— Life —


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If you live long enough and travel far enough, many of the things your mother warned you about will come true. I’ve started writing my memoir, and I realize my mother couldn’t have known about most of the things I’ve encountered. While mother told me it wasn’t polite to urinate in a public pool, she didn’t tell me not to pee in the rivers of Central and South America. I didn’t do that, but a friend did, and a tiny matchstick-sized catfish swam up his urethra and anchored itself there with sharp barbs. What I learned from his misfortune was if you must pee in a river in the jungle… You’d better be wearing a tight bathing suit.

However I’ve learned, firsthand, something our mothers never knew, and most of our government and the media doesn’t want us to know.

Last night a friend said she’d heard great things about Costa Rica; how it wasn’t too touristy, and it hadn’t been overdeveloped. I’ve been hearing that for 30 years since my business partner’s son, Joseph, bought a butterfly farm there. It’s been developed… There are five star resorts and luxury homes on private golf courses you can buy, and it’s those very developers who’re advertising for tourists to come. My friend’s comment reminded me about Lake Atitlan in northeastern Guatemala, a “not too touristy place” popular with lots of tourists. Recently the naked body of a young English woman was found there. She’d been brutally murdered. Guatemala’s violent crime rate is one of the highest in Latin America.

There are horrific reasons why so many people from Mexico and Central America want to leave their country.

I know, firsthand, about the evil that lurks in Guatemala. It’s a big part of the memoir I’m writing… My involuntary time in the jungle… I’ve seen the Devil up close and personal. There are thousands of them. They’re well organized and financed, and they have no conscience or moral code. NONE!

You may think you’re driving on a road through a peaceful green jungle, off to see one of Guatemala’s Mayan ruins, or to go on a trendy Eco-tour, but hear me! What you don’t see may kill you. It almost killed me and that was in 1988, and it’s only gotten worse. By the time you realize you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, it may be too late. And no one in Guatemala and few in the United States want to publicize this. It doesn’t fit their financial and political agenda.

Much of Guatemala is jungle and the jungle is the perfect cover for some of the most dangerous and sophisticated criminal organizations in Mexico, Central and South America. THEY’RE RUTHLESSactive members of the Guatemalan government, police, military and intelligence agencies, and yes… 

Many of the illegal immigrant caravans, streaming toward our border, are financed by the same men. These same men are also part of the caravan so they can set up headquarters and transport locations in the U.S. for their kidnapping, human trafficking and adoption rings, extortion, money laundering, arms smuggling and the huge quantity of drugs THEY GROW  (poppies which are the base for opium, heroin, morphine) in the jungle and smuggle into the U.S. Make no mistake: They are organized crime in the most monstrous sense of the term.

While the caravans are a sad example of human suffering, we cannot leave our doors open for the evil traveling with them and exploiting them to come into our homes.

Before I started writing my memoir, I told less than a handful of people what happened to me. Perhaps I survived so I could become more educated and aware of what’s happening in this part of the world and could warn you. 

My best advice is to stay out of Guatemala and… With your votes, phone calls and emails… Tell your elected representatives YOU EXPECT THEM TO UPHOLD THE CURRENT BORDER LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES. Our lives and our way of life depends on it. Do not be Pollyanna and think everything will be okay if we have unchecked open borders.

Love, Brenda


  • Antonia March 23, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Interesting post. Have we actually apprehended any of these men who are coming here to set up their criminal enterprises? Did we five years ago since these criminal enterprises didn’t just “appear’? Do we have the capacity to tell who the “good guys” are from the “bad guys now? Did we five years ago?

    And are you sure they (the innocent and the less so) are actually “coming into our homes, via the border?”

    • 1010ParkPlace March 23, 2019 at 8:41 am

      Antonia, These criminal enterprises have been here as long as I can remember. I live in San Antonio, Texas, and for the last 40 years, the cartels have brazenly sent drugs and people up the Interstate 35 from Laredo, through my hometown. I was a journalist, and before it became POLITICALLY INCORRECT, stories about vicious drug lords in Mexico, Central and South America were on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal, the NYT, the Los Angeles Post, The Washington Post, The San Antonio Express, etc… EVERY newspaper in the country… with headlines like “Kidnapping in Mexico–A Growth Industry,” “Corrupt Central American Officials Sparks Rise in Vigilalntes,” “Record Drug Seizures in San Antonio” and “Interstate 35… The U.S. Drug Highway.” BTW, I’ve taken headlines from the newspaper articles in my files.

      In the ’90’s, as a journalist, I interviewed the DEA, who have a massive presence here. I asked them to take me to Monterrey, Mexico, which they did… I had bodyguards and translators… to interview the head of the Mexican FBI who wears cashmere and Armani, solid gold bracelets and alligator shoes. I also interviewed the Chief of Police in Monterrey and visited one of the largest prisons in Mexico. The prison cells were filled with wall to wall, floor to ceiling money and drugs duct taped in garbage bags. Like the vast majority of Mexican and Centra American government and law enforcement members, they are too busy lining their own pockets with money to care about helping the people in their country who have no viable means of survival other than to kidnap a neighbor in the next village and hold them for the sad ransom of a few sacks of flour. The problem as quadrupled since the 1990’s.

      In addition to most of the marijuana, cocaine and heroin that pours into America, the drug cartels have branched out to smuggling women and children, profiting in sex rings. We see them everywhere in San Antonio. Last week our ABC-TV affiliate did a story on the news on how to recognize these women and children and who to call to help them.

      You asked if we have the capacity to tell the “good guys” from the “bad guys?” YES!!! And technology has made it even easier. The DEA also took me to El Paso, Texas, to a nondescript looking building. Inside are hundreds of members of the DEA, CIA, FBI, NSA and other intelligence agencies, acting together to share intelligence data with one another about these evil and corrupt organizations. The intelligence agencies listen to their cellphone conversations… here and in their home countries and monitor their emails. We also have our own intelligence people… who are very rough individuals… let’s just leave it at that… who’ve infiltrated these organizations. Don’t think these poor villagers just organized themselves into these caravans. They don’t have the skills to do that, but the Guatemalan and Honduran Military///drug and sex smuggling organizers///do have the capabilities and the money to bring them here. Many have no choice but to work for these slime buckets to pay off their debts. MONEY TALKS and if these poor people don’t listen, THEY DIE, here in the US or where ever they live. They are DISPOSABLE COMMODITIES like plastic water bottles to these organizations.

