Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Back...

What is in a year? 2015 has been an incredible and incredibly tough year for my family. Words have escaped me for the majority of this year. We have been very blessed and weathered some very tough storms. 

At the beginning of 2015, as Homeroom mommy for my daughters 1st grade class, we had a teacher we adored, and a spectacular Valenine's Day/Spring Party at her elementary school. The second week in March, I was shopping with my best friend when I got the call from my Aunt that my Nana was dying. My Nana spoke with me on the phone and told me, "Ginger, I love you. Goodbye. Now don't you cry! Tell everyone up there I said goodbye!" 

A week later she passed away. We drove to Charlotte, NC, where she lived with my aunt. She waited on my daughter and I to arrive. She passed Sunday morning 3-22-15, after here was one big last family gathering in her honor. The next generation learned how we treat and care for our dying. The torch was passed. She died peacefully the next morning after we had all given her permission to go. I wrote her Eulogy, gathered the pictures for her display boards for the funeral home, and went to do her makeup at the funeral home. My brother did not speak to my father or to my family at the wake or funeral. I went to thank him for coming and he walked to the other side of the chapel. He disowned us a year after my mother passed away. I was the good big sister and sent unanswered text messages to him, updating him on Nana's rapidly declining progress. Never once did I get a thank you. I have not done a single thing to him. He cannot accept responsibility for his own actions, and so I assume blames me for a fight between my father and Himself. He was not raised that way. Narcissism and addiction are two very ugly beasts.

Nana was the last in my direct maternal lineage, and the last link to my mother. Losing her was especially hard. I often, since her death, find myself a a loss for words. The world is a lot less sparkly without her and her ornery twinkling eyes in it. Her death in March has been followed by nine months of firsts without her.

In June we went to the beach with my Daddy, for our annual family beach trip to the OBX. Next up was BuschGardens, Great Wolf Lodge, and Kings Island where my daughter fell in love with the big kid roller coasters. Just like her Mommy. 

Next up was a road trip to sunny Florida on our first ever family trip without anyone else coming along. We met and visited with family while we were there. The seven year old made her first beach bff and pen pal. They have written back and forth several times since then.

In August, my daughter missed the first two days of school due to a stomach virus. Her first day back, I received a call from my husband that he got chased by dogs, and injured at work. We found out later, that he had completely ruptured his Achilles Tendon and would require surgery. Because of the reduced blood flow to the bottom of the foot, it was a difficult wound to heal and surgery to recover from. This has since turned into a two surgery, four month long ordeal, soon to be five months. I sent my seven year old back to school, only to find myself taking care of a mostly immobile forty one year old. A week after my forty first birthday and a month before his. 

 At the three month mark we began worrying that my husband would no longer have a job, after his protected leave was up. We lost our health insurance. The Worker's Comp only payed a portion of his salary. Then a plastic surgeon scared the bejesus out of us, advising us of the worst case scenario, when referred for wound care options. Infectious Disease Doctor is not something you ever want to hear. Especially when it
Is regarding the love of your life, your soul mate! We made plans for his possible demise, went through all the motions and emotions, only to learn that the plastics guy freaked us out for no reason. The second opinion told us everyyhing was okay. There is nothing in the world that can prepare you for the news that your hubbie may have the same thing that killed your mother. Thank the lird for answered prayers! It has been a long five months. Laid up Hubbie means Mommy is doing everything. Has to take care of everything. Has to fix everything. Has to do and be everything. I am tired.

We had my daughter's annual Halloween party, and I have read to her second grade class six times. It brings me such joy to read to her class! Second grade has been a bit of a challenge. An attitude challenge. My happy go lucky little girl found herself with a strict teacher and there was a big adjustment period. There has been bullying this year as well. It was successfully handled. But this too happened.

Fall soccer practices and games and the orchestrating of the first ever soccer banquet hapened. I was also the team photographer.

I am again Homeroom mommy for second grade, and loving every minute of it. 

I have volunteered at the school as much as I could, and we had a spectacular Halloween Dance, First ever movie night, and an awesome Christmas party!

We also hit the Gritts WV Pumpkin Park and The Pumpkin house this fall.

My Daddy and I made it to WVU for football, 

And the hubbie and I celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary with Uncork and Create painting and wine.

 I never thought I would find myself working at the mall again, but after twenty years, I have foud myself in the throws of retail mall middle management. Less than a month before Christmas.

