Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Let's Do Lunch

"Good friends are like stars.... You don't always see them, 
but you know they are always there"

Today the girls, a couple of their friends and I got to have lunch with Jason. It's been months since I've seen him. We talk on the phone and keep up with each other as much as our crazy schedules allow, but life gets in the way. Between business meetings, kids, his chemo schedule...and other unpredictable things in our lives, we normally just hit the highlights when we talk. So lunch was really special. Time to actually catch up and share a little more than usual.

I can't tell you how good it was to see him. Just being in the presence of those who know you best makes everything seem better. And being with one of those who is battling incredible odds with the most positive attitude possible is even better. He has handled his illness with such courage. It makes me so proud to be his friend. (And since he won't toot his own horn, I'll tell you that his next stop after being with us was a cancer center to give some gift cards to someone battling cancer too that can't afford Christmas gifts. How great is THAT?)

Under the laughter and joking - and his quick-witted teasing of me that my children LOVED witnessing - was that magical place created by years of friendship. Each of us soaking in the love and care we have for each other. Basking in the comfort that comes with longevity. And knowing that we could fall back into the same roles we had as teenagers going to lunch every day and laying in the floor watching horror movies on the weekends. Such a great time!

Saying goodbye was oddly hard for me. It's not like we will go forever without seeing each other. Or like one of us is moving across the glove. But I've been on the edge of tears ever since. 

Part of my melancholy mood was brought on by my worrying about his health. He looks good and seems good. Nothing has changed recently with his treatment plan or tumor growth.  But that doesn't mean I won't worry. I don't want my best friend to be sick. I don't like that his long eyelashes are thinner and his face is a bit more gaunt. (It doesn't help that he's been tall and lanky his whole life anyway... practically a string bean!)

The other part is just plain ol' missing my friend. Seeing him makes me realize how much I miss hanging out with him. In fact, we are already planning the next get together. I imagine it will include Cathy (the 3rd part of our triumvirate), movies and a lot of laughter.

I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Counting Blessings of Great Measure

"The secret of happiness is to count your blessings 
while others are adding up their troubles."

I'm rarely at a loss for words. (*Key to good blog is stating the obvious? Hmmm....)

And while I am often moved beyond words, I don't often get overwhelmed with emotion with many people around. I am a big cry baby for sure. But I really only cry in the midst of those I know very very well.

But Monday I wasn't able to help myself when my mother in law surprised me with her aunt's ring. She said since my birthday fell on 12/12/12 - a date that only occurs every 1,000 years - she thought it was the best time to pass down the ring that had been given to her by Aunt Lura. 

I won't go into a really long explanation of Aunt Lura, but a few things about her are:

  • She was Kerry's great aunt who was more like a grandmother to him than anything else.
  • She made her own creamy corn and thought I was crazy for asking how she did that. The look she gave after that question is still hilarious to us.
  • Her canning of vegetables and plum jelly as well as her love of the kitchen rivaled mine, but her biscuits were always cooked at 500 degrees fahrenheit.
  • The beauty shop attached to her house was always a highlight for funny picture taking when you got bored in Lindsay, Oklahoma
  • Her bathroom was ENTIRELY pepto pink. From the toilet paper holder to the washcloths.
  • And...most of all.....I adored her. 
To be given the honor to wear the ring Aunt Lura wore for so many years just overwhelmed me. I couldn't speak from the joy of it, but my heart just ached to hug her one more time. It is such an amazing gift that I will cherish the rest of my days.

That night I went to sleep with her on my mind, and the next morning I woke to realize just how loved I am. I don't usually think about how much I am loved. I worry more about the ones I love being aware of my feelings for them. And that they are being loved the way they deserve to be loved. (It's that "fixer" in me....can't help myself.)

But putting on Aunt Lura's ring reminds me of the love in my life and the love of those who came before me. The love I have been shown in big and small ways that I don't always appreciate or notice. The love that is carried down through generations. I truly believe the love we feel and show for others manifests itself in those to whom it is given.

And I am one lucky girl. Because the unbelievable amount of love bestowed on me is more than I could ever imagine. 