      The very fact that you’ve asked me these questions I find perhaps most alarming, because it’s proof that it’s not politically correct to educate Americans about what’s really going on. That SCARES THE SHIT out of me. Thank you for asking these questions, Antonia. I hope I’ve given you something to think about. Brenda

      • antonia March 23, 2019 at 3:32 pm


        I actually don’t think the is an issue of “political correctness”. I think newspapers like the NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times report what they see and investigate deeply and factually. I’m not sure why these stories are not being more widely told now. My instincts tell me that some else is going on.

        • 1010ParkPlace March 23, 2019 at 6:15 pm

          Antonia, It pains me to say this, because there are millions of people who, like you, believe what the media tells them. As a former journalist I’m trained to search for the truth, whether I want to hear it or not. Back before journalism was dead, the news came from API and Reuter’s and was strictly “who, what, when, where and why.” Any personal opinions belonging to the owners of the newspapers, television networks and local stations were reserved for the inside “Editorial Pages” or “Personal Opinion” statements from station owners. Those days are gone!. The owners of everything from Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, FoxNews and our newspapers LEAD WITH THEIR OPINION. Their opinion and political bias shapes the news they deliver. We’re not far away from being a communist state in that they have STATE RUN NEWS. The people only hear one version of the news, the one the governments want them to hear. I’m sad to say the blind hatred for Donald Trump has taken us in this direction and as a result, the owners of all of those companies I listed are not reporting things they don’t want us to know. A great many of the news threads they report are shaped by their politics. An Emmy Award-Winning News Anchor, who reads my blog, has been emailing me today, and sadly agrees with everything I’m saying. The truth is out there, but you have to seek it out. Watch and read both side of the story; watch the videos of both sides of the story, and you will sadly see that most organizations are giving us “their version of the news.” Their version is missing huge chunks of the story that would change the story from black to white. It is politics pure and simple, but oh, so disillusioning and disappointing. Brenda

          • Cat March 25, 2019 at 12:36 pm

            I watch a lot of C-span. All three channels. It’s also available online. It’s just the cameras rolling in Congress, at WH meetings, at interviews, etc. and no commentary from the hosts, although the particular questions that a hose asks their guests (on shows that have guests) is very telling and shows a bias, even more so than in times past (it’s been on the air for 40 years). There’s an archive so you can go and watch stuff from the past. Again, I see bias as some videos won’t “load” and other videos are hard to search for and find. It’s the best place to get informed at this point and time, IMHO.

    • Cat March 24, 2019 at 10:44 pm

      We are aprehending MS13 at the border and just after they are entering illegally. Those living near the border have their homes entered and things stolen, the outsider areas are rummaged through and cars are broken into and things stolen. Illegal immigrants have murdered about 4,000 people in the last few years and been involved in many crimes. Look it up. For decades there was no distinction made when police reports were done, but now we are collecting data on immigration status. We can’t be a beacon and help other countries and people if this is allowed to continue to happen. It’s just common sense.

      • 1010ParkPlace March 25, 2019 at 2:36 pm

        Brava for searching for the truth, Cat, and staying well-informed!! MS-13’s presence is much stronger than has been reported not to mention the opium, heroin and cocaine coming up with them and through other Central American smugglers and routes. You are one of the beacons, so continue to stay informed and speak out. BRAVA!! Brenda

  • Pat March 23, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Interesting post and it makes me really want to read your memoir. When do you think it will be launched? I can’t wait!

    • 1010ParkPlace March 23, 2019 at 9:29 am

      Hi Pat, When will it be launched? LOL! I’ve just started writing it, so I can’t answer that. But I’m happy you’re interested in reading it. Thank you!! Brenda

  • Lynn McClain March 23, 2019 at 9:19 am

    So you like the idea of children separated from their parents and languishing in concentration camps? I’m shocked to learn you’re a racist and a bigot aligned with the most evil leader since Hitler. Condemning an entire public. Building that pathetic wall at the expense of every American – taking so much from education and well-being. The biggest drug bust was just made in New York. Assault weapons need to be banned. Criminal politicians who profit from these countries need to be exposed. The wall is right-wing racist propaganda.

    • 1010ParkPlace March 23, 2019 at 9:27 am

      Lynn! Slow down! I didn’t say any of those things. How has our society gotten so far off track that I can’t say what many in both parties are saying? We need to uphold our current border laws? That’s not separating children from their parents. In fact, it would do just the opposite. I AM NOT A RIGHT WING RACIST, and I have said nothing about building a wall. Brenda

      • Cat March 24, 2019 at 11:03 pm

        Actually, the fences (they are not “cages”, they are chain link fences that go up towards the ceiling ) that divide areas into cubicles of sorts were made by Obama’s administration originally and the picture that you see everywhere was actually taken when Obama was in office. Brenda was very clear on who she was condemning and it was not “an entire public”. A secure wall or barrier makes sense in certain areas, as everywhere its been installed, illegal immigration has gone down by about 80-90% and eventually, crime goes down in surrounding areas. 800 pounds of drugs were just confiscated at a non-fence/wall area at the border and as the saying goes “We don’t know what we don’t know”. We don’t know how many pounds (and people, in the instance of human trafficking) of drugs did get through, as the Border Patrol can not be every place at the border. As to banning “assault riffles” (semi-auto, just meaning you don’t have to load each bullet, but you do need to pull the trigger for each shot fired), my guess is the Central American criminal gangs care nothing about bans. Yes, any politician who profits should be exposed, including those who actually get money from the drug traffickers. And why have we not put boundaries on the aid money we give to all these countries over the years (I think we used to)?? Like, “We need proof that you are getting the corrupt criminals out of your gov, before we send more money”.

