Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Under the Covers

My cat fell off the balcony plunging many feet below. I found him dazed on the balcony below as his nose spewed blood hours after he fell. I rushed him to the ER fearing internal injuries and left him overnight for observation. Two days later he seems almost back to normal, yet still a little drunk. I'm trying to figure out what this is supposed to teach me about life... besides the fact animals are a killer on the ole savings account and cats might really have nine lives?

The weekend went perfectly until that point. Did you know true joy can come from being under the covers in a hotel room? One of the best memories of my childhood is crawling into bed with my parents on a Saturday morning. Laughing and changing the channels. This was exactly what happened this weekend except I was under those covers with my niece and stepmother.

Friday night Dad and Brenda got in town and Steven, Ashley and the girls met us at Texas Land and Cattle. Nick accompanied us as well. After dinner Nick was excited to show Dad his home. We hung out on his new swing and watched some of the Cowboys game then we headed off for some homeade ice cream at Henrys.

Dad got to see my place the next morning. Kerkyn hid from everyone as usual, but we all hung out and enjoyed my condo. I love it!

Saturday we got up bright and early to do some shopping. Rylie was having a blast as we told her she had to hold our hands... so when she found some mannequins she decided holding their hands would suffice. We roamed around from store to store doing some school shopping for the teacher side of Ashley and Steven... and I think Brenda even ended up with a few things. I got bored so I went out and sat by Dad and we just looked out the window of the mall chatting. He hates shopping.

We all decided it was time for a swim... and who am I to pass up a time to lay by the pool?!! Ashley stayed in the room sleeping with Baby Saige while we all hit the pool. I cannot wait until Saige gets older to hang out... She is adorable with huge dimples and a big smile. She looks exactly like Steven! This is when the bed comes in. I was cold... as always... I jumped under the covers with Rylie and played Peek A Boo. She was having a blast with it. Brenda was holding Saige, Dad and Steven were watching TV and Ashley was somewhere in the room... It was just a picture perfect moment. There was laughter, love and warmth vibrating through the room. It just made me so happy.

The Corn clan left and we were all sad to see them go! We headed over to the Gray family's for dinner. Dianne and Jim had made a great brisket and we had a lovely chocolate cake. We spent hours talking... Dad and Brenda are so much like them... It's neat to hear all of their stories. I know each couple enjoys the company of other Christian sweet couples. I love to see my Dad light up telling his stories about golf and camping and life... He just enjoys it all so much. It was just plain wonderful.

After a pancake breakfast the next morning Dad and Brenda headed out. I was very sad to see them go. It was so great to have them in my world for a weekend. I loved showing them Dallas... They loathe the traffic and are overwhelmed by all of the eateries and choices! I enjoyed every single minute of being with them. So much of the weekend I had to make myself live in the moment because I kept anticipating how to entertain them next... I made myself slow down. I always say family is so important in life. They don't care about anything but what is inside. They just don't. Family is extraordinary. I've been having a tough time lately realizing I'm not anyone's "go to" as in sometimes you don't feel needed... even in family. Dad has Brenda... Now that Uncle Mike has moved his tennis professional work from Dallas to Abilene he now answers the phone when I call Grandmommy... Chandra is married... Gosh, everyone is married... So sometimes it's hard... The times I remember it's just all about the love of the entire family is when we are all in the same room. You're always needed somehow. Always loved.

Even with my cat... Nick stepped in to help make all of the decisions because I have no idea if people are trying to jip me... Jim Gray picked up Kerkyn very early the next morning so I could get to work... The Grays made a litterbox and waterbowl for Kerkyn until I could get there after work... Love is all around.

The kitty is banned from the balcony for a few days. Maybe this taught me a lesson in putting more back in savings. Maybe it taught me when you fall off a ledge that next time you'll be a little more careful on the tightrope so you don't get burned. Maybe it taught me that love is shown even to a fifteen pound animal when you are willing to stay up all night and shell out hundreds to make sure he lives. Love is about those small moments in your life when you realize trying to make all of the big moments perfect are pretty ridiculous because the best moments are happening all around.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Grow Up

Life has been good lately... always entertaining atleast... This weekend flew by as always and I tried to stuff as much into the day as possible. Friday I had Girls Night Out with Andrea, Kacie, Raelyn & Anna at Vino 100 in Uptown... Downtown... whatever... It was so much fun to catch up with the girls. We had such a nice time just chatting outside on the patio... Then I went to meet up with Nick, Ashton & Donna after their golf game. Saturday night Nick and I went to his parents' for dinner and to hang out since we haven't seen them in forever...

