Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Round Trip Ticket

Have you ever been mellow?

Have you ever tried?

You know, I was not much more than a toddler when that song came out. It made no sense then and it really doesn't make much more sense now. 

And, yes I AM taking those lines out of context but those are the only lines I truly remember. The rest kinda goes like this: na na. Na nana. Na na naaaaaa na. 

Laid back. 

Low key. 

Easy going. 


The kind of person that just rolls with the punches. 

The one that doesn't let anything bother them. 

Oh. To be that person. 

I can be cool and calm in a crisis. I really feel like I do my best thinking when the adrenaline is pumping. 

But, even though I may have my poker face on and you may not know it from the tone of my voice, inside me I may be freaking out. 

I hate freaking out. 

Recently I was asked to post ten things about me that the world at large may not know. I chose to only send them to the person that made the request. 

One of those things was the time that I went a little crazy. 

Anytime I would ever say something was driving me crazy someone would say that was a short trip for me. But it was the final destination of a long journey. 

Losing my dad hurt. Losing my mom three months later was more than I could take. 

And I was shattered into a million pieces. I was unable to sleep in my bedroom for months because of claustrophobia, something I have never suffered before or since. I couldn't sleep. I cried and cried and cried. And I felt alone. In a home full of my family I was totally alone. 

I thought the despair would consume me. And it almost did. 

Since then I have been through so much more. And I have felt things I never imagined I could. 

I have been somewhere I never in my entire life imagined even existed. I have been to a place where I wondered if it was even worth going on. 

There is one particular instance that comes to my mind  that I cannot even visit mentally without feeling panicked. And desolate. 

I was sitting in a lady's home doing an assessment the other day. She told me I had a beautiful smile. And then someone else told me just seeing me smile made them want to smile. 

I realized I have come full circle. I have travelled through such despair, but I have come back around to the other side. 

Thank God for allowing me to feel the sun in my face again. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lost in Emotion

At my age I have felt a great deal of emotions.....

I have been so overfilled with joy that I don't know how my heart contained it.

I have been proud of my children and my family.

I have felt love and warmth and happiness.

Along with all these wonderful feelings I have experienced some not so wonderful feelings.






One feeling I have never experienced until lately is desperation. Complete desperation....

 That burning in your stomach that will not stop. That overwhelming, paralyzing feeling when you have no idea where to turn or what to do. That sick, hot awareness that you have no idea what will happen next or how it will all turn out.

I have never experienced that......

Until lately.

Lord, I know that there are things that can't control, but You can. Please, help me today.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Stop Right There

I have made it to the mid portion of my life, I suppose. I don't know when it happened because I was just like 21 a couple of days ago. But, happen it has. 

There is a lot of freedom that comes with this phase of life. I now have the ability to not care about the opinion of the masses. And, I have gotten into a position professionally where I am confident and comfortable in my own skin. 

Oh, I wish that were true in general. 

I know, here I go again, but I have generally been shocked at the things that have happened around me. I mean, I KNEW stuff happened, but I guess I never really, truly believed some stuff happened. 

I have lived a sheltered life. 

And, although I have been exposed to things and people I never knew really existed I still refuse to act like these folks act. 

My Mama raised me better than that. 

For example. 

There is nothing less attractive than an openly crude woman. I'm sorry, but it's true. It doesn't make you appear to be all that if you spew some of that crud that is better left unsaid to others. It makes you appear filthy and, well just plain gross. 

I, for one, don't want to hear it. It's that whole dirty laundry phenomenon I have mentioned before. The point is not to expose your yuck to the whole world. Or, well, me. Haha

My Mama taught me the importance of how to carry myself, how to interact with others, how to behave with decorum. 

Those attributes are still in fashion. Having a little class and self respect never goes out of style. And when you respect yourself you find that others will treat you with respect also. It's a pretty cool concept. 

So, population in general...what have we learned today? If you feel the need to share some personal and PRIVATE things with others, stop right there and rethink that position. What are your motives for doing so because I can promise you whatever you think you are gaining by it is going to backfire and make you appear to be a loser instead of victor. 

Class dismissed. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Daddy's Little Girl

From my teenaged years on I was a Mama's Girl. My Mama and I spent a lot of time together after my brother and sister were gone and so naturally we were very close.

But, once upon a time, when I was a wee little heart belonged completely to Daddy.

According to legend, I learned my Daddy's phone number when I was 3 or 4 years old and I would call him at work daily to let him know what kind of candy bar I wanted him to bring me that day.

And, he always did.

My Mama cut off all my hair when I was around the same age. I stood by the road waiting for Daddy to come home so he could see what she had done to me. I was pretty sure she was going to get into big time trouble.

Many nights I would fall asleep laying beside Mama in their bed and somehow, magically almost, I would wake up in my bed. Determined to find out how this happened I pretended to sleep one night. Before I knew it I felt myself lifted up into the air in the strong arms of my Daddy. I peeped at his handsome face as he carried me gently to my own bed.

There were many years when I felt distant from him. During those teenaged years when life is hard enough, my Daddy also went through a hard time. And while I was trying to grow into myself and figure out who I was, he suddenly questioned the same thing about himself.

Those difficult days made it hard for us to have that comfortable relationship that we had when I was small.

Many years later when there was increasing health problems, I spent a lot of time driving him back and forth to different appointments. That was a time that was also almost magical. Because during that time, I got to know him not just as my Daddy, but as a man.

There are certain things that a mother places inside of us. I sense her in the way I deal with my family, the way I touch those that I love, and the way I want everyone I love to FEEL loved.

There is a strength in me that comes straight from my Daddy. There is a sense of self that I owe to him alone. In crisis situations at work I can feel all that he was pour through me as clarity infuses me and I can move through the situation with direction and poise.

Daddy did that.

It was my Daddy that caused me to realize that I didn't have to be where I was. It was the prodding of my mother's voice in my head that made me move forward, but it was his backbone that stiffened my resolve and made me stay the course.

I won't sit around and say my parents were perfect. But, they were perfect for me.

One of my favorite times with my Daddy was the last weekend I saw him alive. He was always such a huge presence. I could literally say his name and have people's eyes bulge out (yes, I did that, too). Towards the end there was a gentleness that also came to him, a playfulness that I enjoyed so much.

He and I sat in the kitchen that Saturday after I picked them up from dialysis. He was in his wheelchair and I was leaning on the counter. We ate a whole jar of pickles. haha

He kept saying, "Baby, I know I shouldn't eat these.....Let me have one more."

And, we would giggle.

I laid on the couch and we talked and talked. He would wheel up close to me, trying to see my face through eyes that really didn't see much anymore and we talked some more.

That last morning when I was getting ready to leave, he was already in the living room in his chair. We talked and I asked him if I could get him anything.

"Yeah. Can you fix me an egg sandwich?"

Of course.

I stood at the stove frying an egg and listened to my Daddy in the living room talking to his Father.

"Oh God, thank you for my family. Thank you for the love we have. God, you have been so good to me. I just love you. I have been so blessed."

