Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Look for the signs. They are everywhere!"

Today I went for a visit to Peyton's grave. It was about 2PM and my buddy Guerwyn (the 83 year old who I see up at the cemetery) brought some very sad news. Our other cemetery friend, a guy named Mike who was wheelchair bound after a construction accident, had aspirated when he got sick in his sleep and couldn't sit up. He passed away. This news came as a real shock. Mike, was barely forty.

A voice in my mind: "You need to find a way to start living."

After talking with Guerwyn, and discussing the news in disbelief, I made my way to visit Peyton's grave. It was bitter cold today, and I knew our visit would be cut short by the weather. I apologized for not coming by as often as usual, and explained how hard this last week has been for me. Saying my prayers, I went to leave, when two things caught my eye. The first was a large set of dog prints around my daughter's grave, and that of her neighbors. The second was that a vase at the grave beside hers was filled to the brim with yellow snow. The jerk I wrote about here and here had returned to let his dogs violate the graves on Peyton's Hill. Last week there was substantial damage to Peyton's grave blanket, and I thought maybe he was responsible. This evidence was irrefutable. He had promised not to return. He had said he understood. I was beside myself.

Walking back to the car, Guerwyn sensed that I was upset, and asked what was wrong.

"I wish I knew that guy's name so that I could look up his grave when he passes, and have my dogs piss on it."

"Your a  meany!" Guerwyn teased with the joking smile of a kid, but his humor was lost on me. I was furious.

Taring out of the cemetery, I knew what I had to do, and headed directly to the Police Department. I was a woman on a mission. A protective mother who couldn't bear any longer to see the spot where her daughter laid being disrespected. I stomped the snow off my boots, and headed for the front door and straight up to the desk.

"Can I help you?" The dispatcher asked.

"I need to file a complaint."


"Regarding a man who lets his dogs defecate on my child's grave."

"Oh..." she offered, "just a moment."

I gave the woman raw details, and my contact information, and she promised an animal control officer would call me within the hour. I headed home, fed Charlotte (my black lab) and waited by the phone.

I should mention here that I have been on some crazy antibiotics the last week to fight any possible infection that might have been brought on by the HSG. The pills are huge, and have to be taken 2 hours after AND 2 hours before you eat, so that your stomach is very, very empty. They make me nauseous as all get out, and admittedly a little cranky, so when the phone rang and the woman, we will call her "Officer B", asked me what had happened, I spilled every gory detail of what this man had let his dogs do, and why it hurt me so badly. I then went on, in the uncensored manner that has become commonplace, to also spill all the gory details about my misfortune, all the way down to my two bum tubes.

"It's all a little overwhelming." I admitted. "You know, she's still my daughter. It might sound silly, because she is dead, but, she is still my daughter. I just want to protect her."

"I understand," Officer B. consoled. "I lost my daughter too. She was 24. To suicide."

Isn't it funny the way you feel an instant connection with someone? Just as I have with so many of you, because of our shared loss, I knew that Officer B really got where I was coming from, and in turn, having lost my own child, and a close friend as a teen to suicide, I understood where she was coming from. Our situations were totally different, but the bond was there. The connection was instant. In that moment I knew she, too, was determined to stop this asshat from letting his dogs violate Peyton's hill.

Officer B went straight to the cemetery and checked it out.

"I see footprints and urine everywhere," she acknowledged. "Now, here's the bad news. There are no leash laws in this town, so unless he is caught in the act, it's going to make it hard."

I told her I understood. And she promised to patrol the area at the time of day when I usually found him. We made more small talk, and promising to let her know if I saw him again, and she to let me know if anything came of the report, we ended the call.

Charlotte had a vet appointment today at 5 to get her second Lyme vaccination, and by 5:15 we were on our way back home. Walking in the door, I heard the phone ring.



"This is Officer B. You will never believe this."


"Right after I hung up with you, this little black dog came running up to me unleashed. Two more followed behind him. And finally, our guy."

"No! What happened?" I asked eagerly.

She told me about their exchange. How initially he provided false information and so she called for backup, who came in for the assist. I couldn't believe it. In less than two hours time, this wonderful woman had taken care of something that had caused me much grief.

"Your not the only one to complain." She told me. "There have been others from the church too."

She told me that she politely let him know that to walk his dogs there, they would have to be leashed and kept away from the stones, and if there were further complaints, he would be fined.

"I'm not gonna leash them," he told her. "My dogs like to chase squirrels, that's why I let them come here to roam around."

"Listen," she said, "I lost my child. I understand where these complaints are coming from. These people come here to grieve. That is what this place is for. Your dog's defecating adds to their grief. You cannot bring them here if you won't follow the rules."

Disgruntled, he said he would just find another place to bring them then.

"Good," I told her. "Go somewhere else."

"There's more..." she went on.

After looking up his real name she found that none of his dogs were registered, and he was met with a hefty fine on that one today too.

"Some happy new year!" was all he could say.

I couldn't believe her story, and it got me to thinking... maybe my doctor was wrong... maybe there IS justice in this world.

"I can't tell you how grateful I am for what you did today," I told her.

