Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On Using Intuition

This is a painting called "Intuition" by Bente Hansen.      This is a link to the work            The link will permit you to buy cards and print versions of this painting.

When I look back on Daniel's life now, the portion of which ended on Earth now three and a half years ago, I realize something. Daniel was never one of those children who waited for me, or for us to direct his play, book him for something, or to entertain him. He has a very clear idea of what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it, and how quickly he wished to complete different experiences and different tasks. Daniel had the gift of self occupation from a very early age. I think this is one of the reasons he was so enjoyable with which to interact, and one of the reasons, there was such joy in the experience of doing so.
I have always taught all of my children to trust their intuitive feelings about life and things in it. Don't trust a person your intuition tells you not to. Don't travel when your soul tells you to stay home. Listen, when your intuition tells you to do something, even when it may not initially seem intelligent. Daniel didn't need to be taught this. In large part, he trusted his mind, his intuitions, and enjoyed reading, computers, the farm, people, and experiences with the type of joy and abandon we would wish our children to have. He loved music and language, and the nuances of it. He also enjoyed honesty, and employed it regularly.
Daniel trusted his intuition in living his life. I still struggle with not heeding mine. A month before Daniel's passing, when we were in the hospital in another city with my father who was dying, I felt the impulse to have Daniel evaluated in the ER there. What would I tell them ? My father is dying, this is stressful, particularly for my youngest son......please look at him. I didn't do this. Now, I will never know if something, anything would have been detected that might have altered the course of his passing, just 31 days later. I listen better to my intuitions today.

This is a fitting musical interlude to a boy who was a true expert in computer animation.  Had he survived, he would have brought so much in terms of creative ventures to the world.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Greetings from the Tooth Fairy

(Painting by Jenedy Paige, a California artist.....  Picture from
Sadly, Jenedy lost a son to drowning.  Her website and more of her remarkable paintings can be found at

A few years ago, when Daniel was still here on Earth with us, we took him to a "Weird Al" Yankovic concert for his birthday. This was absolutely his heart's desire and Daniel was very excited. My husband and I came in separate cars because it the concert was after work. I brought my daughter, my son Matt, and Daniel, and my husband came in his vehicle. My son Adam brought his date Margaret. Daniel liked Margaret very much, and despite the rain that evening, he had a wonderful time.
Of course, since that time, our eldest children have graduated from the university, and so has Margaret. Margaret, whom Daniel liked so much, has graduated and become licensed as a Dental Hygienist. She is apparently working as the "Tooth Fairy" to the region of the state in the area of the university, according to this news report from Richmond.  Congratulations Margaret. I am sure the children you help regard you just as highly as Daniel did. Best wishes.

(Embed feature may not be functional as WTVR TV may remove it)

You may see video at:


Friday, February 24, 2012

Another VCU Area Student is Missing



For now, I am leaving this post up, as a much needed encouragement to those who still have missing sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters our there. The location of missing persons does happen, and reunions are possible. Don't forget this, and keep the faith !

Welcome Home, Kaia !

          Kaia Sorensen is a Virginia Commonwealth University area student who is taking some time off this semester. She plans to be a psychology major there.  She has completed a portion of her education at  J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.   Kaia spent one year living in Denmark.   She was to have attended VCU for the first time this semester, but could not start there until next semester, due to a clerical error.   She still resides with roommates quite near the university itself.     Kaia has been visiting New York City for the purpose of doing some modelling.  She had also hoped to make it to some lectures on selected topics in psychology.    She took the bus to Chinatown on February 18th.      Kaia was due home in Richmond on Tuesday,  February 21, 2012.    Her whereabouts are presently unknown.  Her family has filed a police report.

       If you have any information as to her whereabouts,  or have seen Kaia,  please contact 

             VCU Police :   804-828-1234          OR:

       If you know anything about Kaia's photo shoot in New York, or of her whereabouts, you could call
       the :

       Anonymous tipline:   804-780-1000

             Ian Burnet, a VCU student has been missing, also from a visit to New York City, since December 30, 2011.    Jonny Dorey, an exchange student from Guernsey, in  the Channel Islands of the United Kingdom also continues to be missing from VCU since March, 2, 2010.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Foreclosures Everywhere

Many rural homes in foreclosure require either major systems overhaul or maintenance which would not be easy for a first time home buyer to perform.