I fried that egg with tears rolling down my face.

A few minutes later I kissed my Daddy goodbye for the last time. By Tuesday night he was gone.

Tomorrow is Father's Day. It's a day set aside to honor our fathers, to thank them for the love that we have been shown, and to show our gratitude for all the sacrifices they make for us.

My Father's Days are past me now. But, I hope that every day of my life I give honor to the man who was my father. I hope that my life would make him proud, and I am thankful every day for the strength and the courage that I inherited from him.

I will always be my Daddy's girl. I love and miss you, Daddy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Back in the Day

I grew up in a nice middle-class family. Nothing fancy. But very typical, I suppose. I was raised the youngest child of three and had both of my parents at home. 

We lived in modest but nice homes. My mother had a way of making even a small apartment cozy and full of warmth. Even in the very lean times I didn't know the difference because our home was full of something money can't buy or replicate. 

From the time it was necessary I was taught the difference between what's right and what's wrong and sometimes those lessons included a switch or a belt to my backside. I was taught to respect people and to show that respect. We didn't interrupt when someone was talking. We didn't act like heathens when we were out and about. We certainly NEVER went to someone's home and asked for anything. 

I think that one of the most important things we were taught was not just respect, but SELF respect. 

My parents taught me how to carry myself in any situation. And, when you have respect for yourself a wonderful thing happens - others respect you, too. 

I have spent time with homeless people and I have spent time with a former President of the United States. I have been in the company of politicians and some of country music's greatest legends. 

I have dined with CEO's and I have cleaned the backsides of the elderly. With each person I have met I have practiced the principles from back in the day when our parents taught us how to respect. 

And I have respected myself enough not to "air my dirty laundry for the whole neighborhood to see." I don't jump in the pig pen and wallow with the pigs, and I don't let my own failings and insecurities become the driving force that pushes my behavior. I don't elevate my own feelings at the expense of someone else. 

But, unfortunately my parents didn't raise everyone so there are quite a number of people out there who have some severe deficits in the respect department. 

So, let me share some sage advice. 

1. Carry yourself in such a way that it reflects who you are on the inside as well as the outside. What do you mean Sheri, you may be asking. I will explain. Clothes don't make the man or woman, but if your clothes leave so much uncovered that there is nothing to discover don't be surprised if you get treated like a floosy. If your pants are bagging and sagging and your whole behind is wagging, don't be surprised when you're treated like your intelligence is lagging. 

2. Keep your private business private. Have enough respect for yourself to keep the dirty underworld of your life unexposed to the general population. 

3.  Remember there will be times in life when things won't go your way. You're going to lose, you're going to hurt and be hurt. Suck it up. Hold your head up and keep walking. 

4. Look around you. There are billions of people in this world. And there is only one you. Your love life in the toilet because you continue to make bad choices is NOTHING compared to the mother who held her child while he or she drew their last breath, or the family who lost everything they owned in a fire, or the person who has been watching their mother or father slip away into the depths of dementia.  Grow up and get over yourself. 

5. You don't reach the heights of happiness by climbing your way up there on the hurt of others. You want to find happiness? It's fairly easy and it's completely your choice. It starts by simply loving and respecting yourself. 

6. If you don't like where you are, don't blame others. If you don't have enough, don't sit with your hand out expecting others to take care of you. There is no white horse headed your way.  Get off your behind and be your own hero.

I am thankful today for my parents; what they stood for and what they taught me. I am thankful that I know the value of being a lady and that I also know my own value and worth. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Father of a Prodigal Son

I have spent some time recently pondering many things. I have pondered the meaning of love, true love, godly love, lasting love.

And during this pondering I was reminded of the Parable in Luke 15:11-32 concerning the Prodigal Son.

I have heard many messages concerning this Parable. I have heard messages that centered around the younger son who took his inheritance and squandered it and came to find himself literally living among the pigs where he remembered how it was at home and decided to make his way back.

I have heard messages about the older brother who stayed behind all those years and worked only to have his younger brother come back and be celebrated even after his poor choices.

And, I have heard messages about the father that was watching and waiting for his son to come home.

It is that aspect that has been rolling around in my head lately.

The Bible says that, "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." (verse 20)

There is a love that a true parent (father or mother) has for their child that goes beyond any realm of love that is understood, only to be likened to the love of God for us. It is this love that causes a father to watch for a son that has left all that he has known and been taught and waste all that he has been  given. It is this love that never lets that longing for that child leave.

Now, I know those times were much different than where we are today. But, I can't help but wonder what that father would have done today.

I know of those that see one leave the fold and as far as they are concerned that person no longer exists. They are basically shunned. But, can a father turn off that great love for his child? He may not agree, he may not support, but would love disappear?

I thought about that father all of those years ago wondering where his son was, if he was okay, and if he even survived. And I thought about him longing to see him, longing to hold him in his arms, and longing to tell him he loved him once again.

In today's times I imagined that father sending little text messages, "Hey son. I just wanted you to know you were on my mind. I love you. I'm praying for you." 

I thought of him phoning and getting voice mail. "It's Dad. I just wanted to check in on you. It was good to hear your voice, even if it was just a recording. I love you. I hope to hear from you soon."

Maybe he would send an email just to let him know how everyone was doing, or even a picture from home to remind him of where he came from. 

And, I thought of that father on that day when he looked out and saw his son coming toward home, even though he still had a ways to go, and I thought of his greeting for that son. 

When he greeted him he had no idea why the son was there. He didn't know if he was just passing by, if he were there for a short time, or if he was there for forever. He had no idea if that son had come back to ask for more so he could once again go out into the world and live a life separate from him. 

All he knew was his son was coming toward home, and that was a cause to celebrate. He didn't rush to him and condemn him for leaving. He let his love and his excitement show and welcomed him back home as his son. 

Because, you see, the son knew all he had lost. He knew just how far that he had gone and just how low he was. The father wasn't there to witness his time rolling around with the pigs, but no doubt he could still smell the stench. And yet, he was filled with compassion for his son, and he wrapped his arms around him and kissed him giving the son no indication he could even tell where he had been. 

He didn't have to remind him of where he had been or what he had lost, the son was well aware of that. He simply reminded him how loved he was, whether it was for an hour, a day, or forever, that son that may as well have been dead had come home where he belonged. 

It may have been the things that he had left behind that drew him back to his father's house, but it was the love of his father that kept him there and encouraged him to wash the filth of the world off and resume his rightful place back at home with the family who loved him. 

As a mother I can really identify with this father. My children are not perfect, but neither is their mother. I cannot imagine my love being conditional on their circumstances. I cannot imagine my love being conditional, period. 

Do I always agree with what they do or where they are? No. Do I support them in things I don't agree with? No. 

Do I love them because they are mine? Yes. Unquestionably. 

This is a given with me because there is a bond that goes beyond any other relational bond there with my children. But, that unconditional love is harder to exhibit to others at times. 

And, I have noted during my present struggle it is harder to feel when you are the one trying to get back home. When you are in the distance walking toward your Father's house it feels more like the older brother is there to greet you at the door when you arrive than the Father who loves you beyond reason and who rejoices at any progress you are making to find your way back to His arms. 

