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I'm a single mom with two great kids living near Dallas, Texas. This is my life; day to day things that are probably only important to me. This is my record of my ups, my downs and the road that I've taken along the way. For whatever reason YOU'RE here, I hope you find something you can enjoy and/or relate to. God bless.

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Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Sometimes we have to just stand still; stop chasing...or stop retreating. We're not always going to be able to understand why life has taken a turn we didn't see coming. We take for granted that when it gets dark we'll be able to see the stars, but when the sun rises we forget about the stars till night falls again. Yet, the stars are not burning any less bright because we can't see them.
We're a society that believes in chasing what we want, but constant chasing can tire the soul. What if we're constantly chasing because what we're chasing isn't meant to be ours? What if we're chasing something so furiously that we don't notice what's meant to be because it's standing patiently on the sidelines of our life...waiting for us to notice it?
We've all known people that we've wondered why they couldn't be happy...or satisfied, with what they had. That to us, watching on the sidelines of their life, it seemed like they had it all, and yet they paid no attention to what they had and still chased after what they wanted. Every single cell created will perish without attention. Even the cactus, given enough time, will die without water.
I'm not a fan of the quote "Stop to smell the roses", but the reality is that our children...a spouse, a parent or sibling, a friend...are the true roses in our life. Even we, ourselves, are the roses in life, be it our own or someone elses. Without taking the time to enjoy what's already been given to us, to discover what is already there instead of always chasing what may be, what could be, we'll never be able to enjoy or appreciate the now. And the reality, my friend, is that what 'could be' is never truly attainable when you're never satisfied.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I remember when...

Memories are a funny thing. The precision of the memory depends on who is doing the remembering. I'm old enough to have heard many stories told in a wide variety of ways depending on who is doing the telling. Sometimes it's funny to listen to people debate on whose version is correct, and often I wonder what it really matters whether one's version is more correct than another.

Those who have read me for a few years may recall that I have some memory issues. After 30 some years, I'm use to not remembering things that I'd like very much to remember...family vacations growing up, the birth of my kids...but I can't pick and choose what I'm able to remember. But sometimes, when I do remember something, it's a little annoying to me when someone corrects that memory. Seriously, what's it hurt for me to remember something 'my' way? But some people just have to make sure that they are correct and that everyone knows it.

Recently I was invited to join a friend's family holiday gathering. I met some wonderful people and one of them was my friend's mother who was 82 years old. One of the sweetest women I've met in a very long time. As family gatherings often do, after awhile, the conversations turned to the 'remember when' stories. Mom recalled an incident of when the kids were younger and was immediately countered with 'that's not how it happened' from her husband as he retold the story the correct way. A little later she chimed in when the family was laughing about another memory of years ago and, again, her husband told her that she didn't know what she was talking about and that wasn't how things had happened. I watched this sweet old woman look away as she questioned her own recollections.

It broke my heart to see this woman's memories, memories that she had held dear for many years, be questioned and especially to see that she was now questioning them herself. I couldn't help but wonder what it would have hurt to have let this woman have those memories, right or wrong, that she had treasured. Who would it have hurt for her to have kept those memories in tact?

Sometimes, even when we know (or believe we know) that someone is wrong, maybe we should consider who it hurts to keep our mouths shut. I wonder how many of us would refrain from speaking if we stopped to think that by speaking, we were taking away someone else's joy. Few things in this world have as much power as the tongue. Our words can lift one up or tear one down, it can build or destroy and so unlike anything else in our lives, this is one thing that we can completely control. I, as much as anyone else in this world, struggle to control that power. But, especially after witnessing the change in this sweet woman's spirit from when she was recalling wonderful memories...her memories, to the split second later when she was told they were false, I will try to take longer to speak than I have before. I will try to consider whether my words are worth saying; will they build someone up or tear someone down. If there is a chance that they will tear someone down, is it really that important to speak them?

I wish there had been a way for me to have given that sweet hearted woman her memories back. As it was, all I could do was hug her, tell her that she was precious and that I was blessed to have met her. I learned a valuable lesson that day...and I hope I'll always remember it.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

A Child Always

Every parent with older children has heard them say "I'm not a child anymore", and I'm sure we've all given the same response "you will always be my child". Being someones child has nothing to do with how old you are, but whether your parents are still living, because until they aren't, you will always be someones child. And...now no longer being any one's child myself, I can tell you first hand that having someone on this earth that cares for you as only a parent can is better than not having them.

Even though I remember what that race for independence was like, I also know what it's like to watch it from the other side. From the moment our children are born, we celebrate each new 'first' in their life. First time they roll over, first time they crawl, first step, first word, first time they ride a bike, first day of school, first date, first job, first time they drive... We all start out so excited, we can't wait until their next 'first', brag and blog about it even, and then all of the sudden, even though we're still excited for them, it's also mixed with a little sadness. It's a parent's joy to watch their kids grow up as long as we're still needed. It is a little ironic that for the first years of their life we're telling them how big they are; "you're such a big girl", "that's my big boy", "you're growing up so fast" and when they start to believe it we begin saying "you're not old enough for that", "don't be in such a hurry to grow up". Our kids get to an age that we realize every 'first' is taking them just a little closer to that independence they're running to and a little further away from us. Raising confident kids that feel secure enough to leave our side is what a parent...a good parent, strives to do, but it doesn't make it any easier when we succeed.

It's a delicate balance, though. On one hand we want to raise our kids to be self sufficient, and yet we want them to always know that they can come to us when they need us. Sometimes that's hardest on the child, because not only do they want to prove to themselves that they can make it on their own, they want to prove it to their parents as well, and that is admirable. But parents are there for a reason, not only for help, but for encouragement and to listen. God set the perfect example of the Father - child relationship. A parent loves without condition, never turns a deaf ear, and would give His life if needed. As children, we all get busy and sometimes the thought of our parents never crosses our mind, it's only natural, but that doesn't mean that the parent ever forgets about the child. It's impossible.

We've all told our parents growing up "I'm not a child anymore", but the fact is, as long as your parents are alive, you'll always be a child...their child. And regardless of how grown you are, be it 21 or 51, it will always be their first instinct to help you and to make things better for you because there will never be anything stronger or more important to them in this world than their love for you.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder...I'm not a huge fan of fonder.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Out of Fear

There are things in life that we want, sometimes desperately, and yet we hold on to something that holds us back from what our heart desires. Like a person who, out of fear, will not jump from a burning building and is consumed in the fire, sometimes we cling to what we know and, out of fear, miss the best that God has for us.

There is the woman who cries herself to sleep after a long day of abuse (whether it's mental, emotional or physical, the heart can't differentiate between them) and yet stays because it's what she knows. Is there a better life outside the prison that has become her life? She may never know because of her fear of the unknown.

There is the man who stays with a job he's never been happy with because of the fear of starting over somewhere else. The woman who knows there is something wrong, but will not go to the doctor out of fear of an abnormal test. The artist who is afraid to show anyone his talent for fear of rejection.

Fear plays such a huge part in our lives...fear of many things, but mostly from stepping out of one's comfort zone, even when it's not so comfortable. I've found myself holding onto things that made me unhappy and depriving myself of the joys God has for me simply out of fear of letting some things...go. Well, that and because I'm stubborn as hell. But what I've come to realize lately is that my holding onto something doesn't make it mine or even worth keeping. The tighter I try to hold on to something old, the more it keeps God from giving me something new. Yeah, I can be stubborn like that, but I'm also humble enough to know that sometimes I just get it wrong. Thankfully, He always gets it right. So, I continue to learn to let go.

The fear of letting something go is never a good enough reason to hold on to it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What would you do?

What would you do if you had one year to live? What would be first and foremost on your mind to do? I imagine I'd want to do many of the things I've wanted to do, but haven't...thinking that there would be time. I'd like to take some of the mission trips that I've let fall through the cracks thinking 'next time'. I'd take the vacations I've put off thinking I needed to take care of this or that first. I'd travel to the places I've always wanted to go, but thought I shouldn't spend the money on myself.

What would you do if you had one month to live? I imagine I'd want to see people that I've put off visiting, thinking that sooner or later we'd get together. With me, sadly, later is often acceptable. I hope the people I care for know that it's a character flaw with me and not a reflection of how important they are to me. I seldom hurry. I'm much more of a 'ride in the country with the windows down' than a 'pedal to the metal to make a reservation' kind of girl. I tend to focus on the ride more than the destination. Still, I'd be remiss to not let those I love and care about know how important they were in my life.

What would you do if you had one week to live? I'd want to have my boys with me. I'd want them to know all of my secrets that I thought I'd tell them one day and make sure all their questions were answered. There are so many things I wished I'd asked my mom before she passed unexpectedly, and so many things I wish I could have said. I'd want to hold their hands, touch their faces and try with every fiber of my being to let them know how special they are and how much they are loved.

