Monday, December 31, 2007

A Mother's Wrath

The emotional make-up of a mother is such a paradox.

I am a nurturing, caring person that feels empathy and compassion toward all of the Mothers’ children of the world. I have long forgiven Austin’s girlfriend and family for their contribution towards my son’s death. I want Brielle to be drug-free and live a good and productive life. I want this because I know that is what Austin wants.

I have always avoided conflict, emotional or physical. I do not like violence of any kind. I don’t like to hear someone shout “Moron!” to a car in a traffic situation. I can think of a dozen reasons that a driver may accidentally cut me off, after all, life doesn’t revolve around me and my problems.

I am a Mother. One of generations of mothers that has descended from centuries of Mothers protecting their precious children. As a Mother, a female…we are of a softer, sweeter nature. We want to protect and take care of others.

Now the paradox, the contradiction…..

Someone did something really stupid to my oldest son. I have never felt such enormous, all-encompassing wrath, rage and fury focused at an individual.

Internet fraud, destroying of personal property, extortion…all from a “friend”.

This individual and his extended family, to my knowledge, have not contributed in any positive way to society. He spends his day’s unemployed, playing video games, four-wheeling, sleeping at friends/relatives. Basically, he is a drain on society, not with standing the criminal acts.

This criminal shall feel the intense vehemence of rage as he has never known. .

My son will be fine. He is a good, decent person with a promising future. He has good work ethics, is compassionate and loving, he is truly an amazing young man.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Grief Manifests as Physical Pain

The gnawing pain has been circling my abdomen for months now. It is as if the grief in my heart has overflowed into my intestines and is searching for a new area to explore, invade, and take over. This pain/ grief has become an entity within itself. A creature that is clawing at my insides with such a razor-sharp fury that it leaves me clutching my fists to my stomach in agony. I lay on the cool tiled floor of my bathroom, breathing shallowly, and waiting for the pain to ease.

Last week the pain found its way to my right side. No more was I allowed the brief reprieves that I had earlier. I now had a constant reminder that all was not right. Everything I ate, no matter how bland, gave me pain. Cold drinking water would put my stomach into spasms. Nothing would stay down.

Doctors will evaluate the symptoms, test results and come up with a diagnosis and plan of action.

I need to gain control of my grief or it will manifest itself in another part of my body. I will never quit grieving for Austin, but I don’t want to be a victim of grief.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Love of a Brother Never Dies.


SETH'S MOMMA (08-05-07)

This was written by Janda, a dear friend "in grief".

Friday, November 16, 2007

We were a team; Ryan, Austin and I.

Ryan, my first born son is now an only child.

I hear his voice on the phone and I hold my breath, I simply can’t breathe from the fear of losing him. My heart aches from the sheer gratitude of having him for a son.

We were a team; Ryan, Austin and I. Through good times and bad times. Whether we were living near or far. Each son would call me to update me with what the other was doing…

Ryan called me one night and said, “Mom, Our dog died tonight, I am on my way back to college. Could you go pick Austin up and have him spend the night with you? I don’t want him alone tonight.”

Austin told me Ryan got a tattoo in anger at me over my change in religion, “Mom, don’t worry, he wanted to hurt you, but he’ll get over it. It will be okay.”

Dropping off my sons at the airport in Philadelphia, Ryan turned to me and said, “Mom, last night I left my hat at a strip club. Could you pick it up for me?” Later, Austin called me and said, “Oh, Mom, I can’t believe Ryan said that to you! He shouldn’t have!” I laughed and I did pick his hat up for him. That was typical of the boys…Ryan would tell me anything, Austin would protect me.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I know, I can't reason with the drugs.

I know, I can't reason with the drugs. I felt hopeless with Austin and I am afraid he felt hopeless, also. But, geez, those drugs are so powerful, they take over the mind, the body, the soul and they don't let go until all the ambition, hopes and dreams are gone, and the life is sucked out. I don't think I could cope with dealing with the lying and excuses and begging for money again. Even though I understand that "it's the addiction", it is still maddening and frustrating, beyond belief.

Boy, I wish drug addicts were rational....I would do anything to have Austin back, the son that he was without the drugs. But it would be wrong of me to want him to live his life in that hell of addiction that led to his death. And, honestly, it was hell for me, too. To see my baby boy being tortured by drugs, to wonder every night where he was, to worry that every time the phone rang that he may be in jail, hurt, or finally, the unthinkable...

