It’s not like me to insert a period in titles. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever done it. To me, a period represents finality, permanency – the end of a story. For this reason, I found it fitting to do so today. I hope everyone ‘gets’ my wording this post as if I were having a conversation with David – it’s just something I need to do. Somehow, some way… I feel he will see this. I do hope I’m right, because I never got to say goodbye to him.
The last time we spoke was mid-July, this abominable year of 2020. It was then you told me your arthritis was so bad you had to leave your job for good. I feel in my soul that this killed a big part of you, though you didn’t say it at the time.
We’d first met in junior high school and became friends. Later in adulthood, fate made us family by way of us each marrying a sister and brother. “Small world”, as they say. We went through much in life while being there for each other. Funerals, weddings, lifes ups and downs. Now your own funeral will be in a few days. As the tears fall, I try to come to grips with the fact I’ll never have you in my life down here anymore.
If there were a destiny meant for you down here – it was you being a Father. Brittany and Leanne, your two beautiful daughters, were your everlasting sunshine in an often bleak and gray world. You relished and appreciated both, spending every spare second with them. I often told you your smile was never bigger than when you had them with you. “Dad Day!!”, you would call it. I can’t imagine two daughters having a better dad. I am so glad they had YOU.
Although not related by blood, you were the closest thing to a brother I ever had in this life down here. Each being ‘only children’, I issued you that rightful Brother title shortly after the ending of my 21-year marriage. You often laughed at me for it, but knew deep down it’s what I considered you. We went from being ‘in-laws’ to just brother and sister. Many conversations of what we both endured over the course of each of our marriages strengthened our bond throughout the years. I confided in you with 100% trust – knowing you understood, empathized, and would never share any of my secrets. I will SO miss this, David. I already do.
We used to talk about wishing for a sibling in life, which I suppose many ‘only children’ do. I knew losing your Mom and Dad early in life had to be very hard on you, you’d tell me often how much you missed them. I’ll never forget the day you called me at work a couple years back, I immediately thought something was wrong since you never called me there. Through tears, you told me you’d just found out you had a sister you never knew about. I was thinking, I’d never heard you cry before. Those were tears of joy, of course! You were so very happy… a sister you never knew about. You’d said you instinctively called ME to share the news. I now have to admit David, there was a twinge of jealousy there. Perhaps you realized this when at the end of the conversation I said, “I’M still your sister, always remember that”. I do think you picked up on that little green factor.
You constantly reminded me of how lucky Keith and I were to have found each other. I can tell you, he loved you too – very much. Guys don’t make a habit of telling each other that, so I want to make sure you know. Life isn’t always fair. As your sister, I was always trying to find you a ‘forever mate’. God knows, you didn’t need any help in that area. But, I never stopped trying. I wanted that “forever” for you that I knew in my heart you wanted, too. So, please forgive me for my antics in that area. Especially for some of the heartbreak it brought you along the way.
Lord, how you loved my sausage gravy biscuits. When you and Brandy would stay over with Keith and I, I’d make sure you had some to take home for later. I’m sure your faithful brown lab Brandy got some too. You also loved my chili (hope those weren’t just your kind words). Due to some constraints, I’d struggled with true home cooking until later in life, but you always made me feel like I was good at it.
I don’t want to close this. Dammit, David. I miss you… already.
Our dear friend Angie will forgive me for this – you loved Angie so. After her Mama’s funeral which we’d both gotten lost en route to, at your insistence I followed you back to Charlotte. We talked on the phone while listening to our favorite tunes, flying down the country roads. Back in town, we drag raced via interstate for over twenty miles at completely foolish speeds. I’d never driven that fast in my life… I wonder if you had, as well. You told me later that was the most free you’d felt in your entire life. I felt it too. Guess adrenaline’ll do that to you, especially us old farts.
Go and be free, brother. Until that beautiful reunion. Know that your sister loves you so. Forever.
I’ve always been concerned with how people perceive me, more than I ever should be. I’m not talking about outer appearances – mostly I mean seeking approval from others which is impossible half the time anyway. I continually watch what I say, how it may be taken, and a truckload of other crap that I shouldn’t even bother with. I’m well aware this trait is a complete waste of time and energy, but it’s a curse that I’ve never been able to completely harness. Maybe someday.
