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Big Brothers Rule

Thursday, December 02, 2010

(This is my second blog on a person who made a difference in my life.)

My brother Robert is six feet and three inches of pure intimidation. All he has to do is walk through the door and you automatically feel like you should mind your manners and say your prayers. At 5'3", my neck has been strained to look up at him during a conversation. In fact, there have been times to this day he has picked me up and sat me on the kitchen counter just so he doesn't have to look down at ME so much. By the way, he is 22 years older than me, protective of his family and smart as a freakin' whip.

Once people get to know him, however, they realize that he is just a big bear. Quiet in nature, he will let you talk his socks off. He's never been much for telephone conversations either. He would rather make the trip up from Alabama to talk to you face-to-face rather than use one of those.

The only time I have seen him angry is when someone says something detrimental about his family. Then he'll curse like a sailor.

When my father passed away when I was three, he stayed home from the funeral to be with me. Mom thought it was best that I did not go and Robert said he would watch after me. He threw me up on his shoulders, ran like a mad man to my room and played "Barbie" with me. A man, distinguished in the U.S. Army, playing dolls with his baby sister; I've never really thought about that until now. But that's just the kind of guy he was and still is today.

I can remember him coming home on leave. It was during the time of the Vietnam War and he had served there for two years. I remember him walking through the door, looking gaunt, walking gingerly with every step. I ran to him, arms up in the air, waiting for him to pick me up. Mom said, "NO, NO, he CAN'T!" and ran furiously to pick me up and set me on the edge of the dining room table. Robert sat down on the chair in front of me and smiled softly, kissing my forehead. I started crying because I sensed that something was wrong. I took my hand and patted his cheek and he took it in his giant palm. I asked him, "What's wrong??" then I noticed the sutures in his chest from the opening at the top of his shirt. Pulling away, I was confused. Scared. He saw my fear. "I'm okay, little Chelle. Really! I kinda fell apart out there but I've got a great friend who cared enough to put me back together again." I began unbuttoning his shirt and saw that the sutures ran all the way down to his stomach. I became intrigued that such a thing was possible. I counted each stitch. Felt each bump between them. I asked him if it hurt and he said "Just for a few minutes." I can remember being five-years-old, jumping from the table and running to get my mother's medical books and devouring each of the pictures over and over again. Thus began my love of the human body and how it worked. And Robert didn't have to go back to Vietnam after that, either.

It's an odd thing. After my father passed away, he became a father to me of sorts. He was certainly old enough to be. I can remember him taking me for rides in his hot rod truck, braiding my hair, playing hide-and-seek with me. He even tanned my hide a few times when I did something ridiculous. Like the time during one of our hide-and-seek games and I hid in the old refrigerator in the barn. I had climbed in and shut the door behind me. After he found me and I was gasping for air, he raised cain and let me have it. But then he softly held me to him and cried. I didn't know what the heck was going on. All I knew at the time was that I was very sorry I made him mad. But even sorrier that I made him cry.

He is in his sixties now, but still very much absorbed with life. He owns his own heavy equipment business and travels the U.S. But he is never too busy to make a pit stop here. I've noticed, however, that he calls me from time-to-time now. He doesn't say much but let's me do all the talking. At the end of every conversation he says, "I love you, little sis. I will talk to you soon." Well, he may not talk, but he likes to think he does.

He changed my heart. He gave me the vision that I have today. If it weren't for my big brother, I don't know where I would be now. So thank you, Robert. You've given me more than you'll ever know.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERLYN-WILL 1/7/2011 3:10PM

    I am sitting here with big tears welled up in my eyes and a LUMP in my throat... when I got to the refrig. part... it hit me big time!

WHAT a lovely man this brother of yours is! YOU are blessed for sure to have such a brother... like a dad....

I imagine he feels the same about you!

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JUDYFORT81 12/21/2010 10:09AM

    I really wish I had this kind of relationship with my siblings! You are very lucky.

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WOLFKITTY 12/17/2010 11:57AM

    It's not even 9 a.m. and I'm weeping.
Thanks for your blogs. (I've been going back from the most recent.)

Jocelyn

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PEGJOHN1997 12/8/2010 9:51AM

    Wow, I wish my older brother could have been even just a tiny bit like that. I'm happy for you and your brother that you have such a relationship.

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HUZZAH39 12/7/2010 1:49PM

    Another gem of yours to add to the collection of warmth you bring to the heart. What a wonderful story! Your brother is a keeper!!!!

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SKILL133 12/6/2010 9:02AM

    Awwwww.....I enjoyed the story of your big bro! Lucky girl!

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LUCKYGRANNY2 12/6/2010 8:58AM

    Hi...I have just gotten around to catching up on some blogs from people that I enjoy reading about and this one of yours just brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful tribute to an extraordinary brother. Makes me wish that I had a brother!!

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PANFRIEDTROUT 12/5/2010 7:46PM

    beautiful blog .... what a wonderful brother and the tremendous love between the 2 of you is heart warming indeed.

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JIMBOEHNER 12/5/2010 11:43AM

    You are both lucky to have each other. You are a gifted writer.

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KAILYNSTAR 12/3/2010 2:36PM

    I love your story. It's beautiful.

I have a brother, but he is only almost three years older than me. When we were young we always got along and he was there for me when I needed him. I remember when I had the chicken pox and my sister and I shared a room. She moved out and slept on the couch and stayed away from me.

My brother came to my room everyday and played with me if I was feeling up to it. He was there for me. The funny thing is, is that my sister ended up with the chicken pox and he didn't! emoticon

I love him dearly and I know that he loves me too.

Hugs.

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KATVHALE 12/3/2010 10:27AM

    I have a big brother too Michelle! He is only two years older than me but he is still my big Bro! He enlisted in the army and was sent to Korea in 1963 and was there almost two years. We wrote to each other and he even sent me a beautiful Geisha Doll for Christmas one year.

As we grow older I find that we talk more and more all the time. He lives in Alabama and calls me at least once a week and I call him so we talk quite often. Big brothers are the best!

Thanks for reminding me how blessed I am!

Kat

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INHALE2680 12/3/2010 10:09AM

    What a great blog Michelle. Thank God you both recognized and acknowledge your love for each other. He sounds like a great guy.

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MOMFAN 12/3/2010 3:56AM

    What a treasure you have with your brother!

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HICKOK-HALEY 12/3/2010 12:47AM

    That is so sweet. How lucky you are to have a brother like him. Beautiful blog!

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CHERIRIDDELL 12/3/2010 12:23AM

    What a delightful blog Michelle ,Robert is very lucky to have such a wonderful little sister too! He has obviously taught you the kindness he showed you!

