Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Acts of kindness

After my daddy died in 1989, I would go to church each Sunday and watch another family in our congregation and long to be like them again. By that I mean before my daddy's death, our family would sit together in church as a family unit....my daddy, my mom, and my family. I loved it. After his death, we stil sat in our same spot. Baptist are like that. They find a seat and claim it as their own. (haha) Any way, I would sit there each Sunday and my mind would wander and my eyes would focus on this particular family. This other family consisted of a daddy, a mom, a daughter and all of her family. A family just like ours. I longed for that closeness, that feeling of family, I missed my daddy putting his arm around me, and I missed the excitement that came with my children siting with their grandparents in church.

From those moments in church I developed a friendship with a very special person. When this man and I would make eye contact in church I would wave to him from the balcony of our church (he sat downstairs). He would actually wait after church until I came downstairs to speak to me in person. He eventually joked with my mom about wanting to adopt me. I would chuckle to myself because little did he know of all the days that I sat there wishing my daddy were still alive and envying his family for just being able to sit in church together. Knowing that his family had the same closeness as mine. Knowing that his daughter loved having him put his arm around her in church just like my daddy would do. Knowing that his grandchildren were excited about sitting with their grandparents in church and sneaking candy.

This man is also known for his kind deeds. Deeds that at times go unnoticed because he does them not for the attention but because he has a heart of gold. Many many times while dining out the waitress will come to us at the end of the meal and say that our bill has been taken care of. I know exactly who has done it. The gentle giant who I call my friend. Right now he is battling cancer and it hurts to the core to know the battle ahead of him. It hurts to know how hard he will have to fight. The amazing thing is that while he is battling this demon, he is still thinking of others, still doing for others and still putting smiles on the faces of so many, especially mine! I wish you strength and courage Mr. Sharpton!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Overcoming challenges

I sat here today in my living room...Christmas tree down, decorations down and everything back in place just like it was prior to Christmas. My mind wandered and filled with so many thoughts. I honestly felt so blessed at that moment to just be here. Prior to Christmas I had not been feeling all that great. I made excuses for the discomfort I was experiencing and kept thinking it would get better. Then bang! Loitton and I were shopping in Target and I had a crushing feeling hit me in the chest. I honestly felt like I was going to pass out. It was the pain and feeling similar to what I felt when I broke my foot. So naturally I thought no big deal - it will pass. All throughout that weekend I had discomfort but again I convinced myself it was a pulled muscle or something minor. Monday morning I am at work and that crushing feeling strikes again! I try walking around hoping it would help. I called and went to the doctor. By the time I got to the office, my BP was very high and my EKG was irregular. I was immediately sent to the hospital for further tests. Thank goodness for nitrogylcerin tablets! Never taken one before and hope to never take one again but for that moment I was thanking God for that small tablet. The pain was instantly gone! After lots of tests, it was determined my heart is good and I couldn't be happier. I am on meds for the BP. Swore I would never take meds for that but lesson learned is never say never! Another lesson I am going to have to learn is how to let some things go and not stress! So much easier said than done.

I have certainly had time to reflect on what was a scary time for me. As scared as I was I knew that I know and love my God and trust that when my time comes He will carry me home but I just kept thinking not now! Please not now.

2011 was a challenging year for me. For the first time in the history of our firm, we had to lay employees off. Employess that were friends - tough stuff! In March my boss and friend died. We had enjoyed a working relationship since 1980. I was crushed! I had to overcome and adjust to a "new normal". I gained a new boss (although I had worked with him for just as many years). We had to find a way to press on. Unfortunately in September, due to financial struggles, we closed the firm. I was crushed again! I honestly thought of my job as family and it was like another huge loss in my life. Again, I had to overcome my fears and press on. I am now working for another engineering firm but change is hard at times and it is taking time to adjust. Our family has experienced sadness and hurt in 2011. I am trying to overcome that and praying that other family members are getting stronger and fighting hard on their battles.

We have however experienced some wonderful things in 2011. I gained a daughter in April when Owens, our middle child, got married. She is the love of his life and I couldn't be happier. I also gained a new "niece in love" when my nephew got married. Another niece got engaged as well as a nephew. Our family is growing in leaps and bounds. And to top it off we also have new babies....Reid, Addison, Abigail and Zoe. Whew - I sure hope I am not overlooking anyone or anything. Although all of these are exciting events some brought their own challenges but we overcame!

I think I have always been the type of person that saw a glass half full, not empty! So as I move into 2012 I want my glass to be half full. I don't want to take life for granted. I don't want to allow stress to get the best of me. I don't want to allow circumstances to get the best of me. I do want to continue to focus on God, my family and my friends. After all those are what really count. Happy 2012!