I am a very fortunate, spoiled girl and am definitely blessed with those who love me. My Daddy is still alive, as are my husband and child, my big kids, and my in laws and grand parents in law, and my multitude of lifelong best friends. 

I have joined several writing groups this year and made many new online friends that I wouldn't trade for the world. 

I have more blessings than I can count, and along with the blessings come the bad. I found out at a young age that it's all how you handle what life throws at you. There will be bumps, twists, and turns and lots of unexpected things in his life. It is all how you handle the obstacles and trying times. I always try to talk positively on my blog and pages, but just because I choose to focus on the good and positive does not mean the bad isn't happening,it is that I choose not to focus on the bad. 

Two phrases I live by are
1- Everything happens for a reason and
2-This too shall pass

It has been a rocky 2015, but I am looking forward to 
All the good 2016 holds in store for us all!

Happy New Year! See you in 2016!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Love Letter

Every morning I drive across the same bridge into our twin city, to take my baby to school...and every morning I am in awe of the beautiful sunrise.  And I say to myself, Darn, I missed it again! I wish I could take a photograph and capture this moment in time to share with you.

    This is my bridge.

So this morning, I drove to the little roadside park beside the river, after I dropped my daughter off, and I captured it for you. I am sharing this glorious and beautifully breathtaking piece of my world with you. Because you make me happy! You make me smile. Every single day. I want to share my world with you! What I cannot put down with pen to paper, what I long to tell you but I cannot express in words, what I want to show you when there are no words than can possibly express the joy my heart feels, that can best be captured in a picture. A frozen moment in time. Because I am ever grateful for your care and consideration in choosing me. Thank you for being mine. As a friend across the pond says, I love you in this world between the wires. I love you for loving me, and for always being there for me. For picking me up with your words, for sharing your world with me in pictures when I cannot physically be with you, and for being a part of my life. Thank you. 

I am forever grateful for my betwen the wires around the world friends. I am thankful that you have welcomed me into your lives. I cannot ever thank you enough. But I can write you pictures. Forever. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Walking Through Fire

Today I want to tell you a story about a friend of mine.  A friend and her family. I went to school with a girl, her name is Heather. She already had children when she met the love of her life John. They got married recently. John found his family, and they found John. Welcome to their almost not so happy ever after.

John had to have surgery to remove a tumor on his back. His recovery took longer than expected. He resigned from work, because he was not expected, by the doctors, to be able to return to his very physical job. He made a full recovery and tried to get his job back, but they had filled the position. He not only lost a job that he loved and excelled at, but his ability to provide for his family. Heather and John used up all of their savings.  They became unable to maintain their household on a single salary. They lost their home. They moved in with friends. They got by with the help of their family and friends.

John is the happy go lucky one in his family. No one would ever suspect John to suffer from depression. Not only has John suffered from depression, but he has suffered from suicidal thoughts. People always assume that individuals with mental health or substance abuse issues are the only ones that are at risk for having suicidal tendencies. That is what Heather thought. Heather was wrong. John became difficult to be around. He was even harder to live with. She had no idea what he was struggling with. Heather did not give up on him. She was not aware of the full extent of what he was going through. Heather loved him no matter what. Against all odds. You walk through the fire together.

There are two endings to this story. The first is that John didn't want to talk about his depression, nor his grief, embarrassment or shame at not being able to support his new family. He kept his feelings hidden and suffered in silence.  He became so depressed that he started to feel like ending it all would be a better solution for his family. He made the decision to end his life. Heather's dreams were dashed, her new happy ever after over, and the love of her life gone with barely a beginning.

The second is that John didn't want to talk about his depression, nor his grief, embarrassment or shame, at not being able to support his new family. He kept his feeling hidden and suffered in silence.  He became so depressed that he started to feel like ending it all would be better for his family. John realized that he needed to get help. He realized that the way he was feeling was bad, and nothing was worth ending his life. She was worth it. He was worth it. They were worth it. John chose life. John chose Heather. He made the call that ended up saving his life. He sought help and got a new job. They are in a new home all their own. Life is back to a new and healthier normal. Back to the happily ever after they both so richly deserve.

You walk through the fire together.

Which way will you choose?

John chose his family. John chose life. John chose to reach out and get help. Will you?

September was National Suicide Prevention Month. John was a life saved in September.

