Tag Archives: change

Today was like…

…an emotional roller coaster. It’s Father’s Day, and I usually spend the whole day pretty sad missing, and thinking about, my dad and everything he’s missed out on, and everything I missed out on. But today was different. In fact, I didn’t get sad or teary until about an hour ago. I had other things on my mind. 

For the past few days I have been anxiously waiting for a childhood friend, Nicole, to make it to Vegas so I could drive down and see her. We met in 6th grade. We went to school together and were best friends, hanging out every chance we had. We bonded over the loss of our fathers, and our tough/harsh maternal figures, and NKOTB (what were we thinking?!?)…our lives were very similar back then, with some minor differences. The summer between 9th and 10th grade my family moved out of state. I hated my mom for making us move away (I had no concept of financial hardships at the time) and I vowed that I would make her so miserable that she would send me back “home”. Little did I know how devastating our move was to Nicole. We were inseparable, until our move separated us. We returned to our hometown for a visit the following summer. I don’t remember how long we were in town, but it wasn’t long enough. I was able to get in a visit with Nicole, and wanted to go back every year to visit her. Neither of us knew that we would not see each other again for 25 years. 

We lost contact after that visit. Many years passed and my mom contacted me to let me know that a letter had arrived at the family home for me from Nicole. I got the letter a few days later and responded. We wrote back and forth for a while, and talked on the phone occasionally…and then life happened. We lost contact again. I would occasionally look for her on Facebook, but didn’t have any luck. Just a few years ago she sent me a friend request. Life kept us both pretty busy, but we were better about keeping up with each other through Facebook. Our lives had taken parallel paths, both of us having many similar experiences, even our ex’s share the same first name (yes, I think all men that I have encountered with that first name have been asshats). We are both in a better place. 

I was so stressed out about seeing her today, the first time in 25 years, and I have changed a lot, I guessed that she did too. What if we don’t recognize each other? Which is kinda dumb because we see each other’s pictures on Facebook. What if she doesn’t like me anymore? What if I don’t like her anymore? What if we have nothing to talk about? J and I arrived at her hotel and she was coming down to meet us. As soon as we saw each other we smiled and hugged. It was so great to see her face light up, and I was put at ease. I couldn’t see myself, but I think I lit up too. We walked around trying to find a place to eat and talk. When we finally found a place we started talking like we were picking up where we left off. J said she heard Nicole say things and she thought to herself “That’s exactly what mom would say.”, and she’s right, it was what I would say. We talked about our kids and how both B and J were named after her. We talked about family and struggles and blessings and progress and church. An amazing visit, and the food was good too. We had to say goodbye too soon, but we both agreed to not go so long before seeing each other again. 

As J and I drove home I was replaying the visit and past things people have said to me about every friend I made after her. I have had some real doozies. I have picked some “real winners”. I suddenly came to the realization that I had never had a friend as true, loyal, reliable, understanding, compassionate…the list goes on…as she was to me. In every relationship there is some give and some take. For the majority of relationships I have had, there has always been more giving on my part and more taking on theirs, but not with Nicole. I think we both gave back as much, if not more, than we took. I cannot think of another friend who has been that way with me. 

Forward to an hour ago when I started texting my brothers to tell them happy Father’s Day, since I was traveling, catching up with Nicole, and having dinner with Jay and J, and by the time I got the chance to call the boys, it was too late. I got more emotional as I wrote each text. I made sure to let them know how much I look to up to each of them. I am sad that I don’t have the close relationships with them that I wish I had, and the ones I feel close to, I struggle with because of my emotional hurt. I have to find a healthy way to release grudges and hurts so I can move past the hurts. I miss my dad. I remember being a daddy’s girl. Maybe I remember right, and maybe I don’t, but I remember his love for me. I’m heartbroken, grateful and happy this Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to the many men in my life, present and past, who have had a positive impact on my life and the woman I’ve become. 

Life changes. Experiences change us. We change. Friends come and go from our lives. True friends may leave our lives, but reconnect as if no time has passed. True friends are selfless and love you for being you. I’m lucky enough to have one. 