This is what I call a "castle foreclosure". The maintenance, property taxes, and electricity  on such a home are likely to be so high that no one should buy such a house without paying cash. Yet many people have very high mortgages on such properties.

Houses in good condition as foreclosures are often overpriced by banks. Many times the best deal comes from buying from an individual who needs to move, not from a bank who might have very unrealistic ideas about the pricing of a foreclosed home.

       I have mentioned before that we live in a rather unusual area.  When Daniel was small, and our other children were seven, twelve and thirteen, we moved from a large home in the suburbs out to an exceedingly rural area.  We wanted them to have the chance to learn things that we had learned as children growing up in the country. We wanted them to raise ducks, chickens, and rabbits, and perhaps have horses or other larger livestock. We wanted them to learn to self occupy and to read volumes of books rather than books.  When we moved here, there wasn't a gas station for twenty five miles. There was no mail delivery, and still isn't.  The post office nearest us had closed in the seventies, and so we became accustomed to picking up our own mail.  There isn't cable television here.  One tries to pick up a couple of stations over the airwaves.  The first year was difficult for them as they missed friends, and adjusted to homeschooling here, while seeing new friends once a week rather than once a day.  They missed Tae Kwon Do, and Wendy's, Chinese food, and the occasional slice of pizza.  It took almost a year for the kids to begin to enjoy the skies here where one can study the weather by noting the clouds.  The night sky is amazing here, as there is absolutely no light pollution at night, and one can study the constellations and the milky way with ease..  A year later, ours kids were as busy with their homeschooling,  homeschool group gatherings, church, animals, exploring art projects at home, and learning to create a pond garden.  I am often glad that we made such a decision. Moving them to a place without so much external stimuli has allowed them to become more closely who they were meant to be, and not simply become reflections or copies of a society which appears to be in sharp decline.  I am glad Daniel had the opportunity to be close to his family, have all the animals he had, travel to the city when we needed, and have time to explore his computer, books, and the world which he came to love so.
             In 2008, when Daniel passed and the economy began to fail, we were fairly well economically insulated here, and we realized this. Most people could already not afford to live here because the fuel needed to commute to work would make it difficult. We moved here following a series of happy accidents which made building a farm here possible for us.  Most of the people in our area have either been here for many generations, and have prospered in that time, or they were wealthy people who chose to buy or build a farm here when America was in a boom time.  There are people who are not wealthy, and they often work for the people who are.  We occupy the dubious slot of being a middle class family here.  We are not wealthy enough to fit with the grand farms of thousands of acres, but certainly are not poor.   When the economy began to deteriorate, brick by brick, circumstances began to change for those who live in our rural county.  The wealthy stopped getting dividends, and so much interest, and they began to have to sell things that they likely should not have purchased in the first place.  The poor became more political, but much of their lives did not change, because they had made the adaptations to not having as much long ago.  As the poster family to the local middle class, we found that we could not continue to pay for our children in college, and they had to take student loans.  Each group made the adjustments which were required, and we remained somewhat isolated here.  The boom times never came here and so when they disappeared in the rest of the country, we were insulated from at least some of the fallout from it.