What would you do if you had one day to live? I'd want to spend it smiling. I'd want to listen to my favorite music, feel the sun on my face and know His peace. I'd want to share with others how much I've loved my life...I've appreciated the good and never resented the bad. You can't love with a resentful heart, and I've loved.

What would you do if you had one minute to live? I'd fall to my knees and say 'thank you', because with all of my heart, for this life that I've had, I am so very thankful.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


We have a tendency to look at people through glasses colored by our own perception. Sometimes we perceive people to be greater than they actually are and then we're disappointed in them, other times we're blown away that we didn't see someones potential. It's all about perception.

People don't often let you see the real 'them'. There are so many layers to who we are; seldom are we the person we appear to be to others. People I worked with every single day had no idea we'd lost our home. People I laughed with every day had no idea I'd cried at night when my heart was broken.

Life is like a movie screen and what people see is merely the picture we project. Anyone can pretend to be anything, remember Ted Bundy? People are constantly putting on an act that is shown specifically for the audience that surrounds them. Life can be exhausting pretending every day to be someone you're not, to feel things you don't, and sometimes wondering if even you know who you really are.

I still have trouble figuring out who I am. I'll be honest and say that, sometimes, I feel trapped being who everyone around me thinks I am. Am I that person? And if I'm not, would they like the person who hides behind this persona? I've always been shy but that's not what people see. I project a stronger personality on the screen of life than what honestly resides within. I hide insecurity with humor and attitude, but just because I hide my insecurities in no way diminish their reality.

Maybe because I know I'm so different than the person I project, I rarely believe in first impressions. Sadly, I've found that the only impression to be true is, too often, one's last impression.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Saying goodbye to 2009

The year draws to an end and there are so many mixed emotions I have as I say goodbye to 2009 and welcome 2010. 2009 was probably the most life changing year for me since 1982.

I know I’ve been absent from blogging, and I apologize for that. I appreciate all the friends I’ve made here, and the readers that I’ve been able to touch around the world amazes me. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of your lives. Not only from this blog, but from those who’ve stumbled upon my Christian blog. The letters and stories I’ve gotten from people bless me and leave me humbled. God has been good to me, and I’m thankful for each of you.

I have been writing constantly, even though I’ve not been able to post, I’ve been very busy literally turning my life into an open book. But one of my ‘new year resolutions’ is to start posting, to all of my blogs, at least weekly.

2009 was an amazing year. I shared a little in my last post before Thanksgiving how things changed in 2009. Financially, things have changed tremendously. Being on the side of giving instead of needing is a huge blessing. God has blessed me and being able to bless others is the biggest rush. I don’t know if God led me to or if I simply sought out mothers in the same situation as I was last year, but being able to make a difference in someone’s life this Christmas (as others did in mine last Christmas) was awesome. The Christmas we had at my house was possibly the best one we’ve ever had. Not because of the gifts, but because of the joy my house was full of. I had my boys home, and any time I’ve got them under the same roof, I’m a happy mama. We celebrated Charlie’s 19th birthday Christmas eve, how that is possible is beyond me. But this last year has seen Charlie through the ‘I’m full grown’ stage, where I had to ask him to leave and he moved in with his father, to the ‘thank you for all you do for me’ stage; he cooks and offers to help in ways I’d not even thought of, which has allowed me to welcome him back home. He still stays at his dads occasionally, which I’m sure his dad is as grateful for as I am grateful for my occasional alone time. Casey continues to grow into a stronger man of God than I’d ever imagined possible, but I stand by the ‘raise up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it’ promise with both of my boys. Some fruit just ripens faster than others. :)

2009 has continued to bless me with my job. I love my job. How many people can say that they never regret having to go to work? Well, I honestly can. I not only love my job, but I love each of the 31 women and five doctors that I work with. We lost an amazing woman this year to cancer, and even though there is light missing from our office, I have no doubt I’ll see her again.

2009 also brought love into my life. I’d doubted my heart was capable of real love, but I fell in love with someone I’d known since high school. I knew for the first time in many, many years what it was like to love without boundaries; to put myself in a vulnerable position and trust without fear. I learned so much from this relationship, and disappointment was one of the things I learned. I don’t regret anything and I’d rather love and be disappointed than to have never loved this way at all. My heart, well, it’s a tough cookie. Love is a forever thing with me, and it doesn’t just come and go. I like this about myself, yet, it’s not good for my dating life. I’m not a fan of dating, I’m more of the ‘let’s be friends’ than ‘I want a relationship’ kind of girl. Most men my age, and actually, even those younger, tend to be looking for a relationship. Though I honestly wish I could be open to a relationship, I’m a 'one man' type of woman. I just don’t find men interchangeable. Funny thing, though, I mourned the loss of this love; my heart, my soul, my very being, actually ached...still aches, and yet when Mark walked out in 2006, I couldn’t change the locks fast enough. What’s been hardest is that I wasn’t a fan of dating before because I couldn’t, I wouldn’t, fake feeling something I didn’t and now it’s even harder because I know what that feeling should actually be...and I can’t, I won’t, encourage someone getting serious over me when I know I’ll not be able to reciprocate. Besides, men who are looking for something serious tend to get frustrated with me when I'm honest with them from the beginning. For some reason men tend to think that, given time, I'll change my mind. I've never been known for that. :) I can’t imagine finding love like this again, but that’s okay. Some people never find it. Plus, I have a habit of trusting God. I have no doubt that He’ll lead me to where he wants me to go in both heart and body.
I can’t help whom I love, and whom I don’t.
I can’t say I’m in love when I’m not,
and I can’t say I’m not in love when I am.
I can’t help whom my heart lets in and whom it doesn’t.
I can’t help whom I’ve cried for and whom I’ve made cry.
I just can’t.

So, 2009 may have had it's ups and downs, but it's never kept me down. I've found Amber and Kristen, the daughters of a close friend I'd lost many years ago, and they are now like my own family. I love them completely. I've also welcomed three young adults from Taiwan: Mavis, Angela and Mathew, and Kayleen, from Korea, into my ever expanding family, thanks to Casey. Casey honestly brings the best people into my life. I've survived Charlie's short lived rebellious stage and still have my sons as my two best friends. The boys were both able to purchase good, reliable transportation for themselves (if you're an aged reader of this blog, you'll remember the tales of woe for Casey's 'Old Yeller' and Charlie's car that wouldn't pass inspection) and are both blessed with vehicles they are proud of and that I don't need to be concerned about...always a plus. Both of the boys have good solid jobs that they enjoy, as do I. And...well, I fell in love. There is my 2009 in a slightly condensed version. I say condensed, and you say ‘will she ever shut up?’. Well, the answer is yes.

Happy New Year to each of you. As always, I pray that God will fill your heart with Peace and your days with Joy abundant.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blessed Abundantly

What a difference a year makes. Common saying, yes? However, truly, what a difference a year makes.

Thanksgiving 2008; the boys and I had just lost our house to foreclosure. The only home the boys had ever known, my home for the 22 years, gone and we were forced to leave. Grateful to having found someone who would finally rent to us (foreclosure, a HUGE blemish on your credit) we moved into the rental in November. We barely had money for rent and utilities, not alone a Thanksgiving dinner...and Christmas was coming. God blessed us with some amazingly wonderful people who were extremely generous and not only enabled me to give the boys a 'Christmas' but to keep the utilities on and food on the table.

This year God has turned our lives around. Not only am I able to feed my two, but four UNT international students from Taiwan (that Casey is bringing home with him for a few days) and Mark (yes, my ex). This will be the first Thanksgiving for the students from Taiwan and the first for Mark since his mother passed. When Mark told me he was going to spend it alone, I discussed inviting Mark with Casey. Casey said that inviting Mark was the Christ like thing to do. Casey is an amazing young man and always makes me proud.

One of my biggest blessings this year are the two additions to my family, Amber and Kristen. Sharon, their mother, was my best friend in Indianapolis 25 years ago before I moved to Texas. Amber was a child when I left Indianapolis and Kristen was born five years after I left, just a few months before Casey. Every year we'd visit Indianapolis and Kristen and the boys would spend time together. Sharon passed away of leukemia, her husband moved immediately afterwards, and I lost them. For years we searched and searched for them, but even with the internet, we couldn't locate them. Then, along came Facebook and Casey and I started sending out 'feelers' to everyone on Facebook with their names. Finally, we found them. Since then, I've fallen in love with them all over again, completely. And Amber, well, she's now married with a precious little girl of her own! So, not only do I have my 'girls' back, but I have a little one too!

2009 has brought me love, a foundation for financial stability that I've not known for a very long time, and renewed relationships. Yes, this Thanksgiving I am giving thanks...much, much thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

* This is a picture of the great kids Casey brought home, I love them! There's Casey, Angela, Mavis, Matthew (all from Taiwan) and Kayleen from Korea. They're making me bubble tea!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I have a few...

How often we wish we could take something back; a word, a day...a relationship. I wonder, though, if it were possible, regardless of the stretch of one's imagination, that if we could actually take something back, how much of our life would we rewind and erase? How much of our life would we leave as it is? How much would we consider perfect enough to not 'do over'?