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FLEMIDG 12/3/2010 12:13AM

    What a beautiful story, Michelle. Your images allow me to actually see that things you talk about. You are such a gifted writer. Your big brother sounds like an awesome man, you are so lucky to have someone like him in your life. However, Micelle, I also feel that he is very lucky to have someone like you in his life. God bless you both. I am so glad you are still so close.

Love and hugs.

Darlene

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GEEMAWEST 12/2/2010 11:01PM

    Ahhhhh, you've touched my heart. A great blog and a great brother!
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CARTOONB 12/2/2010 10:35PM

    Another great blog. Thanks for sharing your world with me.

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JUNEBUG150 12/2/2010 9:31PM

    What a wonderful tribute, sniff, sniff! Thanks for sharing about your brother, he sounds like a wonderful man. emoticon

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DJ4HEALTH 12/2/2010 8:41PM

    Make sure that you tell him or even show him this blog. emoticon

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DARLENEK04 12/2/2010 8:32PM

  Great blog Michelle....whereabouts in Alabama does Robert live?
Just made me wish both my brothers were not gone on so I could
call them..........
Loveandhugs,
D
arlene

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BKNOCK 12/2/2010 8:07PM

    Wow, what a great brother you have! I hope that you send this blog to him so that he can read it!

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JENNA3FROG 12/2/2010 5:40PM

    Holy cow, I'm going to have to go drink some water because I just lost a lot from my eyeballs! What a wonderful bond you have...thanks for sharing!
I also have a brother named Robert :) He is 6'2" tall and I am 5'1" :) He is only a year older than I am though and I don't see or talk to him nearly enough...feeling like I should go write him a letter or something :)

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 12/2/2010 4:38PM

    I don't bother reading your blogs w/o a box of tissues at hand. Good thing, I needed it. I loved this one too. I'm glad he was there for you.

I had three big brothers (6'3" 6'6" 6"7 and baby brother is 6'8") and didn't appreciate them enough when I was growing up. I try to make sure they know I appreciate them now though.

Give big ole' Robert a hug from me next time.

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LINDAKAY228 12/2/2010 4:18PM

    That brought tears to my eyes. He sounds like a super special person. You are lucky to have him in your life. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story.

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PJSTIME 12/2/2010 4:15PM

    Michelle, Well you did it again to me, tears in my eyes. What a wonderful brother Robert is and was to you. You do have a nack for telling stories and would make a great writer.

Keep on posting as I love to read them. Have a wonderful day. emoticon

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ONEREALLYBIGDOG 12/2/2010 3:37PM

    Well, there you did it
AGAIN
Gone and made me have water coming out of my eyes!
You do that a lot!

When you write a book, let me know, 'cause I wanna read it.
You are so captivating and have such style.
Keep up your great work
but watch out, cause these wet marks might just
be tears of joy.

Kudos to you and your big brother Robert!

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/2/2010 12:51PM

    Aww, Michelle, you tug at my heart strings! WHAT A WONDERFUL TRIBUTE! I sure hope you will send this to him, even though he probably already knows how you feel! I have a brother only 13 months older than me that I feel this close to. He is my hero, and I adore him! Thanks again for sharing it. Love, Your friend, Lori emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonBrothers = emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 12/2/2010 12:39PM

    That's a sweet story Michelle. Some day we'll have to swap stories about having extra "parents" because the siblings were all so much older.... another thing we have in common emoticon

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STARPESCADO 12/2/2010 11:16AM

    This is so sweet!

I am sorry that your Father assed when you were so young.

Your brother is a real man and stepped up to take care of your family. Not many people would've done that.

Bless you and your brother!



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LIZZYP609 12/2/2010 11:12AM

    You have a true gift for writing. Thanks for sharing.
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BIKERBABE2BE 12/2/2010 11:11AM

    You made me cry...again. What a wonderful blog. You are so lucky to have Robert and he to have you. Thanks for sharing!

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My Oscar

Saturday, November 27, 2010

(This is the first in a series of blogs that places emphasis on the people who have shaped my life. These are people who made their mark on my soul, who have made me who I am today.)

Oscar always knew when I was coming. Waiting at the front door with his freshly-shaved face, hands stuffed into the pockets of his blue bibbed overalls, he would smile as he watched me approaching. My heart would always skip a beat when I saw the twinkle in his clear blue eyes. He loved me and I loved him. Dearly. Holding out his elbow, waiting for me to put my arm through it, he would eagerly ask me, "How are you this morning, my dear?" To which I would reply, "Much better now that you're here, my dear Oscar!" Thus was my love affair with this 80-year-old man. Each day the same. Each day the small touch of a gentle soul of who knew and exercised kindness that never grew old.

There were days when he was cranky, not wanting yet another insulin shot or not wanting to have to miss his game shows for physical therapy. He was cantankerous with the doctors, nurses, nurse's aides. It was those days my name was called over the intercom, "Michelle, please report to G-Wing, Room 332." I would often find my Oscar sitting on the bed, arms crossed like a four-year-old child, shaking his head to-and-fro. I would gently reach down and grab his big toe and ask, "Oscar, you're not giving these ladies any problems, are you? Surely not." Suddenly, from his stubborn face, a smile would burst forth. (Even the ladies he was being grouchy with had difficulty resisting that big toothy grin and would often giggle amongst themselves.) He would jump from his bed, take my hand and there we were; two peas-in-a-pod strolling effortlessly to the Rehab Unit down the hall.

The days I would return after having a couple days off were met with ferocious hugs by this towering presence of a man. During the morning report I would hear of Oscar's escapades while I was gone. He had refused his meds. He was up all night. He cussed like a sailor. I began to quietly wonder if they were lying about him because this is not the Oscar I knew. When I was there he was always good as gold.

It just so happened I was to pull a double shift one evening and Oscar was thrilled that I would be there to help put him to bed. He had been especially "helpful" to me that day, freely giving out pats to my back or assisting me to the nurse's lounge for my breaks. That evening as I pulled the covers up to his chin, I was mesmerized by the odd clarity of his sky blue eyes. I reminded him that I was working on another floor for the next shift but I would be there when he woke the next morning. Before I could turn away, he grabbed my hand and quietly said, "Thank you." Kissing him on the forehead, I smiled, and his eyes slightly teared up.

"You are a lovely lady. Thank you for loving an old man like me."