                In late 2011, and early 2012, our idyllic rural berg is no longer isolated from it.   Apparently, a lot of people were simply holding on as best they could.  The earthquake in August which damaged many local homes was more than many families could bear. A number of desperate homeowners put homes and farms up for sale following the earthquake last year.  With mortgages so hard to get, and jobs so hard to find, no matter where you choose to try to commute, none of these homes sold, even with prices reduced.  By Christmas, many of the most beautiful homes stood empty, with their chimney damage still all over their roof.  Anyone who thought there would be opportunities to buy homes inexpensively was wrong.  Locally, the banks held on to homes, waiting for the economy to improve, and empty houses with often undiagnosed damage continued to be unmonitored and continued to be damaged by aftershocks.  Now, wealthy people and the poor are equally afflicted.  No one has any money, and our community is sadly watching one family after another depart.  Many of them are moving in with other relatives, as they cannot afford a home of their own just now.  In a lot of ways I would imagine our county is back to what life was like for some during the Great Depression.  Our local social services is greatly stressed.  Despite the fact that a couple of churches started new foodbanks, our local foodbanks cannot meet the need, and local churches are stretched beyond their imaginings.  Some local churches are buying food in bulk, and then dividing it for parishioners, who ultimately come and help divide the rice, beans, cheese, and chicken bought in bulk.  For a modest sum, a family can buy staple items their weeks groceries through rural churches.  The churches are also gathering to teach people how to can the foods that so many people here grow during the summer.  Our closest country restaurant, which was twenty-five miles, closed abruptly recently.
                 We survive mostly because my father always believed that the Great Depression his parents endured, would come again. He always conducted himself frugally, and made sure that I knew how to do the same thing.  My in-laws also taught principles of frugality to my husband.  My husband and I cannot be credited with our financial survival through these difficult times. Both sets of our parents should be.  Before they all left this Earth, they taught us how to buy and prepare healthy food ourselves, how to grow our own fruit, vegetables, and raise chickens for eggs.  They taught us to barter with neighbors when possible.  It was during all of this preparation that we truly spent time with our kids, and they truly got to know us, as well.   We have survived because we always have lived below our means. When medical bills and funeral expenses came, we paid them, because our family taught us to value education and frugality. Still, it would be foolish to say that we are not impacted by it.  Our children are getting a later start in the world than they might have, had the economy been more secure.  It took much longer for them to get jobs following college graduation than it normally would have.  There have been fewer opportunities to earn money across the board.  There are also psychological ramifications to seeing families you know leaving their homes. It's difficult to know that the place we know, and grew to love, will have fewer inhabitants, and that the character of this place has likely changed forever.
                   Multiple area foreclosures doesn't really help anyone. As the banks finally begin to put up one foreclosed home at a time here, you might think that this would be an opportunity for our kids to buy a home. It isn't.   Banks now require a certain credit rating which is hard to attain when all you are paying that is being reported to a credit bureau, is a student loan.  Some houses can only be financed by certain types of loans which are not easily given to people in the job market less than five years.  I recently found a house I would be willing to aid one of my kids in purchasing.  Apparently, the Obama administration has it in a special program whereby only a first time home buyer can look at it.  I have the credit and financial ability to help my adult child to obtain it, but it can't be shown to me. My adult child can't look at it because she lacks the credit rating which would allow it to be financed under the program the government is requiring the home to be sold under.   Thank you again President Obama.   In a free market system, who are they to tell me I cannot look at or purchase a home in my community which is less expensive than others ?   If I seek to aid one of my children in the purchase of a home, what business is it of theirs ?
                   A friend of mine believes this is just the beginning, that the economy will deteriorate from here. From the number of recent daylight break-ins in our county, he may be right. When I was a young adult, I never knew anyone who had ever experienced a foreclosure.   Now, I know many families who have experienced it, and our eldest kids, have friends who have lost homes in foreclosure.   With all the robberies of homes occurring in the daytime,  it's a good thing this farm is armed.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

