A love letter to Notre Dame

A Love Letter To Notre Dame

You're still the most beautiful cathedral in the world.

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While a lot of the world maybe hasn't experienced your majesty in person, I have. And I remember it. And when the news headlines flashed up on Twitter and Facebook that you were going down in flames, my heart sank. I sat down and watched the beautiful cathedral that I stood in front of years ago become engulfed in smoke and flames.

I'd been there. I'd experienced it. It can't just go up in flames.

I remember running around in the square in front of Notre Dame when I was about 10 or 11, laughing and screaming when the pigeons came too close for comfort. I remember walking into the cathedral with my family and looking up in awe and stopping, dead in my tracks.

I'd never seen stained glass windows like that before.

I'd never felt God and art and beauty so heavily in one place.

I was quiet, there were no words. I remember almost tiptoeing through the cathedral as if it were too ornate for me to even be inside. I remember lighting a candle in front of a statue and just feeling my faith so so present. I remember spending what felt like an eternity with my eyes raised up to the heavens just taking it all in.

I felt so small. I remember leaving the church and sitting on a park bench right outside the back while my parents and grandparents talked about the history of it all.

It felt like we had just spent an entire day out of this world and in a beautiful, holy place.

Of all the places we went to in Paris, I remember you the most. I don't know if we spent more time there or if you were just so overwhelmingly intricate and beautiful, but it was like the hands of God had created you. So please restore yourself. Come back to us and continue sharing sheer beauty with a world that so needs it. Notre Dame, we love you.

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Boys No More: The Story Of Benjamin Eastman's Murder

Benjamin Eastman was only 16 years young when his best friend Benito Marquez (16) and Marquez’s older brother Jonathan Adamson (21) gruesomely took his life.

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Benjamin Eastman, a 16-year-old boy from Randle, Washington, was found dead late June afternoon he had been reported missing by family on June 24th. His remains were discovered by the Lewis County's Sherriff's Office just four days later in a marked, shallow grave.

Benjamin was allegedly reported missing after his family could not reach him when he left his home Sunday morning after being invited by his best friend, Benito Marquez, to go camping. Benito reported to police that Eastman had failed to show up to his home that Sunday morning. Four days after and still there was silence from Benjamin, Benito Marquez posted on Facebook pleading for anyone who knew the whereabouts of the boy to contact police or Benjamin's father.

On the same day, the boy's remains were discovered on Marquezes family property in a shallow and obvious grave. When asked about the grave, Benito claimed the grave belonged to the family's dog that had recently passed away, given the situation police investigated.

Marquez is not the only suspect in the case.

Benito's 21-year-old brother, Jonathan Adamson, was also a suspect in the gruesome murder. Their mother, Kindra Rose Adamson, and Jonathan's girlfriend, Emma Brown, were just recently arrested when police found that both knew about Benjamin's murder after it occurred and did not report it to authorities. Kindra also helped the boys flee East after the incident. Both are being charged with 1st-degree criminal rendering.

Police have reported Adamson as giving information from the night of the 24th. Adamson claimed the two had knocked Benjamin to the ground, kicked him over 100 times, sexually assaulted him with a stick, and for good measure, hit Benjamin over the head with a rock multiple times to assure he was dead, all within a span of 20-45 minutes. The autopsy report corroborated Adamson's story and stated the cause of death was, in fact, a blunt force trauma to the head.

After Eastman was presumed dead by the brothers, they stripped their clothes and his to burn them, along with the shovel used for the initial burial. After an unspecified amount of time, Marquez and Adamson became paranoid of the possible discovery of the body so they moved the remains to a more shallow place on their grandparent's property and marked it with a cross made of sticks. They did not burn that shovel, nor did they dispose of the matching twine and plastic found in the barn that was used on the body.

As of July 2nd, the brothers were arrested by a state trooper on their way to Ellensburg. Marquez and Adamson are facing charges including 1st-degree murder, rape of the 1st degree, tampering with evidence, and unlawful disposal of remains. Their bail has been set to $10 million bail and although Marquez is only 16, he will be facing an adult trial. The only motive discussed at this time was the possibility of a girl being the cause of the dispute. Adamson has been arraigned as of July 12th and has pleaded not guilty to all charges placed against him.