At 2 a.m., I was replacing a tracheostomy tube on the Respiratory Wing when I saw Dan. He was a pleasant man but I did not like him. He was always accompanied by a gurney that possessed a folded red velvet blanket lying in its center. I instantly felt the grip of sadness pull in my chest. I hesitantly watched as he headed the opposite direction and tried to quiet the unsettled feeling I had within my myself as I went back to the task at hand. A few minutes later, Christopher came to the door. He said, "I will finish this. You need to go to Oscar's room."

Running at break-neck speed to Oscar's floor, I burst into the room. His still face was slightly smiling and he was clutching a photo of his lovely wife Clarisse to his chest. He was gone, finally into the arms of his Heavenly Father whom he loved so much. As I approached the side of the bed, the others that were there stepped aside. I placed my hands on his, feeling the ever-so-slight warmth remaining in his body. One of the assistants started to remove the picture from his fingers and I said, "Leave it. Just for now, leave it where it is."

Oscar changed my heart. He changed my life. He changed how I dealt with my patients from that point on. He taught me how to be a better person. He also taught me how a small, gentle touch can mean so much to someone else.

Thank you, Oscar. Thank you for loving a person like me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GREGGWEISBROD 11/20/2013 4:22PM

    Yeah... see... this is exactly what I meant in my latest email to you... no one can cross your path and not leave changed. You're really special. :-)

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SHERLYN-WILL 1/7/2011 3:14PM

    Well my 2nd blog of yours in the last 10 mins.. (last one was about your wonderful brother)!

THOSE tears welled up again! This time you got me when you wrote of his mesmerizing eyes! I could just picture those eyes!

THANKS for sharing such lovely well written stories from your life!

OSCAR sure loved you! (AND YOU HIM!)

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KRITTERKEEPERS 12/21/2010 10:11AM

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful relationship with us! Most people fail to realize that cantankerous old men are usually trying to hide sentimentality behind a gruff exterior. Having someone who understood him and loved him unconditionally was a gift that you gave Oscar that meant everything to him in his final days.
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WALKOFFWIN 12/4/2010 1:27PM

    Thank God for nurses!!! Most of all, the truly dedicated nurses, for whom it's not just a job, but a chance to show compassion and alleviate the emotional suffering of those in their care, as well as their physical pains.

Just a really, really moving story, Michelle... and also a reminder that we don't have to be a nurse to bring comfort and companionship to the elderly. We can do our part as well.

Love is ageless... and we should not let the aged go unloved and forgotten.

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SPARKYWATSON 12/3/2010 10:07AM

    Wow, what a lucky man.

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CHERIRIDDELL 12/3/2010 12:30AM

    Some people are truly earth angels ,I swear you are one of them. I spent many months in hospital after my accident and I would have been delighted to have you in my room any time.Whereever you go you bring sunshine ,with your blogs you are managing to spread your sunshine and love for distances you did not dream of on earth and your thoughtfulness has already sent word of your kindness to heaven with those who went before you and had the privilege to know you!

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HUZZAH39 11/30/2010 1:01PM

    Michelle, You have such a tender heart and Oscar was a blessed man to have your care and love. He left this world with peace and you were the one to pass God's peace and love to him -- how incredibly warm and precious! You have touched my heart with your compassionate story of this patient and friend. You also have been blessed with the gift of Oscar.
The power of touch is so amazing. I can attest to it when I was in the CCU and a nurse just stroked my arm gently. Three years later I still remember how precious that touch was. It helped me know I was cared for and not alone. I try to remember that with others.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I can't wait to hear more!!!!

Love ya, Christine

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 11/30/2010 12:31PM

    Oh how lucky Mr. Oscar was to have someone like you in his life. Thank you for showing kindness to Clarisse's love when she no longer could. May God richly bless you for your gift to Oscar.

Now, hand me a tissue, you did it again. Ugh!

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AZCUPCAKE 11/29/2010 4:30PM

    As usual, you show us all how to love people with an open mind and heart. I cannot imagine ANYONE not loving the SNOT out of you - man, woman, or child, old or young!! Another terrific blog about an unforgettable friendship that we can all learn from. Thank you, dear friend! emoticon emoticon Every time you write, it is a GIFT to all of us!!! emoticon

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ONEREALLYBIGDOG 11/29/2010 11:39AM

    Sis,
You never cease to amaze me.
At first, I thought I was just like Oscar, but after reading the rest of your blog
I can only hope to aSPire to be just like him some day.

We already love you just like he did,
and know that your heart has touched so many others.
I thank you for your service and for being YOU.

We have all benefited from your friendship and truly cherish it.

Keep having a SPlendid journey and continuing to make OUR journeys much improved for knowing you.

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THEMIGHTYLEX 11/28/2010 5:45PM

    You are an angel in human form, my friend. My eyes teared up and my heart moved to my throat. Now a part of Oscar and Clarisse's love will be with me always. Carried there by someone with a heart big enough to keep Oscar's soul vividly alive.

Thank you.
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KAILYNSTAR 11/28/2010 10:24AM

    You have such a way with words. You always touch my heart what ever you write. You have a beautiful spirit that reaches across and touches another in ways that it can't be touched by others.

I had a grumpy old man around me too. I am not a nurse, but I was a cashier at a grocery store and we all never looked forward to who would be helping this man when he would leave with his purchases. One day, I was just very polite to him and I asked how is day was. He lit up and smiled and he told me that is was going very well. He was happy that I asked. After that, he always came through my till and was nice to me. No one could believe it.

I was saddened when I saw his name in the paper a year later in the obituaries. He was just lonely. He just needed someone to care.

Thank you for sharing. You are truly a blessed person. Even through your struggles.

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HICKOK-HALEY 11/28/2010 6:14AM

    Oh my goodness. What a lovely read. How lucky he was to have you as a friend, and vice versa. emoticon

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KATVHALE 11/27/2010 11:49PM

    You are such a good nurse! God knew what He was doing when He gifted you with compassion and mercy. You are such a wonderful caregiver and you will be greatly rewarded in eternity.

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Kat

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FLEMIDG 11/27/2010 11:40PM

    Oh, Michelle. You have such an amazing way with words. In with tears falling, I had to smile thinking of your beautiful heart. I am so glad that you had Oscar in your life, and I am so glad that he had you in his life as well. Knowing what a special person you are, I am sure you blessed him as much as he blessed you.

I too am looking forward to the rest of your stories.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

Love always.
God bless you.

