Two days ago on Christmas night, I had a disturbing dream. I was driving Keith’s truck with my mother in the passenger seat. It was very dark. As dreams often have their way, time passed and it became more and more difficult to see. Finally, I became all but blinded and was forced to pull over. We pulled off the road and sat in the dark, not knowing what to do or where to go next.
The dream ended as quickly as it began. I told both Keith and my mother about it and described how vivid it was. It’s a horrible feeling to realize (even in a dream) that you no longer have control of a moving vehicle.
That next morning on my way to work, I discovered the heat in my car had decided to fly south for the winter. Last night Keith asked me to drive his truck in today so he could look into the reason why. Although I’ve driven his truck many times, I told him this time I’d rather just drive my car in since that dream was still so fresh in my head. He said he understood, and if I’d like, he would drive me in and pick me up since he really wanted to fix my heat. So that’s what we did.
When my cell phone rang here at work, I knew that he hadn’t had enough time to make it home yet. I noticed the voice on the other end didn’t coincide with that of my deep-voiced husband with a mild manner and gentle demeanor. I immediately knew something was wrong when
‘Oh my God baby, I just hit a deer!! My truck is f****d!! Destroyed the whole front end – oh my God!!’ Insert a few more expletives in there, just use your imagination.
Both lights busted, chrome grill GONE, bumper and fenders all hanging, the radiator was even busted so he had to get it towed.
Though shook up, Keith says he’s okay. Far as the truck goes, he’s right – it’s f****d. So is the deer. But the truck can be fixed. That’s the thing about material things, they can be replaced – my sweet man cannot. Later on this morning, I told him I was so sorry it happened to him with his new truck. His response: ‘I’m just glad it happened to me and not to you.’ If at this moment I had to paint a mental picture of what love looks like, his response is what I would envision.
The past few months, there have been a few local fatalities involving deer colliding with vehicles. These things can kill you, I know this.
I’m so very thankful that my husband is okay.
Being a fish out of water is just not my cup of tea. I still find myself holding the perpetual empty jar in the ongoing quest to find my ‘niche’. One word – awkward. Having already gone through this once 5 years ago, I realize I’ve never had a ton of patience in the area of self-discovery. I second and third-guess every single thing I do and say. I’m quite unsure of myself, to say the very least – it’s a very unsettling feeling.
It seemed easy to lose my own sense of self in a long-term relationship – in which case, I mistakenly assumed was forever. I surrendered every bit of myself to a man and, subsequently, assumed a portion of his persona as my own. No matter whose fault a breakup is, the hurt and anger that ensues afterward simply has to be dealt with, and there are many ways of dealing. After a certain amount of time passes, I think it’s natural (I hate the word normal) to crave some form of human connection. Recently I’ve found myself venturing outside my comfort zone and conversing with a few friends of the opposite sex. Although I think they’ve gone well, my own inner core remains stone-cold and untrusting. While half of me hopes this little issue remains undercover, the other half screams defiantly, “I don’t [expletive] care!!”
I seem to have the innate ability to over-analyze something as simple as a pineapple. Miranda said it best…
It took me a month to pack and less than a week to unpack. For some reason, I’ve always struggled with packing. Not just with moving, but with packing for a trip or vacation as well. It’s always easy for me to unpack and stick the stuff back in it’s respectful places – but gathering items and organizing them in boxes is hard for me. I think it’s largely due to my ocd about categorizing things. I also tend to want to clean out when I’m packing… I’ll abandon a box and go in search of other ‘like’ items to combine with it. Before I know it, an hour has passed and I’m still on the same box.
This got me thinking about life in general. I don’t necessarily have issues with making a change – I am a Pisces, after all. If a Pisces isn’t comfortable with the direction their life is headed, it’s a well-known fact that they will simply disappear or swim away in the other direction. That’s not to say that finding the courage to actually make that change is easy. Once the change is made however, my organizational skills are unmatched. If I can say one positive thing about myself, it’s my ability to organize – once the deed is done, so to speak.
