Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Update And A Thank You

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I wanted to update you all on what’s been going on with the situation that I wrote about in my post “A Plea For Help.”

The young boy has been released from the hospital and is now with his mother.  The Grandparents have a lawyer seeking to remove the boyfriend from the home and the birth father is petioning for joint custody so he has a say in the care of the child.  The Grandparents are hoping that they will be able to petition the court to prevent the mother from leaving the state as they now fear that their daughter might bring the child out of this state’s jurisdiction.

So, legal issues are at play and in the hands of lawyers and the judicial system. Hopefully, a mutual agreement can be reached by all parties and that the child will be safe and get any help he needs.

I made a simple plea for help from my WordPress friends and the response was staggering.  All of your information and advice had been forwarded to the Grandparents and they want me to convey their heartfelt thanks for taking the time to offer support and encouragement.

I cannot thank you all enough.  I wish I could tell you how much it meant to me to realize that I have so many friends and that they truly wanted to help.  Each and every one of you holds a special place in my heart and I wish I could offer more than a simple Thank You.

Hopefully, the family situation will be resolved in the next month or so, but with the resources you all supplied and that the Grandparents followed up on, I believe a happy ending for all is possible.

So, again, Thank You for responding to my plea for help.

Love,

Mary Ellen McMahon

2 Comments »

A Plea For Help

This is a very sad and important post, and I’m hoping that someone can help.  I am reaching out to my WordPress community to help a family that is in dire need of finding the assistance they need.

I cannot give names, suffice to say, it is part of my extended family that is in shock and they have run into a stone wall with local authorities and government officials regarding what has happened to a family member.  The easiest way for me to do this is to give you the facts as I know them and let you decide if you can help them.

A seven year old child had a tantrum last Thursday.  According to his mother, he became out of control and slapped her.  To be fair to the mother, she was born with a disability that has robbed approximately eighty percent of her eyesight and raising a child under those conditions is difficult at best.

However, instead of calling the child’s grandparents, who have helped raised him and have been giving their daughter money to help cover her expenses, she Baker Acted the boy and he is now in a Behavioral Hospital.

This seven year old child, who I know and have seen grow up, has never exhibited aggressive or hostile behavior when in the presence of his grandparents, the rest of the family, or in school. Evidently, this behavior is new and has occurred since the entry of a new boyfriend into the home environment.  The boyfriend has three children of his own, who he has systematically distributed to other family members to raise since he met the child’s mother.

The grandparents received the news that their grandson was admitted to the Behavioral Crisis Unit by their daughter in a TEXT MESSAGE.  Efforts to call and text her have proved fruitless.  When they drive to the daughter’s home…no one is there.

Hoping to have the child released into the birth father’s custody or their own, the grandparents consulted a lawyer who advised them that they were wasting their time. The birth father had visitation rights, but all custody rights were the mother’s.  Grandparents evidently have no rights whatsoever when concerned for the welfare of their grandchildren.

Multiple calls to the Department of Children and Families also proved fruitless.  They turned a deaf ear and said it was the mother’s right to Baker Act her seven year old and that the Grandparents are not even allowed to be informed of what Institution he is in or have visitation.  They refused to get involved and said that there was no proof that the home environment was the cause of the child’s distress.

If you think things couldn’t get worse, well think again.  The daughter and her boyfriend went to the police last evening and she filed Harassment Charges against her own parents for the multiple messages and texts that they have been sending wanting to know where and how their grandchild is.  The police came to their door last night and said they had a right to arrest them and would do so if they tried to communicate with their daughter again.

These grandparents are besides themselves with grief, worry and hurt.  The whole family is distressed and worried about this little boy.  The father is willing to take custody if the mother doesn’t feel equipped to handle their son.  The grandparents are more than willing to raise their grandson (who spent a large portion of his seven short years on earth in their home with his mother.)