Now that I have presented all of this information to you, let's look at the unsolved parts.

Evidence:

This evidence seemed a little to easy to find. From the outside looking in, it appears they wanted the body to be found when it was. Many people in law enforcement understand the saying "only the stupid ones get caught." Is that the case here? The positioning of the evidence also seems too cookie-cutter. After burning the first shovel, they left the head in the fire pit. They marked the grave with an obvious cross with upturned soil.

Benjamin was reported by many as happy, caring, and loving. So why is the motive for his murder not being discussed further than "possibly over a girl?" Benjamin's father seems to be handling this extremely well and claiming he will continue to approach this case with love instead of hate because that is what his son would want. He heard of the rape of his son in court, and somehow only stared at the brothers. I'm not saying he's responsible in any way, but I think he may know more than he shows, maybe even about a motive with the closeness of the two.

Finally, why did Marquez lie about the grave and what happened, but not Adamson? How could Adamson so easily tell the story? Maybe it's possible that the only involvement Benito had was luring Benjamin to the area.

The case is still fairly fresh, however, these should be some of the first things investigated before the arraignment which has already happened for one of the brothers. l believe there's a lot more to the story that is not being noticed/talked about.

Cover Image Credit:

Igor Trepeshchenok / Magdeleine

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To The Journalist Trying To Fat Shame Nike, Get Out Of The Business Of Putting Other Women Down

You can kiss my plus sized a$$ in my new Nike shorts.

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Recently, Nike expanded its clothing line to include a plus-size line. It includes sports bras, leggings in a variety of prints and colors, shirts, and their popular running shorts. (WHOO! I've already bought one of each).

In a statement given to Refinery29, the company said "Nike recognizes that women are stronger, bolder, and more outspoken than ever. In today's world, sport is no longer something that she does, it's who she is."

So, score one Nike for understanding that athletes come in ALL sizes, shapes, and everything in between! It seems Nike finally understands that you shouldn't have to be an Olympic athlete to wear those super cute leggings you saw in store.

It's a body positive forward step for the company, but some people instead of celebrating body positivity and inclusion (and cute clothing), can only see one thing: the other women's weight.

In the light of body positivity, there is one woman who tried to tear down others with her hateful comments.

Nike announced the clothing line and had a picture of their new mannequin, who is plus-sized.

Nike

Tanya Gold, a writer for The Telegraph, writes a fat-shaming, hateful, and hurtful article geared towards fat shaming plus-sized women.

Gold says in response to the mannequin, "She is immense, gargantuan, vast. She heaves with fat."

Which this statement alone is an incredibly hurtful thing to say, but she follows it up with assumptions that I can only think of one word to describe it as... it's just plain mean.

"She is, in every measure, obese, and she is not readying herself for a run in her shiny Nike gear," Gold writes. "She cannot run. She is, more likely, pre-diabetic and on her way to a hip replacement. What terrible cynicism is this on the part of Nike?"


So, let me get this straight.

You want us "fatties" to lose weight, but not let us have the proper clothing and gear to do that? How dare you criticize me or make any other assumption about me other than that I'm trying to get healthy.

You want to criticize what I wear when you're the one who said to lose weight, to begin with. Most plus size women are scared to go to the gym because of harsh judgment or ridicule from people like you, Ms. Gold.

But you can sit on a high horse that can tell us to lose weight but doesn't want us to have or wear athletic clothing. God forbid we get a properly fitted sports bra.

Wearing Nike clothing and athletic wear, in general, does not mean that you have to be an athlete. You are allowed to wear it if only, simply, because you like it or that it is comfortable.

You do not have to go to the gym the second you put on Nike shorts. You're allowed to wear them just because you feel like it. You do not need some fat shaming, hurtful, mean, journalist to tell you what you can or can't put on your body.

Nike putting out plus-sized mannequins is inspiring. It is so hard for women to go into a store and be able to actually see themselves in the mannequins displayed.

Being able to see yourself as that mannequin dressed in athletic wear subtly says, "Hey, I can do this. She is me." It's a powerful confidence booster that I think all women need at one time or another, regardless of size.

I am not in the business of tearing down other women, and I don't think Nike is either.

So Tanya Gold, if you're reading this, you can kiss my "plus sized" a$s in my new Nike shorts.


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