Thursday, December 17, 2009
Work?.........Really boring (really, you have no idea).
Friends?......I just did that.
My Dad?......I feel like I do that too much already.
Maybe for once I’ll just write about me.
I’m 16 years old and a junior in High School. I play the flute in band at my school, I’m in color guard (we perform at football games in the fall and basketball games in the winter), I’m on the swim team, I’m on the tennis team, I’m very active in my church (I’m on the board of deacons, I sing the in adult choir, and I am active in the youth program in my church), and I love hanging with my friends.
In the past year, I’ve realized that things (people included) should not be taken for granted. I’ve learned that, in an instant, the life you once knew can be taken away from you, never to return.
I guess the next thing to talk about is this. I’m suffering from a minor-ish case of depression. I’m working it out, I wear my mask pretty well, but I’m still not the same person I was a year ago – before my dad died.
Well, that’s all I have time for right now. I will post more about myself if you want in a later post, but I’m telling you, my life is pretty dull! :)
I sometimes sit and wonder what my life would be like if I’d never met my two best friends. They were there for me when my dad died. They’ve been there for me every time something has gone wrong, as well as every time something has gone right in my life.
We’ve always been by each other’s side, through breakups, deaths, and other catastrophes that come along in our lives.
Without my friends, I wonder where I’d be today. I wonder if I would have made it through the breakups; the fights with my boyfriend; the death of my father, my uncle, and my grandma.
I hope I never lose those two girls that I’ve grown so close to over the years. If I do, I’m not sure how I’ll survive. They’re here for me at any hour of the day and night, ready to calm me down and help me out.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Tomorrow will be tough for me. But I’m going out with two of my best friends that have been standing by me through this whole thing for dinner in an attempt to clear my head. I doubt it will work, but it will at least be a bit of a distraction.
I still think about my dad every second of every day. I wonder what he’s thinking as he’s watching over me. I wonder what he’d say to me if he were with me. But I will never know. Not until I’m up there with him. Part of me hopes that’s soon, but part of me knows that it will be a long time from now because I know my dad wants to watch me live out my life better and longer than he had the opportunity to. It’s hard to want to grant the wishes that I know he has. But I’m pushing forward the best I can.
I got home from work this afternoon to find a box from my aunt along with a note.
Inside the box was a Christmas ornament with a little card that had a little poem on it. The Christmas ornament had the last stanza of the poem engraved in it. The little card said this:
Merry Christmas from Heaven
I still hear the songs,
I still see the lights
I still feel your love on cold wintery nights
I still share your hopes and all of your cares
I’ll eve remind you to please say your prayers
I just want to tell you, you still make me proud
You stand head and shoulders above all the crowd
Keep trying each moment, to stay in His grace
I cam here before you to help set your place
You don’t have to be perfect all of the time
He forgives you the slip, if you continue the climb
To my family and friends,
Please be thankful today
I’m still close beside you,
In a new special way
I love you all dearly,
Now don’t shed a tear
Cause I’m spending my Christmas with Jesus this year.
The card from my aunt said that she thought it sounded exactly like something my dad would say to me.
Things like this in my life keep me pushing on. Things like this keep me from straying further from the path I was meant to take with my life. Things like this help remind me that my dad is still watching over me, even if I can’t see him here with me.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Yesterday my big sis and I went sledding over at my neighbor’s house. They have a huge hill and every year we build a ramp and such and it makes sledding a ton of fun.
Well yesterday it was windy and really cold and my big sis and I were both really tired of going all the way down the hill and having to walk all the way back up it to go and do the same thing again. We both said that the hill needed stairs at the least, maybe even a ski lift.
Either way, sledding was a lot of fun. It got a little cold in the end, with a very close range “snow ball fight” (the snow was really fluffy and not able to be packed).
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Ok, so it's not as bad as this picture, but it's still pretty bad!!!
There have been two snow days so far. Today and yesterday. Yesterday I think could have passed as a two hour delay and we would have been fine. But right now I’m b-o-r-e-d! My mom has got me cooking and cleaning and all I want to do is waste my day away on Facebook or sitting in front of the fireplace. Will the snow days ever end? Will I ever go back to school? Part of me wants to go back because of how bored I am. But another part of me wants to just sit here for the rest of my life and watch the snow blow across my front yard. But I can’t really have it both ways, so I guess; I guess I’ll go back to school. I just hope that’s soon so I can stop being so bored!
Monday, December 7, 2009
You know what I realized? I’m living my life in the past. The day before my dad died to be exact. It was the day before my world came to an end; the day before my dad was murdered. In my opinion, his death hasn’t fully hit me, especially the murdered portion of the story.
The naive part of me still thinks he will be standing at the front door like he did the Saturday before he died, giving me a hug and telling me he loves me. But the reality part of me knows that just won’t happen.
Sometimes the phone rings and I still want to ask my mom if it was Daddy on the other line. Sometimes I don’t even register that it’s impossible for him to be the one calling. Other times I know it’s not him.
I feel like I’m living like the day before my dad died, like his death never really happened. I’m still in the sense that he’s going to come home, his car parked in my driveway, but I had to sell his car. I still think he’s going to call me on the phone and tell me he went on a long vacation, but I saw him in that hospital bed, I saw the death certificate, I saw the news on television and in the paper. This tragedy is real whether I face it or not.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I’m still my daddy’s little girl. No matter what happens; no matter who crosses my mind, he’s still there, allowing me to hold on to the memories that I never want to lose. I will never forget my daddy. These memories will never fade. My bond with him can only grow stronger as I sit here each day, thinking about what could have been if that night hadn’t happened. But wishing won’t change the past. I know that. But sometimes it’s all that keeps me going anymore – all that I have to live for – making him proud. But then again, am I doing that? Am I making him proud? Or am I changing my life so drastically that he can’t recognize me; changing so quickly that he can’t see that I’m still the little girl he was forced to leave? I love my daddy. And I know he always loved me and that he still does. But sometimes I wonder if the changes I’ve made in my life are what really need to happen.
