Jessica & the Children Don’t Play Here Anymore . (a true story)

Spinning Circle of Trees
A Spinning Circle of Trees, from The Park down the street.

Just down the street from where we live is this pretty little treed part of the Old Rec Center/Gyro Ball Park, it’s where I walk my dogs around quite often. Many of the tree’s and mushrooms I’ve photographed are from this part of the park. There are a couple pic-nick tables and garbage cans, a nice shady area along the edge and beyond the tree’s is known as ” The  Ravine”. The edges of the Ravine are very steep, covered with fallen tree’s, weeds, ferns and rocks and lots of animal trails ( racoon,rats & bears and the odd cougar ) at the bottom of the Ravine is a little creek that runs 3/4 of the year. This part of the Park has a deep dark secret which has changed the dynamics of this ball park, as no children play ball here any more.

As you cross the street from the ball field and enter this shady picnic area you can’t help but notice a large marble remembrance stone that sits atop a marble ball diamond, first, second, third, and home plate all perfectly placed in marble. The inscription on the large upright stone says….

Jessica P.

1984 – 1996

You’ll Forever be Playing Your Favorite Game From the Out Field

I stop and say hello to Jessica every time we pass,  this memorial always has Teddy Bears, dolls and flowers no matter what time of year. This day when I went by she had a fresh bouquet of flowers with a small Canadian flag in a vase because it was the Canada Day Long Weekend the day before.  It was windy and it must of blown the vase over so I bent down to fix the arrangement, out of the corner of my eye I saw my dog Buggz sniffing all the stuffed animals but never touching  one, which is so unlike him because he will drag home discarded toys and stuffies at the drop of a hat ( and those too!) I think dogs are smarter then we give them credit for.

There was something about that day at her memorial, when I stood up to gain my balance, I reached out and put my hand on the upright stone to steady myself, I all of the sudden I started crying and couldn’t stop………..Maybe I should  tell you what happened to Jessica that hot summer weekend at a Softball Tournament maybe you’ll understand.

Jessica was a happy 12 yr.old girl that loved Softball, either playing it or just hanging around the field and the crowds, she would be running here and there picking up pop-cans and bottles and returning them for sweets or chasing foul balls because she usually got a reward for returning them, this time I believe she was collecting money for 50/50 draws.  She disappeared into thin air!  No One could find her, it was unlike her not to stay in the vicinity and not check in with her parents . She was Gone…It didn’t take long before a search team was gathered up along with the RCMP to do a thorough search of the area.

Now, I remember hearing all this stuff on TV that weekend of her disappearance at my previous home town, it  was a story that just stuck in my head  after all these years, I had no idea the place we chose to live was less then 3 blocks from where Jessica was found.

She was found not too long after she vanished, she had been raped and beaten to death ( with a rock I think ) and just left in the Ravine to be eaten by animals. It didn’t take them long to find the murderer, a mentally challenged man in his early 20’s that lived with his parents in the neighborhood . I believe they picked up and moved out of town ( as fast as they could for their own safety).  The whole town was up in a panic as nothing as gruesome or just so sad had ever happened here.

I cried for Jessica that day because I also at the age of 7 or 8  had been lured away from my safety zone into a large stand of tree’s attacked and sexually assaulted by an older man, the only difference is I walked away from it and she didn’t.  I cry for Jessica because I feel guilty I survived and she didn’t. The way she  was  brutally murdered just rattles my soul. I believe I have what’s called survivors guilt-Guilt is one of my worst enemies from many, many situations through out my life ( my therapist knows all about this ) and writing about it will hopefully help.

I talk to Jessica  every time I walk by, straighten her flowers and stuffies, I have noticed someone put a lovely dog statue beside her memorial to stand guard and watch over her, a perfect friend where no children play any more.

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7 thoughts on “Jessica & the Children Don’t Play Here Anymore . (a true story)

  1. I am so sorry about Jessica. The story is so sad and relevant to the horrors that exist today. Children disappearing. I am a survivor of child abuse, molestation, rape, and sex trafficking. It’s a scary world out there. This is the first post I read on your blog. I am now going to read about you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You, I agree that life is scary out there. I’m sorry you also had to endure such awful stuff…. My stories are all true, the ones from my childhood are “Not for children’s eyes “part 2, 3,4,5,& 6 ( I have no idea where #1 went….) and then “Life’s a Beach…series” and also one about a Fistful of cash and a goat… and many more… I wrote the first ones back in 2013… I’m going to read your also! Thanks Nancy, my name is Teresa by the way! ((hugs)) I go by T. Let me know what you think…. hopefully talk soon!

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  2. Oh, T. I wish I can give you a hug right now. I am sorry what happened to Jessica and I hurts that you’ve gone through the same thing. Yes, writing about it would help you mend, T. You could be an instrument to others how to live life since you have survived. Hugs, P.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks P, I took on being a Survivor and not being a Victim when I was about 13yrs old and never look back, even though some thoughts enter my head I try to deal with them one at a time and use them to strengthen myself ((hugs)) T.

      Liked by 1 person

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