1 Comment

Broken Record

image

Today is August 21st 2015. It has been 45 months since we heard Joshua Leo, his voice and laughter, looking into those big blue eyes with long eyelashes. 45 months since we heard him play his guitar or watched him run in the yard. 45 months since he has hugged or held us. 45 months since he has hung out with friends and family. 45 months missing him.
School here starts Monday and as I talk to teachers and staff I feel like a broken record to those I know. I greet them and when asked how am I doing;  I tell them “We are doing fine.” and I smile because that’s what is simple to say.  We are fine, but really what answer do we give? We are looking forward to all things to come,  the new school years activities with our other children excelling in school. We are also heartbroken, forever missing Joshy. Most of all we are “Hope filled” because of Gods promise of salvation and we will see our boy again. There I said it again, proudly, we are strong in Faith! God has a plan and we have to accept it. So the answer is; We are fine. We talk about the exciting new year then because I am who I am, in each conversation I remind each teacher and staff member, new and old, how important it is to know and understand the warning signs of the choking game. I tell them that kids do this as young as kindergarten because they are mimiking their peers, not even understanding what they are doing. I tell them that Jr.High is the age when most children have died doing it in some form or another. I restate the fact that this is not new and it is most likely still going on at this school. I encourage them to share the information with parents because I will be so angry if another child dies from this and a parent says they did not know. I feel like a broken record and with all the new students and families, I feel responsible to get this information out to everyone. That saying “my child knows better”  is false if the parent had never told their child not to in the first place. The dangers are real. Now that you know, who will you share this with?

There you have it followers of this website; my broken record conversation as I ask you to share this site and information with new families you meet as schools begin. We should not assume other parents know about this. Start a conversation and educate and don’t worry about sounding like a broken record. Parents sound like when we want information to be understood as important because we care.

Prayers and blessings to you all,
#WildfarmKids Mama and family

Praying for teachers and students, and bus drivers
Prayers for safety to and from school and activities.
Prayers for coaches and players, and cheerleaders too.
Watch out for kids darting out to cross streets, and buses,
walking or biking or those students with school permits.
Be mindfull of all as we all have our own stories.
Bless you all to have a safe school year,
parents, grandparents, caregivers and school staff..
… #WildfarmKids

2 Comments

Adventureland Baby

Flashback Friday to August 7th,1998;
A beautiful day just like today. Now because of the overnight rains, I was given the day off work (I operated heavy equipment building roads) It was a long awaited day for a family outing to Adventureland amusment park. I remember it so clearly. The four of us, my husband Chad, oldest daughter Keri, and oldest son Jessi. This was a picture perfect day, the kind we all plan for.
17 years ago this afternoon, I stood by the ‪‎Log Ride‬ with Jessi in a stroller, he wasn’t even two yet.  I watched as my husband and daughter boarded their seats. I was to take pictures so I walked around the corner pushing the stroller to the bottom of the big drop, loaded with all the essentials needed for an outing along with goodies and prizes and baby bag. And then it happened, I went into labor. Josh wanted out. Yes, right there waiting for the squeal and laughter and the possible splash I all but broke the stroller (it has a crooked handle to this day) and if you are wondering, no my water did not break, just the first of the “it’s time to go” contractions.  I waited with a smile trying not to alarm any of the people walking by. Adventureland was so great, they gave our family a set of passes to come back. Joshua was born early the next morning, August 8th. He was known as our Adventureland baby. His life was full of adventure for sure. Each year we went back and would reminisce at that very spot. We had so many fun and wonderful memories with our friends and our family as we grew from four to five to six, seven, and finally eight. Unfortunately, we have not been back there since his passing for the same reason, so many memories…
Joshua passed away 13 years 3 months and 13 days after he was born. He “played” the choking game and lost.

Today is hard, tomorrow will be just as emotional. Hug your children and make memories that last a lifetime.

Visit the rest of our website and share our information with your friends and family. Share with co-workers and your childrens schools and coaches. Take action and join us as we remember what would have been his 17th Birthday. 

image

Welcome to the world Joshua Leo

Happy Birthday Adventureland Baby
We miss you dearly and love you for eternity.
Bless you all;
WildfarmKidsMama & family

p.s.
Now that you know, what will you do.
A Drop of information can save a life.