Will You Comfort Me?
You see my pain – will you stop it?
You see my tears –will you comfort me?
You see the changes I’ve made – will you acknowledge them?
You see my scars – will you show me you care before it’s too late?
You see that I need help – yet I receive little.
You watch me cry and all you do is sit there, staring.
You watch me tear myself to pieces and all you do is watch me fall apart.
You watch me as my life crumbles to pieces. There’s nothing you can do, but still, I wait.
I wonder, sometimes, if this is what I’m going to be like forever.
I wonder, sometimes, if this is all I will ever remember of these years.
I wonder, sometimes, if this is going to kill me.
Maybe I want it to.
Maybe I don’t.
I’m not exactly sure anymore.
I thought I would be able to keep myself busy with television, Facebook, and everything else that I normally do when I’m extremely bored. But it’s mid-day! Everyone is at school and Facebook has three people on it, all at work that can’t talk but get on Facebook just because they can! I’m tearing my hair out trying to figure out what to do! I’ve tried sleeping, but it just isn’t happening! I already did the homework that I could that’s due tomorrow, I don’t know what to do and its not even noon-thirty!
What is a bored, sick girl to do? Ahhh! Today just needs to be over with so I can go back to school tomorrow! (Hopefully!)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
So I woke up this morning to find that I caught what my mom has been out with since Friday. The flu.
I have a headache, probably a little fever, my eyes and neck hurt, and I have a cough that sounds like I’m killing a cow (yeah, that was meant to be funny). I’m freezing cold with a sweatshirt on as well as a blanket, and my homework just doesn’t understand that I need it to learn how to do itself tonight so I can just relax and watch television, and maybe take a really long nap.
I can’t skip school any time soon, though, regardless of how I feel, emotionally as well as physically, because I just don’t like that feeling of being behind in my classes. My sister told me to take tomorrow off because I will only end up getting worse and having to take more off from school. But right now, that isn’t exactly an option. The new term just started and I need to start out ahead. Not behind. My sister also said that I should take the day off so I don’t infect the whole rest of the school. Well, to be honest, I don’t care! My education is more important to me! I don’t want that feeling of being behind in my classes, I don’t want that feeling of just not being able to get anything done because I’m overly stressed out.
I have the flu. And I absolutely hate it! I hope it goes away soon! :(
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Some of you may know what this is, but others may not. I'm a huge supporter of TWLOHA for various reasons that I really don't want to go into right now.
This is something I found online about TWLOHA.
To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.
*****To Write Love On Her Arms Day is a day where anyone can write the words love on their arms, to support those who are fighting against depression and those who are trying to recovering. On this day, just write love on your arms, and show it off, other people will ask why you have love written on your arms, and you tell them you are supporting to write love on her arms day, and how its benefiting a non profit organization helping stop depression, and make love the movement ♥
The vision is that we actually believe these things…
You were created to love and be loved. You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you're part of a bigger story. You need to know that your life matters.
We live in a difficult world, a broken world. My friend Byron is very smart - he says that life is hard for most people most of the time. We believe that everyone can relate to pain, that all of us live with questions, and all of us get stuck in moments. You need to know that you're not alone in the places you feel stuck.
We all wake to the human condition. We wake to mystery and beauty but also to tragedy and loss. Millions of people live with problems of pain. Millions of homes are filled with questions – moments and seasons and cycles that come as thieves and aim to stay. We know that pain is very real. It is our privilege to suggest that hope is real, and that help is real.
You need to know that rescue is possible, that freedom is possible, that God is still in the business of redemption. We're seeing it happen. We're seeing lives change as people get the help they need. People sitting across from a counselor for the first time. People stepping into treatment. In desperate moments, people calling a suicide hotline. We know that the first step to recovery is the hardest to take. We want to say here that it's worth it, that your life is worth fighting for, that it's possible to change.
Beyond treatment, we believe that community is essential, that people need other people, that we were never meant to do life alone.
The vision is that community and hope and help would replace secrets and silence.
The vision is people putting down guns and blades and bottles.
The vision is that we can reduce the suicide rate in America and around the world.
The vision is that we would learn what it means to love our friends, and that we would love ourselves enough to get the help we need.
The vision is better endings. The vision is the restoration of broken families and broken relationships. The vision is people finding life, finding freedom, finding love. The vision is graduation, a Super Bowl, a wedding, a child, a sunrise. The vision is people becoming incredible parents, people breaking cycles, making change.
The vision is the possibility that your best days are ahead.
The vision is the possibility that we're more loved than we'll ever know.
The vision is hope, and hope is real.
You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.
TWLOHA DAY IS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2009. WILL YOU PARTICIPATE?!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Every once in a while, a seemingly-simple email comes around that ends up being quite profound. This is one of them.
We complain about the cross we bear but don't realize it is preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we cannot.
Whatever your cross,
whatever your pain,
there will always be sunshine, after the rain.
Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall;
But God's always ready, to answer your call.
He knows every heartache, sees every tear,
a word from His lips, can calm every fear.
Your sorrows may linger, throughout the night,
But suddenly vanish, by dawn's early light.
The Savior is waiting, somewhere above,
to give you His grace, and send you His love.
May God fill your day with blessings!!
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle!
I’M REALLY EXCITED! Excited to be in San Francisco again, excited to see my little cousins, excited to see my aunt and uncle that live out there, excited to see my older cousin get married to a funny guy that I’ve gotten to know really pretty well from holidays when they come to visit Iowa and from when I came to visit out in San Francisco last year.
I’M REALLY REALLY EXCITED!!!!!
