Monthly Archives: August 2011

Keri Lynn Jones

I was scared for her.  Rizzi was the non-bio parent to her son and I, being “new” to the lesbian world, was unsure of what could happen to her rights as a parent.  I was scared that she would lose her son.

I love research, always have and always will.  It began with a phrase in the Google bar, “Non-bio mom Utah.”  A name that I will never forget popped up.  Keri Lynn Jones.

Once I double clicked the story my heart was pounding, I was afraid of what this article would tell me.  As I read, I learned that Keri was a non-bio mom fighting to keep the rights to a little girl, who happened to be the same age as my Cheyenne.  The Utah Supreme court was reviewing her case and no decision had been made.

I became obsessive.  I would check weekly for news about this stranger’s case.  What was she feeling?  Was she optimistic?  Was she as scared shitless as I felt?  All those questions would be answered on 16 February 2007.

The Utah Supreme Court told her she wasn’t a parent.  They had the audacity to say that all the plans she made prior to her daughters arrival meant nothing.  They told her that the taking turns to feed and diaper this beautiful girl were all in vain.  But most of all, the Utah Supreme Court told Keri Lynn Jones her love for the little girls she’d spent years raising was not enough.  I was stunned.  I read the whole entire dissent and cried … and cried … and cried.  I found comfort in my daughter, but I couldn’t help but think that Keri, a complete stranger, was robbed of this comfort.

I wanted to hug her!  I wanted to fight with her!  I wanted to do ANYTHING to help this mom.  This feeling was so overwhelming that I began researching more about her.  I found out she worked at Equality Utah and, lucky day, they had a listed phone number.

I slowly picked up the phone.  I set it down. What would I say?   This woman knew nothing about me.  I picked up the phone again and set it down immediately.  I couldn’t very well call and start crying right?  I picked up the phone and began dialing.  Talking to myself (and yes it was out loud) I said, “there is nothing you can say or do to make her feel better!”  I stared at my phone.  Perhaps I was doing this to make myself feel better.

I hit send… no going back now.  My heart was racing.  I had never randomly called a stranger to let them know how bad I felt for them.  Would she be receptive or annoyed?  Would I only make this harder for her?  As these thoughts were racing through my mind I kept reminding myself not cry.

“…Hello??”  Oh geez, I missed her answering the phone because I was so wrapped up in my pep talk.

“Can I speak to Keri Lynn Jones please?” I asked.

“This is her.”

She sounded little, that was my first thought.  She sounded so young and sweet.

“Hi Keri, my name is Marcy and you have no idea who I am…”

I’m sure she had these calls numerous times and I assume that my call didn’t have a big impact, but for me it was the beginning of being involved with something larger than myself.

I can’t remember everything I said but I do remember telling her I’d hold her hand through hell to make sure she could hold that little girl again.  I remember crying, breaking a promise I made to myself prior to my call.

Since that first call so much has happened in her life…good and bad, but I’m so glad that I get to be a part of it all (even if it’s a blog post at a time.)

I think of her often, speak of her often and fight for rights on a daily basis.  Keri has taught me how to deal with adversity with grace and dignity.

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“This blog is open to invited readers only ….”

“….Please contact the blog author …”

I wish I could!  You see she left this world on March 09, 2011 and I can’t seem to delete her blog, even though I no longer have access because she isn’t here to moderate her posts.

I met her in 1997 at the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office.  She was leaving to go to Weber County and I was taking her spot … she actually gave me her badge on her way out the door.  We worked together only one day at Box Elder but our futures would be intertwined.

Come to find out numerous cops rely on rumor for truth, and the stories about Jewel had me scared of her when I was finally hired at Weber County.  I actually avoided her in the beginning, but that all changed when we were sent to training together, sharing a hotel room in St. George.

I’m an ass clown.  I’ll admit it.  I like to break the ice with humor and I didn’t change that tactic with this beautiful Polynesian co-worker.

After settling in the hotel room I wanted to take a bath and freshen up, I was sweaty from the heat of Southern Utah roasting me in my long car ride.  I entered the bathroom, started up the tub, while Jewel was meticulously unpacking her bags.

It was unreal how put together this woman was.  I had my overstuffed bag of cosmetics; deodorant, make-up  and other potions flopped out on the counter.  She had unpacked her toiletrie bag and everything had a set place on the counter.  Hairbrush, then face lotion, next to the body lotion, next to the cosmetics.  It was in order of use.  This was in major contrast to my sporadic, uncoordinated way of getting through life.