Acts of kindness, compassion and generosity which are shown at ‘less than favorable’ times in your life can and should be seen as a huge blessing. Things such as receiving a sympathy card when a loved one has passed away, being brought a prepared dish that someone made just for you – even a personal phone call can be equally as significant. In this day and age, if someone thinks enough of you to pick up the phone and call you – you’re special. Know that you actually have meaning and worth to them.
Each and every act of kindness and concern I was shown during the past few weeks humbled me. It was, in fact, overwhelmingly humbling. If knowing that people are thinking kind thoughts about you isn’t humbling to us as an individual, then I’d be stumped as to what is. It’s just that black and white to me.
My dear mother called me a couple times each day, so worried. Even now, I so wish I could have kept that worry from her. My dad and daughter were very concerned. Keith’s sweet sister called me every day, too. Keith was, of course, an invaluable help with everything. I received many phone calls, visits, texts and emails from various friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and blogging buddies. Another coworker had chocolate strawberries shipped to my house. The day I came back to work, three pressmen in our shop had bought flowers and had a sign sitting on my desk welcoming me back.
Humbling, I tell you. Looking back on it brings tears to my eyes just writing about it. So I got to thinking… maybe I really should try harder not to worry about what people think of me. I feel the love.
It was a nice Friday off yesterday, even though it rained the majority of the day. Any day off work is a good one in my book!
We got a good bit moved yesterday from my place to Keiths. Also lots of cleaning, tossing and rearranging at his house afterwards. It’s slowly becoming apparent just how much ‘stuff’ we both have, combined.
Later this afternoon, we’re meeting some of my former classmates and old neighborhood buddies from my school days. A girlfriend and I set this up and created an event on Facebook detailing date and time – very cool indeed! I hope there’ll be a good showing of people there, some of which I haven’t seen in 27-28 years. I’m looking so forward to it!
I hope all of you Easter bunnies out there have a very meaningful and relaxing Easter Sunday with family and friends… and God bless you all.
I believe everything happens for a reason – I’ve always believed that. Sometimes we don’t know why at the time… oftentimes we’ll never know the reason. I still believe it all the same though, and it’s honestly something I’ve never questioned.
I’ve been thinking recently about the people who come in and out of our lives and the directions it takes us. Sometimes these people are new and fresh – sometimes it’s someone from our past. It’s possible that a person can make a re-entrance into your life many years later – with you both taking solace from one another from a certain event. Maybe questions need answering. Perhaps you just need to be heard. Maybe you need validation from each other about something you went through, or of the pain inflicted by a person common in both your lives at the time.
Whatever the case may be, I remain thankful for every individual in my life that has came, went, and made a re-entrance.
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head
The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay
The cattle are lowing, the poor Baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my side ’til morning is nigh.
Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever and love me I pray
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care
And take us to heaven to live with Thee there
No, I didn’t write it. But how tender a person that did! It all but takes you right up ON that manger, doesn’t it? An almost secret view, if you will. My most favorite Christmas hymn has always been O Holy Night… but the lyrics to Away in a Manger are probably the most meaningful to me of all the Christmas hymns.
This year I hope Christmas brings peace, tranquility and much love into the souls of us all. May everyone enjoy and appreciate good family and friends. May we all secretly do one special thing for another this year and sit back and contemplate the smile it might bring. May any sadness that exists within your heart be overridden with joy. May everyone share an abundantly overflowing cup of love this Christmas.
And above all… always remember that little baby who started out laying in a manger.
The One who started…
It was backed up to his apartment when I got home from work Friday afternoon – a U-Haul truck of about mid-sized length. Burt was moving out.
Burt is a nice gentleman that I met shortly after I moved here back in Spring of 2008. I have to admit I was a bit intimidated upon first impression. His clean-shaven head and tattoos up around his neck definitely had me on my guard. I’ve always tried to be non-judgmental, but admittedly there are times when I allow first impressions to put that gate up, albeit temporarily. This seemed especially so upon starting over – I had trouble trusting anyone.
Burt would always be the one in the parking lot helping another resident do something – moving, working on a car, etc. Everyone knew him by first name, and he knew everyone else’s name as well. We used to have a handicapped neighbor who resided here for years that Burt was always helping out in some way. I’d just gotten home from work one day last summer when he walked over and told me our neighbor had passed away that morning. It was obviously emotional for him.
