Don’t be “Dopey” ~ Know the Facts

Two weeks from today, Ohioans will be making a choice that will impact our state greater than anything we’ve seen in a very long time.

To be completely honest ~ when the proposal first appeared for the legalization of marijuana my initial thought was “What could it hurt for a person to have a plant or two to enjoy on their time off as an adult? Seems not too much different from having a couple of beers on the weekend, right? I mean Hey, if you grow it yourself at least you know that nothing “bad” has been added to it!” But then I started doing my own research when someone told me there would be a cartel controlling the whole thing, that only 10 people (whom are already millionaires) would have the right and permission for the growth and sales of it AND that to accomplish this, they would be rewriting the Ohio Constitution!

That didn’t sit quite right with me. So I decided to do some serious digging into what has been going on in Colorado since they legalized it and see for myself what to expect.

Terrified and Enraged are the two best words I can find to explain how I feel since learning all that I have on this subject! I have lived and breathed the “Marijuana Issue” just about twenty-four hours a day for the last 10 months, so I can debate the subject with you all day, but instead I just want to share a few FACTS that I have found through hours upon hours of reading anything I could get my hands on (for and against) and talking to people from all over the US (for and against) Issue 3.

  • LIE) It’s needed for medicinal purposes ~ TRUTH) There are already 2 different medicinal meds in pill form that doctors have been legally allowed to prescribe in the state of Ohio for years.  
  • LIE) It will cut down on illegal sales and crime ~ TRUTH) Since legalization in Colorado black market sales are still at 40% and crime rate is up 41%
  • With legalization comes ~ edible products and because it is food, it can be purchased with food stamps!! Do you want your taxes to pay for other peoples marijuana??
  • Percent of total marijuana-related exposures involving children ages 0 to 5 years old has increased 268%During 2013 – 2014, a yearly average of 17.71 % ~  This is about triple the national average of 5.95% 
  • With legalization comes ~ Pot shops… there will be 5 times more pot shops than Starbucks in Ohio
  • With legalization comes ~ THC extraction labs that are extremely explosive! Do you want that living next to you??
  • Workplace positive marijuana tests increased 20% from 2012 to 2013
    I had my 4 year old grandson at a meeting where we were watching a power point on marijuana edibles, at the point where we were shown the marijuana suckers he looked up and loudly said “Mmmmm Mawmaw!! I love suckers!!!”. That “Fact” impacted me more than anything I had read or heard!! Little ones whom we love so dearly do NOT know how to read, all they know is picture labeling and as you can see from these pictures, there would be no way for children to know there is something wrong with that “goodie” laying on the counter!
    In the 70’s if you smoked a joint the THC levels in it averaged 3-4%. If you smoke a joint today the average is 12-20% depending on where you are. Since the legalization in a few different states, they have been able to play with it and learn to genetically engineer plants and do extractions that give them THC levels of 90%!! Although that may sound really cool, truly think about it! We have NO IDEA what THC levels of 90% do to the body or the brain! We don’t know the consequences of this and I for one do NOT want my grandson to end up a guinea pig to find out!!! So the old argument of “Well, its a natural plant that God put on this earth” no longer applies. Once you mess with it and change what God put here you can not use that as an excuse.
    Most of the “Facts” I have listed here come from the RMHIDTA report. If your brain is not TOO fried from smoking pot you will be able to read it and see that it is a Non-biased report, that simply states the facts from many different resources.
    If you ARE interested in reading the report, you can find it here….
    Bottom line is this…
    Whether you agree or disagree with “smoking pot” this is NOT the legalization that you think it is. Responsible Ohio is the one putting out the commercials and everything else pro-marijuana because they can, they are the mouth piece for the 10 millionaires who win if you vote to make this legal.
    If you agree with me then please repeat over and over till you get to the polls…
    YES on 2, NO on 3 ~ Yes on 2, No on 3 ~ Yes on 2, No on 3 ~ Yes on 2, No on 3…..

