Wednesday, May 27, 2009
A thought hit me... If I had played tennis life just wouldn't have the same journey. I wouldn't have met the people I did at basketball camps or had two ACL reconstructions that paved the way for how I deal with major tragedies in my journey and I wouldn't have learned to deal with horrible "bosses" as in coaches or know how to run a million lines and I wouldn't know what it felt like to be a part of a team or that passion that fires inside after shooting a three pointer and hearing it swish through the goal. Yep... I could have been a star or a tennis coach, but my life would have just been "different." And... heck, we all know I could never be as good as my mother at tennis! She used to take me to the courts and tell me if I could beat her I could have my own checking account... then she'd drill the ball right past me.
So this weekend I am flying home... YES!!! I absolutely love being nestled up safely with family where you feel as if life is stopping for a day. For a moment I am again a little girl... sort of... until I help cook or clean! So many take it for granted... but, sitting in the den with Dad and Brenda just watching television or sharing a fun conversation is such a treasure. It isn't about doing this or that or going out to dinner... it's those moments that make life so worthwhile to me. I also get to see Tonia at her pool party and maybe Chandra and Amanda! Sunshine and family... whoa... what a drug overdose!
My sorority sister, Julie is in town from Seattle so a bunch of my pledge sisters are going out to dinner on Friday. I always enjoy time with them. Time changes us and time changes our lives, but somehow we are all rooted together. We pledged back in 2000... my gosh... roots grow limbs and limbs grow leaves... still firmly planted.
I wanted to attend Singles tomorrow night for my church as I need to get involved and keep chickening out, but I found out it isn't until Sunday! Urgh! I think once I get over the hump it will be just fine. I loved my group in Tyler so much... I know it will be the same here. I just have to face my own fears!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday night the Grays had a bunch of folks over for an old fashioned Memorial Day dinner. It was so much fun. I sat out on the patio with them and their friends while the guys watched basketball inside.... Justin's girlfriend, Crystal was there as well so we had a great time. We all took the four dogs for a walk. I was in charge of the old old old golden retriever of the Grays, BJ... BJ is very slow... then we had two labs and a Yorkie... too much fun and chaos.
Today my stepbrother and his family came through town... Nick and I met them at Olive Garden... I hadn't gotten to meet my new niece, Saige! She is four weeks old... she slept most of the time, but she has beautiful blue eyes and dark hair. Rylie is three and is very funny. She kept asking me to draw her a possum... no idea why she likes possums right now except there is one terrorizing her house and Steven wants to shoot it... so I would draw it over and over and she would say, "No! That's a pig." "No, that's a horse!" I guess I am not good at drawing possums. Steven and Nick had a good time talking sports. I went to the other side of the table and hung out with Ashley and the girls so they could talk their mumbo jumbo about things I just don't understand. I don't care how well Blake Griffen will do in the NBA! It was sad to see them go. I love time with family. They are such a precious family and it is wonderful to absorb every minute with them.
After lunch Nick's parents came over and we planted trees and flowers. I even got to do some digging! It was so much fun to dig into the ground... but, ouch... it was painful. I couldn't be a gravedigger. There were earthworms in the ground... I ate an earthworm at age four... I told everyone that story... I'm cool.
It doesn't seem real to be going back to work.... even though I worked the entire weekend! I'm always excited for a new week as new things flow in and we must attack... but, wow... can't we just move work outside?! Can I get a tan while working?!! Ahhhh... I need a boat... Buy me a boat... That is the only thing that might ... just might... have made the weekend a little more perfect.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
My baby "sister" Stephanie Stewart Harrison and her husband along with our entire extended family welcomed this little bundle of blessings into our lives yesterday in Lubbock. I was overcome with joy when speaking with Teffy as she is just so excited... They had not decided on a name until late last night. We had talked about Trooper as this baby has been a "trooper" with Teffy's severe diabetes and God sent him only months after Stephanie lost her first baby in a horrific car accident. Congratulations to Stephanie and Jason!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
After it we were exhausted and went to have a nice Mexican dinner! We were so cold and all parts of our clothing were soaked with rain. Saturday night to reward ourselves Nick and I wanted Henry's Ice Cream. It is a famous ice cream place in Plano that is just amazing... We remembered seeing something called a Pig's Dinner... something like five scoops with five toppings for 6.99... We thought it would be smart to share. Well, Nick's roommates decided to try to eat one themselves. It was hilarious... Nick and I couldn't even finish ours, but both these boys... who are 6'4 and 6'8 scarfed theirs right up!
This morning we went to All Saints Catholic and then I donated blood at their blood drive. I always like to donate when I get a chance. After church it was such a beautiful day outside that Nick, Geoff and I went to the putt putt golf course. I scored two holes in one!!! Whoa!!! And... tonight... I was in front of my television yet again for season finales. I love them! I guess I will actually have to be social once there is no more prime time television!!!
I'm excited to get back to work. I always like to see what awaits me on Monday morning! Oh ... the Dane Cook Special is on DVR... guess we know what I'll be doing until bedtime...
