One day after Mary Anne returned home from the cruise, she received a phone call from her banker who asked her about a few large purchases that were made on her credit card. The transactions took place both in Canada and the US in cities she had never visited. The banker also asked her if she transferred large sums of money from her chequing account to a company she had never heard of before. Mary Anne said that she didn’t make any credit card purchases for the last few weeks. In addition, she hadn’t made any cash transfers from her chequing account for over a month. She immediately checked to see if her credit cards were stolen but they were both safely inside her wallet.
Anyway, Mary Anne spoke with Mark several times while she was on the cruise as she wanted to be updated on his son’s condition. The last time she spoke with him, he told her his son needed to have surgery in the US and therefore he wouldn’t be in Victoria anytime soon.
However, a few days after her conversation with the bank, her real estate friend called and told her there were rumors that the company that was building the luxury condos in Victoria had run into financial difficulties. He said he wasn’t 100% sure this information was correct. Thus, he suggested she talk to her boyfriend about it, as he was knowledgeable about the company and had also invested in a unit. Mary Anne told him his information had to be wrong because if Mark knew something like this was happening, he would have told her immediately.
Later on, Mary Anne tried to reach Mark several times but she went to voice mail every time she called him. She left him several messages but he didn’t call her back. She was sure that something happened to his son. She tried to call the development company the day after, but there was no answer there either. Mary Anne started to worry as she had invested a lot of money in the condo which was supposed to be ready soon.
A few days later an announcement was published in the newspaper that the development company declared bankruptcy. Mary Anne felt as though she would have a heart attack. Jackie was also frustrated. Neither of them knew what to do. Mary Anne didn’t want to say anything to her children as she didn’t want them to worry. She decided to keep the news to herself for a while.
Several buyers tried to break into the job site and take possession of their units after the announcement went public. Many people put their life’s savings into the condos as they were promised the suite would produce a high return for them. People were demonstrating for days at the job site and the ones who broke into the buildings were forcefully thrown out by police.
Nobody knew why the company, which was thought to be in good financial shape had to suddenly declare bankruptcy. It took some time but the picture slowly became clearer. It turned out that a senior employee embezzled company funds. This person was the director of finance. He wasn’t the only one defrauding the company, there were two others involved as well. The two aroused the suspicions of management who decided to open an investigation. When the suspects had their backs against the wall, they exposed the mastermind.
The director of finance couldn’t be found. Therefore, the police asked the public for help in locating him. They put his picture in the newspapers and online and received dozens of phone calls from citizens claiming to have seen him. But unfortunately, all of these leads turned out to be false.
Mary Anne didn’t see the newspaper the day the police published the pictures of the director of finance. She usually reads the paper when she comes home from work. Nevertheless, this was the end of the term at school and she was very busy this time of year. Jackie and Mary Anne’s children had been trying to call her all day after they saw the photo. But she muted the volume on her phone and wasn’t aware anyone had been trying to reach her.
When she finally looked at her phone, she saw she had several missed calls. She called her son Larry who said he had some bad news for her. He told her to find a private place at the school where she could speak with him. Then he dropped the bomb and told her Mark’s picture was made public by the police and he was suspected of embezzling millions of dollars from the real estate company where he was the director of finance.
Mary Anne was shaking when Larry gave her the news and almost passed out. Her son kept talking and said that the name next to his picture was Kevin and not Mark. At that point, Mary Anne wasn’t hearing anything he was saying. She could barely stand and all she wanted to do was throw up. When Larry noticed his mother was silent, he told her to stay where she was and that he would come to get her………..
Mary Anne had more than enough money to invest in the project Mark told her about. She got a lot of money from the insurance company after Jerry died. In addition, since she was an only child, she inherited her parent’s entire estate when they passed away. Mary Anne was still working and thus didn’t touch the insurance money or her inheritance.
Yet, she had no experience investing in real estate. She always invested very conservatively as she was afraid of losing money. She never invested in stocks as she felt they were too risky, even after Jackie made a fortune in the stock market. The last thing she wanted was to be financially dependent on her children.
However, Jackie’s enthusiasm for investing rubbed off on her and she thought maybe this project would be a good idea. Mary Anne googled the company that was building the condos. She found out they have projects all over North America. She also learned they have an excellent reputation. She decided she would invest in one of their condos after she read more about the company and consulted with a real estate investor she knew and trusted.
She didn’t want to say anything about her decision to her children as she didn’t want them to talk her out of it. Therefore, she shared her plan with Jackie who showed interest in it as well. After deliberating for a while, she told Mark both of them were interested in purchasing condos and asked for his help.