I guess I just have less time to wait between the November and December meetings now! :)
Friday, October 30, 2009
I’ve always been able to turn to my aunt. Even though she lives out in San Francisco, I’m able to tell her anything with the knowledge that no one else is going to find out. I’ve turned to her a lot since my dad died, and I will, and have, even more since my grandma died. We had a little time alone yesterday (minimal time, actually, because my boyfriend was there – don’t get me wrong, I’m glad my boyfriend was there. I’m not sure what I would have done if he wouldn’t have been able to get off work so he could come to the visitation with me) and she asked me how I was doing. I was completely honest with her, with things about my grandma and dad that were bothering me, as well as some other things that just didn’t fit into my “ideal life” at this time.
The words she said (no I don’t remember what they are, [insert my aunt’s name here], if you’re reading this, can you remind me?) really helped me out. That’s why I say my aunt helps the world turn ‘round. I’ve really been having somewhat of a hard time since my dad and even my grandma (even though it was only two days ago) died. I’ve wanted to turn back to my old ways after my dad died (that I have refrained myself from doing for about five months now – yay me!), but my aunt has told me some things to keep me from doing so.
I’m not sure what I’d do without my aunt, and I’m very thankful that she’s in my life. Without her, I’m not so sure I’d be able to get through this.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
This is number three this year. One on my mom’s side with the death of my uncle, and two on my dad’s with the death of my dad and grandma.
These types of family reunions are no fun. I never look forward to them. Other than seeing my aunt and uncle from San Francisco, I don’t enjoy them at all. We always get caught in candid shots of the camera, our faces blotchy and white from crying.
Family reunions like this just aren’t fair. I wish we didn’t have to have them, but that’s life, right? I guess we have no other choice. Being the optimist I am, I have to say that it’s a blessing that we still have family left to reunite with.
My grandma died Wednesday morning of lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). It’s hard on the whole family, especially after losing my dad so unexpectedly back in December. My grandpa is left to an empty house, one that hasn’t been left unattended since before I was born, my aunt and uncle told to come home from San Francisco for yet another funeral.
When my dad died, I said I wish I knew it was going to happen so I could be ready for it. Only after watching my grandma suffer did I learn that it makes no difference. It still hurts. It still makes you question what you did wrong to lose yet another loved one.
Life isn’t fair. But sometimes I sure wish it could be. It would make life, especially mine, so much easier.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I’ve found I care about homework less, even though after my dad’s death, I decided I wanted to go to law school to become a prosecuting attorney. I’ve also found that I just try to get through my days without anything bad happening to myself or to anyone I love.
Losing two people that are close to you in ten months and finding out that one more doesn’t have much time left is rough. It causes one to wonder what they did wrong, how they can prevent these things from happening. I know I can’t prevent these things, but I still wonder.
I wonder what would have happened had I been in a different place the night my dad died. I wonder what would have happened had I been home instead of out with friends the morning they found my uncle sitting on his couch. I wonder what would have happened had I been there when they said my grandma’s cancer had spread to her brain.
All in all, my question is this: could I have made a difference? I guess I’ll never know.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Murder. It’s a word no one wants to hear. It’s one that walked into my life just ten months ago.
Cancer. It’s a word that is constantly coming up in normal conversation in my family. My grandma is dying of Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). She has just a few days to a few weeks left of life.
I feel like life is far from fair. My dad, my grandma’s son, died only ten months ago. How is my grandpa, along with the rest of my family, expected to survive this? It’s just not fair. My grandma won’t get to see her oldest granddaughter, my cousin, get married on April 23rd of next year. She won’t get to see me graduate or see my little cousins grow up. How is this fair?
My older cousin told me a few days ago that she bought her wedding dress for her wedding. She called her mom, my aunt, about ten minutes after purchasing it, only to find that our grandma won’t be able to attend. How can life possibly turn out like this?
My grandma will miss the trial of my dad’s murder – something the judge has pushed back time and time again. She will never see justice served. She will never see the offender sit in jail for what he did.
How is this fair? Why do those two little forbidden words have to be used in my every day life, my everyday vocabulary?
Monday, October 19, 2009
$20.00: Sometimes we just need to be reminded
A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this. He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air. Well, he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now, who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air. My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.
Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE and WHOSE WE ARE. You are special - Don't EVER forget it." If you do not pass this on, you may never know the lives it touches, the hurting hearts it speaks to, or the hope that it can bring. Count your blessings, not your problems. "And remember: amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic. If God brings you to it - He will bring you through it.
This made me really reflect on my life and everything that’s been going on in it. Ever since my dad died, I’ve been wondering why God brought me to the pain and suffering I’ve felt, and why he didn’t help me through it. This really made me think about the fact that he is helping me. I’m just not allowing him to.
It was really a realization for me to receive and read this email. I realized that people like my “Big Sis” really do care about me as well as others that I’ve come closer to over the years. It was nice to feel “at home” with my self again – to understand that I’m not alone anymore.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
My question is this: Why do I feel like high school teachers and coaches alike think that you have nothing other to do than their one class or their one sport? The truth is, we have six other classes than the one that your teacher just assigned you a big project for, due tomorrow, and I participate in two sports as well as my church. There’s no time in my schedule for ‘hanging out’ like normal teens my age.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the sports and the church activities and I don’t know what I’d do without them. But sometimes, I think teachers need to realize that I’m at school for a minimum of twelve hours and a maximum of sixteen, working my butt off for that whole time (not just sitting around doing nothing).
Yeah, I get everything done on time, but that doesn’t mean I’m not up at odd hours of the night trying to finish my paper for Chemistry, my project for AP US History, my flashcards for Spanish, writing my drill work for Color Guard into my dot book, my blog for AP Lang, or my 5 pages of book problems for Algebra II. Add to that my two two-and-a-half hour practices a day for swimming, my twice-a-week late night practices for color guard, as well as my duties as Youth Deacon at my church and trying to get enough sleep so I don’t get sick or so cranky that I get even more stressed.