I don't know exactly how to close this out. I have nothing witty or profound to say here except think. When you have thrown away everything you have and found yourself having to return to that place where you remember safety and love and support, think about what would bring you to that decision and how it would feel to have to come back to a place where you once had so much and now you are broke, and hungry, and dirty and stained. Think about how different this Parable would have ended if the father had reacted as many of you have when that one that has been as one dead has returned. 

That's all I ask. 

Luke 15:
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Beautifully Broken

I remember years ago when I was a child living in College Park, one of the things that we enjoyed doing was beating each other with a tube sock filled with other socks until it was quite a weapon.

We didn't indulge in this when there were parental figures around. This was something we would hide and drag out when we were left alone.

Ok....I'm stopping here to clarify. I don't believe I ever actually wielded the sock against my brother or sister. Thinking back, I think my brother just used it against us.....

But, my parents were gone one night and we happened to be in the kitchen with the sock. There was a shelf in there by the door and at some point I bumped into the shelf and it tilted and rattled. The crash that followed was the breaking of my great-grandmother's butter dish.

All the pieces were cleaned up and discarded, but my father was very disappointed to lose something that was of value to him. And, I feel bad to this day.

When troubles come into our lives we respond.

There are many ways to respond, and each response is associated with the type of trouble we are facing.

We can rationally devise a solution.

We can lash out.

We can seek counsel.

We can cower and cry, awaiting someone to rescue us.

Or, as I did when my sock waving brother was looming my way, we can back away looking for a means of escape.

Troubles will always come, no matter what. And, our response can either help or not.

But, when troubles come into our lives, no matter the source, we never leave the other side of the experience without some evidence those troubles existed in the first place.

Just for a minute, I want to discuss how we view that person in troubled times, not how they are dealing with the troubles, but how we deal with them.

One of the most bitter pills for me to swallow during my own recent troubles was the response of those people in my life that I cared for and counted on. I learned a lot about things that I really had no desire to even deal with in the middle of my own *mess.*

One instance in particular comes to my mind. I was talking to someone about my present situation. I was in the lowest point I believe I have ever been in. Just to open up to someone and share where I was spoke volumes about the state of my being.

I sat there completely shattered, the pieces of my life in shards around me. I cannot even describe the place I was in. Just to think on it makes the darkness of that moment swirl around me.

And, I sat there, trying to pour out what was left of my heart, receiving a response I had never counted on.....

No matter what else was said during that entire conversation I heard nothing beyond the fact that my broken vessel was an inconvenience to them, that the pieces of my life, of my family were a hindrance, in the way, and instead of taking a vessel that had once been of use, seeing that it was repaired and fit for use once again, at that moment I was swept up in the dustpan and discarded, obviously not worth the effort to repair, of no value any more.

My response to that was to take the pieces and find another way to repair my life. And, I have.

I'm not blaming the other person, I can't. They didn't cause my brokenness. They simply didn't understand that even broken I had the potential to be more valuable than ever before.

There was a concept within the Japanese culture many centuries ago. That concept was wabi-sabi - an embracing of the flawed or imperfect. They valued those vessel that you could see the wear on, the ones that you could tell had been used. Those vessels were honored and treasured.

And when one of their vessels became broken they would use gold, silver or platinum dust to repair the damage. Whereas our modern culture sweeps up that broken thing in the dust pan and throws it away, allowing themselves only the memory of what the vessel once was, the Japanese would literally "highlight" the damage. This event in the life of the vessel became what made that vessel special.

One place I read stated that "the bowl had become more beautiful for having been broken. The true life of the bowl began the moment it was dropped."

Oh, if we could understand that when we look into the faces of those broken people we see every day. If we would take the time to mend the pieces instead of discarding them, if we would look at their past and the problems they faced as though it were what made them beautiful instead of only seeing their brokenness.

Psalm 31:12 I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.

When I was thinking on this today, thinking on the people in my life that I love, people that are broken, damaged, hurting, still bearing the scars of past mistakes and still suffering the condemnation of others I thought of that person in the hands of the Potter, the One who made that vessel, the One who knows the true worth of someones life, even when it appears to others that person had no value any longer, and any usefulness they had is dead. 

And, I allowed myself to see that vessel as He sees it when He puts the pieces back together and seals each broken place with gold, causing those cracks in their lives to become the most beautiful things about them, and placing them where all can see, giving honor to what they have overcome and proving they are more beautiful for having been broken. 

I looked in the mirror this morning. I really looked at the woman staring back at me. She has been broken. It's there for all to see. But, when no one else thought it worth the mess her life was in and discarded her, someone dug the pieces out of the trash. Standing in the lights of the bathroom, gazing back at me from the mirror was someone who has been beautifully broken. 

So, remember when you find someone with their lives in jagged shards around them.....YOU can respond to their troubles. You can embrace them in their flawed imperfections. And you can help them to understand that their true life has just begun....brokenness is not the end.....

Monday, May 5, 2014

To My Future Grandchildren

I had my daughter when I was just a month shy of 21. I was very young. I am not so young anymore, but "age is just a number," as they say. I don't feel old enough to have a 26 year old. But, I am.

For as long as I can remember I have looked forward to the day I would have grandchildren.

NO---- I was NOT rushing them to become parents. Quite the opposite, really. For many years I had them believing that they could not even have a child (literally) until they graduated from college. One of my friends at the time assured me they would eventually figure it out. She was right.....

I am still not rushing them. I wouldn't trade the years we have had for any amount of money, but I would that I had been able to experience some of the things they are getting to before I started a family. I have spent much time telling them that there is no hurry--enjoy your life and get to know yourself and your spouse before kids come along.

Still and yet, I cannot wait.

There must be something almost "magical" if you will, about holding the child of YOUR child in your arms for the first time. And, seeing them grow and develop into their own person, yet allowing you glimpses of your OWN precious babies at the same time must be amazing.

We had such fun when they were little, so many little games and things we did, and I miss those days keenly. But, I love who they are now and the fact that I can see things that were poured into them over the years manifest now.

I read something that my daughter had written recently that echoed my own words to her many years ago and it made my heart smile to know that she was listening.

For some reason, this morning I had my future grandchildren on my mind. And I could feel that longing in my heart to get to the business of being a *Marmie* to them.

My mother told me in the early years in my marriage when we were in a major crisis that I needed to remember that one day we would have grandchildren together and that was not something we wanted to do apart. But, we will.

I think we will make it the best we can though, and still be able to share some of that joy together while including our new partners. There is no sense in being petty and silly at this point in our lives.

What would I tell them if I could, those babies whose faces I long to see, whose lips I long to kiss?

I would say, boy are we going to have some fun...but, don't think I will let you do whatever you want. I am going to love you and spoil you, but not hurt you. And, if I let you always have your way I do you no good.

Yes, we are going to Disney World....often....count on it....

