Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

Even though Christmas is supposed to be the "most wonderful time of the year", I admit that I have been dreading this day for some time now. I have so many emotions that are just too hard to put into words, but I wanted to take a minute to jot down how I am feeling at this exact time and place.

Right now, I feel content in the silence of the night, in our quaint cabin in NC, with our pre-lit Christmas tree that the owners of this cabin put up for us, reading our books and listening to the occasional snore from Abby. At this minute everything in my life is good.

But, if I let mind wander, I can't help but a get a little teary-eyed when I think of all the happy times in my childhood that my parents created for me and my brother and knowing that those days are all just a distant memory relived through photos and video. These were the days before the chaos of life happened.

Like many children, waking up on Christmas Day was the day that we would look forward to for many months prior. My brother and I would of course wake up many hours before we typically would on a day out of school, and usually found ourselves anxiously awaiting for our parents to get that first cup of coffee in hand. My dad had this tradition, and I'm not sure how it got started, but he had a huge chalkboard with a message that read something like- "Merry Christmas to Micah and Mishael" with the year at the bottom. Every year my dad would make me and my brother sit in front of that board and smile (or at least fake it) for a picture. It became a ritual for many, many years. When Aleea (niece) came along, her name was added to the board. In fact, that chalkboard from our last real Christmas is tucked away in a room at my dad's. I can't bring myself to erase it or throw the board away. It's the last year that we would enjoy a real Christmas w/ my dad.

I always hate that my blogs end up being a depressing post about the loss of my father, but at this exact time in my life this is all I have to think about. I pray that as this next year comes and goes, so will the pain and sadness that I feel.

I am so thankful for such an amazing husband who doesn't get frustrated when I slip out a few tears here and there. I am thankful for such a wonderful mother who has been a constant support system this year. I am thankful for such wonderful friends that are always close by.

I know a lot of my friends and family have experienced a hard 2009 and I believe we will all make it somehow. I pray that all of you find peace, direction and happiness in 2010. I pray that we will always remain close to each other and will always be a source of fun and laughter.

Love to all my friends on this journey....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

November/December 2009

A lot has happened in the last couple of months and I have not had the mental ability to keep up with my blog. In October, I lost my grandmother who in a lot of ways was a second mom to me. She was always the person in my life that I knew I could visit and ask for guidance and I was never judged. She was 89 years old and was longing to be with her late husband and her son. As much as it hurts to deal with the loss, I am at complete peace that she knew how much I loved her and I know beyond a shadow of doubt that she loved me.

Thanksgiving was hard without my dad and mamaw, but Chris and I decided to have T-Giving at our house instead of spending it at my Aunt's (dad's sister). So while our condo is not big, we were able to squeeze 11 people into our dining room and it was a wonderful day spent with my mother, my in-laws, niece and special friends. I have been thinking that this time last year was the exact time that my dad was in and out of the hospital and we really didn't celebrate the holidays. In fact last year, the holidays were and still are a blur to me. So I was able to remember my dad and grandmother but also realized that I needed to relish in the fact that I had such amazing people sharing this day with me.

For Christmas, Chris and I have decided to go out of town. We have rented a cabin in NC and are packing up our dog and ourselves for a mini get away. No calls about probate, no calls from my attorney, just Chris, me and Abby. We have been married for a little over 2 years and we have gone through more in these 2 years then what most couples experience in a lifetime. I could not have made it this year without him.

On a brighter note, Chris and I will be planning a cruise with my mother, her sister and a couple of cousins to somewhere yet to be determined. I have never been on a cruise but am really looking forward to it.

Work is going well for both of us. It's hard to believe that next month will be one year that we and so many people lost our jobs with Goody's. But our new careers are going well and we are blessed to have a good company to work for.

We are one class away from finishing our Financial Peace University. Over the last 13 weeks we have had a dramatic lifestyle change in the way we spend and think about our money. We have learned to make and stick to a budget- even though it's not always been easy. We have learned to communicate and have had our share of "discussions" about our money but it is a relief to know that we are on the same page. I would highly, highly recommend anyone reading this blog to look into it.

In closing, I was cleaning out some papers today that were at my dad's and ran across something I had drawn in 1987- I was 9 years old and thought it was pretty profound. It says:

"I am young, but I won't let anyone treat me as if I'm not important.
I will be an example to show believers how they should live.
I will show them with my words, with the way I live, with my love, with my faith
and with my life. "

This might be my new motto for 2010. "I won't let anyone treat me as if I'm not important".

Monday, October 19, 2009

When do I let go?

As I am writing this I am sitting in the Hospice Center watching my mamaw lie in her bed. This was the same place that my dad passed away. How ironic that mother and son would die in the same facility. I didn't think I would be back here after my dad passed, but I was wrong.

It was torture to come in here. Not only because of the memories of losing my dad here but because you know once you enter these doors that death is awaiting. My grandmother has lived a long 89 years and I know that she will be in a better place. I would like to believe that she will be reunited with my brother, by dad and my papaw. She has longed for my papaw for 30 something years now. She will finally be with him once again.

I have nothing but great memories of my grandmother. As a kid I would stay with her most every Friday night. I always looked forward to anything she cooked. I wish I would have paid more attention to how she made her steak and gravy! We would always eat dinner and then we would sit on her back porch for what seemed like hours not really saying much. But I was happy being with my grandmother. We would talk about how her and my papaw met and how she knew that he was the one.

