Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Inevitable Journey

A child was born ten years ago on February 26. Their world was filled with light and happiness and a new beginning. Ten years ago on MY February 26 life engulfed me with darkness and pain and a new beginning. It is the cycle of life. It never stops... even when we ask God to make the world stop spinning.

Ten years without my mother symbolizes much more than just a day. I look back on the journey in awe. A decade is a long time, yet it is a vapor. Dad said he wonders at time what life would be like if February 26 had not happened. I dream about it and I yearn for my mother. I have many substitute mothers, but sometimes I wonder about HER. Through wondering about her somehow I realize her health had never been stellar and she might have had a long and painful journey. Instead God took her away with a heart attack. It had to be God's way because none of us in our right minds would EVER think she would go that way. Heart attack? Women at 48 in fine condition don't just fall over one day. She had gone to the doctor that morning for strep throat. Women don't pass away that way. Dad says he went over those weeks in his mind over and over again. What didn't we catch? Nothing we can remember. Why? Probably because that was God's plan. Not ours. For years I blamed myself trying to think I could have saved her by calling earlier or acting earlier and making them go find her earlier. No... That was my plan, not His. If I would have been a better daughter and not a bratty teenager maybe she wouldn't have been stressed out ever and she would've lived. But, then I have to remember... At age nineteen aren't we all acting that way? I have to make myself understand it wasn't me that killed her.

Ten years holds a lot of road. In ten years I have graduated college, lived in Abilene, lived in Tyler, jumped off the bus of the world of television into the unknown and landed in Dallas. I've gained a stepmother, a stepfamily, a new home to visit. And those are the big things... if I was to list the small feats I could publish a book. I've traveled by myself. I've walked down the aisle as a bridesmaid eight times. I've been broadcast to thousands of home as a television reporter. Somehow I did it all without her. For a few years I felt like I was keeping Dad alive. He was so sad and trying to find his footing. We went through some very difficult times. With my pride and both of our stubborn attitudes it was hard to show those emotions. I was sure because his other half passed away that his heart would break in half literally... I didn't know how to keep him alive. Somehow... he lived. He found Brenda and he got married. Years ago I cried out to the Lord to just help my Dad find someone special. How "God" is it that after 29 years of the same person beside you... you can allow yourself to open again? That's God. Dating is scary and an interview time and time again. Yet, Dad found Brenda. To see him smile again and to hear his laughter is something I cannot explain. He began to live on his own. She helped him live again. She brought that smile to his face.

Looking back to ten years ago as I got the phone call that changed everything I look at that young girl. I had wisdom that I didn't understand and found strength that some never knew. That doesn't change in ten years. Everyone is going to lose loved ones and have to walk that new journey. Walking that journey is easier than going through life alone so it's inevitable. It's a choice to make whether we walk along with our loved ones knowing the road will fork and we will have to go down the dusty path or we walk alone in the darkness feeling nothing in our world. Looking back on this journey I would rather have her here, but since that is not an option I would rather enjoy it and take in the light God gives me.

Along this journey I am no superhero. Many times I stop and look up with my hiking boots resting on a large rock. What are you doing now, God? Come on, man... He beams sunshine upon me and commands me to keep walking because I may be lost, but He knows exactly where I'm headed... So with that command I grab ahold of those walking beside me and around me and trudge forward. My boots make imprints in the mud and the sunlight warms my shoulders as I know from experience lightness and darkness can be all on the same path.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

An angel, a lady full of wisdom or a lady full of wine

God says sometimes we entertain angels without realizing it. I'm not sure if I entertained an angel, a lady full of wisdom or a lady full of wine... but, I had an interesting encounter last night. Jordan, Stacy and I were enjoying our conversation last night at Happy Hour when a lady asked if she could interrupt. She was extremely kind as she approached us. We were talking about the professional world and our hopes for it. At our age it's strange because none of us have kids and we can do whatever we want in the world... go wherever we want... but, where do we want to go? She was telling us we needed to ask ourselves what we truly love to do. She said it is very hard. I always ask myself this question. If I could do anything... I would write. Now... making money at writing is almost impossible, but I love to write. She then just spoke directly to me and asked me what I like to do. I shyed away and told her I love to write, be with friends and talk to people. She asked why I was shy. She then told us it was so easy to give compliments and give advice because we are in control. When we receive we lost that control. I nodded my head. She explained that when she walked outside God told her to talk to me. She said eyes are the windows to the soul and she sees something very special about me. I was beginning to wonder if I was in a dream. She was not crazy... She was very normal... The weirdest thing is that I truly needed to hear that. She saw something in me. I know God has plans for me as he has plans for all of us, but it's complicated at times. Nick keeps telling me to remember blind faith. Wasn't I the one who wrote the poem about blind faith? Don't I need to remember my own words? Anyway, she ended up hugging each of us and walking back inside. I don't know if she was an angel, but it was such an interesting thing. People are just neat... I mean, she came up to three strangers and just spoke to us and spoke openly about God and she had no idea we were Christian. She also spoke to Jordan about a sermon at church (the thing I mentioned before about giving and receiving) and strangely Jordan had been talking earlier about thinking she was going to back to that church after she heard the same sermon! The lady had no idea we had been talking about that before! God is always working. Even when we cannot seem to hear him. I keep asking Him just to talk to me and asking if maybe He is angry with me? Maybe this was His way of talking to me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ken and Barbie Collage

I made this slideshow for Valentines Day on my new editing system... It took a bit to make, but it makes me smile! We had a nice Valentines! I made a large chicken caesar salad with a side of carrots for dinner. We snacked on Girl Scout cookies sent from my family and then Nick ate his weight in candy as I had set him up a candy buffet. Instead of roses he got me a stuffed animal because I told him growing up Mom would always send me stuffed animals since everyone sends roses.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

An English Lesson

I'm a West Texas girl. I live in Dallas, but my roots will always be in West Texas. I say this as a precursor to the new things I have learned this weekend regarding different cultures.