My heart aches for the child, who is now most likely traumatized and feeling abandoned by those he depended on for love, comfort and stability.  My heart bleeds for the Grandparents who are fighting just to see their grandson and their bewilderment at their daughter’s hostility towards them.  They have done nothing but give their daughter and their grandson their love, support and encouragement over the years and this situation is unbearable for them.

If there is anyone reading this who knows of who these grandparents can turn to try to resolve this horrible, horrible situation, please leave me a comment, or e-mail me at dh418@comcast.net.  I know that WordPress has members from all walks of life: lawyers, social workers and psychiatrists who possibly may know of an avenue that the Grandparents have not discovered or authorities are not willing to tell them about.  Even if you’re a blogger who has encountered a similar situation and know of anything that can help this family, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Meanwhile, a seven year old boy will go to bed tonight in a strange place among strangers, when there are loving grandparents looking for him.

With tears in my eyes,

Mary Ellen McMahon

44 Comments »

Happy Fourth Of July

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I want to wish everyone a Very Safe And Happy Fourth Of July!  Light up those skies and remind us how lucky we are to live in the United States Of America!

Let’s remember all those brave souls who fought in the American Revolution; who made the ultimate sacrifice to make our country The Land Of The Brave And The Home Of The Free!

And, let us not forget to give a special salute to all our brave military soldiers home and abroad for their service and to thank them for helping to keep this country free from tyranny.  Let us remember the heroes we have lost in that fight with respect, love and gratitude.

Have a great holiday, everyone!

A special Happy Fourth goes out to a great blogger and fellow BE For Peace Member – Be Beautiful And Dance.  Check out the site, it’s great!

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No Words…Just Sorrow

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My thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of these brave men.

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Just A Hop, Skip And A Click

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Ahhh…the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the old man left for the afternoon. Oh yes, life is good!  I’ve been busy, busy, busy today working on my new blog site and although it still has a ways to go, I’m really excited about the initial response I’ve been getting from the readers that have dropped in and followed.

I’ve had the time today to add some new features to “A Dream Come True” and I thought I’d get some feedback from my readers as to whether the new features help them navigate the new site more effectively.

The first concern I had was making my faithful readers navigate between the two sites.  I didn’t want to use Reblog since it seemed kind of cheesy to be reblogging my own posts from one site to another.  And, I’m anything but cheesy…right…right?  Of course, WordPress widgets came to my rescue.  I was able to put an image on both sites that enable the reader to just click on the picture and it brings them to the other site.

How neat is that?  Easy breezy!  Of course, Mrs. Gulch (The Witch Who Wouldn’t Leave) is in both sidebars now…had to do it…the old witch scares me!  Hope you like the new feature.

Another feature that I’ve begun to use on the new site is the Blogroll, which enables readers to link to sites I find awesome with just a click.  Now, I think all of my readers are awesome so I have a very partial list so far.  I’ll be adding links as I get time…I am trying to provide links that readers can use as a tool to find inspiration, motivation and writers resources.  So, if you don’t find your site on it yet, please don’t unfollow me.  As I said, I’m still working on it and I want to make it shine, so give me some time!

All in all, I’m having a great time posting on both sites. I look forward to hearing from you (if you feel motivated to do so) on how you like the site and how it can be improved.  So, if want, hop, skip or click on over to “A Dream Come True” and take a gander!

Love you all!

Cranky

16 Comments »

A Day To Celebrate And A Fond Farewell

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Oh yeah..I’m dancing my old butt off!  So much to tell you all I just don’t know where to begin!

Okay, the most important thing…I’M NOW A PUBLISHED WRITER.  Can you dig it?  Can you believe it?  And you know what, it’s all because of you, my readers and fellow bloggers.  You pushed me with your comments, your encouraging words and your support and now, it is a reality.  I have a short story published and what a feeling it is!

You have helped me make a life long dream come true.  I have passed a milestone and you were by my side all the way.  You might not believe it, but, my eyes are tearing up as I write this.  You guys Rock!

I have also been working on creating a new blog.  WHAT?  Am I crazy…don’t I have enough to do?  Has Cranky finally gone off the deep end?