Regrets are hard to live with, but they are how we learn. We can live in the past, regreting something we did or an action we took...or we can see how it brought us to where we are. The older we get, the more things we'll have in our regret column...the hard part is forgiving ouselves and not only moving on but learning from the mistakes we've made. Experience comes with a price, but's it's a price worth paying.

There are words I wish I could take back, but what they've taught me is to think before I speak. There are years I wish I could do over, but what they've given me is experience to share with others and the ability to understand someone's mistakes rather than judge them.

I regret the night I went to bed early in December of 1990 and missed my mother's phone call. She passed away that night in her sleep. She'd spoke with my husband that night and told him to tell me she loved me. I regret missing her call that night, but what it taught me was to never let people go without knowing how I feel about them.

We tell our children to learn from their mistakes, yet we begrudge ourselves of the experience to learn from ours...and we judge others by the mistakes they make, forgetting that we, too, have made mistakes that we'd rather keep hidden. We can let regrets rule our lives, allowing ourselves to live in the past, or we can lay them down...all of them, and build the foundation of who we are upon them.

If for no other reason than it's one of my all time favorite songs (and that I've been playing the cd, Romanza, over and over recently), I'm adding the video, Miserere, with Zucchero Fornaciari (the author) and Andrea Bocelli, whom I love. But, as it happens, the song relates to my feelings in this post. I'll post the english translation below the song.


Wretched, wretched
Wretched, wretched me
But I toast life!
What a mystery my life is
what a mystery!
I am a sinner from the year 80,000
A liar!
But where am I, what am I doing
How do I live
I live in the soul of the world
Lost in the depths of life

Wretched, wretched me
But I toast life!

I am the saint who betrayed you
when you were alone
I live elsewhere and observe the world
from the sky
and I see the sea and the forests,
I see myself...
I live in the soul of the world
lost in the depths of life!

Wretched, wretched me,
but I toast life!

If there is a night dark enough
To hide me, to hide me,
If there is a light, a hope
A magnificent sun that shines
Inside of me
Give me the joy to live
that is not yet there.

Wretched, wretched me
That joy to live
that perhaps, is not yet there.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Don't Go

Charlie is a big fan of Jack London. I'll admit I'm not, only reading what was required in high school or college. Charlie, however, has read nearly everything London had written. I've encouraged this addiction with trying to find first editions for him. He's in awe of London, enamored even. I, remembering the days before I turned 20, can relate to London's attraction. However, being a mother and having lived through my teens and early 20's, against all odds, I see the pitfalls.

When I was a senior in high school, a few months before graduating and having been accepted at the college of my choice, there was a bonfire. Probably for a football game or some such thing...the specifics I don't remember. What I remember is meeting a guy who rode a motorcycle and, for whatever reason, appealed to me. I may have been a wild child, but in high school I was still naive and still virginal territory. This guy, whom I can't remember his name or even what he looked like, began calling me. He told me that he and a friend of his were leaving for Wyoming and/or Montana right after I graduated on their motorcycles, and wanted me to go with them. With every fiber of my 17 year old being, I not only wanted to go, but I was determined to go. It had nothing to do with the young man, it was the adventure...you could say the London experience. That is what my Charlie is experiencing and I can relate, because I've gone through it. You see, Charlie is so very much my child.

Charlie has recently, in the last month, decided that he, too, wants to see this country of ours...on foot. He's preparing himself; he's mapping out his journey, he's deciding what he needs to take with him and what he can leave behind. This child of mine is cut from the same cloth that I am. I remember, as if it were yesterday, the desire...the strong pull, of adventure. I still feel the pull.

What I also remember is my mother telling me that if I decided to go on this 'adventure', that she and my father would not pay for my college when I came home. This, alone, persuaded me not to go. Not the tears, not the 'reasoning', not the yelling; only the threat of not being able to attend college in the fall convinced me not to go.

Looking back, I didn't know this person...didn't know these TWO men that I was willing to get on the back of a motorcycle with and take off with only a wave goodbye to the people who loved me. I didn't know, I was a kid. Granted, many my age not only knew more but cared more about their future and their loved ones than I did. I was a selfish and self indulgent teenager. I've grown.

So, back to my baby. Charlie is determined to take off on a 'London' adventure. He, like his mother, is determined to be a writer. With all my heart I want him to succeed, to see his dreams come true and to fulfill every dream his heart leads him toward. Yet, there is that part of my mother in me that is screaming (inwardly) 'what are you thinking??'.

For those of you who remember Jack London, the happy endings are few. Perhaps because London didn't have me for a mother. Perhaps because he sought promises this world couldn't keep. Regardless, all I can do is try to keep Charlie grounded in the reality of this world, as my mother did me, and to love him. The latter is easy, the prior is what parenthood is all about. If nothing else, I excel at parenting. This past weekend I shared with Charlie my story about the bonfire, the young man with a motorcycle and my mother's threats.

History has a way of repeating itself.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Minimalist Meme

Got this from Leesa
*after I did this, and went back to Leesa's page to copy and paste her addy...I read the directions. It's suppose to be ONE word answers. Hmmmm, I'll redo my answers, God forbid I should stray from the rules.

1. Where is your cell phone? Which one? One is on the table, the other in the car.
2. Your hair? Easy
3. Your mother? Sad
4. Your father? Selfish
5. Your favorite food? Mexican
6. Your dream last night? Can't remember
7. Your favorite drink? Water...I know, boring.
8. Your dream/goal? To make a difference...again, I know...
9. What room are you in? Living room
10. Your hobby? Writing
11. Your fear? None
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Content
13. Where were you last night? Time? Be specific.
14. Something that you aren't? Confident
15. Muffins? I'd pass on a muffin.
16. Wish list item? It's personal
17. Where did you grow up? Indiana
18. Last thing you did? Text
19. What are you wearing? An oversized tee
20. Your TV? Off
21. Your pets? Sleeping
22. Friends? Forgiving
23. Your life? Full
24. Your mood? Content (I can use it twice)
25. Missing someone? Yes
26. Vehicle? 32 mpg CITY...yeah baby. Love my Kia.
27. Something you're not wearing? Anything but a tee
28. Your favorite store? Macy's
29. Your favorite color? Red...or black
30. When was the last time you laughed? A few minutes ago.
31. Last time you cried? Three months ago
32. Your best friend? Katy
33. One place that I go to over and over? Work
34. One person who emails me regularly? Jason
35. Favorite place to eat? Chuy's

Yeah, I stray... :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Goes to show that you never really know...

I've only left the United States by way of ship, so I've never had need for a passport. I've had to show my birth certificate; which, by the way, I have the original one my parents received from the hospital. Now, however, I have need for a passport.

I filled out the forms I'd downloaded from on-line, and along with my birth certificate I attempted to apply for a passport on my lunch hour. As it so happens, my original birth certificate isn't enough, it has to be a certified copy from the state. No problem, I can call Indiana and have them send it to me.

Indiana isn't so easy to get a hold of, as it turns out. But I'm persistent, and after holding and being transferred from one recording to another, I'm directed to an on-line site. With a small fee, my certified copy is on it's way.

Within a week I receive my certified copy. I open it before putting it in my bag and notice that my last name is spelled incorrectly. Okay, so...it didn't really take that long to get it from Indiana, no problem...right? I'll just call them the next day and have them correct it.

I'm so silly.

As I get the paper work out the next day before I call, I also notice that not only did they misspell my last name, but they misspelled the last name of my parents...and they've misspelled it differently from the way they misspelled my last name. I go through the same maze of automated extensions (does anyone remember when you could actually call a company and a real person answered the phone?) and reach a woman who, very probably, has the flu. I felt so sorry for this woman that I wanted to pay for her doctor visit. I regress. I told her of how the last name had been misspelled in two places and in two different ways. She said that, yes, she did see the problem, that the last name had been misspelled on the line of my parents. I said, yes, that was true, but it was also misspelled on the line with my name. She very hoarsely asked me to hold...I held for awhile. But hey, she was probably in the bathroom or getting a box of tissues. I sounded like her a few weeks ago, so I'm giving this sweet thing the benefit of all doubts. She comes back on the line and tells me that no, my last name had been spelled correctly.


She said that the way it's spelled on the certified copy they sent to me is how the state of Indiana has it filed, that I'm the one spelling it incorrectly. I am 100% serious. Who knew? I told her "Hon, I'm looking at my original birth certificate and it's spelled correctly on it. I do believe if I'd been spelling my last name incorrectly for the last 54 years, one of my parents would have corrected me." She asked me to hold. I brought solitaire up on my computer at work and had nearly finished the game before she came back. She asked me for my dad's date of birth. Does anyone know their dad's date of birth, including the year? I mean, I was pretty sure of the date, but the year? I told her to hold on while I researched it on-line. So, she and I chit chatted while I pulled up a copy of my dads obituary on-line and read her his date of birth. Again, I hold. When she returned, she told me that it appeared the doctor that delivered me misspelled my last name when he filled out my birth certificate for the state. I don't know how that is possible, when I'm holding my original birth certificate, which, I might add, is in incredibly excellent condition, and it's spelled correctly on it. Regardless, now the state is sending me forms to fill out and have notarized that my father is my father. When they receive those forms, they can correct my parent's last name, which in turn will correct my name. In all honesty, I'm not convinced, but we'll wait and see.

