Friday, November 27, 2009


Well folks! The cloud called PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that has been shadowing my mind over the last year and a half it started to part somewhat. I'm having streams of sunshine through the clouds begin to shine more and more lately. This is a good thing, I love when I have my "A-HA" Moments.

I've been robbed of 2 summers (this summer I had swine flu/pneumonia as I've addressed before)and what I remember of last summer are the pictures others have taken of me as well as bits and pieces of here and there.

My short term memory is kind of jacked up still. If I'm stressed or upset or even really can for get it. I appreciate my family and friends being patient with me asking things over and over and over. They've really been good sports about me and my issues. IT's kind of funny, finding Ice cream in the dish washer and my keys in the toothbrush holder. I still have no idea where the majority of my winter clothes and boots are. It'll be fun trying locate those things. Life is interesting with me lately. I like being a huge mystery!

I Am ready for this holiday season, are you? I don't mean the presents or gift wrapping or the cards. But I'm on a mission this year to create some AWESOME Memories this holiday season... I'M TIRED OF NOT REMEMBERING STUFF!
I declare Today, November 27th 2009 - January 1 2010: FUN AND FABULOUS HOLIDAY SEASON! I've got my digital camera ready with extra batteries. Got my snow boots! Still gotta find that winter coat.. haha! But I'm ready to go out this Holiday Season and have a good time. Im not soo sure what all the entails yet, I have a few things I want to check out around town that sound really cool. But for the most part, I'm just going to randomly head out and whatever happens is what it will be!
I like the idea of not getting so wrapped up in the commercialism and just bringing simple kindness, smiles and memories to people. I want to gage "just how much" it takes to bring a smile to someone's face or a laugh to their voice.

I'm ready to build snow people and snow forts and go tubing and sledding and watch hockey games and go caroling and collect for the food banks and drop off homemade candies, breads and cookies to the neighbors anonymously and steal kisses under strategically places mistletoe all with the sounds of the season as my soundtrack and the weather as my back drop.

I'm ready for this holiday season. I don't want to miss 1 thing about it. Not even the crazy weather. Im forcing myself out of the house and into the Holiday Season.

If you, too, are out to create some awesome memories, take your camera! And be sure to come back here and share some of them :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Because I Have Been Given Much I, Too, Must Give!

About 8:45 last night I decided I wanted to get a new "feelz good" movie to watch this evening. And you know, Saturday is that special day, its the day we get ready for SUNDAY! Deseret Books is about 1/2 mile where I now reside. Typically I would walk since it's so close but it was about to close do I drove. I parked the car and instead of grabbing my purse I just grabbed my bank card and headed for the store.

I rush into the place and I'm looking at the different movies... they some I already have, some I'll never touch, some that are stale and cheesy but make for good teaching moments, Biographies of the prophets and apostles and such. Anyway after browsing around for 15 minutes the voice over head on the speaker announced "DESERET BOOKS IS NOW CLOSED, PLEASE TAKE YOUR PURCHASES TO THE FRONT!"
I grabbed my DVD's and headed toward the cashier. There was a couple in front of me who needed this changed on their account and wanted to pay 1/2 with this payment and 1/2 with another payment, then they wanted to add their bonus reward points, and please bubble wrap this item so it doesn't break and OH she had to run back and get this thing she forgot and I'm sure you get the point.
(This is also one of those establishments where if you purchase so much you also stack that many points and 1 point is equal to the 1$ so if you purchase a 10$ item you get $10 in credit points to spend like cash. THey give double points sometimes and bonus points and so on.)
Being a professional Customer Service Agent, I stood patiently and kind of chuckled inside. I think my profession has made me more tolerant and patient than the average person about these things. I work with this kind of person ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Good thing because when it was my turn at the cash register, I had to go through some of the same things.
My Purchase came to about 44$ She asked if I were in the "rewards program" I told her I was. I gave her my ph# and she couldn't find me in the system. I gave her a new my cell # and it wasnt on that either. I gave her and old # and it was there. I asked her if she could change the ph# to my cell phone because I had requested it be connected with the cell # on a previous visit. She mentioned it takes a couple weeks for the change. I mentioned the change was requested over a year ago. She took down the info.
"Would you like to use your reward points?" She asked.
"How many do I have?" I asked.
"You have $41 in reward points. You can use them on this purchase or continue to build them up."
Since Im in a situation where I need to be saving $$ these next few months I told her I would like to use them. She recalculated my order and
"your purchase comes to $3.99"
"wow you all are breaking me!"
I smiled and reached in my pocket for my bank card.

I pulled it out and went to swipe it, only to recognize it was my aaa insurance card.
"AUGH! I am SO sorry, I'll need to run out to the parking lot and get my other card."

The guy waiting behind me said, "or you can just let me go first and use my rewards points toward your purchase."
I thanked him and allowed him to go first while I ran out to my car to get my bank card. When I returned they were still ringing up the Gentleman's purchase. He and his friends were in SLC visiting from the UK. As they rang up his purchase He and his friend began talking about what a wonderful time they had in SLC.
The Cashier gave the gentleman his total, and after paying for it, he said... "I'd like to give her (pointing to me) the balance of my reward points!" I smiled and thanked him. The guy behind me said... "now do you all know each other or did you just meet?"
I looked at him and said... "oh we've known each other for YEARS!" The gentleman
who gifted me the points winked at the guy behind us and said.. "But don't tell my wife!" and his friend commented "what happens in SLC stays in Salt Lake City." The 3 of us laughed and the guy behind us looked confused which made us laugh even more. I then explained to the guy behind us... " He's my brother. We're ALL brothers and sisters right?" He smiled nervously... but I think he was beginning to catch on.
I thanked the other Gentleman again as he and his friend walked out of the store and turned my attention back to the Cashier.

The cashier looks at me and said....
" Ok so you now have $59 in reward points and that means you own nothing. So here's your receipt and have a good night!" I looked at her a little shocked. Not only was my purchase "free" because I had been saving my credit, I had accumulated an extra $14 for my next purchase or to save until I wanted to spend them.
I picked up my purchase, Smiled at the man behind me,looked back at the cashier and said... " I'd like to give the balance of my credit points... to my brother right here!" Patted the shoulder of the guy behind me, winked, and headed out of the store.
I turned around looked and the guy behind me who now had a look of confusion on his face yelled 'Have a great night!" and headed home.

I'm not sure about your all, but for whatever reason, I am gifted many things. I'm very blessed. Things like this happen to me on a regular basis. When I mean regular it's almost as if I expect the blessings. What I love MOST about receiving a blessing, is the look on the faces of those I am fortunate enough to pass blessings to. That show 20 minute exchange in the Store made my whole day. And it was already a great day anyway.
I love these examples of how simple acts of kindness and enrich the lives of others. This testifies to me that where much is given, much is required, and to share blessings with others brings more to yourself.
I believe the Lord continues to give to those who will share and give to others.