The office staff where I live took in three full grown cats abandoned by former tenants, and paid for their care, spay/neutering and shots. They then had the task of finding them homes. They decided to keep the last one (Mr. Whiskers) as their very own in the office – and trust me, this cat has it very good. One of the other adoptive parents? Burt.
As I walked over Friday to tell him goodbye, it appeared that the move itself was emotional for him. “I’m moving back to the beach where my girlfriend lives. I don’t know… guess this whole thing makes me vulnerable again”. It kind of hit home when he said that. Committing your self wholly to your relationship – giving up your own place to live, many of your belongings, furniture – your own home that you worked so hard to build – feeling as though you’re losing, in a sense, your very own identity. I quickly shook off the Ally McBeal psycho-flash I’d just had, and told him the first thing that came to my mind. “Nothing worth having is without risk. Go for it.”
You truly were a staple of the community, Burt. Good luck – and God speed.
After a hearty Cracker Barrel breakfast on Sunday morning, K suggested driving down to the newest indoor fleamarket to walk some of the food off, to which I happily obliged.
There was no agenda, nor any certain thing we were looking for. The few times we’ve been to the place (ah, air-conditioning is a must) we’ve come away empty-handed – but it’s all good. K loves antiques, and is quite educated about them. Honestly, for me, it’s the walking around together and ‘discovering things’ with each other that matters so – it seems to go unsaid that he feels the same way. So we walk, hold hands and talk, and look… and happen upon it…
The print is entitled, Making Friends. The artist is Burton Dye, and the debut date was 1986. Same graduation year, and same high school… yes, yet more nostalgia.
K just finished remodeling his own bedroom, and in doing so moved into a larger room in his house. The color of paint he chose was a light to medium sort of periwinkle blue – it hints of blue, gray and lavender, and translates to airy and soothing. In combination with his dark furniture and just the right amount of beautiful sunlight the room gets, it was an exquisite choice.
Flashback to the picture. There it sat, amongst it’s competition, all of which were neatly lined along the floor of the vendor. Just like magnets, both of us were instantly drawn to this one. Print no. 1241 of 1900, it said – and it was very much in mint condition. Still in it’s original frame and matte, the wood frame has two tiny periwinkle blue pinstripes down all four sides that matches the matte – these were only visible up close.
The print is an image of a small boy with blonde hair, sitting along the shore of a riverbank to feed a flock of geese and goslings. The boy’s portrayal in the print is nothing less than that of pure innocence. I have yet to share my own perception of the art with K.
Shown is a young, innocent boy – soon to be in search of the finer things in life, which Capricorns are so noted for – but also appreciating the simple things. His love for animals is well-noted… as well as his love for the water – and fishing. The boy’s youth still leaves much to the imagination, such a large future lies ahead of him. With the comparable difference being light brown instead of blonde hair, I think the profile of this young lad so very closely coincides with that of K’s own childhood pictures. I think it’s fair to say this print has captured a piece of my heart for many years to come now…
I have a good friend that’s decided to bite the bullet and start blogging. Not only is she an extremely smart and beautiful lady, but well-versed. I’m willing to bet she will enjoy it – and I look forward to reading. I’ll be sure to cue you in on the page when she gets it up and running.
Many of us have been subjected to broken trust and loyalty throughout our lives – some more than others. The last thing you need is to keep it all to yourself… what you need is to be heard. An outlet, a source which you may unload on every once in a while. A while back I suggested that a blog might be the very venue my friend needed. It provides an opportunity to be heard, a chance to voice anything and/or everything you’ve wanted to say for a long time now. She asked me ‘do you think the word bitch in my title would be offensive and draw negative feedback?’ To which I replied chuckling, ‘ya know, there’s always going to be something that offends someone out there.’ And that’s true, no matter what.
It got me to thinking about life in general, and how it is we’ve arrived at the point of being a functioning adult human being… exactly what it is that has made up the mindset, emotions and character of who we are now. Do I believe that we continually change throughout life? Yes. Do I believe that what we’ve been through in the past actually shapes the person we are today, as well as the person we are to become? Absolutely. We will not be the exact same person a year from now as we are today. These changes will be determined by the events and occurrences within our lives, and how we choose to react or deal with them. Like my grandmother always told me… ‘bunny-rabbit…it ain’t always easy’.
Last night I had dinner with a good friend that I haven’t seen in far too long. Four hours just wasn’t long enough to catch up on all that’s been going on in our lives, but I’ll have to say we gave it our best shot.