If only there was a way to put more hours in my day – a way for me to do the same number of things for the same amount of hours, but then have five or so extra hours in a day in order to be a ‘normal’ teenager and hang out with my friends, as well as catch up on some much-needed sleep.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
She travels with her mother and step-dad, half asleep, over the winding roads of the Interstate, coming closer and closer to their destination with every moment that passes. No one knows what’s happening. They’re just driving over the familiar hills and cracks in the pavement as if to pass the time. There is no speeding across the wet pavement, no honking horns coming from at the few cars on the road at 11:30 on a Sunday night in the middle of December. The world is silent to her ears. There are no tires screeching, no sirens from police cars or ambulances, no nothing. The world is dark and unreal.
The trio arrives at the local hospital, tears heavy in the young girl’s eyes. She doesn’t know what’s ahead. It feels like a horrendous dream that she will eventually wake up from. But she can’t wake. She feels the pain, emotionally and even physically as she pinches herself in an attempt to stir awake from this nightmare.
The family is ushered into a claustrophobic white-walled room, where they are told to sit and wait. The young, naïve girl doesn’t know how cruel this night really was how terrible it was about to become.
The black haired doctor walks into the diminutive room and tells the family they have to go to a different hospital. The family piles back into the car and the girl tries to sleep. Thoughts rage through her head, her eyes unable to stay closed long enough to get some rest. The street lamp overhead flickers and she jumps. “Mom?” she asks, “What’s going on?” No response. The eerie silence bothers her, and she shakes in fright.
The family arrives at the new hospital, oblivious to what is waiting for them inside. “Do you want to see him?” the doctor asks calmly. The young girl nods her head and is lead to the back of the hospital. The doctor leaves her then, and she hugs her mother and cries.
She stares down at the ghostly white corpse of the one she used to know so well. She never thought this would happen to someone she loved. Her daddy is gone, and he’s never coming back.
Monday, October 12, 2009
“Lucy” by Skillet
** Warning! I’m really tired! I got home from a marching band competition (yeah, I’m in color guard, but I still compete alongside the marching band) really early Saturday morning (2:45 am) and I’m still really tired! So if this post seems a little random, it probably is. I’m just super tired. It probably isn’t a good idea to blog when you’re this tired, but I need to get this done! **
My boyfriend showed me this song last week because he knows what happened to my dad, and because he doesn’t like the kind of music I listen to J. You know, I learned after listening to this song that it really relates to my life in many different ways:
For part of this video, Lucy is my dad. I remember his birthday, I remember that night that his life came to an end, just like the singer remembers Lucy. I just want to sit and talk to him sometimes, just like the video says.
But with other parts of this video, I am Lucy. “Now that it’s over, I just want to hold her.” I’m her, and my dad just wants to be here with me and hold me tight.
Another part of this video, I think, is the guy that killed my dad. “I have to live with the choices I’ve made.” He hopefully will never forgive himself for what he’s done. I know I won’t.
Everyone tells me I need to forgive him someday. But how can I? He took my childhood hero, my daddy. How can one forgive another for something this big? This guy didn’t push me down on the playground when I was five. He took my daddy when I was fifteen.
I’ve gone ten months without my dad. How am I supposed to go the rest of my life without him? Justice hasn’t been served. I’m not sure when it will be. But this guy deserves to sit in jail for the rest of his life. But he won’t get this sentence. The maximum time he will serve is twenty-five years. How can I live with that knowing I could run into him on the streets one day when I’m older?
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I called my aunt a few minutes later and we spent about fifteen minutes ranting and raving. I got off the phone and turned back to my computer. I sent a calm and sophisticated email to the news station. I signed it, hit send, and ranted some more to a few of my friends that were online at the time.
The thing is this: I don’t understand why this bothered me so much. Yes, these mistakes would have been corrected of the writer had spent the time to read over the article before submitting it, but I just don’t understand why it bothered me so much. This is definitely not the first mistake the press has made with this case. Nor will it be the last. So why did this stupid little mistake bother me so much? I’m not sure. But I sure hope they announce their mistake and fix it. Or else that will be the nicest email they ever receive from me…
“To those people [the press], its just names and dates and numbers. Basically nothing. But to people like us, it’s our life.”
My friend Theresa told me this after I ranted to her about this little problem that was bothering me so much. She lost her boyfriend awhile back, so she knows what the press is like in situations like mine. Without people like Theresa, I’m not sure what I’d do to get through this whole ordeal.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Entertainment has ruined our society in ways of bonding between children and their parents. Because of iPods, Internet, and big screen televisions, children have grown away from their parents and have spent less and less time together. I know I have been so obsessed with the newest songs, television shows, Facebook quizzes, and YouTube videos, that, sometimes, I don’t even realize that my mom was talking to me until she’s already grounded me for a week for not putting down the iPod or letting go of the computer mouse while she’s talking to me.
At the same time, though, entertainment has helped our society to grown and to flourish. With the help of this little thing called entertainment, we can learn a lot about other countries and states and apply it to our own lives. Not all of the YouTube videos we watch are made by our next door neighbors; not every song is created by the same person with only one view of life; and not every movie is created in the United States or with our opinions on a subject. With the use of entertainment, our society is able to grow with the use of examples from other places.
Entertainment can also be ruining our economical society. With websites like YouTube, listening to and watching music videos, as well as videos alike, are free. Also, when listening to music, software like iTunes tries to help the economical society by charging the listener a certain amount of money per song they download. But at the same time, software like LimeWire allows the listener to download as many songs as they want, free of charge. Facebook also doesn’t help in today’s economical society. Facebook is a free website that people spend their whole lives on. We spend hours writing on our friends’ ”walls,” “tagging” people in the pictures we just uploaded, and having “poke wars” with people with the “poke” application, all while not spending a dime.
Entertainment is both ruining and supporting today’s society. It has helped to shape our society and change it over the years. Entertainments such as YouTube, Facebook, music, television, and movies have had both positive and negative effects on today’s economical and general society.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I sat down and asked myself today if my current boyfriend is in fact my one true love. Yes, I’m only sixteen years old, but I can still wonder. Those stupid Facebook tests that people take mean nothing. They don’t know who we are and what the young couple shares. They don’t know the mutual feelings we share. They just know that if a person responds “a” to a question, that they’re truly in love. It’s not a true test. Is there such thing?