Think about that next time you are blessed. I must confess when the movie "Pay It Forward" came out and people were raving about it, I was one who was saying... "whats the big deal, my family does that kind of thing on a regular basis." Then it occurred to me that the majority of that the world doesn't think or act that way.
Love is Reciprocal. Love between ourselves and God, Love between ourselves and a family & friends, love of all mankind.
It's that love of all mankind we forget about. And if we look at what mankind has evolved to, we see the lack of love for one another.

What would you have done in my situation last night? Would you have kept the reward for yourself or shared it?

After all, we're ALL brothers and sisters, right?

Monday, September 14, 2009


***get the picture???***
(NOW! I've worthwhile things to think about)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

An FYI To My Typical Mormon Brothers & Sisters:

Now that I have your attention, let me just share a few things with you that you may not understand.
Black folks talk to God. Oh I know we all do, I believe, for the most part, we all call it prayer. We talk to him through prayer.

BUT... we also talk to him out loud. We have conversations with him. We express feelings to him. We please with him. And yes, sometimes we even debate with him. It's not weird to us to speak his name out loud and communicate with him as if he is right next to us. We do it while shopping, exercising, crying, laughing, doing laundry, cooking... you name it... we talk to him whenever we feel the need. Maybe it's a cultural thing?
Our mama's do it. Our Grandmama's and Great-grandmama's did it. They did it in the Cotton and tobacco fields. They did it in the Massa's house. They did it behind is back and under his roof and out loud and in their own homes. If I'm to believe he is with me always, why wouldn't I audibly burst out in conversation with someone who is with me?
I bring this up because it is not strange for me to start a conversation with "I was chatting with God the other day about so-and-so, and he told me...."

Or.... "I was about to do such-and-such, but God told me to close my mouth, sit down and be still instead..."

I have seen the raised eyebrows and questionable looks. I don't mind them because I know the heavens are opened. I know the Lord communicates through his Son, Jesus Christ, through his prophets and apostles, and through us, his children. I can feel his spirit with me so distinctly when that communication comes from the Lord. And it NEVER fails me. There have been times it has saved my life and the lives of those around me. I have learned not to question it and to obey it. Sometimes it is an Audible voice. So much so that I will turn and see who is speaking to me. Other times it is a thought, impression or feeling from within that leaves me no doubt or fear and an urgency to heed it's command.

What I have learned from talking to the Lord is that he wants me to communicate back. When I don't understand, I ask questions. Sometimes I joke and laugh. I figure he's given me my personality, he knows me, he expects me to be me. I also realized that my communication with him is for MY sake, not his. I have an obligation to come to him, confront him, ask for clerification and understanding. He knows when I am ready, willing and able to seek out his will. However how vain would it be for me to expect HIM to come to ME and grant me knowledge and understanding.

It disturbs me when I hear people say.... "Well God hasn't revealed to me any such things" My first response is.... "Well have you asked of him??" Someone once had the arrogance to say... "well he's revealed so many other things to me I'm SURE he would have let that be known if it were true." You go right on ahead and think that. We have an obligation to COME UNTO JESUS.
In past postings I've done this. I used to have a little sign on my bedroom door:

(Ask. Seek. Know)

How arrogant and selfish of us who expect knowledge to be dropped upon us without seeking out the answers for ourselves. The Lord knows us well. We do not speak to him for his benefit. We do not sit on our skimpy knowledge of him, the world and heaven and expect to know All there is to know of him just through reading the scriptures. Our journey as mortal beings is a life long education. The scriptures are our text book. I have been to many educational classes in which the textbook was given out for instruction. However, it is when I indulge in the lecture from the professors where I get the deepest understanding, those intricate details, and a deeper more clear meaning and knowledge.

I believe the Lord expects us to ask questions. I believe he expects us to speak to him formally and non-formally. If I am to believe he is my father, which he is, should I not be expected to speak to him as such. Just to be clear, I do believe in formal, proper prayer. I also believe there are times when the conversation comes out how it comes out and it is just as valid.
As I sat listening to my grandmother talking when I was in wasn't just jibberish. Everyone once again she would say... "Lord, have mercy on me." Some people would say this was using the Lord's name in vain. I have heard many times... " Oh, my God." I have seen the circumstances in which the phrase was used. Many times it was a plea for patience, help, security, strength. There may not have been a folding of arms or a kneeling but it was indeed a communication with the Lord.
There have been times when it's used as an expression and not a communication. This is what I believe to be in vain. I guess intent is how it's defined. And sometimes we are BAD at defining intent.

So if you see me walking down the street or sitting alone talking and you don't see anyone around me. TRUST ME, SOMEONE IS THERE!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Family Reunion II: The Time Spent Together is What Matters Most!

You know that commercial we have.... "FAMILY. It's about...TIME!"
Family really is about making the time to be together. I think I mentioned in the earlier post that my Grandma is bed ridden. I think it's been of April. I couldn't believe it because when I was back home back in August she was up and about. She had some dementia and wasn't really sure who everyone was but health wise, she was strong and functioned ok. She did need supervision. So when I heard she was bed riddin I was shocked to say the least. My Uncle lives with her and takes care of her. He's with her pretty much 24/7. It must be hard on him because he gets very relief of getting out of the house.
My Grandma has 5 kids. all live within a 20 min radius. 3 live within a 3-5 mile radius. With too busy lives it appears she's not getting the loving care she could and should be getting from family. This breaks my heart. 1 mama can take care of 5 kids, yet 5 kids struggle to take care of 1 mama. Oh I have huge feelings of guilt living here in Utah while they're in Michigan. I have 2 cousins who go an visit and help now and then,when they can. For the most a whole, WE the family could be doing better.
I feel for my Uncle. His life is basically keeping track of and making sure Grandma is taken care of. I think Grandma knows and recognizes him best. He's got health issues of his own but for the most part I think being cooped up and not having decent conversation is what puts a toll on him.

My sister and I sent alot of time with Grandma. While we were there we fed her, changed her, dressed her bed sores and just spent time talking to her and listening to her talk. Grandma still has alot to say. Some of it... is just talk. Alot of on point. Most of it... HILARIOUS. I was able to get some video of her in her new state.
I appreciate the fact that she talks about the man standing in her room that the rest of us can't see. We're pretty sure it'a "Papa" her husband. He's been gone 35 years. A couple years ago she kept saying her Mama and Daddy were coming to get her. The next day her sister passed away. I have no doubts that she saw them coming. It just wasn't time for them to come and get her. I like that she knows her mama and daddy will be coming for her and she can see glimpses of them. There's been a couple times she would burst out in song. I've never heard my Grandma sing before. this summer and she filled the room with a rich soulful old school gospel melody. The hospital bed she's resigned to lifts and lowers and so do the head and feet. Each time they adjust the bed she's fearful she will fall out so she grabs onto the bars.
The ole girl is STRONG. S.T.R.O.N.G. Sometimes taking 2 of us to pry her hands loose from the bars so we can turn her over. And she is quick. Some of my favorite moments were her telling my sister to get out of her face, or threaten to break her arm or to leave her alone. AWESOME! My sister is a hospice care aide so she took care of alot of her hospice needs while we were there. It was very educational.