It’s slowly beginning to dawn on me how much of myself I put into a relationship. It would also seem that I’m easily replaceable. Over the past several years I’ve lost a huge chunk of me that I’m now struggling to find again, and it’s frustrating. I must give myself time and patience in this endeavor, in as much as time passed through which I allowed that loss.
But guess what? I’ve already started.
It seems to be the hardest thing to ditch, this transition from the plural “us/we” to singular “I/me”. This morning I was telling a neighbor about the discipline training “we’d” gotten for Mojo. I recognized my blunder as soon as it came out of my mouth, and walked away feeling awkward.
Right now I’m angry. I hate admitting it, but I am. As I look back on the mistakes I’ve made, I’m angry at myself for being so naive. I’m angry for staying, for believing, for surrendering my whole heart to someone who didn’t appreciate it for what it was worth, for holding out hope, and for all the wasted time. I’m angry at him for being such a damn good receiver. For the lack of communication, for the broken promises when the hand of communication was forced, and for the sheer selfishness that made him, well – him. I’m angry at him for not even once asking me to stay. It stands to reason that I have been played for a genuine fool.
There are some hard lessons to learn in life. Sometimes that one ‘sure thing’ that feels so certain turns out to be the devil himself dressed in a thin veil. As my dear uncle used to say – such is life, I suppose.
One thing’s for certain – the walls surrounding this ticker will be rock-solid from here on out.
This past weekend was jam-packed with moving to my new home. I’m completely in now, and so are my babies. It’s a big adjustment for both dog and cat – of course, more so with Mojo the Border Collie. I’ve been told by a few people that it can be done, and I’m praying they’re right.
I hired movers for the first time in my life, and what a huge blessing they were. It was a hard move nonetheless, as I got in there and helped too. I simply don’t have it in me watch someone work to move my stuff and not get in there and help my self. The movers told me I ‘worked like a boy’… which I personally took as a huge compliment.
Right now, I feel like a fish out of water.
But the hard part’s over. At least, I like to think so. Next… some much-needed maintenance and repair on the old heart is on my itinerary.
It’s always worried me when a fellow blogger disappears suddenly and never comes back to let you know they’re okay. In these albeit rare instances, it serves to feed a pit of never-ending questions and scenarios in my head. Did they have an accident, did they die, are they sick, the list goes on – and believe me, I can create some scenarios. It’s for this reason that I wanted to let you guys know I’ll be taking a blogging break. Heck I as much as have already, anyway.
When I started posting back in 2009 it was something I needed to do, and it ended up being very therapeutic. It was also something I enjoyed doing. The past few months, maybe more actually, it’s become (can I be frank?) more of a chore. All of you should be able to relate to this honest admittance, since we’ve all likely had an occurrence of being burnt out on some thing at some point in our lives. To be honest, I’m dealing with a lot of ‘stuff’ right now, and a blog isn’t always the best place to, ahem… bare it all. Sometimes it is, just not all the time. So I also consider it ‘removing the cell phone from the drunk’. Yeah. That’s a good analogy.
I’ll try to visit in here and there, and may even be back again in good time. I value all of your friendships through the years more than I can tell you. I’ve met some truly wonderful and inspirational people who, I like to think, have influenced me in very positive ways. For this I feel so blessed, and I’m thankful for each and every one of you.
With that I’ll bid you all adieu for a while, and in typical bon-fashion will leave behind a couple of renegade thoughts.
- As much as I prefer routine, it seems as if my life is always changing.
- Never take communication for granted. It’s such an integral part of life.
- A promise is a promise – it’s not made to be ignored or left to dry up, as if never mentioning it again will make it disappear. That’s simply not the way it works.
Hugs and Kisses
You know that 2-tire blowout Keith had last week? While en route to get fireworks last night, it was crudely brought to our attention that little incident did more damage than we originally thought.
