Thursday, August 30, 2012

just 3 things ... lite

ok so here is my super quick 3 things for the past few days

1) my little niece Tessa is doing soooo much better!  she's still in NICU but should be off O2 all together tomorrow and she will soon be able to take a bottle.  her sisters got to meet her today (briefly) which was pretty much against hospital policy, but since my brother works in the same hospital, they made an exception ... which ... rocks :)

2) one more day of work and then 3 day weekend!!  and i'm heading to the NYC for the whole weekend ... can.not.wait ... ... NYC get ready!!

3) i'm thinking i might like to try my hand at photography ... now that i have a little extra spending $$  each paycheck ... anyone have any camera suggestions???

happy (almost) friday everyone!!

look forward to some NYC adventure stories next week :)


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

happy girl

tonight, i am a very happy girl.  today might have been the first day in almost a month where i was genuinely and totally excited almost to the point of dancing around my living room

here's my very happy girl 3 things for today

1) today i had a random day off. originally i took the day off the spend with my friend M in NYC.  however, my trip got postponed so i was left with a day off with nothing to do.  this is NOT a bad thing!  after working both days this weekend i was happy to have a day of 'nothingness'.  i did 2 loads of laundry, caught up on some tv watching, paid some bills (more on that later) and did a little shopping.

2) my good deals of the day: i found a pair of pants on sale for $3.50!! you read that right!  since when can you buy pants for $3.50???  they cost more than that when you buy them used at Salvation Army!!!  Anyhoo, i got a new outfit for $19 and found a new comforter set for 1/2 off as well!  treated myself to a fro-yo lunch and thoroughly enjoyed my day :)

3) for the past 4 years, i have been enrolled with a credit card consolidation company since september of 2008.  every month for the past 4 years i have paid a hefty monthly payment towards paying down the balance of 5 credit cards.  i have been scrimping and making due for the past 4 years. i have downsized and sold things and even moved in with my parents last september.  i was due to finish paying it all off in April of 2013.  but, thanks to picking up extra shifts at my 2nd job, and putting almost all my paychecks to extra monthly payments, today, i made my last payment EVER!!!  my debt has been paid, my days of being chained to interest and monthly payments and financial instability are over.  when i made that payment, i had this huge smile on my face and may or may not have danced around the living room by myself!!!

so that's me ... the happy girl on the couch tonight ... :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

just 3 things...about my dad

just a few things about my dad that you might not have known ... these are all things about my dad that made him unique, things that make me smile as i remember them ...

1) he was a PhD.  He worked at this for most of my life; he received his masters and then his doctorate from seminary.  His topic for his dissertation was way deeper than anything i could have written.  i don't even know the entire name or even the whole subject matter.  it was something along the lines of ethics and religion in the civil war and the decisions that were made.  i'll have to find this out for sure because i think at some point i'd like to read the entire dissertation.  he was a voracious reader. he loved to read historical biographies and just about all non-fiction historical books.  he read the local newspaper and one of the NYC papers every single day.  he enjoyed being informed and educated on all of our country's events.  

2) he loved Mariano Rivera.  he grew up in alabama and was therefore a braves fan until the late 90's when my brothers and i started REALLY following baseball and i began my eating, sleeping, breathing yankees baseball phase.  he was thrilled that his kids were getting into baseball and although he wasn't happy it was an american league team, we quickly "converted" him to a yankees fan. he was always happy when he was talking to me about the most recent game.  he loved nothing more than listening the ball game on the radio, no matter where he was.  he even had an app on his iPhone so he could listen to just about every game.  Mo was his favorite player.  he always said that the year that Rivera was inducted into the baseball hall of fame, he would be there.  i'm thinking i will have to be there that year instead of him. 

3) he shot a teenage boy one time ... yep you read that right ... with a real pistol and everything ... when i was in college, one christmas vacation, we had almost 20 kids come stay with us for 10 days.  we had kids sleeping on every available floor space.  i still don't know how my mom managed to feed us all ... but she someone did.  anyways, one of the last nights they were all there, my dad loaded up his black powder pistol with everything except for the bullet.  he walked into my brother's room and told one of the boys in there that he had had just about enough of his talking ... he told him if he said 'one more word' he would shoot him ... of course, the boy called my dad's bluff and said something like "now, Mr Lynn" and ... yep, my dad shot him ... the boy fell over the other side of the bed, fully thinking he had actually been shot with a bullet.  those of us not in the room, all came running into the bedroom because everyone heard the "shot".  by that point, my dad was keeled over laughing hysterically and the rest of us were joining in the laughter. (PS this boy had grown up to be a stand up comedian - and i'd love to know if this story is part of his "routine")  i'm pretty sure my first reaction was to be embarrassed, because seriously, none of my friends dads would 'shoot' anyone in their home ... is it any wonder that i didn't have a bunch of fellas trying to date me back then????