Dad had minor surgery Friday and I didn't like that too much. Mom always had polyps so I got used to it, but I remember seeing her writhing in pain. I guess medical technology has gotten better in the past ten years because Dad seemed to be just fine that night.

I had a friend tell me tonight that my decision to leave television changed a part of her thinking as she looks back... Diane said when I was in between "careers"... not just jobs, but careers... that my spirit was dead and I was scared to death, but she remembers I kept telling her that God had a plan and I was just trying to follow it. She says that right now as she changes her career path from Athletic Training to missions she thinks of me during that time. Funny thing is... I do recall a bit how dark it was for me during that time, but it seems I block it out because now I can see the light. Mind you, I had to take a job for a year that broke my heart all of the time, but it lead to the job I have now that I totally love... We agreed it is good to remember those dark times because it helps us grow...

Funny thing... this week's sermon was about "growing up." How we make up so many excuses because it's easier than growing and learning. We don't want to go through the mud. I want to fast forward to the good times where things seem to come together. I've learned time after time that God pushes me in the mud and says... Okay... Walk... Let's go... Don't look down... Follow me. Well, I don't want to get dirty. We want to take the easy way and just make it because it's easier to stay in the same place than to grow. Ohhhh believe me... in the past eight years after dealing with life after Mom's death... I still grow every single day from that one experience. It changed every single day of my life. It doesn't have to be a huge thing like that to make us grow. It can be the nice gentleman at Kroger that made me laugh on my lunch break. It can be a mean comment from a friend. My cat might look at me wrong and make me learn a lesson... Those dark times make us walk through the fire.

That's my thought... Yep... let's see what else... I realized last week after Melissa's funeral I have been to seven funerals since last March... I sat down to make a list of funerals I have attended... Okay, people say I am popular and I admit to loving friends way too much... Here's what happens when you love so many people... The quantity of the people you might lose rises... but, the quality of love also rises - I think the positive outweighs... Here's my list to the best of my memory in order since I was ten years old to now:... Grandaddy Don Adams to Cancer; High School Friend Meagan Stanley to Cancer; High School Classmate Gatlin Howland to Cancer; High School Friend Antwoyne Edwards to Drowning; High School Friend Aaron Boadle to Accident; Great Uncle OR Adams to Blood Clot; Cousin Joe Bayless Adams to Cancer; Mom Deanna Adams to Heart Attack; Great Aunt Kitty Ben Boles to Old Age; Sorority Sister's Brother Spencer Crabb; High School Friend Derek Churchwell to Car Accident; Good Friend Brittany's Dad EC Roberson to Cancer; Grandmother Jackie Adams to Heart Attack; Cousin Judith Goates to Natural Causes; Boyfriend's Grandfather Johnny Polka to Heart Attack; Grandmother Rae Adams to Stroke; Lifelong Friend Sarah Smith; Sorority Sister Melissa Brinker to Heart Attack... Wow... Each of these funerals and each of these lives touched mine in some way and from each I learned a lesson of growth. I still hate funerals.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Melissa Brinker: Speechless

Words always seem so meaningless. Here I sit wanting to write words that fly off the page soaring with emotion, but I know it helps nothing. But, I still write because it's what I do. Somehow loss envokes a type of empathy within me that I have never understood. It even started before Mom passed away. I found writings from fifth grade when one of Mom's students passed away at the age of nineteen. I was baffled and I wrote trying to make sense of it all. I was not best friends with Melissa Brinker. I will not ever write as if I was closer to the person than I was... but, I adored her and she was always so special to me.

Melissa Brinker... at the young age of 29... was found perished in her home due to natural causes... probably a heart attack according to close friends. If I have the story correct she failed to call her parents after a dinner outing and they became a bit nervous after a few hours of waiting for the call that never came. Brinker ... as we liked to call her... was a Kappa Delta with me. She came to my mother's funeral after only knowing me a few short months. Brinker had one of the best hearts I knew. I don't say this to make her a saint... seriously, she was so lovely and spiritual and kind hearted. She would say things that would just make you laugh because she seemed so quiet. She was big into dance and cheerleading and always spoke about it. She and her sister, Laura were both involved in these things throughout college. She enjoyed teaching and being busy. She loved her dogs... Her sister, Laura is nine months pregnant and was unable to fly from Chicago... Speechless... Wow...