Mark told her that he knows the owner of the company very well, but he wasn’t sure if there were any condos available for purchase. He said that even if there were, they would be paying a higher price than he did for his unit as they had already started construction. Mark added that the apartments sell out very quickly for projects like this one. But he promised to speak with the owner and see if anything was still for sale, as well as the price.
Mary Anne was very happy to hear this especially since Mark had so much knowledge in the real estate field. She updated Jackie, who told her she didn’t know much about real estate but trusted that Mary Anne was thorough and checked all the small details.
A few days later, Mark called and said he spoke with someone high up in the company. He was told there were 3 condos left and he has to speak with the owner if he wants a better price. Mark had already booked a telephone appointment with him and was sure he could arrange a good price for her. In fact, they were supposed to talk later that evening.
A couple of hours later the owner’s secretary called and put through his call to Mark. They immediately started talking about the real estate market, some projects they were working on, as well as new investment opportunities. It seemed as though they knew each other quite well.
Mark brought up the topic of the condo project in Victoria. He then put the call on speaker and mentioned his girlfriend Mary Anne and her friend Jackie, who both wanted to purchase a condo. He asked him to reduce the price so that they would pay the same as before the concrete foundation had been poured. The owner didn’t hesitate. He told Mark they have known each other a long time and he’s more than happy to sell them condos at a lower price.
However, the ladies had a provide a down payment of at least 30% of the total cost within the next few days. Mark looked at Mary Anne who nodded OK and the owner said he would put them in touch with his secretary who would fill them in on the other details. A few hours later Mary Anne and Jackie transferred the money and were both thrilled. Mark took both of them to the job site to see for themselves how the project was progressing.
Mary Anne and Jackie were required to make additional payments as the project moved forward. Mary Anne didn’t want to say anything to her children until the condo was ready to rent. She also realized that it cost her much more than she thought it would.
Although they were in a relationship, Mary Anne and Mark continued to attend events at the club. Therefore, when the club’s management announced they were organizing a 2 week cruise to Alaska, they quickly registered for it and made deposits. Mary Anne was excited as this was the first trip they were taking together outside of Canada.
But unfortunately, a few days before their departure, Mark told her he couldn’t go as one of his children was sick and he needed to stay in Victoria. Mary Anne was disappointed but decided to go on the cruise anyway. Even though she missed Mark, she enjoyed herself and had a great time………
Mary Anne couldn’t wait to see Mark the week after. She felt excited as if she was 20 years old again. She bought a new dress a few days before she went to the club, and had her hair and nails done the day before. When her children came to visit her that day, they told her she looked beautiful, the same way she looked before their father died. When they asked if there was someone new in her life she said no, she was doing this for herself.
Mark wasn’t there when she went to the club. However, she was sure he would show up later on. She was looking for him all night and was regularly scanning the room. But he didn’t show up at all that evening. A few nice looking men approached her but she wasn’t interested in speaking to them.
Jackie realized her friend was disappointed and tried to cheer her up by dragging her out onto the dance floor. She didn’t let go of her until Mary Anne relented and joined her. By the end of the evening, Mary Anne was smiling and clearly enjoying herself.
Mark didn’t show up the following week either. Mary Anne tried to learn more about him by asking the club management for some details. But they could only tell her he was a new member, which she already knew. They added that the other information they had about him would remain confidential.
Although Mary Anne was disappointed with the management’s answer, Jackie didn’t need to do much to get her onto the dance floor. In fact, Mary Anne was on the dance floor shortly after she arrived at the club. While they were dancing Jackie mentioned that many of the members come to the club to enjoy themselves and not necessarily to meet someone. So if she meets someone, that is a bonus. She added that she needs to keep an open mind.
Anyway, the 3rd time she went to the club, she didn’t think about Mark, but about herself. She wanted to enjoy every minute without having any expectations. A few minutes after she entered the building, she bumped into Mark who looked very happy to see her. He even gave her a big hug which surprised her. Mark told her that he had to go to Europe on business. He also told her about some real estate projects he was involved with. He showed her all kinds of spectacular projects he invested in all over the world.
Mark turned out to be a very smart man with broad knowledge of numerous topics. Mary Anne slowly opened up to him. She told him about Jerry and the tragedy that befell her family when her husband disappeared, only a few hours before he was supposed to leave the sea for good. Mark listened attentively to her while she was speaking. He reached out and held her hand while blinking away the tears in his eyes.