You will have no idea what you will mean to my life, to know that a part of me, of my own Mama and Daddy will live on, is beyond any words I can put here. And, I will be looking for little pieces of people you will never know this side of glory in you. I know without a doubt they will be there.

I am saving up all kinds of love for you and I pray that I can be around to know you and to watch you grow up and have your own babies someday.

And if, by some chance, I am not around when you come into being, know that I love you even now, in spite of the fact it will be years before I actually see you. I have loved you for a long time. And if you sit really still and close your eyes and open your heart you can feel the love of an ordinary woman who managed to do the extraordinary....she existed.....and she did it with you on her mind and in her heart. Always.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Yesterday for Today

I cannot count the cost
The price that has been paid
Is higher than I can fathom.

Would I return to yesterday
If it meant I would forfeit today
I cannot say

For there was sweetness there
Amidst the pain
There was joy with sorrow.

Yet in the eyes of today
There lies more
There is hope for tomorrow.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Games People Play

I find this age of technology interesting indeed. It amazes me that with the tap of a keyboard we can access information about just about anything or anybody we desire. For a little cash you can even buy more information.

Yet, all of this information isn't worth the server you receive it on because it does not allow you to actually experience that thing you are researching first hand, nor does it allow you to know the person you are searching for beyond the sketchy information you can gather.

The internet has been responsible for reuniting countless people and establishing relationships between family members that have longed to meet or know each other. I think that is wonderful and I am sure that so many people have had long dreamed of reunions.

Where this age of information gets difficult is many people are building relationships based on communications established through the internet and using texting as their main way to get to know the other person. While I see nothing wrong with texting, in general, I can also see where it takes away from our ability to effectively communicate face to face, or even over the phone.

And, to top that off, I know for a fact that people have based their opinion of me on what I write here and what they see on places such as facebook. While this is all well and good, this does not give you any idea of who I am or what I stand for, no matter how many cute quotes I have on my pages or how many people I list as friends.

People take this lacking information to formulate a picture in their minds of me or whoever they are watching and then carry this information out to others. It's all so silly to me, but there it is.

It's kind of like reading an article about someone in the public eye and then assuming we know that person when in reality we know nothing at all about them.

I have always tried to be careful with what I say about others mainly because I know that words once spoken cannot be returned. I have regretted speaking something about someone or something that turned out not to be truth and that has caused caution.

You can perceive anything you want about me, but that does not mean that your assumptions are correct, just the same as it would mean with me. I will be the first to admit my own imperfections. I am extremely intimate with my own failings. And, there are many.

I guess what I am trying to say here is if you want to know something about me, ask me. I have nothing to hide.

I am searching and seeking my way, praying that I will be able to move beyond the hurts and mistakes of my life. That is my focus, internal. I don't have time to become involved in all these games that seemingly adult people are playing. I just want to rebuild a life that I can be proud of, that my family can be proud of, and that those I love can be proud of.

And, I will only do that by examining my OWN heart and searching my OWN salvation. I don't have the time or the inclination to become embroiled in the drama of everyone else. I seem to unwittingly find enough for me to deal with.....hahaha

So, here is the deal. I am 47. I have been married once and I have 2 beautiful adult children from that union. Now, I am starting over. I am rebuilding my life and it is the hardest thing I have ever done. I am busy enough doing that. I fully believe if more people would just take responsibility for their own selves the world would be a better place. Let it start with ME, Lord. Help me to be who You would have me to be. Every day. That is the game I am interested in winning.

Friday, April 18, 2014

You Take My Breath Away

As I sometimes do, I am posting a disclaimer here. For all of you who are squeamish and don't like mush you need to cease reading post-haste. Thank you.

You know how you hear about people that get into relationships and kinda lose their minds?

I found this great quote the other day. It said, "Immature love says, "I Love You because I Need You," and Mature love says, "I Need You because I Love You."

Do you see the difference there?

I have observed a lot of life in the past couple of years. And, one of my observations has lead me to believe that I am ever so thankful that I have been sheltered from the real world all of these years. I am thankful for my ideals, and for the fact that I had parents who taught me how to be self-sufficient and moral.

I just don't get a lot of things. I really, really don't.

People have become disposable. As soon as you cease to need them that "undying love" you professed is also gone.

And, it seems that people have become so accustomed to this type of behavior that this is all they expect and they guard themselves from life and from feelings.

See, I never learned how to do this.

Because I have always believed in love. I STILL believe in love.

Lately I have had feelings of love. Beautiful feelings of love. And, that has been unexpected but not unwelcome. Neither of us are perfect and we are different as night and day.'s there.

As strong as it is lately it has blossomed all over again. I would like to think it is because finally trust has been established, that I am who I claim to be, and my heart is true. At least, this seems to be part of the reason.

Just the simplest words and my breath catches, my heart flutters, and I feel alive.

And, I have to tell you, I need him because I love him. I can't even begin to explain.

Really, I have no intention of trying to explain. This is ours and ours alone.

It has been worth the wait......

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

At the End of the Day.....

Decisions, decisions......

I once had this supervisor who would talk....well....a lot. And, she would extoll all the reasons why things were successful because of her, and why she made this decision or that decision. One of her favorite things to day during one of these conversations was,

"At the end of the day, when I lay down, I am satisfied with the decisions I made."

Isn't that how it should be?

I would be a liar if I said I never made decisions that I regretted. Everyone has made decisions they wished they hadn't.

For instance, I regret the decision to ride my bike down the culvert when I was eight which resulted in me flying off the side and flipping with my bike before landing in full view of my older brother and sister. They still talk about it.

I could go on to list dumb decisions for the rest of the day, but I will stop here.

Let me instead tell you about some of the things that I am satisfied about at the end of the day.

At the end of the day, when I lay down, I am satisfied that I decided to pour my life into my children when they were young. My kids always came first, and they still do. The decisions I made were based on my love for them and they weren't self serving. I am glad I taught them about God and how to live a good clean life. I am glad I didn't go out and party and carry on, but that my idea of a party was being surrounded by them and any other of my "kids" that happened to be around.

At the end of the day, when I lay down, I am satisfied that I made the decision to go to college and to make a way to support myself. I am satisfied with the career I have and where I am going. I am confident that I can make it and I can do that without having to depend on anyone else.

I am satisfied that I loved my parents as much as I possibly could and that they knew that I loved them. I would never trade the days I had with them for anything.

I am satisfied that I tried to be a good wife and that I can look back and see my own failings and see the marriage without bitterness that most women seem to have. I am thankful for that time in my life and for the good memories that I have. I am also thankful for the lessons I learned and that I have an opportunity to love again.

I am thankful and satisfied that I am happy even though my life is far from perfect. I am thankful for having someone in my life that makes my heart smile and helps me to want to be all that I can.

And, I am satisfied that I can be "proud" so to speak, of the person that I am. Far from any type of perfection, I am what I am and who I claim to be. I have no motives, not looking for someone to make me happy, I only need someone to be happy with. I have learned that happiness is my choice.

And, at the end of the day, when I lay down, I am satisfied with my choice to be happy.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Backed into a Corner

It's 2:30 am.

