Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Grandmother's ramblings

The newsletter is finally done and distributed. If you would like a free copy, simply email us your email address or postal address and we will get one to you. I was not ready for the time and emotion that this newsletter took. I am finding it both difficult and uplifting in sharing our story with others. On one hand I want to protect and hold dear to me, Cole. He is precious to me and I feel protective of him. Maybe it is one of those Freud things; I couldn't protect him in life, so I must protect him in death. And then I think how silly. Cole doesn't need my protection for he is in the arms of God. And the outpouring and support from complete strangers has been uplifting to Brian and I. Your continue prayers, thoughts, kind words, and simple gestures remind us of how lucky we are and how we can still hold our heads up, fight for other children, and sing God's praises all at the same time. I continue to discover that this part of my journey is one where I must rely on no other but God. Scary, but breathtaking too. I hope you all join me on this journey.

In HIS Love,

Friday, June 29, 2007

Time has flown by and we continue to be blessed and amazed at the outpouring from Cole's Footprints. For those who don't know, Cole's Footprints was created to increase awareness of child abuse and to bring God's word to others. We had our first presentation and the results are truly amazing. If you want to know more about Cole's Footprints, visit our website at www.freewebs.com/colesfootprints.

Another reminder of why we must continue this fight; the new statistics were published and the yearly child fatalities, due to child abuse, has increased from 1100 to 1460! This is not the way the trend needs to move! More and more children are dying and fewer people are doing anything about it. The most common question we get is "what can we do?" The first and probably the most important step is to ACT. Do something, get involved. Listen to yourself, if you feel like the child is in danger or needs help; he or she probably does.

Our wish is for everyone to gt involved and not another child is killed. Please continue to pray for us and Cole's Footprints. God Bless. Cole's grandparents.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Updates and thoughts for today

It has been awhile since I blogged. Our life has been full of anger, unbelievable sadness, and finally healing and some joy. God continues to show us that he is good and life does go on. We greeted our new grandchild with much anticipation. Not only has his birth helped push the healing forward, but has provided another driving factor to speak out and end violence against children. The newspaper is once again full of stories about violence towards children. This week alone, a child was attacked by a dog, a teenager was abducted from a parking lot and her body later found, and another missing child was found locked in a closet in a grown man's apartment.
God has entrusted these precious gifts to us and I wonder what he thinks when he looks down on what we have become. We must speak for the children and protect them. Life does indeed move on, as the birth of my new grandchild proves; but what kind of world will he grow up in. It is each of our responsibility to end this senseless violence and to take care of the children. I hope and pray that everyone who reads this will decide to step-up and join us in this fight. Cole's grandma

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Our Most Valuable Resource

Our children are our most valuable resource as a society because our future resides in their hands. Yesterday a student at Virgina Tech University shot and killed 33 people, mostly students. I have to wonder what happened to this student that caused such a horrible event. We probably will never know. I don't know why God allows things to happen in a person's past that eventually generates enough anger and hatred to take the lives of others. The one thing I do know is that the things we allow to happen to our children now will affect the outcome as they head towards adulthood and sometimes intervention can turn the tide of future events.

Jesus held a special place in his heart for the children, here are His words from the gospel of Matthew 19:14 

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Here are some stats:
each day more than 3 children die from child abuse
an estimate 1100 children die each year
most of the children who die are younger than 5 years old
three in ten people have witnessed child abuse, But only 56% respond to the abuse....
44% of the people do nothing!

There are four types of abuse; neglect, physical, sexual, and emotional that can have an impact on a child, the people around them, and even their future if they are lucky enough to survive. Jesus placed such a high priority on the children yet even our laws and culture place them at the low end of society's totem pole. The change has to start with each one of us being aware of the hurt and pain that goes on everyday in our own cities and towns and then choosing not to ignore it, hoping it will go away because it won't. As we become more calloused, more things like Virginia Tech or Columbine High School will occur because of the pain, neglect and abuse that is taken out upon this nation's youth. We the parents and adults are ultimately responsible for the mentoring and teaching of our children.

Dueteronomy 6

These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe... so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly... just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, promised you.

 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Co-Authored by Tom Neyhart

Monday, April 9, 2007

Thoughts from Grandma

I'm sitting here after hearing the latest in Indiana about domestic violence and wonder what God thinks and/or feels as he looks down and observes his creation. I understand how easy it is to get caught up in the negative and ugly of this world. I have never felt such rage as I do towards Cole's killer, but I keep reminding myself that if he was the only person on this earth, Jesus Christ would still have died for him. As we celebrated Easter yesterday, it was hard not to think of Cole, along with Jesus. I know he is where we all strive to get to, but I wish as his grandma I would have got there before him. I wish I knew all the answers, but I can have faith that God does and that is enough for me.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The legal phase is over, Cole's killer received 30 years, 20 executed, with 10 on probation. But our journey is really only beginning. Now that all the "stuff" is over, we only have our own loss and grief to deal with. Someone I know approached me the other day and informed me that I just needed to get over it. My question is how do you just get over it? If only people would think before they open their mouth. My advise is for you to hold those who are precious close to you and appreciate who they are and what they mean in your life. Also, you don't have to say anything to those of us who have lost someone. A simply smile, touch on the arm, or I'm praying for you is sufficient.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Thoughts From A Friend

One of the things that seems to be declining in our current society is the reliance on family and friends as mentors. Part of that is the breakdown of the family unit. My wife and I were fortunate that we had parents that raised us and were good examples as parents, a lot of kids don't have that luxury. Another problem that exists is that we have become an independent culture that says "I can do it my way" and looks down on people who seek out help because it is viewed as weakness. If there are opportunities around to mentor young parents, give them a place to go or someone to go to when they get near the breaking point then maybe what happened to Cole and our friends the Byers can be avoided.

Posted by a friend and blog co-author