I Also Lost My Son, but I’m Glad the Roadside Cross in Lake Elsinore Was Finally Taken Down

This is a guest post written by Nikki Moungo. Nikki is a self-employed, work-at-home mother to three inspiring children.

As a bereaved mother, my heart goes out to Ann Marie Devaney and what she is experiencing since the death of her son. A word exists to describe the loss of a spouse: Widow. There is no word to describe the loss of a child, because no words can begin to convey the sheer gravity of what we parents experience. It’s an all-consuming loss, and that’s an understatement. Every fiber of your being is stretched beyond imagination. You think of all the ways you could build a time machine. Denial takes center stage. “It’s not over until I say it’s over! I simply refuse!” repeats like a mantra in your head.

One month after my son turned twenty-one, I received “The Call.” I don’t remember the flight. I don’t remember packing my suitcase. All I remember is trying to make it to the city he was in as quickly as possible. When it came time to remove his life support, in spite of my grief, I knew that having the chance to be with him in his final moments was not a “luxury” all parents in my position were afforded. I was able to lay down on his hospital bed with him. I took my grown, young, adult son in my arms, just as I did when he was a baby. I laid my head on his chest and listened to his healthy heart continue to beat for nearly fifteen minutes after life support was removed. Each beat brought with it a ray of hope… but then his heartbeats slowed, until the monitor flat-lined with it’s macabre long beep.

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Woman Responsible for Roadside Cross Controversy Now Fears for Her Own Safety

After a lot of discussion about a mother’s roadside cross in memory of her son, the threat of a lawsuit against her city that compelled her to finally take it down, and the multiple crosses put up in its place (which stain her son’s memory far more than atheists ever could), we’re finally hearing from the woman who initially requested that the cross be taken down.

The nurse and mother of three adopted children didn’t want her identity made public, but she spoke to a local news station about how she now fears for her life:

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If the Dog Doesn’t Die, God’s Plan Will Be Ruined!

Just wait till you see how God’s Plan works

If there really is a Plan, then God is one wicked character. Thankfully, there isn’t, and we’re all better off because of that.

(via Pie Comic and Exploring Our Matrix)

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After Family Removes Roadside Cross Honoring Dead Son, Several Nasty Replacement Crosses Take Its Place

This week, we saw a roadside cross taken down in Lake Elsinore, California. It was placed there nearly two years ago in honor of a young man who died in that location — and was kept there because 1) no one had the heart to tell the mother she had to remove it and 2) city officials appeared willing to bend their own rules about public signage for a Christian cross…

After the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent the city council a letter warning them about the possible legal consequences for “selective enforcement of its signage ordinance,” the cross was finally taken down by the young man’s family.

Almost immediately after the large cross was removed, in a sort of silent protest, two residents of the city, Emily Johnson and her father Doug, went to the scene to install several smaller crosses:

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In Memory of Eric

A couple of weeks ago, we lost a really fantastic atheist activist, Eric Broze. One of the co-founders of the Coming Out Godless project, Eric’s work was always meaningful and helpful, yet he never gave up his sense of humor in the process. (See: The United Church of Bacon, which he also helped create.)

I was looking back at my email exchanges with Eric over the past several years and what stands out is how committed he was to the work he was doing, even when his name wasn’t going to be the one in the spotlight. When he had an idea, he would pursue it wholeheartedly. Ed Clint has a beautiful writeup about Eric here.)

I had a chance to meet Eric and his wonderful wife Rose a few years ago in Las Vegas and they were as fun to be around as their online personas would suggest:

Appropriately, his memorial service was a celebration of his life, just as he would have liked. It took place at a bar, with his closest friends sharing their favorite memories of Eric:

You can read more about Eric here. Rose is accepting donations at the Paypal address rose@radful.com.

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