Losing a Parent

The cliche you hear most, especially in a small southern town, is that The Lord works in mysterious ways. That has proven to be true time and time again in my life, and for some reason it always comforts me in times of adversity and pain. Right now my life is full of adversity, and more than my fair share of pain, but I know that there will be purpose in it somewhere.

Today is Wednesday. One week ago today, my dad left the earth to be in heaven with his mom and dad. And the day after tomorrow, we bury him next to them. I never expected to find myself in this position, and I never knew it could hurt as bad as it does. 

46 year old men are not supposed to suffer massive heart attacks and leave behind their three children. It just doesn’t seem right. At 23, 19, and especially 17; the last thing you expect to happen is losing a parent. Especially in such a sudden way. But, it happened. It cannot be undone. 

Last Wednesday, my dad was just taking a shower. One minute he was cleaning himself after a long day at work – where he’d just received a promotion – and the next he was sprawled out in the living room floor waiting on an ambulance. Then in an ambulance waiting on a careflight. Then laying lifeless in a hospital bed… 

Life doesn’t follow your expectations. God doesn’t follow your expectations. It’s never without meaning, though. I have to keep telling myself that there is a silver lining to be grasped, that it’s not all bleak. Without that glimmer of hope, I would not like to live in this world.

I’m broken inside. A lot of people are not seeing that part of me, but I am heart broken. I wish I would have called him more. I wish I would have told him I forgive him. I wish I would have made more trips out to see him. But there is no changing the past. I have to remember all of the card games, the times he sang to me and played the guitar when I was young, the moments of love and happiness. 

I’m staying constantly busy. I’m planning his funeral, making phone calls, responding to messages. I’ve done almost every preparation by myself without even being asked. It’s the only way I can keep myself sane. I’m teaching myself to rely on the people who I love, something I’ve never been good at. I’m letting people help me and tell me everything will be okay.

I’m doing anything I can so that I can close my eyes and not picture him laying lifeless with a tube down his throat. Trying endlessly to remember him alive and happy. He was always full of life and playing around, joking and singing. That’s what I want to remember.

Death doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t seem real. I’ve dealt with it so many times in my short life, but it never gets easier to understand. It only ever gets more painful and causes more disdain and animosity, but it just keeps coming. Maybe someday I’ll learn to accept it better.

RIP Daddy. I love you. 

New Addition

On Saturday, my boyfriend and I went to Tractor Supply Co. to see the puppies that the humane society had for their adoption event. We didn’t plan on adopting, just playing with puppies. What better to do on a Saturday, right?

For some reason, I was drawn to the adult dogs. There was a skinny yellow dog who was being held on a leash, not in a crate. He barked at me loudly until I pet him. The handler informed me that she’d waived his adoption fee, that he was free to whoever would take him.

I walked away, but I knew I couldn’t leave him. So, I came back and told her that we wanted to take Ranger home. My boyfriend signed the paperwork as I sat next to where he was now kenneled. All I could keep saying was “it’s okay, we’re gonna take you home.”

Later we found out that the reason he was free was because he was scheduled to be euthanized today. Monday. Just two days later. Every time I look into his beautiful brown eyes, it makes me both immensely happy I could save him, and immensely sad that he could have met that fate. 

Because of Ranger, I know I will never buy a dog from a pet store or breeder. Through adopting a rescue dog, I have discovered a love and trust I didn’t know I could have with a dog. In these two and a half very short days, I have found a best friend, and a partner for life. 

Ranger is inquisitive. He is loving. He smiles with his teeth. He loves all other animals, and craves affection and acceptance from them (he’ll cry if he’s ignored). He has never met a stranger, that is – unless they come near his house. He is so very intelligent. I’ve honestly never had a better dog, and I love him so much. 

Give adult and young adult dogs a chance. Give rescues a chance. Give mix breeds and mutts a chance. They make just as good of dogs as any “purebred” will. 

Love Poems 

I write random poetry in my phone notes. Some are better than others. Enjoy!

1. Timeless

When your arms no longer fight with your shirtsleeves,

And your eyes lose all the blue and give into the gray,

I will still be in love with you.

