Tag Archives: Child Welfare

We Turn Skeletons Into Goddesses

“We turn skeletons into goddesses and look to them as if they might teach us how not to need.” ~ Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia ~


The young girl in this grainy image from the past is me. It pains me to look at her/me because I know she is hiding a secret. She’s hiding more than one secret. She’s standing behind this bright red beach float to hide. To hide her secrets – (1) that she thinks she is grossly fat; and (2) she has an eating disorder. She has anorexia and this is not the thinnest she will ever be.

I was officially diagnosed about four years after this picture was taken. Back then I don’t think eating disorders were understood the way they are today. My weight dropped below 100 pounds. My therapist helped me to see that eating disorders can be about control.

I am the oldest child in a family of three girls. My baby sister is a special needs individual and has been all her life. It was sad to see the sorrow of two parents who love their girls the way my parents loved their girls. I know it had to be hard to realize their baby would not have the type of life their oldest two would. It was sad as a sister to see my baby sister have some of the struggles she’s had. They loved us all and taught us we were valuable.

I’m also a perfectionist and OCD. And, I married poorly the first time around. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say he made Casper Milktoast look like the Man of Steel. So, a naive and somewhat innocent girl was forced into becoming a different person. Well, maybe and maybe it just made me stronger.

What it did do is make me never feel like I was enough.

I bet many of you understand what I’m saying…

So, of course, I became a person in which control had great meaning. I’m not talking the kind of control like mad-scientist-I’m-going-to-rule-the-world-control. I’m talking the kind of control I can have concerning my body and the world around me. Like I can count every calorie, every bite that goes into my mouth. I can choose not to eat for days and days. I can exercise all I want to – like 30 miles on my stationary bike and then go to the track and walk.

And, never, ever be out of control. Never. I have an aversion and fear of becoming addicted to anything. I’ve never been drunk and I am probably the last person on earth who has never – no, never, tried pot, weed, hashish or whatever you want to call it in any form. There, I said it.

Why am I telling you this now? Because I read a story today about a beautiful 18 year old girl named Brandy Vela who committed suicide in front of her parents and grandparents. Why? Because she was being mercilessly bullied by kids at her school who said she was fat.

God in heaven what kind of animals are we raising?

When we have kids driving an 18 year old child to suicide, we have more wrong in our society and more to worry about than BMI. It is that vapid, shallow mentality in our core societal beliefs that is turning us into gladiatorial animals as children.

And, what do you do with children who commit such vile acts? Right now, a Cersei-like  Game of Thrones Walk of Shame seems too good for these little creeps. Shame! Shame! Shame!

It has to stop.

We have to stop idolizing women who are size 0 as if this is some paragon of womanhood. We have to stop allowing momagers (mom/managers) from hawking their daughters like flesh and meat in the public market so they can become filthy rich off of our money. If we allow the selling of our daughters like that, how can we criticize other cultures who violate their daughters and women? We have to stop starving our children and sanctioning it via Federal government programs like lunch programs that leave our kids starving throughout the day.

Am I promoting poor health? Certainly not. Just common sense.

You see when I was struggling with my eating disorder, my best friend at the time weighed more than I did. Considerable more. But, she was far healthier. And, I never saw her as “less than”. She was a talented, wonderful, creative friend who became an oncologist nurse.

It is years later now. I am a terribly sick person – disabled. I’ve battled non-smoking lung cancer twice. I’d never lived with a smoker nor is there a history of it in my family. I have an aneurysm in my heart, autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, arthritis, hypothyroidism and other illnesses too many to number. Some of these cluster in my family – like the autoimmune disorders. But, I believe I did irreparable damage to my body and my health by starving myself with my eating disorder. I think I destroyed my metabolism. Just to try and be a skeletal goddess.

I recovered somewhat from my eating disorder and my weight “normalized”. I was always thin. But, as my health continued to fail I began to gain weight. My poor health, the medications and restrictions caused the weight gain – not the other way around. But, you see when people see me they don’t know that and they assume my poor health is due to my weight. Well, you know what they say about assuming. The one great thing about me? My blood sugar. That’s because I do know how to eat healthy.

I do get some bullying now because of my weight – societal bullying. I am not going to let that fall on me and accept it as my burden to carry.