I know, without a doubt, that Austin is set free now. He is happy and joyful. He shows me his presence when I need him most. Right or wrong, that is the reality I choose to believe, thank you very much.

What you disturbance ride had storm fades passionate complete spirit

What you disturbance ride had storm fades passionate complete spirit

I have never been able to type without "hunt and peck", I have taken numerous classes and have given up, that is just part of being dyslexic! So I thought I would close my eyes (and let Austin type through me) and using Microsoft word..just type. It was gibberish, then I did spell check, a little better, then synonyms..and this is what I got!

What you disturbance ride had storm fades passionate complete spirit. maybe it means nothing...but maybe it does.... Maybe...what I saw as Austin's disturbing ride ending into a storm, actually transcends to where his spirit is passionately complete.

What do you think?

I remember...

Even with knowing and believing (I really do believe!) that Austin is still with us and surrounds us with still is so painful to live without him. I miss being able to reach out and touch his cheek, smooth down his hair, lay a hand on his shoulder... I was supposed to have a lifetime of touches, not just 24 yrs! You know, I just remembered something about Austin when he was little......I would say he was "skin-hungry" because he was always wanting to hug me and be picked up and was always up close to me, with his arms around my neck, very loving. Maybe he was trying to get a lifetime of hugs in a few short years.........

I remember….

Austin sitting on the kitchen counter, with his Striderite shoes and socks on. A diaper and t-shirt. Blond curls. Baby teeth. Beautiful smile. I remember his sturdy, little legs. Sturdy. I can hear the sound of his shoes hitting the cupboard doors. Even as a baby, he wore EEE shoes.

Friday, September 21, 2007

An obituary from 1850 that says it all...

"Thus is cut off, in the morning of his days, one in whom many hopes were centred - and who had the fairest prospects of happiness and usefulness in life."

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Rose Kennedy knew grief.....

like the ocean,
comes in waves only to recede and come yet again.

But with it comes healing.
Memories wash ashore and are bathed by the golden sun.
Grab hold of those memories and let them fill the emptiness.

It has been said that time heals all wounds.
I do not agree.
The wounds remain.
In time the mind,
protecting its sanity,
covers them with scar tissue
and the pain lessons----but it is never gone.

Rose Kennedy

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Purdue Feels the Pain of OxyContin Felony, Fine

Purdue Feels the Pain of OxyContin Felony, Fine
May 16, 2007
PharmExec Direct
Executives at Purdue Pharma are opening their own wallets and paying out large wads of cash to settle charges that they "misbranded" painkiller OxyContin--as part of a hefty plea agreement that may signal the courts' mounting frustration with sketchy marketing practices by Big Pharma.
Purdue will pay upwards of $600 million--one of the largest fines ever slapped on a drug maker--to resolve felony charges that they encouraged sales reps to fraudulently market OxyContin (oxycodone) as less addictive than other pain medications.
In a striking twist, the fine is levied against both the company and three high-level execs: Michael Friedman, president and COO; Howard Udell, executive vice-president and chief legal officer; and Paul Goldenheim, former executive vice-president of worldwide medical affairs. All three had to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges and together cover a $34.5 million fine.
While naming individual officials in such suits is not unheard of, it is unusual for a firm's chief legal officer to be among them, according to Carole Handler, vice-chair of the intellectual property litigation practice at law firm Foley & Lardner. "We're in a standard of much stricter scrutiny on corporate management. In order to bring about compliance...the philosophy is you need to hurt people in their pocketbooks," Handler said, adding, "This decision is designed to prevent others from going down the same road."
Officials in Virginia came down hard and fast on the company when they announced the settlement to the public. "Even in the face of warnings from healthcare professionals, the media, and members of its own sales force...Purdue, under the leadership of its top executives, continued to push a fraudulent marketing campaign," said US Attorney John Brownlee in a statement. "In the process, scores died as a result of OxyContin abuse, and an even greater number became addicted."
The case related to Purdue's marketing push between January 1996 and June 2001. It alleged that the company's sales reps used tools such as exaggerated graphs and incomplete study data to "prove" that time-released OxyContin was less addictive and prone to abuse--and had fewer withdrawal side effects--than fast-acting painkillers like morphine.
With an aggressive push to general practitioners, OxyContin achieved sales of $1.8 billion in 2004 before it lost patent protection the following year. By then it had also become infamous as one of America's most abused substances--snorted, crushed, and injected by rural teens and tabloid celebs alike.
On its Web site, Purdue seemed to "depict [the case] as a rogue action of a few individuals," said August Horvath, special counsel at law firm Heller Ehrman.
"Nearly six years and longer ago, some employees made, or told other employees to make, certain statements about OxyContin..that were inconsistent with the FDA-approved prescribing information for OxyContin," the statement reads. "During the past six years, we have implemented changes to our internal training, compliance, and monitoring systems that seek to assure that similar events do not occur again." The site also lists measures that Purdue has taken to retrain its sales force and alert physicians about potential for abuse.
Horvath recalled that 10 years ago a $10 million fine was considered a large settlement in such false-marketing cases. Now the closest precedent is the 2004 Neurontin (gabapentin) settlement, in which Warner-Lambert (now part of Pfizer) paid $430 million to resolve similar charges.
"They're going for big bucks because the conduct keeps occurring," Horvath said about federal prosecutors. "The majority [of the fine] is deterrent. There's a sense that they will have reached the right number when the cases stop happening."