And not the you from before,

But the you that manifests itself in each current version;

With the truth in your soul,

And the fire in your heart.
2. Untitled 

Everyone who left before 

Took a little of me with them

And it took finding you

To bring back the pieces

And fulfill me even more

3. Conflicting

I love him.

I love him so much that 

Sometimes I want to hate him 

For not expressing love

The same way I do 

For not being one for 

Grandeur and romantic gestures

For not always 

Wanting to hold me

Like he said he would

When it all began 

But I love him

And I know he loves me

So I cannot hate him 

For expressing love 

The way that only he can

For being one who

Cooks every meal

For always

Being next to me

Like he promised 

When it all began

He loves me 

So I will love him 

And never give up on him 

For being more selfless 

Than he seems 

For being one who

Loves unconditionally 

For always

Being there for me

Like he promised 

When it all began 

4. Present

Today is not:

A day for what could have been.

Today is:

A day for what is and is to be.

Every day is:

For you and I.

No day is:

For the past.

Then is:

Her.

Now is:

Us.

5. Universal 

If ever you think 

That your time 

Here in this world 

Was wasted

If you think –

Even for a second –

You made no impact;

No big change

Look back at me.

For you are my world,

And have changed

My universe.

6. Intuition 

You’ll know when you find the one 

When you finally find true love

And a mutual true love

You will just know 

I can’t tell you for sure what it will feel like

I think it’s different for everyone

Some people claim a tingling 

Or butterflies inside them 

For me it was a total completion 

And ultimate finality and fulfillment 

Like when you fall asleep on a long ride 

The feeling that tells you to wake up when you get home 

7. Singing in the Shower 

Sometimes I wonder 

If one day we’ll wake up

And have been wrong

If there will be an end for us 

And then I hear him singing 

Idly in the shower 

And I remember months ago

When he told me he couldn’t 

And how he’s probably right 

But how everything he does

Is exceptionally beautiful to me

In every way possible 

I recall how vital he is to me

That I can’t imagine a life 

If he’s not in every part of it 

And how deeply empty it would be 

8. Senseless 

He’s just so beautiful

The way he glides around the kitchen

Humming and happily cooking

How his brow furrows as he reads

Page after page of silence

There are so many things

About him and the way he exists

That entice and allure me

For no sensible reason at all

9. Him

Here he sits just next to me,

King of all worlds & all times,

Silently bearing all burdens,

Weights of all worlds & all times.

10. Falling

It’s not time spent out 

That I cherish the most,

But all the time spent in. 

not material things 

That draw me close,

But all the things within.

It’s not spontaneity

That brings me joy,

But routine and all night calls. 

Not your ability to catch

That insights me,

But my willingness to fall.

11. Wild

Minds and Bodies, Hearts and Souls;

In the wilderness are wild. 

Slightly shocked, but made aware

Now giddy as a child.

Bare just as is intended,

New expectations met,

Drenched by summer and eachother,

Moisture mixed with sweat.

Tucked away from any strangers,

So far from our small tent.

Just me, and you, and Mother Nature;

A summer’s eve well spent.

12. Memory

I’m in love with the way you 

Can make memories

By doing nothing at all

13. Bonnie and Clyde

I can think of no pair to compare in the least 

To the likes of our likely match.

First, I thought of us Belle and her Beast,

Yet you’re an obvious catch

Then, the infamous Bonnie and Clyde;

Their love ever stronger than prisons and guards.

Running, thoughtless, and desperate to hide

So far from our gentle hearts.

Two scholars and teachers entranced by romance

Make not a great love of legend or lore,

Yet our bond and effortless, natural occurrence

Entrances my thoughts all the more

My High School Experience

I grew up in a small, semi-rural town in Texas. So, there are certain things that come as a kind of given. There definitely were kids that wore boots, jeans, and button ups EVERY day. Homecoming, and those Friday night lights were a big deal. People here are passionate, opinionated, and usually pretty vocal about it.

When you get close to graduating, everyone tells you to cherish it. That you’ll miss it when you’re gone. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t miss it. At all. I am being completely honest when I say, there is nothing from high school I wish I could get back. However, I did learn a lot and I loved a few things about it.

The first thing I should talk about is obvious if you know me – extra curricular activities. I participated in choir, debate, show choir, agriculture for a brief period, one act play, technical theater, theater productions for a semester, and one of the fall musicals. That may not sound like a lot, but I had virtually NO free time. Choir took two periods out of the day. Theater took a class period, and most of my afternoons. Debate took ALL of my weekends for two entire years. I was running myself ragged, and I was miserable. 

