Thursday, February 26, 2009

Flaming Ice

The sky is bright as midnight draws near. A day has come and gone just like each one before it. Yet this day overflows with emotions of all kinds. One might say God went a bit bipolar creating both volcanic ash and icy glaciers all in one day. I paid tribute to a life. I put finishing touches on my new condo. I lost a cousin. I got a new job. It all seems so simple in four simple sentences. In one day. Crushed together.

Today marked eight years of my mother's death. Today one of the core members of the Adams family, Judith Goates went to Heaven quite suddenly. Today I got the final word that I could start a new Marketing venture for Lincoln Property Group in Dallas. And today I packed up the final boxes to move into my beautiful new little condo.

My boyfriend asked me today if anniversaries ever gets easier. Time helps deal with pain, but anniversaries only bring feelings to the surface and force you to live that day over and over again in your mind. Acceptance comes with time, but truly just moving past the loss might never happen. I have come to realize THAT IS JUST FINE. We are allowed to mourn as human beings and not brush the pain under the rug. It's okay to be a little sad. I received a beautiful bouquet of bright sunflowers from a wonderful friend today. My heart melted as my mother loved sunflowers. I stared at their beauty and just smiled at them. You see, anniversaries aren't as much about cards anymore or flowers anymore, but just the knowing that someone loves you and remembers your loved one that day. I had messages flowing in on various social networking sites. Former students sharing their favorite stories with me. It makes me feel guilt to know how much they loved her and how she molded their lives. I wish I could have been a better daughter.

But, I have to remember at nineteen years of age it is often hard to grasp the reality that parents are the smartest people we know....

That day eight years ago was like any other day as it began. I don't remember everything I did that day. I just remember not being able to find her. Calling and calling. Dial tones. Beeping. Dad calling. Throwing the phone. Each year I recount it step by step. I remember praying in a huddle of sorority sisters and friends. Fast forward eight years and you see this young woman sitting in front of your eyes. She is wise beyond her years, yet very selfish because she sometimes thinks the world owes her. I look in those eyes to see a deepness even I cannot understand; a journey that looking back I have no idea how I walked over that volcanic fire thrashing through my skin. We look at Dad... a fearless man with a tear stained face. He learned to walk again by finding a wife, by finding a new life. His chapters began again and he walks with a wounded, yet happy soul. We look at Grandmommy... and sometimes we cringe because of her pain, yet see someone that has truly lived through it all... and still believes in God. True courage.

I run and hide beneath the volcano's walls as we face another loss. In less than a year I have attended five funerals. I have lost two of my grandmothers in less than a year. It makes me wonder what God is doing... but, we still hold tight to that faith. Aren't we all but a mist?

So today I choose not to yet dive into the loss of Judith. Talking to her daughter on the phone as she told me they had said their goodbyes. Knowing she also leaves behind a daughter in college. Not yet... I choose not to celebrate my new job because it doesn't seem the right time. Not yet. I choose not to jump into my new dwelling for a day or so... Not yet. Today I choose to honor my mother. She was the best person I have ever known in my life. She never said a bad word about anything. She didn't drink. She didn't curse. She didn't yell. I wish I could be half of the person she was... She was truly an angel walking here only for forty eight years blown out like a candle in the night.

As the volcano's fire thrusts into the air raining ashes upon our lives I hide in God's embrace knowing He has a plan. He has a journey. He has a key. Who else can make flames and ice all in one day?

