In 1886, a proverb came into being: “March winds and April showers bring May flowers and June bugs.” Some people have altered the meaning and made it into a joke. March winds bring April showers which bring May flowers, but what do Mayflowers bring? The answer is “Pilgrims.” Not very funny, but very punny, one might say.

The saying is also altered for this particular story, “March winds and April showers bring May revenge.” It begins in Delray Beach, Florida, a warm sunny day with no clouds in the sky but quite windy whipping across the land. A man, 39, born in Houston, Texas, sitting on a red rusty bench in front of his house. He is both contemplating his past and thinking about his future. What was done is now done, he thought to himself. He cannot change this, but this mantra can guide life ahead. This man is feared by many. His name is Eddie Franklin, Jr.

His ex-wife is Laura Haines, 38, with long light brown hair and eyes. She stands about five feet four inches and is extremely thin, and has long, slim legs and well-developed arms. She is outgoing and has several friends nearby. On December 13, 2001, they were married and had no children and were divorced precisely five years later. During the entire marriage, people speculate that Laura had extramarital affairs. Jake Pierson, 39, Eddie’s best friend for many years. They met in first grade, and they spent lots of quality time together.

While drinking beer and watching Cowboys football together, Eddie would fantasize about catching touchdowns and getting all the women he wants. Something was off because he was cheating on his best friend. They eyed the same woman since high school, and she wanted to love them equally, but that is not possible. So she picked Eddie to marry and stay in love with Jake. Within a year after the divorce, Jake Pierson married Laura Haines. For many years, Pastor Joseph Meyer, 61, has led the church a few blocks from where Eddie and Laura lived. During all this time, he helped Eddie through his issues. Their talks began in first grade. Then it was a teenager, falling in and of love. Pastor Joe, which is the way he wanted to be called, officiated at Laura and Eddie’s wedding.

Besides, he intervened where necessary to keep their marriage together. What changed was when Pastor Joe married Laura and Jake. One day after his ex-wife’s wedding to his supposedly best friend, he was thinking about his first-grade teacher, Ms. Nancy Barnes. She was a total knockout, young and stunning. While she instructed us,  she was only twenty-five, with long blonde hair, deep blue eyes, with a huge smile that made her vivacious lips more inviting.

As a teacher, she led by strict rules. When you answered her questions, you needed to be always correct. If not, they were to put both hands on the desk, and then she would take out a ruler or some other instrument and strike us. The more wrong the answer, the more complex and the amount would be, ranging from one to five. 

And there was Cedric Downs, who was Eddie’s Lawyer Accountant. Although he was 78, he helped keep Eddie in the black. Also, he needed legal representation, and he did that as well. For Eddie’s divorce, he did not defend him and thought it was the right decision, and he took Laura’s side. Cedric was a heavy drinker, and he liked to play the horses. However, he was not good at it and often lost lots of money, a couple of times in the thousands. Since Eddie was twelve, he was always in trouble with his first arrest on August 13, 1993, for shoplifting. He was born on February 13, 1981, but he grew up relatively poor. At age 17, on November 13, 1998, he stole a TV and a couple of laptops because his family needed them.

The police arrested him, and Cedric was there, and charges were reduced. Almost two years later, he tied up, strangled, and killed Nancy Barnes with a ruler and other instruments. With masking tape, Eddie closed her mouth and her eyes, so she saw no one and could not say anything. Of course, since she was dead, she did not. 2001 was a unique year for Eddie. April 13, he shot and killed his ex-wife, Laura, and her husband, Jake Pierson. When he finished the killings, he robbed their house. On July 13, Eddie attempted to beat Pastor Joe to death outside of his church three months later. But the police were walking by, and Eddie was arrested for attempted murder. Again, he was defended by Cedric Downs. He was convicted for twenty-five years to life. Eddie had issues to deal with a few years earlier, so Cedric agreed to take him home. Other than the names above, most of what you read never actually happened. 

What did occur was that Eddie had an episode of Paranoia or a form of Schizophrenia where he thought this transpired. On his seventeenth birthday, February 13, 1998, he was diagnosed with Paranoid  Schizophrenia. A month later, he was committed to a Psych Unit. He was hospitalized on and off for the next eleven years. For those years, everything was real for Eddie. His treatment was agreed upon between his entire team, Eddie included.

With therapy every other week and medication from a psychiatrist monthly, his life has improved. His symptoms happen less often. During his recovery, he got married on December 13, 2002, to Laura Haines, and they have two kids, Katy, 14, and Ian, 12. Also, Jake Pierson was his best man, and Pastor Joe performed a wonderful ceremony. Furthermore, he has been an Architect for the same firm for eleven years and in 2019 was promoted to Senior Architect.

As one can see, having a Mental Health Issue can control one’s life. With the proper treatment and a healthier environment, one can exact revenge on their mental health issue. There will be bumps in our road to recovery, but we will survive! Eddie survived. This writer has too, and others can. 

MENTAL HEALTH LIVES MATTER. See you in the NewsBlogs.

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