No, my friends.  I just felt that now that I am starting to experience a little success, I wanted to let others join in my journey and let me pass on some of the support and motivation that you have here on my personal blog.  I hope to use the new site to highlight blogs on writing that I discover, publishers that want our work and let people know that if this old fart can do..anyone can!

On the advice of one of the first bloggers that ever did me the honor of visiting my site and following me, Aurora of Metal Angel, I also got a domain name.  She warned me that some less than scrupulous people were watching for up and coming authors and would snatch their domain name with the intentions of selling it to the Authors for an tidy profit for them.  So for anyone that want’s to get to my sites, you can now use my http://memcmahon.wordpress.com and you’ll find me.  Thanks my friend! Check out her site, she’s a great girl!

Now, nothing ever comes without a price.  I have tried for two days to keep Mrs. Gulch on this site, while having my picture (as amateur as it is) appear on my new site.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to get it to work.  So, I’ve had to wave goodbye to Mrs. Gulch and send her on her way back to OZ.  Hope she avoids falling houses on the way.  So, a fond farewell to you Mrs. Gulch, you’ve served me well and I’ll miss you.

So, my friends, I hope that you’ll hop on over to my new site and visit.  Click here on “A Dream Come True” and take a look around.  I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Also, my short story is now available on Alphie Dog Fiction and you can take a peek!  You’ll find it down the list under M E McMahon and they give you a sneak peek at the content.  I have two more scheduled for publication in July, so I’ll keep you updated when they’re available.

Now, many of you know that I don’t drink alcohol, so would you do the Cranky a favor?  Tip one for me tonight and wish me well!  And, don’t worry.  Grandma Says is still going to be my site to put all my personal stuff, you know, my thoughts, my views and my ridiculous animated pictures.  I love you all and hope to hear from you soon.

Love,

Cranky

49 Comments »

Goodbye To A Hero

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Mike Patterson, his wife and three children

On June 8, Mike Patterson was enjoying an afternoon with his nine-year old son on the shores of Euharlee, Creek in Rockport Ga.  The 43 year old spotted a toddler drowning in the swimming hole and, without hesitation, dived in to save the small child.

He succeeded but suffered a severe neck injury and was found unconscious and drowning in the water moments after rescuing the small child.  He had broken his neck in three separate places as he had dived into a shallow area of the swimming hole head first.  He has spent the days following his heroic act in the Intensive Care Unit of a nearby hospital, paralyzed and battling pneumonia caused by the water in his lungs.

Today, Mike Patterson lost the battle and died from his injuries.  So, now we have to say good-bye to a good samaritan who selflessly gave his life to save another.  Let us remember him and send our prayers to his family and loved ones. May his sons always remember and respect their father for the Hero he was.

R.I.P. Mike..You lost the battle but you saved the day.

A fund has been set up in Mike’s memory to defray the medical costs and family expenses for Mike’s surviving family.  You can get more information here:

Friends Of Mike Patterson

21 Comments »

Oh, What A Night!

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I love storms!  They make me gasp, they hypnotize me with their brilliant streaks of lightning and the deafening peals of thunder. I’ve seen some great storms in my twenty-five years in Florida but, last night, I was in my glory!

Around seven p.m., the thunderclouds rolled in with a vengeance.  I was in the dining room working on the laptop (so what else is new?) and glanced up to see that first glorious strike of lightning light up the sky.  I looked out on the lanai (depending on where you live, think porch, patio or that little patch of cement you park a chair on outside your door) and there was Danny, stuffing his face with a piece of chocolate pie.

Now, when you hear thunder in Florida, you are wise to start looking for shelter (no, not under that metal car port) and sit back and enjoy the show.  These types of storms usually move through rather quickly and you don’t want to miss the special effects that Mother Nature has whipped up for you.

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Last night’s show was spectacular and lasted a good hour; it was a continuous symphony of deep, rolling thunder followed by cracks of lightening so loud you couldn’t help but give a little jump.  I sat in awe and watched with delight as the storm flexed it’s muscles time after time.  I watched Danny carry in his empty paper plate (hey, I’m a writer and I reduce chores down to the bone, so paper is good) and his fork.

