Archive for August, 2016
It has come around once again – your birthday- the day when I first held you outside of my heart- looked at your little screwed up face, smiled down at you in my arms and promised you the world , as much of it as I could give. Excited phone calls to the UK – a boy!!! Nana always wanted a boy – at last she had one.
Another hospital , another birthday , another invasive test – and hope and promises dissolving in our tears.
The trouble with cancer it ignores special days, it ignores a mother’s tears, it just does what it is good at doing ……….. and on your birthday – a day remembered with such hope it took that memory and took away hope.
I will look for your face and your spirit tomorrow – try to hear your voice in my memory and try not to dissolve completely…
Every time I read of accusations on facebook , social media etc I do so with a wariness. I wouldn’t have had a few years ago. In my last post
I mentioned our 11 months of hell caused by an elderly neighbor who truly believed her accusations. Before her dementia she had been a good neighbor, wanting to help with the community and did so , her talent as an artist used more than once with neighborhood events .
The family made no effort to help and so this neighbor literally took down her favorite tree, glass blocked her windows and put up fences . She was scared , frightened and alone in the fact she did not get the help she needed and that fact rippled through our lives. Due to her actions, we could not help – our attorney forbade any contact- so we had to leave her to her own terrifying nights until at last, after being found by another neighbor wandering the street in her night attire, something was finally done. The damage to our family was already done-
I wrote about that time on another blog The WoM Blog 10 years ago – I would like you to read this tale of accusation – 11 months of proving innocence- this could happen to you –and the years between have not erased the helplessness and yes anger at the family we felt.
J’Accuse- The Cost of Innocence
It is 6:00 am. in Lorain – Do you know where your attorney is?
John Paul Sartre got it right when he stated in his play – No Exit
”HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE!”
The accuser and the accusations:
A neighbor, elderly and alone (who fully believed in her accusations) and since she wasn’t a known trouble maker or on anyone’s radar was totally believable- so the complaints made to the various authorities seemed reasonable.
1. a male neighbor throwing things at her house
2. male footprints in the freshly fallen snow leading to her front door from the neighbors
3. weapons being hidden between the houses
4. a male neighbor exposing himself through the fence
5. a neighbor opening the fire hydrants on the street
6. a male neighbor pointing a gun at her through the back door
7. a male neighbor hiding in the shrubs
8. intruders in her basement
9. intruders inside her house
10. up on her roof at night
11. neighbors cutting her phone lines
So I would ask you – you are the Lorain Police Department – you are getting these calls from an elderly woman, all alone- starting in June and carrying through to May of the next year. You send patrol cars -you check – you wake people from a sound sleep at all times of the night to make sure they are home and not harassing an elderly woman.
You respond when a citizen complains, it is documented. The elderly woman tells the rest of the neighborhood what it happening to her, enlisting their aid. The “family” of the accuser calls the accused family “perverts”-among other insulting remarks.
ARE YOU FEELING SYMPATHY AND OUTRAGE FOR THIS POOR WOMAN?
The REST of the story :
1. the things being thrown -tennis balls- coming across and into her yard as the kids in a neighboring home are playing ball.
2. footprints in the snow- the mail carrier coming from one house delivering to another
3. weapons ( supposedly being hidden to hit the neighbors on the head) – fallen tree limbs from her own tree
4. THE DE -FENCE NO. 4 -in the Accusations list
Oh! and the “exposing of a male part of the anatomy through the fence (from two properties away I might add)
It was the first accusation – I remember it so well another neighbor phoned,
NB. where is your husband?
ME: He is at the store –
NB: Oh good Sally phoned to say he was putting his penis through (another neighbors fence) ( two doors away)
ME: WHAT???? Is this some sort of a joke??
NB: No she is claiming your husband is sticking his penis through a knot hole in the fence….
AND SO IT BEGAN –
The elderly lady was fixated with the knothole and the penis and called out the police on another fine summer day. I asked the officer who was a little sharp with me at first to please come and look at the fence. He reluctantly did so – I showed him the knot hole and its position in the fence and then I said
“officer if you can put your penis through that hole I will personally put the handcuffs on my husband “
A little grin did flicker across his face as he remarked ”
” No thank you ma’am I am more endowed than to fit that opening.