I'm awake.

I don't know when sleep will come again.

My name is Sheri.

Let me tell you a little about myself.

First of all, I hate whiners. BOY, do I hate whiners.

And, I hate turmoil, and, dare I say it, drama. (I have found most people who say they hate drama say that for the dramatic effect, so I REALLY hate to even say it)

I'm awake at this time of the night because I have placed myself in a situation.

Please, notice the verbiage here.

I have placed myself in a situation.

I am feeling so torn between logic and the illogic of where I am. There are these moments of clarity on either side, but when the logical side is clear it is accompanied by a burning in the pit of my stomach that I cannot rid myself of.

I have backed myself in a corner and I know of no way out. There is no knight in shining armor going to ride in on his white horse and save me. I have no one to call out to who is even listening out for me.

I dreamed a dream and like other dreams of my past when I lead with my heart, I have come to realize that some dreams are only that. Dreams.

There is this ongoing argument between logic and illogic. And, I know I recently introduced you to anxiety girl. Yeah. I hate her. Because of her I behave in ways I would NEVER normally behave. I loath people that behave like I have because of her.

But, you see, I dreamed of being happy. I dreamed of the same stupid thing I dreamed of long ago. And lying here at 2:34 am I can hear a distinct voice. It says "you're an idiot for thinking you could have your dreams."

It says, "no one will ever want you. You are fooling yourself. You fought and prayed to feel the sun on your face, but now all you feel is the press of the wall in the corner you have backed yourself in."

I have never been much for telling my business. And I am sure there are those who will read this and think one thing when it is another. But, right now I would that I had someone to tell my heart to.

I am listening for the sound of hooves as my knight approaches.

Lord, I need You tonight. You are the only one who can save me from myself.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Anxiety Girl Strikes Again. Story at 11.

I was having a conversation with my brilliant cousin about my self esteem issues. I have issues....I know this to be true. No delusions here. 

They are deep rooted and therefore I know they will be difficult to remove. The moment of my life that best sums up my issues is this....

I planned a surprise for him. We didn't have much money so I had to really plan. Cheap hotel for the night....balloons....etc. 

We went to the room to drop off our things and then to eat at a restaurant near by. I sat across from him listening to him explain to me how lucky I was to have him since no one would ever want me. 

And, at that exact moment, the guy at the booth behind me FINALLY freed the ketchup from the bottle with all his frantic pounding. As I listened to how worthless I was, ketchup landed in my hair and ran down my face as if to add the dot on the exclamation point of my pitiful existence. 

Horrible story. And, not the worst unfortunately. 

But, I digress. 

Sometimes I have a hard time realizing my own value. And in those times when my sense of worth is shaky it seems like something always happens. 


So, my cousin and I were talking. She is well aware of my insecurities and when I verbalized how I was feeling she quickly reminded me of some things I needed to hear. 

And like a balloon when stabbed with a knife I could feel that fear seeping away. 

Why is it fear comes into out lives? Man, I wish I knew. I do know the One who can take my fears. Just like her words did, He can cause it all to deflate and peace to come back in. 

Yeah....that's me. What can I say? Haha

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Be It Ever So Humble

I have been in the market for a new home. I want to be closer to my new job because all that travel everyday is for the birds, and I want to be able to have my little furry girl with me until Ethan has a place to put her.

And, I want to have the money I'm spending go toward something that will be mine one day. I have been approved for a loan and have been searching for a manageable home in the area I want to settle in for now.

I found one home that was cute as a bug in a rug. Unfortunately, when they did the inspection several things were brought to light that made me leery of having to deal with these issues in the future. So, I am withdrawing my offer.

I found another really nice home in the country that has never been occupied. I went to look at it today and it has tons of potential. Every wall in the home is white sheet rock, so I was already imagining colors in my mind as I strolled through the house.

It has a split floor plan, which I love and a huge master bedroom with a walk-in closet, a garden tub, and a shower with seats.

It just needs some TLC.

I have never been fancy smancy. I enjoy the simple things and simple life. So, this would be well within my needs. It even has a little stream and a back deck I could put my parents old patio table and my fire pit on.

I have been extremely busy lately, but I am hoping that will all slow down. I start a new job in the morning that I am excited and terrified about. Needless to say, I am hitting the hay early tonight.

I will update when I make a decision and let you guys see my humble abode. In the meantime, I will keep plucking along.

Night all!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Can You Read My Mind?

Boy, I tell you...this has been a roller coaster month. I am exhausted.

So much has been happening. I have a career change on the horizon. I am waiting to see what lands where, but so far, it is looking pretty good.

I have had a terrible blow to my heart. Not the kind of blow you are thinking of. It's the kind of blow that scares me to the depths of my soul. But, I know that it will have to get better because my heart can't take it if it doesn't.

There are other things going on that are warm and wonderful and make me happy even in my hurt. Like, I think I may be getting a puppy soon to go along with some other things.

There are few things that hurt me worse than knowing my kids have been hurt. There is not much more in life that mean more to me that my babies. Here I am, having a midlife crisis, I suppose, and it has hurt one of my babies.

It is not that I have run out an purchased a sports car and have been riding around a boy-toy. Lord, no...hahaha

I have changed. I am still who I have always been. My heart is still my heart. I am still that same woman with the same love, but I have changed. And, in the midst of all the other changes in our lives of late, it has hurt my baby. That cuts me to my core.

I wish you could read my thoughts, read my mind and you would be able to understand how hard this has been for me. I have spent the past 26 years focused on my two sweethearts.

All these changes of late have made it hard to breathe, hard to remember that I am going to be OK, and I know it has been for them, too. Hard to remember that above all else we have each other and our love.

But, I know that all will be well. A very wise man reminded me lately that he knows I love him, and he won't forget. He also reminded me it is time for me to let them grow up. I am trying, but it is very, very, VERY hard.

I do wish he could read my mind and see my heart. Then he would understand and he would know, and never, ever be afraid or doubt.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Eyes Wide Open

I can see the swirl around me
I can feel the brush of fate
I can hear the whispered words
And the warnings come too late

For I knew in the beginning
What the cost would be
Yet I paid the price completely
Though the cost was great for me

I can see
My eyes are wide open
And I know the truth
My lips cannot say
I can feel
And I feel sorrow
As I see 
With eyes wide open. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hard to Breathe

**Advanced Warning** If you cannot stomach a pity party, please exit this blog immediately because I am about to throw a huge one. Thank you.

I want to go on record right now and say I hurt.

I'm talking about that deep down hurt that grasps your heart in a fist and squeezes until you feel bruised from the inside out.

I have had several bad days lately. I am not one to feel sorry for myself, not one to sit around and whine about the unfairness of life, not one to cry or act the fool.

In fact, I am normally a level-headed and very calm person. I have suffered a lot of hurts in my life, and none have crushed me.

Maybe battered me, maybe cracked me, maybe broken me, but never crushed me.

Today, I feel the crushing weight of sorrow, I feel loneliness like I have never felt before. And, it claims my ability to function.