He looked at me and said, “Guess I shouldn’t be using a metal fork while the lightning is so close to the house, huh?”

“Yeah, the lightning is going to aim straight for that fork, Dan.  Don’t worry about that aluminum chair you’re sitting in.”

So, taking the hint, he headed for the safety of the bedroom and I stayed till the end of the show.  Eventually, the lights stopped flickering, the skies started clearing and the thunder became a distant memory.

Now, some of you might remember that we have a small puppy and I worried that Buddy might be like out last dog, D.O.G.  At the first faraway murmur of thunder, D.O.G. would start breaking down the patio doors to take cover in the house.  You risked serious injury if you got in that dog’s way.  Don’t try to remove the dog from the house until the sun has once again graced the skies.  D.O.G. was pure chickens*** when it came to thunder and lightning.

After Danny scooted off to the safety of our bed, I felt safe enough to take a peek out the patio doors, worried that Buddy might be cowering in fear and shaking with terror.  I spotted him in his bed, SOUND ASLEEP!

When I softly said his name, he peeked up at me as if to say “What????  There was a storm?”  Love that dog!

This morning, all is still and quiet has covered our little town again.  But, Mother Nature did leave a little gift for those of us who survived the night and lived to see the sunrise.

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It’s a beautiful morning, but, oh what a night!

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Undeserved Trust…Unbelievable Loss

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Charish Perriwinkle

I watched the news yesterday, and once again, was disgusted to find that another small child had been abducted and killed by a registered sexual offender.  I shook my head as the details were reported on how this horrible man was able to get his hands on an innocent child.  Another unbelievable loss that never should have happened.

Charish Perriwinkle and her mother were shopping in a dollar store when a man, Donald James Smith, befriended the mom and offered to help her out by buying clothes at a local Wal-mart.  The three traveled to Wal-mart and had spent a couple of hours shopping when Smith suggested that he go get some burgers from the McDonald’s located in the store.  He offered to take Charish with him and then proceeded to walk with the child out the front door.

Charish’s body was discovered on the grounds of a church, where police had responded to a report of a suspicious van in the area.   A short time later, a policewoman spotted Smith’s van as it passed her and he was stopped and arrested on suspicion of murder.  Bail has been denied and he is awaiting trial.

As a mother, my first question was how could the mother let a complete stranger take her daughter away to be raped and killed?  How could she have trusted a man she knew nothing about whisk her child out of her life?  The Internet is screaming with condemnation of a mother who misplaced her trust and lost her child in such a horrific manner.

Before we judge her, however, we need to consider the man responsible for this crime.  Smith had a long history of sexual offenses and had just been released from prison on May 31.  He has been a registered sex offender since 1993.  He was convicted for attempted kidnapping and selling obscene materials.  Several arrests later, he was convicted on charges of child abuse when he made obscene phone calls to a ten year old girl.  He pled guilty to impersonating a public employee and aggravated child abuse by willful torture.  He served a year in the county jail until he was released in May.

This man was a predator, wise to the ways of appearing to be a stranger willing to perform a random act of kindness to a mother and her kids during hard times.  He wooed her with his offer of help for her kids and spent hours with her to build up an undeserved trust.  Yes, the mother made a fatal mistake when she agreed to have Charish accompany him to McDonald’s.  For all we know, the restaurant might have been in her view and she got distracted for a few minutes while Smith took her daughter out of her life forever.

This mother will have to live with the guilt and the torture of knowing that her one moment of giving a stranger her undeserved trust cost her daughter her life.  She has to live with that and feel the pain of her loss every day from here on end.  We don’t need to add to her grief by judging her for her mistake.

What we do need to do is question how this vile, despicable man with a long list of sexual offenses against children was released to commit such a heinous crime?  How many times does it take for a sexual predator to be arrested before he is incarcerated for life to prevent him from harming one more innocent child?