        • 1010ParkPlace March 25, 2019 at 2:44 pm

          Cat, You’re right about the chainlink enclosures. Many were built by the Obama administration. Space in Mexico and the US to house illegal immigrants is limited and the top priority has been to keep children safe. If officials in Mexico and the US aren’t sure who a child’s parents are… many unrelated children are being used as “fronts” to get gang members into the US, or if they are children traveling alone, it’s in the best interest of the child to keep them out of the general population… boys and girls are being raped… until their rightful parents can be identified and found. I like your idea of no more money to the governments of these countries until they clean up their act. That’s not to say private agencies shouldn’t still deliver food and water and medical supplies right to the people. Thank you for your valuable addition to this conversation, Brenda

    • Cindy March 23, 2019 at 9:35 am

      The fact that you would accuse someone of all those things says far more about YOU than anyone else. Take off your blinders and look at the reality of your world.

      • 1010ParkPlace March 23, 2019 at 9:38 am

        Cindy, I appreciate your comment. Thank you, Brenda

    • Theresa March 23, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      Wow! Confirmation bias is such a dangerous thing in our times. I know it is easy to believe that the children issue is new to this administration, but Obama’s own people “accidentally” posted the holding cage from 2014. It is not new as Brenda has so eloquently conveyed. This is not a party issue. Every single politician has run on a belief that borders need to be secure. Every. Single. One. It is difficult to like Trump based on his personality, but I give the guy credit in that we can dislike him wide open. He is doing what he said he would do and no one else had. The hate parade needs to end. Brenda, this is a great insight to the reality. Please keep speaking the truth. There is evil out there, and they are coming for America. Make no mistake.

      • Brenda Coffee March 23, 2019 at 12:48 pm

        BRILLIANT, Theresa! How quickly we forget that Obama ran on the issue of border security. Trump is difficult to like, but he is telling us the truth about this and those who disagree with him know that. They’re disagreeing with him for political reasons, and that’s making me rethink how I look at them. They’re not acting in the American people’s best interest. And you’re right about being able to disagree or dislike Trump in public. There are countries where someone would already have broken down my door and taken me away, never to be heard from again. Thank you for your insightful comments. I appreciate you! Brenda

      • Cat March 24, 2019 at 11:11 pm

        Exactly, Theresa. And I’ve been reminded lately of some past leaders that were really “off the wall” (LBJ, Patton, Nixon, JFK – had a bevy of interns that he had sexual liaisons with and with his guests in the WH) and “we the people” were unaware because we did not have the 24/7 news that we have now. I understand that Patton was a bit “cray cray” about some things, and had a “mouth” similar to our current pres, but most agree we would not have been able to win WWII without him!

    • Kim B. March 23, 2019 at 4:04 pm

      I’ve known Brenda since 1984 and she’s neither a racist nor a bigot! She’s a lovely lady with captivating life experiences, unmatched by anyone I’ve known. San Antonio is an amazing city, rich in culture and diversity (and great food). Certainly racism exists in SA and it’s less than welcome. Brenda isn’t one of them.

      • 1010ParkPlace March 24, 2019 at 2:54 pm

        Kim!!! You fell off my radar, sweet friend! I’m so happy to see you here! How are you? Email me at the address listed on my website and tell me what’s happening in your life. Thank you for weighing in on this conversation. You lived in San Antonio so you’ve long been aware of the problems in Mexico and Central America that come right through our town and up IH-35 to the rest of the country. I appreciate you standing up for me… Thank you… Love, Brenda

    • Doreen McGettigan March 23, 2019 at 10:07 pm

      Wow. Did you call one of the most open-minded, intelligent and kind person I know a racist because she wrote the truth?
      She also didn’t write anything about a wall or separating children.
      Lynn, children are being trafficked and sold. They are being abused and forced into prostitution. That’s a fact. People are dying by the 1000’s of fentanyl overdoses. (4 that I know, recently.) We’ve lost a 17 yr old because of illegal immigrant (teen) gun runners.
      Please research thoroughly and try not to blindly call innocent, honest people racist. Not wanting CRIMINAL illegals in our country does NOT =racism. Jeeze.

      • 1010ParkPlace March 24, 2019 at 2:58 pm

        Oh, Doreen! Thank you for your friendship and your sweet words. You know, better than most, the problems in our neighborhoods that get ratcheted up either by ignorance, lies, abuse of power or looking the other way. Thank you, thank you for your support. Love, Brenda

  • orinda March 23, 2019 at 9:26 am

    We need look no further than Washington DC for cartels, by any name, set up and funded by corporate entities and greed to see how the American people are taxed, exploited and unprotected.
    Russian cartels are among the wealthiest and they are in this country spreading their influence, human trafficking and other crimes like a cancer. But they don’t come through our borders hiding in a ragtag group of immigrants from Guatemala. They fly first class into our airports with diplomatic immunity and a welcome mat at a country club.
    Money talks in America no matter what kind of scumbag they are. When we will we wake up.

    • 1010ParkPlace March 23, 2019 at 9:33 am

      Orinda, WELL SAID!! There is so much going on here that’s not in America’s best interest. I fear we’re not going to wakeup BECAUSE money talks. Love seeing you here! xoxox, Brenda

    • Cat March 24, 2019 at 11:19 pm

      Yes, and Chinese and other cartels also. It’s a real problem.

  • Haralee March 23, 2019 at 10:00 am

    I am once again reminded of your bravery and eyebrow lifting experiences you have had in your life! Get that memoir out, we all need to read about brave women!

    • 1010ParkPlace March 23, 2019 at 11:12 am

      Thank you, sweet lady. I appreciate you! Brenda

  • carol March 23, 2019 at 10:53 am

    YAY, Brenda, I admire your courage in shining a light on the TRUTH! We need more education on this topic so badly!

    • 1010ParkPlace March 23, 2019 at 11:15 am

      Thank you, Carol. Thank you for your support and for weighing in on this conversation. Brenda

  • holly March 23, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Interesting post and resulting comments. I think you have hit a nerve here. I live in the San Diego area and not a member of “The Wall Team”, just to add context. Perhaps I am being simple/naïve but should we clean up our side of the boarder; help those with addictions, create prevention solutions and correct our societal darkness? Stop being their consumers and dry up the market for them to sell. I realize that this will not stop it all but I do believe a look in our American mirror is warranted as well.

    On a brighter note…three cheers on writing your memoir! I look forward to reading your tales of adventure peppered with your delightful humor.