~ Tonda DaRe                                                                                                                          Founder / Holly’s Song of Hope

What Am I Now?

What am I now? Am I a daughterless mother? That sounds like an oxymoron, two words that contradict themselves. My 21 year old daughter, Holly Noel, died on October 12, 2012. My life is forever changed. Burying a daughter is a surreal experience. There are no words in the Webster’s Dictionary that can explain the grief, the heartache, the pain, the depression or the anguish. Heartbroken is too small a word. The words don’t exist because it is not supposed to happen. There are no plausible definitions that could accurately describe “bereaved parent.” Groups of words can’t be strung together on a typed page to accurately explain the grief. It is impossible to bury your child, yet it happened.

Logically, the factual part of my brain processed the information. The emotional part of my brain argues with the fact everyday. Each and every morning there is still a moment of remembering that it’s true and reliving the grief again (even if only for a moment). Parents don’t bury children! Headstones read “loving mother,” “cherished wife.” They are not supposed to read “beloved daughter.” That is not the natural order of the universe. This was not supposed to happen to me. It always happens to other people. I see reports on the evening news, articles in the newspaper describing horrible events that resulted in the death of someone’s child. It isn’t supposed to be my child. How can this be? It can’t be changed. I can’t say, “Holly, want to go to the mall?” or “Let’s go out to lunch.” She can’t tell me about her “freaking day at work” or the new thing that Noah learned that she’s so proud of. Things I want to say to her are forever left unspoken. How will I go on? I can’t go on, yet I do. My body wakes up each day. I don’t ask for this to happen, it just does. My lungs take in air, it is automatic, something that I have no control over. My physical body now controls the course of events in my life. I breath, I eat, I walk, I talk, I put one foot in front of the other. I load the washer and red up the house. My spiritual being merely exists. It cannot flourish or soar ever again.
When my daughter died, my emotional self was buried with her. When she died, I also buried her future husband to be, my future grandchildren, my daughter’s future wedding, my holidays, my joy. I buried my best friend. I buried the once perfect life that I knew and lived everyday. Tucked into the corner of Holly’s casket is Miranda’s future matron of honor, her future nieces and nephews. Michael’s honor of walking her down the aisle and giving her to the man she loved. B’s future wife and children, vacations, holidays, memories that will never be made. There is not enough room in Holly’s casket for all the things that died with her. Dreams, hopes, joys, lives, emotions, hearts and souls slipped into that casket with Holly. They occupy every square inch of that place. How can my brain ever understand that? How can the impossible happen?
Bereaved parents go on. We go on because we have no other road to travel. It is just we are not “normal” anymore. We used to be you. We used to be the PTO moms and the Speech and Drama coordinators. We bought lovely frilly fancy holiday dresses for our daughters. We were once carpool moms and soccer moms. We sat at musical recitals and listened to the first melodious squeaks and squawks of their instruments. In our heads we planned our beautiful daughter’s future wedding. Visions of the bridal gown and the reception danced in our heads. We couldn’t wait to have more grandchildren and baby-sit and enjoy. We wanted to tell our daughters that their children were just like them. We wanted to hold our grandchildren’s chubby little fingers in our hands and remember holding our daughters chubby little fingers in our hand. We used to answer the telephone and hear, “Hey mom, what’s up?” Now the phone doesn’t ring. And it will never ring again with that sweet voice we so desperately would love to hear. Now we are set apart. We are not normal anymore.
People choose to walk down a different aisle to ignore us. It is too painful for them to think about our lives. They might take a moment to wonder how we go on. They say, “I can only imagine your pain.” That is not true. No one can imagine it unless they live it.
We now belong to a new group. We never wanted to be a part of this group, “bereaved parents”. No one lines up for this membership. We wish our membership would never have been approved.                                                                  Hollys headstone fb
I am thankful you are not me.