Monday, February 23, 2009


One thing most people don't tell you when you lose a loved one is about the nightmares. I notice the nightmares flare up when I am in a stressful time of life. Eight years ago this Thursday and I still have nightmares. I do not know why. In the dreams she is dying and 911 will not answer; she is running away; she is cheating; I cannot reach her; the phone rings and rings. Sometimes we are even planning another funeral or she is back from the dead and we know she is about to leave again. I don't believe it is something that is a problem as I see it as something I must deal with as I my mind never quite understood. I have been through all of the stages of grief and I do accept it for many reasons, but I sometimes wonder if my mind thinks I could have changed something. There was nothing I could have done. I began calling the house that day probably an hour after she perished. If I had called a minute before the attack struck she still would have perished. They believe Dad spoke to her in that minute. If I was standing right there I probably could not have saved her. Somehow we want to push back time and make them live. Make them. Somehow make time stop so we can make them live. Another coach was standing beside my grandfather when the attack struck and he could do nothing. It cannot be blame. Maybe if I would have been a better daughter she would not have been as stressed? Maybe if I would have appreciated them more? I was a teenager though. I didn't understand the importance of family yet. The nightmares have come and gone for years and I don't see them ever leaving. It isn't every night and sometimes they aren't frightening. Last night I was at the YMCA in my dream waiting for her to pick me up. She was so late. She called, but the lines were full of static and I couldn't understand the garble. I went to wait outside and the roads turned into an ocean and I was being whisked away. Maybe it's just because it's this week? I say I accept it, but on another hand I wonder if I accept it if that allows God to hurt me again? I don't want people to feel sorry for me because it all molded who I am today and molded our amazing family. She wouldn't have lived to a ripe age as she had a lot of health issues... but, what I am feeling is the fact tragedy causes nightmares. It'd be easy if we could just tell them to go away... The subconscious mind doesn't like to listen to my psychological antics telling it to let me dream in peace!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A God Thing?

I'm beginning to wonder how people with big ole houses have the patience to pack a million boxes. I am literally moving about two miles down the road into my new condo and I must say this is the fifth time in the past few years I have done this same game, yet usually it's much further away than a mile... but, it just seems this time I am trying to get rid of so much and trying to make it flow somehow... and I am going insane! It does make me very happy when I walk into the new place though and create its new life in my mind!

I haven't been very social lately so I don't have too many stories. I was pretty down for a while about my economic well being so I just chose to stay away from the outside world. This weekend was basically spend packing and hanging out with Nick. I actually really enjoyed it.

I get word this week about a new job opportunity. It's such a God thing... I will have to tell the entire story if all comes through. Basically I gave my information to someone I had no idea was at the top of the chain and to add to the God thing I was ten hours away in another state when I ran into my old elementary school Principal who happened to be his mother. I interviewed with Lincoln Property Group last week as a Marketing and Leasing Associate. It's a wonderful company with amazing employees. It feels weird as I just get further and further away from being a reporter. In my mind I'll always be a reporter... but, sometimes I have to slap myself and tell myself I do not want that life. I keep lying to myself saying it made me feel special, but it also would mean never being home for dinner and never being there for holidays... I don't jump until I know I have the position in my hand. It's all up to God... I took a drug test and a background check so pending the results I should have a new chapter to open.

Nick and I went back to the Heights Church today. Mike and his family took us to lunch. It amazed both of us as they just seemed too perfect. Three children, a dog, a church going family... wow... Such wonderful people. I am glad they took us under their wing. Another God thing? I met Mike as he was a potential client at my old job and we met about business. We started talking about churches and here we are today! Nick and I enjoy the church as it isn't hardcore Baptist which scares him... and it is pretty upbeat and the people are nice for me. We aren't tough about religion, but as he was raised Catholic he doesn't like the people that raise their arms and sing to God... and I don't like the memorization and prayers of the Catholics. We want a happy medium.

Well... this week marks Mom's eighth anniversary. It's always hard around this time. I don't think it will ever get easier... because you look back and just see how far you've come, you miss her, you think about her, you think about that horrible time. Eight years ago on a Sunday night I spoke to my mother on AIM Instant Messenger about midterms. We discussed Ethics... and that is the last we spoke. I don't remember the conversation much and I don't remember seeing her last. I do remember that Saturday crying as she hung up on me for the first time ever as we argued about me getting a job. We made up quickly... but, that is why I say it's worthless to have worthless arguing. Thursday I will celebrate as I always do... either with friends or with Nick. As long as I am surrounded by those I love with laughter. She loved laughter and she loved friendship. I may never be the wonderful woman she truly was, but I will somehow keep her legend living as long as I am here and we will always remember her the most on the 26th of February as it forever changed our lives.

I see another box. I need to attack it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentines Vacation in Ruidoso

Back to the real world. It's funny that even when escaping into the world of vacation that as it comes to an end your mind wanders to the millions of things left to do in your real world.

We got back from Ruidoso yesterday afternoon after five days of a wonderful vacation. Nick and I made the trip with his parents to stay in their home. They are working on building their dream home to retirement, but we stayed in the home they have for now. We spent most of our time lounging, eating and just enjoying life.

This is Nick saying he hates Valentines Day. So romantic.