Cruising down Highway 321 in Clover, SC – a large kathump happened on the passenger (my) side of the car and the brakes completely locked up. We went SCRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR for 200 feet or so while Keith struggled to maintain the wheel, making a split-second decision to take an opportunistic pull-off into a closed service station. He narrowly missed smashing into a big green dumpster before coming to a stop with the ass-end of the car still hanging out in the street. Neither of us said a word while it was happening, but once stopped we both cried out “what the f*ck!?!” in unison. What is it they say again about finishing each other’s sentences?
If you’ve ever wondered (raising my hand) what happens when you pop a ball joint from an axle… well, it looks something like this.
So much for that brand new
set of four three tires and rims.
Reckon’ we gotta scratch that last-minute fireworks run, honey. Looks like them there wheels don’t roll end over end after awl!! Hell, maybe if we climb up on the roof o’ the house later we can enjoy some of those mortars our neighbors bawt…
Silver linings are everywhere to be found. There was no 105 degree weather, the rain had stopped an hour prior, and Keith wasn’t going the usual 65-70 mph down the interstate on his way home from work. We are safe, we are blessed – and God is good.
Never have I felt so introverted and withdrawn from my old life, from day-to-day society even. It’s not a good feeling. When this is allowed to continue for a few weeks, a person can start feeling less than whole. What feels like a month or more to me actually has been, as all the pre-op jitters I had beforehand had really started to get to me. For at least a week and a half before surgery I could barely eat. I skipped breakfast and lunch at work, and the few bites I ate for dinner were forced in a subconscious effort to keep myself going. I go back to work on Monday. What seems to have lasted a month has actually been a record two weeks. I’m eager to get back to work, which in essence is a huge part of my ‘normal life’. So for now I’m back… at least in written form. As of today I have 264 unread emails. I’ve really missed reading everyone’s thoughts and posting every now and then.
Of course me being me, the surgery couldn’t go off without a hitch or two. The night and day afterwards my blood pressure dropped to an alarming rate. Each time a ‘team’ of about 8-10 people rushed in, which can totally make a person forget how bound up their bowels are. In all seriousness, it brought back memories of my late grandmother and uncle, who had that same type of team rush in as their own BP plummeted. There was a concern of fluid on my lungs and/or a heart problem, so various tests were ordered including x-rays, labwork and an EKG (I was actually grateful to get the EKG since it’s been about ten years since my last one). With the exception of a high white cell count, the tests came out fine. Come to find out later, either the buildup of medicines I’m on for high blood pressure, the administration of morphine, or possibly a combination of the two was the culprit for the BP nosedives. For the duration of the next week I was kept off my BP meds. Two days after I was released, the nausea set in – of course this came after I bragged about being one of the women who didn’t get sick. Along with the post-surgery pain, I knew my fluid buildup was becoming a serious issue. My ankles looked like thighs and my feet resembled pillows – it was literally cracking my skin on the top of my feet I was so swelled. I couldn’t breathe well or even take in more than a shallow breath. On my second trip back to the doctor that week, I was told ‘Oh yes! You need to resume taking your BP meds immediately!’. I provided a gentle reminder that on Monday I’d been told to hold off on all BP meds until further instructed – Keith was sitting beside me in the exam room and remembers this very well. Bottom line, I was off the meds I urgently needed for nearly a damn week. Pardon my uber-long, exasperated sigh.
That Saturday, one day after I started back on my normal BP med regimen, almost all of the fluid was gone and I could breathe easily again. I don’t even want to even consider what being off of them for another day or two might’ve done to me (the word stroke does come to mind). If I’d ever doubted before how important those medicines are to me I never will again. They are literally my lifeline, and it’s scary to contemplate any natural disaster or other happening mandating my existence without them. Millions of people with different healthcare scenarios are in the same situation, having to depend on prescription medicines for their very existence. It’s yet another stark reminder of the healthcare crisis we’re dealing with in America, as so many individuals are having to do without or not getting the care or medicines they need in order to survive. Just thinking about it boggles my mind. I know that I’m one of the lucky ones, for now at least.
