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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Figlio Spumoni

My son, 6 anno, has written me a Christmas Story for my present this year. It wasn't his idea. It is a tradition at the school he attends that all children write one every year in the first and second grades. They have to make a first draft, edit it (with help), and then copy it in a hard-back book where they finish it off with their own illustrations.

"What's it like being an author?" I asked him.

"Hard." He replied. "I even had to spell all the words correctly. And I think I did." He added.

I share it with you this Christmas. And I know he's my son and all, but I think the part about going cross-eyed a spark of brilliance. Merry Christmas to all and may God richly bless you in the New Year!

"For my eyes have seen Your salvation, Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, And the glory of Your people Isreal." Luke 2: 30-32


Thunderbolt Strikes

There once was a fireman named David. He was ten feet tall with brown hair. His eyes were blue and his skin was dark brown. David was a good man who saved a lot of people in fires. He lives in California, in the southern part.

It was the day before Christmas and everybody was getting ready. David was at the fire station waiting to go home. He wanted to spend time with his son, Cole, who was 21 years old.

David got in his firetruck and went home. He was just about to bring his son to get some ice-cream.

They got in the firetruck and picked up Cole's grandma, in from New York. They went to the ice-cream place and all of them got lemon custard with sprinkles.

They got back in the firetruck but just about then they saw a bit of lightning on the street in from of them. There was no fire on the street.

When they got home, they saw another bolt of lightning strike their house. It had a lot of static and started a big fire. First the windows came down and then the bricks started turning to ashes. Then the bolt hit the neighbor's house.

He ordered his son Cole to take out all of the water from the fire hydrant. Each moment he shot gallons of water. But the fire grew. He thought this was crazy.

He decided to drop down a water bomb on each house because each house had a big fire.

David called and told all the people to get out of their houses. He put all the fire out with the last two water bombs. David had seen many fires, but none as bad as this. As a result of the fire, three boys went cross-eyed and four girls broke their ribs.

David has a lot of gold. So, he passes out 100 bars of gold to each person. David has two bars of gold left.

He decides to take Cole and his grandma to the best hotel ever. In the hotel there is a secret passageway.

At the hotel, Graham, Kyle and Justin bumped into David. They found 100 bars of gold. David asks the boys if they found the gold in the passageway. They say, "Yes. We found gold and silver."

David asks for the gold. The boys show him where it is. David asks the boys what they want for Christmas. Sam wants a Game Cube with Star Wars. Graham wants a flying saucer and Justin wants the same. Kyle wants some Nintendo chips. David buys them what they wanted.

David takes the rest of the gold and gets a new house. He goes back to his old job to save more lives.

The End

by C. C. Kurzeja
2006 All Rights Reserved

Friday, December 22, 2006

Emily Dickinson on Winter

There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
'T is the seal, despair, -
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, 't is like the distance
On the look of death.

The sky is low, the clouds are mean,
A travelling flake of snow
Across a barn or through a rut
Debates if it will go.

A narrow wind complains all day
How some one treated him;
Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
Without her diadem.

by C. C. Kurzeja
2006 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More Excellent Than Equal

Paul, a Jehova's Witness, quotes scripture and points out the irrelevant: Hebrews 1:3 says Jesus is "the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person," and none of those words mean equal to anything.

He argues that since this verse fails to assert that Jesus is equal to God then it also fails to prove that Jesus is God. But his argument is as fallacious as it is unbiblical because he does not fully comprehend the meaning of the word "equal" and therefore misses the polytheistic implications latent in that word.

The problem with "equal" is that things can be equal and not be the same. For instance, I can have one nickel and five pennies in my hand to equal a dime in your hand. We both have ten cents. Our handfuls can rightfully be described as equal and yet they are clearly not the same. Or, a young lady can work at the watch counter in Wal Mart for ten dollars an hour and an old man can work the same exact position for the same wage. The young lady is equal to the old man in responsibility, wage, position and title but she is clearly quite different than her counterpart in every other way.

So, you see, there are many different ways a person or thing can be as great as or the same as, in other words equal, to someone or something else. However, merely asserting their equality does not explain how or in what way. And it's easy to see how confusion would ensue if a person were limited to being defined merely as equal to someone else. For instance, would a potential suitor to the young lady working at Wal Mart object if, when arriving to pick her up to go out on a date, he found the old man waiting for him instead? It would be impossible for the potential suitor to accept the old man as a substitution for the young lady. All appeals to him about their equality would be meaningless because equal does not begin to define who they are in essence. The lover is rightly concerned with who his beloved is and not what her value is compared to another.