Of course, the big topic of the night – men. The men that were, and the men that are. And realizing that there is no being out there that is perfect, man or woman… it, ummm… got me thinking.
Security really IS everything to us. This isn’t just something from the era of our parents and grandparents; we want to be assured someone really does have our backs. This doesn’t mean we don’t want to work ourselves – it simply means we don’t want to be the only one working.
You should never allow your lady to get out of the car at a convenience store when you see a person of compromising interest lurking approaching others in the parking lot. This is the equivalent of putting her in a dangerous/deadly situation. If you’re not the one who’s willing to make the run inside, drive to the next store down the road.
Making the suggestion of hopping onto your lady’s cellphone plan to save you money is not a good idea, no matter what day of the week you do it on. You are the man, get your own plan. (If you’d like to take this a step further, when you get your own plan you can suggest her hopping onto yours, to save her some money.)
Under no circumstances should you allow a female ‘friend’ access to walk into your house unannounced while your lady is there with you. This should go unsaid, but apparently it still happens. Ladies don’t like sharing the house with another woman even if you do own the place.
A good mode of transportation is a must. This includes the ‘luxury’ of heat in the winter and a/c in the summer. I think I can speak for most ladies when I say we don’t want to be taken out on dates in our own cars. Not every time, anyway.
Sincerely, the Ladies
An awesome blog to follow is http://youareagrownman.com/. The combination of truth, humor and common sense makes for a great blogger – and he has my utmost respect. I try to never miss a day of it. 🙂
It’s the century-old question. Can men and women have a happy healthy relationship along with having a close friend(s) of the opposite sex? And remain friends, notwithstanding an affair? How about if that ‘friend’ existed before you came along, and you’ve always noticed or ‘felt’ this closeness between the two of them?
There are boatloads of opinions out there on this. Instead of a theological approach on the subject, I’m instead opting to provide you with my very own raw opinion. A Bon-view, as I like to call it. This ain’t gonna be pretty… could even get messy – might be a good idea to go ahead and don those rubber gloves from underneath your kitchen sink.
All joking aside, most man-moves can, are, and will forever be excused in the fact that they are men. I’ve grown not only to expect this, but to accept it as a fact of life.
Now, onto what I’ve learned.
Virtually any area of infidelity is contingent upon the type of woman that is playing along.
That’s right, I just said it. I believe the woman to be the deciding factor in whether an infidelity is to occur in a relationship, whether she’s the relationshipee or the outsider. Folks I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it… it’s a fact. And I seriously beg a debate.
Ladies… have you any wonder about the woman your man speaks so eloquently of, whether or not they were ‘friends’ before you came along? You’d damn well better have. Men… how about that guy friend of your girlfriend’s that she’ll meet for lunch from time to time, talk with on the phone, etc.? Is it really platonic? True enough, it could be platonic in both cases. The end result, though, will be determined by **none other than** the woman’s own moral convictions and willpower.
So by now am I sounding like a paranoid schizophrenic? Okay, I’ll give you that. The paranoid schiz in me was instilled by another, and it’s a daily struggle to keep that part of me buried. Maybe I arrived that way after realizing there will always be certain women out there that need the attention so badly they’ll resort to anything – including infiltration of a known relationship, be it marriage or other. The attention whore, for lack of a better word. Believe me ladies, when I tell you they are out there. Worse yet? They could be the very one that you perceive to be a good friend. Having been on the receiving end of the infidelity stick, I can tell you it’s humiliating and mentally draining – to say the very least.
So to wrap up my little rant for the day, in short – this is what I believe… and this is what I’ve lived. I want so very badly to protect myself in the future from this very damaging act. But just what is the answer? I realize that trust should be the key. Keyword, should.
Ladies, back to you…
I got a full night’s rest last night without waking up even once, until about 0830 this morning. My guy took me to see the movie Eclipse last night, what a great movie. No, I am not one of those over-40 women who gush over the boy stars (but umm, let me say there’s only one that I still consider a boy…) 🙂 I think what I love so much about the saga is it’s the perfect mix of action, drama and romance. And let’s face it, it’s unrealistic – so the Piscean in me basks in that dreamy part of it too. Anyway, I won’t spoil it for you – just to say if you haven’t yet seen it, it’s a must-see.