That time has come. I have to be at the hospital at 0530 tomorrow for surgery at 0730. For the past week and a half the sheer apprehension of it has all but taken it’s toll. I’m anxious to have this behind me and get back to my life… a life where I can actually eat a full meal, the food tastes delicious and my stomach isn’t tied up in a knot.
Peace out and talk to ya soon.
I love wind chimes.
Maybe it’s because they’re one of the few things left in life that are non technology-related. Maybe it’s because it’s the first thing I bought myself a couple of months prior to moving and starting a new life in 2008. Or maybe it’s because they provided such good company during the times I felt alone.
I paid only ten dollars for this set of windchimes, which is a steal for chimes (I know mine isn’t such a vintage set, but I’ve grown accustomed to their harmonial sounds). I’m sure at times my neighbors could’ve shot me for the relentless chime songs coming from my third floor condo, but I never got any complaints.
My chimes are still with me, though now weathered and worn. Much like an old flag proudly waving, both require that common denominator of wind in order to perform their duties. I’ve always thought weathered and worn adds character to pretty much anything. Weathered and worn tells stories.
This morning I ran across the Mother of all Windchimes -they’re called Corinthian Bells. I can’t afford them, but if I ever can you can bet I’ll have a set. Aside from the beautiful music of a harp – I’ve never heard anything quite as lovely. Thought I’d share one more video (not mine) showcasing this beautiful set – it’s so sweet. The end of this video made it an instant favorite of mine… and who couldn’t use a little more sweetness in their day?
A few years ago, I wrote a post on domestic violence. Miranda Lambert has recently took some flack for a tweet she sent during the Grammys. To me that’s what twitter’s all about, speaking your mind and voicing your opinion (in 144 characters or less, of course). Although I respect Chris Brown’s talent in music, dance and choreography – that’s about as far as it goes.
Here’s the tweet:
If you don’t remember, the incident she speaks of is when Chris beat his then-wife Rihanna to a pulp – which probably didn’t take long as little as she is. The following excerpts were taken from the care.com website:
The photographs of her injuries shocked and horrified all those who saw them. Brown initially denied all charges, including felony assault and making criminal threats, but eventually pleaded guilty. He is still serving probation for those attacks — the probation being, in fact, the “harshest” part of his sentence. Brown has been denied entry into Britain due to this conviction in a serious felony case. He has previously claimed to “not remember” the incident, and also claims that’s “not who he is” as a person — two hallmarks of someone who has not taken responsibility for their own actions.
The man convicted of domestic abuse got more attention than the woman who had BEEN abused, and got touted as a bigger comeback than the woman who nearly lost her voice but came back to win six Grammys.
Pay close attention to what Shannon McKarney just said there. If your partner assaults you and claims ‘not to remember’ and/or says ‘it’s not who they really are’ PLUS never acknowledges any actual wrongdoing – consider it more than just a warning. Find someone to talk to about it. Do whatever it takes to put your situation out in the open. Forget about any embarrassment or shame. Act now in your own defense.
Because it’s more than just a red flag. It’s potential for a black flag with crossbones on it.
Update 2-20-12: Miranda needs to let it go now. She’s made her point. ~BM
Since it’s nearing Halloween, I thought I’d share a little non-fiction story with you about the horrors that can occur when you decide to pool resources and get a roommate. Muah-ha-ha-ha…
Seriously though, a person I know is going through one of the hardest times in her life because of this very thing. I’ll call this person Rose.
Rose and her roommate (who I’ll call Thorn) have been friends since they were kids. Having been offered a sweet deal on a townhome from Thorn’s father’s girlfriend, they decided to save a little money and become roommates. It’s a nice enough place, a townhouse condo in a nice area that’s close to both of their workplaces. Each of them brought a cat to the mix, both of which get along fine and play all day. They agreed to split the rent as roommates usually do, even though Rose has brought slightly more to the table as far as furnishings. Rose supplied all the living room furniture, the washer/dryer, barstools, vacuum, most of the kitchen furnishings and much more.