Saying Good-Bye to 2015…

…and hello to 2016.

While our New Years celebration was less than underwhelming, I have high hopes for 2016. I have to believe that it will be better than 2015.

2015 had many ups and downs, from my health problems early on and the ongoing battle to diagnose and fix all the medical problems that J deals with, to bringing T into our home and making S leave, to the birth of our first grandchild and her multiple surgeries and hospital stay and her and her mom moving to LA to be near her family, to marriages, pregnancies, and graduations. I can honestly say that I was able to survive this year as well as I have, thanks to help from the people I love: my mom with her weekly calls, my family who offered unwavering support and encouragement anytime I needed it, my advisors who would not let me give up, my friends who knew my struggles and still treated me the same, my daughter who I knew needed me to show her that quitting is not an option and we both can accomplish difficult goals, my friend who gave up sleep more than a few times for semi-regular meals with me, church members, neighbors, strangers…I could go on and on.

Our year in a nutshell (or a long family holiday letter):

Dear Family and Friends,                                                                                                 Christmas 2015

We hope this letter finds you well. We have had a very busy and eventful year, so let’s get to it…

A got married to A.L. on June 1st. A.L. is in the Navy and they live in San Diego along with their dog Bomber. She is 24 years old.

S joined the National Guard and enjoys going to drill. He works at (residential treatment business) and is making a difference in the lives of the clients he works with. M gave birth April 30 to S’s daughter, E. She is his first child, and our first grandchild. E has had some health problems, and is scheduled for her next, and hopefully final, surgery December 14. M is such a wonderful mom and we are blessed to have them both in our family. He is currently looking to move to Missouri and is 21 years old.

B is living in Ottawa. Earlier this year she was able to locate and contact her birth father. Her parents, W and D, have been a huge support to her in this venture. She is now in contact with more of his family and has found out that she has more sisters. She is working hard in college taking pre animation. She has 11 roommates and 3 cats. She is looking forward to traveling to the Virginia to visit her boyfriend, M.D., who’s in the Navy. She is 19 years old.

K is going to school for pre-med. She was recently awarded a paid internship at a forensic facility. This is a great opportunity for her and we are excited to watch her reach her goals. She has a wonderful boyfriend, Z, and they are expecting their first child next year. They have taken in her cousin B.G., and are helping her graduate from high school. K lives in El Reno, OK and is 19 years old.

J is a senior at Tuacahn High School. She is looking forward to graduation and college and traveling. She is an amazing artist and loves playing her video games. She has been working at REC since October. She loves the new found freedom that her job (and paycheck) give her. She lives at home and is 17 years old.

R is one of the new additions to our family. He is the son of Jay’s brother. R has had severe medical and emotional problems that have brought him to Saint George where Jay and I are available to support him and hopefully one day we will be able to integrate him into our family and our home. He living at RRCS and is 12 years old and is in the 6th grade.

T is the other new addition to our family. His mom is in the Navy and his dad is dealing with medical issues, so T has come into our home. We love having him here, and he brings an energy to our home that only a 7 year old can.  He is in first grade. He has learned to love math and is really good at it. He loves his video games and can relate to just about any situation if it’s put into a video game context.

L was able to walk, at graduation, for her Associates of General Studies degree in May. She is currently finishing up her last semester for her Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice with an Emphasis in Digital Forensics, and will be done in December. She has been applying for jobs all over the world, so we are excited to see what comes next.

Jay is also attending school, and is looking forward to going part time at work so he can take the classes he needs for his degree. He has decided on a biology degree, and will make an announcement in the future about what direction he will go from there.

We were able to purchase our first home this year. We are quickly learning how to do the required maintenance on it. We have some big plans for our little house, like adding a much needed second bathroom and redoing the tile work in the kitchen and bathroom, but we love our home and we would love to have you all come stay sometime. Until next year…know that we love you.


The Family

(Jay, L, J, T)