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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Full Throttle

After being cooped up in the house this winter, Daddy was happy to see spring burst to life offering him the chance to get outside. In the summer he mows his neighbor’s lawn which helps him expend some of his caffeine fueled energy. I’ve seen him mow and if it wasn’t for the fact that he’s behind a mower, you would swear he’s training for a 5K race.  A couple of weeks ago he went to the Honda Shop and had my husband order him a new electric start mower. Yesterday on my lunch hour we picked it up. He was as excited as a little kid and couldn’t wait to get it out of the car and unboxed. When I dropped by this morning for our coffee date, he told me to have Mike come by and show him how to work the levers on the handle. Right before leaving for lunch I got the following text from Mike…

Mike:
“Well we don’t have to worry about whether your Dad’s new mower if fast enough. I showed him how to gently push the hand paddles to go slow and gradually push them more until you have the desired speed. I did a pass with it and then gave it to him. He pushed the paddles all the way in and the mower popped a wheely and took off with your Dad practically jogging behind it! I don’t think the front wheels ever touched the ground all the way down the lawn.”

Me:
“OMG” I replied… “Is he ok?”

Mike:
“Yes he just has to practice throttle control otherwise he has a tomahawk missle with blades.”

That’s my Daddy, he’s  a machine I tell ya.... Full throttle or nothing at all!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Love is a Verb

Love is a verb…. It extends forgiveness, no apology required

Love is a verb… It photographs life through a wide angle lens giving perspective only the heart can see

Love is a verb… It steps behind the curtain letting the object of its embrace take center stage while applauding with wholehearted enthusiasm

Love is a verb… It examines itself, eager to take blame, hesitant to take credit

Love is a verb... It gives wings to the dreams of others

Love is a verb… It willingly gives with abandoned enthusiasm expecting nothing in return

Love is a verb… It treasures the rights and discards the wrongs

Love is a verb… It's eternally optimistic and impossible to offend

Love is a verb… It embraces the truth even when it hurts

Love is a verb… It protects others without regard of danger to itself

Love is a verb… It’s a safe harbor in the fiercest of storms

Love is a verb… It never surrenders, never walks away 

Love is a verb… It's always looking outward, never focused inward

Love is a verb… It's always pursing avenues leading to the hearts of others

Love is a verb… It's always in motion

Love is a verb... It kisses the hearts of others

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Grace Pass

It was a day no one looks forward too. The door to my office opened and my friend sat down letting out a deep sigh. We talked for a short time then I picked up my keys, stood and asked... "Are you ready to do this?" She just nodded and we left. We pulled into an empty parking lot, parked the car and with tears streaming down our cheeks, stoically walked toward the entrance. When we entered we were directed to a small room past the entrance. We walked in, put our arms around each other and took in the sight. Reality settled in as we slowly made our way to our friends side. She was in beautiful peace, no longer in pain, no longer struggling inside her earthly shell. She was gone, but she was very much present, so we sat. We sat and cried, then we sat and talked. We started at the beginning and worked our way through every precious memory we had. We remembered the sound of her voice, her laughter, her unconditional love, her vivacious presence, we remembered it all. Finally the tears ceased and the chuckles began, turning into belly laughs before we left. Two hours later we bid her good night and headed home. As we walked out the front doors I turned to my friend and said.... "She totally enjoyed our visit." She laughed and said she was just thinking the same thing. I can hear her saying... "Good Lord, those two girls are the only people on earth who would come hang out with me at the funeral home and carry on like it was a slumber party." I think that's why she loved us, and knowing she got us is why we loved her.... So much. Life has a funny way of bringing people into your life who for no rhyme or reason you just click with. There was a significant age difference between us... You would have never known. I could fall apart in front of her over something that I was certain was going to send me to hell in a hand basket and she loved me still. The last time I fell apart in her arms over something I was beating myself up over, she just smiled and said... "Honey, you haven't done anything wrong. God still loves you." Not only that, but she still loved me. I call it giving someone a Grace Pass and at times I need volumes of them. I want to be THAT person. I want to be the one who loves wholly, no strings attached with a Christ Like unconditional love. I want to impact someones life so much they want to sit at my side in the funeral home and share stories and laugh and know that a part of me is with them enjoying the memories even while I explore my new digs on the other side. I want to be someone who hands out Grace Passes, because I know I've received a ton of my own. We were laughing on the way home about our innocence when we first became friends with her. She was the older wiser mentor and we were young and uncorrupted by cynicism of life. 20 years down the road, both of us have edges that are slightly frayed, moments of unchecked expression and we've long given up being hailed Mother of the year." Can you believe how far we've come since we first met her?" my friend asked... "What would she say if she could hear us now?"  She would give us a Grace Pass, maybe a little wink and tell us she loved us. That's exactly what she would do.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cherished Friend

Thursday I will say my final goodbye to a dear friend. It is simply impossible to express how deeply she impacted the life of me and my family. She took me under her wing during the darkest period of my life. Her wisdom and unconditional love was the perfect example of having the comfort of Christ in flesh and blood here on earth. It was her influence that caused me to bring my family to the church I now attend resulting in relationships that shaped the future of my entire family. Regardless of how much time passed between our visits, our relationship never dimmed; each time I spoke with her, it was as if no time had passed. She was a mentor in the truest sense of the word. I could pour my heart out to her with no fear of judgment or criticism. Her friendship was a precious and rare gift; one that I will cherish forever. I know her passing leaves a huge void in the lives of all who loved her. I take comfort in the knowledge that the fruit of her life will continue to make a difference in this world through every life she touched. Without a doubt I know she worships around the throne, far from the physical limitations she knew here on earth. With great sadness I say goodbye knowing I will see her again on the other side. I can only pray that I can make a difference to others the way she made a difference to me. Farewell good friend, I'll see you over there.......

Love Jackie

Love Jackie

Happy Birthday Daddy

I’m a lucky girl to have several wonderful men in my life. I have a wonderful husband, two handsome sons and a big brother that I’m pretty certain hung the moon. But there is one man who has been in my life longer than all others and that’s my Daddy. I’ve always said my Daddy is a saint of a man. Although 
I may be prejudice, I challenge you to ask anyone who knows him personally and I’m confident they will tell you the same. Today is Dad’s 78th (the cat is out of the bag) birthday. Happy Birthday Daddy, you hold a piece of my heart no other man will ever hold. I love you!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mother/Daughter Painting

This week my daughter and I attended a “Paint and Wine Palette”.  If you haven’t been to one, it’s “Painting for Dummies” only on a classier scale and with the option to buy wine or sodas while you paint.  The instructor sits in the front and paints while explaining what she’s doing while you follow along.  By the end of the evening everyone ends up with the same painting only really different depending on their talent and alcohol consumption.  To be fair, everyone was so focused on following along there wasn’t anyone consuming much of anything except paint fumes. Our painting was
Mine
titled “April Showers Bring…” There were moments when it was frustrating because I couldn’t see what she was doing exactly, or because mine wasn’t coming out exactly like I wanted. Still, it’s amazing to sit down to a blank canvass and leave with a pretty painting. After class, they asked us to gather in the foyer for a group picture. My daughter was still tweaking (not to be confused with twerking) her painting. Her
Hers
painting was perfectly blended and looked better than the instructors. People gathered around our table taking pictures of her painting and even going as far to ask if she would sell it to them.  In case you’re wondering if I had any offers…. No, I certainly didn’t.  We had so much fun and it was very interesting to see the subtle and sometimes not so subtle differences in each painting. It was the perfect birthday gift and a great Mother/Daughter memory maker. If you haven't tried it you should. I plan on doing it again.