I don't like it. It steals the very breath out of my lungs, this dark sadness.

For one moment the unfairness of it all crushes my spirit, making me wonder what I am doing and why I am doing it. And, I doubt my reasoning, and wonder at my own stupidity.

And cry. God, have I cried today.

I sit here on the verge of what I thought was going to be my great happiness. Do you know how long I waited for that? Do you know how long I have prayed, how long I have begged?

Today, I can't see it. I can't see it. I know where I need to look, but I can't look there. And, I feel so terribly lost. So utterly alone.

I just don't know how to carry this anymore since the weight of it has made it so hard to breathe, so hard to believe.

It's so hard to see anything anymore. I fought for the chance to live, and I have locked myself away in a prison.

I will go to bed tonight and sleep. And, tomorrow holds a promise to be better. I have prayed to know that this won't last, that I will see the promise tomorrow. I can hold on till then.

And, I will.

One shallow breath at a time.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Misty dawn barely breaking
I'm waiting
This day is the day it all comes true
You may laugh with a scornful laugh
But, laughter fades in time
When promises are rich and full.

With my eyes gazing forward
I'm praying
And knowing it is not in vain
The pleasure of it all around me
A dream I've dreamed
Opens fully and overfills my heart.

I know the thoughts you think
I can feel them
The darkness you cast my way
Wants to press in
But, in spite of all the rage
In spite bitterness
In spite of it all
And in the face of doubt
No matter what the end
My heart will win.

Night presses in cool and silent
And I'm waiting
For tomorrow comes with promises new
Love is only in vain when denied
And the truth of it all
Is love will live in hope for all time.

I close my eyes tonight
I am dreaming
Of years and years of knowing it was mine
Of moments sweetly lived
Of love I freely give
Of yesterdays with memories of mine. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Rainbow's End

All of my life I have heard that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. All of my life I have longed to find the end of the rainbow.

One day, believe it or not, I saw it.

The end of the rainbow.

And where the bright colors ended was.....ground.

No pot of gold in sight.

My ex-husband used to say, "Sheri, there are people who are handed things, and there are people who have to work for everything they have. We are the ones who have to work."

Very true words.

I live a comfortable life. I am not rich, not by far, but I can afford to buy a new pair of shoes if I find a pair I like. I have groceries in my cabinets, a comfortable car that is paid for, and a pretty nice roof over my head.

And, I also have the promise of more.

There are places I have yet to see that I WILL see. Things I have yet to do that I WILL do.

My parents were pretty smart people. They taught me much about life. One of those lessons was that if you have a need YOU need to go out and work to fill that need.

They taught me not to look down, but to continually look up.

And, look up I have. I have never been afraid to roll up my sleeves and work. And, years ago when our children were small, both Bobby and I sacrificed so that we could make a good life for them. I didn't expect anyone else to pay to raise my children, they were the responsibility of their father and me.

I am where I am today because I chose to work hard, to make something of myself, to be able to support myself and not be a burden on anyone. And, I regret nothing about this choice. I do know this is not the choice for everyone, but that's ok, too. I don't look down on anyone for making a different choice. But, it does make me sad to see so much of our society sit around with their hands out, teaching their children that they are entitled to something they have in no way earned.

And, in doing so, sentencing their children and their children's children to abject poverty, to a life of barely scraping by, to being dependent on someone else for their very existence.

Everyone needs help at times, and I think help should be available. But, it should be just that, help, not how you make a living. I cannot imagine how you would not feel depressed knowing you had no part in earning your keep, how you would feel pride in yourself knowing nothing in your possession came from the sweat of your own brow.

As most know, the rainbow is a reminder of God's promise to Noah in Genesis 9:13. There is something glorious when you see a bright rainbow arch across the sky. I have never seen one that I have not thought of this story and God's promise not to again destroy the earth in such a way.

But, you know, there was more there than just God's promise. He also gave Noah guidelines to follow, things He expected.

He didn't promise something for nothing.

And, neither should we expect something for nothing.

I am always mindful of those that need a helping hand, but I in no way feel guilty for having something that I can share, for having those things that I have worked for.

We taught our children this.....

If you have a need, you need to get out and work to fill that need.

So far, so good.

At the end of the rainbow, if you ever see it, is usually ground, earth, etc.

And that ground, that earth promises to provide you with sustenance, if you are willing to work for it.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Many years ago during a very difficult time in my life, I sought out the help of a counselor. I only had one session with him, so naturally we didn't cover a lot of ground, but he asked me the most profound question, one that haunted me for some time.

I was 19 when I married. I know now that I was in no way prepared for marriage, but at the time I was certain I was. I will not disparage him here, or anywhere. But, I am going to lay a little background from my viewpoint. I knew, even then that there were problems. But, in my young and romantic mind I was certain love fixed everything and all the problems would magically disappear in the presence of wedded bliss.

I am sure you have concluded that was not the outcome.

I was not only young, I was also relatively sheltered and not prepared to cope with some of the issues I faced. I can look back at home movies from those early years and will look into the face of the young woman I was, the defeat etched on my countenance, and my eyes fill with tears even now.

Forgiveness came to me for him. That part was relatively easy. It was forgetting and trusting I would continue to have issues with.

And, years later when I was a grown up woman, it was the memory of that broken little girl that colored my tolerance and made the decisions I knew I had to make so much more bittersweet.

After my session with the counselor, his one question played over and over like a broken record in my mind. I just could not move past it. I think the thing that struck me so much about it was it was not directed at the one who hurt me, it was not a question about why it happened or what would cause their behavior.

The question had nothing to do with them at all.

With one simple question he had hit on something I was not even aware was happening in me.

He asked, "Why are you so angry with yourself?"

Just typing those words made my eyes fill with tears.

My answer then was a softy spoken, "I didn't realize I was."

I left that session and went home, going thought the motions of being myself with those words ringing in my heart...

Days later I was cleaning the kitchen after supper, the question still playing over and over in my mind, "Why are you so angry with yourself?" when it suddenly hit me, and I hit my knees and wept.

I was angry with myself because I wasn't enough.

I wasn't enough.

I wasn't enough to fix someone else's brokenness, and in the process of trying I became broken myself.

One of the hardest processes I have ever had to go through was forgiving that little girl. And, forgiveness usually comes easy to my heart.

But, forgiving myself, well, that is very, very difficult.

Even after that pivotal moment of clarity I still continued to carry that dead little girl on my back with me everywhere I would go, and the stench from that dead thing in my life overpowered the fragrance of possibilities because, as I said, forgiveness is the easiest part, but trusting and forgetting are so very hard.

And since I neither had the power to forgive myself or trust myself again, it hindered me. And, I am not even touching on the forgetting. She haunted me, haunted my judgement, and hindered my progress with the weight of her I carried.

One night I was able to finally bury this girl that I was and forgive her for allowing herself to be in situations that were beyond her control. With that forgiveness came clarity to my decisions.

You see, because I wasn't enough, in my young mind, I accepted what was happening to me because I felt I deserved it. I was once told I could do no better than where I was, and that was easy to accept because I had already decided I was lacking.