    • 1010ParkPlace March 23, 2019 at 11:35 am

      Hi Holly! You’re right! Stopping our citizens from using drugs is a multi-pronged approach which involves education here in America AND preventing drugs from other countries from flooding into our neighborhoods. Think back to Nancy Regan… I’m not being political here, just stating the facts… and her JUST SAY NO CAMPAIGN. We laughed at that, but there have been anti-drug campaigns for decades. Schools used to have drug awareness classes… I don’t know if they still do. The military and some businesses require drug testing in order to be employed there. While “looking in the mirror” and education are vitally important, it’s not enough! Every generation of young people is curious to try drugs. I was. Young people think they’ll be the smart one who’ll just do it to see what it’s like, and before they know it, whether it’s peer pressure, they like the feeling of being high or they become addicted, they’re consumers of drugs. Like Stevie Nicks said, “You know you have a problem when you stop doing your friend’s drugs and start buying your own.” Did you know 16-year-old American kids are “delivering pizzas” with drugs hidden inside the box to the “dealer’s” clients? There will always be customers for drugs. This is nothing new. A big part of my memoir will be about my first husband, brilliant scientist and founder of two groundbreaking public companies, became hopelessly addicted to cocaine and started drinking to bring himself down. It was a vicious cycle and he became an alcoholic and a drug addict. “On a brighter note… ” Thank you for being interested in my memoir. It’s difficult to write, but your encouragement goes a long way toward keeping me going. Thank you, thank you, for being part of this conversation. xoxox, Brenda

    • Cat March 24, 2019 at 11:23 pm

      Holly, I’ve seen reported that the San Diego area (until you get out into the desert) does have a wall/barrier.

  • Deborah March 23, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Brenda, thank you for being brave enough to post your comments. It needs to be said loud and clear. I think some people are very gullible and naive and prefer to stick their head in the sand as opposed to facing reality. My husband had a family member who lived in Guatemala for many years and would come to lobby Congress about these very issues, and this was forty years ago!!!! And still nothing has been done. This is no joke and if we value our American way of life, we better wake up and smell the coffee or else our children and their children are not going to have the same lifestyle we value. In a perfect world we would all love one another and help one another but we do not live in a perfect world and we cannot help other people if we are not strong and sound ourselves. We cannot look at this situation through rose colored glasses any longer, it is on every one of our doorsteps now. I am not an alarmist but I am a realist and I don’t have to beat my head against a wall to fully understand what is in front of me. I, like you, want people to sit and think about this in a calm and rational manner. I am afraid if we don’t deter this immigration situation soon, it will be too late. It is interesting that on the news the immigrants interviewed while they were in the process of traveling all had fresh haircuts, they were clean, neatly dressed, well fed, as were the children. I wonder who traveled with them, they didn’t walk the entire distance, who could walk 75 miles a day, our most fit soldiers can only cover about 25 miles a day. They also had medical care as well. I noticed this on all news show. On another note, can’t wait for your book, I thoroughly enjoy your writing. Thanks and keep up the good work!!

  • Lyn March 23, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    I so agree with what you have written in this post and I applaud that you have the courage to post it. Most Americans seems to only care about when the new iphone comes out, or what to do about weighing 5 pounds too much, or what their social media is posting, that they don’t see what is happening to this country —- soon they won’t have teeny tiny minor worries any longer………….

    • Brenda Coffee March 23, 2019 at 12:42 pm

      Thank you, Lyn. I don’t see it as having the courage to post it. I’m writing the truth. What journalists everywhere used to do in an unbiased fashion: Who, what, when, where and why. We’re so focused on me, me, me that we only make time for soundbites when we should really be watching and reading all of the media accounts we can find and then REALLY THINKING ABOUT it for ourselves. It’s scary times we’re living in and it’s called “the dumbing down of America.” Brenda

  • 1010ParkPlace March 23, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you, Deborah! How interesting that your family has first hand knowledge of the situation Guatemala. Bravo to them for trying to do something about it. I’m losing some of my faith in people when they can be so easily swayed by “what they don’t hear” on the news these days, and fail to remember “what they used to hear” and wonder how things could have changed so drastically in such a short period of time? The drug problem across the border has always been with us. Even when I was in high school, living here in San Antoni, I’ve always been aware of the dirty things happening across our southern borders and the mistreatment of the people who lived there. I don’t know what the answer is because clearly if someone… like me… who I would hope my readers know me well enough by now to know I tell it like it is, and it’s not shaded by politics… If I’m so viciously and unfairly slammed for things I didn’t say… Clearly the devil can buzz up our butts anytime he wants to, and we’ll welcome him in and give him a glass of wine. I so appreciate you and the fact that you took the time to leave me a message and bring valuable information to our conversation. Thank you! Brenda

  • Lee March 23, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    I am proud of you for taking a stand … an informative post to which I heartily agree. The problem of being deceived is not realizing the deception until it’s too late. Wake up America! Some of the reactions to this make me literally sick. Sending you a big “atta girl”!

    • Brenda Coffee March 23, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you, Lee:) Too often we realize the truth too late to be able to do anything about it. I’ve grown up in San Antonio and was kidnapped by the Guatemalan Military… who were growing poppies and forcing 12 and 13-year-old boys to harvest the opium gum from them so they could smuggle it into the United States. Their shallow graves were all around me in the jungle. I almost became one of “the disappeared.” You bet your sweet bibby I’m not going to sit back and stay silent. Thank you for your encouragement, Lee! Brenda

  • Evie Squadrille March 23, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    I agree with you,Brenda…not only do we need to uphold our current border laws ,we need and must strengthen these laws to keep the criminals and drugs out!

  • Brenda Coffee March 23, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Hi Evie!! Great to see you here!! In 2010, the House approved and President Obama signed into law a $600 million bill to help protect American communities and to put more agents and equipment along the Mexican border. He was openly in favor of border security because of complaints from states besieged by undocumented immigrants and illegal drug and human trafficking. According to CBSnews.com, “The border security measure funded the hiring of 1,000 new Border Patrol agents to be deployed at critical areas along the border, 250 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and 250 more Customs and Border Protection officer.” Now that Trump is not beloved and the caravan situation… with all the horrors that come with it have been happening…. our politicians have rewritten history, as though they never passed this Bill from President Obama. Politics are too-faced and slimy, but this is beyond the pale, and after what I went through… which is nothing compared to decades of inhuman treatment dished out by countries south of our border… I cannot stay silent. I’m not talking about building a wall but upholding our current border laws, something most politicians agreed with before Trump was elected. Thank you, Evie! xoxox, Brenda

  • Martha Edmundson March 23, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you, Brenda for this powerful statement of truth. I hear some of these things but had no idea of the magnitutide of the problem. I, too, am worried about our country and the inability of many people to listen to any one with whom they disagree. It’s very sad. Thank you for sharing this information to members of your blog, whether they like it or not!