Darlene
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JENNA3FROG 11/27/2010 10:29PM

    Reading about this very special relationship you had with your Oscar makes me very happy that there are special people such as yourself in this world :)
My son is 15 and has autism and we have been very blessed to have many special people helping us to help him through the years and it's so very nice to hear stories from the caregiver perspective :)

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OLDERDANDRT 11/27/2010 9:01PM

    You should compile your stories into a book. This is something my RN friend and I have only talked about for years, but have never done. Great and bitter sweet. Tugs at the heart. You brought Oscar great joy and meaning to his life. We always find these jewels in the most unexpected places.

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GEEMAWEST 11/27/2010 8:36PM

    OMG! You made me cry. I have so many residents that are so much like Oscar. One of them passed away today and I will miss her constant, but somewhat annoying singing very much. Thanks for a touching story.

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0309COOKIE 11/27/2010 7:39PM

    A very beautiful and touching blog. Made me cry, as usual, lol. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

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CALIMAN1 11/27/2010 7:20PM

    That was beautiful...thanks for sharing from your heart. You can bring sunshine even to the rainiest of days and that is a gift that even VISA can't buy.


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USFBULL 11/27/2010 5:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DARLENEK04 11/27/2010 3:02PM

  Michelle,
You are such a loving special girl. You blessed Oscar as much as he blessed
you. I am thankful you got that goodnight kiss in before you left the floor.
What an amazing experience for you, and for those of us you have shared it
with. It moved me to tears.

I am constantly amazed at how cruel people can be to both children and our
elderly. It is as though, they have no idea they were once a helpless child or
will some day be old and helpless as a child.

I cannot abide anyone to be mean, to anyone, or any of Gods' creatures, human
or not.

Thanks for caring babygirl,
MommaD

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CARTOONB 11/27/2010 3:00PM

    Sounds like he figured out how to get you to come visit him. If he was onery, you would come play with him. I'm glad to hear that you both loved so well.

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PJSTIME 11/27/2010 2:17PM

    What a wonderful relationship you had and what joy you brought to each other. Now for me I am in tears, but I loved reading about Oscar anyway. Thank you.

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BKNOCK 11/27/2010 1:55PM

    What a beautiful story!

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LINDAKAY228 11/27/2010 1:49PM

    That is such an amazing story. I have worked with the elderly in one capacity or another since 1995. I currently do case management with elderly and disabled. I love my clients! I have learned so much from them also. What a tribute to a special man, and also it shows that you have a real gift at working with the population of people you do!

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LMB-ESQ 11/27/2010 1:23PM

    That is one sweet story... If all the people who have shaped your life are like this one, then no wonder you are so special! Who could go through life hard-hearted after experiences like that?

I am looking forward to reading more....

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 11/27/2010 1:12PM

    Oh, what a TEAR-jerker! What a story! Oh, to have had my grandmother cared for in this way instead of finding unexplained bruises on her dear old body, and being sent away at "unscheduled" visits! I am so glad we moved her to a better home who showed her love the last month of her life. I think she knew we did our best. Oh, the agony of knowing that I was responsible for picking out a place that would take our money and then abuse her! Thank you for your sweet, kind heart! I love you! emoticon

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HOT4FITNESS 11/27/2010 1:01PM

    Truely and amazing story. I have had so many patients change my life. I love nursing stories! Thanks for sharing, will look forward to hearing the rest of the series.

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My Personal Mt. Everest

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I know all too well that life can become stagnant if you don't change it up a bit. One can get caught up in the same old routine and it can really be a D-R-A-G. You get used to doing a certain something at a certain time and before you know it, you're basically just going through the motions, not really putting much thought into the task at hand. You're mentally crossing off your duties for the day and going to bed "just happy" that the checklist is exhausted, only to wake up the next day to start it all over again.

Routines are good. Don't get me wrong. It does help to have structure in your life in the important areas, such as nutrition, exercise, family time, your job and so forth. But what about spontaneous moments?? Like, throwing the camping gear in the back of the SUV and going away for the weekend?? It's been a long time since I've done that. And sometimes, practical thinking can thwart those ideas and you stay home and remodel your bathroom. AS IF!

Today I did something that is out of my comfort zone. I got on my bike and hit the downward slope of my road at full speed. I've had some things on my mind lately and I really needed to blow the cobwebs out of my brain. Yes, it was cold and my upper lip felt like cardboard before I hit the bridge at the bottom. I was thinking, "Okay, now, HOTSHOT, the road down was easy, but you have to peddle back UP it!" We're not talking a small distance either. We're talking three miles...one way. I entertained the thought of getting off and just walking back home, but that would take a half hour by my estimates. NO, I told myself, I got myself into this mess, I will get myself out, exactly the same way I hauled it in.

I was sickenly winded by the time I pulled into the driveway. (It didn't help that I hit a serious pothole and I'll be walking funny for the next week.) Throwing my bike to the side and crawling to the porch, I realized...HEY, but I AM CAPABLE. I am ABLE. I am not some wimpy little chick that crumbles under pressure. If I wasn't spontaneous and jumped on my bike earlier that day, I wouldn't have realized what I had just done... I RODE MY BIKE SIX MILES!! For me, that is an accomplishment since I haven't rode my bike in over a YEAR.

Now, I'm wondering what else I'm missing out on by being Miss Practical. I'm wondering what else can change my life for the good and the better. Am I missing out on a whole other side of me? Do I really know me as much as I THINK I do?? Do I REALLY like who's looking back at me in the mirror in the morning? That's a difficult question that I think we ALL need to ask ourselves from time-to-time. I see the teeny-tiny tell-tell signs of crow's feet arranging themselves neatly around my eyes and the lines around my mouth are deepening. I don't mind those lines...those are laugh lines and it's a testament to the joy I have found in my life with my children and family. But where are the SPONTANEOUS laugh lines?? Where did THAT side of my life go? Who am I kidding when I say that I don't need that? I'm not getting any younger...

One day, one moment at a time. That's all we can do. Nothing worth having is easy to come by. It may be a difficult peddle back up the hill to find yourself, but the end result is worth the birth of coming out of your comfort zone. So, tomorrow I'm going to do something different.

I don't know what that is yet, but I'm going to let it be a surprise to me.





  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGJOHN1997 11/23/2010 1:17PM

    I wish I could have been there, I would have joined you. Congrats on making it back on your own.

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DARLENEK04 11/22/2010 8:37PM

  You go girl......missed you............

MommaD

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CALIMAN1 11/22/2010 8:19PM

    I loved this blog and, for the record, I have always and will always think of you as a champion...a fighter....

"Ain't no mountain high enough...." that you can't climb it, soar over it, or, if you are feeling feisty, knock that sucker down!!!!