~ Tonda DaRe

Founder Holly’s Song of Hope

Not Mother’s Day

Mother’s day, a day of celebration, of memories, of telling your mother thank you for all she did/does for you, of society patting mother’s on the back for doing such a good job of raising children to be the next generation of leaders on this earth. A day of appreciation to the women who have done all they could to make this world a better place.

I found out that I was going to be a mother at 16. 16! The world told me that because of my age my children were doomed to failure before they were even born. Statistically as a 16 year old, high school dropout, there was no chance that I would be able to raise children that would add too society. They would only take away from it.

20 years later I wanted to tell “those” people where to stick it! Two beautiful young ladies who had story book high school careers, graduated without ever being arrested, pregnant, addicted to drugs, or ever even being in any “real” trouble. We had defied the odds. One went into the military to serve this country by doing things that most would never dream of doing and the other with huge dreams that had every possibility of coming true.

And then one of those stats came true and we lost Holly.

21 years of “I Love You’s”, of hugs, of worrying, of fixing, of guidance, of support… gone. “But you still have Miranda?”. Well no crap! Let me ask YOU this… which one of your children would you be ok with losing because you would still have the others? Which one? Think about that real hard and let me know!

So here we are with Mother’s day once again upon us. Society says that after 2 years I should be over it, that I should still appreciate the day because I do still have a living child. Let me let you in on a little secret. On the day that Holly passed away, there was a moment right after I ran out of the house from doing CPR and right before Michael got there to me that as soon as I came off the porch, I hit my knees in the yard and a scream came out of me that seemed like it was coming from somewhere else. The pain, the fear, the anguish, the prayer, the loss the absolute feeling of my heart actually being ripped out of my chest in pieces. Every minute of every single hour of every day that scream sits in my throat. Always there. Always waiting to be released. I work very hard constantly to keep it at bay. It is exhausting mentally and physically. I live everyday doing a highwire act. Balancing what society feels I should be and that scream. And the secret is that still having a living child does NOT change that.

For me like you, Mother’s day is a day of reminders. mothers-day-angel-quotes-2Reminders of my failures, my loss, and my future of withouts. Its is salt in a wound so deep that it will never heal. So please understand why I hate Mother’s day and simply accept and respect it.

Michael and Miranda show me daily how much they love and appreciate me. So on my calendar, Mother’s Day no longer exists.

How do you go on…

IOP taught me control of my PTSD. Meds control my anxiety and depression. I smile. Sometimes I even laugh and mean it. I have pretty good days now most of the time. And yet, in quiet hours and every night when my head hits the pillow, I find myself saying the same prayer… Dear Heavenly Father, I know your promise is true, I’m ready, please come back now so I can be with my girl again.
Why isn’t my other daughter, my husband and my grandson enough? Why can’t I just be ok with what I have left here?PicsArt_1397281415017

The World Stood Still

I wish I felt inside, what I portray outside.

I struggle everyday with the loss of my daughter. An ache that runs so deep that there is no relief in sight.

I ended up in IOP (Intensive Out-Patient) last summer for wearing a mask for too long, so you would think I would learn, but I don’t. I took the mask off for awhile and that was good. But at the same time I seen how much pain it caused my husband and my other daughter for me to just feel whatever I was feeling whenever I felt it. They can’t handle my emotions. Isn’t that funny when you think about it? They can’t handle my emotions??? But I’m supposed too?? It’s been almost 2 and half years since Holly left us but for me it continues to feel like it was just a few months ago.

I pretend every day to turn Holly’s death into a positive. Running support groups and actively reaching out to help other addicts and their families but the more I think about it the more it seems that it’s all a ploy. That really I am just biding my time. Waiting. My brain likes to believe that she is just away. She will come bounding through the door at any time full of hysterical stories of her adventure. But my heart knows better. And there’s the ache.

It literally takes the air from my lungs!