I then took him to the other side of the fence where we have a pond. and where in order to expose oneself you would have to lay on your side half in the water.
The officer wrote up a report which was pretty laughable- the Chronicle Telegram and their reporter saw the police report, thankfully we were spared our names in the article – Shawn Foucher wrote the article : If The Fence Don’t Fit You Have To Acquit!
5. Opening Fire Hydrants – The fire dept. was called by the accuser, and the LFD were very irate, it was in fact the Lorain Water Dept. as they had a water line burst on Oberlin Avenue. So when the Fire Dept then turned off the gushing fire hydrant the water dept. guys from the Utilities Dept came running down the street waving their arms as they were now having to deal with gushing water .
6. The gun , after three such calls and reports it turns out, when questioned further, that the “gun” was actually a “RAY GUN” and this wonderful invention (invented apparently by the accused) could make her steel back door disappear for 8 seconds at a time and she had to blink to get it back!
7. The shrub – was an over 70 foot maple tree, which not only did the accused manage to climb, in the dark – but did so in a DRESS. (ouch!)
8. The intruders (now there were two) the accused and his wife- apparently getting in through the vent in the glass block window
9. Picture this if you will. The police are called the “intruders” (we now have two again) are in the house, armed . One officer arrives, he has called for back up however there is a serious problem elsewhere other officers are tied up on another call. With caution the officer calls to the intruders to come out of the closet. Nothing, silence- weapon at the ready he throws open the door to a closet???? no one
Ma’am are you sure they went in here?
What is the matter with you ? Can’t you see them- they are hiding under that lampshade!
Call for back up was cancelled!
10. Up on the roof (raccoons and squirrels using her roof as a route from one tree to another )
11. The phone lines were cut as a truck making deliveries to More for Less caught the overhead lines and ripped them down.
NOTE – pretty funny isn’t it??? but these plausible complaints were harrowing to us at the time and terrifying to her – AND WE HAD TO PROVE EVERYDAY – EVERY COMPLAINT THAT WE WERE INNOCENT!!!!
The EFFECT😦 Due to these accusations):
1. Hundreds of dollars were spent by the accused on lawyers letters, dealing with the accusations, building higher fences . Family members of the accuser making insulting and damning remarks (rather than seeing the problem- again lawyers letters)
2. Months of harassment, being woken from a sound sleep at all hours of the night with the police at the door responding to the accusations. Not being comfortable and able to relax in your OWN home.
3. Documenting your every move for over a year. Because when someone makes an accusation that you were doing something at a certain time you better have proof that you were elsewhere and have a reliable witness.
So you keep a daily/hourly diary, where you were, who was with you, if you go to the store alone -you keep the time stamped receipt. You cannot even go into your back yard without a witness or companion. Your reputation is shot! Your life becomes about PROVING YOUR INNOCENCE every day, just because “J’Accuse”.
4. The embarrassment is bad enough but the stress takes its toll, infact this living on the accusatory knife-edge ( and people will say – hmmmm where there is smoke…..) effects you emotionally and physically you become ill. You can’t sleep, you are on the defensive, your life is turned upside down and the lives of your family, you are angry, bewildered and hurt .
YOUR HOME, YOUR SANCTUARY BECOMES A PRISON
Everyday you have to prove innocence because someone made an accusation, that on the face of it, was believable. You spend your days “explaining” and your nights waiting for the next phone call or knock on the door wanting to know what you are doing and where you have been .
It is only when you look into the “rest of the story” that you realize that as ridiculous as these accusations really were the suffering, expense and the toll on a family -wasn’t funny.
AND NOW – the hedges are grown deliberately- so the daughter and husband who had their say as I was screamed at by the “construction king ” and ironically wanting MY HELP in their “estate court case” can no longer peer into my garden- let them inspect the alley–
You see the grandfather also had issues before he passed only at that time it was another neighbor who bore the brunt of his “visions” – those ” good ” neighbors eventually moved…… So before accusations are made – and believed remember sometimes all is not so cut and dried…………………………THIS PROVING OF INNOCENCE CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE ……….