There are some reasons. First, almost 13 years ago I remarried my Tall & Handsome who lets me know every day he loves me and I am beautiful. He lets me know I am enough – not only for him but also for the whole wide world. I am so glad I never gave up.

Take that bullies…

And, I refuse to let people who don’t know me define me. You do not walk in my shoes, you do not know my journey and God forbid you ever, ever have to know my battles.

To the young girls out there like the beautiful Brandy Vela, I say this to you. Prove your tormentors wrong. Sweet, beautiful child, you are so above them. This too will pass and one day you will realize your value and life will be worth your battles. I promise.

Your tormentors are skeletons – hallowed out shells. And, they try to turn other skeletons into goddess. Misery loves company.

But, guess what?  You my child are what we love, want, and need. You are our heart.

Stay with us.


© 2016 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.


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Filed under Anorexia, Brandy Vela, Bullying, cancer, Child Welfare, Children, Disability, Eating Disorders, Family, Health, Life, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, Women's health

Father Forgive Them, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Father Forgive Them

By Beverly Hicks Burch

I’m at a loss for words. If you know me, you know that’s a feat rarely accomplished. Maybe it would be more accurate to say I’m stunned, grieved, concerned and yes, angered to a degree. Here’s why…I must warn you, if you are faint of heart or under the age of 18 you should forego this blog. But, I would recommend any concerned, spirited, civic-minded American to proceed…especially if you are a parent. (Warning: Graphic links ahead.)

I’ve spent the morning researching something called the Folsom Street Fair. It’s an event that occurs yearly in the City by the Bay, San Francisco, CA on the last Sunday in September. The event is billed as the world’s largest leather event and concludes San Francisco’s Leather Pride Week. Because it is an event where sadomasochistic acts are performed in the open in broad daylight, the event draws many curiosity seekers…about 400,000 a year, making it the third largest street event in California.

People parade around in outlandish costumes. No harm, no foul there, right? Some people are in street clothes, some cross dress because, yes, this is a gay event and some take the clothing optional route (read NO clothes). Yep, no kidding…I have seen the pictures and I personally DO NOT understand this one. Why on earth would you want to go around advertising your…huh…umm…shortcomings to the world or at least 400,000 other fellow human beings. It just looks like to me that would really spoil the pick up. (If I have to spell it our for you, let me put it to you this way…if I had met Gomez at a clothing optional event, well, there would not have been a Gomez and Bev. But, that is another story entirely…)

The Fair raises money for gay organizations among them, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Frameline, GLBT Historical Society and the Transgender Law Center.

The Folsom Street Fair is an event of debauchery and the organizers are proud of it. It pales the average imagination. Folks, this isn’t southeastern football gone wild or an animal house frat party. And, I feel like I should be interjecting (and defending myself) at this point…Bev isn’t a prude…so, what’s up?

Well, this year the “fine” organizers of the Folsom Street Fair decided to use their “interpretation” of da Vinci’s Last Supper. For those of you not familiar with this painting, it depicts Jesus Christ’s Last Supper on Earth with His disciples before he was crucified. To many people of the Christian faith, of all denominations, this is a sacred time and is celebrated as Communion, a sacrament that signifies the commitment of one’s faith in Christ.

The Folsom Street Fair decided to take a blasphemous interpretation of da Vinci’s painting to promote their event. The “players” in the poster are dressed in S/M and bondage leather gear and the “sacraments” of the Last Supper are now sex toys.

The Catholic League and several other Christian organizations have cried fouled. Of coursed they will take the heat for that, but, I ask, “Why should they not cry foul?” As I said in a previous blog, Redacted, there is still one accepted prejudice and bigotry and that is against Christians and people of faith. As a matter of fact, it is quite the vogue to exhibit this prejudice.

Cases in point are the sponsors and promoters of The Folsom Street Fair. While they claim to be and want tolerance for all people, their words and actions betray their true feelings. Perusing the websites, as disturbing as it can be, will tell you that…they practice something else entirely. They are totally intolerant of Christianity.

For example, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence claim to be a group of “nuns”. The “sisters” are mostly a group of cross dressing gay men. Reading the “nuns” individual bios will tell you many have had piss poor lives and experiences that have lead them to where they are today. Many of the “sisters” seem to have a raging anger or disdain for God or religion. Sister Tilly Comes Again said: “Reared Catholic…served 12 years in Catholic school…was an altar boy that was NOT molested…dammit!”

