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An ongoing series of informational entries

You're New Normal

Losing a child is like being pushed out of an airplane without a parachute. You keep falling, and falling until you hit the ground... ALIVE. You lie there in insufferable pain. Everything is broken. Everything hurts .You simply want to die too.

In a fetal position you're writhing, screaming in silence, praying for someone or something to take away your pain. You never knew anything could hurt so bad and not kill you. But here you are, crying eyes wide open and barely breathing.

Every day will be a struggle. Nothing will seem to matter anymore. Every single thought will be your child. Memories, long forgotten, will flood your mind. You'll become forgetful. You'll hate. You will curse everything holy. You cannot believe this is happening.

The guilt and the sorrow that follows, will suck the very essence of whatever little bit of life you have left. People will tell you that time will heal you. This is a lie. For Time will never mend you. It will never sew your broken heart or glue your traumatized mind back together.

Face it, You are eternally broken. The very reason you breathed, is gone. Your purpose for living, is shattered. The parent you were died with your child. You won't know who you are, or what you are supposed to do now. You are not the same and you will never be that person again.

You are now a member of the club no one ever wants an invitation to join. What once was only "I can't imagine" is now your everyday reality.

This is your new normal.

You'll wake up every morning for the rest of your life to suffer through this unimaginable nightmare. This pain has taken the wind out of your out life, convincing you that you'll never experience joy again.

It is frightening too, when you realize that no one can save you and nothing any one says or does will cure this. You will desperately search for anything to make this unbearable agony go away.

You will seek counseling, you may become suicidal, you may start taking pills, or begin to drink excessively. You'll pray to wake up from all of this, all the while knowing, you never will.

Yet as awful as you may feel now, know that over Time, you will eventually find that you can sit up from that cold ground that holds you prisoner.

Know that you will feel the warmth of sunlight upon your skin again. And you'll be shocked when you hear laughter fall from your lips. Trust that you will find your smile one day.

Yet you will feel guilty experiencing anything other than this grief and depression that has sat with you. Happiness will feel forgotten to you, like a lost friend. But trust, happiness will find you. It's visits will be short at first. Then this lost friend of happiness, hands you hope.

This hope helps you find your feet and lends you the power to stand up. You will be shaky as you start taking those baby steps towards healing. But you will leave that place from where you fell.

A new realization will slide over you like paste, as you learn that you will walk again in spite of your brokeness. You will accept the fact that your life truly matters. That their lives truly mattered. And you must make the choice to get up and live.

You need to know that your child never meant for any of this to happen to you. They never meant to cause you this trauma. Remember they absolutely love you, they are a part of you, eternally. It's a bond that can never be severed.

No time doesn't heal, but it will separate you from this pain, from that filthy place where you landed. Believe, right now that this is not the end for you. For you are a survivor.

You can and will get through this. You will rediscover your purpose. Know now that you will rise again, like a Phoenix from the ashes. Stronger than you can begin to imagine. Believe that happiness will come. Believe in the hope it brings. Believe in yourself.

No, this is not easy. In fact it's the hardest thing you will ever go through. And yes, there will be days when you're ok, but there will be times when you relive it all over again.

It will seem like it just happened. So fresh...When those days find you, and they will, remember who you are and how far you've come.

There's no right or wrong way to grieve. No matter what anyone tells you. And people will say the dumbest things to you. Simply because they are living in the "I can't imagine" place we use to.

So, be patient with them and be patient with yourself. Cry, scream, lay there til you dont. You're on the road to recovery.

~Debi Appleton-Darr~

Copyright 10-2022

My Sons will forever be remembered. 

Sept 2022


I'm past being embarrassed. My sons were addicts. I can blame the Army. I can blame society. I can blame their friends. I can blame their dad. I can blame them. I can even blame myself. "If only I had done this, or if I hadn't done that." I had no fucking clue what to do half the time.

BUT No, there's no more blaming because none of it would have changed the outcome. They are gone.