So......all of that to say...... it's been a great birthday. 12/12/12 may not come around for another 1,000 years, but whomever celebrates it down the love line from me will be showered with blessings. 

Now, to round this Aunt Lura post out, I present to you a look and feel of being in church with her at a tiny Church of Christ Church. Feel free to sing along. Those around you will love it, I'm sure...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Crank it up!

"Nothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around. " ~ Bill Watterson

You know it is time for Christmas Break when Sadie wakes in a bad mood. She is the perfect example of the morning person. It's so out of character for her.

She wakes with a yawn, climbs out of bed slowly, makes her way around the family to offer good morning hugs.....then jumps into high gear. Chatting about anything and everything on her mind and sharing as many funny jokes as possible, she wears Gracey and I (the anti-morning girls) to a frazzle.

I thought that was the worst that could happen.

Until she woke up cranky one morning.

Grouchy Sadie is one hundred times worse than perky Sadie. Nothing is right - and she can't find her nose despite the fact it resides on her face. She complains as loudly as she offers funny stories. She cries and gets angry.

Of course then we all end up crankier than we were at the start. But by then it has spread even further and Kerry has reached the cranky threshold too. It's lovely.  And I know you are sitting there thinking that you wish you could be around for these great mornings.

I try to remind myself that someday I'll miss it. I'll miss the racing around to get ready. The arguments about finding shoes and shirts and backpacks.  That the silence will be deafening.

Whatever. That's a load of crap.

I won't miss cranky mornings.

By the way, I plan to sleep late every day of the Christmas break. So do the girls.

And sweet Kerry can drink his coffee in peace.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

So Cool!

Everyone is like a butterfly, they start out ugly and awkward and then morph into beautiful graceful butterflies that everyone loves." ~ Drew Barrymore

Yes. I just quoted Drew Barrymore. Don't judge.

Now...on to the real reason I'm blogging after such a long hiatus:  the 14-year-old daughter in my house.

She thinks I'm cool. I mean, she doesn't ALWAYS think I'm cool. But she definitely thinks I'm cool in ways that she is NOT. She told me today that I can't possibly understand how nervous she is about having a boyfriend. And that I am a social butterfly, so I don't know how it feels to not know what to talk about with people.

Part of me was excited to know she thinks I'm cool. The other part of me did a herkie because I must BE cool. (I had to ask a cheerleader friend what the heck a herkie is, by the way. I'm really THAT uncool...) It made me almost believe that I've outgrown that awkward, painfully thin, frizzy-haired teenager that I was in middle school. Or that I don't still have that fearful bookworm who was too scared to ever let a boy know I liked him still hidden somewhere deep inside myself. The one who tripped over the air frequently - and fell flat on her butt in front of crowds.

After I celebrated silently, I confessed. I told her about my awkward teenage years. About never letting on that I liked a boy. About feeling like I never had to right clothes or shoes and wishing I could just lose myself in the library. About going to college and feeling like I'd just come in off the farm with hay stuck in my ears while all the other girls seemed so sure of themselves and so elegant in their perfect clothes.

She seemed a little relieved to know that I wasn't as confident as the adult I've become. Of course, it didn't ease her nerves at all. I just hope she at least saw a light at the end of her perceived awkward tunnel. (I'd give anything to be the brand of awkward that little blond headed, blue-eyed athlete is today!)

My sweet daughter's view of who I was growing up is one I think I encounter a lot. Because I hold myself confidently and am outspoken, there are those who think they know who I was before they met me. They see who I have become rather than the journey that brought me here. I'm still a complete bookworm. And if I were single again, I'd probably die alone because I could never let some guy know I liked him. And my hair is still super frizzy. I just learned to tame it! And......I still trip and fall. 

I'm even kind of proud of those things about me. They are the parts that make me who I am. I'm the one who roots for the underdog. The one who wants to help others in distress. The girl who cringes for others when they do something embarrassing.

But even with all of that said..... I love that she thinks I'm cool... for now. I'll cherish today's conversation and recall it next time she rolls her eyes at something I suggest she wear. ;)