In one very serious instance it was NOT because of what I wrote and the target was not initially me. An elderly woman – a neighbor- was suffering from mental issues- and left to it by her family- her weapon of choice was the Lorain Police Dept . Eleven months of hell for us and her. I wrote about that time on the old WoM Blog. I will reprise that post.
A few days ago, once again, I was accused and accosted by a foul mouthed and obscene rant- threatening behavior – a male face , puffed up and shouting in rage, whilst his wife and his mother looked on.
Also, looking on and having their say – their neighborhood “friends”. As I listened to what was being shouted at me by a young man, whose command of the English language was grounded in obscenity and filth, I looked into the face of the woman , the daughter of that elderly mother. The mother, who had been trapped in her own mind and whose peculiar visions had caused so many months of concern to this family and the neighbors. We had the added expense of lawyers letters, out- reach to the family members by LPD etc. had failed to get the elderly lady help.
In the end the lady was found wandering the streets in her night clothes and the LPD and Social Services stepped in. The family members had done very little to help the mother or the neighbors. ( I have all the documentation, from that time, the diaries we had to keep- it went on and on for 11 months.)
I found it ironic, since they( the daughter and her husband) moved into the mother’s house they had wanted MY help. The daughter had their attorney contact me a few months ago wanting ME to testify on their behalf as to the conduct of the sister with regard to the mother .
Maybe they had their nose out of joint ( she and her husband) because I told their attorney that our own attorney had told us not to have anything to do with any of that family ever and that the family, in my opinion, left their mother in a pitiable state scared of the visions she thought were real.
In the last year the weapon of choice by “irate accusers” has been the Lorain Building Dept. The Lorain Building Dept. who have been written about as well, critically, for many years, on this blog –
“Administrations, councils come and go but the Building Dept is a common thread and the glut of decrepit housing/buildings in this city lays firmly at the door of lack of enforcement for many years”
Do they too have an axe to grind – one has to wonder? The Building Dept. under Richard Klinar claim they will not get into neighborhood disputes, have been manipulated to do so ,in my opinion, at least TWICE in a year!!!! I am apparently “RE- inspected” for issues that were non- violations in the first two inspections! This complaint driven dept. should, imho, switch to zone inspections and not just drive by outrageous violations because no one complained??? to get to the petty ones.( Oh! and in Lorain a rolled roof on a pitched roof is legal- how about that slum lords- no longer will you have to put up a real roof!!! You can exchange the old blue for the new black)
And it has continued, not only effecting my property but others, as the rushing to file petty retribution complaints in the “alley” has recently happened .
Let me state here for the record I have never filed a “formal complaint” with Building, Planning and Housing- I have written on my blog about issues faced but I haven’t filed any formal complaints.
I have been accused of so doing. Do these holier than thou self righteous – do no wrong think I would be the only one objecting to their placement of construction/ commercial vehicles and travel trailers.
No sorry ! there are others who do not wish to live in a construction parking lot and look at rv’s on the grass. But apparently according to “he of the foul mouth rant” –
“Nobody fu#king cares this is a fu#king hood. YOU are the only one that fu#king cares….. you fu#king bitch”…. this is fu#king Lorain
yelled at the top of his voice . This wasn’t the first time, he yelled obscenities from his parent’s front porch three weeks earlier for the whole street to hear- and hear it they did!
Well at the risk of more concrete through the window , or worse, I will not be silenced. The act of spewing obscene venom at me for at least 10 minutes, aggression and veiled threats apart from the label of
“fu#king c$nt” … I am going to blog about you … you shamed me on your fu#king blog”.. I am gonna park my fu#king vehicles in front of your fu#king house
( such a mature way to deal with his anger – makes a mother proud apparently) )…
and you fu#king bitch put your husband in hospital”
as I walked away . His parting shot was he was going to run for city council- seems I am the catalyst to get people involved in local government 😉
I will continue writing. I will not be cowered by the lack of intelligent and civilized behavior. Little did they know as the tirade continued it was being witnessed by a neutral individual; of course there are now cameras as well .
Of course, I wished he had gotten rid of it years ago- but it has now become like the downspout named “Don” a matter of principle.