They were my children, but they weren't children. They were grown ass men, and made their own grown up decisions. No matter how much I begged, bribed, or cried, they did what the fuck they wanted to do. They always did.

For over ten years I dealt with their addictions, PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, broken back, Rehab, police, jail, money issues, homelessness, joblessness, getting lost in the woods, hallucinations, and seeing them cry, angry, and being scared. And Losing a truck? How the fuck do you lose your truck??

Drug induced mental health issues ripped away any chance for joy, for any of us.

And still, I'm clueless what more I could have done, or not done to save them. Trust me, tough love doesn't work for addicts. Or least not in their case.

I was riddled with fear, guilt, and worrying constantly where they were when they'd fall off the grid for days, or weeks at a time. AND Omg when they didn't answer their phones. And scared shitless to answer the phone when they did call. And even more afraid to not answer the call. Where your asshole bites the seat everytime your heard their ring tones.

The anxiety I endured was like hitting the brakes as the car in front of you stopped suddenly, all.. the.. fucking.. time..

I am no longer covering up for them. Their choice to take their lives was no longer "if" it was going to happen. It was only a matter of "when."

Years of abusing their minds with drugs rendered them incapable of making smart choices, they weren't able to think clearly, they had horrible judgment. They were at the point of no return. They felt they had no way to make "it" stop. They wanted to end their battles, their confusion and their pain. Suicide: the only thing they had left to control in their lives, was to take their lives.

It's wasn't meant to hurt me or any one they loved. I can't imagine how hard it was for them, to do what they did. What must have gone through their minds. How frightened they must have been. Suicide is not for the weak. Regardless what you may feel about it. And no, they're not rotting in some fictitious Hell. Their Hell was living in this life. Not ever knowing what was "normal."

Their idea of normal wasn't mine. I, like every parent, so wanted to see them with good wives, good jobs and saving up for a nice house, and a couple kids. But that wasn't even a thought in their minds. Their goals were empty, as addiction robbed of them of desiring anything I thought would make them happy. They were happiest, high. I have to respect that. But I don't have to like it.

Yes, there were many good times. And it's those memories I must force myself to focus on. Trust me, it's a battle I'm not always prepared to fight. If I choose, I could allow myself to slip away into that dark hole of depression. But I hate it there. It's cold, a filthy feeling of loss, pain, unbearable grief and hate. It taunts me though, it wants to cause me more anguish. So I choose to fight it, daily.

No, I must continually think how fucking kewl they were. My sons were the bravest, most courageous people I've ever known. They were comical, kind, generous, compassionate, and take no shit kind of kids! In spite of their choices they were amazing human beings.

My sons. My people....

Were awesome.

So, I'm not embarrassed anymore. Instead, I am eternally grateful for the time I got to spend with these two incredible kids!! Until we meet again Jeremy Appleton and Jesse Appleton , I will forever love you both so much!

*This blog is inspired by a woman whose writings have strengthened me in many ways. We are Warriors! I can't thank you enough Susan Sek.

If you have lost a child or someone you love to addiction, just remember it is a disease. It's not like they can just stop. The only advice I can give, is to remind yourself of who they are underneath the cloak of their addiction. And to NEVER stop loving them. ❤ And at the end of the day, they make their own choices. And you will have to learn to live with that.


So grateful! 

March 25th 2019

I am so grateful to Spirit!!! I must take this time to thank all of you who have helped me make my shop become the amazing place it is. And because of you, we have helped so, so many! I couldn't have done it without all of you!