The theological implications of this are obvious and grave. If Jesus were to be described as equal to God then, hypothetically, it would be possible for Him to be something other than God. He could then be, as the J. W's heretically conclude, a spirit being that is equal to God in authority, power, position and preeminence but not God. And if one spirit being can be equal to God than all can, fallen or otherwise. Under this scenario, God would cease to be all powerful because He could only be as powerful as His equal counterparts. This scenario destroys God as He is revealed in scripture and so can not be true.

Yet another errant possibility with a Jesus who is equal to God is that it would be possible for Jesus to be a God without being The God. As a matter of fact, being equal to God requires being separate from Him because equality exists by comparison but not by itself. In other words, if there were only one apple pie submitted in an apple pie competition, equal is one description that would never apply when grading the quality of the pie. Equal is a value in the same way more or less is. If there is only one God, as the bible clearly and repeatedly teaches, then He can not be equal to anyone as there would be no one to compare Him to. He is the only apple pie in the contest, so to speak.

But if Jesus were equal to Him, then Jesus would have to be other than Him, separate, his own God in order to be compared to Him. Instantly, we have a bitheist universe which would immediately give way to polytheism because if it is possible for one god to be equal with Him, the same would be possible for all gods. The writers of the New Testament, surrounded on every side by cultures steeped in polytheistic paganism, would have been fully aware of the trappings of equality and so wisely avoided that term.

But what we have in Hebrews 1:3 is far more excellent than equal. What we have in, "exact representation of His substance..." is a concrete definition of who Jesus is apart from any comparisons not to mention a brilliant glimpse into the Triune nature of God.

Exact means: strictly accurate or correct; precise; admitting of no deviation. Substance means: that of which a thing consists; the actual matter of a thing.

So what this verse states is that Jesus is the strictly accurate, precise, and without any deviation representation of that of which God consists or God's actual matter. It would be impossible for Him to be thus and not be God. Because God, duplicated perfectly would be God again. So what we have here is God of God, not a god compared to God. We have in this divine illumination, God and God in the second person of the trinity. We have, as Jonathan Edward's opined, God and God's thought of Himself.

And so in a few words, the writer of Hebrews by the power of the Spirit, makes an irrefutable reference to the deity of Jesus as He exists in the Trinity keeping in perfect harmony with the totality of scripture.

Truly, this goad is hard to kick against.

by C. C. Kurzeja
2006 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Justine Olawsky is Brilliant

And, furthermore, she looks dazzling in print.

If you have not already picked up the October issue of Liberty magazine, I urge you to do so before they sell out. Liberty is a smart monthly brimming with thought provoking articles and clever cartoons about the subject of freedom or lack thereof in our society and is a good read in and of itself. But when Justine contributes, this fantastic magazine is made even better.

For her debut article she treats us to, of course, a book review. Desperately Seeking Shakespeare examines the issue of authorship of the entire cannon of plays and poems commonly attributed to William Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon by reviewing two books on the subject that come to the same conclusion but use widely divergent approaches to do so.

Like always, peering into her generous mind is a pleasure and the reader - I - am left both informed and, in an odd way, grateful. I love the way she fluidly links her thoughts for the reader so deftly that by the end you not only know the facts as she's presented them but you feel her passion. She leaves you with a bit of her heart beating in your hand. She is not a great writer because she can put pretty words on a page, although she can. She is a great writer because she possesses authentic, original thoughts that she expresses with the grace and panache you'd expect out of a true artist.

Here's to you Justine, and your growing readership.
by C. C. Kurzeja
2006 All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 11, 2006

Monday, July 24, 2006

Because You're Not A Muskrat

More From My Continuing Frontier Education, or, In Order to Better Understand Freedom: The Ingalls' are now in Dakota, packed up and moved from their farm in Walnut Grove, Minnesota. This will be their last move, Ma insists, because the girls will have a formal education.

The government is giving a homestead, 140 acres, to anyone willing to brave the untamed, uncivilized frontier and farm the land for four years. Pa takes the bet and claims a beautiful patch of land. He plans to raise cattle on it. Buffalo once dominated that part of the country. They are gone, but their wallows still pock mark the prairie. He figures if the land was so good for buffalo, it will due for his cattle.