Evidently, the answer is when he finally rapes and murders an eight year old little girl and gets caught.

It has been proven, over and over, that pedophiles CAN NOT be rehabilitated.  It just isn’t possible, experts have said over and over again.  So, why are these sexual predators released, time and again, to hurt our children?  When are lawmakers going to wake up and start protecting our children and not the criminals who prey on the innocent?

I hope the answer comes before another mother places her undeserved trust in a stranger and winds up experiencing the unbelievable loss of her child.

This post is dedicated to Bloggers For Peace.  Check out a great site “I am for Change” – you won’t be sorry!

32 Comments »

Can You See Me Now?

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The other day, I found a online magazine that I felt would be a good place to submit one of my articles to and I hurried on over to their Submission Guidelines.  For those of you who have submitted your work before, you know that each publication has their own set of rules you must follow to properly submit your work.  Most of the publishers ask that the manuscript be in a specific format and that you supply a short bio or cover letter for their review.

Piece of cake if you follow the directions, right?  Well, I was reading down the submission guideline list for this particular publication and gasped in horror.  They wanted me to submit a picture to accompany the piece.  A PICTURE OF ME! Whaaaat? Cranky don’t do pictures!

I have a Gravatar for a good reason.  I hate having my picture taken; I really, really, really detest it! I would rather have four root canals done with no anesthetic than have to pose for a picture. If you don’t believe me, you could go through my family albums and try to find a picture of me. Good luck on that search!  I am the primary photographer for all family gatherings just so I don’t have to get in the photos.

When someone traps me into posing for a picture, I grab the nearest person and stand behind them…that way only the top of my head peeking over someone’s shoulder is the solitary part of my body caught by the camera…my anonymity stays intact.

But, a writers got to do what a writers gotta do.  I got Danny to agree to take the photo (a head and shoulders shot was requested) and then started to prepare for my portrait.

So many questions had to be addressed before I would sit for the photo.  Important decisions had to be made such as do I take out my teeth or leave them in?  Should I run out and get some “Nice And Easy” or leave the grey hairs intact?  Do I paint my face and cover all those signs of aging or go Au Naturel?  Should I opt for a tee shirt or try to look distinguished and matronly? Would Danny let me get a quick facelift and consider it an investment in my writing career?

Well, I decided that the teeth stay in and the grey hairs would stay.  I don’t own any makeup (not even tinted lip gloss) and it might not be a good idea to be photographed in my “I’m Not Fat..I’m Fluffy” tee shirt.  I did mention the facelift but well…you can imagine Danny’s response was less than receptive.

Finally the photo shoot began after Danny got a quick lesson on how to use my camera ( a cheapo that is about one step up from the type you buy in a supermarket.)  Well, it actually turned into a long lesson on how to aim a camera, look into the viewer and push the damn button.  He couldn’t seem to keep those three steps in mind for more than thirty seconds, so each time I sat in the chair and posed, he would just stand with the camera in his hand and ask me to repeat the directions.  Lord love a duck!

The first few pictures Danny managed to click turned out to be shots that were unusable.

“No, honey, they don’t want a picture of my boobs.  Take another one.”

“No, sweetie, they need more of my face in the picture than my double chin.  Quit hitting the Zoom button.”

Needless to say, the photo session took a lot longer than I first anticipated, but Danny did finally manage to squeeze out one photo that I felt would fill the bill.  Next time, I’m going to Wal-Mart.

I have decided to share the results with you, my blogging buddies, and hope that you now can put a face to the words I write.  I’ve also titled the picture with my pen name that I use when I submit work to be published.  I am laying myself bare before all of you…just this once on this site.  If you want to suffer through looking at my mug in the future, you’ll have to go to where they forced me to submit a picture.

Anyway, without further ado, I’d like to introduce myself (drum roll, please!)

My Picture

 M E McMahon

Writer, Novelist and a really Cranky person!

(I gave some heavy thought to submitting the picture at the top of this post, but I feared the publishers might not have a sense of humor! :))

44 Comments »

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