I relearned my education about how important it is to have family and be close to family. So much so that I'm seriously thinking of moving back home so I can enjoy them more than every other - every 5 or so years. I really enjoyed my time at home.
I think the most fun I had besides the reunion was hanging out with my Uncle. We really game him a bad rap back in the day. But he's turned out to be the man to step up. We took him with us all over so he could get out of the house. Sunday the night before we left he took my sister, cousin and myself to the cemetery so we can visit Papa's grave as well as some other family members. I think the best time I had was just before we were leaving for the night to head back to the hotel to get ready for our flight home... we did some last minute souvenir shopping. I had my sister go to the Local convenient gas station and stepped inside. I said a little prayer:

"Forgive me Lord for what I'm about to do."
And purchased $30 in instant lotto tickets! I took them back to the house and said... "Ok... we're all gonna split whatever we win." I knew my mom would not approve but being a grown woman she believes in agency. So I was shocked when she used her agency to play as well!
(Now Im not advocating gambling in the least bit. My immediate family are LDS so the cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents and so forth are not. This was something they did quite often. I don't intend on it being a habit it was just one last bonding moment with our uncle.)

So the 4 of us sat in Grandma's living room floor and scratched off 30 lotto tickets. I think we won about $51.00. So we split that 4 ways. Most of the fun was trying to figure them out. It's not so easy as just scratch and win, there are rules and directions and instructions and such. WE needed a lotto tutor. Figuring them out was more fun than winning. We split the $$ 4 ways!!!

I didn't realize how much I miss the family. I intend on staying in touch with as many of them as I can. And I plan on being at the New York reunion in 2 years and every reunion after.

Family! It IS about TIME.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Welcome to Soul Food Sunday!

(This was from Soul Food Sunday back in April)

It's the first Sunday of the month. In Mormonville across the world it's known as fast Sunday. Fasting is where we sacrifice 2 meals, and don't eat for 24 hours. The money you would have spent on that meal is turned into the church to help those members of the church who are struggling. We also dedicate this time of sacrifice for fervent prayer and meditation to the Lord for special needs we are seeking to have resolved in our lives. It is the one time each month we are asked to have a personal sacrifice for a spiritual blessing. I like to think of it in terms of this....The Lord gives us 7 days. He asks us to put everything aside, worship and remember him and rejuvenate our spirits 1 day out of 7. We usually have 4 Sundays a month. 1 out of 4 of those we are asked to sacrifice and give to the poor. Those are not HUGE sacrifices asked of us. Imagine what the world would be like if it followed this pattern on a regular basis. It's not secret that our Church has one of the best Welfare systems in the world, it's why the Government is constantly taking our state leaders for their cabinets. And there is a stream of city and state governments in and out of Utah looking at how the church sets up it's welfare programs.... How can a church be shipping supplies, foods, clothes etc to disaster victims across the world within 24-48 hours where it takes Red Cross and other national organizations 5-7 days? The system works. It's not based on greed or getting what you can just because you can. It is based on need. You get what you need so others may do the same and you contribute back always.

Another reason Fast Sundays are a big deal is because we go to church for 3 hours.
That's right T H R E E H O U R S! So after fasting for 24 hours and then a 3 hour block of church... U. R HUNGRY!

I'm pretty sure most of Utah Mormonville is having a dinner of Roast beef, funeral potatoes, green be ens, rolls and jello... My house hold is having black food. Not burnt...although that happens sometimes... but soul food. Soul Food Sunday!
I listen to some of the messages from the Black Churches on B.E.T! I put on the Gospel Music XM station and invite The Winans, The Crouches, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin, Mahalia Jackson and many others to enter and fellowship with Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Saints Voices Unified and a few other LDS Artist.

Dinner will typically be BBQ, Beans and Rice, Fried Chicken or Fish, Greens... NO NOT SALAD GREENS, but collards and mustards and turnip greens. Mac n Cheese or Cheesy grits are regular on the menu. And for sure Cornbread. And we can't forget the Red or Grape kool-ade with way too much sugar and a splash of lemon juice.
Totally makes starving for 24 hours and trying to stay awake for while members step up to the mic and testify of the Lord and the truthfulness of his Gospel that much more worth it!
Now I know some of you are thinking Soul food Sunday sounds like a heart attack on a plate! It certainly would be if this was an everyday menu. These are items I do have through out the month here and there, but not like the indulgence of Soul Food Sunday.
I live in a state where only 5-7% of it is Minority. The rest is pretty Homogenized. When my sister and I moved here we decided to be "pioneers." This place will never learn how to culturally diversify if people of culture and diversity keep leaving. I love that we stayed. I love that sometimes all eyes are on me, because then I can "do my thang." I like breaking the stereotypes and educating people about the black culture and the black history of the United States and even the black history of the church that SO MANY folks are oblivious to. Soul Food Sunday means more to me than Grandma's cooking and a full belly. It's an continuous educational experience for myself and my daughter and it keeps me connected to my family that I'm so far away from. Teaches her how to do the old school cooking and she gets a taste of how things would be if she visited Grandma's house or Aunty's house. I like when I came home from Church today that the house smelled like Grandma's house... Greens and Red beans... mmm mmm mmm! I highly recommend everyone encorporating on a regular basis some sort of cultural event with your family each month. Even if it is just cooking foods from your native origins.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

FAMILY REUNION: Seeing variations of your face on the body of others!

A few days ago my sister I returned home from the family reunion on my Mother's side: Gamble/Bell/Tisdale Family reunion. We hold it every 2 years and the host city of the reunion changes. This year it was in Albion,MI. In 2011 it will be held in Rochester, NY. In the passed I've only attended when MI was the host state, because I grew up there and it was more convenient to just go home for it. My feelings of that pattern have changed. I am committed to go every 2 years where ever it is and will be setting up a Family reunion fund so I can better save up for it.

This year the family reunion was amazing. I connected with more folks and not just the cousin's aunts and uncles I grew up with. Maybe it's the realization that Ive only got one living grandparent who is waiting to "go home" as she puts it. Anyway the desire to connect has become overwhelmingly strong.
Our Religion stresses the importance of being connected as a family unit through genealogy so of course I've had a portion of the family tree already set up. There's the Family Search website to help us stay connected but that can be somewhat confusing.
At the reunion it was suggested we go to . I checked it out and it's a fairly simple program to set up and my mother's side of the family is pretty much established there. I like it.

One of the best parts of a family reunion is seeing so many variations of your own face on the bodies of others! My cousins claim I'm my Grandma's twin. I know I look somewhat like her but I don't think I realized how much until this reunion. Apparently there are VERY strong Resemblances between the "mamas" in my family.
I look exactly like my mom who looks like her mom who looks like her mom. Did you catch that? I also favor and was mistaken for a certain cousin of mine as well. I love it! I'm thinking of getting a tatoo: "If lost, please return to Albion, MI they will know exactly where and with whom I belong!" They might not remember my name but they know I'm Dolores' Daughter, Evelyn's Grand-daughter and Nora's cousin.
I like how the family reunion on this side of the family is set up: The first day is registration where you pay the family dues if you haven't already, and make sure your immediate family's tree is in order. Then you get your itinerary, maps, goodies and Family t-shirt. Then there's bbq with hot dogs, burgers for those who have traveled far. Afterwards folks check into their hotels and relax. In the evening there's the traditional fish fry & pool party.

