To mama,

momI love you more than you can possibly know. You are the best mom anyone could ask for, you let me be me and find myself in this crazy world and when it hurts my heart you are there to lend an ear and a shoulder to cry on. I’m so much like you, I’m always kinder than necessary, I wear my heart on my sleeve, I’m fiercely independent, I love to read, I love to travel by myself and explore new places but I always love to come home. I’m a lot like my dad too, I have a heart bigger than my who body, I have one hell of a temper, I’m fiercely loyal, I care more than I should, I’m constantly thinking, I love to tinker and can fix anything, I’m not great at sharing my feelings. I miss him, I know you do too. It’s hard here without him. I wonder sometimes, too, why it was his time to go. He’s forever in our hearts and never far from our minds. He made the world a better place and was one of a kind. You know what we were talking about tonight? The one thing I didn’t tell you is I hope he is playing a part in picking him out. You know what’s going on in our lives now and you know how incredibly hard it is, but one thing I know that you don’t, is how incredibly strong you are. You are who I want to be when I grow up. We can do this, despite the days that tell us we can’t. Thank you for being you and showing me how to be. Thank you for letting me explore and travel and do and just be. It means more than anything.

I love you, forever and always.

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Happy Mother’s day, momma.

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“She made the most of her life no matter what the circumstances where. She filled her life with the things that made her happiest, which were rarely things. She did her best to enjoy every step of her journey and always made it a point to learn something from every situation, no matter how difficult the stretch of road she happened to be on. She laughed and danced and played and sang. She made everything more beautiful. She was brave and lovely and happy and kind. She forgave easily and loved freely. She was a friend to all. She spread words of hope and actions of kindness and days of fun. She believed the best in everyone. She sacrificed what was very good for what was best. She made choices that brought her peace and she protected that peace. She made boundaries. She came to terms with what her limitations were and turned them into strengths. She had a wild imagination and big dreams and hope big enough to make it all happen. She decided to be brave and knew there had to be a better way. She dug in and got to work. She tried and then she tried again and then she tried again. She believed that life was on her side and while not everything turns out perfectly, it always turns out like it should.”

Mom,

You are the best person I know, you are my best friend, my biggest fan, my counselor, my helping hand, my other half. Thank your for all you do for me. Thank your sitting up with me and listening to all me fears and heartaches. You a true jem in a world that produces carbon copies. Thank you for your example and for your presence in my life. It is invaluable.

I love you, maj.

The house that made me.

  It’s a white house that sits at the end of a long dirt road. Fields used for hay sit on either side with a pasture of cows in front of it. There’s a huge pine tree at the bend as you pull into the driveway with a weeping cherry tree that is the picture of southern elegance in the spring and a reminder that beauty fades in the winter. You can find any tool or piece of equipment you need to help fix up a tractor or lawn mower out back. There’s a garage where my first car is parked, a Jeep. It’s the kind of car my dad wanted me to have. See that big tree beside it? There used to be a swing set there, now a picnic table sets in that big trees shade. I recently saw that old swing set, I can remember many times on that with my dad working near by and mom tells me that he and I enjoyed it even more when I was a wee toddler. There’s a building that sits nearby that my dad built with his own two hands, It’s lovingly referred to as the cat house, because when I was in elementary school I found a cat that my parents let me take home. I was so afraid of it running away that I had dad put lattice board over the opened windows so that she would stay here. There are the dog kennels where some of my childhood best friends lived. Sir Philip Blackman, aka Blackie the black lab that loved my dad so much lived there until he was 14 years old. Now my pretty white with black ears, princess Lexi lives there. She’s scared of people but she loves her family fiercely. I get that. There’s a wrap around porch that my dad put in lots of hours to build, I remember because I helped him some. That’s where I learned what a 2×4 and 4×4 was. I hammered nails that dad would have to take up because they were crooked, but he never complained because he was happy I was helping him, The house is just big enough for the three of us, but it over flows with love. That kitchen there, is where we would cook dinner and eat around that table. That bedroom right there was where I slept with my mom until I was older than I care to admit because I was scared to sleep by myself. She and dad would sit there with me at night and they would go over spelling words or multiplication tables before I went to sleep. That’s where mom would read me books till I fell asleep. That living room is where we would have our Christmas tree and our Christmas dinner with family. Dad loved the Christmas tree, after it was all decorated we would turn off all the light and he would say “Look at that. It’s beautiful,” That recliner is where I would watch golden girls while my hair dried in the mornings before I would go to school. It’s the room where mom and dad sit in their chairs while I cried because my first real crush didn’t know I liked him and my dad said “Baby it’s not like it was when your momma and I were your age, if you like him go after him.” It’s where we had arguments and down out screaming matches but always made up and said we were sorry. That’s the room where a hospital bed was set up when dad came home from the hospital after 5 months. It’s where we would always find our Buddy curled up in someones lap or maybe taking up a whole chair.  That room right there is where I lay my head down to sleep now. It’s where I woke up the morning that my dad died and cried because he was gone. It’s where I sit now pouring my heart into words. Now it’s the house that mom and I are packing up and selling things after having spent my whole life here. It’s the house where I learned to be brave, believe in God, know that I am no better than anyone else and nobody else is better than me, witnessed miracles, grief, happiness and sadness. This is the house that we may not have had a lot of money but we had love and that was enough. Yeah, that’s the house that made me.