I made a big day about Valentines Day, but it is not Nick's favorite holiday. He got me a cute little stuffed dog and some chocolates. His mom cooked a wonderful dinner for all of us that night that included steak and hot wings. After my baking disaster I bought him a big cookie cake, but the airport people threw around my bags so it was pretty broken up... Man, I am not good with presentation... Oh well, it tasted yummy!!!

We went hiking at Bonita Park. Some parts were too snowy, but we found big walking sticks and had fun with it! On the way back we stopped at this beautiful lake and enjoyed the view. I wish I had enjoyed more of the view. I feel like I didn't have enough time with God. I didn't take the time to truly enjoy His sculptures.

Nick and I got up early Saturday and made our way up the mountain to ski. It was such a beautiful day. He is a much better skiier than me so he skiied with me for a bit then I let him go have his fun while I chilled at the rest areas and called old friends to chat! At one point he got me to ski a black diamond and I missed my footing and went down face first! It was rather hilarious as I slid down the mountain!!! I am proud to say I was able to ski a lot of the blacks and Capitan!!! I am a very cautious skiier due to my torn ACLs, but I had a lot of fun. My favorite part was the ski lifts when we just talked and enjoyed the mountain air.

We went out for a nice dinner on Sunday after skiing where I ran into my elementary and junior high principal, Jean Broughton! How random!!! It was so wonderful to see her... As we spoke she introduced me to her son who is Vice President at Lincoln Property Group here and wants to interview me for a job! Whoa... small world.... or A God Thing?!! It was just so great to reconnect with her. I also saw my old boss from KTAB, Rick Tomlin on the mountain!!!

Kerkyn said he missed me. When I am gone for a few days he sleeps on my head. I guess he thinks this means I will not leave him again.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Two 'Only Julie' Stories...

Not one... but TWO "Only Julie" stories... and this one includes and "Only Julie... and Cohen" moment. Life in this stage of the economy CAN have some laughter!

One of my best friends, my sorority sister from college, Sarah Cohen and I love to workout together. She is in training for some wild marathon and my knees don't believe in marathons so tonight after borrowing her ski attire for this weekend in Ruidoso we got on the ellipticals. I like to do cardio for thirty minutes then maybe some light weights. Cohen likes to jog for hours. So we are on the EFX for a while and I remembered Sarah had been on one a long time ago that didn't work correct, but she looks at my time and thinks it is fine. She has hers covered with a magazine. We go and go... and we are like, "Man, it's only been seventeen minutes." I told her to just keep entertaining me. Well, my legs were getting tired and that is not normal. It just felt like forever had passed. So finally Cohen picks up her magazine to read me an article and realizes that though my timer says 25 minutes hers says something like 45! Both of us had no idea to check her timer and we just kept on going thinking we were just totally out of our minds to wonder why our legs were getting tired. I guess I burned off enough calories to tell you the next story...

I had this grand idea for one of Nick's Valentines gifts to bake cookies with banana in them. He loves bananas. So I told Sarah (again) a few days I wanted to put pudding in my cookies. She was bursting out laughing telling me they would be oozy and not yummy... Darn... ruin my idea. So I decided I would just put in the dry pudding mix! I also popped open the cupboard and got me out some vanilla extract, powdered sugar and sprinkles to add to my cookie mix... Then I decided that pudding might need some milk so I poured in some milk. Well... my cookies taste pretty good, but I think they are more like muffins. I am beginning to wonder if I made muffin tops? They are not attractive and they don't even resemble a cookie. Nick better eat them with a happy heart!!! I ask myself for Valentines why I decided to give a man food when they say presentation is most of the gift... ummm... I hope most of MY edible gift is taste and not presentation!!!

We are going to Ruidoso with Nick's parents to get away for a few days... They have a house up there so we will ski, tube, hang out, shop... I need an escape from reality right now with everything... This week has been good as I had a meeting with and will probably do some reporting for them... It's an online reporting station... up and coming and very promising for the the future. Nick's parents also close on the condo I will be moving into... not WITH him; he has his own house... they will rent it to me! It is gorgeous... I love it... These photos were taken with the previous owner's furniture...

Happy Cupid!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future."

I think God is telling me something. I heard this verse spoken last week at church. It was spoken at Rae's memorial service. It was spoken by a different pastor at Rae's burial service. As I cleaned out an old drawer I found a gift my cousin had given to me with this verse cross stitched and then it was sent to me in an e-mail from a friend proclaiming her chemo treatments are done.