As I undressed I could hear her unpacking her bag of clothing and actually hanging up her clothes.  I had no fucking idea people actually used those closets.  I had assumed, up until this point, that everyone was like me and lived out of her bag for the few days you were thrown into key card living.  This made her interesting and uptight in my hastily formed opinion.

The bath was full of hot water and just right to relax my aching muscles.  Feet first, sit down and slip back, letting my face submerge in the water.  I slowly lift my head out of the water, like a mermaid breeching the water and close my eyes and begin to think.  Bath time for me is the best time for thinking.  On this day I couldn’t help but concentrate on breaking the ice with a co-worker I knew nothing about.  Should I start out with a little chit chat about work?  Boring!  How about recent social events in the news?  What am I thinking, I hardly keep up with world events and if she was the worldly type her assumption would be that I was a complete idiot (perhaps I was at that age.)  All the while I kept hearing the light clinking noise of hangers being hung in the small box otherwise known as a closet.

My mind wondered and I opened my eyes too be greeted again with marvel in the line up Jewel had created on the bathroom counter.  I glanced at my mess next to hers and it hit me … I didn’t bring my damn lotion!

That’s it!  That’s how I’ll open the door to conversation.  But how does one go about asking an essential stranger to borrow something?  Will she think I’m weird to be asking to use her stuff without knowing one another?  Will she assume that I’m just a person without boundaries?  Fuck I hate being a girl sometimes!

No, I’d take the path of humor and to this day I’m glad I did!

While lying naked in the tub I mustered up the sultriest voice I could and said, “Heyyyy Jewwwwel.”  At this point a smile spread across my face and it took everything I had not to laugh.  You see once those words, drenched in sex, came out of my mouth that light clicking noise of clothes IMMEDIATELY stopped and a very unsure and shaky voice answered with, “yeah??”  One thing I knew about Jewel is that she was a strong, and obviously, well put together person and I had just thrown her for a loop.  Once that shaky response was given I changed tactics.  With a voice that can only be described as “Barbiesk” with all the perkiness of a cheerleading squad, I said, “Can I borrow your lotion.”  You heard the relief in her voice.  I heard her sigh and she responded, in much the same voice as mine, “of course you can.”  That’s all it took.  That one moment of ass clownery changed our whole dynamic.

I let the water out of the tub, draped a towel around my body and walked towards the counter, spying all the delicious flavors of lotion to choose from.

TBC ….

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Undercover

I was sitting on campus Tuesday watching all the 18-20 year old girls traipsing around in their mini-skirts, short shorts, knee high boots and flip flops and couldn’t help but think about myself at that age.

I, standing alone outside the Social Science building smoking, watched as everyone passed by.  And then I saw him … the poster child of law enforcement.  You’ve seen him before.  He has a Crew cut, stoic look on his face, somewhat muscular frame and usually wearing BDU pants during his casual time.

At that moment I couldn’t help but think that I was an imposter … an undercover agent in the Law Enforcement world who now knew all their secrets.

Perhaps I’m over simplifying the last 16 years of my life, but I never fit in from the beginning.  I was 20, 85 pounds and female to top it all off when I started the academy. I had decided to apply for law enforcement after being told I couldn’t be a cop by a high school teacher (more than one actually.)  I had a chip on my shoulder and wanted to prove to others that I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up.  I’ll show them!

Thus began my undercover gig.  From working shift work and being line staff bitching about administration to infiltrating the ranks of Sergeant.  Then my assignment took me to the SWAT team as a negotiator.

All of these things were done as if I were a reporter on special assignment.  I took my role seriously.  I immersed myself in their culture; listened to their stories, cried tears over the horrible things humans will do to one another … I was one of them.

But was I?  There were more times throughout my undercover gig that I was perplexed at decisions made my administration, people who donned uniforms merely so they could punish inmates mentally (and sometimes physically), and the good ol’ boy attitude was in full effect throughout my assignment.  I wasn’t this person!  I wasn’t one to judge others, I wasn’t one to get off on being an asshole and I sure as hell wasn’t one of the “boys.”

It was in November of this year that I knew I had to get out.  I knew that I would completely lose Marcy if I didn’t start detoxing from my undercover work.  Sure I had only 7 years left to gain a retirement, but at what cost?  That fear is what had kept me there … well and the fact that I truly felt like a cop now.  I had given up so much about Marcy that I actually started believing I couldn’t do more with my life.  It took a death of a friend for me to remember that this was only an assignment, one that should have lasted less time.

