December 2006


Santa brought me a pair of tap shoes for Christmas. 🙂

And to the 8 pounds that I’ve recently lost, welcome back. While I haven’t missed you, having you back isn’t so bad if it involves peanut butter bon-bons and Mema’s peanut butter chocolate sheet cake. But don’t get too comfortable. I’ll be tap dancing you away again soon.

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Hi Mema.  🙂  love you!

(don’t be jealous if your name isn’t mema.  1- not everyone could aspire to have such a cool title.  it’s reserved for the cream of the crop.  2- it’s not that i don’t love you, too, but i just love my mema a lot.)

grief is selfish… and that’s totally okay.

nothing can prepare you for watching your uncle pick out his daughter’s burial outfit.

we’ll never understand how or why some things happen.

the Lord really can bring beauty out of ashes.

you don’t really remember what people say or what people do. it’s the fact that they’re there, and they care that you remember.

my co-workers are so amazing. i wouldn’t have made it through in one piece without them.

my family is one of the most important things in the world to me. and this is only affirming that.

when you think there’s no more tears left, chances are good that there are.

small towns provide an amazing support system.

never leave a family member without saying “i love you”.

saying goodbye is hard when you don’t know how.

memories and emotions hit you when you least expect it.

no one is exempt from tragedy.

life really is too short.  live while you can.

As I was leaving my staff meeting this afternoon, I noticed that my mom had called and left a voicemail. After listening to it, I knew that this was a call that needed to be returned immediately. She didn’t say much, just “Hi, sweetie- give me a call when you get this.” But I knew. And I knew the moment she answered my return call- something was wrong. My Papa had a stroke about a year and a half ago, and I automatically assumed it was about him. Instead, I heard my mom say, “Abbie’s gone.” My only response was, “Abbie Hartley?…” Abbie is my 17 year old cousin. She’s a senior in high school, drop dead gorgous, and MY GIRL. Since the day she, and her sister, Sarah (who’s 15), were born, they were my girls. We’d have them spend the night, we’d stay up too late playing silly little games, we’d make cookies, and I’d try to be a good example for them. I’d make her say her name over and over when she was little, because it came out “Abeedale Elithabef” and I thought it was the cutest thing ever. They didn’t have a choice- they were my girls. When they moved north, I didn’t get to see them as much, but I think we all 3 still knew- they were my girls. I’ve never been more shocked in all of my life. Abbie died this morning in a car accident on her way to school. We don’t have many details at this point, other than she’s gone. She’s my girl, and she’s gone. It’s not supposed to happen to my family, to one of my cousins, to one of us, but it did. My Granny’s death I can make sense of. This? I can’t. She’s gone. I’m sure this one’s going to be a long one to process through… and I’m not looking forward to it. But I don’t have a choice. It happened, and for the first time in my sheltered life, I’m dealing with a death where I didn’t get to say goodbye. And quite frankly, it sucks. But all I can do is put one foot in front of the other and hope that soon, healing will come for all of us, especially my uncle and his family. Life is just so… fragile. It seems like I’ve been confronted with that reality in a multitude of ways lately. I think I’m ready for a week without a tragedy or near tragedy here soon…

I’ve now officially had 2 long weekends in a row.  Thanksgiving break followed by 2 snow days on the next Thursday and Friday.  Does it get any better than teaching?  Despite having a hard last week for the 3 days that we were here, I was ready to get back to work today.  How sick is this?  On Thursday night, when they were saying all the school closings and I saw our district, I… was… sad.  Huh?  Here’s my question- who’s sad that they don’t have to go to work?  Apparently I am.  Weird.  I never thought I would find something that I love this much.  However, now I’m hoping that by Friday I’m not faced with this I’ve- just- come- off- of- two- short- weeks- and- now- I- hate- teaching- because- I- actually- had- to- work- five- days- in- a- row feeling.  Talk about spoiled…  The students keep asking me what I did with our snow days, and it’s very sad to say that I have absolutely nothing to offer them.  “Well, I cleaned the bathrooms, and I worked out, and I watched some movies and… uh… I… slept?”  Talk about an exciting life.  HOWEVER, I did shoot a wedding with Kelly on Saturday, and I definitely climbed up on top of her car to get a pretty tight shot.  I was pretty proud of myself for several reasons- 1. Have you ever tried to climb on top of an Xterra? in dress shoes? when it’s been snowing and icing for 2 days?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  But I have.  2. The shot was (hopefully) totally money!  It looked so cool on the camera screen, so hopefully it looks just as cool on the computer screen.  3. I managed to not only get on top of the car, but to also set up my tripod on the car.  Seriously- sometimes it sucks to be this good.  It was pretty good times!  All in all, I’d call it a very successful (and lazy) 4 day weekend.  We’ll just forget that that ridiculous Chief’s game was a part of it…