Happy Birthday, Dad

Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord they God giveth thee. –Exodus 20:12

 

I would like to take today to honor my dad. Today is his birthday and he will be 69 which means that next year he will be the big 70. I had not realized until this moment that he was so close to being another decade older than the last time I checked. (In fact, I had to check his age against my mom’s. He is four years older than her and that is how I have always calculated their ages. I figure out how old one is in order to get the others. It always changes depending on who I need to check.)

My dad is not perfect. He never was and he likely never will be.

That’s just how the cookie crumbles.

But he has tried his best to raise me and to do what he believed was right for me even if I (very greatly) disagreed.

I would not be who I am today without him and for that I am grateful to him.

I love you, Dad, and I hope that this next year is full of wonderful memories just as others have in the past for even sorrow can bring you joy.

Gratitude Is Good On Other Days Too

This month has been a particularly busy one for me. I have hardly been able to post in an organized fashion and it seems like I’m scrabbling to put posts up before the ones queued up finish being put up! ( I hope that no one else noticed my seemingly hurried attempts now and then to take part in the rest of our wonderful WordPress community that I have missed so much. The attempts felt rather pitiful to me and I hope this sentence was a pleasant surprise.)

Anyway, I just wanted to thank everyone who has taken the time to stop by here on my blog even as I haven’t been as attentive of it as I was in times past.

Thank you, everyone!

Remembering – Thankful Thursday

Thirteen years ago today, I was in a U.S. History class, watching the news and waiting for class to start.

Thirteen years ago, my second eldest sister and her husband were getting ready to fly out to their new posting in Germany.

Thirteen years ago, my eldest niece was my only niece and she was barely learning how to crawl.

Thirteen years ago, for the first time in my life, I feared losing not just my sister, but my brother-in-law.

Thirteen years ago, I prepared for my niece to possibly have to live with us and without her parents.

Thirteen years ago, their posting didn’t change, but their way to get to it did.

Thirteen years ago, my sister’s family had to drive across the country and catch a military flight instead of a commercial one.

I am thankful this day not only for those who died saving people from harm, not only for those who continue to fight and protect today, but also for the knowledge that my niece didn’t have to pay the same price that so many other children have had to.

Thank you to all those who work towards the safety of not only citizens of this country, but others as well.

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image: sister’s phone

These are her children, two of which were born several years after September 11, 2001.

Make sure to read the original Thankful Thursday as well.

Versatile Sunshine

In June I was honored to be presented with two new awards! (You people are so generous to me!) Once again, it has likely taken me some time to get this post written out (ones like this where I also present awards to others seem to take longer to type out for some reason…probably  because when I want to surf and look at others’ blogs is when lots of things happen that require me to be away from my laptop. Life likes to happen a lot like that…)

For instance, I am starting this post half-way through June (tomorrow is my second eldest nephew’s birthday). I have no idea when I will finish this post, but let us press on for now!

These two awards were presented to me by fozzbloglife. Thank you, fozzbloglife!

         

The Rules:

  • Answer 10 questions
  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Nominate at least 10 deserving bloggers
  • Place the award somewhere on your blog

The Questions:

  1. Favorite food: anything spicy
  2. Favorite actor: LeVar Burton
  3. Favorite TV show: Columbo
  4. Favorite tear-jerker: The Blind Side (currently, this changes)
  5. Favorite sport: volleyball or swimming or American football
  6. Lucky number: 8
  7. Tea or coffee: herbal tea
  8. Holidays: Halloween
  9. Twitter or Facebook: neither
  10. Favorite Christmas movie: Finding Faith in Christ

Without further ado!

My nomination people:

high five and raspberries

New Teacher Life

 A Good Blog is Hard to Find

Must Be This Tall To Ride

The Wizard’s Word

Momdeavor

Pooky’s Poems

afternoonofsundries

Black and Write

Joe2stories

The Dress

Once upon a time there was a dressmaker. He was an expert craftsman and made beautiful dresses. He made dresses of different shapes and sizes, different fabrics and colors. One dress he made was for a little girl, and it was a beautiful dress.

The dress was much loved and worn whenever possible until one day it ripped.

The dress was still very beautiful, the fabric not faded, but ripped. The girl could not mend it and neither could her family, so they put it away in the dark.

Years would pass and someone, now and then, would find the dress.

“Oh! What a beautiful dress!” they would say, “but it is ripped and I do not know how to fix it.”

And so, they would put the dress away, back in the dark.

One day a woman found the dress hidden away.

“Oh! What a beautiful dress!” she said and then she noticed the rip. “Oh, but it is ripped! I am not a dressmaker and I am not good with a needle, but I can stitch.”

She took a needle and found some thread.

“My thread is not the right color,” she said, “and my stiches are not even, but I can mend this rip.”