If you know anyone who suffers from depression or may be suicidal, jot down the following. It can save a life. It saved John's. Don't suffer in silence. Get help.


*Thanks to John and Heather for sharing their story. John hopes that sharing his story will help others realize that they are not alone.*

Friday, October 2, 2015

There Is A Storm Coming....

It's almost your birthday again Momma. October was always your month. The weather has changed  from summer and there is a chill in the air, and in my heart. There is a storm coming. One that I cannot fend off alone.

As I go through the motions of eating, I cannot enjoy my dinner this night. In the wake of the taste of grief, everything tastes bland and lifeless. I close my eyes to try to savor the sweetness. It is no use. Everything is bitter. I feign happiness for my sweet, innocent daughter. But there is no happiness  for these tired eyes on this night.

There will be no calling her grandmother to brag on her latest achievement at school, nor any inviting to tomorrow's soccer game. There will be no laughing at horrible school picture faces or the resounding cacophony of my child's voice bouncing off of the walls of Granny's house. Your home  is no longer. It remains, but is falling into disrepair much like the unkempt weeds that grow across your gravestone, both too long unvisited. The house and your grave both hold hollow echoes of you and a cherished time gone by.

A time that held the greatest love of all, as the late Whitney Houston sang. A love I will cherish all of my days and one that I could never forget. A heartbreak that my heart cannot ever truly begin to heal. A loss so tragic that somedays, on the raw days, my mind still cannot begin to fully comprehend.

But comprehend I do. I have no choice. The chill sweeps outward from inside. A cold, suffocating wave envelops me as the tears run unchecked down my face. The realization has set in that my memories are all that I have. There will never be any shiny new ones. This is the fourth year that I have replayed the same worn memories over and again in my head. There will never be any more memories than what I have at this exact moment. I am heartbroken. Yet I have a lifetime full of memories, but it is not enough. It is never enough. I want more. I want more of you. But there is no you anymore, only what I carry in my heart and my mind.

I close my eyes and remember. One at a time I take out my cherished memories and replay them in my mind's eye. Mommy and Daddy kissing, the last hug on our visit before your final hospital stay, you imploring me to never let my three year old, now seven, forget you. Birthday shopping with you that last year to bring you into the technological age, and your birth date on a sticker from our last ever shopping trip on my computer tablet, a mere six weeks before your journey was at it's end. Precariously sealed in time with scotch tape, my attempt at preservation. Preservation of the proof of a precious memory. Something physical from that last birthday with you. Something that marks a specific moment in time and says that she was here. You were here together. You were with me this day.

On a day that I long to hear your voice, I close my eyes and try to replay it in my head. Only this time, I cannot recall your voice immediately. My eyes fly open, my breathing becomes labored, and I start to panic. The tears fall unabashedly down my face, as I try to remember your laughter, and I cannot. Time stands still. I can hear my heartbeat in my throat, as I  desperately play memory after memory in my head. I can almost hear your voice. But I cannot find your laughter. It is on the edge of my remembering, just out of my grasp. No, no, no my inner voice screams, you cannot have lost her laughter. It's in there, just remember. We have to find the laughter! I cannot lose another piece of her. I am hysterical on the inside as my grief ridden brain desperately searches for the laughter, her laughter. My mother's laughter.

The emotional storm rages as I desperately search my mental archives for the laughter. I find it, and as I replay the memory in my mind, there is no sound. It is as if the sound has altogether been stripped from my memory. I continuously wipe the tears from my eyes and face in an attempt to keep my daughter from seeing the storm raging within me, that is leaking out of my eyes.

Another piece of her lost today as another little piece of me died. I have lost my mother's laughter. "It was all you had of her, how could you lose it!", my mind screams at me. "But it's been so long since I have heard it..."another piece cries.  I am so very weary. So tired of all of the grief. So tired of the maelstrom of swirling emotions. Grief, guilt, loss, sadness, depression, exhaustion, bravery, strength, selfishness, and loneliness. Tired of feigning excuses tonight for the little one so as not to have to explain myself, and stir up her grief as well as my own. Trying to control this storm that always rages within me just below the surface, threatening to break free.

There is always something constantly reminding me of you; a familiar smell, a rainbow or a butterfly, or your favorite colors. Eating dinner on your favorite color purple plate, just to feel closer to you when I feel the storm coming.

I miss you Momma. Just like storms that reach their shore, they rage awhile and then they are no more, so is my grief. At least kept at bay for a little while.