Sheila Ball Ryan and the RCA Community for asking me and believing we could do this. TAZ, Brian Davis, (who got me a great deal on my sign too) and my Sons, for busting their assess in the construction. Charlene Schine (for all the beautiful decorations and your encouragement, the shop would not look as pretty). Kathy Eckman (for painting and always being by my side). Arthur Keicher (for teaching me so much!!) and Alena Kupchella Gourley, (you are simply amazing)  my kickass Team Members. These incredible people are simply mind blowing amazing. I thank you! And to all who have taught classes and to every single Client, I thank all of you, We all here, thank you!! We're only 2 weeks away from our 1 year Anniversary and I just had to share my excitement as we move forward to enjoying more great stuff in the upcoming days! Remember to always, always follow your dreams. ~Davina~

The Story Behind My Business

Nov 23 2020

 I was recently asked to tell...

The Story behind my business.

I would love to say it's been a rags to riches kind of story, however that is far from the truth. I was a single mother of three sons. I worked three jobs most of the time to provide. Some of those jobs were less than savory to say the least. But being too proud to ask for help, and the x husband didn't pay child support, I had to do what I knew would pay the bills.

I was 16 years old when a friend of mine introduced me to the ancient art of Palmistry. I was hooked. I studied it religiously, honing the skill, and became quite adept at it. I researched everything metaphysical, from tarot to shadow work and anything in between. But I found my niche reading palms, mostly in dimly lit, dank, smoky bars and strip clubs where I worked for many years.

It's now been over 30 years since my introduction into this passion of helping others by reading their palms, giving psychic intervention, and connecting them to their crossed over loved ones. So when the opportunity came, nearly three years ago, that being a downtown building for rent, cheap, I had to jump. I didn't believe that I could ever pull off opening a metaphysical shop in a strongly religious area. I was scared. But I decided I'd try it. So I opened "Crystal Cauldrons, a Spiritual Holistic Center. Your One stop Psychic Shop."

Kathy Eckman and I figured why not. At first it was two or three appointments a month. Yet my business kept growing, many repeat clients. It grew to the point I brought in other spiritual people, mostly women, as team members to help clients with their gifts as well.  

Opportunities and Challenges

The Opportunities are seemingly endless. I have met so many amazing people. I am blessed with the opportunity of helping others with readings and teaching classes. I enjoy sharing what I've learned. There is such a need for what I, and my team members offer. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

The challenges are the ridicule, the fear that some have of me and what I do and the skepticism I have faced. I been called everything from a "devil worshipper" to "crazy." However, thankfully, I have thick skin, and there are many who believe in  what I do.

What motivates me?

My clients motivate me. Knowing that I am able to help them with their struggles, answer their questions, and offer them messages from their loved ones. Its the reason I continue. There have been times when self doubt clouds and I just want to quit, and that is when a client calls and needs guidance. So I pull on those big girl panties and plow through my anxiety. It's not about me, but what I can do for the greater good for others.

My youngest son, Jesse, is what mostly motivates me now. He was a Sergeant in the Army, 101st Airbourn who was a Combat Soldier in Afghanistan. He suffered terribly with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and broken back he sustained while in Afghanistan. He took his own life on Mother's day over a year and half ago. He ended his war, his way. He was 27.

I am a strong woman, but his death nearly knocked the life out of me. I have never known such gut wrenching pain. I didn't want to or even knew how I would go on. He was my cheerleader when he was alive, and I believe he still cheers me on from the other side.

I am currently researching getting a grant or loan.

I would use the money as a down payment to buy my building and the building next to it. My son Jesse, had a dream to help Veterans with affordable housing. As these two buildings have five apartments. Being that two of three my sons are (were) Veterans, I've watch them struggle to get help. This motivates me to wanting to help Vets and try to fulfill Jesse's dream. The VA hasn't always been there for our Veterans. Granted they're trying but I would like to do whatever I can to offer them housing, and guidance and friendship.

I am so eternally grateful for my life, my business, for every single one of you and for the opportunity to continue do what I do.

Thank you all so very much!!

