Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Morgan

My baby girl turned 17 today! And my Josie girl turned 12. It amazes me how fast time passes...especially when it's the good things your trying to savor. Morgan has always been my "buddy". From the time she was born we went everywhere and did everything together. Our favorite lunch was Chi Chi's...she loves their salads. Yes, a three year old who's favorite lunch was salad, still is.

She has experienced alot, too much if you ask me, at the tender age of 17. Somehow she has still managed to remain excited about the future, compassionate and tender hearted. This year is turning out to be one of the toughest so far...we are in a form of endurance. Our amazing friends and family are helping make the journey a little (a lot) easier to handle. While she certainly missed having her Nana and PapPap here tonight...the Mashburns helped ease the emptiness. When our two families are together we laugh 'til our tummies hurt. We ate waaayyy too much food...all Morgan's favorites..taco lasagna and double decker banana pudding. Then we watched Open Season. Quiet but very nice...exactly what Momo needed, to be surrounded by people who love her unconditionally.

What makes Mo's birthday even more special is our Josie shares the same birth date. She turned 12 today. She got a smokey bone and, of course, a rose from the cake. It's become a tradition that Morgan always shares a rose from the cake with her. Everyday we keep her in our family is an amazing gift. When Morgan comes down in the morning Josie gets sooo excited and starts talking (Morgan is the only one she talks for this early). So Mo takes the time to sit and share some loving hugs and tries to speak her language...not sure what she's saying but Josie seems to enjoy the conversation. Our home sure will be empty without her.

As much as I'm excited for Mo to get out of high school and move on to her next adventure...I'm dreading that day. Like the words from Billy Ray Cyrus, "..get ready, get set, don't go..." . I'm very blessed to have such a great relationship with my beautiful daughter. She has always related to adults better than other kids, not that she can't be kooky and crazy like her friends, just always seemed more comfortable hanging with the big people. I remember being that way when I was young too...maybe it's from being the oldest and/or only. I can't wait to see where life leads her. She has an amazing compassion for people. When she sees people with disabilities she doesn't look away or point and whisper, Mo wants to go meet them and be their friend. This past marching season she took a gal from the track who is wheel chair bound to a friday night football game. She was sooo amazing with her. Made sure she was warm enough, comfortable and had a great time. I see that same compassion toward animals and just people in general. And she's incredibly beautiful too. Not that false eyelash, heavy make-up, fake kinda beauty...the real deal. Smiling eyes. Lovely skin. And a personality that will win your heart.
I'd better stop...I'm starting to feel like one of those Mom's who has the pictures in her wallet that reach the floor and everyone avoids because "she's gonna brag on he kids again". But I am very proud of them! And I love them both very much. Thank you God for blessing me with them...


Monday, March 16, 2009

Welcome to the Jungle...

I remember when I first heard this song from Guns 'n Roses, I was glad to live in "quiet" Ohio far away from California and Vegas. While the jungle is how they referred to drug pushers, prostitutes, etc... I was recently smacked in the face with the reality that the jungle has spread!
What ever happened to being responsible for your actions? If you did a crime, you did the time. And more importantly, you learned from it and didn't do it again. It seems fairly simple to me. My kids have even managed to understand that...most of the time anyhow.

It used to be easy to tell who the bad guys were. They looked like bad guys. Not anymore! Now they could be a teacher, neighbor, relative...some of them even hide behind "the cloth". How do you trust anyone? How do you let your children out of your sight? I don't worry about what they'll do...I worry about what will be done to them. I was driving down the highway the other day and had to quickly move off the road to avoid someone driving up the middle of the road at a high rate of speed. Would my 16 year old have been watching her rear view mirror and seen them coming? If I have to hear of one more adult forcing themselves on a child I think I will scream. What is wrong with these people? We have a responsibility to protect our children, they are our future leaders and parents...they will repeat what they've learned. The same holds true for our elderly. How do people not only put their aging relatives in a less than stellar nursing home, but never go visit? And the aids...they treat these wonderful people horrible with no caring or feeling. These amazing people are the ones who helped form this nation and raise their families...don't they deserve to be treated with respect?

I know, I know...there are amazing nursing homes with caring staff, most of the teachers have their students best interest at heart and put in way to many hours without any additional pay and we are still living in the greatest country on earth. I just think we all have an obligation to step in and stop travesties that occur. Just think if each of us prevented one person from being abused, addicted to drugs, bullied, harrassed or swindled...what a different world we'd live in.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A tribute...

Morgan and I taught Sunday school this morning then took the opportunity for a mother/daughter lunch, at the request of my beautiful daughter. We went to a little mom/pop restaurant in town and enjoyed some really great conversation. Not about anything "big" just everyday stuff. One of the things that came up was a friend of hers whose family is planning on moving out of the state without regard to her desires to finish the rest of this year and her senior year in her present school. That led to a discussion of how too many parents live their lives without thought of how it may affect the rest of their family. And, how fortunate we are to have a close knit family.

On my way to work the other day my Grandma came to mind and what an inspiration she has been to me. I was fortunate enough to grow up on the same property as my Grandparents and benefit from their everday presence in my life. While I learned the usual to weed, can vegetables, use elbow grease...she quietly taught me sooo much more. I like to call it quiet strength. She never openly complained. I have vivid memories of her trudging to the barn to feed animals in her house coat before getting ready for work. And she always looked perfect when she went out of the house. Elegant...always elegant, even going to the grocery store. Every saturday the house got cleaned, top to bottom. When her own Mother passed away I was 8 years old. Grandma Eva (an amazing woman in her own right) had lived in the house behind my Gram where we had lived for several years and I was sooo heart broken when she died. As I walked to the casket to say good-bye I began sobbing Grandma wrapped her arms around me and consolled was her Mom and she still had so much strength to calm me and surround me with her patient, loving, quiet strength.

Gram passed her many wisdoms to my own Mother who also taught me many selfless lessons. Mom possesses a strength I'm not sure she realizes. I'm proud to come from a long line of strong and loving women. My daughter is already showing her own strengths and compassion toward people. Grandma turned 79 this year. She is still working 2 jobs, playing cards with her siblings and singing in the church choir.