We also hold the first family prayer:

Day 2 is when we wear our family t-shirts. We take a huge family picture with everyone:

*This is a small portion of the family lining up for the pic.
We hand another huge bbq and went to a park with paddle boats, Kayaking, putt putt golfing and other games. I think my favorite part was playing bing with 2 of my cousins. We each one at least once time.

That evening is the big banquet where we have a catered meal and a Family Unity program: There were words of inspiration, A couple of Unity ceremonies where the oldest members of our 3 family branches each light a separate candle. And after the Unity Prayer 3 different members of each branch take the separate candles and light the 1 big Unity/Family Candle.
There's also the family cake with the 3 family names on it. 1 member from each branch help cut the cake... sort of in the fashion of the wedding couple, except there being 3 people. I participated in both the candle and the cake ceremony.

There's also a talent show. This is also where the family takes a vote as to what city will host the Family reunion next. This year, Salt Lake City was added to the list of Host Cities. My sister and I are the only one's here but if family is willing to come we're willing to host. We are also now on the Hosting committee as reps for our family in this state, keeping everyone updated and making sure dues are being sent in on time. I'm excited. Hopefully in a few year the economy will be such that the family can afford to travel way out west. We're ready for them!

The final day we all gather together and go to church. All the different denominations we are gather in one play and praise the Lord as a family. I LOVE THIS PART OF IT. Because it really does bring home the meaning of family. Being able to put differences aside and gather together is what family... and the Love of God is all about.
I feel sorry for family members who aren't able to do that. Who hold such grudges and turn away. I feel for their inability to love unconditionally. I feel for those family members they missing out on each other. Who make excuses for not sharing in the caring of one another because of whatever justification. I love them. But sometimes attitudes make it hard to miss them. I hope one day they recognize what the Love of Family and God really mean and have a desire to participate.

After church services there was the closing luncheon where we all say our goodbyes to the family who traveled so far away. I met ALOT of new family this year and I'm excited to be in touch with them. I'm excited to be part of the generation who will be heading up the reunion and I'm excited to try and pass on that responsibility to younger members of my family.

After the out of town family left, my sister, uncle, and 2 cousins went to the cemetery to see our Papa! Papa would be my mother's father. He passed away when I was 7 years old. Don't make the mistake of thinking I don't remember him! I feel for the cousins who never had the chance to know him in this life. He and his brothers passed on a heritage that I am very proud to be part of. I gained a new respect for it this year and will always try to bring honor to his name.

I realize part of that honor comes with helping to taking care of his wife, my grandma. She is now bedridden. It's apparent that not too many family members spend much time with her. Her memory is shot and she sees people in the room we can't see and it's hard to understand her.... IF YOU DON'T LISTEN! Which is the key. Her moments of clarity are brilliant. I got some video footage of her and lots of pics.
Some of my family call me her twin.

I kicked my leg up and she said... "girl gimme that leg!" lol

It was a great time! I'm anxious for the next reunion. I'll leave you with more family pics!
In the mean your family, forgive them, gather together often and BE FABULOUS!


My Mama's senior Picture

My Grandma

My Great-Grandma

That's 4 Generations of the same nose!

The Old Folk watching over the festivities!

Cousins of mine, siblings of each other!

Babies cousins born 2 weeks a part!

My handsome Cousin James Jr.

SISTERS! My mother and her sister with my sister and I behind them

Monday, May 25, 2009

Really Remembering Memorial Day

In the Herriman,UT Cemetery there are 2 generic graves. One is labeled "Indian woman" and the other "Negro Woman." No name, No dates. Just a simply concrete slab depicting their gender and race. Just like every other resting place in that cemetery I don't know who they are, how they lived or how they died so why should I care. I wonder if they lived as anonymously as they died? Did they belong to someone? Servant? Slave? Mother? Sister? Wife? Niece? Obviously daughters. Were they victims of crime? War? Or did they slip out of this life peacefully... or alone?

I'm not sure why it has effected me so. I do have a friend who has a child buried in there, with name, date and usual information. When we visit that resting place we also visit the other two. I guess we've sort of Adopted them. Although today was an easy day to remember them... Today was NOT their day.
This may sound cold and mean hearted. There are 364 days to remember them. However today is Memorial Day.

There's a strange thing that goes on in Utah on Memorial Day. I've never seen it done in other states that I've lived so if it happens where you are let me know.

I recognized one memorial day my step mother getting loads and loads of flower bouquets. I was thinking "how many vet's does she know?" Well it turns out that she was getting bouquet for everyone in the family that passed way. So I guess memorial day for them is in memory of everyone.

I'm not sure if I like or agree with it. On the other hand I guess if you don't feel like paying respect on birthdays, special occasions, other holidays, anniversaries or just because... at least they're visited on 1 day of the year.

Growing up in Michigan Memorial Day was a military holiday. I think I like it that day. Was is not first recognized as a National Day of mourning for those who served our country and paid the ultimate cost for our freedom?

It feels as if this day is just an excuse to pay guilty respects to passed on family members who may be mostly neglected during the year, a free day off work, a reason to picnic and party and the kick off of the summer season. We do all these thing in the name of "tradition" however very few of us recognize how the tradition began.
A little History if you will:

The first memorial day was observed on May 1, 1865 by liberated slaves at the Washington Race Course (today the location of Hampton Park) in Charleston, South Carolina. The site had been used as a temporary Confederate prison camp as well as a mass grave for Union soldiers who died in captivity. The freed slaves disinterred the dead Union soldiers from the mass grave to be inhumed properly reposed with individual graves, built a fence around the graveyard with an entry arch, declaring it a Union graveyard. On May 30, 1868, the freed slaves returned to the graveyard with flowers they had picked from the countryside and decorated the individual gravesites, thereby creating the first Decoration Day. Thousands of freed blacks and Union soldiers paraded from the area, followed by much patriotic singing and a picnic.*

Memorial Day was first called Decoration day. Created by freed blacks & Union Soldiers. In honor of soldier who died for their freedom.

These slaves were set free and upon recognizing the soldiers in a mass grave, they extracted then one by one, respectfully & properly created individual graves for each soldier. Then build a fence around them and an entry arch and created a hollowed place of rest.

They were slaves who could have ran like the wind in fear of being recaptured, beaten or killed. They could have rejoiced in their freedom and been on their merry way. I am impressed at the act of service, love and care they had for those they probably didn't even know. I'm sure it took them a couple years to complete the task, putting their lives on hold to insure a final resting place for those who gave their own life.
This is one of many stories about the first Decoration/Memorial day. The South has their own version. The Government have their own version. Everyone has their own version. Is it any surprise I like this version?

