots of sand over it. I'm not sure if anyone will come back to possibly look for it, but if someone does, they will have to do a lot of digging to find it!
Thank you for the adventure. I love to be near the ocean. It stills my soul.

Monday, January 9, 2012


I woke up this morning feeling so grateful for this past weekend. I had the honor of being with a group of amazing women. I was able to let go of some beliefs and old thoughts that I have hung onto for years.
My life is full of love and joy. I only have to be able to OPEN my Heart, Mind, and EYES to see.
Spending some time with my youngest daughter, last night, was wonderful. She makes me laugh all the time. Now I'm wishing that I would have let her paint my toenails at 10PM! I'm thinking, that I will go wake her up now and see if she would like to paint them? LOL
 Today I will be spending some time with my oldest daughter. We are going to the ocean. It is a calming and healing place for both of us. I am blessed to have the most amazing kids!
God, has given my so much. I am blessed beyond words!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Another beautiful day!

I have been trying to "will" this cold away for a couple of days now....It's not working. My cough seems to be getting worse and I have the typical runny nose and headache. This has been my first week back to work after 15 days. My immune system seems to be shot.
 I will continue to take the medication to suppress my symptoms and pray that this ends before tomorrow evening. I am going on a women's retreat for the weekend. I am so looking forward to this time.

I was looking on my daughters facebook page and came across this quote: I LOVE IT!

Favorite Quotations

“This is what you shall do: love the earth and sun, and animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence towards the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to any man or number of men; go freely with the powerful uneducated persons, and with the young, and mothers, of families: read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life: re-examine all you have been told at school or church, or in any books, and dismiss whatever insults your soul.”
-Walt Whitman
Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Is this January?

It is a beautiful Wednesday morning. I have a hard time believing that it's January 4, 2012 when the sun is so bright. The last couple of days have been gorgeous. I had to take the car through the car wash this morning. That just seems weird to me. I am grateful for the sun, although I know that we need the rain. The sun just has a way of helping my attitude!

I went back to work yesterday. It was very busy in the pharmacy. But, it felt good to have a routine again. I am   so grateful for my job and my awesome co- workers.
I still have a couple of things of my mothers to take care of. Like a bill we just received from the hospital yesterday. They are charging us for her 4 day stay? Anyway, I know that God has a plan. I am so grateful to everyone for all the love and support shown to our family.

Little Miles went back to school yesterday. I have been worried about how he is dealing with this? He has had several losses in the last few years....2 grandmothers, his grandfather, his cousin Matt, and now his I.E. ( he couldn't say Aunt Anne when he was little, so he called mom I.E.). I informed his teacher so she could keep an eye on him too. We talk with Miles a lot about death and heaven and sickness. He is an amazing kid!

As for me, I am once again re-evaluating what I am doing? I want to really get focused on MY PURPOSE for being HERE! I want to try and find a balance. LOL I'm not very good at that!
 I will continue to ask God to Clear my mind and Heal my heart. To guide me to wherever I'm supposed to go and do whatever it is I'm supposed to do. God, give me the words to speak, the eyes to see, and the ears to hear.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Feeling peace

 I have been talking about the last couple weeks of moms life, but I haven't really written them down. 
  Mom wanted to make sure that all 3 of her children were OK. Mom was very happy that Tonya was happy with her new love, Justin. She was excited that Tonya was in her new apartment in Santa Cruz.
 Mom would not move in with us until  she knew that Tonya was secure. 
She was happy that Terry is happy in his life.
This information is incredibly healing to me. Mom knew she was at the end of this life. She was making sure that everything was in place before she gave herself permission to go. My mother was always a strong determined woman. Oh and a bit stubborn. 
I know that I was given a huge gift. The last week or so with my mom was the most rewarding for me. About a week before she was hospitalized, I had blogged about how grateful I was, to be able to move her into our home and take care of her. I shared how the years of resentment that I choose to carry, was now gone. Everything we did and everywhere that mom and I went, was effortless, that last week. Mom got her hair done 2 days before her procedure , that she never came home from. We took Christmas pictures with her the day before. Her and I had coffee each morning when she woke up. She loved having coffee in the morning. We got to watch the finale of Survivor that Sunday night. 
I was given the gift of telling my mom that she was a great mom, that I loved her so much, and to not be scared. I asked her to tell Matt that I love and miss him so much.
My life is good. Thank you God!
The path that God has given me to walk along, is a healing one. I get to feel all of these feelings.
 I get to embrace each moment.
God has a plan for each one of us. I am eternally grateful to be HERE to LIVE this LIFE.
 I pray each day to remain Open to whatever God has for me to See, to Do, to say, and to Hear.