Mary is blind. Scarlet fever took her sight and her long, golden locks. Her head was shaved to bring down the fever, but it was too little too late. And that is that. She doesn't complain.

And so now, Laura is expected to become the school teacher. The money she makes will help put Mary through college for the blind. Laura can't stand schools, tight places, or strange faces. But she will go to school and learn because she has to for Mary. And that is that. She doesn't complain.

One day in late summer while Laura helped Pa stack hay, she spotted what looked to her another hay stack. Pa pointed out that it was a Muskrat house and then invites her to check it out with him. He explains the ways of the Muskrat to her and then says: "We're going to have a hard winter."

"Why, how do you know?" Laura asked in surprise.

"The colder the winter will be, the thicker the muskrats build the walls of their houses," Pa told her. "I never saw a heavier-built muskrats' house than that one."

"Pa, how can the muskrats know?" she asked.

"I don't know how they know," Pa said. "But they do. God tells them, somehow, I suppose."

"Then why doesn't God tell us?" Laura wanted to know.

"Because," said Pa, "we're not animals. We're humans, and, like it says in the Declaration of Independence, God created us free. That means we got to take care of ourselves."

Laura said faintly, "I thought God takes care of us."

"He does," Pa said. "so far as we do what's right. And He gives us a conscience and brains to know what's right. But He leaves it to us to do as we please. That's the difference between us and everything else in creation."

"Can't muskrats do what they please?" Laura asked, amazed.

"No," said Pa. "I don't know why they can't but you can see they can't. Look at that muskrat house. Muskrats have to build that kind of house. They always have and they always will. It's plain they can't build any other kind. But folks build all kinds of houses. A man can build any kind of house he can think of. So if his house don't keep out the weather, that's his look-out; he's free and independent."

I'm launching a movement to make the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder series part of every public schooled child's education. Every boy and girl in this nation should be made to not only read the series, but discuss this profoundly American family and their lives- how they lived them, why they lived them- in classrooms, ponder the implications of the actions and choices made by the Ingalls and identify the philosophy motivating them.

But to stop there would be to stop short. Every child should also be required to identify opposing world philosophies and demonstrate how they motivate people and to what end, and for what purpose.

I am firmly persuaded such an education would eradicate the disease of socialism that infects our society to death inside of a generation and, more importantly, teach us what it means to be free and how to go about living in that freedom. It's not too late. It's not over till the trumpet sounds.

Contrast Pa's attitude with the demands from entitled socialists running our institutions today. Recently, with Israel at war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, our military rescued Americans living in Lebanon from the dangers of war. We hauled our naval ships over to the coast of Lebanon and ferried our citizens by helicopter to the island of Cypress where they were free and safe to make arrangements to get home.

You'd think they'd be grateful, but no. Many of these rescued proved what brats they were by complaining that the war ships took too long in getting to them, and besides the long delay, they asked with indignant fury "Why should we have to spend our own money getting ourselves home, anyway?"

The answer should have been immediately obvious to everyone: Because, you're not a muskrat. And taking care of yourself is as American as the Declaration of Independence. (See how easy life's most pressing questions become when placed into Pa's paradigm?) You're free to roam where ever you want over God's green earth and upon her blue waters. So, if you choose to locate near vermin and get caught in the cross-fire between terrorists and a sovereign state, that's your look out; you're free and independent.

by C. C. Kurzeja
2005 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Ode to Mom

I have the world's best mother.

We all say that, don't we? At least those of us who have great mothers.

"But it's true!" I say, and you say when you read this, "My mother is the best!"
And it is true. Your mother is the best- to you. And, I have the world's best mother. We can all be right on this matter.

The thing I most appreciate about my mom is the spiritual guidance and support she gives me as an adult. I can always count on her to lead me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake. Not for my sake, or my over fed ego, but for His name's sake. You can never go wrong submitting your life to God's word and my mother knows this. So whatever the issue, whatever the obstacle, my mother always points me like a beacon back to God's word and His will for my life and buttresses me while I walk in the Way. Because, sometimes it can be tough.

But, nothing is too tough, or too long, or too high, or too wearisome when you have a constant friend by your side, and that is what my mom is to me.

I love how goofy she is and the way she makes me laugh when we embark on an adventure with my kids.

I love the way she teaches my children truth and loves them. They are so lucky to have her. They are as blessed to have her as a Grandma as I am to have her as a mom.