That’s not funny whether you’re religious or not…period. The molestation of a child is not a laughing matter, but evidently to a gay, cross dressing “nun” it is. Who do you think your child would be safest with? A Sister of Perpetual Indulgence or a Sister of the Catholic Church?

People I have had disappointments in life…betrayals, hurts…the full range of the human experience. I can guarantee you mankind will let you down. It is our nature…because we are not God. But, I can tell you this…in the long run…when I have done my part and listened to Him, God has NEVER let me down. It’s usually been the other way around. But, people, there is NO life experience that justifies this kind of cavalier attitude, especially toward child molestation!

The Sisters also hold an Easter event that is in keeping with the blasphemous theme of the current Fair poster that follows its suit. Pictures of the event are bizarre at best. It appears the crowning moment at the Sisters’ Easter event is a “Hunky Jesus” contest. I also fail to see what this has to do with Easter.

The more I read about these people and this “Fair” the more my heart began to ache. I began to think of the theatrical mask…one happy and one sad. I thought of the sadness that follows their lives, the sickness, the emptiness, the cycled relationships. Don’t tell me I don’t know of what I speak. I’ve had people in my life I am close to that struggle with the issues daily. It tears at families, friends…period. In the end you love them…period. I pray for all the wounded…Father, forgive them…

The Catholic League and other Christian organizations are calling for Miller Brewing to pull their logo from the poster of The Folsom Street Fair or be boycotted. It is beyond me why a mainstream company like Miller would want to offend a lot of America AND align themselves with a website that sells hardcore male gay porn…yep, that’s another sponsor (Hot House) of the Fair. The Catholic League posted these pictures from last year’s Fair on their site as evidence that this is not a mainstream event. I would add this picture. If you agree, support the Catholic League. (I would also like to ask: Why is Disney’s Little Mermaid showing up here as it did in 2006?)

*Note: Humm…well, since posting this blog and the inception of The Catholic League’s boycott it appears the The Folsom Street Fair decided to attempt to take one of Brian de Palma and Hollywood’s plays and redact their poster and website to some extent. The full-size poster has been covered with a sticky to a link for “fair press”. If you would care to see the poster in its glory, it appears on the Fair’s homepage.

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Catholic League, Child Welfare, Children, Christianity, Current events, Folsom Street Fair, Gomez, Humor, Miller Brewing Co., News, Pop Culture, Tolerance

Are the Parents Guilty…What Say You? by Beverly Hicks Burch

Are the Parents Guilty…What Say You?

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Within the past week there has been a stunning turn in the case of the missing British tyke Madeleine McCann who went missing this past May from a resort in Portugal while on holiday with her family. At that time Maddie’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, both doctors in Great Britian claimed they left their three small young children alone, Maddie age three and twin siblings age two, while they went to dine with friends.

Gerry and Kate’s plan was to check on the kids every 30 minutes to make sure they were okay. Supposedly when Kate went to check on them at one of her check-in times, little three year old Maddie had vanished into thin air and has been missing since May 2007.

The McCann family then launched a full scale global media “Bring Maddie Home” campaign. They jetted all over Europe and the USA, held an audience with the new Pope, and enlisted the likes of British Celebs like footballer David “Becks” Beckham and Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling in this campaign. They vowed not to leave Portugal until Maddie was found. (A time or two I wondered how two doctors could continue living in a foreign country, in a known resort area, taking leisurely morning jogs and continue to miss their incomes.)

Gerry McCann started his own blog with a PayPal donation button. On his blog Gerry boasted that so far the “Bring Maddie Home” campaign had raised ₤1,036,104. 17. That’s roughly $2.1 million US dollars at today’s exchange rate. Not bad for a couple of doctors who labored in a country that paid it medical specialist in 2002 the US equivalent of about $122,600. Both of the McCanns are GP’s so you might assume their individual income could be less than a specialist.