I will always hold a very special place in my heart for my mamaw because she helped to make me who I am today. She was the glue that will always hold our family together.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Somebody call 9-1-1

So one of my favorite songs of the summer has been Sean Kingston "Fire Burning".. I think its the catchiness of the beat along with some of the lyrics. So tonight this song came to fruition because "Shawty" had to call 9-1-1.

I had noticed my little toy Miata acting funny today and on the way home from work my lights and radio started going crazy and finally everything shut down. I was able to pull it over to the side of the road and it came to a stop. Well then I started smelling a horrible smell and it was smoke from the back of the car. Not quite sure what to do I called 9-1-1 to make sure that my car was not going to explode. Finally after the "firefighters" (there was a woman amongst the men) showed up they opened the doors and smoke billowed out of my little Miata. They opened the trunk and sure enough the battery was on fire. They put it out and everything was ok.

So now that I'm home, I'm grateful that everything turned out ok. Looks like we just have to replace some of the wiring and the battery. What a way to end a Thursday night!

Monday, September 14, 2009

8 Months

Yesterday was 8 months since my dad has been gone and it almost feels like it just happened. I'm not sure when I will ever feel "normal" or if I will ever be able to think about what life was like before January 13.

I had told myself that I would like to go to the cemetary to at least put some fresh flowers down, but I couldn't do it. I've not been there since the burial and can't bring myself to even think about what to put on a head stone. I guess I feel that there are no words to express what I would want anyone that passes by to know about my dad.

Perhaps next month I will visit.

I did get some good news from the lawyers on Friday. My dad's estate is in probate and it has been a mess. I did find out that the lawyer will be able to negotiate the debt down so the total money due is not nearly as high as I had once thought. This is good because it should (keep fingers crossed) allow me to keep the house and sell it or rent it when I am ready. I didn't like the feeling of being rushed to discard things and I wanted to be able to go through every item in the house in my timing. So it sounds like I will be able to do that with no certain deadlines.

I had moved out of my dad's house about 4 years ago, but we had lived there for about 20 years so you can imagine the stuff that accumulated. I knew my dad was a pack rat but I had no idea. We are finding so much stuff that I just knew he would have thrown away. Like my old baby crib that was broke or some model cars that my brother and I had put together. ahh.. I guess my dad was just sentimental and I'm positive that is where I get my sensitivity from. At times it's been funny to go through my old toys and remember the great times that I had with my barbie dolls and playing with them for hours on end with my best friend. At other times it's been very sad but I guess this a part of growing older and moving on and letting go of the past.

Speaking of the past, Chris and I have been able to learn from the past mistakes of my dad and try to be efficient in our planning for the future. We started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University yesterday at our church. It is a 13 week course and we have already made a couple of sacrifices. Chris will give up energy drinks at Weigel's while I have to give up fountain drinks at Weigel's (sniff, sniff). Most people that I work with know that I am 100% addicted to fountain drinks. It's like my crack.. although I have no idea what that is like. But I have agreed, if only for the sheer thought that I need to start out small. So if saving us .86 (told you i was addicted) per day is my contribution then I am willing to do it. I am excited to see what sorts of changes we can begin to make in our financial situation. I will keep an update going here.

Here's to no more fountain drinks....... wait, he only said Weigel's..........

Monday, September 7, 2009

First Blog-Introduction

Hello World! I have always been a late bloomer in life and blogging is no exception!

I've been thinking for several days about what the title of my blog should be and a good friend and fellow blogger Janet said, "it needs to be something of meaning to you". And it totally made sense. I couldn't expect to write my thoughts and my feelings to a title that someone else gave me. So for the last week I've been trying to put a title to my diary.. and today it hit me "Forever Young". I will go into more detail about why this song means so much but this is a title of a great song from Rod Stewart. I am currently listening to this song for about the fourth time in a row and here are the lyrics..

"May the good Lord be with you down every road you roam
And may sunshine and happiness surround you when you're far from home.
And may you grow to be proud, dignified and true.
And do unto others as you'd have done to you.
Be courageous and be brave, and in my heart you'll always stay- Forever young

May good fortune be with you, may your guiding light be strong.
Build a stairway to heaven with a prince or a vagabond
And may you never love in vain and in my heart you will remain-Forever young

And when you finally fly away I'll be hoping that I served you well
For all the wisdom of a lifetime, no one can ever tell
But whatever road you choose I'm right behind you, win or lose -Forever young"

I have heard this song off and on in my life, mainly as background music whenever I was shopping, but it wasn't until a couple years ago that this song actually meant something a little more to me. When Chris and I got married my mom and dad put together a photo montage for me that was played at our reception, and one of the songs they chose was Forever Young. The pictures that they picked out were of me as a baby and chronicled my childhood and it went perfectly with this song. I remember crying (and laughing,) at all the pictures that my parents had taken through my childhood. While some of them were embarrassing to show to all of our guests, it was a great way to show once again how much my parents loved me. I am truly blessed.

I have decided that my blog will be more of a documentary of my life and while I'm not sure who will read this, I am ultimately doing this for myself as a form of therapy. This last year has been filled with much dispair and I found that I need an outlet to release all the thoughts that go in and out of my head. I can't say that I have any great nuggets of truth or opinions to share but maybe someone, somewhere will like what they read.