My trip out of the country will have to happen a little later than planned. But, what I find odd is that my social security card that I got as a teenager had my name spelled correctly and the IRS never had any trouble with my name...how funny it's not been caught until now. I suppose, since I'm changing my last name back to this maiden name soon, it would have been discovered sooner or later. But how funny that I'm just now finding out that, according to the great state of Indiana, I've been spelling my last name wrong all my life. You'd think that's one thing I could have been sure of.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Lately I have a hard time turning my mind off. I can take meds to make me sleep, and sleep will come, but there are those times when you want to sit back, watch the world around you and let peace consume you. Lately, peace doesn't come easily to me.

I'm not going through any hard times. Actually, praise God, this is probably one of the most 'comfortable' times of my life. Finances are not an issue, I love my job, my boys make me proud of them daily and I'm blessed with good people who care about me. I'm faced with the daily obstacles that each of us are, and I try to stay focused on the future because the past has been laid to rest...only, I haven't actually laid my past to rest. There are things that my mind refuses to let go of.

We're all guilty of things we'll not share, and I'm no different...as in I'll not share this particular guilt I'm carrying. This morning as I stood in praise at church I felt overwhelmed and I quit singing, I lowered my hands and my head and I began to cry. This isn't anything new, I never feel closer to Him than I do during praise, whether it be public or private. But this morning, I guess it's because of the guilt I've been carrying (though I've long since confessed it to Him, have asked for His forgiveness and have no doubt that I've received it) I just needed time with Him. In the midst of hundreds around me, there was only He and I. As I felt the tears free themselves from my eyes, I told Him that I keep falling short of Him. I'm so, so very sorry, but no matter how devoted I am to the journey to follow Him, I sometimes feel like I keep falling short. As if the hundreds were no longer there, I felt alone with Him. As if there was an echo in my being I heard Him say 'It's okay, I'll come to you, I'll always meet you where you are' and in my mind I pictured me fallen, on my knees, and Him racing to me. Yes, I made a mistake, but I'm the one that is having a hard time letting it go, not Him.

Sometimes I'm reminded of Paul's thorn in the flesh (II Cor. 12:7-10), and I wonder if maybe I'm just unable to let it go, regardless of the sorrow and guilt I feel. I know that my soul belongs to Him, and I have no doubt that He loves me. Yet, I feel as if I'm missing something...like I'm not quite whole, and I find it hard to rest. My heart feels torn; like a puzzle missing a piece, it feels incomplete.

I'm grateful for His patience and His healing. I'm in need of both.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Parent's Love

I love hearing from my kids. It doesn't matter what time of day or whether I'm busy or not, I love to hear from my boys. Sometimes they call to just see how I am, to tell me they're thinking of me and miss me, sometimes to say thank you for something I've done for them and sometimes they call because they need something. I'm a parent and when it all comes down to what my role actually is, it's to be there for them. That's what it has been since I carried them with-in me and that's what it will always be. I wouldn't have it any other way. Who else would I want them to turn to? I'd always rather be their first choice to go to for help.

It's an amazing feeling when they call to tell me they're thinking of me, to tell me that they miss me and I've never under appreciated their telling me they love me. I don't think we've ever disconnected a phone conversation or hugged goodbye without an 'I love you'. Having heard it for nearly 20 years has never diminished how much it means to me.

When they've called needing help, well, nothing puts a parent into action faster than their child in need. However, sometimes the best way to help a child is to let them figure something out for themselves. From the time a child is able to speak they will tell you they can do something for themselves. We all want to do things for ourselves, it's our spirit of independence. But when we fail, we reach out to those who love us for help. That's what comes natural to us. That's what we've been taught to do. How many times do we tell those we love to let us know if they need anything...'call me if you need me', 'let me know if I can do anything for you'. But sometimes being a parent...a good parent is not helping. Though we're not visible, of course, we're still there; we're never going to let a child fall short of our safety net, but a lesson learned is often more valuable than the assistance given. During those times when I've taken a step back, so that my kids can learn a lesson for themselves, I've not left them...only standing in the shadows. Though I loved them as little boys, my job is to encourage them to become men.

I began this by saying that I always love hearing from them. Whether I see their number come up on my phone, seeing an email is from them, or hearing them call my name from across a room, it doesn't matter. I will always love hearing from them, they're mine. And when they're in need, I can't rest until I know they're taken care of. I may not always help them when it's in my power to do so, but only because I'm teaching them how to help themselves...an exercise in learning their own ability, if you will. Make no mistake though, I will always catch them before they hit the ground.

I feel this way about my children. I believe, with all of my heart, that this is but an immeasurable fraction of how our Father feels about us. How pleased He is when we take a minute out of our day just to say hello, to tell Him that we love Him...to say 'thank you' for a way that He has blessed us; and yes, to even call on Him for help. I thank Him for the times He's let me learn on my own, regardless of how difficult the lesson, because I've grown in ways that I'd not thought possible. My heart has been thankful for lessons learned, for tears shed because what I've learned, I've often been able to teach, to share, and therefore be a blessing to someone else.

It breaks my heart, though, to think that so often He only hears from us when we need Him. Though I'd always want my children to call me should they need me, I can't imagine only hearing from them when they are in need. Every time I hear one of my boys say they love me, I smile...my heart can't help but swell with joy. I will get an email from Casey sending me something he thinks I might like, I'll get a call from Charlie just wanting to know what I'm doing...I love knowing that they're thinking of me. Can you imagine what our Father, whose heart is so much larger than ours that it's incomprehensible, must feel when we go to Him just to be in touch with Him, just to thank Him, to acknowledge what He's done for us...just to say 'I love You'? Even as much as I love my boys, I'll never know the depth of love that He has for us, it's not possible.

On the other side of this, of course, is the hurt I'd feel never hearing from my boys. No phone calls, no emails, no acknowledgement whatsoever. Would I love them less, I can't imagine that possible. But I can imagine the hurt, the loss...the loneliness I'd feel. Even if I were to have one with me every single day, I'd still long for the one that wasn't. I know I've distanced myself from Him on occasion, but nothing I've ever done has made Him love me less. As a parent, I understand this, but as a child, also, I know how hard it is to accept that kind of love. Yet it's there, regardless. Thankfully, it always will be. I hope my boys will always know that I love them, that I'll always be here for them to come home to and how much it means to me to hear from them. It's also a lesson to me that I am His child, and His heart longs for me just as mine longs for my children. He desires to hear from me; He longs to spend time with me. Parent or child, grown or not, thankful or in need, we're all His children and nothing can separate us from His love...a perfect love, a parent's love. I find comfort in that.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Lead Me...

This is by Chris and Conrad, originally done by Hillsong. I love Hillsong, but if you've not heard of Chris and Conrad, please check them out. This song brings me to my knees every single time I hear it. We sing it in church a lot...I always take tissues. Happy tears, people, happy tears. :) Oh, and turn those speakers UP.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm such a 'Joe' kind of girl.

Last week the boys and I went out for dinner and to see Casey's choice for his birthday movie, G.I. Joe. I was as anxious to see it as the boys, because the three of us played a lot with G.I. Joe's as the boys were growing up. I would find it very hard to imagine there was a Joe made that we didn't have at home, or a piece of their equipment, or a vehicle...even clothing. We had it all. We had the large planes and the small planes, the ships and the boats. They slept and bathed with those Joe's. I barely remember the cartoons, but they say they watched them.

Make no mistake, this movie was bad. The kind of bad where people were laughing during the serious parts, impossible to take anything serious kind of bad. However, the boys and I enjoyed it. For over an hour after the film we reminisced about the G.I. Joe's of their childhood. There are a lot of Joe's; Duke, Hawk, Snake Eyes...a lot of Joe's, and it was fun remembering them when their character was in the movie. We talked about what they'd had as boys, even remembering how certain Joe's or certain extras were broken. We'd forgotten so much. The movie was, without a doubt, one of the worst films I've seen, but the memories it brought back and the reminiscing we did after definitely made it worth sitting through.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Reaching Out

Life is never perfect. There are many, many days of smiles, hours upon hours of laughter..but there are tears too. Sadness is part of life. If we never feel sadness, we've failed to feel for others. I want to feel for others; for those I know and those I don't. I want to feel.

There are times I've wept for people I've never met, hours I've spent on my knees praying for those close to me who are racked with sorrow. I believe it's our heart's nature to reach out to others, it's the core of the human spirit to care for others. We're the offspring of a mighty Heart, it's the very foundation of our spirit to reach out to others, to care for those who are in need, to love those who are hurting.

