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Prayers to Light Your Way – for BJ

empire-state-chanukahThe Empire State Building, lit up for Chanukah

in NYC’s first snow storm of the year, December 19, 2008

Dear Readers,

Chanukah, the festival of lights, more than any Jewish holiday I know of, celebrates miracles. In ancient Judaism, circa 168 BC, the second temple was destroyed in a war between the Jews and the Syrian-Hellenists, when they forced Jews to assimilate. Although the sacred items of the temple’s altar were decimated, enough oil was recovered to light the flame of remembrance for one night. But instead of lasting for just one night, the flame burned for eight days and eight nights. It was called a miracle and Jews made a holiday, and with that, of course, they/we eat.

In remembrance of this time in history — when what seemed like the darkest hour, light emerged, propagated by a small flame. Jews celebrate by lighting candles and partaking of delicacies fried in oil: latkes in the US and doughnuts in Israel. The Jewish calendar is lunar, thus different each year, and this year, the winter solstice coincided with the first night of Chanukah. On the shortest day and night of the year, where darkness prevails, the light of hope was kindled. And now, the year has turned and daylight will continue to increase. In that same vein, may our ability to produce good in the world, in the “square inch field” and in the grand scheme of things also increase.

In this spirit, I ask that you to turn your attention and prayers to one of our own PUMA family members who’s in need. I’ve been sending prayers and thoughts toward BettyJean Kling, her daughters Louisa and Denise, and her whole family since hearing of their horrible family tragedy.

Last week, Louisa was violently assaulted by her sister Denise’s estranged husband. Riverdaughter stickied her poignant vigil post that described the situation: Louisa, who had been caring for Denise who is in an advanced stage of cancer, is now in the hospital fighting for her own life and brain function. If you want to read more of the story, you can find it here. And, last Friday night, December 19, Sheri Tag broadcast a special interview with BettyJean on Puma United Radio that you can listen to here. The show had me reeling, shaking my head in disbelief. It’s hard to believe that such assaults occur in our world, but indeed, they are all too common.

BettyJean welcomes all prayers. She asks that “no infection take hold, and may the left brain take over for the right with some time, God willing.” The latest update gives us more hope: on Monday night Louisa squeezed BettyJean’s finger and the doctors are now concerned with brain function instead of removal from life support.

Great Spirit, please provide strength and healing to Louisa, Denise, BettyJean, and her entire family. Amen.

Please take this time to click on and play the Moody Blues track below, listen to the words with your eyes closed, let the music inspire you, and try to contact Louisa, and anyone else in your circle that you’d like to send energy to or connect with.

Thank you for all you do! With love, and may the lights of Chanukah and Christmas shine upon you all, and brighten your nights, LBNYC

I Know You’re Out There Somewhere

[. . .] The words that I remember
From my childhood still are true
That there’s none so blind
As those who will not see
And to those who lack the courage
And say it’s dangerous to try
Well they just don’t know
That love eternal will not be denied

I know you’re out there somewhere

Somewhere, somewhere
I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere you can hear my voice
I know I’ll find you somehow
Somehow, somehow
I know I’ll find you somehow
And somehow I’ll return again to you

Yes I know it’s going to happen
I can feel you getting near
And soon we’ll be returning
To the fountain of our youth
And if you wake up wondering
In the darkness I’ll be there
My arms will close around you
And protect you with the truth

I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere, somewhere
I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere you can hear my voice
I know I’ll find you somehow
Somehow, somehow
I know I’ll find you somehow
And somehow I’ll return again to you

[cross-posted from LadyBoomerNYC]

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Sunday: Louisa

Conflucians, I am keeping this post up and will update news from Betty Jean on the condition of her daughters, Louisa and Denise, when it becomes available.  We would like for news of this incident to become viral and spread throughout the internet so please send this link to as many people as you can.

Updates on Louisa:  Last night, I received the following information passed along by Sheri Tag:

Email From BJ:
Just got home after a 36 hours shift but it was worth is – time for a new brain hemorrhage is passed now – and we think the brains on the left side is not in heal mode – Thank You Jesus
Now if we can keep her fever down and infections away for another full week – there is reason to hope that with prayer we might consider a possible partial recovery !
Louisa will never be the same – but 15 hours ago we were having the pull the plug discussions and now we are having a different one – so Please keep the prayers coming!