It all started when Rose came home one day from work to find Thorn’s cat had pissed on her bed. In an attempt to nail down the problem, Thorn gets her cat spayed – which didn’t help. For the past week Rose has been shutting the door to her room so Thorn’s cat won’t get in there, now the cat is tearing up the carpet at her door. Just yesterday, she reached the top of the stairs and found where Thorn’s cat had pissed on the carpet there. This has continued to happen even though Rose confronted Thorn on it. You all know what happens if this is allowed to continue… the entire place now reeks of urine.
From the very beginning, Thorn refuses to clean anything. At all. Now cleaning for two, Rose has also discovered that apparently she’s responsible for the costs associated with the cleaning solutions of the house. Bathroom, floor, kitchen, detergents, soaps, you get it. Just yesterday, Rose came home and went to her bathroom where she saw her toilet paper dispenser roll lying empty on the seat where Thorn had seen fit to remove the roll and take to her own bathroom.
I have never. And neither has Rose.
Come to find out, Thorn’s cat is pissing everywhere because Thorn doesn’t see fit to clean it’s litterbox (each cat has it’s own). Even worse… Thorn doesn’t feed her cat, so the cat eats the food that Rose buys for her own cat.
Thorn is not only evasive on any of these issues, but combative in her responses when she does see fit to respond. She answers all questions with another question and has anger management issues. Rose signed a two-year lease on this place (I didn’t know two-year leases even existed?) and now is just sick about doing so.
There should be a code of ethics or something when it comes to co-habitating with a roommate. It doesn’t matter if you’ve known someone all your life or not. I tell myself some things just don’t come to light until the sun comes up and shines on it. Unfortunately by then, it’s too late.
My solemn vow to never get attached to another reality show = major fail. Oh, how I do love me some Gene Simmons Family Jewels.
I was shocked to learn the show’s been around since 2007. Where the heck have I been?! Honestly, if I’d seen it back then I don’t know if it would’ve held my interest or not. But now… most definitely. It’s a show for all ages – I even know of a 70+ year-young person who enjoys it.
If you’ve never seen it, on the outside it may look silly. On the inside, it’s about a real family with real-life issues. Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed started out about 28 years ago – back in the days of Playboy Playmates, the Rock & Roll heyday and Kiss tours. Today, they have two terrific kids – Nick, 22 and Sophie, 19. It’s totally unlike me to immediately fall in love with a set of kids like I did with them. They’re both talented, seem wise beyond their years, and bring some very intellectual conversation to the show. Add to that the fact that the whole family is hilarious… and I’m totally buying into it.
Gene and Shannon had 27 years of domestic partnership under their belt but had never married. I’m not the type to bash marriage or lack thereof in this case, because I feel marriage is a personal preference left up to each individual partner. I realize everyone’s preferences are different, and I respect that.
Last night was the episode of their wedding. It was, of course, gorgeous. I also like seeing what all money can buy. Whooo, baby… made my head spin.
There’s something bigger that’s held my interest. Made public on the show were the marital indiscretions that Gene had, and there were many episodes that addressed how the family as a whole dealt with this. Shannon’s pain and the shame of it being made public, how it directly affected their kids, all the work it took as a family through many counseling sessions that were in public view for all of America to see. To me, this is reality TV.
I have an entirely different respect for Gene now. Why? Because he truly manned up. Will Shannon ever be able to forget the past? Of course not. Can she forgive? Absolutely and wholeheartedly, and she finally has. How? Because from the very beginning, Gene took responsibility for his actions. There was much to be worked out in therapy, but he was always a willing participant. Why? True Love. He would do anything and everything to try and repair the damage that he admittedly caused to her and their family. To Gene, there was never an option of letting her walk away and not fighting to keep her. To him, she was well worth the fight of his life to keep.
And, he won. Actually… they all did.
Have you ever felt like running somewhere, anywhere – only to be reminded there’s really nowhere for you to run?
Full moon ahead.
Kinda like being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Even as a child, this phrase intrigued me. It seems most logical for me to believe it may have derived from Greek mythology – when Homer’s Odyssey refers to Odysseus being caught between Scylla (a six-headed monster) and Charybdis (a whirlpool).