Age is a number...like our weight...it isn't what defines or limits us...it is just another opportunity for us to show that "OH YES WE SO CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I am very proud of you! emoticon

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AZCUPCAKE 11/22/2010 2:36PM

    Loved this testimony of your iron will and the STRENGTH you exhibited on your bike ride! I am doing the happy dance and cheering for you as I write this! Yay, Michelle!!!! You are one super-cool CHICK! emoticon emoticon

Hope your drive to and from Breanna's school is UNeventful and FULL of Thanksgiving happiness! Much love to you!!!!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 11/22/2010 2:01PM

    I can't wait to hear what you chose to do! I love to do things on the spare of the moment even tho my life does not leave much room for that these days. Maybe I can work something in... it's worth a shot, huh?

Congrats on the bike ride!

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BLAKBIRD 11/22/2010 11:42AM

    Impressive. 6 Miles 3 downhill - fast - WooHoo, and 3 back up hill not quite so fast but COMPLETED - Awesome.

Does taking my wife and Daughter out for Indian food just as my wife is about to throw boneless skinless chicken breasts on the Foreman Grill count as Spontaneous, or would that be considered a selfish act of taste bud indulgence? - LOL

Not quite as challenging or healthy as a six mile bike ride, but certainly more tasty than the occasional suicidal bugs one encounters on a typical, spontaneous, high speed two wheel adventure. Reminds me of the Progressive ad :-)

I'm wondering what all is about to happen in your neck of the woods, couple your desire to add sponateous activities to your daily routine with your imagination and determination and I say Look out PA!!!

I am so happy for you, and your sainted DH, that you are feeling better.

Enjoy your trip to Ohio U.

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JILLWILSON2102 11/22/2010 8:56AM

    Surprise!!! I love spontaneity. So much of our lives is planned and acted according to necessity and efficiency. I'm so glad to hear you knocking it just a bit! emoticon

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WALKOFFWIN 11/22/2010 12:48AM

    I really liked this one. Congrats on the six mile bike ride and making it back up the hill. And I wish you the very best of success in finding yourself. I find you intelligent, gifted, highly imaginative, and capable being of devastatingly funny too. :o)

Spontaneity? I love being spontaneous so much that it has been a real problem for me in the course of my life. Spontaneity without responsibility or sensibility can be trouble. But being spontaneous has also given me a lifetime of memories that I wouldn't think of trading for a more orderly, better prepared or even a more successful life.

So if I can be spontaneous, even though I'm the one who's really getting older than dirt, well I'll bet you can be spontaneous too. Just try to plan yours better than I do, and actually consider the possibility of potential consequences. I'm sure you'll do much better with that than I have.

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LIZZYP609 11/21/2010 9:47PM

    Great insight. I LIVE for routine, but I think you are right. We should be spontaneous on a regular basis!

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BIONICBETH 11/21/2010 8:25PM

    Dang I wish we lived closer together. I need somebody to come out biking with me...and YOU need somebody to drag you out biking! But can you IMAGINE the arrests?

START EDIT: Arrests Unrelated to biking...but what would just "fall out" of us living closer. END EDIT

Glad you got out, Great that you challenged yourself...even better that you got home mostly okay. ;-)

HUGS
-Whatsherface

Comment edited on: 11/21/2010 8:26:43 PM

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OLDERDANDRT 11/21/2010 7:51PM

    emoticon

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DREAMGIRL76 11/21/2010 7:15PM

    Absolutely Positively YOU and I like it!!! You bring out so many good points that is something we all must remind ourselves of more times than not. Thank you for the inspiration.
Hugs, Debbie

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BKNOCK 11/21/2010 5:14PM

    Awesome blog! I am glad that you survived the pot hole!

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GEEMAWEST 11/21/2010 1:59PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


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JIMBOEHNER 11/21/2010 1:04PM

    Here's a thought. Find out about the hang gliding outfit that Jerry has. You've been wanting to do that and he said that he would take you out for a trial spin. You'll have to wait now until later spring but the offer is on the table. I happen to think that you have always been spontaneous. It was you who talked us all into going to New Boston that day on the Moyer run. Remember? The day we got our heads beat off in the hail? And we froze our a$$es off?

You're a cool writer. You should be famous by now.

Jimbo

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 11/21/2010 12:41PM

    What a fantastic, exhilarating blog! emoticon emoticon emoticonYou make me want to go out and FIND something I haven't done and DO it! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOOPRINCESS 11/21/2010 12:28PM

    I LOVE spontaneity!

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LNWOLF72 11/21/2010 11:07AM

    Go Girl! Your blogs are always so inspirational. Maybe today I'll break out of my comfort zone for a new workout? LOL Pitiful huh? Husbands got my car (both of his aren't fit for me to drive in my opinion) so I'm stuck at home...what to do what to do????

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LMB-ESQ 11/21/2010 10:47AM

    Spontaneity? WTH is that???? I haven't been able to do anything spontaneous for over a year. Every inch of my life is so regulated and planned and scheduled, it isn't funny.

So glad you got out on your bike! Although at first, I had to say, "wait, is she talking about her bicycle, or her motorcycle?" Then you said "pedal" and I thought, "oh, she's not pedalling a motorcycle!" Not that pedalling a motorcycle wouldn't be hilarious to watch!

I'm trying to ride my bike too. "Now, I'm wondering what else I'm missing out on by being Miss Practical. I'm wondering what else can change my life for the good and the better. Am I missing out on a whole other side of me?" Well, I KNOW I'm missing out on a whole other side of me. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot I can do about it at the moment.

Soooo.... does that mean I can live vicariously though you and your blogs??? emoticon Sounds like a plan to me!

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HOT4FITNESS 11/21/2010 7:57AM

    Great blog! Remember life begins at the end of your comfort zone. So keep leaving that zone and see the blessings come forth!

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KATVHALE 11/21/2010 7:44AM

    Hey we are now "Biker Chicks" together! emoticon The only difference is I ride on flat surfaces most of the time! I admire your tenacity; especially with what you have been going through physically! You never cease to amaze me girlie!

I love spontaneous and I bet there aren't many who live that way except in mind only. We all need to let go and jump in with both feet whatever it may bring!

Enjoy your day!

Kat

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TRENTDREAMER 11/21/2010 7:07AM

    I fall into thoses routines/ruts as well

I'd take smile lines over frown lines any day.