Nick and I came to Houston to see Tony & Katie's new house. Katie's dad is in town this week from England. I have told a few stories about how much I enjoy learning Katie's roots. Katie's dad, Gordon has taught me so many neat things in the past two days. It's also very interesting to me how people that aren't in the US or in Texas don't understand us. Gordon wonders why there are so many pick up trucks. Why don't we love soccer as much as them? Why do Americans love baseball? Mr. Moore tells me stories about eating with Charles and Camilla at Buckingham Palace and how his stepson was served tea by Prince William because he was a higher authority than William in his position. He shared a girlfriend at one time with one of the Rolling Stones. I was just rolling in learning all of these things. I was saying how I would hate to live too far from my family and he tells me he has kids in Houston, France, England and Australia. They basically live off of Skype and talk via video chat. It is just so neat.

Mr. Moore told me I have the thickest American accent he has ever heard and it is often hard to understand me. I told him what is funny is that when I did television news I could make my accent disappear by speaking low and in intervals. I did my TV voice for him!

Other than my English lesson... We have been enjoying our time in many ways. We are attending the Mavs vs. Rockets game tonight as Tony is a Rockets fan and Nick is a Mavs fan. We got to meet all of their new neighbors while we were out barbecuing in the backyard.

I smile in the fact I am a proud West Texan. No matter where I live I will always hold those roots close to my heart... and even enjoy the accent!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Magical Snowman

We were able to venture out into the world this weekend after being iced in all week. I love the snow, but the ice seemed impossible. On Friday when the snow finally fell upon the ice I knew Nick wouldn't be going into work so he would just have to play with me. I went over to his parents' house because he couldn't get to his house in Plano either and we enjoyed the day. We took the dogs on a walk through the icy streets as I fell a few times! Shiner loved the snow so much that he begged us not to go back inside. We decided not to make a snowman because I found out last year it is lot harder than it seems! We played and threw the football and tackled one another. I watched some children down the street and I felt the smile spreading across my face. As a child it's so fun to have those days of snow when all you care about in the world is making that snowman. It's another realm of magic. Even as adults it's the same feeling.

It's funny how God works. I always think of February as Valentines Day and Mom's anniversary of her death. This month has already been a whirlwind of new beginnings and exciting adventures. God brought the snow and the Superbowl and life in itself and I don't seem to focus on those other things. We did miss Andy Pettitte speaking at church this week because of the Superbowl though... Better get that back on track! Seriously... Dallas held the Superbowl here so I volunteered to work for Nick's company, StubHub... It was spectacular and a lot of fun. We got to meet some of the athletes and enjoy time with all of the employees. At the end of the day we were all zonkered out, but it was a good time had by all.

Back to the snow day... We decided that night to go out to Matt & Keilly's house and have dinner, play board games, etc... We took their dogs to the playground and Keilly & I both found we were getting too cold so left the boys to play football in the snow and came back to the cozy house. We played a game of Loaded Questions when they got back in and just had a ball. I'm quite competitive so I'm not sure Nick enjoys playing against me.

Snow is in the forecast again tomorrow. I think God is smiling down on us! Snow brings a world of magic even if it only lasts for a day. For that one day we forget our cares and we are like children just racing to build that snowman and make that snow angel.







Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ice

We were driving home one Christmas Eve as our truck was having trouble staying on the road. The road beneath the tires was an ice skating rink. My mother was afraid and said, "Joe Mark, watch the road!" We made it home somehow that night.

I don't remember many true ice storms. We all love snow, but ice is another story. The entire Metroplex has been iced in. I literally was inside all day yesterday just staring at the outside of the window. Today I had to go do some extra computer work at Nick's parents' house so I made the trek across town... well... five miles. I was scared to death. There was no snow. Just ice. I slowly crept and made it there. I don't understand how people in the North deal with this every single day.

One thing I enjoy about the snow and ice is the quiet. I once was tired skiing and I sat in the snow. I looked around at the tall trees and listened. I could hear God in that moment. It was eerily quiet. The snow quietly whisked through the trees. It was just pure Heaven in that moment.

Ice makes me think of our strength. I come from a line of strong women. I don't know much about Grandmommy's ancestors, but I know Adams women are made of ice. When I say we are made of ice I do mean we melt at times and I do mean we are full of strength, but I don't mean we are icy hearted. My mother always fought for what she believed in. She fought for me. My Dad's family is full of amazing women. I look at times when things are tough and I try to remember that. My mother passed away ten years ago this month. I look back in awe that I have even made it this far without her. I have noticed in the past few years when we face obstacles my Dad and I both are quiet and calm. Like ice we walk forward and we just await the sunshine.

We all melt because it's just a scientific fact that ice must melt after a certain temperature is reached. Our hearts don't have to stay icy, but our strength attaches the remnants of the icicles and helps us grow as people. So they say in the next few days the sunshine will melt the skating rinks that have claimed the streets. They say God knows when to make the sun shine at the perfect time to melt away our stress.