Full moon alert.
However, I’ve run upon another possible origin that may hold water – pardon the pun – which is the nautical theory. In sailing terminology, the word “Devil” (devill) refers to the seam between the deck planking and the topmost plank of a vessel’s side. This seam had to be watertight, so it required continuous caulking. When a ship was at sea, it sometimes became necessary for a sailor to be suspended over the side or edge to perform this maneuver. Makes perfect sense to me how this might have translated into ‘between the devil and the deep sea’.
Move along, quickly now… full moon out.
All the talk of deep blue seas and moons brings to mind their lovely counterparts – the tides and currents. Thanks to the gravity force between Earth and the Moon, the Moon is ultimately responsible for many of the tides in our Earth’s oceans. During the full and new Moons, the Earth, Moon and Sun are lined up – which produces higher high tides (Spring Tides) and lower low tides. Sorry to bore, but I’ve always found the tides and their reasoning fascinating.
As a child, I remember walking along the beach in my nightgown under the light of a full moon, which I used to call ‘whole’ moon. I’ve written about this night before. I had this clear plastic blue ring which I used to filter the moon to a beautiful bright blue hue. Since then, I’ve never witnessed any setting that matched the beauty of the moonlit beach on that particular night. Even as a child I appreciated it – I stood there mesmerized taking it all in, wishing I never had to leave. Since our vacation house was directly behind me on the beach, my mother allowed me to linger there under her watchful eye. It’s still a strong, magical and precious memory – one I hope I never lose.
I’d still like to run somewhere. Preferably to a desolate beach at low tide, underneath a full moon…
Aim for the Moon. If you miss, you may hit a star…
~W. Clement Stone
There it was, like magic – website after website all neatly lined up in a row, most of them containing the pertinent information or knowledge I’d sought after.
This got me to thinking about something really quite simple. The more sharpened your search is, the more likely you are to have successful results. Such is life. The more positive input you add to something – be it a relationship, a friendship, a job, whatever the case – the more you should end up getting out of it.
Of course this is said while realizing things don’t always turn out to benefit you in the end. Circumstances might determine a final result. People can and will disappoint you. Sometimes the reason a person lets you down is no fault of their own. Things change… life happens. The bottom line is this – the more you give out, the more you put into something, the more you will generally get back as a result.
I have my good and bad days just like everybody else. I laugh, I cry, I hope, I try; I hurt, I need, I fear, I bleed. Truth is, I’d rather be considered an optimist than a pessimist any day of the week.
You get what you give… so give good.
I was talking to my mother last night, and the topic of worry came up. After some discussion as to some things that were bothering me, she asked ‘Where does it get you, really? And what does it accomplish?’ I had no answer.
I know prayer is the main key when you’re feeling overwhelmed, but I confess it doesn’t always quell the worry inside me. Of course all a person has to do when they feel the weight of the world on their shoulders is look around – for there’s always someone very near who has it a lot worse. It’s not that it makes you feel better – just lets you know that you’re not alone, and that perhaps what you have going on pales in comparison to theirs.
Worry can come from a variety of things. Too many bills, not enough money. A sick relative. Being unemployed. Health problems of your own. Drug or alcohol addiction of yourself or a loved one. Being bullied at school. Being bullied at work. A variety of these or other things can be a constant source of a knotting stomach and intense worry, as well as a variety of other emotions.
A long time ago, when I was just a kid, I found this religious tract somewhere that stated something along the lines of “Why Worry?? Don’t be a smudgepot!!” What was the meaning of this? I have no earthly idea other than saying not to worry, that we should let God handle things in His way. I remember my Mother and Grandmother seemed so impressed that I’d hit on such an integral subject at what appeared to be a much-needed time. I often think about that tract, and wish that I had it now so that I may fully absorb it’s contents. Something tells me the value within it’s pages was priceless.
An end result can hit you in the face with the same impact as a thrown brick, even if it’s something that’s been coming on for a while. Especially if it’s been coming on for a while, since the inevitable seems to lay dormant even more so.