In Memory of Alex Betzhold

Alex Betzhold,  a true academic and sports star of Denton, Texas.

        A Denton, Texas family is grieving.  Oh, how I wish that my family had been the only one to experience a sudden loss of a child that we believed to be healthy.   Again and again, as the months and years since our son Daniel's passing, there are new ones.  There are children who pass to God without our knowing that there was some type of a medical problem.  This was unknown to our own doctors as well.   Alex at thirteen,  is reportedly one tall seventh grader at six feet tall.  Most people thought he was at least a year older than he was.  Like my Daniel, Alex was believed to be healthy. The day before Alex Betzhold's passing, he happily played with friends.  He is said to have been a terrific athlete and was lots of fun to have as a friend.  He was a well rounded kid and also was a straight "A"  student.   When he wasn't playing football and basketball, he was playing the trumpet in school band.   Alex liked science and math and was also a stellar participant in the University Interscholastic League “number sense” math contests. This should not be a surprize as Alex's mom, is a math teacher at the high school.    Besides his parents Steve and Mary,  Alex has two sisters, Claire and Sophie. These are exceptional people who have a strong faith and who will weather having their son with God in advance of themselves.
        Alex went to bed Monday evening, and simply did not wake up on Tuesday morning.   Although Alex's autopsy remains incomplete as of this posting, it appears from data given by pathologists to Alex's dad,  that Alex had some degree of cardiomyopathy which can predispose to heart rhythm disturbance, and sudden death.   You might remember my profile of teen Ben Breedlove recently, who was actually diagnosed with cardiomyopathy,  and who died suddenly despite ongoing treatment.   On autopsy, our Daniel did not have cardiomyopathy, but is also felt to have died of a functional failure of his cardiac conduction system. (a lethal arrhythmia without obvious structural signs.)

Alexander Stanton Betzhold

         My heart goes out to to the Betzhold Family.    We know that Alex was called to God, painlessly and safely in the moment in which He needed him.  We know that Jesus, and Ben, and Daniel, and so many others who are exceptional kids which I have profiled here in the last three years will be there for him also.  But I also know that this is a great loss for those at home, and for many of us on Earth.  Even for those of us with a faith to beat the band, the days are hard for us and for our other children.   Please pray for Alex's family.
          If you are in the Denton Texas area, there will be a vigil for Alex at Argyle High School Parking Lot at 9:15 pm on Sunday evening, February 19, 2012.   Alex's funeral is at the Argyle United Methodist Church on the same day at 3 pm. 
         Alex, you could have been my doctor some day, of course that would be AFTER you completed your dream of being a professional athlete.     Instead, God had a plan as He did with our Daniel. He needed you home for something important that is going on there.  
          We will eventually all see our sons and daughters who have passed suddenly again, but until then, some days will be very tough.  Although I do understand why God would want some of the best, the kindest and the brightest home with him, we cannot help but grieve you all.   Please know that you boys, and daughters who have passed too soon as well, are loved more than you can know.

This is contact information for the Alex Betzhold Memorial Scholarship Fund:

Alex fishing

This is an original song by: Sarah Ketts

Broken Lullabye

No more faded painted lines
No more runnin' out of time
No more broken lullabyes
I saw it all inside your eyes

And I am fine
You changed my mind

And I'm rollin' on
It won't be long
Rollin' on
So long

No more side streets in the way
No more crying should I stay ?
No more ice inside these veins
You poured it all out and away

And I am fine
You changed my mind

I'm rollin' on
It wont be long
Rollin on
So long
So long

No more crown of thorns tonight
No more rollin' waves in sight
No more razor blades of slight
I won't walk through this lightning twice

And I am fine
You changed my mind

I'm rollin' on
It won't be long
Rollin' on
Rollin' on
So long
So long
So long
Rollin' on

Update:   December, 2012

I discovered that there is a blogsite devoted to Alex.  You can respond to it and to his family by going to