Many times I've witnessed the tears behind a smile, we all have. Someone we know, someone we pass on the street, someone behind a counter. It's our decision to acknowledge their need, their pain...their sorrow, or to walk away. I wonder how many opportunities we've had to ease the distress of another, regardless of how minute, and passed it by because it may have made us feel a moment of discomfort? What opportunities have we passed up, simply to spare ourselves an embarrassing moment? Many times I've been moved to ask someone if they were okay. It's not a big commitment on my end to let someone know I see their pain and that I care. Sometimes that may be all it takes. I've held the hands of strangers as they've cried; not always comfortable, but never a wasted moment. If we're not here for one another, tell me, why are we here?

I honestly feel sorry for those who never feel the pain of others. It must be such a self centered life to never cry over the suffering of someone else. Too strong to cry? Too self controlled to shed a tear for someone whose life is shattered? Jesus wept, my friends, Jesus wept. To know that kind of love for others, it's the ultimate example that Christ set before us to follow. 'He that is first shall be last, and he who is last shall be first' (Matthew 19:30). What an awesome opportunity we're given to instill even the smallest Light to others, to let them know that someone cares for them.

Please, take something away from this post with you today. Please take an extra second to make eye contact with a stranger, to notice the mood of someone next to you in line, to smile at someone as you pass them. The love He's given us, truly, is a terrible thing to waste.

One of my favorites...again, I Can Only Imagine.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Rock Solid

Every word I said, I meant it. Every time I told you I missed you, it was true. Every time I told you I loved you, my heart was demanding to be heard. I'll never change day to day, week to week or month to month. I am rock solid.

So many times I've walked away because I was too honest to stay. Each time I was able to walk away with my head held high, knowing that I was doing what was right. The alternative held no attraction to me, shame had no hold on me. Still.

I had learned as a child to protect my heart. I had built a wall around it that could not be breached, until you. Make no mistake, you did not find a way in; I gave you entrance. I invited you in. I trusted you...I trusted you.

Every day is a lesson. In life, in love...every day a lesson. I'll take what you have taught me, I hope I'll forget what I've forgiven and I'll remember what my heart is capable of. Although each day changes, people rarely do; and as every day is a lesson, I learned a great deal from you.

As I was before you, as I will be after you, I will forever be true to my heart. Though perfection has never been my strong suit, honesty has been. I am today as I was yesterday, as I was last week and as I was last month, rock solid.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


There are words that can change the direction of our life. Actually, not only our life, but the life of those around us, those who care for us and those whom we care for. For that reason alone, we should choose our words carefully

With my children, I choose my words with care...and calm. It's in me to speak first, to act first...sometimes to yell first, but it's never a good choice for me and can actually scar their memories of me. I want so badly to set a good example to my children. Sometimes being human we fail, but I believe when we put effort into it, we'll succeed much more than we will fail.

It's amazing how much our words can have an effect on strangers. I've had patients I've spoken to on the phone come in and ask to meet me because I'd made them laugh at a time they'd needed it. I've had patients bring me gifts because I'd touched them with words. We never know how what we're saying or the way in which we're saying it will impact someone, but we should be aware that words are powerful.

Friends forgive words that we use in haste. Good friends anyway. They not only forgive, but understand because they love us...because they care about us, and because some of them choose to be permanent fixtures rather than simply passing through our life. I enjoy my words with my good friends because they know me well and enjoy, even share, my sarcasm and attitude, so I'm free to be myself and freely use both.

There are those that come and go in our life, sadly, and we can usually tell who these people will be because we catch ourselves weighing our words before we speak them. Not wanting to offend, not wanting to scare off by our true personality when we let our guard down...actually always a little afraid to let our guard down, we will constantly be aware of what we're saying but it's important to be honest in what we say and that we express our true feelings. I believe life is too short to constantly be on guard. I'll meet people and sometimes wonder what they're really like when they're 'themselves'. You can usually tell when someone isn't letting you see them as they really are, or as they really want to be. Sometimes it's a challenge though, or I find it to be so, to encourage those people to enjoy who they are and to care less of what others may think of them. It's sometimes hard to trust someone who never speaks their mind.

Then, there is also the type of person who simply lies, or avoids the truth. Though I've been this person before, and make no mistake, I made a sport out it before becoming a Christian some 26 years ago and I can understand how easy it is to let words mean so little to you, I will no longer allow it in my life, or those who do. This is a hard lesson to learn and even harder standard to live by. Because we humans are an emotional creature, we take some words to heart, count on them...and trust them. But you learn in life who will take the high road, and who will not. I'm not afraid of heights.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just a thinkin'

I wonder, sometimes...not all the time, but sometimes, what it is that makes us tick. As for me, and as it's been pointed out lately, I consider it to all be about me (no Katy, this isn't about you or the shirt you sent me), but I do wonder, sometimes, why we each choose as we do.

Some choose the easy roads in life. Regardless of what the day brings, they take the easiest way possible. Does that ever work out? Don't know, NEVER TRIED IT. I know several who have, though, and they honestly seem to be happy with whatever life brings them.

Some choose the hardest road possible. Their life is constantly full of turmoil and they never seem to do anything but complain. I know several of these people, also. Many times I'll want to say "why didn't you just..." but I've learned by now that it would have been an easier route and less for them to complain about, so I just let it go.

Then, there are some who actually try to use logic. What would happen if...what would have the best chance of working out if... I probably fit best in this category. Sadly. I'm a thinker, though some would beg to differ.

Lately, though, I'm pondering the choices we make and why. Is it easier to take the easiest way possible and be concerned with tomorrow should it ever show up? Is it best to make it as hard as possible for ourselves and spend all of our time worrying over things we have no control over. Or, is it best to 'ponder'...consider our options, and try to plan not only for the worst, but for the best that could happen?

Not really a serious post...just a wondering...because that's what I do. When I'm not all consumed with myself, of course.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Welcome Home

My ex mom-in-law passed away in her sleep very early Monday morning. I know the last time I wrote about my mom-in-law, the boys and I had had our feelings hurt when we'd asked to visit and she told us no. I'll admit it hurt our feelings, and that I have hoped for the past 3 years that she'd call. Regardless, I loved my mom-in-law. For the 22 years leading up to this, she'd been one of my closest friends.

When Mark and I met, I'd been bartending and going to a local bible college. Mark's parents were both Christians, coming from a strong baptist background. The first time Mark told them about me, he described me as five years older than himself with some gray hair and a bartender. This was a joke through the years of what they were expecting, but they put their arms around me and welcomed me into their family the first time I met them.

Mark's mom always reminded me a little bit of Scarlett O'Hara. She was a 'southern lady'. Never saw her when she didn't look put together. Her clothes were always perfect, her nails were perfect, her make-up perfect and her hair, seriously, her hair was always perfect. Her voice was always soft, and it should go without saying that her manners, well, a southern lady through and through.

I'd asked my mom-in-law to accompany me on a cruise a few years ago. Seven days sharing a room with the bathroom the size of a hall closet and we did nothing but laugh. It was one of the best times I've ever had. We made friends with people from both our age groups, we took wine tasting classes, we drank and we gambled. I think I may have enjoyed it more than the cruises I took with my husband and kids. My mom-in-law could have a good time.

I'm not one to mourn death because I know without a doubt where one passes over to, and it's nothing to mourn but something to rejoice. My mom-in-law believed as I did, we discussed it many times, the joy of being in the presence of God. I rejoice knowing that she is with our Lord, reunited with her loved ones who'd passed before her and look forward to being with her again. However, I know the void her children will feel with her absence here and for that I'm truly sorry. I'm also sorry that the boys and I never got to hear her laugh, feel her arms around us or tell her that we loved her again. I will continue, as I have these past three years, to miss her. But, I know that she is full of joy, probably dancing and praising along side the angels and, as we all long to be, she is home.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dreams To Remember

I love how life is constantly teaching us lessons. Oh, we're a stubborn lot, but given enough time, we learn. Maybe it's because some of us are dreamers that it's so hard for us to learn, or to see something that's so obvious to everyone else. Dreamers; but who doesn't love to dream? Who doesn't try to believe...hope, dream for what our heart wants, regardless of how obvious life's truth may be.

I dream. I hope. I believe in what my heart keeps holding out for. It's my choice to wait for what I believe in, what I dream of, what I hope for. No one knows what I feel inside. No one knows but me. I have come to realize, however, that lessons of the heart are the hardest to learn. I can't count the times people have told me to let my guard down, take a chance...lower my defenses. There are reasons it's so hard for me. Good reasons.

So many good men have wasted their time on me. Though I've never lied to them, never encouraged them with hopes for more than I'm able to give them, I do sometimes wish I were able to feel more for them than what has came natural to me. I know that I'm capable of it. I know what it is that I want to feel...how I want someone to make me feel when they look at me, touch me, how I want to be moved by the simple sound of their voice.