As we spoke to the parents my heart and head were somewhere that cannot be described... I had no words. Mary Claire kept saying she was so sorry. I didn't want to say it. Jennifer stood silently. I remember rambling something about her... I told them how special she was... as if they didn't know... They knew, but I knew there were no words. I believe I told them I had no words. Her mother hugged me and would not let go. I asked her what everyone was probably scared to ask... I just said, "How have ya'll been dealing with this?" She seemed relieved for a minute and she said, "We were okay until we came to this." I said, "It's always that way, isn't it? Always easy until it's real." It is. Truth. It's easy when you are far away from people hugging you and people talking... because then it's real. It's too real and you have to deal with it instead of sleep through everything. You have to wake up.

We walked up to the casket and stood there. I remember walking up to my mother's casket. I thought she was going to get up. I kept waiting. I was angry she didn't get up. I flashed back to the fact I made a list and that list contained almost twenty funerals I have been to in my life. I had never stood there like this. I felt scared. I literally thought she might awaken. She had a shiny diamond ring on her right hand... her nails all perfectly done. Her skin was so dark as I always remembered... Her hair fixed perfectly... Her face was pristine. Her tiny body seemed too perfect as if she was a wax model. She didn't even look like she was sleeping anymore, but like a perfect model. I still thought maybe she would move. Her mother said she had felt so angry that God took her away... I remember that type of anger. I still feel that type of anger. Standing there I didn't even feel angry... I do remember wondering if she was watching from Heaven. It was almost peaceful.

Melissa was so peaceful in life... She could be peaceful in death. She had no idea she touched so many lives. She brought together sorority sisters that haven't seen one another in six years. In death she even touched lives. So maybe there are no perfect words for anyone to ever understand. To sum it up... Melissa was an angelic personality... God takes His angels back so quickly... She flew Home... Melissa Brinker danced, laughed and smiled that night as God took her hand guiding her to Heaven... and for that... I'm speechless.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Duck Duck

Ducks can be domesticated. I learned this Friday night. My good friend, Kathryn brought up the idea of taking our men out instead of the usual way. She surprised her husband with this a few weeks ago. So last week I began planning a date for Friday night. I learned quickly I am glad I am not the guy... man, they have to pay a lot. I had planned to go to Love & War in Plano, but after browsing the menu I decided I don't enjoy steak and I sure don't enjoy $30 a plate... So I shifted and called up some places in Plano with big patios. We ended up at a place called Red's. Nick and I both got dressed up cute and had a date! I think it is very important to keep things like that alive in a relationship. We can often get stuck in a rut of doing the same things... it's fun to make it seem like new again. So the food wasn't that great, but we came out with a pretty small bill. I was proud of myself. Instead of ordering dessert there we went to Braum's and bought ice cream to share at the house! There was a duck outside on the patio. He would literally walk up to you and I tried to pet him... but, he wouldn't let me :(... He lives in the little lake area there and he comes up to entertain the guests! Pretty cool little life. Our friends George & Lanna had a duck named June... but George thinks June flew away.

We heard thunder and quickly rushed outside as if we were watching a movie. Nick's deck has wooden planks on the top covered in ivy so the rain would not hit us. We sat on the swing watching the trees angrily swish back and forth. It teased us for about fifteen minutes so we just rambled about nothing... we even sat in total silence just waiting! It finally hit and the gentle rain didn't stop until Saturday morning!!! Very peaceful!!! Not peaceful when I ran into Target to get my energy drink before work though...

Sometimes we do weird things... I know! I worked with Preston all weekend and we had a blast though... just as a side note. He is still in college and is a sort of intern so I get to hear all about Texas Tech which makes me miss those days so much!!! Nick and I sat on the swings by his house last night talking about it... It seems like life passes so quickly. Here I sit thinking I came to Dallas because it was the social thing to do... but, really as you get older people get married and have their own groups. I'm somewhere in the middle and it's tough. I love my company, but where does my future stand? Nick has new job opportunities here and if he looks into them seriously then we will stay here... then I stop... we?!!! We is a big word. But, as I stress... we would not get married for a few more years before we were totally stable. And I'm less selfish. We talk about he has a for sure job in Lubbock advertising and I could pretty much be on TV there at NBC or Fox. Now, do I want that life again? I desperately miss it... but, what's the pay cut? After his parents move to Ruidoso there is no family here... All my family is in West Texas and I cannot believe with my heart for family that I am far from them. It's so much to think about... but, as I told him... in the past I moved from Abilene to Tyler to Dallas... and it all worked out in its own time. I could see myself in Lubbock because of my family and the opportunities, but I love Dallas and I love the whole environment. I don't think life ever slows down.