Monday, September 3, 2012

Thoughts on Labor Day

“When the lives and the rights of children are at stake, 
there must be no silent witnesses.”--Carol Bellamy
 P.O. Box 3005  l  Bryan, Texas 77805  l  214.673.6732

There’s an estimated 7,000 children who work in the Ghana fishing industry. Some of
these children are as young as 5 and 6 years old.  All of these children are slaves.
–Mercy Project

Today many in our country will take a day off from our jobs to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers.  No matter if we’re celebrating at home or at the beach, we’re entering into a tradition that has largely been shaped by Labor Unions - organizations that are dedicated to protecting workers’ interests and improving their wages, hours, and working conditions.  Today as we lounge around or hang out with friends and family, we’re not only celebrating hard work, we’re honoring fair, ethical working practices and the laws that prevent discrimination, abuse, and child labor in our country.  Without these laws in place (and enforced), the most vulnerable members of society suffer.  Who are the most vulnerable? Children. 

Today as we’re celebrating the systems in our own country that strive to prevent injustices like child trafficking and child labor, we’re mindful of the many child slaves around the world who are unprotected and the organizations, like Mercy Project, who are working to free them.

As a mother, it’s difficult for me to imagine my children working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I’m unable to wrap my brain around the thought of my children engaged in long, hard days of physical labor, eating one meal a day, and then falling asleep at night on a dirt floor filled with other slave children.  Yet this is the daily reality for kids who have been trafficked into the fishing industry in Ghana, Africa.  As with much of Africa, there is a great deal of poverty in Ghana. Unfortunately, this leaves many mothers in an unimaginable position: sell their children to someone who can take better care of them or watch them starve to death. Most of the mothers are told their children will be given food, housing, and an education. Instead, the kids are often taken to Lake Volta where they become child slaves and their mothers never see them again.  Thankfully, Mercy Project is working to break the cycles of trafficking around Lake Volta by providing alternate, more efficient, sustainable, fishing methods for villagers – ultimately eliminating the need for child slaves.  Because of the work Mercy Project is doing in Ghana, the first group of children will be freed this month from Lake Volta.

We invite you to watch this moving, 10 minute documentary about the issues surrounding child labor and trafficking in Ghana and most importantly the hope Mercy Project is bringing to children and entire communities in Africa.  Mercy Project is the only NGO working on Lake Volta addressing the injustice of child labor and child trafficking at its root - by strengthening the Ghanaian economy and eliminating the structures that cause the demand for trafficked children.
Whether these ideas of child labor, child trafficking, and modern-day slavery are new to you or you’re aware of these injustices, but need to hear some good news every once in awhile, we invite you to become a part of what Mercy Project is doing in Ghana.  When Mercy Project frees their first group of children this month, we can all celebrate together.

Learn more and get involved by –

• Watching Mercy Project’s short documentary.

• Following Mercy Project on Facebook.

• Connecting with Mercy Project via Twitter.

• Spending some time on Mercy Project’s website.

• Sharing about Mercy Project’s work in Ghana with your friends. 

Although child trafficking, child labor, and the unstable economies that result in these injustices are a tragedy, we’re grateful for what Mercy Project is doing to protect the vulnerable and for allowing us to be a part of this story.   While we’re commemorating labor laws and ethical work in our own country today, we invite you to follow along on this journey with Mercy Project to protect and free children in Ghana.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

20 years later....time flies

Yesterday was the anniversary of my mom's death.

20 years


Do you remember when you wanted to get older, go to college, get married, have babies, etc.. and your parents would say it will happen quicker than you think?  I remember not believing my mother when she would say that.

But now...

I say that to my kids all the time!  And I have learned that it is true.

Time Flies, even when you may not be having fun!!!

It is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I have not had my mother for 20 years!!!!

That now, this year, I have been alive longer without her than with her!

July 4th quit being special to me in 1992.  I don't ignore it, but I don't particularly enjoy it or look forward to it at all.

Depending on the year, I could be sad, angry, blah, or ok.  This year I was in a bad mood.  But, thankfully, we still had friends over and they had kids, so my kids had fun!  We went to see fireworks and it was good.

But really, at times throughout the day and night, I just wanted to be with my family. People who had been with me when I was 19, 20 years ago.  Not that we would speak of it, or be extra sad because we were together, but because you can just be and they know.

My husband and children have no idea what July 4 is to me.

My brother, father and aunt do.

They each called me!

Just to see how I was.


I hate not being able to see them but once a year!


Where you can be yourself


They know junk about you but still love you


That which represents my mom

That's where I wanted to be yesterday...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Silent Tears

A 12 year old!

Today is Rayin's birthday!  I sometimes think that I'll forget that it was this day back in 2000, and some years I don't forget, it is just easier.  This year however, I have remembered more than usual.  I think it's because I have been talking about her more often with friends, sharing her story more than I have in a while.  My 2 youngest have been telling their friends that they had a sister who died in mommy's tummy.

She is in a better place! And my  mom is with her, which makes it a little better, but it's my selfish side that wishes she was here with me. Going and getting pedicures together, hearing about boys, girl drama, doing her hair... I wonder what it would be like to have a little girl?!

I find silent tears falling on my cheeks this morning...

I find no questions of why...

Just silent tears

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Pretty sure that complacency and growing, learning and changing are oxymorons!


this is where I am right now.

Much to me chagrin!




Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Not Even Sure What the Title Should Be

Just like I have no idea what the title should be to this post, I really have no idea what to say, or really how to begin.

My dad informed me today that he has prostate cancer...the dreaded 'C' word.  Think it should be considered a four-letter word, personally.  I HATE that word.  I HATE the fear it can lay hold of you.  I HATE the oppression it brings you.  I HATE that awhile ago I thought that it could raise its nasty head in my personal life, thankfully it did not, but now it again has come into my circle and into my life.

My father is fine and calm and his usual technical self.  Apparently, it has been caught very early and that some level was not extremely high.  Supposedly, catching it at this stage, men don't die from this and that it is rare that it will spread.  With that said, I'm not quite sure what to say or feel.  I usually tend to go into "Furne" mode and deny, ignore or bury anything that I may be tempted to feel.  Psycho, I know!

So, 20 years after losing my mom, here comes this dirty, nasty word again.  Not sure how it would feel to not have parents anymore.  And it's also different this time with my kids.  It's not just dad but papa too.