I recently attended the wedding of a couple a little older than myself. The second marriage for the bride, the third for the groom and, as they declared in their vows, the last for each of them. I'd never met them before, I was a guest...a 'plus one' of a friend, but the bride and I talked at the reception. She told me that my friend was very fond of me; I smiled and assured her that friends were all we were. She told me "I know what you mean. I kissed a lot of frogs waiting for my prince to show up".

That's what I'm doing, I'm waiting for my prince to show up. I'm a dreamer, and I don't mind dreaming. Actually, I enjoy a good dream. But, sometimes, dreams are all that some of them are...just dreams. And that's a painful lesson. But, while I wait, I do have a few good dreams to remember.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What If

All children dream. The youngest child will live within an imagination that we are not able to begin to imagine as adults. What did we dream about? What were our imaginings when we were young? The mind of a child is so full of dreams, nothing is impossible. Nothing. To the innocent, the world awaits their laugh and each moment is another opportunity to smile.

When do we begin to lose that? When do we first hear words that diminish those imaginings, that bring doubt to those beliefs that all is possible? What if we were never told that things were impossible to us? What if we were always encouraged to seek after those imaginings, regardless of the magnitude of the dream? What if the world were shaped by our reality instead of our being shaped by it's reality. What an amazing world is possible if we listen to our hearts instead of the man on the radio, the woman on the television or to anyone but the Voice within our spirit.

I reflect on the dreams I've had, on the expectations I've had of myself; not only from when I was younger, but the dreams I still have late at night when my mind is quiet and the world isn't allowed in. The dreams that my heart still nourishes with hope.

Far from childhood, far from innocent, I still find my hiding place in hope and I continue to dream. Let the reality of this world hit me with it's best shot. I will continue to laugh and I will continue to smile. Not because I hide from reality, but because I choose my reality.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

If ever...

I may have a hard time settling down, maybe I'm just hard to please, I don't know. I've actually had someone tell me that lately, but regardless, should I ever have someone touch my heart like this man does when he sings, I'm theirs.

Friday, July 03, 2009


My good friend, Tom, posted these a long time ago on my blog. Recently came across them again, still made me laugh. Hope they make you laugh too.

1. How many men does it take to open a beer?None. It should be opened by the time she brings it to you.
2. Why is a Laundromat a really bad place to pick up a woman?Because a woman who can't even afford a washing machine will never be able to support you.
3. Why do women have smaller feet than men?So they can stand closer to the kitchen sink.
4. How do you know when a woman's about to say something smart?When she starts her sentence with "A man once told me..."
5. How do you fix a woman's watch?You don't, there's a clock on the oven!
6. Women are like guns, keep one around long enough and you're gonna to want to shoot it.
7. If your dog is barking at the back door and your wife is yelling at the front door, who do you let in first?The dog of course...at least he'll shut up after you let him in.
8. All wives are alike, but they have different faces so you can tell them apart.
9. I know it's missing...
10. What's worse than a Male Chauvinist Pig?A woman that won't do what she's told.
11. I married Miss Right. I just didn't know her first name was Always.
12. I haven't spoken to my wife for 18 months. I don't like to interrupt her.
13. What do you call a woman who has lost 95% of her intelligence?Divorced.
14. Bigamy is having one wife too many. Some say monogamy is the same.
15. Scientists have discovered a food that diminishes a woman's sex drive by 90%:Wedding cake.
16. Marriage is a 3 ring circus:Engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering.
17. The last fight was my fault! My wife asked, "What's on the TV?" I said, "Dust!"
18. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and rested.Then God created man and rested. Then God created woman. Since then, neither God nor man has rested.
19. My wife and I are inseparable. In fact, last week it took four state troopers and a dog.
20. Why do men die before their wives?They want to.
21. What is the difference between a dog and a fox?5 drinks!!!
22. A beggar walked up to a well dressed woman shopping on Rodeo Drive and said, "I haven't eaten anything in four days." She looked at him and said, "My God, I wish I had your willpower."
23. Do you know the punishment for bigamy??Two mothers-in-law.
24. Young Son: "Dad is it true, I heard that in some parts of Africa a man doesn't KNOW his wife until he marries her?" Dad: "That happens in every country, son."
25. A man inserted an 'ad' in the classified: "Wife wanted". The next day he received a hundred letters. They all said the same thing, "You can have mine."
26. A man meets a genie. The genie tells him he can have whatever he wants, provided that his mother-in-law gets double. The man thinks for a moment and then says, "Okay, give me a million dollars and beat me half to death."
27. The most effective way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once.
28. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Turn Around

When sleep is suppose to come, it doesn't.
I lay awake and I wonder why. I have so many questions, so many why's, that I get lost.
I can't ask you because I no longer trust you.
Trust is something I'd thought was one of our strongest bonds, but now it's possibly our weakest link.
I wonder where you went, the you I knew so well...the you I've held, the you I've confided in, the you that I'd, still, give my life for.
Your laugh was the sound that made my heart dance.
Your tears have torn at the very core of my soul.

I miss you to the point where it physically hurts.

I will love you always.
Even though you may not understand my actions, know that my love is as strong today as it has ever been.
That, I promise you, will never change.
But for now, I will step into the shadows of the life you're living, because I can not walk beside you where you are.
When you notice that I am no longer beside you and you choose to return to me, I will be there for you.
I look forward to being there for you when, once again, my heart can dance in the sound of your laughter and my soul may rejoice in the man I know you can be.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Graduate

Charlie is now a high school graduate. My Charlie...is not so much 'my' Charlie anymore, but his own man. As hard as it is for me to step back and give him room to, as a friend told me, test his own wings, I am trying. I am trying very, very hard. Fortunately, Charlie is patient with me.

Charlie hasn't decided what he wants to do yet. He was blessed to get a job that he loves several months ago at a veterinarian's office as a vet tech. I was surprised at this, because, of course, he's never had any schooling in this area. However, he took to the job quickly and loves it. He assists in surgery, gives shots, draws blood and the like. I'm very proud of the job he's doing. He still practices with several bands and I'm hoping that is where his path leads him. It's not just the mother in me that tells you he is an amazing guitarist and that he has the perfect stage personality; people love him wherever he performs and he gets a lot of requests from varying bands to perform with them. He talks about enrolling in the local college for fall, and I'd like to see that happen as well. This past week, he's been dividing his time between living with his dad and living with me. I had thought that he was going to live with his dad full time for awhile, but he's not ready. I'm not sure I am either, so we're apparently taking it a couple of days at a time. When he's not here, I actually enjoy my alone time, but when he comes home it tears at my heart to see him drive away.

In celebration of Charlie's graduation, I'm going to reminisce with a few of Charlie stories.

Casey's first day of kindergarten was hard for me. As Charlie and I left him at the school, I began to tear up. I did manage to hold it together until we were in the car and I let some tears fall. I sat there for a moment or two, and felt Charlie's little hand patting mine. When I looked at him, he said "Don't worry, Mama, we'll get him back". Thanks Charlie, I've gotten much comfort from you over the years.

The only time Charlie has ever gotten into real trouble was when he was in the 8th grade. He walked into a locker room after football practice one afternoon to find a circle of boys bullying one of the smaller kids on the team. He stepped in front of the smaller boy and apparently took on the circle of bullies. The leader of the 'pack' told Charlie to stay out of it and Charlie started to help the smaller kid step out of the circle the other boys had formed around him. The leader punched Charlie from behind, a fight ensued consisting of Charlie throwing one punch and it was over. The school system has the no tolerance policy and the police were called. Charlie and the other boy were both written tickets. The offer was made to either plead guilty, pay a fine and child along with parents attend six weeks of anger management or to go to court. The other child's family chose the option to pay the fine and go to anger management courses, which were probably needed. Charlie insisted he'd done nothing wrong, and we backed him. We went to court. Not one coach would agree to testify against Charlie. They'd not seen the fight, but had talked to all the boys in the locker room and they all told us how proud of Charlie they were. Not one of the campus police would testify against Charlie, they told us the same thing the coaches had told us. So, the day we went to court, the city's prosecuting attorney told the court that they were dropping the charges against Charlie for lack of evidence, and the attorney told us how everyone they'd talked to had given nothing but high praise for Charlie. Charlie has always stood up for the underdog, regardless of the personal cost to himself. I have always admired this quality in Charlie.

Charlie's senior class had over 1,400 kids in it. The graduation was held, as Casey's was, at UNT (University of North Texas) where Casey will be a junior this next year. Casey and I struggled to find a seat because, as is my norm, we were a tad late and the place was packed. We ended up in the high bleachers at the very front of the students, but there was a large screen hanging down between us and the class, and we couldn't see many of them. I had brought my binoculars (and seriously, at least seven people borrowed them) and we searched through row upon row of students looking for Charlie. After awhile, even though I'd raised this kid for 18 1/2 years, they all started to look alike. After three or four speeches from people I barely knew and kids I'd never heard of, the first few rows started lining up alphabetically. Fortunately, that put Charlie in the first 20 minutes or so of students. Each student would walk up to the principal, shake his hand with one hand as they received their diploma with the other. They'd face the camera and smile, which was being shown on the big screen right in front of Casey and I, and it was perfect. Turns out it couldn't have been better seats. We sat through at least 20 minutes of kids shaking the principals hand and smiling for the camera. We finally spotted Charlie in line, and when they announced his name, I honestly developed a knot in my throat. As he walked up to the principal, the principal opened his arms and Charlie walked into them. They hugged each other for several seconds. The principal patted Charlie's back and they separated as he handed Charlie his diploma and they shook hands; all the while being projected on this huge screen in front of me. It was then that I heard someone shouting Charlie's name and I saw Casey beside me, on his feet, shouting and clapping for his brother. I don't think I'll ever forget this night. How blessed I am is beyond description.

Congratulations Charlie. You have enriched my life with each day of yours.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Ponderings of reflections in my life

I would watch the reflection of the moon as it danced on the expansive face of the ocean. It was my habit, when I lived in Florida, to end every evening sitting on the beach in St. Petersburg, as the moon would lower itself ever so slowly over the body of water that I loved, the ocean. As the moon got lower and lower, the water became blacker and blacker, turning itself into the perfect reflection for the moon to set upon. I would sit there to watch the day end. There would come a point to where it was nearly impossible to tell where the moon ended and the water began. To this day, it's the most beautiful sight I remember.

Each of us have a moon in our life. Something that we reflect until it's impossible to tell where that reflection ends and we, ourselves, begin. Whether it's a job, a relationship or our status in life. We're all a reflection of something. I try to be a reflection of Christ. I like to believe that it's impossible to tell where Christ ends and I begin, that His reflection is all consuming. But I can tell, I can tell where He ends and I begin. Just as I can tell where my reflection of a mother stops and the woman begins, I can tell. There are many things in my life that I am a reflection of, but there is always a point where the reflection belongs to reflector, and I must accept that I am the reflected. Blessed to be, but merely the reflected.

Still, it pleasures me to believe that it is often nearly impossible to tell where a few reflections end and where I begin. The reflection of all things good, all things honest, all things pure.

Sometimes we are the moon and sometimes we are the water. I see myself reflected in my children, my speech in many of my friends, my character in my writing. Where we end or where we begin, I suppose, depends on how we appreciate what we see. I ponder what I see, what I reflect upon and what I'm a reflection of. The choice of what we reflect and what we are a reflection of will always be ours, if we allow ourselves to see clearly.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Dreamers, each of us

Young girls dream. To a young girl, anything is possible, even if someone tries to stifle their spirit, young girls will dream. Most young girls dream of growing up to be like their mommy. They play dress up; they put on their mommy's high heeled shoes, put on their mommy's make-up in the way only a child can, and they dream. They dream of being a mommy themselves, gingerly caring for their baby dolls. They dream of a man loving them, as they've seen their father caring for their mother. Yes, young girls are great dreamers.

By the time a young girl becomes a young woman, she's seen that life isn't as perfect as it was in her days of make believe. Young men have brought reality into the realm of their imagination. They've been introduced to the reality of heartache and heartbreak. Most young women have cried themselves to sleep, holding their pillow tightly and hoping that someone who had loved them yesterday would love them again tomorrow. Regardless of how much they've been hurt, soon there will be the smile of someone new that will turn their pain into hope...excitement, and give them reason to dream...again.

As women, most of us have known real heartache, had our heart broken by someone we'd trusted with it, and as much as we've tried to stay open to the dream of true love, we're weary. I've known women who believe they love every man they go out with, I've known women who occasionally toy with the idea of love and I've known women who run with all the force that is in them in the opposite direction of any hint of love.

But somewhere, deep in the heart of every woman, is that little girl that dreams. Somewhere inside each of us, that young woman still yearns to feel the stirring of hope and excitement when someone new catches her attention. Regardless of what life has brought us through, the memory of what is possible is resilient.

Dreamers, each of us.

I still dare to dream.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When God Laughs

I do believe God has a great sense of humor. I believe this with all of my heart. And, sometimes, I believe that when we find ourselves on a road in our life that we'd have sworn we'd never take, that God laughs; He laughs because He knows that this was the road He'd intended for us from the very beginning...that all the other roads in our life had been leading us to this one.

We are such arrogant creatures.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tell me...

...how is it possible that there are minutes that last for hours, and yet hours that disappear in a minute.

Something I read today that melted my heart: ' That's a current that flows both ways '. If I live beyond desire, I'll never forget those words.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Learning to trust

The small lake was clear enough to where the fish could not hide themselves and the water welcomed my toes with it's coolness. The acreage around the lake lush and green and wildflowers marked their territory with colors indescribable. Trees surrounded this area as if they were protecting it from an outside world, an outside world that I, too, have needed protection from.

I have revisited this place in my mind and in my heart many times over the years. It brings me peace and calms my soul when I, at times, feel under attack from a world that holds me in such little regard, where I am often but an unknown casualty in the greater scheme of things. And yet, I am blessed because I have this place to retreat to.

When I find myself in my 'safe place', I feel that I am in the palm of God's hands. I can clearly picture myself in this place, all being supported in the midst of His hands cupped together. This is where I am safe.

I've never considered there being anyone with me in my 'safe place'. As a child, our safe place should be with our parents. I know that I have been a safe place for my children while they were growing up and still, when they are hit with one of the world's hardballs, I'm the one they come to. However, I didn't have that growing up in my household. In my household, it was my parents that I needed a safe place from. I remember retreating to a small room in my mind where nothing could hurt me as I grew up. I retreated there many times and it is one of the few things I remember well. And...other times I ran. The first time I ran away my father found me on a country road leading to our house on his way home long after dark one night. I carried a Barbie doll case filled with clothes and toys that my mother had helped me pack when she told me to get out. I was four years old. Unfortunately, I kept that way of dealing with hurt...with pain, for many years of my life; I ran. Sometimes, of late, I've noticed that I still tend to run. Not pack and move anymore, but to stop and emotionally leave abruptly. To call it quits and attempt to remove it from my mind.

Today I heard a teaching on trust. Trust has never been my strong suit. I've trusted God, and God alone. But letting someone else into our life means allowing ourselves to trust, listening to that inner spirit that God has instilled with-in all of us to trust. Will that trust always be upheld? No, that would be impossible because man is not God and God alone is without fault. But trusting is a learning experience that we build on. Build relationships, build futures, build our very life on. Can I do that? I'd like to try, but right now, to be honest, it scares me greatly to think of trusting someone...anyone, with what goes on in my mind and in my heart. It's safer for me to retreat to the lake, with my feet skimming the water, and my soul at rest knowing that nothing, nothing can hurt me there.

Am I ready to trust someone else besides God? Am I willing to trust someone with the power to hurt me? I'm honestly not sure, but I may be ready to try. I pray, I pray a lot and fortunately God gives us unlimited minutes in prayer. Lately, when I pray, I've been hearing that word, 'trust' in my spirit. As is my stubborn nature, I've, in my own way, agreed that I will...future tense, start trusting. The lesson I heard this morning stressed to me that it is a now thing. It hit home with me because I've been receiving it in prayer and today was a confirmation as to what I'd been hearing in my spirit. Trust. My safe place, the lake and all it represents, is a nice place to visit...occasionally, but I can't live there anymore.

So, here I am, to me...naked. I will make a strong effort to trust whom my inner spirit leads me to trust. If I get hurt, you will share it with me. This, after nearly five years of knowing most of you, I do trust. And though I may tread lightly at first, I'll tread. I'll put my toes into the lake of the world and hope that the world is as welcoming as my safe place. If not, I trust that you will be.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kids Say The Darndest Things

I remember watching this at night with my family...times have changed. And yes, I'm really that old!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Importance of Toothpaste.

I pulled my shopping cart into the only lane open. The conveyor was full of food, more than full, it was packed. A cart was pushed up against the side, about two feet back from the checker. The checker was scanning the items as quickly as she could, but there wasn't a customer around. I pulled up behind the nearly empty cart. Still inside the cart was aluminum foil, toothpaste, mouth wash and two sacks of disposable razors. Soon a man appears with his arms full of steaks. He smiled at me as he stepped around my cart and loaded them onto the conveyor. I expected him to put the rest of the items from the cart onto the converyor, but instead he steps around the cart, starts taking the bags that have already been filled and puts them on top of the items in the cart. I know I looked at him rather oddly, because there wasn't anyway possible he couldn't see he was putting bags on top of the things already in his cart. He put about three bags on top of them as he kept looking at me watching him. I wondered to myslef, with the large bulk of items he was buying, why he'd risk stealing the few measly items he was trying so hard not to pay for. Finally, he sort of exhales loudly and takes the items out from under the sacks and puts them on the conveyor...everything except for the toothpaste. He never looked back at me to see if I noticed it or not, but there wasn't anyway he could have missed it.