Through forgiving myself I could reflect that it wasn't a burden I needed to carry anymore. And when hurt came again to my life, instead of thinking it no more than I deserved, I realized that I deserved better.

It is easy to remember that the Bible emplores us to forgive one another. It is rich with verses that deal with love and forgiveness. But, it is much harder to remember that you must first forgive yourself, at times.

I found it interesting reading some studies on forgiveness that the root word in the phrase "one another" in Colossians 3:13 includes you.

"Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."

Did you know that when you have unforgiveness in your heart it is an open door to allow torment into your life? And, this includes unforgiveness toward yourself.

One of the hardest things I had to do in this process was to be completely honest with myself. Once I was able to honestly search my own heart and get to the root of the problem, forgiveness of myself and seeing myself in a whole new light became possible.

When I could forgive myself I would release myself and those that had hurt me from responsibility and finally move forward.

It may be time for you to stand in front of a mirror and look yourself in the eyes. Do you like the person staring back at you? What do you see? Self-hatred can be deeply imbedded, but once uncovered you can begin the process of moving it out of your heart.

I have thought so much about that young woman that I was. I have wept for the loss of her innocence, the disillusionment that she faced, the brokenness she went through. There are certain instances that to this day I cannot recall without tears filling my eyes and my heart filling my throat. But, I see those days differently now. And, I see myself differently, too.

Why are YOU so angry with yourself?

That is a good question.

If I could talk to my younger self there are certain things I would say.

I would say it wasn't your fault. You can't fix another person's brokenness, only God has that power. And, I would say the love you had to give, the hope you carried in your heart, they deserved so much more and it wasn't because they weren't powerful things that they didn't get more. It wasn't you as the giver of love that was at fault.

And, I would say one day you will have the chance again to love beyond measure. Remember this time, but do not let it stop you from loving. Because the day will come when your love may be the balm that soothes another, but it will never fix what is broken in them. Or in you. Only One can do that. And He will. If you let Him.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Only Choice

It's hard to breathe
Hard to know
Almost impossible to imagine.

There is danger here
In the unknown
Trust becomes all you have.

Your heart collides
With yesterday
Afraid of forward motion

Yet in the dark
The light of hope
Becomes so very bright.

I cannot know
I cannot dream
I cannot allow these feelings.

And yet they come
They call to me
Reminding me to listen.

Oh so sweet
Oh so soft
Love comes whispering to me.

My heart is open
Even if broken
It pulls me ever closer.

This flame of hope
And hopeless need
War with burning passion.

This dream I dream
So lit with truth
Pushes back my terror.

It's in your eyes
So stark and real
I see my deepest longing.

To know at last
What love can do
When freed from expectation.

It's not with haste
But urgently
My heart cries out for healing.

And yours responds
With measured words
My only choice - to listen.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Where Love Lives

To say I have been going through a crisis in my life is probably an understatement. I don't think I have ever battled fear as I do right now, except for after my mother died. It is so overwhelming and heavy.

And my faith has been shaken. Not a gentle shake provided to wake you from peaceful slumber. I'm talking earthquake, ripping up roads and destroying villages kind of shaken up.

I have an amazing family. I really do. There are more miles between us all than I have ever imagined. My son has decided we need to buy a huge piece of land and all live there together. I could see that.

I have found out over the last several months that people can be cruel. Even the people that you thought loved you. At some point they look at you in your struggle and decide you are no longer worth the effort, that you are now officially "lost" and as someone that is lost you are to be avoided. But, let me tell you a little secret.....

I may be struggling but I am still me.

Even when I have been found guilty in others eyes of whatever it is assumed I am doing, I am still Sheri.

I spoke to my brother yesterday on the phone. The cell service on my ride home is patchy at best so we ended up losing each other several times. I know there were things unsaid, things that he wanted to talk to me about to see where I am on my journey. But, we didn't get to.

I was in my car today and I felt such a longing for him. And, I will tell you why. Because, he loves me. He loves ME.

I sent him a message to tell him I loved him and to thank him for his love for me. He replied, "You know I do."

And, I asked him to help me pray for direction. I have been feeling lost today especially.

He replied, "I am," and I thanked him.

He said, "I wish you were all closer. It is good to have family near to help us with our equilibrium."

Oh, how I need that.

We talked further and he told me about his message for tonight. "Thankfully," he said, "we have hope."

Hope sounds good.

I have been many places, seen many things, and one thing I do know, without a doubt. I know where love lives.

There are many people in this world who may want to see me fail, many people who would never even notice if I did.

And then, there is my family. Wherever they are, love is there. And, I had such a keen longing to submerge myself in that love today, until it became a physical ache, a longing so overwhelming that I could not contain the tears, and I wept over my desire to be surrounded by their love today.

And, thankful they love me as they do. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Learning to Let Go

There are a lot of things that happen to us as we mature. We learn to see the things in life that are important and then we see the things that really are not important.

For instance, my children are important. I don't care that they are grown. They are important. And, they still are my reason. AND I would probably still punch someone's lights out for messing with my babies. The ones I love are the only ones I would fight over.

I also have learned that I cannot hold on to things that are not meant for me to hold on to.

I have been hurt and I have caused hurt. And I have learned to walk away when it's time to walk away.

I know I have said it before and it drones on and on. But with complete honesty I am just blown away by how grown ups act. Seriously.

I know that I was raised to behave with dignity. I was raised to act "like I had some sense."

I hear stories about things that people in my age bracket do and I just cannot comprehend it. What is wrong with people?

There is a video on YouTube that a man discretely took of his wife while she was in the throws of a tantrum I would have broken a paddle on my kid's behind for having. I have literally never seen a grown person act that way. All because he wanted to do some work around the house. Wow. 

I have had bad things happen, hurtful things. I have been angry and distraught. But, for crying out loud, I'm not going to act like a two year old having a temper tantrum. I don't understand what you gain by acting the fool.

When my husband and I split up I told him that no matter what has happened we have two kids and we have many events in our future. I told him I wished him the best and I would treat him and anyone he was with respectfully. (ok I may have unfairly used the term bimbo, but I was wrong) I mean there will be weddings and babies and futures and what would it profit anyone for me to act like a lunatic.

There were issues on both sides of my marriage. Neither of us was totally to blame. Now, I have an opportunity to teach my children how to carry themselves in the worst of circumstances. I will not run down their father because that is unfair to them. They didn't ask for their parents marriage to fall apart. And I won't subject them to more pain because I'm bitter.

Because really, I'm not bitter. Oh, yeah it was bad and a lot of things happened that I could have never imagined happening in my life.

I know no one reaches my age without some baggage. But, I have learned some baggage can be left behind. There is no room in my life to let myself be so overcome with bitterness that I become that two year old.

Hopefully, when I'm finished with the things of this world one of the ways my children and grandchildren can describe me will be dignified.

Silly, but dignified.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Voice in my Head

I was raised by an incredible southern mother. She wasn't the cliche southern mother. She was a balance of southern mannerisms and class that was recognizable in every region. 