The emotions of a mirrored past are thick – but flow swiftly, and justly. Even so, they lie bare and open to the focus of others. We often feel the need to either avert, hide or thwart these emotions (thanks, human nature). Therefore, once we’re faced with the reality of finality, BAM!! there goes that brick to the cheek.
Where and when one door closes, another has usually already opened – or is waiting to. This ever-wise quote has provided comfort to many, myself included. I do hope it provides that same comfort to those who might read this.
The finalities in life aren’t always as we might perceive them. Just as a brook or waterfall continually recycles itself… finality may also serve as a means to better yourself as an individual. To protect and heighten your own standards. The chance now exists to persuade your own self of going that extra mile. To further yourself in a way you never thought possible… to perhaps exceed your own expectations.
They called you Big O. You were a sailor, businessman, trucker, husband, dad, pawpaw, and friend. I’m not the only one these memories revisit so very often, there are of course others – your wife, your granddaughter, son-in-law and all of your children and grandchildren alike.
You were a man like no other; generous, loving and strong. You see, God really did break the mold when he made you. I’ve never seen a person who loved people in general so much – you just never met a stranger. Nothing pleased you more than to make someone laugh or smile. You were known to go up and put a strong arm around an unknown and give them a jovial ‘shake’ when you thought they might be having a bad day. Only once in a while would it make the person uncomfortable, but I like to think it made the day better for most.
My, how you loved Dale Earnhardt Sr. – and to say you were passionate about your racing was an understatement. At the time, the infamous Daytona 500 was the one big win that had always eluded your driver – and of course you always took a lot of heat for this. I want you to know the following month after you died, Earnhardt drove his car to victory in his very first Daytona 500 win. It was a very emotional day down here to say the least – but a bright spot nonetheless. Sadly, three years later Earnhardt lost his own life in turn 4 at that very track. There wasn’t any bigger fan of Earnhardt as was you. You and he even looked so much alike it was uncanny – I like to think you’ve both met up by now. I can just see you walking together… with your hand on Earnhardt’s shoulder, telling him your stories.
Many different occasions you’d see a girl or lady with their midriff showing, perhaps even bearing a belly-ring. I remember how you loved that opportunity to go up to these females, put an arm around them and say in your southern drawl “I’ll bet that you like sailors, don’t ya?” I can’t remember a time where the female didn’t look stunned, finally responding with a grin and a “Why?” to which you would say “Because you’re showing off your naval base!!”. You’d always laugh heartily and then flash that big Earnhardt smile. Actually, it was Earnhardt that had your smile.
I could write page after page about your character and the huge impact you had on not only my life but virtually everyone you came into contact with… but it would be further emotionally draining today and… long. I believe, though, that somehow you had an idea of how much everyone loved you. Your guidance, perseverance and faith in me greatly shaped my character. And, you would be so proud of the relationship I have with both my mom and dad today.
That fateful January 6th day of ’98 was to be your last. You had a massive heart attack that morning and went to be with Jesus. I have no doubt in my mind that’s where you are now… not a single doubt.
On the 13th anniversary of your sunset Big O, know that you’re still missed just as terribly today as you were in those moments right after your departure. So enjoy yourself up there, tell Mammaw hey for me – and we’ll being seeing ya…
About two and a half years ago, I lost twenty pounds. I found that success really can be achieved the good old-fashioned way – via eating healthy and exercising my tail off. I worked extremely hard for every pound, and kept it off for a year. I felt better than I ever had felt before – my blood pressure had leveled out and I was even trying to talk my doctor into weaning me off the beta blocker I’ve been on since age 32. Over the past year and a half, I’ve gained twenty five pounds (there should be a heavy black font for that because the bold one just doesn’t cut it). Twenty-five pounds. That’s the equivalent of ‘all that and a bag o’ chips’. No excuses.
