Thursday, July 22, 2010
I’ve been realizing the last few weeks that there are so many things I’m going to miss once Breanna leaves home for her dorm in a few short weeks. The way she leaves her hair dryer in a tangled mess on the bathroom floor, the clothes that she lays haphazardly on the foot of her bed and the little notes that lay strewn on the computer desk with the names of bands that she wants to go see. I’ll miss the way she snuggles up with her bear that she’s had since she was three years old while sleeping and the dewy look in her eyes when she first gets out of bed. Shoot, I’ll even miss the look of shock when I do something that doesn’t fit into her definition of “cool.” She is showing the tell-tell signs of eccentricism that I have. Yet, so many of her friends find her endearing, honest, emotional and funny. With a slight lump in my throat, I’ve been realizing that they are now going to be spending more time with her than I am. I knew this day was coming, the day I would have to let my little girl go. But I wasn’t prepared for how fast it is coming.
She has always had an extreme fear of bugs. Yet, they seem to crawl her way with purpose and determination. Perhaps they can feel her kind nature or they just like to scare the bejeebers out of her? This morning when I got out of bed, I noticed an afghan stuffed under the crack of her bedroom door. Tightly. Scratching my head, I examined the door and that’s when I saw it; the praying mantis that had attached itself to the wall. At first, I was amazed by its beauty; but then it turned its eyes and looked at me, my first reaction to scream my bloody head off. Brian jumped from the bed, tripping over the fan, and I could hear Breanna’s muffled voice saying, “(Inaudible)…see it? (Inaudible)…the dang thing!”
Brian grabbed the mantis in his hand just as I told him not kill it but at 4:30 in the morning you want the annoying noise to stop at no cost. (By that I mean my screeching.) Throwing the bug in the bathroom trash can, I was suddenly saddened that I had screamed. It was a beautiful creature…just wanting to do what a praying mantis does. (Pray for it’s life, in THIS instance.)
Later, after Brian left for work, I returned to the bathroom to get ready for this day. I heard a rustling from the trash can and I saw the mantis, struggling to crawl for its freedom. I never thought in a million years that I would EVER do this, but I cupped my hand and allowed it to climb into my palm. It was yearning for its freedom….
Just like my daughter.
I sat it on the front porch and watched it slowly make its way away from me. Just like my daughter has been doing for the last year.
Going to her room, I watched as she slowly took in her angel breaths. Her hair strewn across the pillow like a halo. Wanting very much to cup her face in my hands, I refrained. I took a mental snapshot to always remember her this way, safe and sound in her bed, cradling her in my heart. Once again, I turned her over to her Father whom she so steadfastly believes in, the God who is her ultimate parent, her ultimate confidante and her ultimate friend. Just like the steely grasp of my husband who tried to squash the mantis, the world will try to crush my little girl….
But I know that God will always protect her with His watchful and loving grace, no matter what creepy-crawlies will come her way. All I have to do...
is just let go.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
We got a new front porch light from Lowe's. It was SUPPOSED to be simple. The instructions were pretty self-explanatory, after all. And they were limited to three simple steps in the manual. This wire goes here, that wire goes there and you flip the switch. But, cue the Twilight Zone music, we are in the WILLIAMS household and in the WILLIAMS household, you must brace yourself for the inevitable. First, this really weird thing happened. Brian asked me if I wanted to do it.
"You wanna hook it up?"
"You're asking me to play with electrical wires?!"
"How much life insurance on me did you say you had?"
"It's double, though, if you die in an accident."
"No. I'm not hooking up the light. How much insurance do YOU have on YOURSELF?"
"Fine! I'll hook up the light."
First, he lost the screws. They were out of the box for approximately 23.76 seconds. We found them 12 minutes later under the couch. (He CLAIMS he didn't even hear them hit the floor.) Then he misplaced the instructions. After about 15 minutes of looking for those, he said, "Nope, I don't need 'em. I've hooked up lights before."
It sounded like a herd of monkeys was trying to come through the living room wall a half hour later. Peeking through the glass on the front door, I saw his lips moving rapidly. Then I saw the light being flung crazily across the yard. Looking around quickly, he hurriedly got off his ladder, ran and retrieved the light and scurried back up the ladder. It was then he saw my face in the window, taunting and laughing. His lips started moving rapidly again. I don't think he was declaring his undying love for me...but I'll always believe he was.