Update: February, 2013

It has been a year since the sudden passing of Alex.   We send condolences, hugs and remembrances to the family and friends of Alex Betzhold at this time.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Yesterday we were lucky in that the weather which been really rainy, prompted all of our children to choose to come straight home from either work or college, to spend the end of the week and the weekend with us. This means that there is always someone cooking, and going through all the food,but there is always lots of activity and lots of laughter. These are the times in which having a large family is a lot of fun. I am always amazed and pleased and how much they remember about their earlier lives, and somewhat surprized at the good job we did, which must have been when I had far more energy than I have now. As they sat around the kitchen table, having made dinner,our older kids were having a conversation about Daniel.
Daniel, being our fourth child, was fortunate for many reasons. One of these is that when we built our home, we had a very large closet built in his room. The original plan was that almost everything he owned could be kept in the closet, leaving his desk for schoolwork, his chest of drawers for certain clothing, and his bookcase for his many books. His clothing, coats, boots, shoes and a lot of his many toys and games were to fit in the large closet. In theory this was a good idea, but as he grew, there were things throughout the room as well. Each weekend, when homeschooling was tabled for awhile, Daniel would go through his closet looking for something he did not use during the week. Sometimes this was noisy because the back of Daniel's closet wall, is adjacent to the back of Stephanie's. If you asked him about this, he would say that he was "excavating in his closet". We always found his interesting and expanding use of English to be amusing. As I listened to our kids talk about him and laugh about their experiences with him, it helped me to remember that even though his time here was short at only twelve and a half years, that he had a good life with us. He was treasured and very loved, while not really being spoiled. He appreciated what he had and how much we all enjoyed his presence. It really helps to have our children have such numerous and broad memories of him. It helps us to remember them as well. Even being without Daniel in the flesh now, there is much for which to be thankful.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston Passes

This was her last album, said to be a critical success. She is reported not to have had the stamina for touring and entire concerts as she once did.

Whitney Houston as many of us will remember her.  In her youth her voice was not only energetic with incredible range, but she moved so well on stage, whether dancing or not, that she was a joy to watch.

I don't think Daniel had too many memories of Whitney Houston. I think he saw her in the film "The Bodyguard" with Kevin Costner, here at home, and he probably knew her voice, but that's probably it. I on the other hand, have her rise to fame, her voice, and things about her as memories of my own life, and as a backdrop especially to my life in my twenties.  I remember that Whitney Houston, when very young, was hailed as the "amazing" niece of Dionne Warwick, and the daughter of singer Cissy Houston. In the eighties, I remember an energetic and young Whitney singing on then fledgling MTV.   I grew up in Morris County, NJ, and the Houstons lived in East Orange, so it was nice to see someone from the state doing well. As Whitney became famous, she bought up prime residential real estate in Mendham, NJ,which is also in my home county of Morris, in order to build a palatial home and recording studio. I remember that it was the first time that anyone black had bought prime residential real estate in expensive Mendham.  This was interesting, because for the first time, no one cared about her race. In those years, she was popular music royalty. I remember that Whitney had her daughter Bobbi Christina at St. Barnabas Hospital in NJ. By then, two of my children were born and my own life and career took me to another state, and I had less time to commit to memory details of popular culture.
However, as I had two more children, and made a life in another state, Whitney Houston married Bobby Brown, descended into drug use, and did not continue to sing with the same incredible voice she was known for as a young woman. There were attempts at comebacks, but there were public relations issues, and her voice seemed to lack the flexibility and energy it once had.
       Whitney Houston was found dead at 48 yesterday in Beverly Hills on the eve of the Grammy awards. No one yet knows the cause, but most equate it with a long battle with alcohol and drug abuse. Her amazing voice carried us through many years before her difficulties. We send our condolences to her family and especially to Cissy Houston, her mother, Dionne Warwick, her aunt, and 18 year old, Bobbi Christina, her daughter. I remember that Whitney Houston was first discovered in church, and that she had faith in Jesus Christ.  She is home with him now.

This was Whitney Houston's Mendham, NJ home.  It has been for sale for quite some time, and is currently reduced to 1.75 million.

I included the house pictures and information because several readers have asked me about this.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Turn Now


