Grandchildren - God's gift
I was tossing and turning in bed all night just thinking "how cool it would be to just take my 15 year old grand-daughter and just disappear". That way no one could take her from me and I would not have to spend countless nights worrying about where she was and what she was doing and if anyone was doing anything to her. Or if she were being taken care of. Just pack our bags and not say a word to anyone. Pick some exotic place and just go! That way I would be there for her when she needed me! We would only have to disappear for 3 years; until she turned 18. After that, we could come back and she could live anywhere she wanted to live.
That was three years ago! So today I sit here in jail, a 58 year old grand-mother; thanking God for his gift of grandchildren. I did not kill anybody or rob anybody or nothing like that; my only crime is wanting to keep my beloved grand-daughter safe and happy. They called it "kidnapping"! But today my beautiful grand-daughter is healthy, happy and in school studying to be a lawyer and it was all worth it.
OK, but wait; I am getting ahead of myself. Let's go back to where it all began.
23 years ago, I moved to Las Vegas with my husband and my three sons. My husband was in the Air Force and we moved around often. Our last base before this move was in Arizona (and that is a memory that I long to forget). Except for my youngest son being born there, Arizona was a complete hell hole for me. It was so bad, that I contemplated committing suicide. My son being born there is the only thing that kept me alive. He was such a special baby and I loved him too much to not be around when he grew up. He was a sickly child and that made our bond grow even stronger. When he was about 7 months old, he started having problems with his ears; and it went downhill from there. He was in and out of so many hospitals that being stuck with needles did not seem to bother his young body anymore.
The move to Las Vegas was to be our last move as my husband was going to retire from the Air Force in a few years. We had had our ups and downs and this was the last straw for me. I was tired of moving and all the problems that came with that. After arriving in Las Vegas, we settled into base housing where we live for 3 years. I told my husband, Joe that if he moved to another state again; I was not going with him. So when time came for him to retire, he did. By this time we had bought a house and I was also working for the Government. We were a long way from "home", but I just did not want to move anymore and besides, I had a really good job that I loved. My mom had died the year before and my dad still lived in California. This way I would be close to him in case something happened. Joe's parents still lived in Florida, but they traveled to Las Vegas often and loved being here. They were still fairly young and besides, we were giving them a place to vacation every year. My father-in-law loved the casinos and spent most of his time here in them. My mother-in-law just wanted some place to go to relax.
Our boys (D'wayne, Donnell and DeJay) were 17, 14 and 5 by the time we moved to the new place. They were all in school and seemed to be happy that we were not moving again. We got a basketball court built in the back yard so the boys could have a place to play and enjoy their friends. My son D'wayne (being the oldest) had been acting out from time to time. Last year after my mother died, I found drugs in his dresser drawer. We talked to him and even threaten to kill him, and he seemed to be coming around; that is until he started hanging out with the wrong crowd. He was in the 12th grade and not doing too well in school. For Christmas, his father and I decided to buy him a small truck for a gift. This way he could help with the younger boys and maybe the added responsibility would settle him down somewhat. During this time I had also taken in a family friend's son who was also 17. Fredrick's father was also in the Air Force and he was being stationed in Tennessee. Fredrick was also in his senior year and did not want to leave before he graduated. The boys seemed to get along fine, and besides Fredrick was a bit of a nerd. He was always reading books and going to the library. I thought that if I had him around, maybe he would rub off on D'wayne. It never happened. In fact they just stayed away from each other as much as possible. Fredrick got along better with the younger boys and enjoyed spending time with DeJay. He seemed to be filling in where D'wayne was lacking. By this time, D'wayne had really started acting out. He was lying about where he had been and had even started breaking curfew by coming home later and later every night. He spent no time with his younger brothers and sometimes he was downright mean to them. We would ground him and even take away his truck for a few days. Nothing seemed to work! By now he was skipping school and spending a lot of time with different girls. Once I even caught him having sex in his room with a girl that was 2 years younger than he. Nothing seemed to help.