This mediocre definition doesn’t tell me what true love really is. It doesn’t tell me the qualifications for a “good man” or a “future husband.” This is the definition that everyone wants, but never gets.
He makes me feel like a princess, something Holly², a good friend of mine, has told me millions of times needs to happen.
I don’t have to play the part of someone I’m not. I’m myself and he likes me that way. I don’t have to fake how I feel and I don’t have to fake my mood for his approval. He approves no matter what kind of mood I’m in, no matter how I dress; no matter what.
He tells me I look beautiful in sweat pants and a sweatshirt, my hair in a ponytail, and my eyes black from makeup I forgot to remove from the day before.
He gets up over three hours early each day just to tell me, “good morning” and he stays up even later just to whisper, “good night” into my ear over the phone, just loud enough so that I can hear it, but his parents can’t.
So what is true love? What makes a relationship eligible for such a label? And what are the credentials, the mind-set needed to call it that?
² Name has been changed
Definition from www.dictionary.com
Friday, October 2, 2009
Today is my dad’s 51st birthday. The problem? He was murdered back in December. At least it is a half-day at school today. I don’t know what I would have done had I needed to be at school from 5:30 in the morning until at least 5:30 at night plus performing at the football game later that night. Fortunately for the half day, I’m get out of school today at 11:15. All I have is swim practice at 3:00, and then I’m done for the night.
I’m going to lunch with my aunt (my dad’s sister) soon. Does she remember what day it is today? Does she know she’s eating out with me on his birthday? Or did it just happen to fit into both our schedules for today, October 2? Has my cousin (her daughter and someone I look up to) told her how this whole thing has affected me? Does she know? I guess I’ll just wait and find out.
I’m so out of it already today – nothing makes sense like it should. I already have a splitting headache. No one understands why I’m in such a bad mood, even after I explain it. They haven’t lost a parent. Not this in way at least – not to murder.
Read the most exact story of my dad’s murder that I can find and watch the news report and read the follow-up
((I thought of the title for this post from a song by Sugarland. “Today is my birthday, and all that I want, is to sit with this big box of pictures ‘til the daylight’s gone.” That’s exactly what I want to do today. No, it’s not my birthday, but it’s my childhood hero’s, my daddy’s. I want to go through all those old pictures and bring to mind all the memories that my dad and I shared.))
Monday, September 28, 2009
Here’s what was published:
It’s the nightmare you can’t
Wake up from.
It’s the words that won’t
Erase from your ears.
It’s the images you’ll never
Let yourself forget.
It’s the life you wish
Was only a nightmare.
The building stands before you,
Growing larger and larger.
You walk inside,
Finding your past
Staring right back at you.
Inside is Dad’s apartment
Where the familiar scent
Of stale cigarettes and Bud Light
The green leather chair
Still sits in the corner of the living room,
The light blue and salmon checkered comforter
Still lies gently across the bed,
The dirty yellow rug,
Still sprawled across the bathroom floor.
You turn around
To face Mom’s open arms.
You hear her whisper,
“Daddy might not make it,”
Again and again
Until she’s screaming
At the top of her lungs.
Tears pour down your face
At the reminder that he’s
You run for the door,
You only pause
To turn once more
For that final look
At that eminent number five
Glued to the door.
It’s a start, right? It was sooo embarrassing when I found out that my mom copied the page it was on in the newsletter and sent it to all our relatives and family friends. But that’s what moms do, right?
Check out Sarah Kay
By definition, color guard is a group of people who carry or escort the flag or colors during parades and band performances. But to me, it’s so much more than that. It is life – twirling flags, spinning rifles, and tossing sabers have become my typical daily routine. It is the girls that are as close as family, it is the coach that is like a sister to you, and it is the friendships that develop along the way. An ordinary definition of color guard doesn’t cut what it means to some of us, what it means to me. Color guard releases the anger. I mean, who wouldn’t want to “accidentally” throw a flag or a rifle at someone next to you that just won’t shut up and pay attention? Yes, it’s bruises, black eyes, and in some cases, stitches or even tendonitis, but this family of girls is most definitely worth it at the end of the day.
The first thing people may think about swimming is that all we do is go back and forth, back and forth, and you sit there for the finish of this stupid meet so you can go home and sleep. But in fact, it’s waaaaaaay more than that. Have you ever sat in on a swim meet and heard the cheers? My boyfriend went to his first swim meet last week to watch me swim against the school he attends (yes, he cheered for me, not for his school, thank you very much). He had no idea that a swim meet could get so loud, so exciting. It’s so loud in there that you get headaches after about ten minutes, so loud that you lose your voice each week from screaming.
Although, swimming is more than just the cheering. Yes, it’s hard work; any swimmer can tell you that. It’s long hours, it’s wondering if this pool grew in length overnight, and it’s wishing that the season could just be over with. Each and every year, I find myself, at the end of the season, telling myself that this was it – I’m not coming back next year. Though each year, I’m back and ready to rock the blocks.
Our team is a family – a group of girls with our head coach and our three assistant coaches. We spend more time with them then we do with our actual families. Swimming is essential to my lifestyle anymore. Without it, I’m not sure what I’d do.
Flutes – the first thing anyone thinks about is the loud and obnoxious noise of the flute and/or piccolo. But have you ever really heard a good flute player? One that uses vibrato (a shaky and exciting effect produced in an instrumental tone by rapid variations in pitch) and dynamics (variation and gradation in the volume of musical sound)? The flute can be a beautiful instrument.
To me, the flute speaks different tones and moods with it’s different dynamics, octaves, and vibrato. The music I play can relate to my mood and my energy level that day.
It is also my other sense – it’s caused me to be able to pick pitches out of thin air; it’s caused me to be able to hear whether a note is sharp (too high in pitch) or flat (too low in pitch). It’s become another lifestyle for me. And maybe, it will even carry me to greater things in life.