A.B.A.T.E of PA

March 25th 2019

A.B.A.T.E. of Jefferson County PA

I am a member of an amazing Motorcycle Group whose mission is dedicated to the protection of the individual rights of motorcyclists through political change, charitable works, and public education.  We, my ole man TAZ, Dean Stephens and I,  are  part of the Operation Safe A Life ( OSAL ) committee where we go to schools to promote motorcycle safety awareness to Drivers Ed students. If you know of an organization that would like for us to deliver our presentation, let me know.  I encourage everyone to check out your local ABATE in your county. It is really good to be a part of something greater than yourself.

In Loving Memory Of my youngest Son 

Jesse Richard Appleton

11/8/1991 - 5/12/2019

Sept 23 2019

Jesse was a Sergeant in the Army.  A 101st Airborne Combat Veteran who fought for our country in Afghanistan.

My son left for the Army when he was 17. It was what he wanted to do. What he felt he had to do. There was simply no talking him out of it. Believe me, we all tried. He was determined. Yet when he came home, he came home a totally different kid.  He was no longer the innocent kid with such a passion for life.  His humor, his laughter and his overall amazing demeanor changed because of what he endured.  He suffered terribly with PTSD and Traumatic Brain injury he sustained while fighting in Afghanistan. He was haunted by his memories of war.  He lost his fight and took his own life this past May 12th. 2019.

He was 27.

I cannot explain how awfully devastating this has been. The grief is absolutely unbearable.  The pain of loss, sorrow, and regret chew away at every fiber of my being. Missing my baby is and will forever be my new normal. This has changed my life in ways I cannot describe. Grief sucks! To any of you who may be going through this I am here for you. I'm considering having a Grief Gathering, but not sure I'm ready for it. 

 PTSD is very real.  All the healing in the Universe just couldn't heal him. So many of us tried. We all knew this was happening, but even the Gods won't take away our free will. Jesse ended his war his way.

Writing this isn't easy. I may continue this again one day, but for now I have to end this blog. 

Palmistry and the Metaphysical in Reynoldsville

Palmistry and the metaphysical in Reynoldsville

Courier-Express -November 1st 2019

REYNOLDSVILLE — Debi “Davina” Appleton-Darr has been immersed in the metaphysical since she was 16 years old.

Darr is the owner of the Crystal Cauldrons in Reynoldsville, a “one-stop psychic shop,” and offers spiritual and holistic consultations through a number of different methods. Darr specializes in palmistry and is a Certified Professional Psychic Medium Palm Reader.

She was first introduced to palm reading by a friend years ago, who showed her some lines on her hand and explained what they were suppose to mean. She was shocked to find he was right about many things. From that point on, she was always drawn to the lines of the palm.

Darr started doing small shows and vendor fairs about 10 years ago prior to opening the Crystal Cauldrons, which has been open for two years.

“It’s just who I’ve always been,” Darr said. “(I’ve) always been into the metaphysical....”

She was initially attracted to metaphysical for the accuracy of it, and is still shocked sometimes when she gives a reading that is incredibly accurate.

“It just blows your mind, and it’s nothing that I do by myself, you must understand. It’s all divine energy. I don’t care what you call it, but I bring that energy in,” Darr said.

She said she dabbles in anything metaphysical like tarot cards and pendulums, but palm reading is the method she is adept in.

There are seven team members in her shop who each rent table space, and they are each trained and skilled in their own method of the metaphysical. Darr said they all dabble in other areas, but to be in her shop, individuals have to be certified as an expert in a field.

Her shop has experts that offer professional tarot card reading, reiki, psychic readings, past life regression, smoke readings, astrology and astrological birth chart readings. The best way to reach them is through appointments, or during their weekend hours.

She has people from all over the country travel to her shop for readings, including one from as far as Las Vegas, Nevada, and lots of visitors from Pittsburgh.

“I bring in more people from a distance than I do the locals,” Darr said. “They’re driving at least 10 or more miles to come to my shop.”

She also brings in guest readers and psychics from around the area, and from as far as New York for different events and gatherings. The Crystal Cauldron has found a home in Reynoldsville, and given Darr the chance to make a business out of something she has been passionate about since her teenage years.

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