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I remember December 25, 1996. Kelsea was 24 days old. We put her next to us on the floor as we unwrapped Christmas presents, and suddenly couldn’t find her, because we’d accidentally covered her with wrapping paper (a.k.a., glee debris). We immediately uncovered her, and she was happy as a little clam the whole time. That was a lovely Christmas day, full of family (because family comes where the baby is), and fireplaces, and good brunch, and cuddling, and naps.

The next day, we went to the House Up Top, since we had a second house in Black Hawk at the time. I remember sitting in the big taupe faux suede recliner, holding my baby girl, and watching the news about JonBenet Ramsey. I’ll never forget that…my little girl in my arms, while hearing about another little girl, blonde and beautiful like my own, whose life was snatched away at age six. It chilled my heart and made me hold her a little tighter.

I worked in Boulder. I had gone to school there. I had lived on The Hill. I had walked by that house. Boulder, at the time, felt small and safe. I walked everywhere alone at night without a qualm. People who lived there at the time were still at that six degrees of separation level. Everyone knew someone who knew someone who knew someone…you get the picture. An acquaintance was the stepdaughter of the District Attorney. Everyone was hearbroken. Everyone had an opinion on the case. Everyone followed every development. Everyone thought the police were totally out of their league. This sort of thing never happened in Boulder.

As a new mother, I felt for the Ramseys. I had my own opinions about the case, still do to this day, best left unsaid except to my closest confidantes. The Ramsey’s sold the house, they moved away. The city changed the street number of the house, because once it sold, it still garnered so many looky-looers that the new owners couldn’t take it. It became an albatross in the real estate market. And the Patsy Ramsey died of her recurring cancer. John Ramsey started a new life, and good for him. Patsy and JonBenet are buried side by side in Georgia.

jonbenet_ramsey

JonBenet Ramsey, age 4 or 5-ish

I know it has been 20 years since this happened, an anniversary. But I am disgusted by the massive amount of attention that the media is taking in this case, starting last month, and no doubt continuing through the year’s end. Maybe it’s only been three shows and some new stories, but I feel they’ve been constantly repeated for weeks. It’s all about ratings, I guess. I know that a lot of people who are in Boulder now weren’t there then, but for those of us who were, having such pieces be promoted (I haven’t been able to watch them) dredges up sorrow and pain that it has taken years to settle uncomfortably with. Maybe even by writing this, I’m giving validity to those bringing up old wounds, but I had to say my piece.

None of these exposes and “new” investigations are going to identify her killer. Nothing will bring her back. I think it’s time that we all let JonBenet rest peacefully. Whoever killed her will have to live with her blood on their hands until their last breath. After 20 years, that is, I think, punishment enough. Let’s not punish her spirit, and the rest of us who live with the memories.

kelsea-at-5

Kelsea at age 4 or 5

 

 

 

First, let me say that few things cheer me up as much as Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling in “Royal Wedding.”

Things are still in flux.  My main work’s fiscal year ended yesterday.  I survived the small round of layoffs.  My boss, who put me on the PIP a month ago, is no longer my boss.  And her boss is also gone.  As is our division president.  What does that mean for my job?  I have absolutely no idea, but I feel that a shoe has yet to drop.  And I’m okay with that.  As has been said, it buys us more time to craft our escape plan.

It is April, but still snowing, and I am still asking myself “Why am in Colorado, and why have I stayed here so long?”  My depression is much better when the weather is better.  As is, it settles over my spirit like the snow blankets the grounds outside the cottage windows.  Cold and endless.  Even if my dreams of warmth in the Caribbean grow a little closer every day.

I have been contemplating privacy, slander and loneliness this evening. 

 

Privacy: I have always been a private person – actually, rather shy, even though people don’t really believe that.  I am outgoing with strangers when I feel in control, but with people I know slightly, I often feel shy and awkward.  I have since I was a child.  I have always protected the privacy of my choices, my feelings, and my actions.  Blogging is an interesting cross between public and private.  And knowing that people who know me are reading this sometimes makes me more conscious of what I write.  But I don’t edit.  I am proud of who I am.  Not proud in a boastful, blatant, self-promoting way.  Proud in a quiet, hard-working, inner-glow way.  I know I’ve always been a little thin-skinned about criticism, which is no doubt part of the reason that I’ve been hesitant to pursue a future with writing and photography.  But with a partner, and with support, that’s improving, and I’m finding a new level of confidence in myself. 

That said, I still sometimes surprise myself with how easily I can be hurt, even by people whose opinions really don’t matter to me.  It seems to reawaken something deep inside me that I thought I had grown out of.  I guess some things we never really outgrow, even if we don’t know how they grew inside us in the first place.

 
Slander: 

“But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed. ”

William Shakespeare, “Othello”, Act 3 scene 3

I am a good person, with a good heart and a good soul.  I am a good mom.  I love well and wholeheartedly.  I have never deliberately set out to hurt anyone.  I am compassionate and empathetic.  I am not vengeful.  And even if I have ill feelings towards someone, I do not speak ill of them.  How does speaking ill of another profit me?  Does it make me feel better about myself?  No.  And I would NEVER make assumptions about who or what another person was, and voice my opinion of that person based on those assumptions.  THAT is slanderous.  Words have power, and power in ignorant hands can be harmful – and evil.

 

Loneliness:  I have spoken of loneliness before here.  It is new for me.  I have been accustomed to having Pat around all these years.  Now, I come home to an empty house, my own mess, my own cooking.  I do not miss Pat, but I miss the comfort of company.  It’s like that tonight, when it’s cold and I’m overtired.  It’s not always this way.  I certainly do love my time alone, and I LOVE my little cottage.  But I miss Russ when we can’t see each other.  And I miss Kelsea when she is with Pat.  Perhaps true love is what inspires loneliness.

 

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