My senior year, I decided to do what was best for me and quit theater. I stopped writing extra speeches for debate. I dropped out of AP calculus and took a teacher’s aid period. I spent a brief time taking stats for the Lady Panthers Varsity Soccer Team. I finally had enough time to stop and think about who I was outside of all of these things, and I loved it. I loved having time to hang out with friends, I loved eating dinner at home.

I was judged by my peers for the decision to take some time for myself. God forbid I get a break my senior year, right? People saw me as lazy, or said I was giving up. I let that get to me, until I saw the bags around their eyes. I no longer envied them. Those things were fun, but none of them are my passion like it is for some kids. And guess what? That’s okay. 

Making “friends” in high school was easy, but making real connections was harder. There were, of course, a few. But the amount of friends I left with was way less than the amount I went in with. And that’s not a bad thing, either. I’m much happier not putting on airs. The people that have stayed with me are people who love me for who I truly am, and I don’t have to pretend.

High school makes it very difficult to authentically be yourself. Especially because you don’t even know who you really are yet. There are still so many things that are not set in stone, and so many things that are subject to change. It may be the place where it starts, but I don’t think high school is the place where you find yourself. At least, it wasn’t for me.

My experience with high school had a lot of pain. I mean, a lot. I hurt, and I put myself in positions to hurt even worse. There were, however, a lot of ups. I acheieved more than I ever thought I would. I became confident enough to continue my education. I started the process of learning myself. But I will never wish for those years back.

So long, MHS. One year down without you, hopefully a lot more to go.

Why I Refuse to Have a Wedding

So many little girls dream of their wedding day. I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t one of them, because I was. I pictured a solid white princess dress, silver and lilac as the colors, tables upon tables of people, an orchestra, some beautiful gothic church. Now, that couldn’t be any further from what I want for a variety of reasons.

First and foremost, I believe marriage has become more about extravagant weddings than the actual marriage. People don’t even think about their life together when they’re submerged in cake and wine tastings and filling scrapbooks with receipts and photos. I want the day I give my life to the person I love to be about the life we’re going to have, and about the love we share. I don’t want it to be about dresses or cakes or champagne, but about us.

Our life together isn’t going to be this picture perfect fairy tale. It’s going to be real life. We’re going to have struggles, and beautiful triumphs. We’re going to love eachother with everything we have, even when we feel we have nothing. We will have a life full of laughter and mishaps, but overflowing with love.

The second reason is the price. My significant other and I have spoken about it on multiple occasions, and we both feel that a big wedding is an unnecessary expenditure. There are so many more important things that the massive amount of money a wedding would cost can be spent on. For us, it will either go towards travel or towards our living situation. Those things are things we value much more than making a show of something we think is beautiful and personal.

The most important part of my reasoning for me, is the fact that I don’t have the best relationship with my family. My wedding day will be a special day for me and my boyfriend, and I don’t want those people to ruin it for me. I couldn’t bare the guilt I would feel to have a wedding without my family, but I would be miserable if they were there. It’s not so simple as just not inviting them, or having them there and ignoring them. I just don’t want to have one because it would make me uncomfortable.

I’m not settling. Going to the court house and signing the certificate with a witness is all I want. It’s the only way I can picture my wedding day going in a way I’d want to remember. I don’t feel like I’m giving anything up or missing anything. And if I do after, we’ll renew and have a ceremony. This is what I want, and I’m happy I have someone who agrees. I’m not a little girl anymore, and the fairy tales I believe in are of a more realistic nature.

An Open Letter to the Girl Before Me

Part of me will always hate you. I know that makes me awful, and it’s harsh, and it’s irrational. I’m sorry, but it’s just true. And it’s nothing personal. It’s nothing you’ve done, nothing about who you are. Just what you’ve done, and what you had.

I forget you exist, and then I see a photo of you two on the mantle of his mother’s fireplace and I remember you were the only girl he’s ever taken to prom. He’s never slow danced with me, and he has with you. We’ve never been the couple everyone watches on a dance floor. Or I’ll remember the other once in a life time things you’ve been present for. I’ll remember you walked across the stage on the same day as him, or that you were his first. And I hate you in those moments, because the jealousy is too much to handle. 