there you have it ... just a few things about my dad :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

it's been 18 days since my dad died

it has been 18 days since my dad died of a no warning signs, no recovering from, no question about it heart attack.  i was away for the weekend with a good friend, a weekend that was supposed to be about reconnecting with one of my oldest and dearest friends "C". we left on thursday the 2nd, had a fun night of dinner and movies, a few drinks, lots of laughs and tons of conversation. it was probably close to 1:00 am before we fell asleep.  then, i got a call from my mom at 3:22 AM telling me that my dad had woken up with chest pain, took some medicine and 15 minutes later, stopped breathing.  she called me after 911 arrived but he was already gone

i literally sat in the bathroom of the hotel room for almost an hour ... not able to think clearly, not able to make a decision about if i should drive home right away, wait until morning, not able to decide if i should make any phone calls, nothing.  i wasn't crying, just numb.  i know 2 of my brothers called, i remember walking outside the room to talk to 1 of them, but i can't really remember what we talked about. i tried to lay back down, but my mind was racing, and yet i still couldn't decide what i was supposed to do.  i couldn't figure out what my family needed me to do.... nothing

at 4:45 am i woke up C, told her we needed to go home and the reason why.

we were 4 1/2 hours away from home and that drive home might of been the longest of my life. my friend C was great. she was exactly what i needed.  she let me drive until we got to roads that were familiar to her, she did not try to talk to me, i remember we talked a little, but i don't know what it was about. i just know i didn't even know what to say or what to talk about or how i should be acting or anything. i just needed that silence.  she was truly a "friend of Job" during those hours.

i don't want to write down all of the details of the rest of that day and these next couple days. frankly i don't really remember all of them. i do know that it didn't seem real, i heard what everyone was saying, i heard my brother talk to funeral directors and call friends and co-workers of my dad, i helped write his obituary, pick out his suit for the funeral, talk with the pastor about the funeral service, but i just couldn't imagine that it was real. that my life had changed in such a drastic, unchanging way

there are a few things that i have come to realize through all this and i want to share them with you

1) that saying "you find out who your friends are" has never been more clear to me than it is now. my whole family has had such an overwhelming outpouring of love and support from our friends.

  • friends who came and sat with us, didn't say much, just sat with us.  
  • friends who brought us food and drinks, 
  • friends who brought us paper products so we wouldn't have to wash dishes, 
  • friends who cleaned our bathrooms the day of the funeral,
  • friends who drove 2+ hours to be at the wake / funeral,
  •  friends who cried with us and sometimes for us, 
  • friends who brought strong drinks and drank with us, 
  • friends who found ways to make us laugh and relive some old memories, 
  • friends who didn't say "if you need anything, let me know" but just did things for us
  • friends who prayed, sent text messages, facebook  messages, cards, letters, flowers and gift baskets.  
  • friends who took over when the funeral was over, made plates of food for the family, 
  • friends who cleaned up the kitchen, who took out the garbage, who did things without ever needing to be asked.  
i hope to one day be able to repay this favor, to be this kind of a friend, this kind of support to you

2) today is the first day since everything happened that we didn't receive a card or letter in the mail from someone.  and that's ok, i'm not complaining, i'm just making the point that 16 days after the fact, we were still receiving cards and letters.  i've learned that the cards and letters that mean the most are the ones that mention a story, a memory, a lesson learned, a personal tidbit, something that lets you know just how loved, or special, or remembered your loved one actually was.  these are the ones we have cherished and read over and over again.  all of the cards have been wonderful, to know people are thinking about you and praying for you, those are nice.  but the ones with the other part, those are treasures and i will remember that for the rest of my life.  i vow to return this sentiment from this point on

3) i have always known that prayer works, i've always known how comforting and reassuring prayer can be.  but i have not always known how the prayers of others can keep you going, can keep you sane and able to function.  i didn't even know that these prayers were having this affect on me.  i knew hundreds were praying, from cards, texts, facebook, etc. but i didn't take the time to really reflect on that.  it honestly did not hit me until the sunday i went back to church, a week after the funeral.  and one of the first songs we sang was "your grace is enough".  that phrase was enough to make me weep with gratitude and understanding. maybe for the first time, to really understand what that meant to me personally.  it was then i realized how much all of your prayers were working.  it's hard to put this exactly into words but i'm hoping i'm conveying just how much i appreciate and fully understand the power of your prayers.  God has been 'enough' for me, His faithfulness has kept me going, His comforting arms around me are the reason i can get out of bed, can go to work, can remember good memories and not dwell on the sad ones.

ok so those are my 3 things

things i have needed to say outloud, to write down, to get out of my head.  i've been procrastinating, it's hard to do, it's hard to bring some of it back to the front of my mind. it's very easy to find myself distracted by the routine of my life so that i don't dwell on all these sad thoughts

i know in my heart that for my dad the words "no more sorrow, no more pain" are so true.  he lived with many sorrows and was in pain every day of his life, he had back and foot pain almost constantly. i know he is much happier now. that guilt is gone, that pain is gone, he is free.

but that does not completely take my pain away, that does not ease my missing him, does not take away my regrets of not telling my dad just how much i loved him.  it was easier to "bust" on him for his "old man" tendencies, to roll my eyes when i had to show him how to watch a tv show that was on DVR or change a setting on his iPhone, to outwardly sigh when he asked me what other TV / movies a certain actor or actress had been on, to fuss at him for giving my dog ice cream and too much table food.

i do regret not having more heart-to-heart conversations with him, to pick his brain more about passages of scripture, to let him know that he had not failed me, that i was still his 'little girl' and still so proud of him and all he had accomplished in his life

so please don't stop praying for me.  being alone is when i struggle the most, driving in the car, in bed at night before i fall asleep, etc

i love you all so much and will be forever grateful for your love and friendship, especially these past few weeks