She threaded her needle with the thread and began to mend the dress. There were times when she had to stop and take the thread out and start over, but she did not give up.

“There!” she said once her work was done, “It is whole!”

Once the dress was mended, she washed it and hung it up for another little girl to wear.

“Oh!” the little girl said, “What a beautiful dress!”


This was written several months ago and was inspired by two things, two people.

The first is a dear friend of mine who found me, hiding away in the dark, sad and alone and afraid of interacting with those who were not already close (and what a small number that was). She befriended me and even when we were only able to text, she would talk with me every week without fail, just to see how I was doing. She was genuine and sincere and everything I needed to know existed still today. She recently was married and I was very privileged to attend and watch her in her beautiful dress promise herself to her husband and he to her.

This story is dedicated to her.

The second person is my eldest niece. I had been struggling for a way to express my feelings concerning my friend. At the beginning of the year, I found a dress that had belonged to my niece’s mother. It was a beautiful turquoise dress that was very simple, but had been worn at least once by the majority of my sisters once it no longer fit my second eldest sister. Along the way, there was a rip that developed in one side. It wasn’t a long rip, but it was placed in such a way that the dress shouldn’t be worn. It was laced away by my mother to be mended at another time and then was lost. I found it earlier this year as stated above and realized that I could mend it. I did so (though like in the story, the thread isn’t quite right), I washed it and that same day that the rest of the story came to me, my niece had pulled the dress on for the first time to wear to church. Sitting in Sacrament Meeting, the rest of the story came to me later that day.

The Dressmaker made all of us so beautifully, using different patterns and styles and fabrics. We are each of us gorgeous and our colors do not fade, but we can become torn and ripped and dirty from wear in the world. Sometimes (too often) we are put away in the dark, sad and alone. There are those who find us, see that we are broken and for whatever reason (inability, indifference, being too torn themselves) they do not pull us out of the dark. Then there are those who come along and pull us out. They see that we are beautiful, even if we are torn or dirty and though they do not feel as if they can mend us or help us adequately, they still try and in the end, their love made all the difference.

Thank you, my friend, thank you for finding me in the dark and not focusing on how I was damaged, but instead how I was beautiful. You were not perfect, but you loved me and cared for me with a perfect love.

Souls of My Shoe – Traces Prompt #4

I can feel it, negativity! -Sailor Moon

What do you do all day?

Do you sit and think of what you’ve lost?

Do you throw in the towel when the fight’s just begun?

 Sometimes I just don’t
Know what to do…
I want to give in,
Stop in the souls of my shoe.
 
Too exhausted to carry on,
I’m tired and worn out.
“Get up you lazy bum!”
You don’t need to shout.
 
Why must you do this?
Try so hard to drag me down,
Almost as if you’ve decided
To run me out of town.
 
Well you know what?
I’m not going to comply.
I’m done with listening to this
And I’m not going to let it get by.
 
I have a life,
Moments of my own,
And I’m not going to let you stop me
And take what I have grown.
 
If you want to be down
And let your life turn to ash,
Then do so if you will
Though I think such actions are rash.
 
Because there’s so much more out there,
Waiting for you to stand up;
To take what has been given
And never give it up.
 
It may take you some time
To come to terms with this,
Until you do so,
You I will surely miss.
 
Just know that I will always be here,
Waiting for you to come home.
Sitting outside each evening,
And missing you while you roam.
 
Because this is a decision
That only you can make.
And from you I will never
Try your life to take.
 
So learn and grow
And always my friend,
I hope you know
That in my heart you’ll have a place.

Written in response to Olianna’s Traces Prompt: http://tracesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/traces-prompt-4-stop-raining-on-my-parade/#like-10040

And because I’ve had to watch people I love walk away from me because they needed to grow and it was something that I could not help with. And because sometimes I have been the one to walk away, because there were things I needed to know for myself that I could not learn through another.

Thank you, Olianna, for this incredible prompt today.

 

Cover the Emptiness

image: wax115 on rgbstock.com

She pulled on her father’s boots last, taking the time to do up all the laces and then tuck the excess into the side around her feet. The boots were large, larger than she had initially thought.

But at the same time, they were just the right size.

Her father wasn’t at home. In fact, he hadn’t been at home for a very long time. He likely wouldn’t be home for several more months, if he came home at all.

So she would pull on his boots and walk around the house in them all day long. If she had to leave to do anything, the boots would go with her, slowing her down and reminding her that they didn’t fit.

They would never fit.

But it would keep her father closer to her throughout the day.

She would do this every month for one whole day until her father came back from his tour of duty.

Mary smiled as she clomped around the house, making enough noise to cover up the emptiness.


Written for today’s Light and Shade Challenge: http://lightandshadechallenge.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/light-and-shade-challenge-monday-26th.html

Also written in honor of not only the men and women that serve our country but their families who are without during their service.

Thank you.