Tennis – to some, it’s an excuse to use all your power to fling your racket over your head and hit a tennis ball at someone’s face without getting into trouble. It’s the ability to learn control and to apply power to every shot.
Most importantly, what I think about is this: To a tennis player, Love means nothing. But to this tennis player, Love means something very important. It’s the ability to fill yourself with the feeling of being whole, the feeling of being wanted and understood. It’s feeling for others and wanting to be wanted. It’s something I’ve found I can’t live without anymore. That special someone, I hope, has come into my life. If not, for some reason, and he’s not the one (but I hope he is), I guess I’ll just keep on walking until I find the one guy that will make me feel like a princess.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
-“Fight Like a Girl” by Bomshel
I never knew how many special songs could mean so much to me, how much they could give an explanation for every aspect of my existence.
“You can let go now, Daddy, you can let go. Your little girl is ready to do this on my own. It's gonna be a little bit scary but I want you to know I'll be okay now, Daddy. You can let go.”
-“You Can Let Go” by Crystal Shawanda
Some remind me of what I had before it was all taken away from me. Some remind me of what is still yet to come. Some keep me pushing towards the finish – towards the greater things in life.
“I remember Daddy’s hands, folded silently in prayer. And reaching out to hold me, when I had a nightmare. You could read quite a story, in the calluses and lines. Years of work and worry had left their mark behind.”
-“Daddy’s Hands” by Holly Dunn
You know, everyone’s life is diverse – everyone walks to the beat of his or her own theme song. And who knows - maybe others, like myself, have more than one song that continue to keep their feet moving through the pain of everyday life.
I guess I’ll start with this: Do you ever feel that you walk into your church to hear the sermon for the day, and you feel that everything that your pastor is talking about is directed at you? That’s exactly how I felt a few weeks ago.
I was sitting next to my friend Holly². She knows a lot about what’s been going on with me since my dad died. I don’t remember exactly what our pastor was talking about (yes, I was paying attention, I just can’t remember!), but I know that Holly poked my arm and said, “Hear that? It’s about you!” I started listening more carefully then. And that’s when I realized – it was ALL about me. In one-way or another I could relate the sermon to myself and to my life. Holly told me afterwards that it seems that sometimes the sermons are directed towards her, but it seems that the more trouble we find ourselves in with our faith, the more the sermon tends to fit into our lives. Why is this? How do they fill those holes that are in our hearts that easily? I honestly don’t know. I just know that they do and that they can change a simple life in a single instant.
² Name has been changed
Monday, September 21, 2009
My dad’s story is told as I remember it, but his death was fast, unexpected, and very painful. The press haunted my family and me with their constant stories, rumors, and pictures. They often twisted the story of my dad’s death. They never actually got it quite right, I don’t think.
The press always tells us different stories. Some say my dad suffered. Others saying he didn’t. But no matter what the press says, I will keep what I believe in my heart. I believe that my dad didn’t suffer and that he didn’t see the power behind the blow of His fists coming at him. I continually tell myself that the press is wrong when they disagree with that, and I hope, deep down inside, that I’m right and that the press is wrong. I don’t want to think about how my dad’s last moments could have been filled with pain and worry, and I don’t want to think about how they could have been filled with sadness. I try to think of my dad as being happy, having no worries on his mind, feeling no pain, and feeling no regrets in his last few moments. I guess I will never know for sure what was going through his head in those last moments. All I can do, now, is hope for the best, I guess.
The days before my dad’s funeral were really difficult for me. I put together a slide show filled with pictures of my dad, I tried to talk about my feelings to some of my closest friends, and I attempted to keep my broken self from crying. I felt like everything was being thrown onto my small, fragile shoulders and I felt like I was about to collapse, dropping everything from on top of my shoulders, because of the weight of all the new responsibilities that I wasn’t even close to being ready for.
The funeral came sooner than I wanted it to. It was on a Thursday night and the weather was terrible. It was snowy and a little bit icy. But despite the weather, over three hundred people came to pay their respects, to support my family, to support me, and to remember my daddy.
At the visitation, I got plenty of hugs from people I knew, and just as many from people I didn’t. They introduced themselves as “friends of my dad,” but they didn’t tell me their names. People I hadn’t seen in years came out in the bad weather to show their support.
At exactly 6:00pm, I grabbed my flute, walked into the sanctuary with my family, and stood before the one hundred people who had stayed to watch the funeral and to say goodbye to my loving daddy. I looked at my accompanist, smiled a weak little smile, and turned back to the music before me. I took in a deep breath, hands shaking, and started playing. With the last note hanging in mid-air, I half-walked, half-ran back to where my family was sitting and I took my seat in the uncomfortable pew.
Once I finally sat down, the pastor started speaking about what an amazing person my dad was, about how he helped everyone in their times of need, and how he had continued to live his life for me and only for me.
Before the funeral, I had also picked out three songs that I wanted to be played at my dad’s funeral. The first one was “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me, followed by “Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill, and then finally, “You Can Let Go” by Crystal Shawanda. These songs played at different times throughout the service. Our pastor would talk for a while, a song would play, and then he would talk again, and so on and so forth. During each song, I could hear people crying, even over my own, hurtful sobs.
My dad was only fifty years old. He still had many years ahead of him to do everything that he wanted to do. But because of him, though, this time was pulled to a complete stop.
Something that my uncle said during the service actually made everyone laugh. It struck me that laughter dispersed a little bit of the heavy sadness that everyone could feel in the air. My uncle told everyone about how my dad made his kids a swing set, built some stairs, and painted the kids’ rooms when he was at their house in San Francisco. He told everyone that he could picture my daddy standing with our Christ and Savior at the gates of heaven, and Christ asking my dad to help him fix a door or go build something for him. We all laughed at that, because we could almost picture it happening right above us as my uncle was telling everyone the story.
