Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Six Months.

Pin It It has been six months since the tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri. That means it's been six months since my brother died. It seems like yesterday and also like such a long time.

I hadn't seen Troy since the summer of 2006, when my grandmother died. His health had been bad for the past eight-ish years, something like that.

In 2009, his health took a serious turn for the worse, and we expected that he would not survive. At that time, I had a ton of stuff going on at home. I was a single mother for all intents and purposes because Jim was in Afghanistan. I couldn't just take off and go. Then Troy got better, against the odds. He kind of did that several times.

Then the urgency of going to visit went away. He got better and the "last time" and the "say goodbye" didn't seem as pressing. We talked on the phone a few times, and I have an email from him which still makes me giggle. He knew Jim was gone and told me to let him know if I needed anything. :)

When Jim got back, life kind of took over again and we just didn't make plans to visit. I desperately wish now that we would have.

This last week, I have been remembering silly things. Games we used to play - our house in Nashville had a hall that was completely dark if we closed the doors. We did this silly charades in the dark type game. I remember the BRIGHT red carpet in his bedroom in that house. Last week I got a couple of boxes of old stuff out of my old bedroom at my parents' house and remembered him out there listening to Bill Cosby and Howie Mandel records. I remember him watching Spies Like Us over and over and laughing hysterically through the whole thing. And OH MY HEAVENS, his son Tommy? So many mannerisms of Troy. Things he says and does ... it's a little freaky. And very cool. I would have never remembered Troy singing and dancing (a little strangely) to some old Michael Jackson song until I saw Tommy do it just last weekend. And this is a blessing. :)

And now it's Thanksgiving. Really, I'm not feeling all that thankful. I have regrets for not doing things because the cost to me was perceived to be too high. And then ... to survive all that he did and be killed by a tornado? That doesn't make sense to me. So, I am partly a little angry.

Then again, I am SO thankful. We had a perfect childhood. I have great memories. I see my childhood family somewhat mirrored in my own. I have faith that one day this WILL make sense. So as I sit here in a dark house in the rain, far from home and far from my parents, I'm trying to let the thankful things outweigh the "want to pitch a fit and say this is unfair" things.

And right now? I think that's good enough.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gratitude Journal - 331 - 340

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Woot!  Two weeks in a row!!

331.  For the oldest finishing her Texas History course!  We are rejoicing much for this class to be done.  She's getting much more out of the Texas history she is doing at our homeschool co-op, and all we were doing at home was basically doing just enough to check the box to say that we did it.  It took up a lot of time, so we are very glad to have it done!

332.  I've probably mentioned this before several times, but I am thankful for white chocolate raspberry creamer.  I have been in coffee bliss.  When the day starts with bliss, well ... everyone is just plain happy about that. When the day starts with bliss AND a clean sink ... well ... doesn't get much better than that!

333.  For watching my oldest get involved in a service project.  I'll post more about this later, because really it deserves a whole post to itself.  I am just thankful to watch her really think about some needs and find a way to help fill those needs. 

334.  For a repair that could have either been a minor fix or financial destruction.  You know how that goes?  It might be something that needs to be cleaned, or it might be the whole darn system needs to be replaced.  Thankfully our repair was of the minor sort, and if it should ever get cold here (ahem ... 4:30 pm on 11/14, and it's 81 degrees right now) we're all set.

335.  For tweaking The Pioneer Woman's chili recipe to just where I want it, and on our cold day last week (giggle ... it's all relative.  It was in the 60's okay?  When you live here, that IS cold!) I made a double batch, so there is perfect chili in the freezer for another day.  It's all in the chili powder/cumin ratio.  Get that right and it's chili bliss.  (So ... start off the day with vanilla coffee with white chocolate raspberry creamer, end it with chili ... the only appropriate word here is bliss.)

336.  For really good dental insurance, as we start the braces process with the middle one tomorrow.  And for the oldest one not needing them. 

337.  For how exciting it is to watch the middle one doing her math.  She really *gets* what she is doing now and is doing her math well and quickly.  And especially I am thankful that she is realizing that she is really doing well and is excited about it herself.  (And while I'm praising her, I'm sitting here with a poem she wrote that she is wanting me to type for her.  She did an excellent job!  Her handwriting is neat, spelling is good, and you can tell she put some effort into it.  Go middle one!)

338.  For snaggle toothed smiles from a six year old who runs up to give me hugs when he sees me at church.

339.  For getting plans together for high school and figuring out a plan there.  It's overwhelming, a little, but both the future high school student and I are excited about it. 

340.  For plans for a relatively easy week this week, then time off next week for Thanksgiving!  And for having much for which to be thankful. I will be linking up with A Holy Experience today. Hop on over and read some other gratitude journals.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gratitude Journal - 321 - 330

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It's been a while since I've done one of these, and as this has been a *bit* of a challenging day, a little bit of gratitude will likely go a long way!

321. That co-op is over for the day. LOL Today was one of THOSE days; tired kids I think from the time change. Or something.

322. My junior high co-op class. How I love that class! They keep me on my toes and make me giggle. They are a precious group!

323. Coffee bliss. White chocolate raspberry creamer is in my fridge (thanks to friends!!) and it is SO nice to start my day off with a smile and yummy coffee.

324. For a completely fabulous weekend! We got to visit friends, do a little shopping, and visit with my family all within a couple of days.

325. The oldest will finish her Texas history class this week. This class has been okay, she has enjoyed it well enough, but it takes quite a while and we are all looking forward to her school day being a little bit shorter when she switches from Texas history to English grammar. (Plus she enjoys grammar and is looking forward to it herself.)

326. The fact that when, just now, I picked up the little one's milk rather than my tea, and realized it BEFORE putting it in my mouth. Sometimes it's the little things. ;) I have a serious milk aversion and it would not have been pretty had that gone into my mouth. (And yes, I can appreciate the irony of my happiness a second ago over cream. LOL)

327. For cooler weather and a promise of rain in the forecast.

328. For an easy week without a whole lot of extra stuff. One child has an appointment and I think that's it for extras. This makes mama happy. We've had a LOT of going and going lately so it will be nice to have a break.

329. I am delighted with where we are in our homeschool so far this year. The kids are right on track and it's going smoothly. I also found a scheduling method that works even better for me than what we were using. :)

330. I have an easy meal planned for tonight that the kids should enjoy, and it's convenient because we have Upwards basketball evaluations tonight. I didn't plan for the evaluations when I made the menu, so I was glad to see an easy meal on there.

I will be linking up with A Holy Experience today. Hop on over and read some other gratitude journals.