"I'm not getting any younger... "
* You're not alone on that one

Good metaphor about the uphill

"So, tomorrow I'm going to do something different. "
* Keep us posted

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PJSTIME 11/21/2010 7:05AM

    Love this We do tend to get in a rut and stick to what is safe. Thanks for the reminder. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week.
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DARLENEK04 11/21/2010 12:39AM

  Youse aint getting older, youse getting better chickie....
Great blog, insightful as usual. I am waiting for the kids to get
home so I can help Mary out of the 26 button loops and so forth on
her dress. I am guessing my son will not be ahhhh prepared for that.
LOL

Hugs, and we are heading home tomorrow......it is sad I am to go for two
reasons. Leaving my son and new daughter.....and I lost a treasured
friend yesterday. His wife is one of my best friends....he and their grandson
were out deer hunting...and he dropped from a massive coronary.

So I wont be able to stay over til Tuesday and the memorial service...so
pray I keep my grits together....I dont want to cry all the way home....
Love,
MommaD

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JANTWO 11/21/2010 12:25AM

    I love this blog!!!! Thank you for sharing that!!!! I am a creature of habit and I have been wanting to spread my wings and fly!!!! You have encouraged me!!!! emoticon

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His Love Lives On

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rising from her bed, she stared out the window and tried desperately to shake the feelings of loneliness and despair. Once again, a day without her beloved, a day without the love of her life by her side. For eleven months she lived as if she were a shell of a woman, carrying on for her son and her two beautiful granddaughters. Some days were more difficult than others. Some days she could barely get dressed to go to work. Some days she just COULD NOT. His birthday was very difficult five months ago. But she threw a birthday "party" for him anyways, inviting their families, their friends to come and remember the man he was. Then soon after, it was their thirty-sixth-year anniversary. It was torment for her. Yet, she painfully made her way to his resting place and placed roses by his headstone; in silence she told him that she missed him, needed him and asked him why he had to go so soon.

She was dreading the approaching holidays. They were always the most wonderful times...he was a force to be reckoned with during this time of the year. He believed that the holidays were a time of giving, of oneself, to those he loved around him and also to the less fortunate. It was nothing for him to take extra shifts at work to be able to buy a chosen needy family a tree, gifts to put under it and a holiday meal. Donning his "Santa" clothes, he would make his rounds in the neighborhood on Christmas Eve and his boisterous "ho-ho-hos" filled the air. This year no one would hear them.

This year, a family would miss out on his bigger-than-life heart and soul.

But she knew she must start preparing for the ones who were still here. She had already bought gifts for her two grandgirls and decided, since she had the day off, to gather up the wrapping supplies from the garage. With one forced foot in front of the other, she made her way to the shelves where the wrapping paper and the bows were always stored. Sitting the bag down on the table while she turned to replace the other items she had moved, she heard a small clunk. Wondering what could make that sound in a bag of paper, she dug inside and found a small box. Wrapped intricately in white paper and ribbon, she sat it aside as she noticed a card in an envelope with her name on it.

"Dearest Rita,

You have always been the love of my life. I want to remind you that you are still the beautiful girl I fell in love with so many years ago. You are still the woman who makes me smile, who makes my heart race when I see your wondrous face.

Merry Christmas, darling... I will love you for eternity.

Steve"

Clutching the card to her chest, she picked up the small box and felt its ridges, its curves underneath the carefully wrapped paper. Slowly opening it, placing the wrapping aside untorn, she opened the box and inside was the most beautiful ring she had ever seen. Intricately set stones glistened in the light coming from the window. She suddenly realized that her husband had not abandoned her at all and his heart was STILL giving to this very day. With a smile, she slipped the ring on her finger and could almost feel his loving embrace as she allowed the tears of joy to stream from her face. She was not alone. She never was. And she never will be...even in death her husband had made sure that she knew how much he loved her. That's just the kind of man he was.

These are events that transpired this morning, November16th, 2010.

Her husband is my brother.

Make sure you treat each day as a gift with the man/woman you love. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. All you have is NOW.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERLYN-WILL 1/7/2011 11:56PM

    WHAT a beautiful remembrance of your precious brother! I hurt for his wife to be without him! HE knew she would find that ring one day.. what a planner he was to be thinking if her like that!

THANK you so much for sharing this story!

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KRITTERKEEPERS 12/17/2010 11:44PM

    What an amazing man your brother, Steve, was! Thank you for sharing such a touching story of love.

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CARTOONB 11/21/2010 12:15AM

    Our loved ones will always find a way to let us know how much we mean to them. Thanks for sharing such a great story.

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JUNIAATROME 11/20/2010 2:10AM

    This is an amazing story...

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ANNAMARIE1958 11/18/2010 11:01PM

    Wow how touching.....Life is so short you never know what will happen tomorrow....Tell your love ones how much you love them. Michelle my heart goes out to you and your family during this time of year....GOD be with you..

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HLTHYETER 11/18/2010 9:44AM

    Wonderfully told and a wonderful story. Thanks so much for being willing to share. We should all treasure each and every day we have on this earth and treasure those with whom we are close.

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KAILYNSTAR 11/17/2010 6:46PM

    How beautiful and sweet.

It's so much more than a touch to the heart and soul. That was powerful.



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STAYCXL-NOMORE 11/17/2010 1:35PM

    Wonderful Story , thanks for sharing , really touched my heart !!

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BWCAGRL 11/17/2010 10:10AM

    I share the sentiments of many others who have already commented. I will be praying for you this holiday season. You have helped his love continue on and spread light by sharing your story...keep letting your light, and his, shine!

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SHELLPRO 11/17/2010 8:40AM

    emoticon emoticon

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PEGJOHN1997 11/17/2010 8:17AM

    Wow!

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JAMER123 11/16/2010 11:43PM

    Michelle, you have written the most touching blog I think I have ever read. I believe that my sister-in-law is this lady as my brother passed away (unexpectedly) 8 weeks ago and they had just this type of relationship. Thank you for this wonderful story. If alright with you, may I keep this and some day share with my SIL (when she is ready to read). My heart goes out to you as I know what you are also feeling. I shed tears for both of us. God bless and keep the writings going.