From the beginning I personally had a problem that two such bright people would leave these children alone…I mean to be a doctor you have to be pretty bright, right? I would personally find it difficult to trust the diagnostic abilities of two adults that deduced it was proper to leave three children alone in a hotel room unattended while they went off and frolicked with friends for dinner. Something just seemed “hinky” from the get go, but everyone can have a lapse of judgment from time to time…and this is what the McCanns have claimed since the disappearance of Maddie.

Well, now according to immerging reports, the police in Portugal are prepared to arrest Kate McCann on charges similar to US charges of manslaughter. If and when Gerry McCann will be charged is unclear. Furthermore, reports seem to indicate that the Portugal police have been working with British authorities in gathering, examining and extrapolating the evidence. It seems the police in Portugal have suspected Kate McCann from the get go.

In August the Portuguese police began leaking to the press that the parents were possible suspects. Of course, they have denied the allegations. Now, in early September the results of the evidence are in and based on what they have they questioned both parents and offered Kate McCann a plea bargain. They offered her a two year sentence for the accidental killing and disposal of her daughter’s body.

Police believe that Kate sedated Maddie for some reason and this killed her and Kate panic and Kate and Gerry plotted to hide Maddie’s little body then dispose of it when the “heat” was off of them so to speak. The police have conflicting stories between the McCanns stories and those of the couples they dined with in addition to forensic evidence. British sniffer dogs were called in to go over the holiday room of the McCann’s along with ultraviolet light. The dogs found blood in the room on a wall at a very low height. Blood has also been indicated to have been found in a car trunk the family rented 25 days after Maddie was reported missing and sniffer dogs detected the presence of on Maddie on Kate’s clothes after the tyke was missing. The DNA of the blood has been matched to Maddie. Evidently authorities in both Portugal and Great Britain feel the evidence is fairly damning for Kate and possibly Gerry McCann.

What do I think? Do I feel a parent could kill their innocent baby? Personally it goes against everything in me…it screams against the heart and soul within me and it should of mankind as a whole. But, do I think it can happen? Unfortunately, yes…it has already happened one time too many when we see the Susan Smiths and the Andrea Yates of the world. There are far too many people that deal their children harm and there are people that commit the ultimate child abuse…murder. Sadly, the human mind and the human heart can be capable of hugely inhumane, evil acts.

What say I about the McCanns? I can only let the evidence and the letter of the law take care of little Maddie now. My instincts tell me her parents are careless, reckless, immature people at best and heartless, cruel beasts at worst and it should be judged if they are able to hold safe the two precious lives they have left…Maddie’s siblings. It’s the least we can do for Maddie now…what say you?

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.


Filed under Child Welfare, Children, Current events, Madeleine McCann, Murder

From the Outside Looking In, by Beverly Hicks Burch

From the Outside Looking In

by Beverly Hicks Burch

There is a little observation point called “from the outside looking in”…a second hand look or an objective opinion if you will. Being on the receiving end of this opinion can be uncomfortable at times, or it can be uplifting and helpful. In the 1830’s, the young nation we know and love as our home country, this United States of America was on the observing end of a very perceptive young Frenchman named Alexis de Tocqueville.

de Tocqueville was a political thinker and historian who came to the New World to study our prison system, but ended up studying the country as a whole, including the government. He couldn’t help but want to see what was making this young country “tick” after going through such a bloody Revolution. His own country, France, seemed embroiled in one bloody, oppressive revolution after another…a travesty for a true liberty loving Frenchman.

There were things in this new, young, raw country called the United Stated of America that fascinated de Tocqueville. He went back to France and wrote two books about what he saw here. The first was Democracy in America (1835) which is actually considered an early work of sociology.

I have some favorite de Tocqueville quotes and I can think of nothing more fitting than sharing a few of these quotes with you on our nation’s birthday:

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” – Alexis de Tocqueville Scary, huh? I think we call those public assistance programs.

“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” – Alexis de Tocqueville With soul searching, how do we stand here today?

“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” – Alexis de Tocqueville What would de Tocqueville think if he saw America today? What would our soul searching tell us here?

“When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.” – Alexis de Tocqueville Yes, we can all learn from the past and from history. We can renew our spirits.

We have good “bones” in the foundation of our country. An outsider saw that from the outside looking in. Can we see that ourselves? Can we see the forest for the trees? Or have we become like the people another man talked about?