I love how youthful and spry she is. She is not only beautiful and young looking - "Oh, my gosh! Christy, that's your mom? I thought she was your sister!" - She is full of boundless energy. She can keep up with any toddler with a dirty diaper, any baby who wants to go to certain places but only when she is on your hip, and any five year old who's forcing you to listen to him count to a "google". And still be able to say to me at the end of the day, when the kids are in bed and I'm like putty that needs to be scraped off the floor, "I've got two more days here. I can tear that wall paper down and prime the walls if you let me."

I love that, at fifty-something, she's just getting started. God is growing her, every day, every year. She's like a one woman evangelizing machine. Every time she flies (she is a flight attendant, The-Flying-Nun) she witnesses, prays, shares the Gospel. It is truly faith building to see the people God brings into my mother's life, and the way she is faithful to her calling. I expect exciting things in the future.

Her mother rises up and calls her blessed, her husband rises up and calls her blessed, her employer rises up and calls her blessed, her friends rise up and call her blessed. It is no surprise that her children should also.

Mother, you are wonderful, lovely, an example to strive for. You not only gave me life, you make my life something special.

Happy Mothers Day!

by C. C. Kurzeja
2005 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sweet Home of Mine

The move is over, is over, is over; And, I feel like crying.

Tired, like an empty barrel with legs that shake underneath me.



The move itself was horrendous, a lesson in abject incompetence. Being Good Friday, there was nothing to do but grovel at the feet of the bully with the truck and entreat him to complete the job with as little damage to our possessions as we could manage.

Having come through to the other side of the great tumbling cyclone, I am changed.

But the home is lovely, is lovely, is lovely; It makes me want to sing.

I have been twelve years homesick for Southern California. Every day desiring for her sun bleached, boulder strewn hills and the rolling thunder of the deep blue Pacific, and night blooming jasmine, and archways trained with fuscia, sand squishing beneath my toes and salt in the air.

That was then.

But, my how things have changed. Now I own a classic California ranch in the heart of country that speaks comfort to me. Laden with architectural detail and pretty, elegant, with a good dose of artsy-fartsy thrown in, this home fills me.

I feel like God has given me a piece of my heart back.

At the walk-through, I opened what was-not-yet-but-was-soon-to-be my front door to see four boys, one of them in his pajamas, and two men on the front lawn going through the trash. It seems the owners were throwing away some good stuff with the move. They were casual, unhurried, and very relaxed, smiling and waving.

I thought: There are little boys running all over my lawn. What a gift!

"Hey, you look really familiar." I said to the one guy, my soon-to-be next door neighbor. "Are you a doctor? I think you gave me a couple of cortisone shots in my shoulder."

Turns out he was.

His wife joined our circle. She's tall with dark hair and eyes, olive complexion, trim, very beautiful and giggly. We told her of our connection.

She said, "Great. For our first get together you can bring the main course, we'll bring the steroids."

I liked her immediately. Turns out she's a dermatologist. Dr. Mom and Dr. Dad.

Three of the boys belonged to them, including the one in pajamas. Our home is on a cul-du-sac and it seems the street belongs to the neighborhood children. They ride their bikes, play ball, chase eachother.

I thought: I'm going to love it here.

We discovered that one of my daughter's little friends lives only a few doors down from us, a delightful bonus. Her parents had a barbecue on the second night of our move and invited us. When I declined because we were still getting our furniture into our home, they told us to send the kids over anyway. They could play with the gazillion neighborhood kids, they'd feed them, and then send them home.

I thought: My neighbors are awesome.

Later, as I was hiding out in my car, hair wet and in my pajamas, waiting for my mother to retrieve my children for me from the barbecue, the father of my daughter's friend sauntered over to my car.

I rolled down the window.

"Hi." I said sheepishly. "I'm just kind of hiding out here waiting for the kids 'cause I changed into my pajamas already." I crinkled my nose, trying to look cute instead of incredibly stupid.

It was late. We had been moving for two days. I was beside myself with exhaustion. That's my excuse.

"Well, they're in there having ice-cream. It's gonna be a while." He warned me.

"That's okay." I said, feeling like a big jerk. "I'll just kick back here. It's just a good thing you don't have a digital camera with you." Ha, ha. Nervous laughter.

Just then, the neighbor across the street joins him. Now I'm looking like a jerk in front of two guys.

"Hey," He asks the neighbor as he pulls out a digital camera, "what's the hazing initiation for new neighbors?"