So after 15 years my gig was up.  My undercover work was complete on April 28th, and to be quite frank, it feels like I’ve been paroled.  Not paroled into a state institution, but one of higher learning.  And each time I see a police car, someone in uniform or a person that has the appearance they could be a poster child for Law Enforcement, I’m reminded of my undercover work and how grateful I came out of it still being Marcy.

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Paul Garcia

It took years for us to finally work together, but it was Kiesel in this last year.  Too be honest, I had no idea you had a sense of humor, boy was I wrong.

Your amount of respect is unmatchable and your work ethic is second to none.  You always complete a task without complaint and when I was a Sergeant I wanted a whole shift of Paul Garcia’s.  You are relaxed but ready for anything.  Your stoic with just a hint of personality when it came to working with inmates.  I always looked forward to the Wednesdays that we worked together, you had a way of making them interesting, fun and quick.

Now your politics .. they are completely wrong but I can forgive that ;).  No really, we don’t agree on most political topics, but again, you are always respectful in your opinions and know how to debate without allowing personal feelings to interfere (not found often enough I might add.)

Paul, I miss working with you … hell I just miss you.  I think of you often and please know that I was always thankful to talk and work with you!

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Brian Baggs

Ah, my own personal Frodo!!

We worked together but truly our draw to each other; …. The best baseball team EVER … the New York Yankees (truly I didn’t have to write out their name as everyone with half a brain knows this team is the best!)

It was during the World Series a couple of years ago when you and I would spend most the games chatting with each other over Facebook and then you began sharing with me some of the crazy things going on in your personal life (good to know it’s the past right??)  You’ve since moved on and have an incredibly wonderful life, but I miss our time on Facebook just catching up.

Your intelligent, witty, crazy (in a good way of course), and just plain fucking strange.  Those are the reasons I love you so much!

You love animals and who can hate a person like that?  I miss running into you at work, your shit talking and your even temper.  You truly are a great friend to have and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wish we spent more time together!

Thanks for being a great friend to me and always lending support …

 

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School news …

Excited doesn’t even cover it!

I found out today, from my academic advisor from the U of U that ALL of my generals are finished to their standards (WSU told me I had 5 more classes) and now I can begin work on my new major (I say new because I recently switched to English from Criminal Justice).

The exciting part, I will start course work at the U of U Spring semester and am only one and a half years from getting my Batchelor’s in English … then, I’ll fast track to my PhD!!

With all sincerity I almost cried during that phone call.  It’s all within reach and the ball is rolling … full steam ahead because NOTHING can get in my way now.  No work schedule conflicts, no financial burdens (well, there will be those but doable), and most importantly … I will no longer stand in the way of what I know I want in my life.  Fear no longer tethers me … absolute freedom, that is what I feel and it’s fanfuckingtastic!!!

Oh, and don’t let me forget, I got my favorite treat in the mail today as well!!  PERFECT!

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Julie Jorgensen

Yep, I’ll admit it; I was scared shitless of you when we first met!  You seemed ultra serious and kind of annoyed by me … imagine that!

I think the first time you spoke to me was to correct my English (I said “funner” and yes I know it’s not a word, but why the hell not??)  At this point I made it my mission to get you too like me … I think it worked J

After a few months of being on the Law Enforcement Liaison Committee I found you to be highly intelligent, very well organize, but above all else, an absolute joy to be around!  It didn’t take long for me too look forward to being around you and secretly I would be excited to know I made you laugh at my crazy antics.

My first memory of actually getting too know you was my first year at the Pride Festival while serving on the committee.  Kyle, you and I were the first to show up and I found it endearing how damn tired you were.  Your quite demeanor only meant one thing … for me to be even crazy so you’d have a reason to smile that damn early!  It was a fun day and I’ll always remember it as the day that I got to know you.

You’re easy too talk to and I enjoyed our times after the meetings of just hanging out and talking about anything.  You are always kind to me and offered help in whatever I may need (though I never took you up on the shooting lessons).

You’re a sincere, yet a leery person.  You’re cautious, for good reason I’m sure, yet once you’ve accepted that person into your circle you’d do anything for them.

My only regret, like others, is that we have never spent time “off duty” together and that I rarely see you now.  I miss your stoic face 😉

Thanks Julie for being in my life, I value our friendship more than you’ll know!!

 

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