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
It's weird how God gets our attention. I don't understand Him... This week after Nick's tough time he's been going through he had about just given up on God and prayer... So he told me he had started praying and wanted God to fix his truck... he had some problems with is Tacoma... I told him I didn't think we could test God by bargaining like that. I cannot say, "I want a steak tonight, God. Fix it." Today his prayers fell apart as the truck is basically going to cost $4,000 to fix... He was devastated. And... I don't know how it is going to get better, but I do know God has a reason. That reason may be the fact he just wants us to realize He isn't a genie. Or maybe Nick is going to be receiving some totally random blessing out of all of this. One thing I realized last weekend while sitting in church next to our friends... Out of the year I spent in Hell working at a place I loathed I did gain a few things... I gained many friends and I gained knowledge and grew as a person... but, one thing... it lead me to a client meeting which lead me to try out a church which lead me to find a wonderful family in that client of which I can look to for what I want in my own family which also lead me to finding a wonderful church. So if that is all I ever got out of it even... God knew what He was doing...
We want to make him a genie. We want to come home and play on the computer because that is what we want to do... I want to read my Bible, but on the other hand I put it away to read another day... So in those times God just turns off all of the fun and makes me remember He is actually a genie and He may not grant my wishes, but He will listen and guide me on this carpet ride.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday's sermon was interesting. It was all about uncertainty and being someone's parachute in that freefalling time. I've had so many times in my life where I was just falling with no net just scared to death of the outcome. It seems to always work itself out... usually. It is essential to have good friends and family in those times to help us through the falls. Right now Nick is going through a very tough time and it is very tough to stand beside someone in those times because they aren't going to be sunshiney... but, I also know I do have that title of being the person with the net to just be there. Even if it's just listening to music and talking about life. Everything is uncertain and that is very scary. Lately my mind will try to skip forward a decade or so and I worry about who is going to die and what is going to happen, but I have to remember that God will walk with me and prepare me without me even knowing it. Life is uncertain... but isn't that why we have God? I wouldn't want to know the next minute...
Well, my good friend since I was born, Emily's father passed away suddenly this week. I don't remember meeting him and I'm not really sure of the circumstances of her divorced family, but I do know they were close. She was telling me she didn't know how to feel because she didn't want it to be wrong... I told her shock is the best stage and once that wore off that she was allowed to feel however she wanted. I hate when people tell me I don't have enough emotion. You deal with grief your way and I will deal with mine my way... Emily is about to graduate from Optometry school and become Dr. Simonek... It's weird how God works. He waited until she took all of her tests before He took her dad to Heaven... It seems to be more than coincidence.
Life the past few weeks after the drama has been pretty normal. I have had a couple of nightmares about Sarah, but I know that is the way I handle things. It still makes me pretty sick because it's real now. I had a dream she didn't go to Heaven, she told me she was staying here because God wouldn't let her in... It was ridiculous because I know it's not true. My mother had a dream her dad told her she couldn't have his phone number to Heaven because her brother needed it more... I don't understand dreams, but I know it's just my mind figuring it all out. I dream about Grandaddy sometimes just because I wish I had known him longer. I don't dream too much about Granny Jac and I think that is because I was just at peace with her passing... And... it seems over the years I've been to so many funerals... starting with Mike Marino, Gatlin, Meagan, Aaron, Antwoyne in high school... Derek, Spencer in college... ugh... insanity... but, I know a lot of people so with blessings come the curse and I wouldn't change it for the world. I love people.
I'm not unhappy and the dreams are okay... It's just a part of me. I'm thrilled about spring... I love to hear my Dad talk about their garden and I love to see the flowers. Nick has cut me fresh roses the past times I have been to his house. They smell splendid. Now it is finally off to bed. I took a late nap... hmmm... I think you are supposed to take naps on your day off? Oh... and I have found the invention of the CrockPot and I think I will cook every meal for the rest of my life that way. Yep, it makes my food tender and yummy. My mother rocked at cooking... so does Grandmommy... so I have it in my genes... let's hope I didn't pick up any of Granny Jac's burning or freezing genes... oh well, she could atleast whip up the best pecan pie on the block.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Before she passed away I was eighteen and at college and I can still remember the day I figured my mom wasn’t insane. You know, she just might know a little more than me. I began becoming friends with her and she was quite the human being! Now… if my mother were alive today she would be my very best friend. I wonder sometimes if that is why God took her from me at age nineteen because today I am not sure I could or would have handled it at all.
