RIP Rudy Mata

On Tuesday while I was feeling sad about my deceased son's birthday, a dear friend of mine was racing across town to save his daughter from her abusive husband. Said abuser shot Rudy four times, killing him.

It's hard to believe. Things like this don't happen to people like Rudy, not to Rudy.

I met his wife, Sandy, close to 25 years ago when I first moved to Texas, a few months before Pat and I married. We worked together and she became my first real friend out here.

Our families got together every so often and Pat and Rudy, both into music, got along great as well. Rudy had a voice like velvet. He was funny and sweet and you could see how much Sandy was in love with him by how they teased and interacted and how she sparkled when talking about him. I knew how much she cared for him before I ever met him.

He was always a protector. I remember having a conversation about how one of the things he had looked for in a house was that the children's bedrooms were in the back of the house, rather than the front just for added security for his kids against the world.

It doesn't surprise me that one call from his daughter would carry him to her rescue. That's who he was. He lived as a protector. He died as a protector.

I haven't seen Sandy and Rudy for years as our lives had gotten busier. I talked to Sandy right after Chase died. Well, DMed. We even made tentative plans to get together for lunch or something, but when it came time to make those plans, I didn't. I wasn't in a frame of mind to get together with anybody, knowing how frail my hold on emotions were then and I didn't want to reacquaint with an old friend while bawling my eyes out.

Now she's in the same boat and my heart is devastated for her.

The funeral is today. 

Seventeen Today

Happy Birthday my Beautiful Snarky Funny Son. Miss you so much. I was just telling your brothers yesterday about your funny sense of humor even as a kid. 

When you were very young I was trying to teach you the difference between behaving like a big boy verses a little boy. I'd emphasize, "Chase, you're a big boy now" over and over.

One day you stretched my nerves, I can't remember what you had done, but I lost it and said, "Chase, you are such a little shit." To which you replied in all seriousness, "No, I'm a big shit." 

Man, did that release my anger. I couldn't stop laughing. That was you always coming up with things like that. I told K and T that yesterday and they laughed and laughed too. I think they are dealing a little bit better now. Miss your funny self, baby, but am so happy you aren't hurting anymore.

Chase Joseph Autrey 
Sept 25, 1995 - Sept 1, 2010

Reading Clean

Announcing the Reading Clean Giveaway Hop
September 6th - 12th

Featuring Clean Reads!  Books free from sex, language and gratuitous violence.
Book you can share with anyone without hesitation be it your mother, daughter or bishop's wife. 

I'm giving away my paperback copy of at face value by Emily Franklin, a cute modernized retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac. (My review of it here).  I just ask that you "follow this blog" cuz I'm collecting followers like gumdrops (yeah, yeah, I know it's totally just an ego numbers thing, but, hey... I'm not above that) oh, and leave a comment telling me you followed. That's it. 

Thanks so much everyone who participated and became an official Gumdrop!
And the winner is: (cue drum roll)
Jennifer Hoyt