There are no goodbyes....

There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.


Monday, June 04, 2007

What do you "do"?

At the moment, I do not have a job. I am not looking for a job. I have worked in the past but I can't remember what I did.

I go to business dinners with Nathan and people ask me what do I "do". My mind goes blank...I mumble that I walk on the beach and collect seashells. We joined a synagogue and I was asked what my interests were. I said that I walk on the beach. Once, I told someone that I was "in grief". They asked what I did before. I don't remember. On my customs form entering England, Nathan wrote Beach Environmentalist. He says collecting seashells is a good thing for me to do because it makes me happy.

Why does that question leave me confused?

Drugs. My life is consumed by the fact that my son died from drugs. It doesn't matter what he died from, but it was drugs, so I am furious at drugs. and dealers. and the media making it look "cool". and myself for not understanding drugs. and its' effects.

So for 20 months and 2 weeks now, my life has been irrevocably changed from drugs.

But it has been longer than that when drugs actually began to affect my life. Austin started drinking at age 13. I didn't know it at the time, but it had to have affected my life because it affected him. It was a slow (at least it was for me, because I wasn't aware of it) descent from there. Alcohol.....pot.....I don't even know how it got to Oxycontin.

The last few years I pleaded, begged, bribed, yelled, lectured...everything I could think of to get him to "grow up", "straighten up", "get clean" ...all that nonsense. I had no concept of what addiction really meant. So during that time, drugs consumed my life. That is probably why I don't remember what "I did".

Austin would be 26 years 3 months old. Half of that time, since he was 13 yrs old, I was battling drugs and alcohol. His drugs and alcohol.

"What do I do?" I am recovering from a 13 yr. battle with drugs and alcohol.

Lesli.....Ryan and Austin's Mom
Austin Nicholas Barthen2/26/1981 - 9/16/2005

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Is this what Austin would want?

I want the memory of Austin to always be fresh in the minds of everyone who loved him and considered him a friend. Austin was always making new friends and I don't want that to ever stop. With this blog, more and more people can get to know him.

Obviously, this is through the eyes of a Mother who dearly loved him.

I started this blog to help others understand how drugs can destroy lives. I don't know if Austin would want his life "put out there" for all to see, but I think that he would want me to do what ever it took to help me find some sort of peace. I remember him saying, "Aw, Mom, you are so nice."

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I have memory "snapshots" of Austin as a toddler......

slobbery kisses

sturdy legs as I put on his socks and Striderite white hightop EEE shoes.... always had wide feet : )

his arms held out wide, waiting to be picked up and hugged

blonde curls

happy, loving personality

and so many more..............................

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I had a "good" day yesterday.

I had a "good" day yesterday. It was a beautiful, sunshiny day and I went forth into the world and interacted with people and I wasn't in my "grief fog" that I have been struggling in daily, "since". Austin was on my mind as always and when someone asked if I had children, I explained that I had two sons...Ryan, 29 yrs old and Austin, who died 18 mos. ago at age 24 yr. old.