This man’s name was Isaiah who lived about 700 BC and was writing to the nation of Judah. Isaiah wrote about a time of unrest, strife and turmoil. He had some pretty wise words:

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! ” Isaiah 5:20

People, when we live in a society that HAS to pass laws to protect children from predators and then have states that won’t pass those laws…then we have problems! The very fact that we HAVE to pass laws to protect our young in the first place says something is very wrong with our society. Our children always should be safe. Period. When we have men putting innocent young children on websites for vile reasons…we have problems. When child porn is a billion dollar global business…we have a problem. When we have a society that produces that kind of people…we have problems. And, when we have a judicial system and special interest groups that are more interested in protecting the rights of the predator than the victim…we have a problem! We are calling evil good…and good evil. God help us all.

What do we need to do? Well, on this our nation’s birthday I can think of nothing better than to look back…illuminate our future as de Tocqueville said with our past and remember what made America great and good…“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Happy Birthday America! God Bless the USA…

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.


Filed under "4th of July", "Alexis de Tocqueville", "American History", Child Welfare, History, USA

When Love Hurts, by Beverly Hicks Burch

This last week or so I’ve had a general overall feeling of malaise. Part of the source has been the fact that I’ve had some kind of funky bug and/or allergy. It started when my eyes did that wraith number, then made the transition into a cough that felt like whooping cough accompanied by the stomach bug from Hades…yeah, imagine that combo. Then, Tall & Handsome came down with a case of the same stuff and about the same time the Bansheescreeched. I felt like the world was on a Tilt-a-Whirl.

But, as I nursed each offending condition along and tried to get both of us into some state of “wellness” I began to understand some other things were affecting my mood…well, at least what one thing was.

It seems like the American family, people, humanity is imploding upon itself. Just in the last few weeks we have seen the Virginia Tech shootings; a shooting and killing on the campus of NASA in Houston, TX; a mother in Texas who hung herself and three of her young children; near Chicago, Chris Vaughn was found shot in the leg in his SUV along with his dead wife and three dead children. He was arrested prior to their memorial service for their murder.

As I write this, near Atlanta, GA a famous pro wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife and seven year old son Daniel have been found dead. Benoit had an upcoming Pay-per-View wrestling event on cable TV. He had called the powers to be and notified them he would be unable to participate because of a family emergency. He failed to mention the emergency was the fact that on Saturday, June 23, 2007 he strangled his wife Nancy to death after he had bound her hands and feet, or the fact that on Sunday, June 24, 2007 he smothered his seven year old disabled son Daniel to death. Benoit then hanged himself sometime on Sunday night or Monday. There was a history of domestic abuse in the family. Steroids and other drugs were found in the home during the investigation.

To add insult to injury, a tribute was paid on TV to this man by the wrestling community the Monday evening his body was found. Why does a child killer, a man guilty of killing his own disabled child deserve a tribute? I guess that only confirms what I have suspected and thought of the gonzo sport of “pro wrestling”. Not much…

Lisa Stebic, 30 has been missing since April 30, 2007. No one knows where she is. She went out to go jogging and never came back. Some suspect her estranged husband who hasn’t been really forthright with the police. Lisa’s story was knocked off the front page by the Jessie Davis story.

In my head over and over I keep hearing the old rock standard “Love Hurts”. Yeah, no kidding…

Jessie Davis, 26 of Canton, OH and her unborn infant daughter Chloe, are the latest victims in a long line of people who have suffered behind the old adage, “love hurts”. Jessie had a two year old son, Blake by a Canton, OH police officer Bobby Cutts, Jr. Officer Cutts is the reported father of Ms Davis’ murdered unborn infant daughter.

What’s the harm you may be asking? Well, Mr. Cutts is a married man who has at least one reported child with his wife. He also has a nine year old daughter by a former Houston Oilers Cheerleader AND while seeing Jessie Davis and being married, it has been reported he was seeing another woman. I’m sorry, but, can we say low-down, low-life dog here? Who in the name of God would want someone like this to be the example and role model for their child to follow as a father?! Ultimately, Bobby Cutts, Jr. and a female friend were arrested for the murder of Jessie Davis and his unborn baby daughter, Chloe.

In my opinion, it’s criminal the old adage “love hurts” even exists…to what purpose? No, love should not hurt!