    • 1010ParkPlace March 23, 2019 at 6:24 pm

      Martha, I’m embarrassed to say some of those who’ve preached tolerance have become some of the least tolerant. There is no more “let’s listen to one another and talk about our views.” I would guess the division between us is worse than at any time since the Civil War. It’s all black or all white. Even Vietnam can’t compare to this, and I was a liberal, 20-something at the time. I remember it well. Our entire nation is in chaos now, revved up by hatred for everyone who doesn’t believe like we do. I want us to learn to read/listen to opposing news sources that become OUR checks and balances because they will make US think and reason for OURSELVES. I’m saddened and disturbed where we are as a nation. Thank you for your addition to the conversation, Martha. I appreciate you. Brenda

  • Donna March 23, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    Brave, knowledgeable, insightful.. and frightening article. Well-written, thought provoking! Keep telling it like you see it – unbiased and aware! Two thumbs up!!

    • 1010ParkPlace March 23, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      Thank you, Donna! I’m so far beyond adhering to one political party and only toeing the party line. This is not the same America it was even six weeks ago! I have to say something. Brenda

  • TJ March 23, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    As an outsider, sometimes your seems a bit like watching children in the back of the car squabbling over the seatbelt buckles while the driver is heading the car into a concrete wall? Or arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic? We too have deep angst and anger in sections of our community, over our very strict border security laws, so much so that it has become a major election issue. Our ‘refugees’ come from the Middle East where people smugglers take their money promising safe passage to Australia and fill rickety ships wall to wall with people. These people include women and children. Our Border Control policy will not allow them into Australia, so our Government created refugee camps on various outlying islands surrounding our large continent. Many have closed now, but Manus Island is the latest one in the news. These camps are managed by outsourced security companies. There are reports of terrible abuse and neglect from these places. The refugees can be kept indefinitely while our Foreign Affairs office try to glean information about their backgrounds – as they come here with no identification or passports. Sometimes, our navy will simply turn the ships around. Or leave them at sea under observation until a decision is made about what to do with the boat. Our Prime minister and his cabinet, and those before him, have made a very firm stand, despite the heart wrenching scenes of children, and stories about the incarcerated as being so desperate to get out of the camps they set themselves on fire or jump from the rooftops. Our Gov believe that allowing one boat in will only encourage the people smugglers to send more boats. At one point, we had more than a 100 boats a day arriving in our territorial waters. As difficult as the decision is to uphold the policy, as gut wrenching and awful it is to hear the stories that come from undercover journalists reporting from the camps and the refugees about their treatment and the futility of living indefinitely on a small sandy island outcrop, we just simply can’t afford to let these people in, because as you rightly point out Brenda, we don’t know about the militant radicals who hide among their number, waiting to come into our country with the desire to use our country to their own ends. To these organisers of crime and hatred, our free, open, and in some ways naive, population are fair picking to their influence and crime. I had never looked at the caravan issue with the insight that you have now shared. It makes perfect sense. And these ruthless people, whether they come to our shores by boat or across your borders, will have no second thoughts about using children as human shields, as their mascots for pity. It is a very sad ploy. It says more about the depravity of people who organise the ships/caravans than it does about how our border security is managed. No politician wants to go to bed at night knowing they have hurt a child or put one in danger, but they know that there is a much bigger risk behind the facade, yet we have sections of our community here, as in your country, who say they should be allowed in because they don’t see what is behind picture on the news. All I can say is thanks for educating us. TJxxxxx

    • TJ March 23, 2019 at 6:09 pm

      My edit to my opening line took out the words “observing your country”. The opening line will make more sense now. Gah.

      • 1010ParkPlace March 23, 2019 at 6:48 pm

        TJ, I had no idea your country has a similar problem. The island situations are heartbreaking. For decades the Cuban people have built log rafts and overloaded simple row boats with too many people that windup sinking in the ocean, trying to come to America. They were a blip on the radar compared to what’s happening now. The Mexico/Central American refugees have been a steady stream on our southern border for decades, only they’re highlighted now that Trump is in office. The drug and human smugglers are funding and infiltrating these caravans that pop up out of nowhere and have 7,000 people in them, caravan after caravan. Many of the people in these caravans are poor people with little to no education. They can’t organize or pay for their food and water for the duration of a walk from Honduras and Guatemala… and they don’t walk the entire way either. Buses transport them to the Mexican border, and now Mexico is sending them back to where they came from because they can’t handle the influx and needs for food, water, medical services not to mention the women and children who are raped along the way. These poor immigrants windup in debt to the traffickers who’ve paid to get them to the border, and they will pay… or else. Period. If listed on the Fortune 100 list, the revenue of these same traffickers would rival the top companies in America. It doesn’t matter what political party we are, I now get it… We need to seek out truthful news. I challenge everyone to watch ABC and Fox for a week, faithfully. They will see some of the same stories that have key points edited out that totally change the tone of the story. In many other cases, stories are not even reported. There are millions of people in this country… educated people… who don’t really know what’s happening. We’ve become a very intolerant society who scolds one another instead of trying to see if “the other side” may have a point to their beliefs. In essence, many of us are uneducated. An Emmy Award-Winning News Anchor and I have been emailing back and forth this morning. This person totally agrees with what I’ve said in all of my comments. I wish I could get an interview with them, but they are afraid to speak up, which tells me they’re not the only one. Thank you TJ for your comment. It’s eye opening and alarming. xoxox, Brenda

  • Barbara March 23, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    This is an amazing post, and perhaps one of the most stimulating pieces of literature I have read in a while. Firstly, can’t wait to get your book. Secondly, when I read this post this morning, I figured there would be a shit storm of criticism of what you reported. Let me repeat…reported. This was something you saw first hand. I applaud your bravery in sharing this with your readers. My heart was racing by the end of the post.