My world has truly crumbled before. Not much compares to losing a family member. So most obstacles are just handled with a smile, a cry and impatient patience. Boys have broken my heart. Friends have stepped on my soul. Jobs have been thrown to the sharks. Empathy for friends in pain has ripped at my limbs. Loved ones in a fight for their life have gnarled at my joints. But... you know what... I made it. I'm still standing. Sometimes I may walk with a limp, but God never killed my soul. Sometimes I think He is trying to do just that... but...

Sometimes God speaks to us through other's storms. Sometimes God speaks to us in the weirdest ways. Sometimes we just need to be still and listen and try to be calm through our own storm. Maybe I need to take my own advice is what God is saying to me?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A "Rae" of Hope

In the matter of two weeks I lost my grandmother and my job.

It hasn't been peachy, but God's grace keeps me going.

I do not want to talk about the job hunt anymore. I was one of the casualties that got eaten by the economic bug and for now I crawl along in the dust awaiting my perfect opportunity. I may do some online reporting in the meantime for an internet station in Dallas and I may do some subbing... I do not want to think about it at this very moment.

Rae had three funerals. I met with her family in Colleyville Friday afternoon to attend the second one. I hadn't seen this group of cousins since seventh grade. They were all so welcoming to me and we had a nice time. The funeral was very nice. I enjoyed the stories and the songs. Rae's daughter, Beth asked me to speak since she knows I like to talk, but I didn't really feel it was my place to get up at that pulpit because my stories couldn't compare to those that had lived with her. It was so great to get to catch up with Kammi and Kevin. So many years were lost... After the funeral Kammi, Kevin, Brandon and I all went to the mall to kill a few hours before meeting the entire family at Miguelitos. We had a great time just hanging out for a few hours!

Beth's stepson, Brandon - We have talked for years on Messenger and hadn't yet met!

My cousin, Kevin - A strapping young college gentleman at Texas State - Ladies, he's single!

I flew into Midland this morning to attend the burial in Snyder today... Dad, Brenda and went to Grandmommy's and visited for a bit. It is always wonderful to see her though we talk many times a week... We met the rest at the cemetery. I was in awe at the amount of my family that came in support. My grandfather was very beloved by my family... Donna, Bill, Jodi, D'Layna, Eric, Vanala and Joe Carl all showed up from Lamesa!!! The actual burial services were very nice. The preacher read some sweet passages and that was really about it. It was a very lovely little service.

After the service we just stood around to talk. D'Layna and I walked through the graves and just talked. She is my child... she is a nine year old in an old woman's body... wise beyond her years. She's been through a lot in a short number of years so she is a good lil lady... I stood there looking up at my cousins as Layna hung on my leg and Jodi had her arms around me. There was nowhere else in the world I wanted to be at that very minute. So many times I am never a touchy person... except with family. I love them beyond words. I realized jobs didn't matter and location didn't matter. One day far away maybe I will live in West Texas near them... it's all in God's hands.

So now I am back at Dad's for the night... flying back tomorrow... the job hunt doesn't stop. It's been a nice escape and being with family is always the best medicine. I hope Rae is up there in Heaven with Grandaddy dancing a little jig. It blows my mind in the past year we've put to rest two of my three grandmothers... I know the world is getting older, yet we always run with that tiny bit of hope they will just live forever. No matter the blood between my grandmothers I know they have made peace in Heaven. They can smile knowing the generations they have left behind are in good hands... with one another... and we are all back in one another's lives and those wasted years can now turn into bright beginnings.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Commercials and queso. This is how I like to remember the Superbowl.

Last night Nick and I drove out to Irving to Blair & Cody's house then to Kevin & Jessica's in Plano at halftime to watch the Cardinals and the Steelers. It was a great time for Nick to meet the rest of my friends from Big Spring. He had yet to meet Brittany, Lance or Cody! Brittany, Lauren, Lilly and I spent most of our time in the kitchen talking instead of watching the game... And we hung out with all of the yummy football food. We had a really nice time. Nick and I left at half and even when we got to Kevin's we talked more than watched the game! The Steelers ended up winning, but I wasn't really into it either way.

BSHS Alumnae - Cody, Blair, Lance, Chris, Brittany, Lauren

The queso was amazing. The commercials were sub par.

I still loved the entire night because you just cannot go wrong with Superbowl parties.