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Change the heart

Change the person

The last story involves a brother and sister whose mother was murdered by the live in boyfriend in a fit of jealous rage on the street of one of our local towns. Of course, alcohol was a very real contributor to this tragedy, as is the case in so many cases of children at risk. It may the number one contributor to putdown related problems in our society. We found out that because of the mother's alcohol and other drug related problem, the girl had been the main caregiver in the home for the past four years, meaning she took over those duties at age 11. She did it all, but obviously didn't tell anyone of this dysfunctional home situation, and amazingly was a very excellent student.

After the death of her Mom, she expressed the fact that she had been cheated out of her teenage years and now was cheated out of a mother. Her brother, whom she had taken almost total care of, had a very serious speech problem and was teased by fellow students even after the tragedy. We have since made sure that he has a Big Brother form the peer leadership program and receives counseling from the school staff.

The young girl is actively involved in the peer leadership program and has been unbelievably strong during this difficult time in her life. But all she has ever really known is difficult times. She continues to be harassed by the media and in need of more answers from the police, but is making it because of the many starfish people who have reached out to her and her brother. She dreads the trial and continued publicity that surrounds the case, especially realizing this is all happening in her small community where everyone knows everyone.

The two children are presently being raised by their maternal grandparents, ages 76 and 80, which in itself presents problems for both parties. The family needs closure to the whole situation, but this is almost impossible until the final trial and verdict in the case. I never thought I would be involved in a case of this nature, but my part as a starfish person in the lives of these young people is minor compared to the battle they have been dealing with and continue to face.