    I lived in Mexico City for one summer, about 35 years ago. What a wonderful place. Being half Mexican, and speaking Spanish fluently, I quickly made friends and, well…had a lot of fun. But what I did see back then was a tolerance of government abuse. A willingness to pay graft to contractors and government officials, in order to get things done. Can you imagine in this country, if you offered a police officer money to get out of the ticket he was writing? Can you imagine offering the city inspector money in order to pass over shoddy or dangerous workmanship on a home you were building? This is expected in Mexico. It’s just the way things are done. Though it didn’t affect me, it certainly affected the people with whom I was living. But they tolerated it.

    In centuries past, the people were more equal in physical power to their rulers, and could, if they were able to amass…rebel. Sadly, often the ones who took over were worse than the ones they deposed, but at least they had an opportunity to make a change. Now, because the world’s borders are more accessible, people don’t rebel in order to make a change. They leave. But some of them bring the culture of tolerance of abuse with them, and they don’t appreciate or even understand the freedoms we have here. And some of them are the abusers.

    Thank you for having the courage to bring this discussion out in the open.

    • 1010ParkPlace March 24, 2019 at 9:13 am

      Barbara, I’m envious you got to live in Mexico City for a summer!! I love Mexico and the Mexican people, their culture and history and the vast contrasts in the land. Even though I’ve been stalked by the highest law enforcement officer in the country, after 40 years, Mexico is part of me. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been there, not to the touristy places… except for the Mayan ruins… but following trails in the jungle and dirt roads where the people never see a gringo, there wasn’t a Holiday Inn and you couldn’t get a cheeseburger. The Mexican people are among the most genuine and generous people I’ve ever known. It’s their government and law enforcement that is rotten to the core.

      Here is San Antonio, every Mexican presidential election is covered and followed closely. Each time we, like the Mexican people, hope the new president will be different, but they aren’t. They’re all on the take. Because the standard of living has been so low, for so long, so, so, so many in authority windup taking bribes whether it’s from the drug lords or as you point out, city officials and traffic cops.

      Felix, the Mexican assassin for the drug lords, I interviewed https://www.1010parkplace.com/i-interviewed-serial-killer/ was an active member of the MFJPs, the “Federales,” the equivalent of our FBI. He, like the men at the top and more officers than you can possibly fathom, took money to protect the drug lords, collect from people who owed them money or stole drugs from them. In other words, those people were brutally tortured and murdered as were their family members.

      We talked extensively about this and “Felix” told me a word… I’m going to get this wrong, but perhaps you can help me… it’s something like peasemeinto which means “all for me and if anything is left I’ll divide it between the rest of you.” Of course there is never anything left, which is why Mexico is so impoverished…. along with the rest of Central America which operated on the same evil, ways. Most everyone in a power of authority is being paid off by a fish who’s a little bigger than they are, and that fish is being paid off and so on. There is no “trickle down” to the people to fix their streets, build schools, protect them from the drug lords and now the powerful and deadly gangs like MS-13 have been added to the mix. MS-13 is a HUGE part of those coming across our borders. They make our Italian mob look like candy stripers.

      In countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador the people fear their authority figures… and rightfully so… but here in America, we don’t believe our authority figures. We’ve chosen to believe those in power who have a political future at stake, and we’ve kicked our own reason, correlation and sanity to the curb. The Mexicans and Central Americans are powerless, but we’re stupid. We choose to believe sound bites instead of digging for the facts and thinking for ourselves. With something as important as what’s been dominating our news for the last two and a half years, something that will shape our future and the way the world sees us, sound bite bandwagons won’t cut it. We’re caught up in a “mob mentality” that is tearing our nation apart. We will self destruct.

      The French philosopher, Alexis de Tocqueville famously said,”People get the government they deserve.” America is no different. I’d be willing to bet the majority of the American public can’t tell you the crucial roles Lisa Page and Peter Strozk have played in what’s happening TODAY, much less what they did for a living, or the basis for the FBI’s deliberate and slimy withholding of the truth when they sought their initial Fisa Court application. I’m a news junkie. I always have been. I watch every hour of the Watergate hearings and every hour of the hearings and testimony that have consumed our country for the last two and a half years, and I’m beyond DISILLUSIONED with just about everyone.

      Thank you for adding valuable, first hand knowledge to the conversation, Barbara. Thank you! Brenda

  • Beckye March 23, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Thank you, Brenda, for promoting the truth even though it’s not popular! Who would have dreamed it would go so quickly, the spiraling down? It’s shocking. I believe there is a spiritual force at work in our nation that is purposely deceiving people for our destruction. We need to pray, pray, pray. I have been telling people for years that our media reminded me of that of the USSR in the 70’s when we felt so sorry for them because their media lied to them so they had no idea what the truth was. I never would have dreamed it would be so here. Unfortunately, some also do not realize that the border patrol can recognize the traffickers and gang members that are guaranteed entrance if they arrive with a child — which is why children were being separated from adults. So they insist that those ‘poor children’ are returned to those heartless animals and they disappear into our population. When people in our country suffer or are killed by illegals, those crimes are dismissed as inconsequential and are ignored. Scary times. But God’s grace is greater and He shines brightest in the darkness. Thankful to read your post and that you are shouting the truth from the housetops. Godspeed, friend. I eagerly await your memoir, as well!! I appreciate your even hand in telling the truth. Thank you.

    • Barbara March 24, 2019 at 8:43 am

      Beckye, that was a blast from the past! I can remember those days too. We thought we were so lucky to have a free press. If only the Russians could have access to our news…well, then they would understand. Right? Even back then, the press was forming our beliefs. We just didn’t know it.

