Archive | September, 2011

Where I’m From

22 Sep

 

I am from the last day of the 70’s, from a land of Cabbage Patch Kids and slap bracelets.

I am from the brick house with a white front porch swing.

I am from the timber behind my grandparent’s house, the trails made by go-cart tires and laughter that can still be heard all these years later. I am from blackberries picked right off the bush and the taste of honeysuckle in the summertime.

I am from sweet iced tea and blue-eyed blondes, from a man who asked my grandfather to be his daddy when he was four and from grandmother who spoke her mind and stood up for what she believed in and from my southern mama.

I am from the woman who cooked in cast iron skillets and a man dedicated to serving his country.

From the place where the car would fly if us kids would sleep and pregnant bellies were the result of swallowed watermelon seeds.  

I am from the blue bus that took me to and from Sunday School. I am from a family of  Christians. Believer that kindness is a way of life, not just a random act.

I’m from the white sands of Daytona Beach, from the military tanks at Fort Knox, from the cobblestone roads of Charleston, from the gateway arch in St. Louis, from the city of the angels. I am from fried chicken dinners and grits with cheese.

From the grandfather who has hands that could turn a rusted out bucket of metal into a classic car that would take so many first place trophies at the car shows it would make him the man to beat, from  the father who could play just about any song on the guitar to make his little girl dance and from the mother who put the playpen in one arm and me in the other and spent every day on the warm sands of Pensacola Beach.

I am from pictures tucked up in my closet, photo albums with yellowing pages and a baby book filled with mementos from my childhood. I am from forgiving hearts, warm hugs and love.

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Falling for Fall

19 Sep

I don’t know about you but summer is my least favorite season. Part of it is, I am not a fan of being hot. I despise it unless I’m in the water, then it’s okay. I also hate wearing shorts. People always ask, “Why? Do you not like your legs?’ I like my legs just fine…I don’t like the skin on the back of my legs touching anything sticky, like vinyl booths or plastic chairs. I think it’s a little weird but whatever.

My favorite season is Fall! I know summer is not officially over but I can feel the change a comin’. Top ten reasons why Fall is my favorite:  

  1. Pumpkin spice lattes
  2. Football
  3. Crisp morning runs
  4. Cold nights meant for snuggling with the family
  5. Sweaters, boots and scarves
  6. Desert camping with friends and family
  7. Running season begins again (for me)
  8. Bathing suit season is O-V-E-R!!!!
  9. Christmas is coming!!!
  10. The foods of fall…chili, beef stew over rice, pumpkin pie and apple pie…Thanksgiving dinner!

Sometimes I feel like Summer and Spring get all the love. Anyone else love Fall or Winter?

 

Suicide Prevention Week

7 Sep

It’s suicide prevention week. I think it’s great that we recognize it, but sad that we only make it a big deal one week out of the whole year. I was born full of sunshine…for this I am grateful. Even in my darkest hours and hardest times, I never once thought it would be better if I were dead. I’m grateful for that. I’m thankful that there is a voice inside of me that says, “It will get better. You will make it through this. You will be okay on the other side of this.” But, I have had experience with suicide. I’ve lost a friend to it. I’ve seen it attempted more times than I’ll ever be comfortable talking about. And once I helped someone without even knowing it. I got that thank you about eight years after the fact from a girl I barely knew.

I remember the girl from middle school. Her name started with a “J”…I can remember her face, but not her name. That quote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle,” comes to mind with her. I remember seeing her outside at lunch. I remember the way she walked…wounded somehow…even at 13 I knew there was a certain sadness there. We had physical education class together. And I remember one day she was crying in the locker room…I don’t recall why. And I don’t recall the words I said to her. I know it was something along the lines of, “This will pass…it will get better.” I left that school that year and moved to Florida.

About eight years later I moved back to that town in Illinois and was going through the drive-thru at McDonald’s. I didn’t recognize her as she passed my food through the window. She stopped and said, “Janice? Janice Busbea?” And I looked back and said, “Yep…that’s me.” And she said, “I don’t know if you remember me but we had PE class together.” I recognized her face and said, “Oh yes! That’s right we sure did. How are you?” She said, “I’m good. I’m good. You know, I never thanked you for that day in the locker room…you saved my life that day. I thought about suicide so much during junior high and that day you gave me hope. So thank you.”

Just seeing that it’s suicide prevention week made me think of her. It made me think about how we are all connected and we all have the power to change not just our lives, but other people’s lives, even when we don’t know we’re doing it. Reach out…be kind…you never know how it might help.