Three times we have been inspected in two years – 2014 on a zone inspection ( which we passed)- then the “Dye’ diatribe and the insistence we were inspected (2015) ( using her position on the Design Review Board) and even she was insulting about the boat – and the Lorain Building Dept. responded very quickly – no less than 4 working days- to find the boat in compliance then – the weeds at that time belonged to the City of Lorain 😉 and the next door lot
…..are you hiding your junk boat?… My roots go back further in this town more than you riding the boat over to ellis island. is that the boat in your back yard…..
and included in a filthy email sent by another of the “posse of putrid language”
“your back yard have and old fu#king boat” who he did suggest further in his tirade “what you need is I real man to fu#k your fat ass pleople of lorain when you get a clomplain from the city is this woman going around sucking the city’s departments di#k”
NOTE: do you see a language pattern here – such brilliance and command of debating skills 🙂
AGAIN THE BOAT!!!!!
We have been in compliance with the “boat” for years……
Underneath the tarp is a Chrysler Sport Satellite 15′ and original 70 hp motor
photo source http://www.ralphsrapidtransit.com/71SprtSat.html
Chrysler boats were far ahead of their time. The full foam flotation that was standard on all Chrysler boats, later became federally mandatory on all
You can read about the Chrysler Marine Division here
A quick internet search to see if this boat was crap or a classic ( as my husband swears it is) turned up prices that were in at least one case more than we paid for it and the average price was about $400 less than we paid for it all those years ago.
It is now deemed a “classic”
So the boat and me are staying put for now – but just incase anyone else decides to use the Lorain Building Inspectors as their weapon of choice here is the evidence of compliance
But the weeds referred to ( all duly planted by said husband for my mother’s recipes) and those morning glories to cover the chain link fence (which I hate) – allows viewing by those who wish to find fault!!!! – and that is going to change, if I have my way………. But maybe I should save the city time and money and have my property inspected by them once a year to make sure we are in compliance- save them the paperwork and time !
to be continued……. J’ Accuse –
It has been a month since I last wrote on this blog- July has come and gone- I dread July because bad things always seem to happen. Your grandfather died unexpectedly in July , ill-health news over the years has been diagnosed in July, and the engagement I wished had never happened – on the anniversary of the day your grandfather died. You weren’t to know that day held that significance as you had champagne and roses sent to the top of the Lorain Lighthouse with the “will you marry me” .
It was also the day and weekend I was introduced to avarice and selfishness of the “incoming family” . A cold shiver ran over me that day – harbinger of things to come. I couldn’t believe your “bride to be” and her ” aunts” spent the day and next day touting the engagement ring around to local jewelers to see its monetary worth.
You had paid six thousand for that ring and I ended up having it professionally evaluated by an independent jeweler just to reassure you and the “family” it was worth what you paid for it. You got what you paid for and in fact was worth two thousand more . But what kind of a “bride” does that ? I remember saying to you –
I don’t understand the ring was a symbol of love and not money, I was pleased with a little diamond because it was given in love..
Then all hell broke loose and once again ambulances, ICU’s waiting in uncomfortable chairs, watching clocks that didn’t seem to move. The machines, the IV’ fluids, every beep of the monitor, oxygen levels, breathing counts, heart rates, every foot fall of the nurses, the chairs, the smells another two weeks of memories flooding in from the dying days of you , the alarms, doctor’s faces, the looks- you know those looks, this is not good. The tests, the scans the results. The drives to and from the hospital four and five times a day, all those emotions invading my new world of worry- pushing them away in order to deal with the latest health crisis, crippling once again. Walking once again in the early morning across the hospital parking lot- holding ones’ breath hoping the news overnight was positive , crisis in the middle of the night , waiting for the damned phone NOT to ring in the early hours, no sleep, running on empty.
But your Nana picking up the slack at home- 97 years old- and I would come home to a meal, a clean house, my bed made and a cup of tea. Too tired to answer the many phone calls wanting an update.
So went July- and with it another part of me, a another slice of strength and tolerance …….. August…….. your birthday …… and the cycle continues ….. the past became the present and the future counted in days and the time between remains blurred in the moment