I want to curl up on the couch and just never move again. But that’s not acceptable. I don’t want to see or speak to anyone unless I want to. But it doesn’t work like that. I don’t want to cook or clean or go to the store, because I simply don’t give a crap. But the world doesn’t work like that. Why after 2 and a half years is “Because I buried my child”, no longer a good excuse?? Which one of your children would it be ok for you to bury and everything would be fine for you in 2 and a half years? Which one can you put in the ground forever and it be ok?? Can you imagine that? NO because the minute you begin to allow yourself to think that way, the fear of the anguish that starts to flood through you, scares you so BADLY that you stop that thought process from going any farther because you can not bare it! That is not an option for me.

Everyday I wake up wondering “Why am I still here?”. I raised my children. I thought I had done a pretty decent job. They both graduated from high school. Neither had ever gotten into any real trouble. Neither had gotten pregnant while still in school. One went into the military, the other was engaged to be married and was an amazing mommy. I did what I was put on this earth to do. Raise two human beings to be an integral part of society. To add to this world in a positive way. I never for a moment thought that curiosity would take the life of one of them, but it did. So why am I still here? There will NEVER be true joy in anything in my life again. To experience true joy, is to have you heart feel as though it will burst from love, pride, happiness and fulfillment. With a quarter of your heart gone, it is factually impossible to ever feel that emotion again.

So each day I get up with no purpose only a reminder that this world sucks. And I go through all the steps that my family thinks I should be taking, causing only more grief and anger and resentment to those that I love the most because He seems to have moved on past it all and although She struggles, she has no one to answer to so she can act out as she chooses. I’ve put my mask back on and I wait, not sure for what or why, while my world stands still.Colorful I love you Holly Noel from 10-8-12

Yep, she’s dead.

I woke up a little after 6:30am last Monday morning from a dream. The memory of the dream is a blur of images as most dreams are. I was on the phone with my sister but there was no talking. Mom was standing in my bedroom, but there was no talking. And yet, I knew she was dead. She had just died and stopped to see me first, before she moved on.

It was a split second and I knew it was true. I got up, got a cup of coffee and rolled it around in my head a little. It was so weird. The day that Holly passed away was long and much of it I don’t remember once we got to the hospital and got a hold of Miranda on the ship. I couldn’t even tell you how we got home or who all was there that evening but I can tell you that whenever it was that I decided to go to bed that night, Holly came to me, and in between squeezing my shoulders and hugging me she kept saying over and over… “I’m so sorry Moma, I’m so sorry Moma, I’m so sorry Moma”, and then faded away from me forever.

I’m not sure why my mother came. Maybe in the instant of her death, the knowledge of the pain she caused me was no longer something she could deny. Maybe it was God giving her one last chance. I don’t know. I climbed back into bed with my fresh cup of coffee, smoked a cigarette and rolled over and went back to sleep. About 9:30 am I heard my cell phone ringing and opened one eye to see that it was my sister. I didn’t bother to answer, yep, she’s dead. I went back to sleep.

The last time I saw my mother was Oct. 12th, 2013. The one year anniversary of Holly’s death. I have shared in other posts the many reasons my mother and I had a very strained relationship so I will not bother to here. However, on that day, once again my mother could not handle that someone else, someone that was dead, her granddaughter, her babies baby! was the center of attention and not her. So when she arrived with my sister and lasted all of about five minutes before she began to whine and try to turn all focus to herself, I looked at my sister and told her to get that woman the hell out of my house!! I just couldn’t do it anymore. I know longer have the strength for people like that. Not even my own mother.

I spoke to her once over the phone after that. It was four months later. She called me out of the blue, right in the middle of my mental breakdown period, asking me to come over and help her fix her computer. She couldn’t remember her password. At that moment in my life my whole body shook uncontrollably constantly, I was crying most all of the time, I didn’t move from the corner of the couch, and I spent every waking AND sleeping moment reliving my childs death. My mother either didn’t know or didn’t care. So I told her, not so politely, that I didn’t care about her computer and hung up on her.

