Friday, October 30, 2009

Aunts Help the World Turn ‘Round

My aunt came in yesterday afternoon to be at my grandma’s visitation yesterday as well as the funeral later today. We got to talking, as we always do, and catching up on the few months we haven’t seen each other. Yes, we talk on the phone and on Facebook, but it’s still not the same as when we talk face to face, you know? We talked about my little cousins (7 year old girl, twins, one boy and one girl, 4) and their school year so far, about my boyfriend that went to the visitation with me yesterday (no, not in front of my boyfriend, we went into a different room and left him with my parents – woops!), and about my swimming and color guard seasons.

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

Family Reunion #3

Today is my grandma’s visitation. My aunt is coming home from San Francisco today and my uncle is already here. Family reunions like this are horrible. It’s to grieve about the loved one we just lost. It’s not like it’s a fun gathering filled with laughter, food, and games. It’s filled with tears, food, and sitting around talking about the one we love so much. It’s not the same as what most people view as a family reunion.

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.


It’s dejavu. Four times in ten months. Another visitation, another funeral, another set of tears; another heart break, another family gathering that’s appreciated, but not under the circumstances.

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

Walking Through the Motions

It’s exactly what I’m doing – walking through the motions of my life. I have been doing so ever since my dad died just ten months ago. I was beginning to bring my life back to the “norm” when I heard of my uncle’s (my mom’s brother’s) death when out to lunch with friends on Labor Day of this year. I began walking through the motions of my life even more when I found out about a week ago that my grandma has only a few days to a few weeks of life left

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

Two Words Forbidden in Our Lives

If words are forbidden, how can they still be used in our lives, threatening our existence?

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: Sometimes We Just Need to be Reminded!

I received this in an email this afternoon from a really good friend of mine that I call my “Big Sis:”

$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


S-T-R-E-S-S. It’s a six letter word, where, in the word itself causes me to be even more stressed. With swimming, color guard, practicing for my All-State audition on flute, being active in my church, staying awake in my classes, and spending time with my boyfriend, I find myself using this word a lot. “I’m stressed,” I say when I just can’t seem to figure out what’s going on or I’m too tired to care. “This is too much for me to handle right now.”

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

A Night Never to be Forgotten

The snow blows from the rooftops and the moon glows overhead. No one would ever have guessed the world of a fifteen-year-old girl could come crashing down while the moon shines joyously on her face.

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

Videos Relate to My Rambling Mind

“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

Rant #1

So I went online Sunday night to find that a friend of mine sent me a message including a link to an article by one of our local news centers in town about the trial I’ve been waiting to attend for ten months now, and will have to wait at least three more for. I clicked on the link, read the article, and was outraged. There were four mistakes in the three paragraph article. The day of the week the pre-trial occurred on was incorrect, as well as a few other things.

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.”
–Theresa Chandler

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: Good vs. Bad

Listening to music, watching television and old movies on the big screen, going to Broadway productions, doing countless quizzes on Facebook, and watching Granny hit a honking car with her purse on YouTube has become normal everyday life in America today, and has, in ways of society, shaped it differently than it was a few years ago. These new forms of entertainment, I think, have both ruined and helped today’s society in many ways.

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

What is True Love?

What is true love? The actual definition is “a truly loving or loved person”. To me, this seems very vague for something that means so much to young girls and guys alike.

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

Friday, October 2, 2009

Today is His Birthday

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.))