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CHERIRIDDELL 11/16/2010 11:40PM

    That brought a tear to my eye,thank you for sharing with us.You obviously come from beautiful people.love and hugs,Cheri

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DREAMGIRL76 11/16/2010 9:51PM

    Michelle, this is such a gift of love that I will remember for a long time to come. I am so happy for your dear sister in law to have received this gift that I know could not have come to her at a better time. Your brother was a remarkable and thoughtful, loving and caring man as you well know, and I so appreciate your sharing this deeply touching story with us.
God Bless you all throughout this holiday season, and keep the memories in your hearts and share those joys that give you comfort and feel your hearts with gladness as you have all of us who read this.
Debbie (leader of laugh a lot & be your best book club)

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SDPARTON 11/16/2010 7:31PM

    Michelle,

That is the most beautiful heart felt blog that I have ever read! It brought cold chills all over me and tears streaming down my face. What a wonderful man God blessed you with and your sister in law! How lucky to have had such a wonderful man in your life and your families life! I can only imagine your loss and I can only imagine how hard the Holidays have to be, but he is always there with you and that special little box (ring), note has to prove that:) God be with you and your family this Holiday Season and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family too! emoticon
Stacy

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AZCUPCAKE 11/16/2010 6:31PM

    Beautiful. You come from such wonderful people, no wonder you are such a treasure. Now, I am going to leave the computer and use up a box of Kleenexes. Thank you for sharing.... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MRSJERRYBUSH 11/16/2010 6:11PM

    Well, I've got goose bumpa now!

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MINDYJ1 11/16/2010 5:46PM

    emoticonThat was beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

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WILLOWWINDS 11/16/2010 5:39PM

    That was Beautiful.

Reminds me of this quote I came acrossed today.

Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality. ~Emily Dickinson

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FLEMIDG 11/16/2010 5:34PM

    Oh, Michelle, thank you for sharing that very beautiful story with us.
God bless you and your sister-in-law in your time of sorrow. May He continue to guide you and take care of you. Your brother was a very special man, and I know he will be missed. Thanks again for sharing with us. Love always.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Darlene

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KATVHALE 11/16/2010 5:13PM

    It's funny but after I lost my husband, I fantasized that something like that would happen to me but it never did. God loves your brother sooo much that He allowed him to give her a gift to get her through this difficult time of year for her.

Thank you so much for sharing that with us as it just goes to show us all that God is still on His throne working miracles in the lives of His children.

God Bless your sister-in-law and her family! God Bless you too for allowing God to use you to touch our hearts!

Kat

Comment edited on: 11/16/2010 5:15:10 PM

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ONEREALLYBIGDOG 11/16/2010 4:27PM

    Yes indeed, that was one powerful blog!
Shall I admit that you brought tears to my eyes?
NO WAY
I'm to tough for that,
but I did have to wait a moment
to re-check my SPelling.
Couldn't blame tears for blurring my words, could I?

Thanks again for waking us up to
make sure to cherish life
'cause we MUST live it one day at a time.

Thanks again

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CALIMAN1 11/16/2010 4:06PM

    That was absolutely beautiful...my heart is thankful for you sharing this. What a special man.....

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JOOPRINCESS 11/16/2010 3:28PM

    emoticon

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KAYDE53 11/16/2010 2:50PM

    What a beautiful testimony to your brother's life!! I can tell he was much loved!! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 11/16/2010 2:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BKNOCK 11/16/2010 2:40PM

    What a beautiful experience your sister-in-law had! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! It just moves my heart beyond words!

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THAMLEY 11/16/2010 2:37PM

    I always love your blogs. Thanks for sharing, as always, beautiful! You'll not believe this, but at the beginning, I kinda thought it might be your brother. Just seeing previous things you have written, made me remember he sounded like a really special person. And, I remember how awesome it was that you did the party for him. You and He definitely came from the same mold. I know you all still miss him very much. Such a wonderful Thanksgiving message. Thanks again.


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PJSTIME 11/16/2010 2:03PM

    What a beautiful story and what a wonderful man he was and is. They had a wonderful relationship that comes from loving each other so much. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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0309COOKIE 11/16/2010 1:56PM

    Well, now I've had my cry for the day. What a beautiful story!

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BIKERBABE2BE 11/16/2010 12:55PM

    Thanks for reminding me that each day is a gift. I've been sitting here feeling sorry for myself and realize I have so much to be grateful for. Hugs, my friend, for you and your family. XOXO

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 11/16/2010 12:48PM

    That's it, it's official. This is the 2nd time you had me crying at work! You are breaking my heart but in a very good way.

This is a beautiful story. I don't want it to end!

Ok, so now, how do we help a family in his memory? What do we do to make sure his gift to all of us lives on?

Ideas?

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LMB-ESQ 11/16/2010 12:42PM

    Oh, my. Wow. That is one powerful message. emoticon emoticon

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LIZZYP609 11/16/2010 12:28PM

    It is not fair to make me cry! Thanks Michelle! emoticon emoticon

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Do YOU Know I Care About You?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

As I lazily sift through Spark this Sunday afternoon, I am confronted with the reality that our time on this earth is limited. We have chances at every turn to make a difference in someone's life or even within our own. I am reminded that everything we do, everything we say, can have an impact in someone else's life, no matter how small or big those words are. We have a choice...we can halfway do things or do them all with joy, gusto and an eagerness to make things better. We can try to do it alone or we can realize it is because of other's love and belief in us that we are who we are today.

I have met people here on this site who have overcome struggles, who have fought tooth-and-nail for what they want. I have met people whose main goal is to encourage OTHERS even though they themselves have a monumental mountain to climb. I have met people whom I have wanted to take under MY wing, to somehow, someway, let them know that they made an indelible imprint on my life. This site, SparkPeople, has this WAY of bringing out the best in people, of making us feel like we are all family; brothers and sisters, mothers and daughters, sons and fathers. We are all connected by one thing, folks...see, we are striving to become all that we wish to be in one form or the other. We are all connected by HUMANITY.

Which is why when I heard that a fellow SparkMember was called Home, it made a humongous impact within my heart and soul. I did not know this woman but I read her page, her story, saw her huge heart and her love for her grandchildren who are displayed proudly in her SparkPage photo album. Her name is Barb and I am very sorry that I did not know her while she was among us. She struck me as someone who carried a positive outlook, no matter how difficult things got for her. She was loved by many. She will be missed by many.

It got me thinking...are we really doing all that we can do for the people around us? Whether it be in our personal lives, with our families, or on Spark with our Spark families? Sure, we are all here to learn how to better take care of our bodies, to lose weight, maintain fitness or learn a new health tip or two, but aren't we also here to build one another up, to inspire, to motivate, to encourage?? I have been at the receiving end of that love and friendship so many times, more times that I can count. But I am willing to bet that there is more I can do to make Spark a better place. I'm willing to bet that I can encourage more, inspire more, motivate more.

Do yourself a favor and drop by your SparkFriends' pages today and tell them how much they have meant to you along your journey. Let them know that there was a time they have spurred you on, made a difference, made you feel special. Then give thanks for that friend. Do this here and do this in your lives at home. It's easy to always assume these special people will be here tomorrow or the next day. It's easy to assume that they already know. But what you may not realize, is that tomorrow, they may not be here or that your words of thanks may be just what they need to carry on themselves.