A day off, finally. What a joy to not have anything to do or anywhere to go. Pressing, that is. Time is at my own pace, and come what will. The weather is cooler, humidity is down, sun still shining, and hallelujah Praise God I’m off for three whole days. Even a simple trip to the grocery store and to tan was enjoyable this morning. Rode with the windows down and my hair blowing, just like it was spring again.
Now, if someone would just invent a Virtual Vacation to the beach, I’d be just peachy. Everyone I know is either en route there, or on the way back. I’m serious when I say everyone. Well, almost. Most of my friends on facebook are, my daughter is, my cousins are, I don’t need to go on. Guess I’ll be there one day soon, hopefully. My friend is getting married at the beach on August 22nd, so I’ll definitely be there on that day even if I have to drive down alone for that. She so deserves this most perfect day in her life and I’m so happy for her.
I do love fairytale endings… and they happen so rarely in Real Life. Hmmm, maybe the fairytale is what I love so much about the Twilight Saga. ♥
Another weekend here? Count me right on in. Full loon moon makes it’s debut tonight at 11:36 EST, and I’ll have to say it’s been a strange week. Just strange.
Tonight my guy and I get to have dinner with my bff and her hubby. It’s gonna be a great reunion, since we all four went to high school together and they haven’t seen my guy in 24 years. It’s funny how so much time just ticks by and leaves us with, well, the memories. It’s great to be able to reconnect again. I’m certain we won’t lack for conversation, and we’re all really looking forward to it.
I can so remember back to that time in my life. My bff Angie was into being a flag girl, while I was into ROTC, rifles and auto mechanics. Sounds like we were worlds apart, but it was only the extracurriculars which temporarily divided us while in school. When not in school we were inseparable. Sometimes we’d hide outside until our mothers went to work, then go back home and sleep all day. We’d wake up refreshed – then after over-nuking a couple of hotdogs in the microwave and gulping down a 2-liter of coke, be ready to party the night away. The belly-laughter was always plentiful, just as it still is today. Best friends always end up with their own lives, but a true one never fades from your life.
The above picture was taken in Myrtle Beach, SC in 1986, our graduating year. It rained the entire time we were there which is why we’re donning the Bogart hats. Do they even make photo booths anymore??
A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked.
Hard to believe another month has started in the year. It gets me a little nostalgic this morning… especially after the great night out I had with my girls Saturday night.
Guess I wasn’t aware just how much each and every one of us needed that night, and the laughter that always accompanies it. My bestfriend ended up coming after all, which made me very happy. We were still missing one, though – there are seven of us… but we still had our usual blast even considering we were missing our Dawn.
The 1985 and 1986 graduating year. Seven ladies all growing up together on the same side of town during the 70’s and 80’s – running together, playing together, going to school together, eating the same Zack’s hamburgers (which is still open to this day), celebrating our accomplishments, and sharing our laughter and heartbreaks.
Now it’s 2010. That’s 24-25 years past our graduating classes – which seems like a lifetime ago. Now we share our children’s laughter and heartbreaks, and celebrate their accomplishments. With life, comes change. All of us have changed – yet in a way, have remained exactly the same.
Each of these ladies are so special and dear to me. The qualities and characteristics of the women we’ve grown into has now formed an even stronger bond between us. Each of us is a link, making up a chain.
The relationship we have continually reminds me of the movie “Now and Then”, released in 1995. In fact, it reminds me of it a lot. Check out the trailer.
We’re already planning our next outing – which I’m really looking forward to. We’re going to a Vineyard! Hoping to do that sometime late this month or early April. And I can’t wait. 🙂
Yeah I’m breathing again. It’s nice to have the hustle and bustle behind me, I feel somewhat relieved. Not meaning to sound like Scrooge or anything.
Yesterday was nice. We did my boyfriends family’s Christmas at his Mom’s house, who supplied us with good food and good fellowship. These folks make me feel comfortable, almost as if I’ve known them for years.
We got back to our side of town and exchanged our gifts to each other while having a few drinks. I’ve gotta say, this man ‘o mine WAY overdid it with me – I’m not used to being spoiled like that.
Today I plan on seeing what Dad is doing, I still haven’t seen him for Christmas. At least the rain is gone, we actually had flash flooding in some areas around here. The bad news is the rain is forecasted to return during our New Years beach trip next week. Crossing my fingers tightly in hopes of that one going the other way.