"I understand where you are coming from. I understand that pain. " She said.

We talked a bit more, about life, about our dogs, and then in saying goodbye, she added "look for the signs."

"Signs," I asked, "like from my daughter?"

"Yes, look for the signs, they are everywhere."

"Maybe this was a sign." I said. "Maybe our daughter's found eachother up there and brought you to me, and me to  you, so that you could help me with this guy, and we could talk about our girls and our grief and come together. Maybe this was a sign."

"Maybe so," she agreed.

Maybe so, indeed.



  1. Hurray for Officer B getting that inconsiderate, rude, ignorant fucking jerk of a guy and shoving some of his crap back at him. Take your cell phone or camera with you and if you run into him again, be obvious about taking his picture. Then take the pictures and his name to your local media, the paper, the television stations, call your city council, hound the mayor. I am beyond disgusted with what that asshole has done. I hope his fine was enough to make him think twice about leashing his dogs. Hurray for small victories!!! Personally I think that creep needs a good ass kicking, but he will get his, karma always comes back.

  2. I love this! I am so very glad that Officer B was able to nab that asshat and that he was handed a fine for unregistered dogs...now I sincerely hope he goes away and stays away from the cemetery and especially Peyton's Hill.

    I do believe in signs. I think the two of you were brought together for a reason. She's who you needed today and I'm so glad you found her.

  3. WOW! There really arent many more words I can say other than WOW! I am SO happy that this man was stopped and even better he was fined!! I wish there could have been a harsher punishment but I am glad she was able to catch him and fine him

  4. What a disgraceful person! Our cemetery has a no dogs policy which people constantly ignore. It drives me crazy with rage, so I LOVED your story.

  5. Way to go Kristen and Officer B! I'm really glad this guy finally got what was coming to him. I have a dog too and I understand wanting to let them run around and chase the squirrels, but there is a place for that and a cemetary where people come to grieve for their loved ones is not that place.

    I'm also really glad you met Officer B. I really think you're right. Her daughter and Peyton found one another and brought the two of you together and that's another friend you now have who can really know what you're going through. That's an amazing thing.

  6. i love the signs!!!

    i also love the phrase 'asshat'.

    hugs! MB

  7. Yay! Finally some vindication! What a jerk! This is so amazing that she was able to do all of this for you in such a short time! Maybe it is a sign. I still recieve my sparrows quite often and I firmly believe they are from Bryston. I am wondering though what my lastest baby will send or if she even will. *HUGS*

  8. I am not sure where you are from, but I can't imagine that they let pets in the cemetary. It is VERY against the rules in Texas! No animals are even allowed on the premises, let alone on leashes! I can't imagine how angry I would become if I saw what you did!
    Glad you had a day of seeing the world is not always a dark, black hole. Hears to more days like that.

  9. I am so sorry that this has happened to you. But what a great ending to the story. Yay for Officer B!

  10. Woohoo!! I'm so happy that creep got what he deserves. And yes, Yay for Officer B!

    I'm praying for more days like this for you.


  11. Oh Kristin, I am so SOO happy that justice has been served with this jerk!!! And what an awesome story that Officer B was the one that to help you with this, someone that knew the pain and the loss of a child. So happy!

  12. this post had me bawling for so many different reasons. I am so so happy that it all got sorted out so quickly. I really hope that he listens to officer B and never goes back there ever again. I do believe in signs and im sure that my boys send them to me quite often, I really do think that peyton sent officer B there to help you.

  13. I'm so happy that the officer caught him! I hope he stays away. That guy is unbelievable.

  14. Im jumping for joy that you got some justice, just still sorry you had to endure any of this. Hugs, Nan xo

  15. Yyyyyay!

    How many times must a simple request be repeated? It took an officer to make this guy get it, but I am so glad that he'll be thinking twice before he irresponsibly steps foot anywhere near the cemetary.

  16. I am so glad that this happened and that he was caught. I can't believe he would let his dogs do that. Yes, I do believe in signs and every day in my life I can see Gods hands in each situation. God is always there.

  17. What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing, I really hope finding a kindred soul and getting rid of that man provides a little comfort to you :)

  18. I am soo glad this jerk got what was coming to him.. and I am so glad things turned out like they did, finding a bond with someone in such a horrible situation is so wonderful.. hugs kristin..

  19. I'm so very glad about this. It may seem a small thing to some people but honoring our babies is all we have left, and I insist, and DEMAND that others do the same. Bravo Officer B.

  20. Kristin, I'm so glad this all worked out so well, and more than anything I'm glad to hear you fighting back.x

  21. What a fantastic result! Well done officer B and good on you for going in and complaining. Yep, I agree. Look for the signs. This was a great one.


  22. Wow. Karma, baby.

    Where we live, the cemeteries are ALIVE with families. It is just the way it is. Visiting loved ones, with their kids in tow, the dogs, etc.

    I know that guy is a total nasty drive-by ignoramus.... but think on this hun.

    Wouldn't you rather have a cemetery filled with families and people walking and talking and celebrating the lives of the humans in there... that includes many times the family pets... or a silent place where only pain is present?