I dare say we've gotten away from knowing the true meaning of Memorial day and I find I'm not alone in this. What I remember most about Memorial day growing up was it was always the first thing we really did as a family after the last day of school. We got dressed, went to the parade. There were lots of soldiers, tanks, military vehicles, flags and bands playing all the patriotic songs and themes of the military. And then we would head over to Bailey park with the family and have a picnic and hear the adults talk about their time in the military. For the most part, we were dressed in Red, white and blue. It think I enjoyed it more as a child. I can remember the park on Van Buren and Washington Ave where the Dairy Queen used to be was planted with red poppies, and some other red, white and blue flowers. I don't believe that poppies or the understanding of poppies are even observed anymore.

Red Poppies for Memorial Day:
"In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it."**

I remember the Poppy Postage stamps always used to surface around this time of year. Where are they now?

"Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country...To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps."

The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country."***

I hope those who read this will take it upon themselves to reinstate and educate the true meaning of Memorial Day.

And to those how are still Confused, here is a little Reminder:

Memorial Day: The day you honor and pay respects to all of the fallen soldiers, who died in service of their country.

Armed Forces Day When U.S citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.

Flag Day The day you show respect and honor for the meaning of the stars and stripes by displaying it.

Independence Day The day we celebrate the history, government, and traditions of the United States.

National POW/MIA Recognition Day
National Recognition and memorial for those who are and were Prisoners of war or missing in action.

Veterans Day Honoring American Veterans of all Wars.

Now there are a slew of less known uncelebrated holiday in between such at the birth dates of each military branches and days for military mothers and families.

For the record, were I in charge of this great nation, I would try and instate free medical, clothing, housing, food and education for life for anyone who honorably served in the military for a decent amount of time. I think one of the disgraces of this country is the degradation and dishonor our country has shown those who served in the military. For a people who served our country with their lives, how well are we serving their lives as a country? Many of our Vets are homeless, jobless, have mental health issues, can't provide for themselves or their families. We ought to do a better job at sustaining and more permanent decent way of life for them.

*that's just me* DO YOU HEAR ME OBAMA??? (this is not the opportunity to start baggin on our new president either... remember he's inherited this mess of a country and is already being blamed for it)

Let us always have the desire to look for the true meaning and learn of those things we are privileged to take part of.

(* resource: "history")

( **, *** resources:

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What A Friend I Have In....?

If you know the worlds to the song, It's "What A Friend I Have I Jesus!"
I've been thinking about the meaning of friends and friendship. This last year I've dropped a lot of folks who were under the "friend" title that I really didn't care to have there any longer. At a very young age my siblings and I were taught how to be unselfish and learn to serve the community and others. The good part is we enjoy doing things for others. The bad part is, sometimes we do what we should for ourselves because we're do so much for others. I believe I have found the balance. I will no longer do more for someone than they're willing to do for themselves. When service becomes a "cumbered" service, I'm done serving. When I start to feel resentment and can no longer give with the spirit of Christ, I'm done. There are several things that bring about this personal balance.
Over the last 10 months I hit the emotional/mental rock bottom. I believe, had I not fulfilled my spiritual self I would have come out so strongly. I cannot stress how important it is to nourish your spirit and soul with the Words of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ on a regular basis. You NEVER know when your testimony is all you have to keep you looking forward each day. I not only had to depend on my Heavenly Father heavily to know and provide for my needs, I have to rely heavily on family and friends to provide for my needs as well. I was put in a position where I had to forget about those around me and focus on my 100%.

Each of us are a bit selfish from time to time. However when I say I had to focus on me 100% I mean, in a way very few can possibly imagine, that I didn't know what day it was on a regular basis. Even now, when I start to stressed or overwhelmed, my memory and recall time will basically start to fail me. It's like speaking to someone with Dementia, they will ask the same questions over within a matter of 10 minutes. The other day I went to go to bed and my sister asked me if I was done looking in the fridge.
I asked her
"was I just in the fridge?"
"Yes" she said...
"Foreal?" I asked

"Uh-huh, you left the door open" she said.
"oh! what was I lookin for?" I asked?

" Ummm.... I don't know. But If you're done I'll close it."
"I think I'm done Since I don't even remember being in it."

Apparently I've left the front door open when I've gone Upstairs for a 2 hour nap
I paid the heating bill 3 times and forgot to pay the electric bill which almost got cut off.
I've double the payment on the phone bill.
I left the stove on for 2 hours, but forgot to cook what I turned it on for.

I welcomed my friend to my new home. He had been here before. It was about 4 days after i got blind sided with PTSD. Which was in June. I welcomed him in October.

I would cook huge meals in the middle of the night because when I get frustrated or anxious or upset, I cook. And then put all the food away.

There were days when my goal for the day was to get out of bed and get dressed.
Eat 2 meals for the day even if I weren't hungry
Answer the phone and doorbell when it rang.
remember which day of the week it is.

This last Saturday I lost 4 lbs of brown sugar. Bills I thought were paid off aren't. Some bills are caught up for the next 3 months. Not sure but I think there's a couple things in collection. I'm sure they'll be calling soon to remind me.

I've seen pictures of me from summer of 2008 and have no Idea where we were and what we did. But I looked like I was having a fabulous time in most of them.
I can remember about 5-7 days of my whole summer.
I can remember bursting out crying when I tried to explain the situation and hyper-ventilating into hysteria, and then falling asleep for 3-4 hours afterward simply by trauma exhaustion. I remember waking up in hysterics and crying.
I remember sleeping with all 7 of my raggedy ann and andy dolls and holding them close to me for comfort and protection.

I have a TON of self portrait from my cell phone. And I look like a different person in all of them. It was almost like you could see what my spirit and mind was purging me off.

Any Ideah what it's like to wake up in the middle of the night with a knee brace and forget why you even have the darn thing and what happened?? (slid down some stairs like I was sliding into a baseball base and landed with one leg in front and one folded behind in a "hurdle" position.)*ouch*

People wanted to me teach their lessons for them or pick up a child from school or make a dish for a funeral make phone calls for this or that. People wanted me to help chaperon this function or serve at that function or help set up and take down chairs and decorations.
I would turn them down. For the most part I didn't want ANYONE in my personal space. I didn't want anyone near me, or talking to me or even approaching me.
I have never known my self esteem to be this low as an adult.
I remember 1 day while visiting a friends in Michigan I put a couple of things in the wrong place after cleaning their kitchen and got scolded for "changing their life" or some weird thing.

What I remember most about my trip to Michigan was how I felt, not particularly what I did while there. I think we ended up on a cruise to Canada for a day. I remember feeling secluded from friends and family and in the way and unsupported most of the time. I"m not sure now, if it were wise for me to have gone in that condition. My self esteem was at it's lowest point and I felt it sinking lower. There were some fun things I remember about my trip there, but for the most part...i probably should not have gone.