BJ asked I relay this information:

Swelling has reached its peak and starting to subside and reverse.

Today Louisa grabbed and squeezed BJ’s and the doctors hand.

The breathing tube will be removed and a trache will be put in, with the anticipation of Louisa breathing 40% on her own.

The main concern at this time is infection.

BJ wants to thank everyone again and asks for continued prayers because this week Louisa will really need it.

So, it looks like Louisa is starting to come around.  This is good news.

Continue reading

Thursday: For Louisa

Both clinging to life

Denise and Louisa, Betty Jean's daughters: Both clinging to life

The trials of Job are not limited to biblical sheepherders.  Many PUMAs know Betty Jean Kling, a tireless Hillary Clinton supporter who had a passion for healthcare reform.  Betty Jean’s son died of cancer and her daughter Denise is living with advanced ovarian cancer.  Betty Jean’s heart’s desire was to see that her daughter, and all those affected by serious disease, get the treatment they need.

But an evil genius works against Betty Jean.  Last June, Denise was attacked in her sleep by her estranged lover, George Hartwig.  He hit her in the head with a hammer.  He was sentenced to 3 months in prison for the attack and released.  Monday night, as Betty Jean attended a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in New York City to help her pay off her remaining debt, Hartwig struck again.  He shot Denise’s sister, Louisa, in the face when she got in the way.  Louisa is now in critical condition in a New Jersey hospital.  (One of our commenters reports that Louisa has lost an eye and may suffer brain damage if she survives.) You can read about the attack here, here and here.   This has been devastating to Betty Jean who is now dealing with two daughters who are fighting for their lives.

Domestic violence is a sensitive subject for many people.  I don’t know why it should be.  You shouldn’t be allowed to commit violent acts against another human being no matter what degree of relationship exists but violence is often tolerated in marital situations. Still, it is imcomprehensible that an attacker would be allowed to roam free after he heartlessly attacked a cancer patient with a hammer.  That this man had the ability to shoot her sister with a shotgun is simply unbelievable.  Where were the local police?  The New Jersey justice system?  How can targets of domestic violence sleep easily if their predators are not actually restrained?  The attackers in instances such as these seem to be operating with a single minded obsession, as if they are determined to remove a weed from their garden.  It’s irrational anger projected onto a hapless target.  If the crazy worldview of the attacker can’t be changed, the attacker himself needs to be locked up.

We need a Louisa’s Law that will prevent the release of these attackers who, like pedophiles, have a habit of being repeat offenders.  They need an attitude adjustment that only a lot of time with a prison psychologist can accomplish, along with restraining orders, ankle bracelet monitoring systems and no legal access to firearms.  Of course, that doesn’t prevent the abuser from using hammers so maybe locking them up and strapping a GPS device to them when they’re released until they get the point is the only way.  Worldviews are very difficult to change unless the person sees there is really no alternative and that society will simply not allow them to act on their murderous rage.

If you want to help Betty Jean advocate for a new Louisa’s Law, please contact her at Free Us Now.   NJ Senator Menendez sponsored legislation to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.  You might want to drop him a line if you agree with him or contact your own senators.  NJ Senator Lautenberg  wrote the Domestic Violence Gun Ban and Brady Law.  Both of these Democrats know how serious this issue is but they have faced a tough fight from the NRA in recent years.  It is time we focus our attention on the risk that Domestic Violence poses to their victims and others who get in the way.

The New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women has many services for women who are facing domestic abuse but surprisingly little on their legislation page.  If you are a lawyer or advocate in this area, or have experience lobbying for legislation, let them know you want to help.

Finally, there will be a hearing  on the arraignment of George Hartwig.  The Honorable Judge Harry Carroll will preside.  His contact numbers are voice: 201-527-2460, fax: 201-752-4109 if you would like to politely urge him to keep Hatwig behind bars until his trial.

We send our positivc thoughts to Betty Jean.  The Trial of Job didn’t last forever.  It ended well.