I made a few new friends through all of this hurt, actually. A woman named Anne contacted me through Facebook and told me about how when she was little, my dad played basketball at Coe. She told me about how she was always excited to see my dad play, and that she was even more excited when she got an autograph from him. It made me smile as I read this little note, because I know that my dad has always had a big heart, and he really loved making people happy, even if he didn’t know them.
It really meant a lot to me to get messages from Anne because it showed me that more people than I know care about me and want to help me get through this mess. It showed me that the world that holds the murderer that killed my dad can also hold some of the best people.
People have asked me a lot of questions trying to figure out what I’m feeling. Honestly though, I don’t know what I’m thinking about. All I know for sure is that I’m mad at the man that killed my dad; I might even hate him. I really don’t understand how a man could take the life of another so carelessly. Without thinking twice and without thinking of me and of my dad’s friends and family that love him.
People have also asked me a lot of questions about God and what I think He did in this situation. My answer to that, honestly, is that I don’t know. I don’t know what I believe anymore. Before all of this happened, I threw everything at God. I believed He could make things happen, or make things not happen. I believed that He was more than just a figment of my imagination, more than just something to put my faith into. I believed that He had our lives planned out for us before we were even born; I believed that He loved each and every one of us and I believed that He wanted to protect us. But now, I’m beginning doubt all of that. I don’t know what He really means to me anymore, I don’t know why this happened, and I don’t know why He decided to let my dad die this way. I have so many questions that just can’t seem to be answered. Honestly, I wish that God could just drop down from this so-called Heaven above us and tell me what He was thinking when He let all of this happen. But He can’t. I know that. But sometimes, I just wish He could – to clear up all this confusion, to dull this pain that will never go away.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I feel like my dad is watching over me all the time now, but I don’t feel that God is with me at all. I feel like He has betrayed me in one way or another. I feel like He’s punishing me for something that I didn’t do. I feel that He’s left me to fight this battle alone. At this point, I’m losing that battle. I feel like it’s me against the world, six and a half billion to one. I don’t think I can win. Do you?
I think I’ll just drown in the downpour of the rain, the tears, the hurt, the anger, and these unanswered questions. I have to show the world that I really do care about him. I have to show them that he was my hero, my mentor, and my daddy, and that he always will be, even though he’s not physically here anymore.
I’ve been thinking about everything that happened to my daddy that night lately, and one thing I decided is that I wish that everyone’s life, as odd as this sounds, could be a like a video game. I just want the extra lives that you receive in a video game. I think it would be great if we started out with five lives that we could use whenever the one before it ran out. They would disappear one by one, and when you’ve finally used up the last one, you would easily start over with five new lives.
If life were like a video game, my daddy would still be here. Kim would have killed him and all my dad would have had to do is start the day over and try again. He wouldn’t have felt any pain, just the anger of having to start his day over again. But he wouldn’t be gone. Not like he is now. Not like he is in the real world.
Sadly, life is life. You only get one chance to live. When someone takes that one life from you, it’s over. You don’t get to start your day over and you don’t get a redo. You’re physically gone forever, leaving your family and friends to grieve, leaving them wishing that you were still with them. I haven’t really accepted that my daddy’s gone. I keep thinking that he’s just gone on vacation. I keep thinking that he’s going to come back. But I know, deep down inside, that he’s not. I know that Kim killed him. I hope he pays for that. But I know that nothing can bring my dad back. I haven’t really checked back in with reality for a long time now, and I’m not looking forward to the time when I’m forced to look over the little wall I’ve built for myself – when I’m forced to move on. I know, though, that the memories of my dad will only grow stronger – that’s what’s keeping me going.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I have always been a Daddy’s girl. I never really liked spending time with my mom as much as I liked hanging out in the backyard or in the garage with my daddy. He was the one that taught me how to ride a bike, he was the fix-it man when a toy of mine broke when I was little, and most importantly, he was my hero. Now all of that is gone - taken from me by an abuse, an act that wasn’t necessary, an act of anger and hatred towards my daddy.
To me, he was invincible. Immortal. But I learned the hard way that nobody really is. Everyone dies, and that’s hard to live with. I would be perfectly okay with everyone I love living forever - never dying, never experiencing any pain, and never growing old.
But I know that will never happen. I know that everyone dies eventually, but I wish my daddy’s death didn’t have to be like this. I wish he had died when I was older, maybe even when I was expecting it somehow. I wish I would have known it was the last time I’d ever get to be at his apartment with him. But I didn’t know that. I didn’t know I’d never get to see his smile, or that I’d never get to hear him talk or laugh again.
I wish that man wouldn’t have killed him. I wish my daddy hadn’t died like that. I wish he would have known it was coming somehow and been able to defend himself so maybe he wouldn’t have died. But wishing won’t change the past. I know that now. But I still want the past to change. I still want him here.
I know he’s in a better place, now. At least that’s what everyone keeps telling me, but again - I want him here. I want him to see all my swimming and tennis meets and all my color guard performances. I want him to see me graduate from high school, I want him to walk me down the aisle at my wedding, and I want him to be able to get to know my children when they come into this world. But now none of that will happen - all because of an act of hatred towards my father.
I will always be a Daddy’s girl, even though he’s not here anymore. I will always remember the times in the backyard and the garage with him. Part of him will always be there when I get on my bike and he will always be the first one that pops into my head when someone asks me who my hero is. Maybe that’s what makes a person stronger, not the pain or the injustice, but the memories and the things I have learned from my daddy.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
There’s too much worry, too much stress – too much for me to throw onto your delicate shoulders. Mine are becoming stronger, but only temporarily. Sooner than need be, the weight of this whole thing will drop, dragging me down with it. When will that be? I’m not sure. Am I looking forward to it? Absolutely not. But will it happen? Yes.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Please keep on going no matter what. Promise me you’ll keep going. It’s what I want from you. I don’t care how hard things get. Think of me; think of how much I want you to move on. Do great things with your life. You have everything you need lying in front of you. I know you’ve had a lot of bad things happen in your life, but you’re strong. You can get through this and everything the future holds. Stay strong and keep going. I’m sorry I’m not strong enough. Be strong for me.