Flying through the door about fifteen minutes later he exclaimed that all was going well, he thought he had it. Flipping the main breaker on, he happily jogged back into the living room and flipped the switch to the light. His smile faded rapidly as the breaker blew and the house fell silent. Looking at me, he said, "Don't. Don't say a word." (AS IF!!) Three tries and three blown breakers later, he stood on the porch scratching his head. Lips moving rapidly.
He finally got it after he realized that he was feeding the neutral wire back into itself.
This incident got me thinking. First, although Brian may be a little bit of a "Tim, The Toolman Taylor" he has always succeeded at whatever he puts his mind to. He doesn't stop until the job is finished and complete. No matter the task, no matter the difficulty, he has been stubborn in everything he sets out to accomplish. I guess I can be the same way when it comes to this respect. I've always managed to complete what I've set out to do. Looking back in retrospect, I realized we have always been there to encourage one another during those times. Even when I have not wanted to take on a task, it seeming too hard, he's been there to encourage me. I've done the same with him, too. One of his greatest tasks that he's never given up on is ME. Throughout my struggles in the past 20 years, he's been there, making sure that I know he's there for me, through the good times and the bad. It has molded me into the person I am today. His mercy and his grace has saved me even when I've thought he was being a troll, but he's always known what is best for ME.
Pulling the door shut behind me, we went out to the porch and looked up at our new light. With a sense of accomplishment, he put his arm around me and smiled. Then we felt raindrops, rapidly coming down harder with each passing second. Slapping my tush, he reached for the doorknob so we could make a mad dash inside and it didn't budge. Turning it the other way, it didn't budge either.
"Did you lock us out?!" he exclaimed.
"Oh, holy bat crap, you locked us out!"
So maybe SOME things will never change, but at least he shared in the experience of getting drenced in the rain with me, huh?
Saturday, July 10, 2010
The word alone brings back so many memories of my childhood. This was the last year my daughter could experience camp as a "camper." She has pledged to return next year as a camp counselor. The light that shone around her during the final moments was really awesome to behold. She made friends that will most likely last her a lifetime and memories that will be with her forever. I was so happy when I finally saw her face after a week of missing her. I was so grateful to see her running to me, with the ultimate excitement on her face; throwing her arms around me as she smiled the biggest smile in the world. I'll share a few pics (of the MANY) of her awesome week with you, some that made me laugh at the antics of kids.
Apparently when you first get to camp THESE DAYS, you must knock out your best friend and sit on them...
After successfully sitting on your first friend, you must find another one and duct tape them to the grass...
Then you go eat ice cream; kid in front is too exuberant about getting ice cream....
After that, you hope there's no boogers in your nose...
Eventually you cram everyone into a tiny little room; again, kid on right is too exuberant...
Then you act like a monkey and hope the bunk doesn't fall through....
What happens when they don't serve enough vegetables at camp....
A few cool friends made along the way....
And it's exuberance kid...again...
Just makes you wanna go back and be a kid again, huh?
Have a good one, Sparkies.
Monday, July 05, 2010
Wouldn’t it be totally cool if we had “SUPER” powers? I think so. There are so many things that I would love to be able to do or do better if I could wish it so. If I had “SUPER” powers, I would:
1) Make cheesecake not have ANY calories. OH! And the same goes for Reese’s Cups. And peirogies….
2) Make the cat clean my house. And cook dinner.
3) Make all of Brian’s tools get up and walk off my kitchen table.
4) I think that I would also like for Brian to turn into Russell Crowe (or Gerard Butler). OH, DON’T judge me! Just for a day. You’d do the same if you could, too, if you were to be COMPLETELY honest….
5) Make the door greeter at Walmart actually “greet” me.
6) Leap tall mounds of telemarketer’s baloney in a single bound.
7) On a more serious note, I would like to make the young man I saw today with a physical handicap better. That just really bugs me and it makes me wonder why some people have to suffer so much…
8) Read minds. Exactly what was going through my neighbor’s mind as he was falling down his front steps today? Oh, he was okay! And it was just funny seeing someone ELSE bite the dust for a change.