The funeral was in WV where she grew up and also so she would be close enough for the huge number of family and friends to be able to come to pay their last respects. One of the very few things that I thank her for is that she had made all her arrangements ahead of time and paid for it all so that all we had to do was show up. The whole thing was so very surreal to me. You see, to me she died that day in October, just over a year ago. So this whole thing was just a formality for me. Over the past year as I have gotten better and gone through treatment, I moved on. On to a life where I had no mother. Because I had to for my sanity. So it was odd to watch people grieving this as a new thing. I have taken a lot of grief in the past year from a lot of people for cutting off my mother “The Saint” and yet as I sat in that funeral home and watched people come and go to pay their respects, I seen none of the “life-long” friends show up, none of the “say nothing wrong” family. None of them. These people who have stood on their pedestals and berated me for not being there for this woman at the end of her days (and yes we knew it was the end, we had been told) were no where to be found when the time came to say the final goodbyes. At least I didn’t pretend. At least I didn’t try to act like I cared and then bolt when the time came. I was there. Where were you?

To the approximately 20 people who came to the calling hours and then to the funeral, thank you for being there. To those who figured out the truth through the week of visits and grieving, thank you. To all the rest, now you know why you are not on my Christmas Card list.

Now that she is gone and truths have come out. Now that she can cause no more pain and no more damage. Now I can move on. I will do my best to not discuss her in a negative light, probably because I will not discuss her at all. The only time I will have any need of her memory  will be to write more detailed stories in my memoirs under “My Life” and even then I can already tell that the venom that used to creep through me while writing of her will be no more. Do not misunderstand, the stories will not be kind, but simply factual without the pain that has always accompanied them.

I no longer feel hate for her. All that is left… is pity.

Wanda & Tonda March 1976
Wanda & Tonda
March 1976


So I was reading a blog posted this morning by Don Charisma about narcissism in the world of selfies (by the way a very amusing post) but it got me thinking about this whole new world of blogging that I have entered in to. Is it a form of narcissism for us to blog? I started this for 2 reasons… 1) because many have told me that my life is a story that should be told and 2) because I thought it would be a good way to put my life line out there and then slowly add to it and embellish on pieces of it that I just skimmed over.

But then something happens. You post a few things and someone likes it. Then someone else follows you. The next thing you know you anxiously await each day for someone else to like or follow and before you know it you’re yelling at your computer screen because no one has left a comment! My life at this point revolves around addiction. Not mine, others. But as I get on here each day I’m starting to think that blogging can so easily become an addiction!

Anyhow, I have gotten off point. Surprise. We get on our computer and type random opinions as if we matter. As though the world may end if we don’t get something out there. Sure of ourselves that what we think is that important to the rest of the world.


The Librarians

Have you seen this show???? I love it! Call me crazy but it peaks my senses of Adventure, Magic, History, Intelligence, and an overall Good vs Evil with just a small twist your favorite Tales from Childhood! I wasn’t real sure about Rebecca Romijn as the role of Col Baird but she seems to be settling in with the rest of the impeccably placed cast. And the role played by Noah Wyle, although infrequent, is outstanding! Well done Mr Dean Devlin, well done!

The Librarians on TNT

Sundays 8 pm

The Website

Holly’s Song of Hope website is finally done!

I think?!?!

I swear this thing is trying to break me! Each time I believe I’m done with it something else seems to need tweaked or changed or something. I wish someone out there was actually listening and would give me some real feedback. Family and friends look at it and say “Oh its perfect / wonderful / amazing / insert your own positive adjective here” and that’s all well and good but I need to know if it makes sense to strangers? Is my point clear? Is it easy to use? Is the info there that may be needed?

If you happen to look at it, would you PLEASE let me know what you think?!?!?!? Song of Hope Logo