Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott

There is a program where relatives of murdered people can go and visit the murderer in prison if both agree. The idea is that it might be theraputic for both sides but there are no guarantees you will hear what you want or get any answers. A facilitator is there to help. Ronnie's parents decide that maybe the only way to finally let go and be able to forgive Scott and get on with their lives is to go do this. What do you think about this idea in general? Anyone know anyone who has done this? It seemed to really help Ronnie's parents, do you think it could have helped her too if she would have gone?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Frequent Contributor
lepking
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎03-29-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott

Personally, it wouldn't work for me. I don't believe it would have worked for Ronnie - she had to work out her anger and frustration in a totally different environment. I can't remember if Ronnie made a victim impact statement at the trial. Refresh me, please.
There are also victim impact panels where victims can talk with prisoners (not their offender) about the effect the crime against them has had on their family, themselves. Often it helps offenders understand the anguish their crime might have caused others. This is especially effective in DUI cases. The ratio of repeat offenders in DUI's is less than half if offenders attend a victim impact panel. But for Ronnie, coming face to face with Scott under those circumstances would not have been the answer to her pain. Jackie had that one right on target.
lepking
lepking
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott

lepking wrote:
....But for Ronnie, coming face to face with Scott under those circumstances would not have been the answer to her pain. Jackie had that one right on target.
lepking
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't know if i agree or not. She was having so much trouble dealing with her pain alone and anger, that it is possible that going with her parents (all of them doing this together) might have helped some. If nothing else, maybe she would have gotten to yell at him the way she may have needed to. I don't necessarily think Jackie didn't have her go because she didnt think it would help her but maybe rather she was just showing what THIS teenager felt she didn't want to try. I don't think Jackie was making a statement on whether it would be the right thing for Ronnie or not. Maybe Jackie will read this and tell us her thoughts on it. Best I recall, even Ronnie was afraid she just might forgive him some and she didnt want to feel that. At this point she wants to hold on to her anger, its her coping mechanism. Also, strictly from a literary sense, if Ronnie did go and did forgive him like her parents did...well end of story, end of a then very short book lol and there goes the plot!

Vivian
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Frequent Contributor
lepking
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎03-29-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott

The courts have come a long way, allowing victim impact statements to be made after sentencing. Family members can really say anything they wish to the offender in the courtroom setting. You can yell your head off if it makes you feel any better. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. lepking
lepking
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott/victim impact statements vs sit down


lepking wrote:
The courts have come a long way, allowing victim impact statements to be made after sentencing. Family members can really say anything they wish to the offender in the courtroom setting. You can yell your head off if it makes you feel any better. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. lepking


Yes but don't you think that sitting down with the offender, especially this one with his schizophrenia under some control with meds rather than the man that Ronnie didn't even run from when the killings happened, would be different that the victims impact statement in courts? I have seen some of those and yes they get to yell their heads off but thats a very very different thing than this program is. There is meant to be interaction between the two parties, actual talk. I think what I meant by letting her yell her head off if she needed to was that if as her parents talked to Scott and he talked back, if at that point Ronnie still couldnt talk to him but was exploding inside, she could at least then look him in the eye and just scream out what she felt about what he had to say. This setting is a very different one than the courtroom victim's impact statement one. And her parents were finally coming together in this to heal when they had not come together in their grief before. I just wonder if it could have helped the family together to heal if she had gone.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott



vivico1 wrote:
There is a program where relatives of murdered people can go and visit the murderer in prison if both agree. The idea is that it might be theraputic for both sides but there are no guarantees you will hear what you want or get any answers. A facilitator is there to help. Ronnie's parents decide that maybe the only way to finally let go and be able to forgive Scott and get on with their lives is to go do this. What do you think about this idea in general? Anyone know anyone who has done this? It seemed to really help Ronnie's parents, do you think it could have helped her too if she would have gone?




Vivico; At this point in Ronnie's life I do not feel anything would have been accomplished by her presence adjacent to Scott. No matter how much remorse he displayed to her. At her age, teens are usually harshly sometimes opininated, sturbborn beyond comphrension and so forth. I am going by my own four who are now grown thank goodness! But this is a very difficult age for forgiveness.