2 Comments

Swim Safe

image

Once again we want to talk about this subject. With schools being out for the summer and pools open for the season, this is another “game” that youth and even adults will try. It is very similar to the choking game .

Shallow water blackout (SWB) is caused by competitive or continuous breath holding or by taking several deep breaths before diving under water. Swimmers pass out due to lack of oxygen and the delayed trigger to breathe means they passout. When this happens, death or brain damage occurs much quicker than the usual form of drowning.

Make sure you don’t leave children unattended in pools or near water. We hope you share this information not only with friends and family, but also the children in your lives too. Have the conversation each time your kids swim, even if only to remind them. SWB can be prevented.

For any questions, comments or content you’d like added send us an email at wildfarmkids@aol.com

Happy Summer and Swim Safe!

♡WildfarmKids

1 Comment

Safety Awareness Month 2015

Safety Awareness Month!

image

What do you live for?

June is National Safety Awareness Month. Everyone has something they live to see or experience. No matter what your passion is. We would like to encourage you all to take some sort of action to highlight the importance of keeping your children and family safe. Read through our website to learn more about the hazards of the choking game and the signs and symptoms to look for.
Each year we can not sress enough how importatnt it is to know the warning signs.
Schools are letting out for Summer break, watch out for your children’s safety!
As our youth go off to summer camps and recreational programs keep in mind not every second will be monitored. Children talk and share things. They share games and experiences. They share the choking game never understanding the dangerous consequences.

Know the signs before it’s too late!

Physical warning signs:
●Bruises around the neck
●Frequent, often severe headaches
●Bloodshot eyes or small, red facial spots
●Disorientation after being alone

In the Home
●Sheets, belts, neckties, scarves, robe ties, T-shirts or ropes tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs,  or found knotted on the floor or wear marks from being tied.

Socially
●Mentioning choking games, showing curiosity about asphyxiation
●Having a history of Internet searches about choking games
●Placing choke hold or sleeper hold on others while playing or talk about having been placed in one
●Small child mimicking the choking game (from seeing someone playing it)

In the pool
•Trying to see how long they can hold their breath under water
  (may result in having a shallow water blackout)

If you notice any of these signs, your child may be experimenting with or playing the choking game.

Risk is real, don’t take the chance.
Talk to your children about this, they may know more then you are aware of.

♥ WildfarmKids

1 Comment

180

180 weeks have past since Joshua passed away from the choking game. All week I have been looking at data and searching for ways to get information to people who still don’t know.  This is not going away.

180: what a number. Associated with turning around. We want to do that with the education attitude of this activity.

As we continue to educate small groups and speak to parents, grandparents and caregivers all around our state, we are doing that. We also hope that through social media we can reach many more with your help.

Each week we learn of more ER near miss accounts of youth with injury as result of *TCG  Sadly we find out about deaths too. It is a responsibility we have to share this info because we have it. 

Thank you for following this page and we hope you continue to share our post on your own page.

Blessings to all ♡
‪#‎WildfarmKids‬

This evening May 11th 2015 will be 181.

Leave a comment

SPRING BREAK 2015

image

Spring break; be it a few days or a week that children and parents look forward to having some planned time off in the school year. Some familys will go away on vacations, some enjoy stay-cations at home with a parent or two. While in some families the children are left to entertain themselves and or siblings behind locked doors. This is the world we live in. Our family has had all three types of spring breaks over the past 20+ years.

  We know there are so many things that pose danger and that can harm our children at any time at home or on vacation; so we educate them. We give them rules and guidance. We tell them the things to avoid and we forbid things also. As parents we only do this for the things that we know about, things we have ourself been explained or have personally experienced.  Thankfully you are reading this and will learn the truth about the choking game.
   What our youth do not understand is just because his/her friend is doing it and appear okay, the consequences of this activity are not talked about. The youths friend doesn’t say a few hours after doing it they had a headache that was so bad it made them feel sick. The friend doesn’t say that their eyes hurt the next day and even itch because of it. The friend will joke about getting dizzy and falling but does not remember that he/she had seizures because of it.  The friend will say, ” It’s okay. It’s not like your parents said you can’t. It’s fine. One time. Come on. Your parents don’t care or they would have told you not to. It’s okay, See I am fine, Try it just once.”
See it is taunted and  alos may be explained in the most alluring way and even will most often be demonstrated. What happens next is frightening because if your child is curious about it,  they may try it at home alone and when they’re alone the chance it results as deadly skyrockets.