      • 1010ParkPlace March 24, 2019 at 2:42 pm

        Barbara, As a college Journalism major and a lifelong student of the media, here’s my opinion of when we lost control of what’s being fed to us. During Watergate, Woodward and Bernstein CHANGED EVERYTHING about how the media GETS the news and REPORTS the news. For the first time, REPORTERS WERE MAKING THE NEWS. I believe what they reported was accurate, but it opened the door for INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM which gave every reporter the right to go further than just reporting the news and getting some quotes to go along with their story. Then politics took a sharp left turn after losing two straight elections to Bush… I’m not here to debate anything about his election or take political sides… I’m just giving you what I see as an historical overview of when the media changed big time. From that point on the rhetoric of politicians… and the media members who supported them… changed. It went into overdrive, and it’s only amped up in the ensuing years… to the point I don’t believe we will ever have an unbiased media ever again. PLEASE HEAR ME… I’m not siding with either party. Just the opposite. I’m disillusioned with ALL OF THEM. Political power shifts back and forth. It always has. But if WE THE PEOPLE can’t base our decisions and put our trust in someones because we have the facts to make our decisions, then all is lost. Thank you, Barbara

    • 1010ParkPlace March 24, 2019 at 2:20 pm

      Thank you, Beckye for your comments. In those first huge waves of caravans who reached our border, where there children who were separated from their rightful parents? YES! Were the hundreds of Guatemalan military commandos and MS-13 gang members traveling with children who weren’t their own so they could easily pass through our borders? YES! If we think back to those first few caravans they were mostly men. Were there some who were coming so they could find work in the US and send money home to their families? YES! Were there some who were coming to further their deadly and sophisticated criminal enterprises inside the United States? YES! Were there children who were being raped along the journey? YES! Were there children who were sick, dehydrated, starving and dying because “their parents” hadn’t taken care of them on the journey? YES!

      The US and Mexico were overwhelmed with what to do with 11,000 and 7,000 and 6,000 people at a time, but separating children from their parents wasn’t meant to be a heartless thing, but rather trying to make sure who the children’s real parents were while they were given aide and attention, and these kids didn’t have IDs. The Obama administration did the same thing, separating unaccompanied children… or the ID of their parents was unclear. THIS IS NOTHING NEW.

      It has become another hot button issue that’s divided the nation, but I’m wondering how many people… on either side of this issue… have thought through what they would have done, faced with thousands and thousands and thousands of immigrants and KNOWN, violent criminals, traveling with sick and injured children who needed to be cared for, protected while confirming who their real parents were? I can’t imagine being charged with that overwhelming job. Instead of saying there’s good and bad about what the Obama administration AND the Trump administration tried to achieve, did the media… both pro and con… jump in to further the narrative of their political beliefs? YES! When we lose all reason and the ability to ONLY report the facts, and not our opinion, WE THE PEOPLE are setting ourselves up to get the government we deserve, and… God help us! xoxox, Brenda

  • carol March 23, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    YAY, BRENDA! I so admire your courage in this post and exposing the Truth!
    We need more educational postings like this, for sure!

    • 1010ParkPlace March 24, 2019 at 2:44 pm

      Thank you, Carol. The real meat of this post, however, is in the comments. I appreciate your support. Brenda

  • C. March 24, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Spot on….YES. Please uphold our laws and Borders. Yes to the wall. I have been calling my elected officials ( about other stuff too….. growing list of socialist junk). I remain a proud American Woman and I vote. Thank you for this so well written post.

    • 1010ParkPlace March 24, 2019 at 2:46 pm

      Thank you, C. We all have to do what our conscious dictates, and mine is fed up with the current nonsense coming from everyone, on both sides of the aisle, and in the media I’m supposed to trust. I just want the facts. If we have the truth, everything else will sort itself out. Brenda

  • Doreen Pendgracs March 24, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    Hi Brenda. I’m coming to your site via the Midlife Writers group on FB. I’m very glad I happened upon your site, as you have a highly engaged readership that is not afraid to state its passion. Having been to Lake Atitlan and thinking it was one of the most beautiful places on earth, I am saddened to learn there have been killings there. I had no idea that Guatemala is suffering from the same corruption found in Honduras, Venezuela, and Colombia. God help us all.

    • Cat March 24, 2019 at 11:49 pm

      Just as a side note, I’ve heard Columbia has gotten better, that they’ve tried to get a handle on corruption. Does anyone know if this is true. Thank goodness we can have a convo about all of this….I hope the internet gods don’t spoil that!

    • 1010ParkPlace March 25, 2019 at 2:56 pm

      Hi Doreen! I know who you are! The chocolate expert! For the last 10 years I’ve been trying every 60% cacao chocolate I can find until I started having kidney stones early this year. My doctor nixed chocolate, coffee, tea, colas, spinach and kale. I’m only sad about the chocolate, so have some for me! I’m blessed to have a great group of readers, and yes, we have lots of conversations although this one isn’t the norm. I haven’t been to Lake Atitlan, but was kidnapped near there by the Guatemalan Military Commandos. Unfortunately many of the Central American countries are unsafe and have been forever. Trace their violent history back to the Maya. Guatemala is notorious for their brutality, for the inconceivable number of “the disappeared” they kidnapped and killed or used to work the poppy fields. I didn’t have a clue what I was in for when I travelled there by myself. God help us all… Amen. I hope to see you here, again, Thank you!!! Brenda

  • Vicki March 24, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Violence and corruption is a serious issue. The alarmist tone in this piece, however, makes it difficult to accept that it is unbiased. It is unfortunate as it takes away from the issue at hand which you clearly are passionate about. I clicked to find out “SOMETHING OUR MOTHERS NEVER KNEW, AND MOST OF OUR GOVERNMENT AND THE MEDIA DOESN’T WANT US TO KNOW.” Nothing new here despite all of the all caps yelling. These issues have been reported. You do not, in fact, know my mother’s mind. I do agree that listening to all sides is important. I wish you luck with your memoir.

    • 1010ParkPlace March 25, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      Hi Vicki, I’m going to disagree with you. For starters, most newspapers and magazines use “bold pull quotes” in their articles to highlight their point. I’m not doing anything different. Whether I’m writing about popcorn or puppies, I always have bold pull quotes. It breaks up the text and makes it easier to read. Every night at the beginning of the network news, the anchor says, “Breaking news… ” They’re doing the same thing, highlighting the point of the story, but I guessing you don’t call them alarmist. They’re “reporting the story.”