Mark also told her about his family. He said he had two daughters whom he adored. He didn’t get along with his ex-wife who tried to interfere with the relationship between him and his children. Mary Anne and Mark found they had many common interests. For example, they both loved to watch ballet. Therefore, a few days later Mark bought tickets for the two of them to attend the ballet, which made her very happy.
The relationship between them slowly started to warm up. Mark would frequently send Mary Anne flowers and always included warm notes with them. He was an eloquent writer and his words deeply touched her. Most of the time he would go to her home and occasionally she would go to his house. His house was always clean and tidy as if no one lived there.
Mary Anne thought the place wasn’t a reflection of his personality. The house was situated in one of the best neighborhoods in Victoria, but it wasn’t so impressive inside. It didn’t have much furniture and there were hardly any pictures on the wall. When Mark noticed the look on Mary Anne’s face, he said that he had recently moved there. He said that he did not have enough time to properly furnish the house but would do so soon.
Nevertheless, a few weeks later Mark told Mary Anne that he heard about a project to build luxury condos in Victoria. He showed her a brochure that described it in detail. And he said he would definitely invest in the project. Mark wanted to buy a condo for investment purposes. However, there were limited condos available for purchase and he would have to move quickly.
He was quite enthusiastic about this opportunity. Mark left the brochure behind when he left. And Mary Anne started to think about what he told her regarding the condo project. He said that if she bought one of the condos, she could rent it out and get a very high return on her investment……..
The coast guard stopped looking for Jerry a few weeks after the accident. In fact, his body was never found. For years afterward, Mary Anne and her children would celebrate his birthday. She would put an extra plate on the table on every holiday just in case Jerry would unexpectedly show up.
Jerry decided to buy some life insurance shortly after they got married as he wanted to secure his family’s future. He had to pay a high premium every month because of the risk involved with his job. However, when his wife contacted the insurance company to receive the insurance money, they refused to pay her.
They claimed that they had to investigate the case as his body had not yet been found. Her story was published in the media and she received huge support from the public. Mary Anne hired a lawyer who took the insurance company to court. The case dragged on for over a year which caused the family a lot of stress and aggravation. In the end, the judge ruled in her favor and declared Jerry legally dead. In addition, the insurance company was ordered to pay all of Mary Anne’s legal expenses.
Over the years, Mary Anne’s children got married and had their own families. All three of them lived not far from their mother and would regularly visit her. Even though she didn’t need the money, Mary Anne continued working as a teacher so she didn’t have time to think about the loss of her dear husband.
Mary Ann lost her parents a few years after Jerry’s death. Her father suddenly got sick and passed away a few months later. Then her mother went to sleep one night and didn’t wake up in the morning. They both died within a short period of time which was very difficult for her. Mary Anne’s parents were her main source of support all of the years that Jerry was away at sea, and after he went missing. They encouraged her to move on with her life and not look back. She meant the world to them from the minute she was born.
May Anne felt very lonely after her parents were gone and started to think about dating again. Nevertheless, she had a very good friend named Jackie who was divorced for many years. Jackie had a membership in an exclusive club for singles who were looking to start a new chapter in their lives. The club holds all kinds of events, such as parties, cruises, organized tours, etc. Jackie enjoyed herself so much that for years she would attend their events, but she never met anybody that she really wanted to share the rest of her life with.
From time to time, she would date someone for a few months. Usually, it led nowhere and she would go back to square one. However, after Jerry was declared legally dead, Jackie tried to persuade Mary Anne to purchase a membership in the club. She always told her she doesn’t have to date anyone if she doesn’t want to. She should come to the events and enjoy herself. But Mary Anne couldn’t do it because she still held out hope that her husband would come home one day.
After her parents died, she felt more than ready to take up Jackie’s suggestion and start attending events at the club. The first time she went there was with Jackie of course. When she entered the club she thought the place was very impressive as befits a luxury club. The men were wearing suits and ties, while the women were dressed in evening gowns.
Jackie, who realized that Mary Anne was looking around in amazement, whispered to her that all the members were carefully checked before being approved for membership. Anyway, Jackie disappeared a few minutes after they entered the club. Later on, she showed up with a gentleman on the dance floor that was quickly filling up.
Mary Anne felt awkward but not for long as a very good looking man came over and introduced himself. Mark was a real estate developer who said he had been divorced for almost 5 years and had 2 children. He was approximately 10 years younger than her and was extremely charming.
They spoke all evening and she didn’t notice the time passed by until Jackie came over to her and said she was going home and asked if she was coming with her. Although Mary Anne would have stayed longer, she felt it was enough for the first time. Before she left with Jackie, Mark told her he hoped to see her again at the next event, which was to be held the following week.
Jackie told Mary Anne on the way home that she had never seen the man before. After Mary Anne told her a little about him, Jackie laughed and said “good for you sister, it’s your first evening here and you caught a big fish.” Mary Anne felt exhilarated after she met Mark. She never felt that way before, even with Jerry who was the love of her life………
Going back out to sea after his daughters were born was even harder now for Jerry as he missed them terribly. However, two years later he and Mary Anne welcomed a baby boy. This time he had the opportunity to be present at the birth of their son, which was a joyful event for him. He stayed home for two months after the birth and enjoyed every minute with his precious family.
Mary Anne’s parents moved closer to their daughter after their grandchildren were born and helped a lot with the kids. As a result, the couple had more quality time together. Even after they became parents, Mary Anne and Jerry felt as though they were on their honeymoon every minute they were together.
Jerry loved his wife very much and was very loyal to her while the other sailors were fooling around with other women behind their wife’s backs. Some of them even had children out of wedlock. On the other hand, Jerry only wanted to be with his wife and no one else.
However, when the children were young, Mary Anne’s hands were full and she was busy from morning until late at night. She worked as a part time teacher and didn’t have time to socialize as she was dedicated to her children. Mary Anne always counted the days until Jerry would return from the sea. She would prepare his favorite dishes for him a few days before he was scheduled to come home.
Over time, when the children grew up she started to feel lonely. Jerry felt bad for her and thought about resigning from his job and finding something on land. He even went on some interviews during his vacations but he couldn’t find anything that he liked. A few months before their 30th anniversary, Jerry decided he had enough and would resign shortly whether he found a new job or not.
He had already spoken with his employer about leaving and thought he would tell Mary Anne the news on their anniversary which was two weeks later. Their children made a surprise party for them on their anniversary. In addition, they bought them plane tickets to Paris. The party was a joyous occasion for everyone. It was even better when Mary Anne found out her husband wasn’t going out to sea anymore. They flew to Paris after the party, which was something they never did before. Their children arranged and paid for everything. Jerry and Mary Anne had an amazing time together.
Jerry started looking for a new job as soon as they returned home. While looking for a job, his ex-employer called and asked if he would agree to return to work for two months as one of the crew got sick and was unable to work. The employer told him he would give him a substantial bonus if he would agree to his request. Jerry said he couldn’t give him an answer until he spoke with his wife about it.
Mary Anne didn’t like the idea of him going out to sea again. But Jerry assured her this was the last time he would do it and besides, there was a lot of money at stake. His employer offered to double his salary for the two months he would be away. Jerry also reminded her that their daughter was getting married after Christmas and the extra money would come in handy. At the end of their conversation, Mary Anne finally acquiesced and agreed with Jerry’s decision to accept the offer.
A few days later, Jerry left for his assignment. Mary Anne felt that time was dragging along too slowly while he was away. He was supposed to return the day before Christmas Eve and the whole family planned to celebrate the holiday together. Mary Anne woke up early the day he was scheduled to return, as she couldn’t sleep. She was very excited to see her husband. She went shopping and cooked all his favorite holiday dishes and baked a special cake for his return. She also went to a beauty salon to have her hair and nails done. Then she went home and anxiously awaited his arrival.
Nevertheless, the weather outside was quite bad and she began to worry when he didn’t arrive home that evening. She tried to reach some of his colleagues from the ship but nobody answered their phone. At 8 am the next morning, somebody knocked on her front door. When she opened the door, she saw Jerry’s employer along with a police officer.
Mary Anne froze the moment she saw them. She let them in and they told her there was a bad storm the day before at sea. Jerry and a colleague of his went up on deck and were washed overboard. The poor weather didn’t allow for a thorough search and both men were presumed drowned.
Rumors about Jerry’s disappearance spread like wildfire. An enormous number of people came to the house to console Marry Anne and her children. Many of them brought food, and some even helped with the household chores. In short, all of their needs were looked after.
Jerry’s colleague’s body was found by the Coast Guard five days after the accident. Although the chances of Jerry being found alive were slim to none, Mary Anne held out hope for a miracle. Every time the front door opened her heart skipped a beat, as though he would walk into the house any minute……….
Mary Anne was married to Jerry the love of her life, for 30 years until death separated them. He was a sailor who worked as an engineer and was away from home quite often. Mary Anne was a teacher and raised their three children almost by herself. Jerry loved the sea since he was a small boy. He dreamt that he would work on a ship one day and he did.
However, he missed his wife and children terribly while he was at sea. From time to time he even thought about leaving his job on the ship and finding a new job so he could spend more time with his family. But he kept postponing it because he earned a good salary that paid for his children’s education and his family’s comfortable lifestyle.
Jerry knew this job wouldn’t last forever. Working on a ship is very difficult and requires sailors to be at sea for months at a time. It can sometimes be dangerous and they are exposed to many risks due to water conditions, shipwrecks, sinking, falling overboard, and piracy.
Nevertheless, Mary Anne and Jerry met in a pub when she came to celebrate her birthday with a friend. Jerry was sitting in the pub with a friend who was also his colleague on the ship. The two young men just returned home to Victoria on Vancouver Island after serving a lengthy period of time at sea.
Jerry liked Mary Anne the moment he saw her. With his friend’s encouragement, he walked over and started talking with her. On the other hand, Mary Anne wasn’t too impressed by his appearance. Jerry was a bit clumsy and not particularly handsome. In addition, he had poor taste in clothes. He was a large man and the clothes he wore seemed to be a size too small, which made her friend laugh when she saw him.
But once they started talking, she noticed he was very charming. He was quite intelligent along with a great sense of humor, and she liked him. But Mary Anne had just broken up a complicated long term relationship and wasn’t ready to start another one at that time. Even more so after she heard what he did for a living. Yet fate had other plans.
They started seeing each other and quickly fall in love. A few months later, Jerry proposed to Mary Anne. Although Mary Anne’s family liked Jerry very much, they thought it would be a huge mistake for her to accept his proposal. They kept warning her that she would stay alone most of her life and would raise their children alone as a single mother if she married him.
Mary knew very well they were right but decided to accept his proposal anyway. The couple got married at a low key wedding. They celebrated the joyous event with their own immediate families and a few friends. Mary Anne was an only child. Her parents attended the wedding along with 3 or 4 close friends. However, Jerry is the youngest of 5 children. His siblings are all married, and each of them attended the ceremony. In addition, some of his friends from the ship he worked on were also there.
Jerry had to leave for the sea two weeks after the wedding. Waiting for the love of her life to return home was always very difficult for Mary Anne. On the other hand, every time he came home, it was as though they were on their honeymoon again. They barely fought and took advantage of every moment he wasn’t at sea to be together. Their friends and family would give them the space they needed when Jerry returned home.
They decided they wanted to build a family together about a year after they got married. Unfortunately, this didn’t work out at first. Thus Mary Anne went to see a doctor who sent her for some tests. When the results came back, he told her everything was perfect, and she didn’t have any medical issues. He suggested that Jerry should also have himself checked to be sure he didn’t have a medical problem.
After undergoing testing, Jerry was also told everything was fine. They tried to have children for three years, without success. After the end of the third year, Mary Anne underwent fertility treatments. They welcomed twin girls after four years of marriage. Jerry missed their birth as he was away at sea at the time.
He saw his baby girls for the first time a month later and was incredibly proud. He knew what his wife went through to have the babies and was grateful for all her efforts. He would take them out for a walk in their stroller around the neighborhood and always had a grin on his face from ear to ear. He would show them off to anyone who passed by and would say “look at how beautiful they are. Thank God they look like their mother and not like me.”……. 🙂
People tend to think that adolescents who use physical force to harm others come from poor backgrounds. But this is incorrect. In fact, one can see violent behavior in youth from all backgrounds.
I recently read a story about three teenagers who physically and sexually abused their classmate for two years. They would tie him to a chair and beat him for hours on end. They would do all kinds of ugly things to him that cannot be repeated here. The police said there was no motive except to be mean and cause him pain and suffering. In the midst of their investigation, the police discovered they would humiliate him during class hours and would blackmail him outside of school hours.
According to the police, the victim avoided telling his parents and his teachers that he was going through hell. And nobody knew what was going on with him. This tragedy was finally exposed by a guide from a local youth movement. The guide heard about it from the friend of the abused teenager. But sadly this occurred after the boy had already left the school. The guide tried to convince the teenager to file a complaint with the police. It wasn’t easy, but he managed to persuade him in the end, and the three abusers were arrested.
Those spoiled brats were studying at a very prestigious school. Obviously, money wasn’t an issue with their families….. However, their parents couldn’t find the time to adequately supervise their children. I don’t know what punishment these three sadists received because the media always tries to protect the accused particularly if they are minors. However, I believe they are probably out of jail by now. If they were incarcerated at all, it was certainly in some country club for juvenile offenders.
Unfortunately, you can find stories like these every day. What really bothers me is that it’s bad enough these criminals aren’t punished as they should be. In addition, after a short time, they go back to the community and move forward with their lives. And the victims frequently have to hide, and many times leave their school, and their home, and go elsewhere out of fear. And not only that, they may have lingering physical injuries as well as emotional trauma from this horrific experience. Where is the justice for the victim?
When I was growing up, Everybody respected the police. Plus they were intimidated by them. I believe this was a good thing. You didn’t see people walking around in public smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol. Unless I was living in a bubble.
Drug and alcohol use among youth is often an indication of emotional distress. Although minors are not supposed to be drinking alcohol, they somehow manage to get their hands on it. This is one of the risk factors for both being a victim and the perpetrator. Another contributing factor is the widespread availability of drugs. Indeed, adolescents today have no inhibition and no fears.
Nevertheless, the family has the most substantial impact on the behavior of young people. And everything starts with the upbringing that each one of us receives at home. Our upbringing shapes our lives in the years to come. But with a lack of proper guidance, sadly, the consequences can be tragic. Violent teenagers have a greater likelihood of engaging in other forms of problematic behavior and are more likely to be involved in crime in the future.
Another explanation is that people’s violence is often due to the lack of enforcement of the law. Even when the police do their best to arrest violent people, regrettably, the courts either release them back onto the street or else give them a ridiculous sentence that before you know it, they are committing crimes again………
In my opinion, adolescents who commit terrible crimes such as the one described above should be treated as adults. Don’t tell me that a 12 year old, let alone a 15 year old doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong. These punks need to be elevated to adult court and subject to punishments that an adult would get. What happens now is they get a slap on the wrist, and this is not justice.
I don’t know if it’s my imagination or not, but it seems to me that people have recently become less patient with each other (maybe this is another side effect of Covid). You can’t safely speak your mind and I’m not referring to your political opinions, which are better kept to yourself. In addition, people are driving much more aggressively. And the truth is, you are afraid to react to their actions as you don’t know how it would end………..
The bottom line is this, the problem of violence isn’t properly handled today by the people who are supposed to protect us. This includes the police, the politicians, and the courts as well. And by the way, where are the politicians? You only see them when there is an election. And afterward, they disappear. As a result, our personal safety is at risk because they don’t do their jobs………
It’s unspeakable when adults are cruel towards others or have no value for the lives of others. But it’s horrifying when you see teenagers (the next generation……) behaving the same way. They sometimes act like wild animals. Sorry, I probably shouldn’t compare them to animals as I am insulting the beasts. Anyway, every time I see violent teenagers on TV I ask myself, who the hell raised them? The truth is, the less news you consume, the better off you are.
I saw a story on the news about a year ago that shocked me, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. There was a report that an Uber Eats driver was killed during an attempted carjacking in Washington D.C. The two suspects were 13 and 15 years old.
The Uber driver may have left the car running and the two suspects jumped into the car while he momentarily left the vehicle to make a delivery. When he came out, he saw them sitting in his car and he tried to get control of the vehicle. In fact, there was a video taken of the encounter. He was heard saying “get out, it’s my car!” But the car suddenly sped away at high speed even as he was holding onto the open driver’s door. The car drove about a half block and hit a barrier on the driver’s side. The owner was crushed between the barrier and the side of the car and was thrown against the side of a building. He later died of his injuries in a local hospital.
The driver lost control of the car, which crashed into another parked car and rolled over onto its side. The two carjackers, who were unhurt, climbed out of the car and were detained by National Guardsmen who were at the scene.
What shocked me the most was while the Uber Eats driver was lying on the sidewalk dying of his injuries, one of the carjackers ignored him and was looking for her cell phone. I can’t imagine what it was like for the poor man’s family to see those images online or in the media.
To make matters worse, apparently, neither of the two teenagers would spend any time in prison. They received the maximum sentence allowed at the time by pleading guilty as minors to second degree murder. Some of the lesser charges against them were dropped such as armed carjacking, aggravated reckless driving, and robbery.
By agreeing to a plea deal, they were assured to be released by the time they turned 21 and would not be placed in a prison facility. This means that in another few years, both of them will be freed and back out on the street………… 😦 😦
Had they been adults, they would have been subject to very different sentences. Not only would they be put behind bars for a much longer period, certainly 20 years or more, but they would also have been placed in a prison for adults instead of a juvenile detention facility.
This is only one tragic story of many others that I have seen over the last few years committed by teenagers. There has been a huge increase in shootings on the streets in broad daylight, violence against complete strangers, and sometimes even against seniors.
Normally there would be support for the police and a desire to protect everyone and arrest and prosecute those that break the law. But what has happened in many cities in the United States instead is that lawbreakers were not prosecuted. And the police were criticized for supposedly unfairly targeting visible minorities, homeless people, and the poor, among others. The result of this is that people accused of breaking the law were not punished for their illegal actions. Another result was a huge increase in theft, arson, assault, and murder. In addition, police quit their jobs and took early retirement by the thousands.
Unfortunately, over the years youth violence has increased not just in the US but around the world as well. And the reasons for that are varied. But one thing is for sure, today we are more exposed to this disturbing phenomenon than in the past and this is due to social media.
It is well known that many adolescents as well as adults, would do anything for a few minutes of fame on social media. On the other hand, many people earn a living through it. Indeed it can provide a lot of benefits. Yet, sometimes social media has been used for negative purposes. For example, teenagers who frequently engage in violence, and livestream their activities on Tik Tok to show off. The big problem is when they become a source of inspiration for other youth that imitates their brutal acts.
Sometimes their behavior can be so cruel toward others that it’s hard to understand why anyone would give them a platform……… And the question is this: where is the censorship? Is there any limit to what people are allowed to post on S.M.??? Probably not! As long as they make money off it…………………..
Lack of sleep is a very common problem and a huge topic. I read countless articles about it not just for this post, but also because my mother has suffered for many years from a severe lack of sleep. And I sometimes have a problem as well. Thus I decided I needed to look for solutions at least for her sake. I mentioned in a previous post that I am against taking pills unless it is the last resort. Therefore, I decided to dive in and see what I could learn.
There are a number of tips that experts recommend to get a better night’s sleep. The first is to stick to a consistent sleep schedule. This means going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day including weekends. It is also important to get some exercise, although it should not be too close to bedtime. Furthermore, eating a large meal close to bedtime should also be avoided.
Gentle stretching before bed may be helpful. Taking slow deep breaths while stretching will help relieve any tension you may feel. Taking a warm bath instead of a shower before bedtime can relax you and make it easier to fall asleep. This is a classic way to wind down at the end of the day.
Another suggestion is to go outside for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. People are also cautioned to avoid nicotine and alcohol as they are both stimulants that can keep you awake. In addition, we should avoid taking naps after mid afternoon and keep them short if we decide to take one. In short, anything that makes you happy is prohibited 😦 😦 😦
It is generally accepted today that looking at computer or cell phone screens or watching TV too close to bedtime interferes with our ability to fall asleep. It is recommended instead to read a book or listen to some relaxing music. Meditating before bedtime is an even better idea.
Another important component in getting a good night’s sleep is to have a good sleeping environment. This means keeping the room dark, cool, free of noise, and without distractions. This way you train your brain that your bedroom is for sleeping or sex only.
Lastly, if you have difficulty falling asleep, don’t toss and turn or lie in bed awake. If you’ve tried to fall asleep for 20 minutes and are still awake, get out of bed and do something that will relax you until you feel sleepy ( if cleaning the house relaxes you just go for it……:-)
If none of these are helpful to you, it is suggested to contact your doctor to discuss what other options are available to you. As you can see the challenge of getting good sleep is quite common and is something everyone needs to take seriously as it can lead to some significant health problems.
I was watching a TV show a few months ago where the host welcomed an expert on hypnosis as a guest. The expert claimed that hypnosis can be of help for anxiety, depression, and sleeping problems. As soon as he said it, I could see a scene from a movie in my mind where a man was dangling a watch on the end of a string in front of a person sitting on a chair.
He tells the person to follow the movement of the watch going back and forth with his eyes. At the same time, the man speaks in soft tones and tells the person they are getting more and more relaxed until they fall into a trance. Well, maybe this is what they do on TV or in movies, but I don’t think this is how it works in real life.
By encouraging relaxation and creating an opportunity to reorient thoughts and emotions, hypnosis may be a useful tool for enhancing sleep for people with conditions like insomnia. Hypnotherapy may also reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, both of which are correlated with sleeping problems. It has been used to treat pain as well, which can in itself also lead to disturbed sleep.
It’s important to know that hypnotherapy doesn’t work for everyone. Researchers have found that approximately 15% of people are very receptive to the treatment. Another 33% are resistant to it and aren’t likely to benefit. The remainder is somewhere in between.
Sleep hypnosis follows the same steps as hypnotherapy and involves therapeutic suggestions focusing on sleep to address sleeping problems. For example, the hypnosis session may encourage a person to feel less anxious about falling asleep or to follow a more consistent sleep schedule.
The goal is not to make the person fall asleep during the treatment. Instead, it works to change negative thoughts or habits related to sleep so that a person can sleep better once the hypnotherapy is complete.
Hypnosis for sleep may also be combined with other types of treatment. For example, it can be used with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-I), a type of counseling that reframes negative thinking about sleep. This form of focused hypnosis may also promote improvements in sleep hygiene to develop healthier sleep related routines.
I know it sounds like I’m promoting hypnosis, but that isn’t true. I’m simply attempting to summarize what I read. In fact, I have never tried this treatment myself. But if I knew of a good hypnosis practitioner, I would go see them, and not only to help with sleep………..
The pace of our lives these days barely gives us enough time to stop and rest. It can make getting a good night’s sleep seem like only a dream. It is common knowledge that sleep is just as important for good health as keeping a proper diet and getting enough exercise. In fact, getting good quality sleep improves your mood, your health, and your brain performance.
On the other hand, not sleeping properly on a regular basis can have an almost immediate effect on your health. And the truth is you cannot believe the problems sleep deprivation causes. For example, I noticed when I don’t sleep well for more than one night, I experience irritation and sensitivity in my gums in addition to a lack of energy. I was surprised as I never thought there is a link between the problem in my gums and poor sleep.
Suffering from poor sleep raises the risk of many diseases and disorders as well. In fact, sleep is an essential part of our lives and is required for optimal function. It has a critical role not only in proper brain function but in all other bodily systems too.
Over time a lack of sleep leads to a weakened immune system which increases your chances of getting sick from many different illnesses. They range from irritability and weight gain, memory problems, plus a lack of concentration which can be dangerous, particularly to those who are driving. As well as anxiety, depression, heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure and more.
The average adult needs between 7-9 hours of restorative sleep per night, but this varies from person to person. Being well rested can significantly improve your quality of life. Unfortunately, the majority of people suffer from a sleeping problem sometimes for many years, without ever addressing the issue.
This condition is quite complex as there is a lot more to good sleep than simply the hours you spend in bed. Healthy sleep has three main components. The first is how much sleep you get. The second is the quality of sleep, which should be refreshing and uninterrupted. The third is having a consistent schedule for both going to sleep and then waking up.
One of the challenges especially during times of excessive stress is that our normal sleep routines can be disrupted. However, the good news is that there are many things we can do to improve our sleep. The first step is to acknowledge we have a problem. The second is to understand that our brain isn’t just resting when we are sleeping. Researchers tell us that our brain is very busy at that time. It is removing toxins and rejuvenating itself. Sleep helps prepare the brain to learn, remember, and create. Not only that, but scientists have found that everything from blood vessels to the immune system uses sleep as a time for repair.
There are many misconceptions among the public about sleep. One of them is people who think that adults need less sleep as they get older. However, this isn’t true. But in reality, sleep quality can get worse as one gets older. One of the reasons is that older adults are more likely to take medications that interfere with their sleep.
Another myth is that you can catch up on missed sleep the next night or by taking a nap. The fact is it may slightly help you, yet if you are chronically sleep deprived, a little extra sleep doesn’t help much. Studies show that even with extra naps, people ended up gaining weight, and their body’s ability to properly control blood sugar levels got much worse.
We also know that some people suffer from medical conditions that prevent them from getting enough quality sleep, no matter what they try. These conditions are called sleep disorders. The most common of these is called insomnia, which is when you have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep. Insomnia can be a short term problem that lasts a few weeks, or a few months.
Sleep apnea is another well known sleep disorder. In this case, the upper airway becomes blocked during sleep. This reduces or stops the airflow in the airway and wakes people up during the night. This is obviously a serious situation that needs immediate medical attention.
Fortunately, there are treatments available today for many common sleep disorders. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help people with insomnia. Medications such as sleeping pills may also be of help. In addition, people who suffer from sleep apnea can benefit from a device called a CPAP breathe easier. A CPAP machine helps keep your airways open by delivering continuous air through your nose and mouth.
Another common problem is people who snore, which could be a sign of sleep apnea. Research indicates that snoring is one of the factors contributing to sleep deprivation. Unfortunately, snoring doesn’t only disturb snorers but those around them. Furthermore, this condition can lead to much more significant health problems than a lack of sleep. Therefore, it is recommended that snorers seek medical attention……..