    Where we live, the cemeteries are amazing places. I don't know if it is the Roman Catholic faith and how clannish New Englanders are... but, even in winter... people are everywhere, silent in agony and mourning yet, just their presence... the families, walkers of family pets, etc... keeps the place MORE sacred and "alive".

    An unvisited, abandoned cemetery (there are many old ones up here, and "family ones" that are unvisited) is a tragic one. It means there is no one to remember and celebrate the lives of the ones who are interred there.

    Hugs and wow. Try and not let the pain get to you.

    It will pass. The anniversary of my mother's death of brain cancer is this week coming. She will have been dead (at a very young age, 61) for 6 years. And I won't be visiting her grave. I stopped, long ago. I honor her in my heart soul mind but cannot bear any longer to make my entire existence revolve around loss. That cemetery is filled with every one of my relatives who have all passed away within the past 6 years. It just reminds me now, how alone I am.

    When you get older you will understand. Being an orphan, even as I am an adult, with children and a DH, is still a really, really hard thing. Going to the cemetary, for me, slams it home. I just can't do it anymore.

  23. I love this story and really needed to hear it right now. I love that you connected with this officer and do think your daughters had something to do with it.

  24. I should mention, because someone brought it up, that my issue is not with someone bringing dogs to the cemetery. There are tons of families that walk this particular cemetery with their dogs daily, and there are plenty of side field, and wooded areas where they can pee if need be. My issue is with bringing a dog to a cemetery and having no respect for the people interred there. My dog comes with us sometimes, on a leash, and is walked away from any graves. When we visit Peyton, I keep her close to my side, and don't allow her to urinate or dig at Peyton's grave, or any other. I don't mind people bringing their animals as long as they are keeping control of their animals. It is when someone takes on the mentality of using graves as their own personal fire hydrant, and never keeping their dogs in check, that I have an issue.

  25. I too am a fan of the word asshat. Glad you got a little bit of justice. I think this is a change in the tide. <3

  26. I don't blame you at all - I can't believe the guy would think that is ok. Your daughter is so beautiful, she is the most gorgeous baby I ever saw in my life - and I have 2 daughters myself! I can't believe what she had to go through, bless her little heart. I am so sorry, quite honestly I cannot even imagine the pain you are in. Good job protecting her - I'm sure she is proud of you!


  27. Wooohoooooo...there is justice and the best part is you were around to see it administered. I am so happy this got taken care of.

  28. Oh, thank you Officer B!!!! I'm so glad for you Kristin. I'm with you as a dog lover who doesn't get idiots who own dogs and can't get the concept of basic respect. So glad he's been fined. And I'm glad you're looking for signs and feeling hope again. xoxoxo

  29. A serendipitous encounter and a great comeuppance story!

    Look for signs. Maybe I need to do that too.


  30. Delurking just to say how much I LOVE this story, and how glad I am that Officer B was able to help you. I'll have to save this link for a particularly grumpy day, as it's sooooo nice to see justice in this world, even just tiny bits of it.

  31. Officer B sounds wonderful. And what justice. I am so glad that he got fined. I wish that there was something more that could be done (like he gets a night or two in jail!)

  32. I absolutely have chills that you and Officer B were brought together on this. I hope the actions from the wonderful Officer B will really make this guy stop his outrageous acts.....

  33. What a touching piece of life!! I would have felt the same way and probably done the same thing!

  34. I almost jumped out of my chair b/c I was so happy that guy finally got caught!! And amazingly so soon after you filed the complaint. Hooray for Officer B! What a wonderful woman and definitely sent to you!

  35. Beautiful - and I loved the end about the signs, that made me cry.

    Here from the other Kristin's blog (Dragondreamer's Lair). I am glad that you found some justice.

  36. I have tears in my eyes.

    I think the biggest gift we can give is to really "get" someone. To be understood is SUCH A GRAND THING.

    I am so glad that Officer B was brought into your life, and you to hers. The fact that JerkFace got some of what was coming to him is frosting.

    How enlightened am I?

  37. Signs are everywhere. I beleieve. I love them. This story has me crying because I am sooo happy for u.

  38. glad it was taken care of so quickly! i write about signs ALL the time... look for my post in october called "daughters." you will love it. it's so true.. signs are everywhere, you just have to be open to them.

    i love that you have cemetary buddies. i learned recently that cemetaries are peaceful places. look also at my december post called "lunch with my daughter."

    wow... is it a sign that the TWO entries im asking you to read have the word daughter in them!?

  39. This post had me from close-to-tears to cheering and clapping my hands in delight! I wish there'd be more people like Officer B...

    I am thrilled. xoxo

  40. I am so happy the asshat has been caught! How devastating for you to have to deal with that on top of everything else! My Baby Girl has been in Heaven for 10 years and almost 2 months. We lost her to SIDS when she as 4 months and 20 days old. I am so sorry you have to walk this path and feel the pain of loosing a child. The pain never truly goes away..it just changes and eventually becomes a little easier to live with. We are living our 'new normal'. God bless you and your darling daughter.

    South Dakota

  41. So glad he got what he deserves. the ending of your post had me in tears. I need to start looking for signs...too..