Later, I went to my "special" place in the cemetery next door (I buried a piece of Austin's shirt under a huge, beautiful oak tree) and "talked" to him and left him seashells that I had dyed pastel colors. (Austin was buried in Ohio, but I am in NC) Anyway...I don't think I am the only person to do this, on the other side of "Austin's" tree someone had laid a bouquet of cut flowers!

But...I was aware that I felt peaceful and even happy. I realize now, there is a "place" where we can be...where we can enjoy the present moment and still miss them, remember them, talk about them. It's a place that just happens, I don't think we can consciously "work" toward that goal. It just happens. I remember telling Austin...."Life isn't always "happy", the key is to recognize blissful moments. And enjoy." I suppose I am taking the advice that I gave Austin. Or maybe he is giving it back to me?...

There isn't a "cure" for our grief. All the advice..."go on with your life, move on, keep busy, focus on other things......blah, blah, blah" is meaningless. I lost a son. That is who I am for the rest of my life. But I can re-join the world on my own terms. And I still have two sons. One living in Ohio and one that is always near me.

I love them both.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Smile When You Think of Me...

I had a dream last night. The kind of dream where it is so real and you wake up right afterwards and relive it again and again over in your mind.

I was at a table, writing in a notebook, making lists in boxes. A list of things that Austin can't do or missed out on.

The top of the page read, A List of Austin.

I wrote…

I can’t tell him I love him.


He never got to marry.


He didn’t get to have children.


He doesn’t know I love him.


As I am writing this, Ryan and Austin are both in the room. Austin walks over and reads what I am writing.

Austin said, “Mom, Do I make you smile?”

“Yes, Austin.”

Austin said, “Then smile when you think of me and I will know you are thinking of me and you love me.”

Monday, March 26, 2007

"If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever".

Friday, March 16, 2007


I remember Austin playing T-ball when he was 5 years old and his "position"
was catcher. He could hardly move in all that padding and he had a catchers
"face protector" on.

I remember trying to kiss him through the face grill before the game and couldn't get past the grill. The coach said, "Catchers don't kiss their Mothers before a game!"

I laughed!

My "Angel" Cameo

In my horrific grieving, I have been reaching "outside the box". There has been so many unexplainable things that have occurred.

I asked my MD for a grief counselor and she referred me to a Dr. ****. I didn't go to the session with any expectations of even talking about "signs" and "afterlife", after I spoke to her about Austin and how close we were, she brought it up about him still being with me and how there were really mediums that could speak to people whom have crossed over. And she said there were fake ones out there, also!

Last weekend I went to a medium and I got a sense of relief...(after an hour of crying). Well, I learned that Austin and I are "old souls" that have been together in other lives. That he chose me to be his mother, that he knew he wasn't going to live a long life (I know that to be true, he used to tell me that when he was 5, when he drew a self portrait as an angel), that he went when he did because we all have "missions" in life and he could serve better from the other side.

Also…When Austin was young, I bought an antique cameo of a cherub, it looked just like Austin. I put it on a chain and wore it. Austin looked up at me and said, “Don’t wear that,Mommy. I am not an angel yet.”

Austin said that he is going to use "tough love" on me and insist that I quit feeling guilty. He knows that I love him. He said that my purpose on this earth is to help other mothers.

There were several things that were said in the session that "made sense". One of the first things she said to me was that I "had the light". This is something that I have known but been avoiding all my life. I have had undeniable "experiences" and seen and known things and I knew Austin did, too. I am medicated with ADD meds but the problem may be in part to my not being able to filter all the....I'm not sure how to explain it. Right now I am in a quiet house, alone, looking over a tidal sound. But ever so often, I hear footsteps, the whistling of a tune, and I smell a whiff of very sweet perfume (not mine!). The other night I kept waking up from the smell of this perfume!

Austin and I used to look up at the sky and try to visualize us on earth, and then expand to The Milky Way, then other universes, and on to infinity. It hurt our brains. That is how I feel now. Living 51 years of thinking that what I see in front of me, "known" reality is just a small part of life.

We all have the choice to listen to society (mainly people that have never lost a child) and believe that our kids are gone or to believe they are still with us. I believe that Austin is still with me. Remember the phrase..."The more we know, the more we know we don't know."? There is SO MUCH we don't know.

So now I am studying Quantum Physics, the String Theory, etc… and it makes perfect sense!

Pages from my journel...

Oh, I gotta tell you...Nathan left this morning for a meeting in north NJ until tomorrow morning, so I am all alone in the house. Well, this morning I was thinking that I haven't "heard" from Austin in a few days. I went into the bathroom and put a new roll of toilet paper in the holder. Then I went in the bedroom, made the bed, picked something up to put it away in the bathroom......And the entire new roll of TP had unrolled and was laying in the floor! I started laughing and said, "Austin, I am still cleaning up after you!" He was definitely channeling his "inner child"!

If that wasn't enough, the garage door keeps opening by itself! It has never done that before today! The medium I saw said that Austin appeared to her as a young boy around 10 yrs. old. He "told" her that was the age he was happiest. When I dream of Austin, that is the age he always appears. So, it makes sense that he is being mischievous!

As I was putting on my make-up the lights went out (the breaker tripped for the bedroom)

I shut a door upstairs and this morning it was open!

Knowing that Austin "visits" me has brought me a form of peace and acceptance. After Austin died, I focused on his physical absence. Now I have Austin back, just in a different way. I will take whatever I can get!

I have a little plastic bag that I labeled "Austin's Dimes", I call it his
dime bag and I put the dimes in it. Sometimes I find one right after another. Once I followed a trail of dimes leading to his painting! I just laugh and say "Hi, Austin!" Thank goodness for the bluetooth technology ....people don't look at you when you are talking to yourself anymore, they think you are talking to an earpiece!

To my family, my on-line support system

I was just trying to clean up my mail box...I tend to save everything "as new" and it builds up! I was reading all these sweet notes from everybody and I couldn't delete. So I started a file "Sweet notes of comfort", to save them under.

I just can't believe what a wonderful, caring group of people you are. I am connected to you all and I thank G*d for that. I sometimes don't answer or respond but that doesn't mean I wasn't touched, sometimes I read and smile, sometimes I read and cry and sometimes I save it to answer when I have a free moment, then it seems too late.

Some of you are struggling with difficulties that are seemingly un-surmountable without the added horror of losing a child. You have lost other children, spouses, have gone/still going through major health issues, dealing with the addictions of other children and brother. One of you has a husband in a nursing home; another has a husband in Iraq. There are those with financial problems and those that are forced to work in an environment that doesn't deal well with grieving employees. Some of you have bravely moved far from everything familiar to start a new life in a different place. Some of us have been reunited with family members and others have been shunned.

But every typed word means something to me, sometimes it is familiar, sometimes it makes me think, sometimes it gives me hope, mostly I am just so much in awe of all of you.

I don't remember all the names, but you know who you are...

Wow, one of you is painting your heart out! What a magnificent idea!

Others are reading, exploring, learning so much that we didn't know/understand until grief has brought us to this point.

Still others are leading the way to go on TV, helping in documentaries, public speaking, spreading the message that addiction is not a choice. You are educating the public about this tragic epidemic.

Then there are those that are waging a more personal war on those dealers/people that were responsible for your child's death. You are dealing with prosecutors, court systems and putting yourself at risk, to save another family from this intense pain. You are selfless.

Also, I listened to a brother's song wrote about how he misses his brother who died from drugs. It was on his brother's web site. I cried so much that I couldn't even tell you how it affected me. It was heartbreaking.

You are my family and I cherish you all.

Lesli.....Ryan and Austin's Mom
Austin Nicholas Barthen
2/26/1981 - 9/16/2005
As most of you know, I have been living in a house in Wilmington, NC on the
Sound since the first of December. I felt peace instantly. I knew Austin
was with me, I felt him near me in a comforting way. I was happy, I was sharing
my life with Austin.

I thought that I had progressed greatly in my grief.

Then, last week we decided to return to our home in NJ for 10 days, for an
assortment of reasons. Before I even left for the airport I was an emotional
mess. Coming back here in NJ has not been good. I feel like I am in the eye
of a storm and all the guilt, new grief, raw pain, bad memories, sound
bytes, snapshots...they are all swirling around me. I literally have limited
vision, hearing because of all the chaos surrounding me. I can't concentrate, I
have heart palpitations, my hands are shaking....symptoms of a panic attack.
I feel that there is a negative energy at work here.

Has anyone else had to leave their home to find peace? Isn't it harder to stay where there is bad memories? Do the good memories override the bad memories? This wasn't Austin's "childhood" home or even state. I raised my sons in Ohio, Austin came to NJ when he was 18 to live with me. Maybe if I had raised him here I would have better memories of NJ.

I don't think Austin would want me to stay in NJ. He used to tell me, "Mom, you don't know. New Jersey is a bad place." Maybe, he knew he would die here.

And now I am spiraling back into that deep, black hole of grief.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Happy Birthday in a Bottle

Austin's birthday was Monday, February 26.

We were in the Virgin Islands to attend a wedding.

On the ferry, leaving St John (the wedding was in Caneel Bay), and floating back to our hotel in St Thomas... I had a birthday card wrote out for Austin, shoved in a wine bottle and corked tightly. We were sitting on the top of the ferry; I stood up, threw the bottle over into the beautiful Caribbean waters and shouted into the star-filled sky "Happy Birthday, Austin!"

Then I sat down, with my head on Nathan’s lap and cried.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Why do I think Austin did drugs?

Someone asked me why I thought Austin did drugs. Everyone thinks that there must be underlying, psychological problems...this is what is answered..

You asked me about what drew Austin to drugs... I think he started drinking around 13 or so. I didn't know at the time, but he later told me. He wasn't a follower, he was in student council, He liked to "be liked". He hated conflict and was very sociable. He was a big kid and was talked into joining the Logan Elm HS wrestling team by the coach. He quit soon after. I remember him looking at me so seriously and saying, "Mom, I am not mad at anybody, why would I want to hurt them?"

I know that Austin, like anyone, had sorrow, guilt, etc. but, honestly, I think that it started as just being social and escalated out of his control.

Sometimes. it. just. is.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Handmade Valentine

I found a handmade valentine that Austin had made in grade school...
construction paper and paper doily...with a poem he wrote me......

Sun sets in Autum,
Sun rises in May.
I'll listen to your problems,
I'll also care.
From my hearts bottom,
Happy Valentines Day.

I can see Austin...

I can see Austin in a crowd...standing, sort of rocking a little on his feet, leaning a little forward, one hand in his pocket, the other adjusting his NY Yankees baseball cap, a slow smile forming across his face, his head bent down just a little so he can hear because he is 6'3' and is used to leaning in to listen, his smile widens, he looks up, his eyes dancing and he chuckles, that wonderful beginnings of laughter.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Green Vase of Yellow Daisies

When Nathan and I moved to our Wilmington, NC home, the early part of December, I had never been there before. We had loaded up our SUV with clothes and a few personal things to make it look familiar. Nathan's company had furnished and decorated the house complete with linens, silverware, wine, etc. At the last minute, before we left our home in NJ, I ran down into our basement and grabbed a framed piece of artwork that Austin had done for me in the 8th grade.

When we finally arrived at our new home there was a little gecko by the sliding glass windows in the living room. I knew Austin was there! I very carefully scooped it up and let it out safely.

The following day, as I unpacked I noticed a familiar looking green vase of silk yellow daisies on the mantle. The next box I unpacked held Austin's artwork. A painting of a green vase of yellow daisies. The resemblance, the shape of the vase is uncanny.

I am realizing that not everything is what it appears. Actually, nothing is and our perception of time and space is only limited to what is within our own comfort zone.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Blissful Moments.

I moved seasonally to Wilmington, NC. I have palm trees, live oak trees and am living in a beautiful house with huge windows facing a tidal sound and further out the ocean. It is breathtaking.

As I write, I am looking out over beautiful vistas with egrets, pelicans, and nature. It is very spiritual.

Behind my house is a lovely cemetery with swans swimming in a reflecting pond. I am going to bury a piece of Austin's shirt there and meditate. Austin would love it here.

I have had actual moments of peace lately. It feels good. I still think of Austin constantly, but in a loving way. He shows me he is with me in many, extraordinary ways. I don't know how long the warm feelings will last, but I am grateful for these blissful moments