Once again, I’ve taken on the difficult task of eating right and exercising – although it’s taken me twenty-five pounds to get to this point. What makes it so difficult to re-acquire that motivation, and why did I lose it in the first place? Anyway, I think I might’ve found it again and only hope it isn’t temporary. I dusted the cobwebs off my treadmill and have since put a couple of miles on it. I weighed in early this morning and was happy to see that I’ve lost two pounds – yay me! Now to just keep it going. I’ve done this once – but something in me relaxed, or something… exercising came to an abrupt halt and my eating habits turned from healthy to down right horrible. Failing so miserably in my endeavor makes me feel awful about myself. I’ve simply GOT to be successful at this, and keep it off this time.
The keys for me are a) weekend management and b) not feeling cheated. If I feel cheated, I’ve proven time and again that I’ll rebel. This is actually the perfect time of year to head to the mountains for a hike… hey, great idea. We survived last nights tornadic storms, and the forecast for the weekend looks optimal…
I had a meaningful conversation with a coworker this morning. This guy is good as gold – case in point, he initially came in offering a bunch of cans of Progresso soup that he’d gotten in a terrific sale for a buck each. I’m thinking he must’ve bought the entire store out yesterday. I jokingly told him that with the fifty dollars worth he brought in this morning alone, his trunk must’ve been dragging the asphalt! After work today, he’s going back to buy more, and he’s planning to stock it here for other’s lunches that might be without.
While in the kitchen fixing up the morning caffeine, he talked about his kids and how they were doing in school, and how hard math was for his son. He asked if my daughter was my only one and I told him yes. He asked if it was hard for me and my husband while she was in school, when she started dating, etc., to which I replied extremely – but that I had tremendous respect for others like his self who had two and three kids in school simultaneously. Looking back on that time in life, I guess we had it pretty easy.
He asked me how long I’d been married and that it must have been hard for it to end. I agreed and said it was the absolute hardest thing EVER. That it’s easy for someone to say they understand – but it’s a pain that can only be understood by someone who has been through it their own self. That I used to be that person on the other side, saying I understood. That I’m ashamed of the fact I used to think ‘gosh, why don’t they snap out of it already?’. That because you left doesn’t always mean you wanted it to end. That it can take literally years of work to get through it. That if you were truly emotionally invested in a long-term marriage, then working through the ending of it probably will take years.
After hearing all this, he was probably sorry he’d even asked. But he always has been a good listener. :)
In the years we’ve all known him here, it’s always been obvious how much this guy loves his family – his wife and kids are his world. When he speaks of his wife, he does so with a gleam in his eye. The level of appreciation and respect they have together is very apparent. As we started back to work, I told him to never lose that love and respect – to hold on to it… cherish it. To which he replied with a smile, ‘I tell my wife I love her ten times a day, or more. I won’t lose it.’ Hearing that put a smile on my face the whole walk back to my desk.
I ran across this story while browsing yesterday, and found it more than worthy of reposting.
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day, a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. What the man, in both his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!
I asked for Strength……… And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for Wisdom……… And God gave me Problems to solve.
I asked for Prosperity……… And God gave me Brain and Brawn to work.
I asked for Courage……… And God gave me Danger to overcome.
I asked for Love……… And God gave me Troubled people to help.
I asked for Favors……… And God gave me Opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted …….. I received everything I needed!
They say it has no memory. That’s where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory.
Everyone has ‘one of those days’ every now and then, mine just happened to start last night. Whenever I have one of those days, my mind immediately drifts over to the quote department – whether that’s a conscious act or not, I have no idea. One in particular came up at work yesterday. A dear friend reminded me of a quote from a favorite movie, certainly one that will always remain on my top three list – Shawshank Redemption. And ole’ Andy Dufresne…
“Get busy living… or get busy dying.”
As many times as I’ve watched this movie, it never gets old to me. Just like The Green Mile and Forrest Gump, I have so many parts of it memorized. I’d buried this precious quote deep in my mind, perhaps only to resurrect it at a much-needed time. This movie is a wonderful lesson on reaching your full potential by overcoming life’s obstacles. Keep your eyes on the prize, and never ever give up hope on pursuing your goal.