9) Go back in time. Back to when I was young, wrinkle-less, and able to listen to my music on a RECORD or an 8-TRACK. Remember how much fun it was trying to find your favorite song on one of those suckers? Same thang with the cassettes. Especially the ones you recorded off the radio yourself!
10) Snap my fingers and Paul would be home, laughing and sitting with us around the dinner table. I miss him so much. :(
11) I would definitely teleport to each one of your guys’ houses. I would surprise you, like when you’re in the bathtub or your hair is full of rollers. Or you just got done working in the garden and you’re all dirty. Yeah, it would be like THAT.
12) Make Breanna’s college free.
13) Make the hair on my legs quit growing back...it's growing faster and faster these days and one of them turned up on my chin the other day.
14) Levitate. It would come in handy when there’s a bug on the floor.
15) Make anybody within 20 feet of me think that they owe me money.
16) Shape shift! When Brian doesn’t give me any attention, I could turn myself into a steak! Or a wrench or a bottle of wax or something.
17) Try to think of two more “SUPER” powers.
Oh well. It’s not likely that I will develop any of these powers anytime soon. However, one day Paul will call to tell me he’s coming home and that’s probably the day I will soar 10 feet off the ground! And maybe one day I’ll get to meet some of you.
But I promise to call first. Wouldn’t wanna surprise any of you while you’re in your skivvies.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
My times in the early mornings are strictly for ME. My days usually start at the ripe hour of 5:00 a.m. to spend time with Brian before he sets off to work. Not soon after that begins the inner dialog of whether or not I should exercise. Usually after a 15-minute heated debate with myself, the need to exercise wins out. Like a child who is forced to do something he/she doesn't really want to do, I forcefully slam my feet into my shoes and sigh. Pulling my hair up into a haphazard ponytail, I set out the door, slamming the door shut behind me.
The first five minutes I am thinking, "Why do I even bother? The scale hasn't budged in over two weeks and I'm just going to go home and dive head-first into the Crunch-n-Munch." Ten minutes later I'm wondering, "Maybe I just DON'T TRY hard enough. Maybe I'm slacking." Usually fifteen minutes into it, I'm throwing my body so hard into the uphill climb that I'm not thinking of ANYTHING. I'm too busy trying to get enough oxygen into my lungs to conquer the next hill on the next mile. Then something happens. Just when I tell myself I can't go any harder, my rebellion wins out and I'm running.
While I'm running, my thinking returns. I begin thinking about all the little things that are bugging me, the things that are giving me a struggle in my day-to-day relationship with God. Or I think about the weaknesses that I have as a person and I get so frustrated, so annoyed that I think if I slam my feet into the soil hard enough, fast enough, it will trample them away. Before I know it, I'm so out of breath and my heart is beating so fast that my head swims. I have to take a breather. I have to usually sit on a rock that overlooks a little stream and allow my lungs to catch up. It is then that I usually see the sun rising over the pines, I hear the birds greeting each other in harmony and I look at my hands as they rub my thighs in comfort.
It is then my soul is usually quieted. The storm in my spirit is usually soothed by that point. My frustrations and anger spent, I look to the sky and tell God that I'm doing my best and that I long for the day when these torments, these doubts and and confusions will no longer be a source of contention for me. As a lone ant or some other "creepy-crawly" makes its journey atop my sneaker, I am mesmerized by the masterpiece that God has placed me in, this earth that He has created for me to live in. Maybe I just DON'T TRY hard enough to appreciate these things that God has given me.
Sighing, I usually get up and before I know it I have a renewed sense of strength. I tell myself, "I can do anything I set my mind to." I slowly pick up the pace and suddenly I am running the last fifteen minutes back to my house, the place where I left in such a fitful way. My mind suddenly starts filling with things I can do to try to make a difference in my family's lives, in my life and, perhaps, the lives of others. By the time I throw myself into the back door, I am anxious to better myself, to share a smile with someone, to pray. No, I'm not going down for the count...not today.
This is a typical morning in my life. I'm not saying that EVERY day I manage to make it out the door but it's becoming a little easier to make it five times out of seven in a week. There is something about exercise that not only feeds the body but it feeds the soul as well. It makes me rebel in the best of way, whereas before, I rebelled the wrong way by eating my way out of emotional strife. I'm not perfect in that area either. But I accept that's who I am.
Today is a new day. It always is. What will come, will come, but it better be ready to face me.
At least for today.
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