I love you,
² Names have been changed
This is a suicide note from a friend of mine. She wrote it a couple of months back. She’s still here today, thankfully. But this note still hurts me every time I read it. The realization that I almost lost my best friend is so overpowering.
Many things bother me about depression. Depression itself doesn’t bother me because I know that people can’t control it. The fact that people don’t understand it is what bothers me. People think depression can be “cured” by the person admitting they’re depressed. This is far from the truth. Many people need counseling called psychotherapy or antidepressants to help cope with their depression.
Some turn to cutting or other types of self-mutilation to help cope with the emotional pain that they’re going through. Many believe that there’s nothing else that anyone can do to help them. Many believe that this is the way their life will always be – dark, cold, and lonely. They believe that there’s no turning back to the life they used to live, all because of what the depression has done to them.
Many lose their friends, their family, and anyone else that was close to them because the person often fades slowly from life, becoming less and less social. Things like “Feel my pain, hear my screams, and watch me fade” are used often to try to help the person explain how they feel. In reality though, sometimes they don’t know that what their feeling isn’t normal. They begin to feel that they’ve felt this way their whole lives.
I guess I ask you this: Why does depression exist? Why do we sometimes have to feel like tomorrow will only be worse than today? Why do we sometimes just want to be alone with our depression, and other times want to be around people, just to try to make it fade away? Why do we have to feel the hurt from the depression sometimes?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
December 2008: My dad was murdered.
February 2009: One of my best friend’s brothers died in a car accident.
July 2009: My grandma got stomach cancer and started getting weaker and weaker from the chemotherapy.
July 2009: My grandpa became weak from my grandma being sick.
August 2009: My Papa got bladder cancer.
August 2009: My other grandma started having heart problems.
September 2009: My uncle died.
I’m not trying to win your sympathy – I don’t want it. I’m only trying to make a point, in one way or another.
My question is this: If death is inevitable, then why do we fear it so much? Why do we blame ourselves? Why do we scream at the God we believe in, asking Him how He let this happen? It’s inevitable – nothing we do will bring the ones we love back to us. But it feels good to try, sometimes.
Those two girls that have suffered through this with me know just how this whole thing has affected me. Death isn’t easy. There’s really no way to prepare yourself for a loved one’s death. Neither my dad’s, my friend’s brother’s, nor my uncle’s deaths were expected. But for a while I asked God why he didn’t give me a warning about the deaths. With my dad’s death, I thought at first that I missed the signs that He gave me. Part of myself still believes that I missed them. But now, I realized that it wouldn’t have helped to suffocate this pain. I would have still hurt in exactly the same ways.
We’re so afraid of living while another is gone. But we have to realize, eventually in our lives, that death is, in fact, inevitable. But that doesn’t mean we’re ready to deal with the pain just because we know one day death will come and conquer the ones we love, though. Even when death is expected to take the one we love, it hurts us and kills a part of us that will never return. That hole will always remain eminent in our hearts, unable to be filled ever again.
Well, it was back before settlers even came to the New Land (America). They started wars in order to obtain land and to attempt to come to some kind of an agreement between Indian tribes. They also created alliances and then later betrayed those alliances, creating wars and hatred between colonies. But this was hundreds of thousands of years ago, right? How have people, as a mostly thriving world, not “grown up”? Can we not communicate and come to an agreement using calm words of intelligence? Must we use violence to get our point across?
I guess I just question all of this because of something that ruined the girl I used to be. It happened just nine months ago. My dad was assaulted by someone he knew and somewhat trusted. A few hours later, my dad died from what happened to him that night.
This “Daddy’s Girl” was, and still is, torn apart. I probably always will be. How am I ever supposed to trust again when the fear of being betrayed still makes itself clear in my mind? How am I supposed to view any kind of violence as “good” when it took my childhood hero, my inspiration in life, and my cheering section?
I don’t think the people in this world realize, unless they are “victims of homicide” themselves, that violence not only kills the one that was physically hurt, but it kills a part of the ones that loved him as well. Their lives will never be the same again due to this stupid act of violence towards another for no reason at all.
There is no trust in violence – it can never end well. So why do we, sometimes readily, partake in it?
-Definition: a non-premeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility.
-Sentence: 50 years, serving a minimum of 25 years.
-Definition: unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought.
-Sentence: 10 years, serving a minimum of 5 years.
-Definition: accidental killing of another.
-Sentence: 5 years, serving a minimum of 2.5 years.
-Definition: the sudden, violent attack of another.
-Sentence: 2 years, serving a minimum of 6 months.
How do the above sentences add up to the death of another? I don’t believe in the death penalty because I believe the offender must suffer their time in jail, but I do believe that they should spend more time in jail than this! But look at the gap between second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. How is this fair? How does our legal system offer the opportunity to serve less time for good behavior? They committed and were charged with the crime! In my opinion, they shouldn’t get less time because they “found God” or decided to be good AFTER they committed the offence and got caught. Am I the only one that thinks this?
In the newspaper today, there was an article about a man who used his business’s money to buy personal necessities. He was sentenced to serve ten years in federal prison. Does this make sense? He didn’t kill anyone; he just spent money that wasn’t his. He will spend more time in prison than someone convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter and Assault. How is this fair?
Our legal system is messed up in this way. How does one who killed another not receive more jail time? I guess I just don’t understand how this is fair.
Will someone please explain to me how this makes sense?
* Sentence varies from state to state
* Definitions from www.dictionary.com
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I love writing - about anything. But I'm only used to posting my work about depression and the things that go along with it. I'm not used to posting my opinion on other things in this world.
This is new. But I'm excited to keep posting. Maybe this will help me to speak my mind a little more. Maybe not. I guess we'll wait and see...