My mother was a super mother. Yes, she only had one child so it might look easy, but nope… She was a teacher, cheerleading sponsor, wife, involved in many school activities and a mother all rolled in one. As a typical only child she was at every single event in the world for me. My senior year of high school she even came to all showings of my play! She was at every basketball game… except thank God she wasn’t at the one where I retore my ACL in my knee. I begged Dad just not to tell her… but, I’m sure he realized since I couldn’t walk she might figure it out. My mom was an angel… really. She never said a word bad about anyone and it drove me insane! She never cussed… gosh darn… she called it cursing and that drove me insane as well! She would pray in the shower… I heard her. She always spoke to God as if He were her best friend and she always wore her religion as a sense of pride. She truly loved Jesus. And… she knew how to handle me. I would whine that I wasn’t good enough or this or that and she would say… “Yes, Julie, you are ugly and fat and dumb. Everyone hates you.” Then I would laugh. My absolute favorite memory is when I was having one of those days she put me in a bear hug and she rocked me laughing and said, “Oh poor Julie. Poor poor Julie.” I would laugh harder. I told you she drove me insane! She knew how to parent. I mean, she knew how to roll it all into one… she was strict and loving all at the same time. As a teacher she was legendary, but as a mother she was just angelic. It’s tough not to have her right there at the touch of a button, but she listens to me. She’s an angel. My mother will always be my hero. She is forever a legend in my mind. So, I guess I do think about Mother’s Day… but, I bet she’s up there in Heaven having her a shrimp cocktail in celebration!
Though I do not have a blood mother here on Earth… I got very angry at a family reunion a few years ago when a family member said she felt sorry for me because I just didn’t have a mother figure. I wanted to jump at her like a puma. Some people don’t realize when one leaves our life that God definitely doesn’t leave you empty handed. He has provided me with some wonderful mother figures and I thank Him for that.
My stepmommy, Brenda Corn Adams. Brenda rocks. She is so deeply rooted in her faith and always thinking of her children. She makes my Dad smile and I see his laughter in his eyes once again. She makes me laugh and smile as well.
Donna Roberts. Donna is Dad’s first cousin and might as well be another mother to me by blood. She has always treated me as her own and I can call her at any time with anything and she is right there. Donna has such wonderful advice and such a loving heart.
My grandmother, Grandmommy Una Boles. Really no explanation needed. She is who my mother would be over eighty. She has a golden heart and such a soft soul. She is just hands down the best woman in the world today.
Dianne Gray. Nick's mother. She has boys so she either really likes me... or she just enjoys having a "daughter" to spoil instead of those muddy boys! She is always there with a kind word and a very strong heart. She inspires me to be a good person as well.
Linda Nolder. I met Linda when I met my big sis in Kappa Delta, Tiffany... I rate it up there with one of the nicest things in the world… In college Linda came all the way to Texas Tech for KD Mom’s Weekend to be my stand in mother. She is not only one of the best cooks on the planet, but she rules with an iron fist and a velvet heart… just what I need.
So don’t ever tell me I don’t have motherly figures… God gives us angels to fly.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I don't raise money. I don't sell things. I couldn't sell a Girl Scout cookie. So I was knocked off my socks when people began to find my VisionWalk page online and began to donate... I know cancer walks and things, but I had no idea people knew about it. Heather said she had done them for years for her grandmothers. I began last year in tribute to Nick and Justin. They have a form of macular degeneration... I explain it on my page, but the retina is always focusing causing the muscles to work very hard. It wreaks havoc on their lives each day... Things just seem like they would be so much easier for Nick in our everyday world if he didn't deal with it. Things like sending text messages and reading e-mails. It is a challenge for me as a writer that I must explain things in person instead of e-mails... yep, hard for me! I wrote Nick a card when his grandfather died in my tiny handwriting... I realized months later what he meant when he said his dad had to type what I wrote in order for him to read it... It isn't that he cannot see... it is like having very bad vision that cannot be corrected with lenses. He can see perfectly at times, but only after the retina works so hard to focus on the object. He has always played sports and is awesome, but when we played tennis we were against a background of trees... His eyes had trouble finding the ball because of the background. He is wonderful at golf, but it's hard to see the ball the entire time in the air before it hits ground.
Nick says he has been told since he was young they would find a cure. They have poked and prodded him for hours... It's rare and supposedly it's genetic... but, with stem cell research and new medicines I do believe they will find a cure... somehow. Here is my page... It's interesting and has more information. I don't walk for money. I walk for advocacy. I am a huge advocate of the American Heart Society because a heart attack took my mom, my grandfather and my grandmother... and heart cancer took my grandfather (41st case in the US at the time)... but, I cannot cure it. Heart attacks are just something you cannot cure... And she is gone. I can do nothing to save my mother now... so in this regard I feel as if maybe I can do something to cure a retinal degeneration. Maybe I can make a difference. Isn't that what we all want in life?
We join together walking towards a cure for the over ten million Americans living with retinal degenerative diseases.
Nick has never let this slow him down, but he cannot run away from the way it molds his life on a daily basis. It holds him back in the smallest ways... like reading a computer screen and sending a text message. He has held out hope for many years that a cure would come along, but his hopes fade as the years pass... I pray that one day he is able to go through a day without having to think about his eyesight, but just enjoy the beautiful sights God has given us in clear vision.
If you cannot walk with me, but you would still like to help me reach my fundraising goal, you can sponsor me with an online donation now. Just click on the button above the status indicator that says Support "My Name". You may also send in a personal check. Checks should be made payable to "Foundation Fighting Blindness" and please note in the "memo" section of your check, my full name or Team Name so your donation gets credited to the right person. Thank you so much for pledging your support!
(i.e. Team Hope or Jane Smith)
Send checks to:
Foundation Fighting Blindness
8008 Raven Court
McKinney, TX 75071
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