      Secondly, here’s an analogy: In record numbers our population continues to become addicted to drugs like Oxycodone and Fentanyl. You may say the news stories about this have an alarming tone, but do you believe hearing about kids, parents, college professors, housewives and presidents of corporations who are becoming addicted, losing their families, jobs, getting thrown out of school and dying are biased? The Guatemalan situation is no different. Guatemala is and has been… for decades… one of the largest growers and exporters of opium and heroin, and it comes up through Mexico, across our borders into our hometowns. They sell drugs and human beings, and they’re looking for any way they can to get their “products” into our country. That’s not biased. It’s fact. It should be alarming however. Thanks for weighing in on the conversation, Brenda

  • Victoria March 25, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    Brenda thank you for such a great post. It amazes me all the time the things people will buy into without checking anything out. We keep turning the other cheek to so much instead of taking a stand on how bad our country is going down the drain. What no one seems to understand is that the USA is going to be as bad as these other countries if something isn’t done to stop all of the drugs, human trafficking etc. It starts with a wall and upholding our current immigration laws. People need to wise up. Trump is not the easiest pill to swallow but he is trying to save the country from itself.

    • 1010ParkPlace March 25, 2019 at 3:37 pm

      Thank you, Victoria for your comment. Trump is not the easier pill to swallow but I also understand that neither is thinking we’ve had our head in the sand while the Devil whistles merrily over our grave. I appreciate your comment and always love seeing you here! Thank you! xoxo, Brenda

  • Cat March 25, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Brenda, I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and enjoying your insights into life as an older woman. I can’t relate to all of what you write about, but plenty I can. I shared your story of how you took care of your hair issues (I remember complaining as a young woman about having TOO MUCH HAIR, Ha!) with a dear friend who is a hairdresser who is going to share the info. with her clients. But I have to say, I’m so thankful that you wrote this. I can’t imagine the hell that you must have gone through being kidnapped! I’m looking forward to your memoirs too.

    • 1010ParkPlace March 25, 2019 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Cat, My hair… Oh, my stars! Like you, I had too much hair (I used to get it thinned, now mother nature does it for me.) until I ran out of estrogen and was diagnosed with breast cancer. As we age we change on so many levels, inside and out, and it’s not always easy to deal with, is it? Thanks for reading and for commenting! I appreciate it. We don’t always agree with one another and that’s okay. We don’t all have the same opinion or have shared experiences. I think that’s why we read books and watch movies. We gain insights into other people and how they live. Thank you! Brenda

  • Lynne March 25, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    Thank you for your courage to speak the truth, Brenda. Americans are afraid to speak out about what they see and live every day.

    Recently a local journalist, Eric Johnson, made a documentary called “Seattle Is Dying”. I encourage every person in America to watch the documentary, because the drugs you speak about are killing this country.

  • 1010ParkPlace March 25, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Thanks for bringing this to my/our attention Lynne. I caught the title and just a snippet on something I was listening to so I’m making a note to find it and watch it. My friend’s son… no words can explain how far this brilliant young man has lied and taken advantage of his family to get money for drugs plus another friend’s daughter-in-law… who has children.., is getting sucked down the same deadly rabbit hole. Until it affects us or someone we love I think it’s easy to look the other way but this nation is facing a drug crisis that’s exploded beyond anything we’ve ever dealt with. I really do appreciate your contribution. Thank you, Brenda

  • CK March 26, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Like so many here, I appreciate your candor and your willingness to speak out on an issue that so many in our country have closed their eyes to. Keep reporting the truth!

    • 1010ParkPlace March 27, 2019 at 3:46 pm

      Thanks CK. I appreciate you and that you took the time to leave me a message! Brenda

  • Sandra Sallin - Apaper From My Art March 28, 2019 at 1:38 am

    I had no idea. I trust you because you have no political agenda. I’m so glad you’re speaking out. Too bad this is not on the front page of every major newspaper. Have you thought of sending this to the opinion page of one of the papers? Thanks for your guts!

    • 1010ParkPlace March 28, 2019 at 8:15 am

      Hi Sandra, If you subscribe to the NYT, for instance, you can find articles about this dating back decades. No. I’m not interested in writing for the “opinion page” of a newspaper because they lead with their opinions on the front page. Real journalism, real reporting ABOUT JUST THE FACTS… who, what, when, where and why… are just memories in our rearview mirror. I’m disgusted with the media. I will save my writing for my memoir and I have lots to say about the corrupt system south of our border. I hope you’re feeling better!!! Your hair!!! Have you gotten that fixed? xoxox, Brenda

  • LA CONTESSA March 29, 2019 at 7:29 pm


    • Brenda Coffee March 31, 2019 at 6:23 pm

      Thank you, Elizabeth. xoxox

  • Mamavalveeta03 March 31, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Brenda, since reading this post, I’ve given a lot of thought to what I should do. I respect you and care about you, but I couldn’t disagree more about the real problem or the solution proposed by Trump. My faith in God, not fear, is what shapes my political and world views. Naïveté? I don’t think so. My daughter has lived all over the world, including Germany, Bolivia, Mexico and Colombia for the past 3 and a half years, and we talk a lot about the peopke’s reality vs. what gets broadcast in the US. I get my news from a variety of papers and PBS News Hour for an in-depth look at what’s happening in our country and the world. I’m not a fan of sound bites.

    It is clear that this is not where I belong. I think it would be better for both of us if I unsubscribe. I wish you well.

    • Brenda Coffee March 31, 2019 at 6:39 pm

      Val, This was not a political post. I’m just reconfirming what both parties have said since before President Obama was elected: We need to uphold the current border laws. If you really read that, it doesn’t mean keeping people out of our country. Just the opposite. It’s welcoming them and caring for them in a loving, humane manner that’s best for them and our system, which is overwhelmed. It’s based on my first hand experience as a journalist and a victim and the news. Todays’s San Antonio ABC-TV affiliate, KMOL TV, continues to reconfirm that Mexico and the US can’t handle this giant influx of people on a daily basis. We have no place to put them. No clothes, no food, no shelters for them. I’m not talking about a wall or keeping them out, just managing this overwhelming flow so they don’t become homeless and are not still at risk for those who would take advantage of them. It’s a crisis here where I live! My faith shapes my life as well, but to ignore what I know from 60 years of living in south Texas, having friends… back in the day and now… who’ve also been affected by the brutality and poverty there and following the tragedies on the border and south of the border would go against everything I know to be true. I thought about your daughter when I wrote this, knowing you might have a different perspective. I’m thankful she’s only had good experiences, and I pray God continues to surround you both with His protective light and love. Brenda

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