Let’s look at some definitions of love for a minute:

Love [luv]

1.Very strong affection – an intense feeling of tender affection and compassion

2.Passionate attraction and desire – a passionate feeling of romantic desire and sexual attraction

3.Somebody much loved

4.Romantic affair

5.Strong liking – strong liking for or pleasure gained from something


7.God’s love for humanity – the mercy, grace and charity shown by God to humanity

*From the Encarta Dictionary

Now, those are just a few of the definitions from one dictionary for the word love. Do you see anything that remotely suggests that love should be cruel?

Jessie’s case is eerily similar to the Laci Peterson and the Lori Hacking case. Lori was the young wife that was murdered by her husband because she discovered he had been lying about attending medical school. Her husband Mark shot her in her sleep and then dumped her remains in a landfill in an attempt to cover up the fact that he had not been attending medical school and would not be moving from Utah to North Carolina.

If we all reach back in our memories I’m sure we can pull something horrid from our minds that has set there haunting us, asking us, “How could they?” I can think back to John List who murdered his whole family, including his mother, wife and children in 1971.

Then there’s O.J Simpson and the Trial of the Century. If you followed the O. J. case with even modest interest you became acutely aware of the years of domestic abuse Nicole Brown Simpson suffered at the hands of O. J. Who can forget the pictures of Nicole’s battered and bruised face, the accounts of battering, control and verbal abuse she suffered from the very start of their fated relationship? I can only ask why? Why put yourself through this? Why put your children though this and expose them to this environment, this life style? For the fame? For the money?For breast implants, plastic surgery, a political career?

If you are a woman and you are in a relationship and love hurts…you’re in the wrong place. Get out…fast. Do not be a Laci Peterson or a Jessie Davis or a Nicole Simpson or any of the unknown names and faces of countless other women across this country. Let me tell you why. You owe it to yourself and to your children to show them a better life…a life where love doesn’t hurt. If you put yourself and your children in harms way with these men, with these people it is a given…you will be hurt and your children will suffer and a cycle will be perpetuated. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out, although there is plenty of scientific and psychological research to back it up.

I was watching a pundit on TV the other day during the coverage of the Jessie Davis affair. He made reference to the fact that men (and people) like Bobby Cutts, Jr. and Scott Peterson are sociopaths and psychopaths. Girls, men like that are not just famous serial killers and they are not all in jail or prison. They are around us every day, every where…they are the Snakes in Suits. They are smooth, charming and seem caring. But, beware! There are signs. You can not and will not ever be able to change them. NO NEVER. No matter what you dono you will never be able to “love” him enough to change him…it just won’t happen. Move on…to a better life for you and your children.

Yes, I have made some poor choices in the past…I’ve been hurt. I’ve seen family members hurt. Someday I may share the details. Sometimes I feel like the keeper of secrets. There are things I wish I could change. But, there’s also something else I know…love doesn’t have to hurt! Consider this:

Love is:

  • Patient
  • Kind
  • Not Jealous
  • Does Not Brag and is not provoked
  • Does not take into account a wrong suffered
  • Rejoices in truth
  • Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all, things endures all things
  • Love never fails

“…if I have the faith to move a mountain, but do not have love, I am nothing…and if I give all my possessions to feed the poor and my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing…now faith, hope, love, abide these three, but the greatest of these is love…”

Oh, by the way, that little bit of wisdom came from a much maligned and seldom read book…the Bible from the book of I Corinthians Chapter 13. Hummm…

Earlier I mentioned there had been a tribute to Chris Benoit, the pro wrestler who murdered his family. I found that so totally inappropriate. The man did not deserve a tribute. Let me juxtapose a different tribute here…a personal story.

In 1962, a baby girl was born in the little East Tennessee town of Greenville, TN. She was small, just under seven pounds, but her parents thought she was perfect. They brought her home to join her two older sisters. She seemed healthy and happy, but at some point, tragedy happened. The baby girl became sick…very sick. After testing it was finally determined the baby girl had the birth defect known as cerebral palsy. It was heartbreaking. The doctors advised the parents to institutionalize the baby, but they would hear nothing of it…she was part of the family and she would stay part of the family. That was an unheard of attitude in those days. That “baby girl” is my sister and she is still at home today with my parents. My Daddy was one man who did not tuck tail and run…he has been there for his wife and his girls…all of them. He took care of us…he loved our Momma and he loved us.

People…love does not have to hurt…at least not like we have been seeing in the news of late. We need to set a better example for our children. Let’s show them that love is kind, love is patient, love hopes all things…and that love can be safe.

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.


Filed under "Bobby Cutts, "Chris Benoit", "Chris Vaughn", "Jessie Davis", "Lisa Stebic", "NASA shooting", Child Welfare, Domestic abuse, Family, Fathers, John List, Laci Peterson, Lori Hacking, Love, Mental health, Murder, News, Nicole Brown Simpson, O. J. Simpson, Snakes in Suites, Tall & Handsome, Virginia Tech

More about Maddie…Little Girl Lost, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann missing in Portugal. Have you seen her?
Please contact: +351 289 884 500, + 351 282 405 400, +351 218 641 000

Madeleine McCann desapareceu em Portugal. Tem informações sobre o seu paradeiro?
Por favor contacte: 289 884 500, 282 405 400, 218 641 000, 112

More About Maddie…Little Girl Lost

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Bloggers unite! Please help spread the word about Maddie. There’s still a lot that’s unexplained in this case.

It appears to have unfolded this way:

Late on the evening of May 3rd, 2007, Gerry and Kate McCann, both 38 year old physicians from Rothley, Leicestershire, Great Britain left their three small young children alone in their resort accommodations at Praia da Luz in the Algrave in Portugal. They went to join friends at a tapas bar, reportedly 100 yards away from where the children were sleeping. The McCanns had developed a relay system of peeking in on their babies every 30 minutes. The dad had check in on the children at 9:30 PM. When the mother went for her shift fulfillment at 10:00 PM, a shutter and window were ajar and Maddie was missing from her sleeping place between her twin siblings.

Reportedly, the Portuguese border police were not notified about Maddie’s disappearance for twelve hours. Local police fear that Maddie was abducted by an international adoption ring, or by a ring of sexual predators and pedophiles.

During the two week investigation, police have indicated Brit Robert Murat, 33 as a “person” of interest because of his suspicious actions. Murat lives with his mother on her property, which is located close to the resort where the McCann family was staying. Although Murat has been “alibied out” by his mother, police continue to name him as a person of interest. In the course of the investigation, police have discovered a secret chamber…a dungeon like room on the Murat property.

Additionally, in the last several days, police have developed interest in Russian Sergey Malinka, 22. Malinka is an acquaintance of Murat and had developed a website for Murat. Phone records indicate that Murat and Malinka exchanged several phone calls around the time of Maddie’s disappearance.

The parents have been critical of the police investigation, claiming that Portuguese police have acted slowly and not taken the investigation seriously(!). (This seems like the pot calling the kettle black. In many jurisdictions, the McCann’s actions would be cause for an investigation into child endangerment. Their actions, at best are careless and irresponsible and negligent at worst. Regardless of the fact that this incident was avoidable, no one should suffer the fate of having their child vanish.)

The blogosphere spans the entire glob. If it is indeed a fact that this baby has been snatched and is now human cargo in an adoption or sexual predator/pedophile ring, we can help by plastering this little face all over the internet. Please download the above photo and help spread Maddie’s sweet face all over the internet. I know there will be one family who will be eternally grateful if you do…


The Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/fear-maddie-abducted-by-sex-gang/2007/05/09/1178390346409.html

Madeleine McCann – Girl Missing in Portugal Blog: http://madeleinemccann.blogspot.com/

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Child Welfare, Children, Current events, Madeleine McCann

Little Girl Lost, by Beverly Hicks Burch

It’s been two weeks now. Two long, grueling, agonizing, heart-rending weeks. That’s how long the world has angst over the fate of British tyke Maddie McCann, age three. Two weeks ago, while the family was on vacation (or holiday as the Brits call it) in Portugal, Maddie’s parents left her and her twin siblings, age two alone in their room while they went to dinner. Maddie’s fourth birthday, May 12th, came and went while the baby has been missing.

Celebs around the world, mostly notably footballer David “Becks” Beckham and author J. K. Rowling, have come forth to aid in the search. Pleas have been issued and reward money has accumulated.