   I’m not going to tell you how kids do it. But I will tell you there are warning signs to find out if your child is already doing  this so you won’t be blindsided. 

  You now have the choice to make; do you tell your children about this deadly activity so that peer pressure doesn’t give them the wrong information or are you going to assume that it would never happen to your child or in your community.

Take Action to help us educate others. 
Share the information on this website  to all your social media outlets. Tell family, friends, coworkers and educate them. Explore the other tabs and read the stories and articles so you are informed. Email us with any questions you may have, we answer all of them personally. You can help spread awareness about this dangerous and deadly activity because the choking game akways has harmful consequences.
   Start the conversation and educate others;  sitting around the coffee table, the break room or in the bleachers watching spring sports.
Take action and you save lives.

Have a safe and memorable Spring Break 2015

BLESSINGS FROM THE WILDFARMKIDS

3 Comments

Okay, but not okay… And that’s okay

I have often been asked by friends and even family, “How do you do it? How do you go about your life, smile, laugh and reach out to help others who have or are grieving?” I usually reply with a smile, hold back the tears that fill my eyes and tell them prayer.” Lots of prayer and understanding has helped me in the last…165 weeks and counting. When asked, “How are you and your family doing?” (Which is a very deep question to ask; I know it is always meant with good intentions, but it’s just a hard one to field.) I usually say, “We’re/I’m okay.” I came across this article today and it really hits the nail on the head. It’s a powerful, yet very true read and explains exactly what I mean when I say I’m okay. If you have had to experience the death of a loved one, I hope you know that it is okay to not be okay.

~OKAY, BUT NOT OKAY … AND THAT’S OKAY~
The funeral director told us it was time to close the casket and suddenly I gasped for air and tried to hold back my tears – but nothing could stay my sorrow. This was it. I wasn’t ready to look upon my son for the last time – to say goodbye to his little body, his sweet face … this little boy I used to cuddle, hug and laugh with. My youngest son, Wyatt stood beside me and watched me in grief and sorrow tuck his older brother one last time.

Months later, my oldest son, Ethan, came into my office while I was writing an entry for Mitchell’s Journey. I was unprepared for the interruption and my eyes were red and filled with tears. Ethan asked, “Dad, are you okay?” I immediately tried to be superman and put on a brave face, wiping my eyes and said, “Yeah, I’m okay” … as if to suggest all was well and that I was simply rubbing my tired eyes. But Ethan was discerning and knew better … I could tell by his expression he knew I was grieving.

In that moment I thought to myself, “What good do I do my children when I pretend?” I realized I do him no favors when I am not being real. I paused a moment then looked Ethan in the eye and said, “Actually, I’m not okay. But I’m okay. Do you know what I mean?” Relief washed over his face and I could tell he not only understood but that he was glad I was being real … as if it gave him permission to be real, too. I wanted my son to know that it is okay to hurt … that you can be “okay” but “not okay” and that’s okay.

Ethan and I talked about Mitch for a while and he shared some of his sorrows about losing his younger brother. We both cried together. I hugged Ethan and let him know how much I loved him – every bit as much. We crossed a threshold with grief that day. My son knew it was okay to hurt and that pretending otherwise serves nobody, not even ourselves. To the contrary, we do a great disservice when we pretend.

I had a moment of truth a few years prior when I read the words of an 18th Century French writer who observed, “We discover in ourselves what others hide from us, and we recognize in others what we hide from ourselves.” When I read those words I vowed to retire my masks and get real.

I’ve tried to have similar exchanges with my other kids. My children, each unique, process their grief differently. And that’s okay, too. In all things I want to be real with them – for it is when we’re real that we become equipped to deal with real life.

I am still walking on Jupiter. The gravity of grief is great. The air is thin and my tears fall as generously as spring rains. Yes, I have moments of sweet relief and happiness is returning – but grief and sorrow linger. I cannot run from sorrow any more than I can run from my shadow on a sunny day. I must learn to live with love and sorrow – there seems no other way.

I’m okay … but I’m not okay … and that’s okay. That is part of being human.

2015/01/img_5890.jpg

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 177 other followers

%d bloggers like this: