I like food.  I like cooking.  I like baking.  I like eating.  And I like following food blogs. But there are plenty of them out there.  Plus I don’t have the patience to photograph every step involved in baking something.  I’d forget to photograph at least one step and I’d have to start over.  I just know it wouldn’t work for me.  So I’ll leave it to those who already do.  But I will give you a recipe, sans photos, for something delicious to bake this autumn:

Now, on to other topics.  Last evening, while helping my 14 year old daughter with some sewing alterations, she mentioned something out of the blue: 

“That awkward moment when Facebook recommends you “friend” Jaleel, yet he’s dead.”

Jaleel was shot and killed last week in our town.  He was 16.  Apparently my daughter has something like 32 Facebook friends in common with him.  

Not too many days before that, a friend of friends of my children’s was killed in an ATV accident.  Around the same time, a cousin of family friends died suddenly in an accident at her home.  

And…….during the same time period, a high schooler took his life.

So, our city has lost 4 teenagers in the last few weeks.  A murder, two accidents and a suicide.  As a mother of a 14 and 17 year old, that shakes me up a bit.  As an employee of a non-profit organization that works with families, that rocks my world more than a little.  Four kids gone.  Four families whose futures are forever changed.  Countless friends and classmates left behind to wonder why this kind of thing happens, especially to those so young.   People looking for answers, and truthfully, there probably aren’t that many.

I recently wrote an entry about suicide, and since hearing about the young man who recently took his own life, I’ve thought about him everyday.  His father wrote:  Father hopes teen parents will learn…… This is what gets me:

“There was no indication whatsoever that he was depressed or feeling depressed,” he (the father) said. 

Obviously, we will never know all the details and what this young man was thinking before he took his own life.  He might have been facing a myriad of issues.  Yet his own father says there was no indication.  

One of my fav organizations, To Write Love on Her Arms, posted this yesterday:  [Suicide is Now the Leading Cause of Injury Related Death]

It is now more common for a teenager to commit suicide than for a teenager to perish in an automobile accident.  I’m not sure that’s reason to tout the safety of modern cars.   It’s a lot to take in, really.  

When my husband was a teenager, he attempted suicide.  Obviously, it was an attempt and not a successful one.  And for that I’m extremely thankful. It sets me on edge though.  It’s there.  The [why?] question.  The [how did it come to that?] question.  Will I know if something is not right?  Am I   It makes me want to hound my kids, constantly trying to figure out if they’re really okay.  Sure, they seem fine, most of the time.  They say they’re fine.  Their grades indicate they’re fine.  Reports from their teachers do the same.  

Please don’t think I lie awake at night, fearing for their safety.  It’s not that extreme.  Yet, I’m coming to realize more and more that what goes on in their minds, their moldable, not fully developed teenage minds, can wreck havoc if we’re not careful.  Golly, my mind is not that of a teenager’s and it can get a little crazy, what with doubts, fears, interpreted expectations of others, pressure we put upon ourselves to succeed, etc.

It’s hard to be a person.  That sounds trite, but it is.  Despite the age we are, it’s not easy.  So much can happen, sometimes suddenly, often through no fault of our own.  

This is a difficult entry to wrap up.  There’s really nothing witty to write, so I won’t try.  I’m simply sad that sometimes life ends suddenly and shockingly. 

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