Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I plan and God laughs

If I've learned anything in my life, I would hope it's that family is the most important thing in the world. When that call comes that someone in your family needs you to come, you drop everything and go. Reschedule appointments, tell your boss you'll keep them updated because you aren't sure when you will be back in the office, use your credit card if you need to... and go. No second guessing, no hesitation. No thought for yourself, only for your family and their breaking hearts.

A funeral puts everything in perspective. It's a time to reflect on ones life, relationships, and hope for the future. It's when you remember that your loved one is more alive than they ever have been before, because they are in heaven.

For several weeks now I have been complaining that I wanted to go on vacation. I've been frustrated with my husband because his job hasn't allowed him to take time off since September, due to training for new deputies and being the "new guy". Well, it seems my wish was granted.

Be careful what you wish for.

A four-day trip to Georgia isn't what I planned for the past few days, but I'm learning that God laughs at my plans. I'm big on "plans". I got the call on Friday at 4:30PM that my aunt, who had been battling cancer for about six years, wasn't doing very well. Her liver was shutting down. It was "time". By 9AM on Saturday I was on the road to Georgia to be with the family. I "planned" to get there Saturday night, see her and the family, say goodbye, and leave Monday morning.

We did arrive Saturday night, as planned. But I was not able to see my aunt because she was sleeping and always in a lot of pain. My parents saw her because they arrived 2 hours earlier than us, and she didn't recognize my mom. The cancer had been in her brain for several years and was taking it's toll. I "planned" to see her Sunday morning. The family recommended we get there around 9 or 10AM because she was best first thing in the morning.

Listen to me when I say: Tell your family you love them today, because tomorrow may be too late.

9:30AM Sunday as we were getting ready to leave to see my aunt, we got the call that she was in heaven. Just like that.

I struggled with my plan not working out like I thought it would. Yet on the same hand, I believe everything happens for a reason, even if it's the opposite of what you think is right and good. I was hurting for my cousins, her three sons, Taylor, Aaron and Spencer. They're all around my age. I so cannot imagine burying my mother at my age. She was only about 50 years old.

We stayed in Georgia because they planned the funeral for Tuesday late afternoon. It was a good time spent with my cousins and family. After all, that is what is important - supporting your family and simply being there. Mom and I drove hom Tuesday night, and I got in about 2AM last night. I went to work at noon today.

I need a way to sum all of this up, and I'm not sure what that is. We are all glad that Aunt Miriam is in heaven, where she longed to be, and most of all - pain free. Healthy. Her spirit, alive.

Remember that family is the most important thing in the whole world. If you keep that in perspective, everything else just falls into place. You hurt, God give and takes away, and you need to be there for your family.

Remember that.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Weekend activities

We had such a fun, packed weekend! The weather has been gorgeous, and I'm loving running outside and spending time with the doors/windows open in the house.

Friday night we went out to Pizza Gallery and World of Beer with some friends. John had just gotten back from a deployment so it was great to have him back home!

Callie and John, and half of me :)

Rams and John

On Saturday afternoon we drove over to Plant City. Eric stopped at my brother and SIL's house for the night, and I went to hang out with Sarah! So glad she came all the way from Indiana just to see ME! (haha)

Then Sunday, we took both nephews, JJ and Brandon, to the Plant City Strawberry Festival! It was a gorgeous day, even though the weatherman had predicted 80% chance of rain. It didn't rain a drop!

Both boys had fun, but only JJ wanted to ride the rides... Brandon was so scared! LOL Even JJ looks totally serious on all of the rides... but then he would get off and say he had "so much fun!" :)

Brandon, or as JJ calls him, "Cubbie" or "Cousin B" - watching the choo choo train

The ONE ride we convinced/dragged Brandon onto was the carasouel, and he eventually started crying... haha poor kid!

So then both boys wanted to sit on with Aunt Steffi for the remainder of the carasouel ride :)

Out of all the greasy, fried food at the festival, my favorite is always kettle corn! Apparently it was the boys' favorite too!

On the way home I made this video for "Goey" (mom -aka Grandma) with JJ and Brandon. I think it was a hit with mom! :)

As you can see, we had a fun day! :)