Anyway my point is this: There were literally times when I didn't know what day it was, where I was at or what was truly going on around me. I was faced with letting people know I just couldn't do whatever they were or were going to ask of me. I just wasn't going to happen because I had to focus on me and getting better.

Throughout all this process I feel as if the Lord opened my eyes to a few things. I began to see in some of my friends what came across to me as extreme selfishness. I began to recognize who will take (even from a weak person) and who will give back to edify. I began to recognize drama... who causes and creates it and who keeps it going. I began to recognize friends who manipulate, lie, cheat, justify, hold double standards and have no desire to recognize their own shortcoming while pointing out yours. I recognized who asks for help or advise on how to make things better, and then get offended or defensive when that question is answered. I recognized who keeps their word and who only speaks their words.
I pretty much knew these things for the most part and overlooked much of it. During my journey through all of this, I gained a huge disliking for these things and those who practiced and lived their lives with these things included. I learned to take myself from the drama. I learned to tell people my needs while also helping them with their own.
As I gained knowledge about all these things the most wonderful started to happen: I lost a desire for the company of these people. Not having them around anymore made room for people who truly care. People who value friendship. People who know how to give as well as receive. People who are able to look inside themselves and see where they may have been wrong, and can evaluate the weight of it and make adjustments where needed. People who I now believe are more like myself and who I want to become.

As a child we are under the impression that a friend is someone who stands by us, supports us as and helps us no matter what. This is only partially true as adults.

Age and wisdom has taught me that I do not wish to have friends who support me and justify my wrong doings. I do not need people to be by my side in my desire to do the wrong things. This is what I would have expected in 6th grade, 8th grade 10th grade.

As I try to grow closer to my Father in Heaven, I don't NEED friends who are going to help me get in trouble, disrespect myself by disrespecting others. I can do bad all by myself. True friends... REAL friends will call you on your crap. Real friends are in your face letting you know when you are out of line. They're not afraid to speak their opinion because they know you truly value and respect it. And you would not be afraid to speak your to them because you value and respect what they have to say. They are slow to jump on the defensive. When someone is quick to jump on the defensive or justify, they have failed to take the info given to them evaluate, internalize and see where it can apply. I have learned that true friends are not reactive, they are proactive. There's not a need to run to and fro and take surveys from everyone around them to prove if your comment is true or untrue. We know ourselves better than anyone else knows us. And we know when we need reinforcements to Justify and we know when should go within ourselves... have that come to Jesus meeting and improve.

I've been running around and dealing with "Justifiers" for a while. Let me take this opportunity to say to them.... I really didn't believe you anyway so no need to try and explain. The fact that they try to explain in the first place is more proof of a guilty conscience to me. Normally I will stop and evaluate (try to discern) the true meaning or intent. If I need clarification I'll ask.

I feel I've been very blessed this last year to go through all that I have. In my days of laying on the couch wondering when I would get back to 100% I never once felt resigned to the condition I was in. I never felt as if I would be weak, forgetful, "loopy" and confused for the rest of my life. I never felt alone or abandoned. I never felt revenge or "why me." I felt since I gonna be going through it to just do what ever was needed to get better. I always felt.. "This too shall pass." Because "It came to pass" it doesn't come to stay. My memory may never be the way it was. I may always suffer nausea in certain situations that make me nervous. I might be another 5 years before I can comfortably go out in public and not feel anxious or nervous about certain social Situation or people too close into my personal space w/o being invited. But I know that I am surrounded by family and GOOD friends. I know that I am well taken care of and should anything more happen to me, I WILL be well taken care of. I am in good company of those who take AND give just as much. I am surrounded by those who do not and will not take advantage of what I have to offer selfishly. I know that those who I NOW call friends, I can come to them in any condition and be safe physically, mentally and spiritually. My name is safe in their mouths. My character is safe in their mouths. My life is safe in their hands. And theirs in mine.

This knowledge and peace makes my life fulfilling. I do not miss those who have been left behind. In doing so I have freed up extra time. I have less drama. No more emergencies that need my being taken care of. I have less stress. I have more time for me and my family. I am happier. I have never felt such peace and joy.

I am so grateful for My neighbors, family, neighborhood, old and new coworkers, former and current bishops, Michelle @ LDS Family Services who guided me and helped me work it all out.
I'm grateful for a Father In Heaven who knows EXACTLY what each of us need to go through to over come our weaknesses and gain strength and experience for each phase of life we will go through. I'm grateful for his timing in know WHEN we need to move forward instead of staying put and floating around w/o the progression we all need.

I'm Grateful for Jesus Christ. For his willingness to go through the pains of my last 10 months Long before I or even my parents and grandparents were born. I'm grateful he sent to me the comfort and protection I needed in my many many moments of weakness. WHAT A FRIEND I HAVE IN JESUS!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

For God So Loved The World...


"The Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless. The Apostle Paul said, "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and [our] faith is also vain."

In all the history of the world there have been many great and wise souls, many of whom claimed special knowledge of God. But when the Savior rose from the tomb, He did something no one had ever done. He did something no one else could do. He broke the bonds of death, not only for Himself but for all who have ever lived—the just and the unjust.

When Christ rose from the grave, becoming the firstfruits of the Resurrection, He made that gift available to all. And with that sublime act, He softened the devastating, consuming sorrow that gnaws at the souls of those who have lost precious loved ones.

I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross.

On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth.

Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant.

On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain.

Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were both overcome with grief and despair. The superb man they had loved and honored hung lifeless upon the cross.

On that Friday the Apostles were devastated. Jesus, their Savior—the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was Himself at the mercy of wicked men. They watched helplessly as He was overcome by His enemies.

On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled.

It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.

I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world's history, that Friday was the darkest.

But the doom of that day did not endure.

The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.

And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.

Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.

No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.

I testify to you that the Resurrection is not a fable. We have the personal testimonies of those who saw Him. Thousands in the Old and New Worlds witnessed the risen Savior. They felt the wounds in His hands, feet, and side. They shed tears of unrestrained joy as they embraced Him.

After the Resurrection, the disciples became renewed. They traveled throughout the world proclaiming the glorious news of the gospel.

Had they chosen, they could have disappeared and returned to their former lives and occupations. In time, their association with Him would have been forgotten.

They could have denied the divinity of Christ. Yet they did not. In the face of danger, ridicule, and threat of death, they entered palaces, temples, and synagogues boldly proclaiming Jesus the Christ, the resurrected Son of the living God.

Many of them offered as a final testimony their own precious lives. They died as martyrs, the testimony of the risen Christ on their lips as they perished.

The Resurrection transformed the lives of those who witnessed it. Should it not transform ours?"

The Resurrection transformed the lives of those who witnessed it. Should it not transform ours?

Should we believers of God and followers of Christ be the first to "Stand as Witnesses of God AT ALL TIMES and IN ALL THINGS and IN ALL places?"