When my father was murdered fifty six yrs ago, the man that was found guilty of killing him with a pitch fork taken from our barn would not give a reason at all for murdering him. He didnt deny it either. He had been a friend to my Daddy and Mom and lived in our cottage with his brother's family on our farm. So the sherriff asked my mom would she go to the jail and ask Walter why he killed my dad. He laughed in her face and said "because he wanted to" and she would be next and then the girls when he got out. But of course it was thirty some odd years when he did get out and he was sick with emphema so we never saw him but we were notified when he got out and I guess he has passed now.
Frequent Contributor
lepking
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎03-29-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott/victim impact statements vs sit down

[ Edited ]
Vivico - Point taken, but like you said, then no plot, no book. lepking

Message Edited by lepking on 04-08-200711:02 PM

lepking
Frequent Contributor
lepking
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎03-29-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott

Kiakar - Times have changed dramatically haven't they? Today a victim would never be asked by law enforcement to approach the offender in such a way. In my case, our 17 yr old daughter asked to give a victim impact statement after sentencing. She was adamant about wanting to do so and we let her. She was extremely emotional, crying and talking directly to him. It was something she needed to do, eventhough I was very concerned about the effects. She's doing fine. Your mother was a very brave woman.
lepking
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott



lepking wrote:
Kiakar - Times have changed dramatically haven't they? Today a victim would never be asked by law enforcement to approach the offender in such a way. In my case, our 17 yr old daughter asked to give a victim impact statement after sentencing. She was adamant about wanting to do so and we let her. She was extremely emotional, crying and talking directly to him. It was something she needed to do, eventhough I was very concerned about the effects. She's doing fine. Your mother was a very brave woman.







Thanks for your reply, lepking. My mother had nightmares for months after this especially right after we returned to the farm to live, we were very so isolated, whey down in the woods, another body that had been capitated was found about a mile from our farm and there was suspicsion that Walter had done this also. The man and Walter had been friends also. Yes, my mom was very brave from that moment forward most of her life after Dad died. She had a hard life for years raising us alone.
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott

Sorry to hear so much sadness kaikar. And yes, as i said in posing this question in general, you may never get what you want from the person out of these meetings. I have nothing to compare with you guys who have lost parents and children to murders. I don't even want to imagine. I was sexually and physically abused from the ages of 5-13 and tortured with car batteries and knives to keep me quiet. When it came down to nearly being killed anyway at age 13, I finally braved it again to tell someone. Nothing was done to him, he was just told to leave. He just smirked at me and said well you wanted it. Since nothing was done to him, and nothing was done to help me, I spent the rest of my teenage years thinking it was my fault somehow or surely someone would have done something about it. It still affects me in many ways I am sure but it does not rule my life anymore or my relationships. I have even talked to him since then, after finding my own way, through counseling I got for myself and a whole lot of prayers and faith. I was not sure what I would say at first and it was over the phone and my family did not want me to do it, they were afraid i would hack him off and he would come here and kill everyone...meaning them. I told my mother: Welcome to my world of 20 years! You werent afraid for me, you didnt take care of me, I did and I will do this now because something inside says i need to and I dont know why or what will come of it. As an adult, on the phone, I could hear at first the near anger in him for me calling him as he wondered why. I had heard he was dying and I decided it was time for someone to call him. I told him that was why i called and found myself telling him, regardless of our past which I dont want to discuss with you, I wish you no ill now, I hope you are ok and not dying (he said he wasnt, it was a lie told by someone else) and i said I hope you have a good life, just never around me anymore. His whole demeanor changed, softened and all he said was, i am ok, thank you for being the one to call and ask. I have to tell you, I surprised myself, i truly did not know what i was going to say when i called nor what he would say if he even stayed on the line. I think this was my way of forgiving. I don't know. I really don't wish him dead anymore, nor do i want to be the one to do it. I think once i got grounded in my faith again, I had come to realise that I dont know what his life is now. I don't think I will ever trust it but then I dont have to be around him (havent seen him in 30 years now). But also I realised that if God is both mericiful AND just...how could this man have a chance to repent if he were dead back when i wanted him to be? I want him to have that chance so in the end, when God decides all, if he has truly repented, he will be a changed man and deserve God's mercy. If in this probationary time we call life, he does not repent, then I know God's decision will be completely just. I can never do more than that myself for him, to him, or for me.
__________________________________________________________________________________
kiakar wrote:
When my father was murdered fifty six yrs ago, the man that was found guilty of killing him with a pitch fork taken from our barn would not give a reason at all for murdering him. He didnt deny it either. He had been a friend to my Daddy and Mom and lived in our cottage with his brother's family on our farm. So the sherriff asked my mom would she go to the jail and ask Walter why he killed my dad. He laughed in her face and said "because he wanted to" and she would be next and then the girls when he got out. But of course it was thirty some odd years when he did get out and he was sick with emphema so we never saw him but we were notified when he got out and I guess he has passed now.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott

Vivco; this is so heartfelt; Do you think the harsh things we go through in this life makes us stronger and closer to God? Maybe even helping us learn the reason for our life here on earth. I had some experience with abuse too with my stepdad but nothing like yours. This had to be the upmost harm to your soul that could have happened. Thank God you are alright.




vivico1 wrote:
Sorry to hear so much sadness kaikar. And yes, as i said in posing this question in general, you may never get what you want from the person out of these meetings. I have nothing to compare with you guys who have lost parents and children to murders. I don't even want to imagine. I was sexually and physically abused from the ages of 5-13 and tortured with car batteries and knives to keep me quiet. When it came down to nearly being killed anyway at age 13, I finally braved it again to tell someone. Nothing was done to him, he was just told to leave. He just smirked at me and said well you wanted it. Since nothing was done to him, and nothing was done to help me, I spent the rest of my teenage years thinking it was my fault somehow or surely someone would have done something about it. It still affects me in many ways I am sure but it does not rule my life anymore or my relationships. I have even talked to him since then, after finding my own way, through counseling I got for myself and a whole lot of prayers and faith. I was not sure what I would say at first and it was over the phone and my family did not want me to do it, they were afraid i would hack him off and he would come here and kill everyone...meaning them. I told my mother: Welcome to my world of 20 years! You werent afraid for me, you didnt take care of me, I did and I will do this now because something inside says i need to and I dont know why or what will come of it. As an adult, on the phone, I could hear at first the near anger in him for me calling him as he wondered why. I had heard he was dying and I decided it was time for someone to call him. I told him that was why i called and found myself telling him, regardless of our past which I dont want to discuss with you, I wish you no ill now, I hope you are ok and not dying (he said he wasnt, it was a lie told by someone else) and i said I hope you have a good life, just never around me anymore. His whole demeanor changed, softened and all he said was, i am ok, thank you for being the one to call and ask. I have to tell you, I surprised myself, i truly did not know what i was going to say when i called nor what he would say if he even stayed on the line. I think this was my way of forgiving. I don't know. I really don't wish him dead anymore, nor do i want to be the one to do it. I think once i got grounded in my faith again, I had come to realise that I dont know what his life is now. I don't think I will ever trust it but then I dont have to be around him (havent seen him in 30 years now). But also I realised that if God is both mericiful AND just...how could this man have a chance to repent if he were dead back when i wanted him to be? I want him to have that chance so in the end, when God decides all, if he has truly repented, he will be a changed man and deserve God's mercy. If in this probationary time we call life, he does not repent, then I know God's decision will be completely just. I can never do more than that myself for him, to him, or for me.
__________________________________________________________________________________
kiakar wrote:
When my father was murdered fifty six yrs ago, the man that was found guilty of killing him with a pitch fork taken from our barn would not give a reason at all for murdering him. He didnt deny it either. He had been a friend to my Daddy and Mom and lived in our cottage with his brother's family on our farm. So the sherriff asked my mom would she go to the jail and ask Walter why he killed my dad. He laughed in her face and said "because he wanted to" and she would be next and then the girls when he got out. But of course it was thirty some odd years when he did get out and he was sick with emphema so we never saw him but we were notified when he got out and I guess he has passed now.


Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott

kaikar,
I do believe that there is nothing God would have us go through that is without purpose, tho we may cause some of our own and do. And yes, I do believe that the harsh things we go through in life can make us stronger and bring us closer to God, if we chose to let them. Like I mentioned somewhere else, this life is just school for a much better one that is eternal and if you believe in heaven and the chance to live with God, our Heavenly Father, then dont we need to become as much like him and our savior as we can? The saying goes, God will never give you more than you can handle, the premise being of course that He is all knowing and knows us completely and our abilities. Because of this, he also knows what lessons we need to learn or what lessons would help us grow even if they are horrendously hard ones. But remember too, that even tho he may never give us more than we can handle, there are times we have to admit we can not handle them alone tho, and thats ok, thats one of the most important lessons. We learn to reach out to others for help, just as we would a doctor for a bad illness or disease. And we learn to reach out to God, to lean on him and thats what he really wants us to learn the most, that he never meant for us to go through it all alone. He wants to helps us always, we need only ask. So yes, surely that would bring us closer to God. It is an unfortunate truth of human history that when a person or a nation is doing very well, prosperous and getting along great, so blessed by God, that that is when they tend to forget Him most and take comfort in all their worldly things. But when tragedy hits, then its "why God?" I do not mean to say that for example someone dying of cancer got it because they forgot God, heaven forbid. I am saying that God knows their very nature and that they can WITH his help, handle it and learn something from it, grow closer to Him and maybe even help others along the way. I do think you hit the nail on the head kiakar. Its why we are here on this earth.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

kiakar wrote:
Vivco; this is so heartfelt; Do you think the harsh things we go through in this life makes us stronger and closer to God? Maybe even helping us learn the reason for our life here on earth.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott



vivico1 wrote:
kaikar,
I do believe that there is nothing God would have us go through that is without purpose, tho we may cause some of our own and do. And yes, I do believe that the harsh things we go through in life can make us stronger and bring us closer to God, if we chose to let them. Like I mentioned somewhere else, this life is just school for a much better one that is eternal and if you believe in heaven and the chance to live with God, our Heavenly Father, then dont we need to become as much like him and our savior as we can? The saying goes, God will never give you more than you can handle, the premise being of course that He is all knowing and knows us completely and our abilities. Because of this, he also knows what lessons we need to learn or what lessons would help us grow even if they are horrendously hard ones. But remember too, that even tho he may never give us more than we can handle, there are times we have to admit we can not handle them alone tho, and thats ok, thats one of the most important lessons. We learn to reach out to others for help, just as we would a doctor for a bad illness or disease. And we learn to reach out to God, to lean on him and thats what he really wants us to learn the most, that he never meant for us to go through it all alone. He wants to helps us always, we need only ask. So yes, surely that would bring us closer to God. It is an unfortunate truth of human history that when a person or a nation is doing very well, prosperous and getting along great, so blessed by God, that that is when they tend to forget Him most and take comfort in all their worldly things. But when tragedy hits, then its "why God?" I do not mean to say that for example someone dying of cancer got it because they forgot God, heaven forbid. I am saying that God knows their very nature and that they can WITH his help, handle it and learn something from it, grow closer to Him and maybe even help others along the way. I do think you hit the nail on the head kiakar. Its why we are here on this earth.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

kiakar wrote:
Vivco; this is so heartfelt; Do you think the harsh things we go through in this life makes us stronger and closer to God? Maybe even helping us learn the reason for our life here on earth.







Vivico; thanks for your wonderful inspiritual post. It sooths my heart to hear your thoughts. Thanks again. I believe too, like you, God is everywhere and definitely in control of every situation for us.
Inspired Correspondent
Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott


vivico1 wrote:
lepking wrote:
....But for Ronnie, coming face to face with Scott under those circumstances would not have been the answer to her pain. Jackie had that one right on target.
lepking
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't know if i agree or not. She was having so much trouble dealing with her pain alone and anger, that it is possible that going with her parents (all of them doing this together) might have helped some. If nothing else, maybe she would have gotten to yell at him the way she may have needed to. I don't necessarily think Jackie didn't have her go because she didnt think it would help her but maybe rather she was just showing what THIS teenager felt she didn't want to try. I don't think Jackie was making a statement on whether it would be the right thing for Ronnie or not. Maybe Jackie will read this and tell us her thoughts on it. Best I recall, even Ronnie was afraid she just might forgive him some and she didnt want to feel that. At this point she wants to hold on to her anger, its her coping mechanism. Also, strictly from a literary sense, if Ronnie did go and did forgive him like her parents did...well end of story, end of a then very short book lol and there goes the plot!