When the clerk is finished and his cart is full of sacks, all sitting neatly on top of that lone toothpaste in the bottom of the cart, she gives him his total amount. He pulls out the Texas Star card, which is the card that Texas uses for it's version of food stamps. He slides it through the debit/credit card machine and the clerk gives him the total amount still due. She tells him the amount still due is for the aluminum foil, the mouth wash and the two sacks of disposable razors. Apparently the Texas Star program only covers food and beverages. He asked her to please take those items off of his total as he dug through his sacks to locate each of the items and handed them back to her.

I'm glad he got to keep the toothpaste.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Singing the 'Used Car Salesman' blues

First, let me make it clear that I'm not against all used car salesman. Last year when I bought my 2007 Kia Spectra EX with 9,000 miles on it, I enjoyed the whole experience with CarMax (other than that little hiccup with the whole AirCheck thing, which wasn't the fault of CarMax in any way) and I absolutely love my car. With that said, I'll continue.

After a few weeks of searching for Charlie a car with the $2,000 I had, I was pretty frustrated. Every car we called on was either sold, or seriously misrepresented. Cars from Auto Trader and Craig's List that said they were in great shape were missing a couple of tires, had warning lights lit up or the hood wired shut. I know $2,000 doesn't buy much, but it would be nice to think it bought a little bit of honesty. This was a frustrating experience for both Charlie and myself. Kid is 18 and it's his first car. It's been so difficult for him to find a job without a car and trust me, he has tried. I owed this money to Charlie. When Mark left and I didn't have a job, we used the bonds my dad had left Charlie to live on and I've been paying him back since. This was the last $2,000 I owed him. Casey had cashed his in for his car repairs (engine and brakes) and to help some with college. So, I didn't buy Charlie this car. Just to make it clear. I owed Charlie this car. Actually, I look at it as Mark should owe it to him...but I'm living in reality here, because since he's not covering what he owes in child support, well, his view of right and wrong tends to get a little mixed up. I feel bad enough that I've had to turn him over to the state for being so far behind in support and dropping the kid's health insurance...silly me.
Anyway, back to Charlie and the car. Finally I saw a great looking deal at an on-line site for one of our large, local car dealerships, Rodeo Ford Plano. Of course, when I called them, that car had 'just' been sold but they had many others for that price that were just about as nice. I've since learned this as the bait and switch trick...over a week later, it's still on their ad. But anyway, I went to look at them on my lunch hour and well...none of them compared but I've learned that $2,000 just doesn't buy much. I emphasised that I had $2,000, that was all I had. That I was a single mom and I could not afford to buy a car that was going to need any repair. They completely understood (don't laugh). Mark took Charlie up to look at them while I went back to work and I met them there after I got off. They'd sold Charlie on a 1998 Ford Explorer with 165,000 miles on it. Mark said they'd driven it, that it drove good and that Charlie had fallen in love with it. Of course. So, Charlie and I sat there for the next 3 hours while we did all the paper work (which, when I'm paying cash, I don't get why it takes so long) and they cleaned and prepared the car. They had said that the passenger side door handle on the inside was off track and they were going to repair it. They showed us before we left that it worked. Well...Charlie being an 18 year old boy...young man...man, whatever, he headed off to pick up his girlfriend. The first time she used the door handle to get out of the car, it broke. When Charlie got home, we found out that when you lock the car, the passenger side doesn't lock. Even if you manually pushed down the lock, it didn't lock. Which, as it turned out, was a good thing because when you locked the car, the drivers side door did not unlock. Not with the remote. Not with the key. Nothing. Charlie drove it back up the next day after school and I met him there on my lunch hour. They looked at it and told me it would cost $1,000 to repair. Charlie knew I didn't have this money, and we asked if they'd refund us our money and they did. Which, I'm thankful to them because we did sign an 'as is' form. We did have it for less than 24 hours, but checking into Texas law, that was our problem and not theirs. So, thanks Rodeo for at least doing the right thing in refunding our money.

Next we were on our way to Bonham Chrysler. Now, I'd called on a car in their ad on Autotrader.com. Of course, it had been sold but one of their salesman, Erik, called me back and tells me about a 1993 Nissan they'd just got in that was in really great shape. I explained to him that, again, I only had $2,000 to spend and could not afford a car that was going to need any repair. I know I must seem really naive, but this is the truth, I don't have any extra to spend for repairs or to replace a bald tire. Erik told me this car was in great shape and he said 'I'd feel comfortable putting my grandmother in this car'. Seriously, maybe I am naive. I mean, I recognized that as a line, but there was a bit of hope in me, too. So, Charlie and I headed out to Bonham. From Plano, where we were, it took us over an hour to get there, and we did try not to get our hopes up, but we'd became very tired of looking and getting disappointed. When we got to Bonham Chrysler, we found our car that Erik had told us about in a lot that they call the Cash Corral. It's a Nissan Maxima and has 171,000 miles on it. I told them the mileage set off warning alarms in my head but they told me that Nissans ran forever if taken care of and this one was in great shape. Erik showed us the engine (as if we'd know anything) and Charlie and I took it for a ride. Charlie said it ran good and he liked it. It's a good looking car, not a dent or scratch on it. Inside it's in really good condition, looks like it'd been well cared for. I asked if it'd been checked, all the fluids good and the oil clean (that's the most I know to do, besides seeing the tires are all in really good shape) and Erik said yes and the oil had been changed.
Well...go figure. After driving it home the hour or so, you could smell some oil burning. I took it this weekend to Midas to have a maintenance check done and they showed us that the engine had a lot of oil splatter. They said the oil and filter were both filthy and showed them to me. I told them we'd had the car only a couple of days and I'd been told by the dealership that it had just had an oil change. They told me I was lied to. They said that it desperately needs an oil pan gasket and both oil valve cover gaskets. I'm fairly certain of those terms, as I said, all greek to me. What isn't greek is the $800+ it's going to cost to repair it. I asked if it was something that could have just happened and they actually laughed. No, they said, it'd been like this for awhile and they said there wasn't any way the dealership could not have not been aware of it.
So, I'm guessing maybe Erik doesn't have the fondest of feelings for his grandmother.

Regardless, I've emailed Bonham Chrysler and hopefully they'll either help Charlie get into something that doesn't need repair or they'll fix it for Charlie at a discounted price. I had checked Bonham Chrysler out on-line with the BBB and they had an A+ rating. Goes to show that you can't always count on BBB's ratings. The slogan on Bonham Chrysler's website is 'family values, country prices'. I don't know anything about country prices, but I can tell you without a doubt that their family values are different from my family's values.

I'm not going to hold these experiences against all used car sales or salesmen. My experience with CarMax was exceptional and far outweighs the negatives we've experienced the last few weeks. I'm just saying that some people should really be ashamed of themselves. If I had to lie for a living, I'd be dead broke...in spirit and pocket.

** I'm updating this on 08/30/09. Bonham never offered us any help. They never returned my calls or my emails. A month after we had the car, Charlie went to have it inspected and it failed. We called and spoke with Erik and he told Charlie to bring the car to Bonham and it would pass inspection there because they don't have the same requirements as Collin County, where we live. (As a side note, I had talked not only to Erik, but to the gentleman who processed us when we bought the car, and had discussed where we lived and how far we had driven to get there. They knew exactly where we lived.) Charlie drove the hour it takes to get to Bonham and attempted to have it inspected, only to be told that since he didn't live in that county, they could not inspect it. Charlie drove the car to Bonham Chrysler and spoke to Erik in person. He said he couldn't help Charlie, but told him that his mother (that would be me) had emailed a letter to Bonham Chrysler complaining about him. So, he got Charlie to drive a 2 hour round trip, knowing that he wasn't going to help him and why? For revenge because his mother complained, rightfully so, to his employer?
We put a new catalytic converter on the car, new spark plugs and wires, a new muffler, and still the car would not pass inspection. Charlie would have this car inspected every two weeks so it would be legal to drive and we'd fix whatever we could afford as they told us why it was failing inspection. Finally, we were able to sell the car for $500, and trust me, it wasn't worth that much. But I promise you this, the people who bought the car did so knowing exactly what they were getting and we gave them full disclosure of what we knew was wrong with it. It's just too bad that Bonham Chrysler wasn't as honest.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I heard him sigh as he walked away,
his hands balled into fists.
I knew that it would be the last time I'd see him,
but I couldn't say a word to stop him.

I had loved him completely.
I'd loved him with all that was in me.
For the first time in my life
I'd let all my defenses fall...or so I had thought.

Because on that day when he asked,
on that day that he promised,
I said no
and I watched him walk away.

His sigh echoed my heartbreaking.
His clenched fists mirrored my distress.
But I couldn't say a word to stop him.
My fear had set him free.