Our belief and love of God our Father and in our Savior Jesus Christ should be reflected in our speech, actions and associations. There should not be one part of our lives that doesn't reflect our belief in them. Each thing we acquire should be humbly accepted with thanks and gratitude to them. We should seek to build up their kingdom and honor them each day and not only when it is convenient in times of trouble, sorrow and desolation.
And those who don' know them should feel as if they do BECAUSE they know us.

As we reflect upon the life...

....and Death of Jesus Christ let us know within the vast reaches of our hearts and minds that Jesus has suffered the betrayal, loneliness, deciet, manipulation,lies, heartache, and every other pain and injustice known to all mankind, such was the love he had for us. As we rise up on easter morning and face whatever our lives decisions have brought before us let us not remember the misconception that is was nails that held Jesus on the cross. For it was his LOVE FOR US and the WILL OF GOD his father, nothing more, that held Jesus on the cross.

***The highlighted portion of this blog are the Words spoken by Elder Joseph B Wirthlin in the October 2006 General Conference Session. I couldn't think of a more suitable start for the next 3 days to begin to celebrate the Easter Holiday****

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Permission to be FABULOUS!


"Thank you for calling Consumer Choice! My name is Karyn, may I have your name and member ID# Please!" It is how I answer the phone 8 hours a day M-F. I happen to LOVE my new job and I love what I'm doing. So I answer the phone joyfully and enthusiastically.
"Hello Miss Karyn... My name is James Ross, how are you to day?"
"I'm FABULOUS, thank you! How about yourself?" was my response.
"FABULOUS?" he said?
"Yes, I am FABULOUS!"
"Really?" he responded? "HOW COME?" He sounded shocked and perplexed.
"Well, I woke up this morning, so that's a good start. And I had a job to come to."
He began to chuckle!
"And I have close on my back, a roof over my head..."
He interrupted... "and food in our fridge..AMEN?"
And I said... "AMEN!"
"WOW! Miss Karyn! Well talking to you has already made me feel good today"

"Then my job is partially done,"
I laughed

He said... "you ask most people how they doin and they say stuff like 'I'm a'ight' or 'good'. something like that. But are FABULOUS! And that just makes me feel soo good. Miss Karyn. I ain't never met anybody fabulous before, I like it!"

"Don't it feel good James?" I asked
"You know, it really really does! I think I'm gonna go out and be fabulous today too!" He laughed.

"You have permission to go be fabulous and make as many others as you possibly can fabulous too!" I told him with authority!

We never really did get down to the reason of why he called me that day and what he really wanted.
He SERIOUSLY could not get over the fact that I was fabulous and that he now felt fabulous. I mean he seriously could not get over. It was funny on my end I was seriously crackin up. I was laughing at the fact that he was so perplexed and then so over joyed about how good he was feeling about it.
He said it made his day. I know it made mine, my co-workers and I laughed about it all day.

That evening at dinner with my sister and some friends we were discussing our day. When it came my term I told them my days was FABULOUS! They wanted to know why so I told them my story and how my customer just couldn't get over the fact that he met someone fabulous today for the first time in his life and how he went on and on about it.

I kind of noticed the other tables looking at us because we were laughing and joking in our usual way.

Our waiter came buy to refill our water glasses, bumped into my shoulder and spilled a little on the table. It was no big deal. He apologized and then said... "I was trying to get some of that FABULOUS to rub off on me!" And we all started laughing.
Well the rest of dinner was absolutely Fabulous. Fabulous this and Fabulous that.

When the other members of the serving staff came to check on their tables you could hear "Fabulous" hear and there which would send everyone in the dining room into fits of laughter. I tell you... it was FABULOUS! I asked the waiter to box up the remainder of my dinner. He brought my left overs boxed and in a bag and we made sure and gave him a FABULOUS tip and we were on our way.

After dinner we went to a Grizzlies Ice hockey game. They lost but it was such a great time. Absolutely Fabulous!

At the end of the evening we all went home and put ourselves to rest from such a wonderful day. It's not that anything spectacular happened, just the typical everyday things. I simply woke up in a wonderful mood (as I seem to do daily) and for the most part decided to share my good mood with others. I WAS Fabulous!
And in doing so it gave everyone else around me to be FABULOUS!

If everyone decided to be Fabulous for the day, not matter what, think of what a day it would be? If folks decided not to let someone Else's bad mood or bad attitude effect how well we would do our jobs or decided our own mood, our days, jobs homes and all that is around us would be so much better. We would wake up excited to see what great things we could make happen out of another day the Lord has given us!

I've felt this way for about a month now and it really really works. I go to sleep excited to wake up and actually decide what kind of Fabulous I'll be for the day.
Sometimes I'm Ghetto Fabulous. Other times I'm Super Fabulous. Today was a fabulously funny day. This weekend I'm going to be redneckishly ghetto fabulous and check out a farmers auction. WHY? you may ask? Because I can and I've never been. Sounds like a fun thing to experience. Besides I got nothing else to do this weekend so why not?

I pulled out my leftovers from the restaurant the next day and smile at the thought of Mr James Ross literally trippin out because he'd never met anyone fabulous before.
As I pulled the box of food out of the restaurant bag Written on the top of the box were the following words: "Have a Wonderful night!" It was signed by "JAKE THE FABULOUS", our waiter. AWESOME!

Next week starting on March 30Th I'm starting a week of FAB-U-LUS! I'll be taking pics of what fabulous looks like as well. No matter what happens I'm going to react and respond FABULOUSLY! You have my permission to do the same. BE FABULOUS!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

¿ןɐǝɹ ʇ,usı ʎʇıןɐǝɹ ǝןqıssod ʇı sı

I'm reposting this from about 2 years ago because I've had many friends feel as if they are alone, lonely, without friends and neglected.

Does EVERYONE feel like this at times?

You feel like your life is a series of failed 2ND chances and unanswered questions. You didn't even know you used up your first chance, and were never told you had a 2ND chance.

How often do you look to your right and see an empty seat just to look to your left and stare in the face of it's identical twin? No one understands your anger, sadness and fears. Your mind is searching for reasons, grasping at straws, coming up with possible conclusions to determine or justify. The reality is:
You are Angry
You are Sad
You are Afraid.
Is it the crackling in your lungs that makes the Dr say..."that doesn't sound good, we need to schedule further testing?"
Is it the lump in your breast?
The knots in your stomach that keep you from eating?
Is it the sharp pulsating pain in your chest that doubles you over every few days and has you sleeping sitting up or
the heartache reminding you that their "A & B" list are filled, you might have spot on their "C" list?

You look into your mind and search for hope in those friendships where you thought you could find comfort, rest, love. They mean the world to you and you realize it is possible that you don't mean the world to them. You feel like you don't even come close anymore and there is no one close that cares enough.

When is a good time for anyone to travel into your reality?

Is your reality just as important as hers? She has no food, she hasn't eaten for 2 days. She has a sick baby and no car.
Is your reality just as important as his? His family is ill, He's preparing for the worse. He lost his job and is having a hard time paying bills.