I love you all. I carry this huge area in my heart that is always thinking of you. I have NEVER been part of such a loving online community as I have with SP. I've tried it. I've been a member of MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, etc., but the feeling of Spark People has never been matched. The friendships have never lasted or come close to the friendships I have made here. The day I stumbled on this site almost two years ago is the day my life changed for the better. And it changed because of each and every one of YOU.

God bless and have a wonderful Sunday. If you have some spare time today, also, visit Barb's page:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?ID=SE
CONDCHANCE51


She always believed in second chances, thirds and even fourths.....



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGJOHN1997 11/17/2010 8:14AM

    Thank you for writing this blog. It has given me a lot to think about today.

I wholeheartedly agree with you about the friendships here. Whenever I am down or scared all I have to do is say something and and I receive all kinds of encouragement.

I love the sharing amongst the Christian community, too. Prayers get answered so fast once everyone starts praying for each other. I haven't found that type of sharing on this grand of a scale in a very long time.

Thank you for being you!

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MJDSPARK 11/16/2010 11:53PM

    Do you always make people cry? My tears are tears of joy & happiness and you are an Angel from above. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. emoticon

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AZCUPCAKE 11/16/2010 6:40PM

    You are the kindest, biggest-hearted woman in the universe. I can read any blog you write and be a better person immediately afterwards, because you ALWAYS know what is important in this short life we have here on Earth. Sending love and hugs to you for letting us know about Barb.... emoticon emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 11/15/2010 11:50PM

    You are one of those special people that we all feel privileged to know .I am so glad you are a Sparkfriend you never fail to brighten my days thank -you!!!! love and hugs and blessings ,Cheri

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JUSTJO66 11/15/2010 2:28PM

    Thanks for this inspiring blog.

Jo

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BLAKBIRD 11/15/2010 12:58PM

    Yes dear we know! and love you all the more for it.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Great blog, you expressed in words a truth I am beginning to understand and appreciate about the nature of the Spark People COMMUNITY.

Thank you for bring tears to my ears yet AGAIN.
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Have a wonderful ______________________ you've earned it.

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ONEREALLYBIGDOG 11/15/2010 12:33PM

    Another WONDERFUL BLOG by you, but we know and look forward to your wise words. Thank you.

Often times we think of each other but might not ket those feelings or thoughts become known to our friends/family. You struck the nail on the head.

Thanks for being you and thanks for SParkin' us to do better.

We all needed a swift kick to motivate us. Me eSPecially

Thanks for being there for each of us and have a SPlendid Day!

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STAYCXL-NOMORE 11/15/2010 11:45AM

    Great Blog , you are so right , after the past two weeks I totally understand this one !!!
Stayc

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FLEMIDG 11/15/2010 12:21AM

    Oh, Michelle, what an awesome blog. Thank you for the reminder that we need to do more to love our neighbors as God has loved us. I want to thank you for being such a wonderful, caring, loving person. It has been such a pleasure to be your friend. I tell everyone that I have a best friend that I have never met, but she means the world to me.
Thank you for being there for me, and may God richly bless you for your loving kindness.

Darlene emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THAMLEY 11/14/2010 9:13PM

    Michelle, These have been my sentiments, exactly for the past month or so. Life it way to short. I've been missing being here so much. My life is all encumbered with making my Dad's days as good as they can be. He's at the point, he won't eat unless I'm there. By being there for him, it also brings sunshine to many other who are in a similar situation as his. I try to carry treats for many of them on a daily basis. So many of them, over the past 14 months, I have never seen have a visitor.

We have to be sure to spread as much sunshine as possible to all those we come in contact with. However the venue may be.

You are that kind of person. I know. You have lifted me many times. And, I sincerely thank you for that.

Thank you for this blog. In my time of extreme tiredness, It gives me the little spark I need to "keep on, keeping on"!

God bless you so much and all those others who reach out to touch and encourage others lives.

Have a wonderful week! emoticon emoticon emoticon Tammy

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KAILYNSTAR 11/14/2010 8:42PM

    It is so true about Spark and friendships.

I have never had such warm and loving and caring friends than I have here.

Just so you know, I always look forward to your blogs. Be they humorous or serious, or just thoughtful.

Thank you for being you.

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DARLENEK04 11/14/2010 8:21PM

  Thanks for letting me know punkin. I left a message
on Barbs' page.

Loveya,
MommaD

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 11/14/2010 6:44PM

    Michelle, I swear, your heart is as big as Texas! You are such a kind, loving person, and I think about you quite often! I am so glad that you are Sparking, and that we are friends! As I have been incapacitated with my foot cast, I have seen the kindness of people from so many angles, and it just makes me want to reach out and be kind to others! Hey, this thing could catch on, and we'd really have something going on! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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STEVENGO2 11/14/2010 5:52PM

    Michelle,

Thank you for reminding what an important part of life Humanity! In the middle of reading this blog, I took time out to first call my Mom~to tell her to take care and that I loved her. Fortunately she was home, but just about heading out the door to eat dinner with my Sister and Nephew. Then I called my Aunt and Uncle to ask about my cousin Beth who just had foot surgery on Friday! So thank you for your blog it was perfect timing for me!

God Bless,
Steven

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TERR59 11/14/2010 4:19PM

    Wow, how true. We all live such a short time on this planet. What counts is how we treat others, how we love and how we live. In the long run it is not what we own or who we are that leaves the lasting impression, it what we do and how we love.

emoticon

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KATVHALE 11/14/2010 3:57PM

    Michelle, none of us can ever do enough here on earth but if we set goals each day just like we do here on Spark, we can make a difference in the lives of those around us.

We all need to start in our neighborhoods! Say hello to folks walking by or to your neighbors walking to their cars or to their homes. Wave to fellow drivers on your street. Smile and say hi to folks in the supermarkets or at the gas station. Your smile might be the only one they get that day!

You have nothing to worry about Michelle, because your smile and your blogs resonate across the internet airwaves to all of us who follow you here and we are proud to be your friend!

You are a sweet soul and wonderful little sister!

Kat

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PJSTIME 11/14/2010 2:00PM

    Thanks for the reminder and the privileage of your friendship. You are truly a beautiful person inside and out.

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GEEMAWEST 11/14/2010 1:54PM

    That's a really sweet blog. Thanks for the much need reminder.

Love and Hugs, Cheryl

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BKNOCK 11/14/2010 1:35PM

    Michelle, you have such a beautiful heart and soul! Thanks for the beautiful blog and for your friendship!

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