I screamed like an animal caught in a trap as he snapped dozens of pictures of me looking like a felon trying to avoid the camera. I should have just posed but I freaked out instead. I'm sure he and his wife laughed themselves to sleep that night. I know I did.

I thought: What a great welcome.

They are going to do something artful with the pictures for the progressive dinner being held soon.


by C. C. Kurzeja
2005 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 02, 2006


I was a young child when I lived at the house on Clarendon Hills Road and I recall that time as if viewing an impressionist painting. Vivid emotions are applied to my memories in unmixed primary colors with details that are like small strokes reflecting the light of my perspective.

The home was the middle one of three in a row built by an architect in the early 1900's. Mrs. H. lived in the biggest home of the three. It had a coach home that she rented out. Inside the coach home was a great room with cathedral ceilings that had floor to ceiling bookshelves lining one wall. Once, I asked her if she'd read all those books. She said she had and that her father had even written one of them. It was all about the time he stumbled upon Abraham Lincoln in a wood praying by himself all through the night during the Civil War.

I thought to myself: How divine to know each of those words like a friend in that great quantity of books.

Our home, which we rented from Mrs. H., was delightful. It was a white, cedar-plank cape cod in the English cottage tradition that was situated on three and a half acres. The sloping roof had a most feminine curl at the lip and upon it perched twelve wrought iron American eagles in array, wings outstretched. It has been my desire since childhood to reclaim those eagles and establish them on my own adult home, a desire not yet fulfilled but not to any degree palliated. Climbers, with beautiful seasonal flowers of drooping fuchsia bells, enhanced the outer walls but modestly, like a sophisticated lady who knows how to apply her makeup.

The garage was a recording studio. My father was in a band called The Ides and The Shames during those years. After his band, The Cryan' Shames, broke up and Jim P. left The Ides of March for a solo career, remaining members of each band hooked up and - Voila!

The home was crawling with skinny hippies in faded bell bottoms. People were constantly renting rooms and hanging out. I couldn't walk through the living room without being picked up by my ankles or thrown over someone's shoulder. It was lots of guitar strumming and enormous amps, microphones I was forbidden to touch, beautiful roach clips with feathers on the end that I wanted to be old enough to own, and lot's of smoking: the good cigarettes and the bad kind, the kind we had to leave the room for when people lit up.

I told my kindergarten teacher that we lived in a home with fifty-six people and that I wanted to be a rock and roll singer when I grew up. She was very concerned.

We had a fabulous tree house and a wood out back with a stream. We spent our lives in that wood, exploring, being tough. The ground was covered in arrowheads thick, like clover covers a field. The earth gave up her treasures cheaply.

I was serenaded every morning by bird song and at the end of every summer day, as the sun set behind an ancient golden oak, it illuminated the second story reading room in fairy dust for magical minutes.

My brother and I made a habit of climbing out of the second story bedroom window and playing on the roof. The roof had fabulous character and plenty of sloping terrain. From there we'd catch a limb on a mature tree and climb down to the back of the house. For a while, my parents just thought we had some scary, big raccoons living near us. They eventually caught on.

Once Boon, the mighty hunter cat, killed and ate a field mouse so quickly that my brother and I were able to watch the tiny, beating heart, laying in the grass amongst scattered bones as if in a nest, beat out it's last.

Ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom; the end.

And then there was Heidi.

She was my age and lived in the third white house that the architect built and was our neighbor on the other side. Their home was meticulously landscaped and both her parents were professionals. They had a flagpole in the middle of their yard and proudly flew the American flag. Heidi's mother made her jumper dresses that were reversible and sent her to school every day in pigtails. Each pigtail was a single, curled spiral. I stared at them in awe.

We met Heidi on a winter morning. My mother was brewing coffee in the kitchen when she noticed a hairy mound under a pile of snow on a table in the screened in porch. It was Heidi. She was wearing her pajamas, a thin robe and slippers. Heidi had snuck away in the middle of the night to escape her abusive mother and had sought the shelter of our porch, using the rug, dusted with snow, stored on top of the table as a blanket. In the safety of her hideout, she had fallen sound asleep.

When I came to the table that morning, there was a pretty girl sitting there.

"Heidi will be visiting us often." My mother explained cheerily. "We won't always know when she's coming but she can come whenever she wants. Kind of like this is her home now, too. And when she does, she's going to sleep upstairs with you kids in one of the beds."

It was like getting a sister when it wasn't even your birthday.