Your reality IS as important as hers and his, just not to her or him. OR, maybe it is just as important to her and him, but you're strong, you've always been able to handle things well. What could they possibly do to help you?
It's not a competition. So you push your reality aside.

What's it to you to travel a couple of hours and stock her shelves with food? Or make a Dr appointment for her baby and take her to that appointment?

What's it to you to try and be a listening ear or voice of support no matter what time of day or night? Or give him job leads?

You laugh when they laugh, you cry when they cry, not only that you cry for them and about them. You are even there when you don't know what to say or they don't know if they need you to be there.
You can't help it, it's your "calling" to be "that" friend:

You always travel outside of your own and venture into those realities around you, picking up hammers to help build. Laying down blankets to cover the cold. Going above and beyond what is expected and doing what you know and feel to do just to hear a laugh or bring a smile. You do this because the one thing worse than your own sadness is to witness the sadness of those you care about. Seeing them that way breaks your heart. You can't take it. You HAVE to do something to try and make it's as if your own soul depends on it.

You feel good, because God said move and you moved. You feel hurt because you know you're going down a one way street. You feel guilty and hope the latter doesn't cancel out the former. The blessing and hurt and guilt mingle together, intertwined like the perfect mixture of sweet and sour with a grain of salt.

Reluctantly You enter back into your reality:
Your lungs
Your breast
your stomach
Your heart
your heartache.
It hasn't moved. They're the one's calling and waiting for you like old friends ready to hang out!

You sit in stillness and silence for answers, comfort and security. The quiet becomes so loud you cannot stand it so you force your thoughts to venture outside your own realm and back into the reality of others:

Did she eat? How's the baby?
Does he feel better? Did he find a job?

The great beyond sends you a reality postcard:

She not only ate, she threw a dinner party in your honor! She didn't mean to forget your invitation. Her baby is now well but had she waited a much longer it would have been much worse, even life threatening. They meant to let you know. But she and her know you are just happy to help. You know they mean their thanks.
(you are mentally strong and emotionally stable and glad to help. Thank you is enough! Your heart calls you "liar.")

He not only feels better he went out with some friends the other night and had a wonderful time! And his calling on your job lead went great and started a month ago. He and him intended to express their gratitude and thanks. But you know they meant to share their thanks so you'll be ok they didn't let you know.
(you are mentally strong, emotionally stable and glad to help. Thank you, when it comes, will be enough! Your heart calls you "liar")

Does it matter what led you to do those things? Your heart told you it should be done and you stepped up and answered the call. Why doesn't a simple thank you feel like it's enough? If it was of no great importance to them, then why did it feel so urgent for you to ease their discomfort?
They didn't ask or imply your help. Why do you keep doing that?

Because for some reason you feel you are supposed to.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).

You turn quickly and peek back into your reality and sigh. You see yourself looking to your right, at no one, and to your left staring at it's identical twin.

You feel yourself slowly fading out of their reality, at least until they need again. Thats when you know you'll be remembered by them.

Your reality slings you back to your world. You lay down and curl into a ball blinking back tears of loneliness which turn into tears of selfishness, which turns into tears of anger for feeling lonely and selfish. You can't breath, because of the pain in your lungs and heart. You can't even cry without reality's reminder of the physical hurting. The irony makes you smile through the pain and tears. Again... the perfect mingling of sweet and sour with a grain of salt.

Reality reminds you.... hey look... A real smile! You are grateful and sad for it. Grateful because you still have it in you so, you grab it tight and hold onto it. Sad, because you know in your mind that sharing your reality and fears.... wouldn't change a thing.
Invitations will always be forgotten. Intentions will always not come. And you will always be "that" kind of friend to say "hey, that's what friends do, I'm glad I could help."
Inside your heart will again be screaming.... "LIAR! you tell them that you are afraid and you need them and you tell them how you need them! Tell them!"

You will always ignore the screams.

In your fear, the words you want to say come out wrong. They attack, blame and accuse. They distort your vision and clarity. They chase people away like a pit bull protecting it's owner at all cost.
You can't ask for what you need because, when you do ask, the need doesn't come. You don't have it in you anymore to ask. It just reconfirms what your reality tells you every time: "They don't really care. If they cared you would somehow feel it, and they would somehow show it. It they cared they would make sure you KNEW IT!"

Will you always look to your right and your left and find yourself sitting in between the twins named "forgotten" and "unappreciated?" And will you always wonder if someone will hear and answer when you call? It feels like it.
At least until the shes and hes in your world check in with sadness or sorrow in need of a friend or with excitement and happiness and tell you how fabulous their reality is... without you.

Are some of us just meant to face things alone not by choice, but because others just don't come? Are some of us meant to face things alone simply because the lesson is in being able to face them alone?
The Lesson is : We are never really alone. There is ALWAYS God even if "she" and "he" never venture into your reality to hear the call.


Into each life a little darkness must fall.
When life comes rushing at you from out of the darkness
who will you choose to face it with?
Will it be someone you trust?
Will they be wise?
Will their love for you help them to guide you into the light
or will they lose their way in the darkness
Will they make Noble choices
or will that person be someone untested,
someone new?
Life comes rushing at you from out of the darkness
When it does is there someone in your life you can count on?
someone who will watch over you when you stumble and fall?
And in that moment give you the strength to face your fears alone?
~unknown~ (at least to me)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

7 Women + 3 Boyz = MEN (This is not a Polygamy Math Question)

Ok So my last post was a little emotionally high strung. So this should be a nice fun one!
This is a story about 7 women: A Relief Society President,1st and 2nd councelors, A Relief Society Teacher & Gospel Doctrine Teacher, Primary Leader and Compassionate Service Leader.

Sorry it's also what's on my other blog, but it was too much fun I had to repost

One fine evening 7 Women from Utah went out to Play.

Then ended up in Nevada in a place called Wendover

There was a Concert...

But the concert was all sold out. "Hmmmm!" Thought 7 women in Wendover! "How do we get to see this concert? It is sold out and we do not have tickets"

7 Women in Wendover met a Lady from South Jordan Utah

She had 3 extra tickets so we bought them.

7 Women in Wendover found another lady who had 4 extra tickets. So we bought them too.

2 seats were together on the floor. 1 seat was in the middle of strangers on the floor

4 seats were all together on the next level up. None of the seats were bad. All of the women were happy.

7 Women in Wendover went into a Concert

And this is what happened:


They kissed and held my hand (yes... all 3 of them)
They gave me a rose
AND they told me to call my mama and put her on the phone. Then they took my blackberry told my mama who they were, that I was at a concert having a good time and that a song was dedicated to her ... then and sang to my Mama in Michigan while onstage in the middle of the concert."Mama...Mama You Know I love you! You know I love you Mama!"

AND THEN after the show... this happened:

V.I.P Passes(Autographed)to the V.I.P Lounge

My Daughter with the Menz

Myself with the Menz

My Womenz with the Menz

This is our story and we're sticking to it!


PS: Anything can happen with 7 women from Utah in a Friday or Saturday night!

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments
Hand in Hand


I earned some temporary wings!