   My Dad, and Daniel and I were always very close when they were each here on Earth, and I have conveyed that we are close even now, when they have both passed.  This week we learned how much like them, and how connected we still really are.
               About two weeks ago, I got a chest cold, unusual for me, and somewhat severe. I was coughing particularly at night, and wheezing a little.  I also noticed that my heartbeat was particularly strong and more rapid than usual.  Nine days ago, I experienced a sensation of chest palpitations, of my heart bouncing, a bit like a flopping fish.  While taking my pulse, it seemed irregular. Since by then it was the middle of the night, I decided to take two aspirin, and call my physician in the morning, and report what is probably a run of atrial fibrillation.  Yes, atrial fibrillation afflicted my Dad, on and off for almost thirty years.  It also altered the configuration and efficiency of his heart and contributed to his passing, albeit in his eighties.   Daniel of course, is said to have passed suddenly, following a clean autopsy, of a spontaneous rhythm disturbance.  It is therefore not surprizing, that I share some of this predilection.
               That night, as I slept, my father said to me in a dream, "This is the last time you are going to be able to let this pass.  This next time, you are going to need treatment.  You need to get a cardiologist".
                As you know, I accept that Daniel and my father, are able to speak with me, in both dreams and sometimes in other ways.  I made the cardiologists appointment immediately for the end of the month, as quickly as I could get an appointment. I also let my internist know what was going on.  Nine days after the initial episode of atrial fibrillation, it happened again, early one morning, and I wound up in the university medical center's cardiology monitored unit.  Oddly, I was very calm.   Just as I had suspected, on EKG, and on monitor, it was atrial fibrillation.  Then, as it tried to convert, it danced between atrial fib. and atrial flutter. This time, the episode lasted from 5:14 am until 3:15 pm.   Physicians did testing, and chest x-rays and waited for labs.  First, they were seeking some insight in terms of fluid and electrolyte balance with regard to labs, and later they were debating the benefits of cardioversion against the benefits of intravenous drug conversion to a normal rhythm.    I joked that I had an AED at home, but that it just didn't have a "self cardiovert mode". No one thought my laughing  comment that coronal mass ejections of the sun has disrupted the electrical rhythm of my heart very funny either.   No one seems to have a sense of humor in a cardiac unit, and that is indeed just where one needs to have it. I told them that I thought I would convert on my own anyway, and that I would rather take an anti-arrhythmic drug myself, so that we would know what would work if this ever happens at home, and they agreed.  While they were headed to the pharmacy of an anti-arrhythmic pill they do not keep on their unit, I converted to regular sinus rhythm by myself.   After another hour, I was sent home.
           This new arrhythmia may simply be our family leaning toward episodic arrhythmia.  My eldest son had a successful cardiac ablation for a-fib about a year ago, and so rhythm disturbances are a feature of our family.  Still, cardiac arrhythmia can be caused by many things.   In Daniel's case, his supposed fatal arrhythmia was spontaneous and due to Long QT syndrome which had never been diagnosed..  His autopsy showed a completely normal heart without enlargement or coronary artery disease.   My father, had spontaneous arrhythmia, in the form of a fib,but went on with episodic a-fib to have changes from it which adversely impacted his heart's ability to pump as effectively as it once did. The eventual effect was heart failure in his eighties.   My issue may be different from theirs.  Unlike each of them, I seem to have a moderate enlargement of my heart in addition to the new arrhythmia. It may be that my new issue follows a virus.
          In any event,  my job is to try to avoid any additional slips into atrial fibrillation (as if I have that kind of control here) between now and my appointment in a week and a half.  I also need to try to get over this cold.  Then, the remainder of my cardiac testing will be done and my cardiologist will come up with a game plan.  Other than feeling lousy I am not particularly scared. I know I have family who love me here with me, and God and at least a couple of people around me who aren't in the flesh here anymore.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Perfect Explanation by Jenny Hess

I often hear how "remarkable" I am in terms of enduring the passage of Daniel, and in terms of understanding that our time on Earth is temporary, and that Daniel is standing by, and that we will be reunited when God is ready. In reality, our precious Daniel, and all of our children come from God, and they are therefore God's to call. I wanted to share with you this beautifully put video from Jenny Hess. In it, she explains so many of the things my family and I felt. There were also loving and golden times just before Daniel's passing, and there was God present around us when Daniel had to leave us. God could have restored him to us, but chose a different path for us. God never left us, and never will. No matter what your faith, whether it's a denomination of Christianity, Judaism, or another, Jenny's joy as she talks about Russell, and her knowledge and acceptance of the world which awaits us, is inspiring.

May Daniel and Russell explore the woods, the grasses and ponds of Heaven as we remember them both today.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Updates on Missing VCU Students

Jonny Dorey in 2010.  This was an apparent photo ID picture and shows good detail of his dentition.