Unfortunately, this incident is evidence that child predators are everywhere, not just in the USA. The most recent development in the case involves a British man, living in Portugal with his mother. This person has been involved in the local searches for Maddie…and has strangely and sickly, joked about being a suspect in the case. Well, where there’s smoke, there’s fire as the old saying goes and the police have indicated this man as a “person of interest” (read possible suspect). Police have searched his home…and they have discovered a secret chamber secluded away in his house. Only time, and more investigation will tell if he is truly involved with the disappearance of little Maddie and what the fate of Maddie is.

There is one thing I don’t understand…I can’t fathom. But, first let me give a little background here and explain. When my son was young, there was one thing that was paramount to me…his welfare and well being and safety. He was born a month early and suffered Fetal Breathing Syndrome…in other words, his fetal breathing system did not shut down…something I have learned is not uncommon in eight month babies. As a result, he spent the first two weeks of his life in NICU…neo-natal intensive care. This was one of the scariest times in my life. (Unfortunately, the emotional support I received from Gomez was negligible. He had a very hard time connecting emotionally, and his son was no exception. While my son was in NICU, Gomez spent so little time there that the doctor and nursing staff didn’t realize he was the father…they thought my dad was my baby’s father…sad, but true.)

As my son grew, I was always concerned about his welfare…he was my most precious treasure. Sadly, the world grew increasingly dangerous as his grew. I often wished he could have known the safety of the world I grew up in. One day when he was a pre-schooler I read an article I will never forget. It was an article about John Walsh and the disappearance of his son, Adam. I’ll never forget the day I read that article…it made me literally, physically ill. I could only imagine what the Walsh family went through, and it terrified me to no end. That day all I could do was hold, love, squeeze, kiss, and thank God my little fellow was alive, well and safe. I made a vow that day that I would do what ever I could to protect him…sometimes to his chagrin.

A few years later, we were sightseeing in Boston. We were at the waterfront and harbor area. My son and I were sitting on a bench waiting on Gomez to purchase tickets to take a cruise of the Boston Harbor. My little fellow, always a curious type, wanted to go see what it was like where is dad was…and check out the drink vending machine. Always wary and conscious, I cautioned him to go straight to his dad…no stopping, no talking to strangers. All he had to do was walk about 20-40 feet and turn the corner around the ticket booth…I would watch until he turned the corner…and then he would be within sight of his dad.

A few very short minutes later, Gomez walked toward me alone, looked at me and asked where our son was! I answered I thought he was with Gomez, and he said he hadn’t seen him! My knees went weak; I got sick to my stomach and started trembling. My son had vanished! I retraced my son’s steps and didn’t see him. I panicked and started calling his name. It was all so surreal…the people around just stared blankly as I continued calling out for my son…their look spoke volumes, “If I don’t get involved, her misfortune won’t touch me.” In a couple of minutes (it seemed like agonizing hours), I saw his little head round the corner of the ticket booth. Evidently, as he gotten to the booth where his dad had been, his dad had left to return to us and my son had been wandering around looking for his dad. I went weak with relief and thankfulness. I wanted to sob…but, I knew he wanted to continue with the day’s adventures, and I didn’t want to spoil for him.

Now, with that said, there is one thing I can’t understand. Why and how could, in the name of God, two adults…two parents leave a three year old baby girl, and a set of two year old twins alone…by themselves, unattended in a strange country while they dined?! That act is beyond my comprehension. It seems so utterly irresponsible. So many scenarios of what could go wrong…and did go wrong fill my mind. It’s just more than I can wrap my head around. Reason would tell me if they can afford a vacation at a resort in Portugal, surely they could have afforded a bonded sitter to watch over their children while they feasted…oblivious to danger.

I know this is probably not a “popular” view to take right now and I don’t wish to kick someone when they’re down. I know these parents are grieving over their little girl lost. It just amazes me that people will take more care to lock up valuables in a safe than some people will take in the protection of their most precious treasure…their children. I hope and pray that Maddie is returned safe and sound and unharmed; but, also hope and pray that her parents will watch over their precious twins and never, never, never place them in this kind of harm’s way again. One little girl lost is one little girl…one child too many.

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under AKA Gomez the Unremarkable, Child Welfare, Children, Current events, Gomez, Madeleine McCann