I remember her mother, a total drunk and strung out on pills, coming over for Heidi in the mornings after she'd discovered Heidi missing. Heidi would cling to my mother and beg to stay. Often, her mother would drag a sobbing and hysterical Heidi home by her hair.

There was nothing my parents could do. They wanted to adopt her. But, the state wouldn't intervene unless the police reported an incident of abuse and catching Heidi's parents in the act of abuse was an impossibility. That was the law back then.

One day in late summer, Heidi came bounding happily across her yard over to our home.

"My mom just bought fresh corn on the cob and said you can come over and have it for dinner with me." She told us.

My brother and I were excited. We loved corn on the cob. We quickly received permission from my father (What?!?!?!?!!!) who was "watching" us at the time and ran next door for dinner.

Her mother was drunk, nothing knew, but really nice. She had the table all set with a plate of hot something and of course, corn, waiting for us. We ate eagerly, in good spirits, talking about summer stuff and kid thoughts.

We had no sooner begun when her mother came into the kitchen swinging a broom over her head and screaming.

"Get out. Get out! All of you. Go!"

My brother and I popped out of our seats like they were on fire and headed for the door. Whacked out mothers were entirely foreign to us. It didn't even occur to either of us to ask questions. However, Heidi began to cry and protest.

"Mom, we just got started. Please, let us just finish our meal." She pleaded.

"All right." Her mother agreed nervously. "But you get goin' as soon as that corn's finished. All of you. You here?"

My brother and I were about as comfortable with this compromise as a cat in water. We shoveled the food down our throats without chewing, sitting with one foot extended towards the back door .

Minutes later, her mother came back more vicious than ever.

Swinging the broom above her head again in great circular sweeps, she screamed, "Get out! Get out! Get out now!"

We ran like rabbits. No sooner had the door closed behind us, Heidi and I were still on the door steps, when we heard four thundering, cracking noises in quick succession behind us.

Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!

I will never forget this. Heidi turned to me and with terror etched across her face and tears streaming from her eyes said, "It's my mom. My mom just shot my dad. I know it."

I thought: What in blazes made her jump to that conclusion? And anyway, why would she assume it was her mom doing the shooting when it was her dad who was the hunter?

"No Heidi. Your mom just got upset and picked up a hammer and banged it on the counter to get your dad's attention. My mom did that once when my brother and I were fighting." I reassured her.

"No!" She was adamant. "My mom just shot my dad. I know it."

My brother decided to solve the argument by standing on some cinderblocks that were underneath the kitchen window and taking a peak.

He flew back from the window like a great force had cast him off and, running, yelled behind to us, "Blood everywhere! Run!"

We told The Hulk, that's what we called him because he had curly hair and big muscles, when we got home because he was the first person we ran into. He set up the equipment for the band and was renting a room at the time.

The police were called.

Heidi's older brother, who had Down syndrome, was fetched and brought to our home.

My father went over to investigate, along with some other members in the band. They were cuffed based on their questionable looks, and then released.

The police questioned us later that night as we played in our room.

Someone came to take Heidi and her brother away and I only saw Heidi once after that. Once, in my whole life, and never more.

Heidi's mother had indeed shot her father, just as Heidi knew. But in her inebriated state, missed his chest where she was aiming and hit every extremity instead.

Her father lived and later went to jail.

Oddly enough, charges were dropped against Heidi's mother. And after she sobered up, was awarded full custody of her children.

Heidi's mother was the abuser. She shot her husband. And yet, he's the one who goes to jail. I was confused by those facts.

"Her father was a very bad man, very mean, even meaner than her mother, and the police found this out. That's why they put him in jail." My mother explained every time I probed.

This answer was sufficient for me until I became a grown woman with two children of my own and brought the subject up yet again one day, when my mother and I were having a nice coffee chat. Heidi lurks always in the shadows of my thoughts.

"Oh, Christy." My mother leveled with me. "Heidi's dad was molesting her. He had set up fantasy rooms in the basement with a whole bunch of sick stuff you don't need to know about and had intended on bringing you three down in the basement that evening. Heidi's mother was protecting you."

I owe that woman, imperfect as she was, a world of gratitude. I can not imagine how damaged and shattered my brother and I would be today if Mr. Sick-and-Evil had had his way with us that night. She stepped in between horror and innocence with a gun and made of herself a threshold that could not be breached.

...Who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth...And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?

I owe that woman a lot. I thank God for His mercy.

And I pray often for Heidi...

by C. C. Kurzeja
2005 All Rights Reserved