Jonny Dorey in 2010.  This shows good facial detailing when not smiling

Jonny Dorey.  Also taken in 2010.

Jonny Dorey has been missing from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he was an exchange student studying geography, since March 2, 2010. Jonny hails from Guernsey in the Channel Islands in the United Kingdom. His clothing, and an empty bottle of liquor were found at Rockett's Landing by the James River, but his expensive bicycle never has been. One witness believes they saw someone who looked like him swimming in the James in 30 degree weather at about the time of his disappearance. Although it is true that with the potential undertow in the James River, that a drowning victim might not be found close to Rockett's Landing, a body should have appeared downstream, especially during a cold month. The missing persons case on Jonny Dorey has never been closed. There is an active FBI case open also. Additional information is in the VCU newsclip below, released some time ago. Jonny is reputed to be friendly and outgoing. He makes friends easily. He is well traveled and knows many places in the US as well as Nova Scotia, Canada.  Jonny's family believes that he likely committed suicide in the James River that day, but without a body, no one can be sure.

If you have any information whatsoever, please contact:

Family Contact Person:

Contact VCU Police Communications at 804-828-1196.

You may also call any branch of the FBI

Our own complete information on this case is found on our prior post:

and at:

The television program "Missing" will profile the Ian Burnet case on February 20, 2012

Ian Burnet. Taken at Christmas 2011.

Ian Burnet. Reportedly taken in 2011.

There is no additional information available in the search for Ian Burnet, a VCU honors engineering student who disappeared on a trip to New York City, on or about December 30, 2011. Ian also had a good job in Richmond, and plans for continued work after graduation. He had contacted friends and made plans following his return from New York. Ian is on a full merit scholarship to Virginia Commonwealth University and is missing his last semester before being granted his degree. Although there are allegations of at least one prior suicide attempt, this was unknown to his family (parents and his older brother), with whom evidence suggests that he is reportedly close.

To continue to help find Ian Burnet or to provide leads or information:

New Kent County Sheriff's Office with tips at (804) 966-9500

If you have information about Ian Burnet, the contact information for the New York Police Department is either Detective Sanchez or Det. Davis, or Sgt Greene at the 30th Precinct, 451 W 151st St. The phone number is 212-690-8842.

One can also contact the facebook page "Find Ian Burnet" for those who are members.

Our own complete information on this case is found on this blogspot page:



Experts in locating missing adults say that it can be hard to keep information out in media on a continued basis. Posting periodic status reports is our way, at "What I Learned from Daniel" of maintaining awareness not only in the cases of these two young men, but in the plights of many families who have had a child or young adult family member disappear with no word, for an extended period.

This is an additional link with information on the large number of missing adults from the United States.
When adjusting for population disparities, similarly large numbers of young people, are also missing from Canada.             

This is a listing of some of America's missing adults: wstr=Adult&alpha=A


Our son Daniel would very much want his blog pages used, at least periodically,  to help reunite families from their missing family members.

Update:   March 3, 2013

Neither of these cases are resolved.  Both of them remain open.

Update:  November 18, 2014

Neither of these cases have been resolved as of this date.

Recalling Some of Daniel's Attitudes About Family

Daniel was aware that my mother went to an assisted living facility first for rehabilitation after an injury, and later because she chose it. It can be hard for young people to imagine the need for assistance and support that older people may sometimes need.

Daniel disliked the whole idea of boarding schools and military academies. Of course, largely what he knew about them came from watching "Malcolm in the Middle".

Daniel believed that kids should learn from their parents and that long term daycare made "good little socialists". I wondered where he had heard the word ! Perhaps he was of this opinion because we once had a child who came from an orphanage who stayed with us, and therefore Daniel had a front row seat for a time to the institutional damage of that particular child.