The sound of your name will forever send a burst of pain through my chest. For what you had, and what I never got to experience. But then I remember all of the things I have that you never will. That isn’t to be boastful, it’s not to be selfish, and it’s not to hurt you. It’s just the truth. 

You will never touch him the way I do again. You will never hear him say the words “I love you.” You will never hold him close to you. You will never again spend Christmas and Thanksgiving with his family. That makes me sad for you a bit, because it would kill me to let those things go.

It bothers me that you spent so much time with him. It shouldn’t, but it does. It was a very long time. Years. Which made it very intimidating coming in. It was terrifying, it hurt. But that time means nothing now. What matters is now. 

It bothers me that his family still keeps in contact. It bothers me that you make an effort to see them. I hate that they interact with you on social media. There’s a huge part of me that hopes you all lose contact, or drift apart, and just stop talking. No more I love yous, I miss yous.. but that’s selfish. They love you, and they’re amazing, loving, thoughtful, caring people. You deserve people like them in your life. He, however, will never be a part of your life again.

As a person, we are very different. The relationship we have with him is very different. But I’m trying my hardest to be friends with you. I really do like you. None of my misgivings and animosities are really personal, just situational. But I honestly hope they pass.

I’m not asking permission to post this. I will not apologize for posting this. This is my honesty. My openness. I needed to do this to calm those angers inside of me. I know we’ve had our past problems, and I’m so happy we’ve made it past them.

Love and Mental Health

Balancing anxiety and a personal life is like a circus tight rope act. You could fall, the rope could break, or – by an act of god, or by extensive practice – you make it to the other end unscathed. I thought finding a serious relationship would be like adding a unicycle to the mix, but it was surprisingly like having a safety net.

When I met my boyfriend, I told him very early on that I have pretty severe anxiety. I begged him to understand that it was around long before him, that it’s not his fault. He made me promise I’d always let me hold him, no matter how afraid I am. I thought having it out in the open would make it easy.

It did make it easier, but not easy. There are nights where he’s frustrated to no end because I’m keeping him up asking thousands of questions he’s answered thousands of times. There are times I can’t stop crying and he’s been consoling me for hours and he feels helpless. There are times I’m angry at him for no reason and it’s at no fault of his own. 

No matter how insufferable I am though, he loves me through it. He holds me. When I storm off, he gives me a little time and then comes to find me. When I’m shaking, he tells me everything is okay. He wipes my tears away, and lets me saturate his shirt with them. He is endlessly supportive, kind, and incredibly patient. 

There are things I have to work on, and things he has to learn, but we are trying. We don’t give up on one another, no matter how difficult it gets. It’s not always pretty, and it’s not always happy. We both have breaking points. He gets mad, and frustrated and needs a break. I get distant and cold. But we don’t stop loving eachother and trying to understand.

No matter how hard it is to fight through these problems sometimes, it’s even harder to let go. What we have is something that’s a once in a life time kind of love. He lets me know I’m not too broken. He makes me feel like I’m worthy of love, and that I deserve to be happy. No matter how anxious or how depressed I get, he can make me smile. 

So, it may be a balancing act. It may feel like I’m thousands of feet in the air, standing on one leg. But I know, without a doubt, that I will always have someone there to catch me. To let me know that I’m not alone. I couldn’t be more thankful.

Unfaithfulness

Everyone goes through times that are trying. Things that hurt, and that make you feel like you’ll never be able to stand on your own two feet again. Those things shape you, though. No matter how insignificant they are, they change the way you think about certain things. Maybe you learn from it, and you’re better than your experiences. Maybe it makes you leery, it discourages  you from trusting. For me, being cheated on is something that struck a huge nerve, and something I don’t think I’ll soon forget.  Continue reading

19 Goals for 19

I planned on posting this on my birthday (April 13), but sometimes life gets in the way. Especially when it comes to college life! But, here it is. Better late than never! I just turned 19, and I’m hoping to make this year better than the last. So for this upcoming year in my life, I’ve made a list of goals. Some are single tasks that can be completed, and others are things that I will strive to uphold on a daily basis.  Continue reading