I know I write a lot about my parents. Losing them has left such a void in me. This whole blogging process started to assist me in dealing with all of their health issues and now it helps me deal with the void. 

My mother was an amazing cook. One of my favorite things she made was corn bread. She tried to show me how she did it more than once. I never got it. But, hers will always be the standard I judge all other corn bread by. 

My dad was the voice of authority. My mom was the voice of reason. When something was going on I could call my dad and he would lay out how it needed to be handled. My mom would say,"How do you feel about that?"

Well, that's not all she would say. She could be very blunt.  When I called to let them know I was pregnant for the second time my dad was elated. My mom got on the phone and the first words out of her mouth were, "What did you do, screw up?" But since she named him and loved him beyond reason, it is safe to say she got over it. 

My mom would get "feelings" about things she didn't want us to do. My brother, who is the oldest, was hit with this first. And because something tragic happened during one of the times she had a "feeling" we were all reluctant to go against them. 

Last night I was talking to a friend about something they were going to have to do and I felt that clinching in my stomach. I asked them to be careful because I had a bad feeling. Of course, they reassured me all would be well and promised to let me know when they finished. 

Only they didn't. 

And, now they don't respond to my texts. 

Oh, something else about my mom. She had a habit of blowing things WAY out of proportion. 

Example: My sister hurt her arm years ago. My mom calls me and basically tells me my sister's arms (not arm) are useless and I need to get out there and help her! While my hysterical mom is explaining this my sister beeps in. I picture her in my head, being so brave, as my brother-in-law holds the phone to her ear, and I reassure her I am on my way to rescue her from her un-vacuumed carpet. I hang up and rush out there, distraught, wondering how my poor sister is going to cope. 

And, when I pull up she greets me at the door. Yeah, her ARM hurts, but she is moving it. 

So, I guess you see where I'm going here. My friend is probably busy or asleep because the task took all night. 

But, that voice in my head won't be silenced until I get the all clear. Peggy is in there and she is weaving all sorts of horrible outcomes. 

And if she were alive and I called her right now she would not reassure me. Oh, no. She would have me so worked up I would be leaving work and driving to their house. 

There was a fire in the woods at the end of our road when I was still on night shift. Somehow mama found out about it. I was dead asleep and the phone rang. I saw it was her so I thought I will call her when I get up since it was the middle of my night. 

We had one of those doorbells at that time that played all kinds of tunes. I was suddenly roused out of my sleep to "It's a Small World" playing over and over. 

I stumbled down the stairs and threw open the door to find my mom standing there. 

"You had better get up before your house burns down around you!!"

And with that statement she got in her car and drove off, leaving me to figure out what was going on. 

As a teenager she called me one day to tell me that a tornado had been spotted around the corner from our house and I needed to get in the closet. I slammed the phone down, grabbed my cat Tiger, and climbed in the hall closet. 

As soon as I shut the door, the phone started ringing. And ringing, and ringing. 

I finally left the safety of the closet and breathlessly yelled Hello into the insistent phone. 

It was mama. 

"Are you ok? You're not scared are you?"

"MOM! I was in the closet because of the tornado!!!" And I hung up and ran back to the safety of the closet. 

She also made me feel more loved than anyone ever has. And she believed in me. And she protected me because she knew how much losing her would affect me. 

She taught me the story of the Big Mouth  Frog. She dried my tears even when I was grown. The only times I ever saw her fighting mad was over her babies. 

And she still visits me in my dreams at night offering advise, showing her love, and reminding me why I was so incredibly blessed to have her as my mama. 

I sit here now, trying to tamp down the voice of doom, wishing I had never thought about her corn bread, and missing her with every fiber of my being. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Eviction Notice

I am firmly entrenched in middle age. In many ways I love who I am now because I have finally learned the value of not caring about what the world at large thinks. 

Over the years I have allowed a lot of unnecessary "things" in my life. One day I woke up and thought why am I letting this or that dictate who I am? And, then came the question of who I really am. 

Once I started asking myself the hard questions I realized that some of the "things" that had taken up residence in my life were hindering me from truly being happy. 

Look around you today. What do you see? Do you see yourself where you wanted to be at the age you are? If not, take inventory of your surroundings and see what has taken up residence in your life. 





Self hatred. 



Sometimes we decide that our ability to overcome our circumstances is not within our reach. We lose our value and we become trapped in circumstances we were meant to overcome. 

I have a sweet friend that I have watched this very thing happen to. Because of mistakes and bad decisions they have decided they deserve no better than what they have. So, they have become a horder of self doubt and self recrimination. They have surrounded themselves with circumstances and people they feel they somehow deserve. 

But, that isn't true. 

And, when I look into their eyes I see my own longing to break free from the things I allowed to box me in. 

There comes a time when we need to walk the halls of our own hearts and discard those things that have kept us from rising to where we are meant to be. 

We have to have the courage to say this is not where I want to spend my life. And we have to begin to pack up those things that are keeping us from moving forward and kick them to the curb. 

Is it easy? No.  

Do they just let it go when you decide to move them out?  Nope. 

Will you automatically have all your dreams come true? Absolutely not. 

But, when you decide to rise above your circumstances you have to also decide to fight for better circumstances. And, you have to know without a doubt you are worth the fight. 

So, to my sweet friend today. I know how hard you have struggled. And I know that when you decide to get the "hell" out of your life, hell is never happy. But, you are worth so much more than you have allowed yourself to realize or dream. 

I will be right here to help you box up those things that have boxed you in and I will be right there to bolt the door should they try to come back. 

You are valuable. You are worthy. And you are loved. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

If I Could Tell You....

As I lay here on this New Year's Day and realize very soon it will be 4 years since I last spoke to you, I think of so many things I would tell you if I could. 

There are so many times that I pull from the pieces of you both that are within me. So many times I hear your voices in my head and feel your love surround me. The missing doesn't go away. I still long for you both every minute of every day. 

So much has changed for me. So much has changed in me. And it would be so amazing to be able to be wrapped up in one of your hugs and hear you tell me you love me because you loved ME. You loved Sheri Lynn. And you did it without condition or limitation. 

I would love to tell you I'm happy. I am happy, Mama and Daddy. And I know you would be able to look in my eyes and see my heart and be happy with me. 

My babies are all grown up and the empty places you left in their lives still affect them. You left in them both a legacy of love that will never leave. So, in a wonderful way, you will never be gone from our lives. They never, ever doubted that their Granny and Papa loved them. And, it was such a powerful love they still feel it, as I do. 

So, here I am. Another year gone by without you. Another year closer to seeing you again. 

If I could tell you I would say this year is going to be really good, Mama and Daddy. Really good. I feel like big things are going to happen and I cannot wait. I will bring you with me to every victory and I will feel you with me in every defeat. Because I will never get past the love my life has been filled with. I will never get past the pride you felt for who I am in all my awkward goofiness. 

And, no matter how many years pass, I will always be your baby. Always. Thank you for your love that was so powerful that it transcend death. I miss you more than words.