Vivian




I tend to agree with you Viv, although Lepking and Kiakar have some excellent points. I think Ronnie wants very much to hold onto her anger. It's how she copes and it gives her purpose. She doesn't want to face Scott or to feel better and possibly forgive. It may be an insult to her sisters'memory. But she very much needs help and guidance. If she went with her parents she may have found some relief fron the anger that is festering inside of her. I can't picture it having the same effect on her that it did on her parents because she lacks the emotional maturity that they have but she would have faced her demons, literally. With no contact or information, as time goes by her thoughts of him can easily be distorted. She may picture him as happy, healthy, successful, having no remorse, everything she doesn't want him to be. Her anger could fuel her imagination into more and more fantasies. If she saw the man and the reality, whatever that may be, she would have a new frame of reference for him. It wouldn't be her imagination any more. Does that make any sense to anyone? Sorry it sounds so confusing.

I don't know if I could do that myself. I guess it would really depend on the circumstances. My family has been repeatedly and deeply wounded (emotionally, not physically attacked) by someone and I have not been able to forgive. And that wasn't murder or physical abuse. It is an ongoing thing for us with no remorse or responsiblity taken so that makes it very hard but if I haven't been able to forgive for that, could I for a tragedy such as Ronnie's? I know it's a process and it's done for yourself not the guilty party. It also doesn't condone their actions it just releases you from it. I hope I can forgive someday and I am working on it.

I know it must be incredibly hard, but for all of you that have shared your painful stories I would like to say bless you and thank you for sharing. It has made for a meaningful conversation and brought even more insight to the book. I hope it has helped you in some way. I hope you find peace.
Author
JackieM01
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎03-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott/mediation

It's called a grief or forgiveness mediation and some people find it helpful, and say it gives them closure. I don't know that I wouldn't fixate on the person's hands and be mesmerized with horror. But I do understand the Swans.
Jackie M.
Author
JackieM01
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎03-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott/Ronnie

It might have worked had she actually done it. But it was necessary for the story for her to reject their counsel for the first time in her life in order for the plot to proceed!

Jackie M.
Author
JackieM01
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎03-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott/the Swans

definitely did this for their own reasons, in order to let go of the constant pain and energy of hatred and grief. They would never be able to forget, but forgiving absolved them of the burden of hatred -- which is huge. I've felt it, and I feel it, for an individual; and I try every day to let go of it because it does impede seeing life's goodness clearly.
Jackie M.
Author
JackieM01
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎03-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott/pitchfork

Do you know that the actual case that (loosely) inspired the story of 'Cage of Stars' was based on a home invasion in California in which the killer, a feral drifter, used a pitchfork to murder two of five siblings while their fourteen-year-old sister was babysitting?
Jackie M.
Also, do you remember Ronnie's believe that every religion was started by someone who loved a person who died?
Author
JackieM01
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎03-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott/Cry

Oh, V.,
This is .. what human beings survive ought to kill us from shock and grief alone. I know that all of us reading this reach out to that child to enfold her in sheltering arms.
Jackie M.
Author
JackieM01
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎03-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mid book: Ronnie's parent meet Scott/Purpose

Unlike some, I do believe there is random violence in the world, without purpose. I believe that while the effects of pain may cause us to become more compassionate and decent, that is not WHY such things happen. I don't believe we know why things happen -- unless there is truly an afterlife (and I don't know where I stand on that) and we get to give a quiz. BUT, my brother always says, things do happen for a reason, but not necessarily a good reason...
Jackie M.
Users Online
Currently online: 82 members 780 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: