Life Worthy of Living<

We all have experienced loss. Loss of people in our lives, loss of those who have touched our lives, loss of pets, loss of friendships, loss of jobs…. all sorts of losses right?!

There is a loss that I want to talk about. Recently, I have loss someone who has touched my life. Pretty unforgettable human. The lives that this person has touches is pretty huge. Their passing won’t be remembered nearly as much as this persons legacy. This person LIVED!! I mean really lived. This person had great friends in their life, a wonderful family, memories, and has seen the world, and experienced things in their life that were wholesome and amazing. This persons memory and legacy will live on through their family, friends and all others who were touched by his presence.

Losing someone is one of the hardest things we experience emotionally. That is my experience and my opinion. In this loss of this bright joyous light of a person, it made me take some time to reflect…. I was taking personal inventory of my time. My only asset in this life.

Time is an asset that we all have moments taking for granted. We don’t know when we will be called home, we simply don’t know. But we live our everyday lives in our normal routines. I can’t and won’t speak for everyone for this matter… because we all live how we do.

For me though, I needed to take the time to reflect, process and pray. As I was looking back on my own life, I realized somethings. I have done some pretty awesome things. Although, I didn’t travel the world in my twenties or setting my sails for winning the corporate ladder… I became a Mother and then a wife. That is where my adventure started. I am so lucky that I am able to have that adventure because there are so many that are unable to. I was blessed with a daughter who will be graduating High School a year from now, and two sons. 17, 15, and 12. They are very much a part of my adventure. Never really a dull moment to say the least. Every child is an individual and man they are definitely mine. They are great kids.

There are some of my friends who are now starting families and my hat goes off to them because I don’t think I could do it in my thirties. I don’t know if I would have the energy. (As I giggle to myself) But the one thing that I do enjoy is watching how my children develop into the humans that they will be. It’s hard to watch them struggle at times, and its an absolute joy to see them thrive in what they are passionate about. And even though my daughter is going to be off into the world next year, I encourage her to see the world with new eyes. To do the things that make her happy, and that can be scary. To make memories. I am not sure what I will say with my sons yet. But rest asured that I will have something to say.

I don’t regret having children early, there are so many people who have asked me if I do. The answer is no. I enjoy that I am a young mother. I am not to sure if my daughter is okay with it at times when people think we are sisters or best friends. I wish I could describe her face when people give those compliments. It’s a look of ” isn’t it obvious she is my Mom?” Or when her friends come over they forget that I am an adult. ” Keeley’s Mom you’re welcome to hang out with us, you’re so cool.” Thank you but no…. The things they talk about are things I don’t want to listen to all the time…. silly kids. My boys are amazing too. The one thing we love to do, is laugh, sing, dance, play harmless pranks on each other. All of us just enjoy each others company. I love that God has chosen me to be their Mom and I am blessed to call them my children.

Family is such a huge thing for me. My father wasn’t around a whole lot, but my step father was. He raised me. My Mom and my step mother are huge parts of my life. My Granddaddy was my dude that I looked up too. My Granny Gail was wise and really someone I wanted to make proud too. Not to mention all my aunts and uncles that played vital roles in my raising. Family is awesome.

Since having my children I did move back to my hometown to raise them. They get to have that close community sense. For all those who grew up here in Los Alamos know exactly what I mean. It is Mayberry on a mountain top if Northern New Mexico. It really is a whole different place, but it isn’t the place where I want my kids to stay forever. I want them to see the world and experience new things in life. To travel and experience new cultures, to have cross-country road trips, to experience life in a new way.

Which brings me to this place in my own life. What are my plans… there are times where I feel that I am growing up at the same time as my children. I will be 41 when my youngest graduates high school and is off doing what he wants to do in life. So that leaves me here in this moment…. what are my plans? What are my plans now that the kids will soon be off doing their own thing? Who will I become?

So I am sitting here, and I am finishing my college application, praying that I will get in. Seeing the big world for what it is… a small dot in a mass of space and time that I have yet to explore myself. I feel like I am 18 again and trying to figure it all out but I love that I am now in this place, because the world is at my feet, I just have to make the choice to walk. Allow God to guide my steps. I feel inspired to live a life worth living.

To experience new things. To start checking things off my Bucket list and live!! I mean really live!! I want to add more feathers to my hat, I want my grandchildren to see that Memaw ( Thats what I want to be called when that day happens.) did awesome things and did it fearlessly, that I never stopped chasing my dreams, that I never gave up no matter how hard it got, that I loved with such deep love, that I cried with hope still in my heart, that I love Jesus and followed Him until the very end. That I wasn’t afraid to go into scary places and pray for and with others, that I walked around with joy in my heart and passion for life and even the worst parts of mankind couldn’t touch or taint my perspective of people. That one-act of kindness goes a long way, forgiving others quickly because you don’t know what they may be going through and maybe they need you to be that one person to let them know that they aren’t alone and that all things are possible, that I was able to conquer going into the ocean or try skydiving at least once in my life. Or that I was able to be successful when NO One believed that I could do the impossible because my dream seemed so big to others… never forgetting that when I felt alone that I was never alone.. there was two us walking that journey together… Admitting when I was wrong and accepting that I was perfectly made, that even when I stood alone a lot of times in my life that I never backed down from adversity and opposition. That even when my thoughts and beliefs were much different from others that I didn’t allow the enemy to take my confidence, that I was teachable and willing to listen and learn. That I wasn’t perfect nor did I want to be. That I didn’t really like hot weather unless there was a pool, that I had to have my favorite smells surrounding me, that I worshipped God with all that I had and didn’t worry what others thought because He was receiving my love in those moments. That I was all for playing outside when its raining outside, I wasn’t afraid to laugh to hard or loudly, that I wasn’t afraid to sing a little louder than others, or hug a complete stranger. I want to be remembered for how I lived my life not how I died, because I know that I will be with Jesus and I will be waiting for all of you on the other side. I don’t want anyone to really mourn me, but I would love for everyone who I may have impacted in this life to do something that you may not have ever done before, remember me in how I lived, laugh, sing, dance, write, hug, love, hope and care, respect and gosh darn it…. LIVE!!!

I know that God didn’t create me to fit into people’s boxes. I know that more than ever now in my life. Almost everything that I have done and accomplished in life wasn’t because I was able to fit in someones box of life. I was made for something much bigger than I think. This loss has changed something within me a little more… I can’t imagine how his life and the loss of his life has changed others since the news came. My first thoughts were of his sisters, wife and child and his best friends.

To you all who were impacted by Ethan’s life I have this to say…. may not be the last thing I say…. but here goes:

Do something amazing today

Remember that you are loved

Remember who is was

Laugh

Call that old friend you’ve been meaning to call

Take that trip you’ve been putting off

Start that family

Start that career

Chase after your dreams

Hug your children and kiss them as many chances you get

Don’t be afraid to stand alone

Love

Have faith

Sing with all your might

Make that coffee date

Learn something new

Be silly

Remember all the good times

Make new memories

Take pictures

Allow God to mend your hearts with His silver thread of love and hope. Know that Ethan is doing Ethan stuff in his eternal life and He is waiting for you on the other side. Cry as much as you need, and laugh. Allow yourselves to be filled with great love, hope and laughter through this time. Gods great healing hand is in this with us all. I pray that in this time that ties are mended, the broken are mended, the tears of sadness and mourning turn into tears of joy and love, I pray that there is salvation and change, and a new beginning starts here. I pray that this moves you to a place of redemptions and peace. I love each and every one of you. I leave you with these scriptures.

” The Lord is closest to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit.” Psalms 34:18

“Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14

” I will lead the blind by the ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths. I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16

Ethan was a funny, joyous, bright light in darkest days, he was a philosopher, saw the world with a much different set of eyes, the friendships he had are fortified in love, fun and compassion. He traveled the world, he loved, he impacted so many lives, he simply lived. His gift to us was that.. He lived and made us laugh. Thank you Ethan for this wonderful gift. You are remembered and will be remembered. Thank you personally for this moment and inspiration. May your adventure start in a new fresh way.

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Pink Panties

Last night, I was texting one of my longest friends of many many moons. Our friendship had a start like no other. I guess that is how a lot of new friendships start. Roxanne is her name. You’re singing the song aren’t you. Don’t lie we all know you are. I just did. We met working at McDonald’s. I didn’t think she liked me, I was right to assume that too. She was super helpful to me while we did work there. A lot of the cooks there would say a lot of inappropriate things to me in spanish and I had no idea, but she didn’t like me. I would find out soon enough.

We both worked with a young man who was her age and a year older than me, named Ivan. She really liked him and he liked me, and I liked another young man. Typical teenage stuff. Well, Ivan asked me out and I didn’t know how to say no, so I started dating him, and I also said yes to the boy I liked. Well, she confronted me, the same day that both of them confronted me. I told her everything and then she told me that she thought I only wanted to get to know her was because I wanted to date her brother. Hmmm no!! Not even in the same field. Then she told me about Ivan and I told her the whole drama that I put myself in. Nevertheless, I lost two boyfriends and gained a friend. All things were smoothed over and we were all able to move along and laugh about it.

So that is how we started being friends. So we were talking last night about all the things that have happened to us over the years. We have been through things that only her and I would find entertaining. Like the one time her and I went to the movies, just to come out and find that her car had been broken into. Her wallet was missing and she knew exactly who took it. I was pretty naive in thinking they wouldn’t do anything like that. But SHE KNEW and by golly she wasn’t going to allow that sort of thing happen to her. We got in the car, and I tried calming her but it wasn’t happening. She yelled in a moment of ” Oh HELL NO,” she said…. ” I am going to kick their ass with a bat and sword!!”  She meant that. I tried to hold back my giggles because she was furious. We pull up to her house and she goes into their garage thing, comes out with aluminum bat and a F-ing sword!!! Now granted she told me what she was going to do exactly but I didn’t think she actually had a sword…. She threw both items in the truck and off we went on a mission to kick these boys butts!! I couldn’t help but laugh… I mean this was really happening. She confronted them and to see the fear they had in their eyes was great. She got her wallet back, they kept the money but she got her important things back. I know for a fact that they wouldn’t ever do that to her again. I know I wouldn’t. I mean a sword y’all!! She went viking on them!

As we laughed about that, we were talking about her brothers wedding in Chicago in 2001. That was a fiasco but one we will never forget. We pulled an all nighter the night before at an under 21 club before we got on the plane. No doze were a part of the diet that night. We danced and had a blast once we were on the plane it was really hard not to fall asleep. When we got to our cross over in St. Louis we found a place to smoke cigarettes. Let me just say this.. They had a special place inside for smokers. I had never seen anything like that in my life, and I have flown all my life to various places, but never have I seen this. We walked in, more like crammed in with all the other smokers, nic fitters in this tiny glass box, as we light up we are on display for all to see, like we were animals at zoo… The looks people give to smokers is pretty crappy, but what did I care I was 18 and carefree of what people thought of me. We make our connecting flight, now, mind you Roxy has never really flown so the sense of urgency was real with her, the worry that flowed through her on that last leg was intense. We finally make it to O’Hare…. I will say this… I will avoid O’Hare at all costs! I really don’t like that airport… it is not user-friendly.

We are both tired, hungry and slightly slap happy. We get our luggage and I call for a cab to come get us. I have been on many transports from airports to hotels and this was the scariest ride I have ever been. I learned very quickly that drivers are ALWAYS in a rush to nowhere. Everyone uses their horns for pleasure as well as for function. I was grateful to make it in one piece. We check in without any issue and we ordered food, that was a complicated phone with two tired teens who just want food and sleep. Then her brother comes in and starts telling us how he doesn’t really want to get married but his wife is crazy and pregnant. That’s the short version. I even remember asking him …” Why are you doing it then?” he just simply stated that she would be shunned for being pregnant and not married. I guess they were already married, but they needed to make it official with her family and his and that no one else knew what was really happening. Her family had no idea she was pregnant. In their culture its was frowned upon in a big way, and he was also white. They were to have a Sikh wedding and all things needed to go smoothly and we were told to keep our mouths shut. Neither one of us liked his wife, she was rude and unkind, unlike her family they were very nice.

Now, with a their wedding we were customer fitted for our outfits. We had the whole nine y’all. I mean the head covering, down to the cool pants and tunics. Lots of gold and bright colors. I didn’t get to see my outfit until the day of. We kind of winged that whole situation, but I will get to that. The food we were served was all vegan, it was hard for us to not eat meat and to be polite. I was grateful to try something new but it wasn’t my thing. It smells so good but doesn’t taste like how it smells. Very deceiving and unfair. But whatever… we made it through. Her family kept us very busy so it was difficult to really get to sight see, but we managed to go to a Bahai temple, it was beautiful. Then it started raining and the walls started filling up with water, that was a new thing for me.

So let’s get to the day of… Her parents and us are hungry for the meats, and we are tired, hot and sticky, but we are ready for this wedding. We get to the brides house and ready to get dressed and that was something …. Her moms dressings were huge!! Her mom is like 4’9 and she was swimming on her. Roxy’s I think were okay, then mine were see through aqua….. See through …. my favorite color in transparent sheer aqua …. I am wearing neon pink underwear… we all just laugh… what else can we do… Nothing. I have to show off my chubby body in my favorite color sheer goodness with neon pink under-roos for all to see. Hundreds of people were at this gathering and I was all to eager to use my head dressings to just disappear. I didn’t have time to be embarrassed, I had no other choice but to own that whole situation. Their wedding was beautiful and went without a hitch. We ate and were all merry but we didn’t stay for the other activities. We wanted meat and to fill our faces with savory foods… okay okay we just wanted a really good burger. That is exactly what we did. I can’t tell you if we changed or not, I just remember eating and being on a meat High!! It was no joke… that burger was the best thing that was in my mouth that day!!

There are so many things that can bring a smile to my face and that is one of those memories for me. I have experienced many things in my life and there are times when I don’t think I live enough and to be honest there are so many other things that I want to experience. I know that I will one day, but I jump at the chance to travel. I love seeing, and experiencing new things, and cultures and places on this earth. I am so happy that I got to be a part of their wedding even though I didn’t approve but I wasn’t the one getting married. The wedding is something that I won’t ever forget, it was truly beautiful and something that I may never experience ever again. The vibrant colors, the closeness of all the families and friends bringing many blessings to the couple. I mean it was absolutely amazing. If you ever get the opportunity to go to a Sikh wedding.. DO IT!!

Now, I will never know if I was ever talked about with my neon panties on that day, but that goes to show you that they respected each other and me in that situation, at least they could talk in the privacy of their homes instead of saying anything to me about it. But damn I am glad I wore good underwear that day… Neon pink panties …. At least I matched and have this shared memory with Roxy.