One of the things I remember best about Daniel was his ability to observe something and the ability to draw a conclusion that others might not make. Even when he was quite small, he often saw things differently. I was reminded of this today when Adam and I were out in the car, and he mentioned something. We were in a restaurant near a rural shopping center which is quite near a private boarding school. The restaurant was beyond full, as today is apparently the day in which people come with their sons for an informational visit to the private boy's prep school.
Daniel was always very appreciative of the fact that we had organized our lives so that when they were small, we were available to our kids. This was less true of Adam and Stephanie. When they were very small, I sometimes worked nights as a nurse in order to be home with them during the day, after very little sleep. When Matthew was a baby, I worked a critical care job, but only on weekends when my husband was home, so that I would be there during the week. Daniel was the fourth child, and lucky insofar as he was the first child who had me home, all of the time, without sharing me with a regular job until he was older than ten. Daniel therefore had the luxury of believing that daycare was less than a good place. Of course, I don't think it helped that Adam and Stephanie told stories about daycare which included fights and what sounds like deprivation and unfairness, but I think to them as young children, time there may have seemed unjust. Daniel was of the opinion that people who turned children into fulltime daycare as babies or toddlers, and then picked them up with enough time to feed them and put them to bed, should just skip having children entirely. Daniel believed that we should raise our kids and not pay someone else to do it. I tried to explain that many times there were good reasons to use daycare, and that it could broaden the horizons of the children who were using it, but he believed that long term daycare was something arms length parents did when they wanted to spend as little time with their children as possible. I wondered recently if he were right, when I read about an upscale daycare center in which you not only can check on your child via internet, but using Paypal, you can buy your child's very own birthday party. His friends are already there, and it's his birthday, with no fuss, and no muss, for you the parent. All of a sudden I wondered if Daniel had been right about some people abrogating as much time with their children as possible.
I learned today that Adam is of the same opinion. He was saying that not only are people in a mad rush to place their children in daycare, and return to work, whether the financial need is there or not, but that placing a son, who probably needs to hear what his parents think about a number of things, in a private boarding school also may be another version of abrogating some of the obligations of parenthood. Lastly, the trend to place even functional older people in assisted living facilities, sometimes for the convenience of their families is also a manifestation of an America in which we want what we want, and do not wish to be encumbered by our babies, school aged children, teens, or elderly. Adam is not the only one who feels this way. I'll bet Daniel still does too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Where There is No Entropy or Passage of Time

          They say, that in Heaven, there is no entropy, no wear or breakdown of anything, and there is no actual passage of time.  Because you are there Daniel, and my father is also, I try really hard to imagine that. You might say that my heart is there already.   It seems in the world I am in, entropy is not only alive and quite well, but it appears to be accelerating.    "The Arab Spring" which we were told in this country was a positive thing, by media and the present administration, as it would be a chance for Tunisia, Yemen, Syria, Egypt and others to move closer to democracy has not gone that way.   It appears that violence has broken out and that Muslim extremists seem to be taking control in those places, when control actually exists.  Entire families are being killed in Syria.   It seems that in the two thousand years since Jesus Christ visited Earth, that sometimes, very little progress was made since Biblical times.  I heard today that Ahmadinejad, of Iran has launched a Spanish speaking station so that he can mobilize malcontents in South America and Mexico to attack the United States.  As I said, the entropy appears to be accelerating, and the news does not seem good most evenings.
         I cannot really imagine time not passing as it does on Earth.  Everything I have read seems to indicate that time there is spent busily and comfortably. I understand that although more than three Earth years has passed since each of you have, that to you, not much time has passed at all.
Entropy is a funny thing. When we are young and we build something, like a home or a farm, the maintenance projects are completed quickly and with little effort. As we age, and I don't necessarily mean very far, the tasks we have to complete in a maintenance of a farm or a home take more time, more effort and more planning. It's as if we are introduced to entropy in this way. As we move through life, more and more deteriorates and we have more and more trouble keeping up and maintaining what there is to do. Eventually, entropy begins to hit bodies as well, and the body that worked so well and healed so quickly when we were young, starts to need doctor visits and "maintenance" too. It's funny that it's as if all of our time here on Earth prepares us for the day in which we depart for Heaven. I miss you both so much.