Good night Momma, I love you!

     -Your cherished daughter

Friday, September 11, 2015


I must say I never post rants of any kind. That being said......Tonight I AM LIVID that the the 4 major networks teamed up to air the 'Think It Up' Public Education Initiative. To beg for money from the public that already pays 
MORE than enough taxes to fund an excellent public education system, but has yet to allocate billions more on EDUCATION, our kids, their future, and the future of our country, rather than on political agenda. Shame on whoever was behind the idea to mass beg the public for more money for education, and completely ignore the fact that it was the 14th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on our country in history. I am sadly disappointed to turn on any of the 4 major networks and find Justin Beiber leading the country away from our promise to 'Never Forget'! I have been looking forward to the 9-11 specials all day long, to watch the first time with my 7yo daughter... to share this all important day and it's meaning with her, only to find our country having the wool pulled over our eyes... And blindly being led away from the truth. 
We should 'never forget' because the threat is very real and has moved even further into our country. The enemy is among us. Hate and discrimination is being promulgated, turning us against our own countrymen. I am disgusted and feel that this is sacrilege akin to treading upon our flag. It is blatant disregard of this all important marked day. It is trampling on the memory of all those that lost their lives in the attacks on 9-11-2001. It is disrespectful to all of the survivors, the families of the lost, the heroes of that day and the days that followed, and all those that were affected or touched by this tragedy

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Waiting Game

The last time that I was in this waiting room, was with my mother, months before her death. Countless hours spent over forty plus hospitalizations in this very hospital. Many surgeries for mom and dad, cancer, two open heart surgeries, digit removal surgeries, and surgeries to debreed and clean out infected wounds due to diabetes. I have lived through female surgery to remove an ovary and a fallopian tube, given birth, and had my uterus cleaned, scraped, and burned. I have had the middle of my remaining fallopian tube cut out and tied on both sides to prevent more pregnancies and miscarriages due to female problems. I almost bled to death two weeks after my mother died, which was two weeks before Christmas. I can handle anything, but what is killing me, is that I cannot handle this for him.

I have quite the pedigree in personal hospital time and hospital waiting room time and etiquette. I know that surgeries often run longer than estimated, that anesthesia can take longer than expected to take affect, I am aware of every possible time extender and complication. I was raised in a home of medical professionals. I know what to expect. I know when to worry. Knowledge is not power in this case. My heart and my nerves are not listening to my calm, cool and collected brain.

I have never been on this end of the waiting. I have been the granddaughter, daughter, niece, daughter in law, granddaughter in law and friend.
I have never been the wife. 

I have never had to endure the ticking as a wife before. Countless seconds turn into minutes with each tick of the second hand. Endless waiting for the surgeon to come out and talk to me, to let me know my world is still intact. Each second an eternity past when the surgeon told us he would be out to speak with us. Agony... The waiting. 

Tick, tick, tick...forty-five minutes past the  estimated two hours. My brain has kicked into overdrive. There must be some difficulty or complication. I am struggling to hold back the tears, drawing quiet strength from my father beside me.

His last words to me were if you should need help with the life insurance, call my boss. She can help you. Tears, streaming down my face held in check until these words crack my carefully constructed shield of bravery. I am reduced to tears by the man I love most in all the world, as he tried to prepare me for the worst possible outcome of his surgery.  He was more nervous than I have ever seen him, as he waited for the surgery that however minor, will make him whole once again. Allow him to return to life and work and walking.

Wy haven't they come out yet? Did something go wrong? De he have an unforseen allergy to add to his list of many? All of the worst case scenarios play out in my mind, all the what if's while we, us, and our family hangs in the balance, playing the waiting game.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fixing My Pipes

My landlord had scheduled an appointment during our vacaton, to rip out our bathroom floors, move the sink and cabinet, and the toilet, in order to fix the bathroom pipes and rebuild the floor that had sustained water damage due to a leak.

Turns out he needed to come in the week before our vacation because the problem suddenly worsened. I was not pleased that the appointment was moved up.

The landlord and his contractor came in, started the job, and made every effort at expediently finishing everything in one day. They were there from daylight until dark, and got everything finished except the trim work, which he would finish while we were away. I was thankful that it was taken care of quickly. 

We went to Florida, came back, the rest of the summer passed and it wasn't until one day while I was searching for something under that bathroom cabinet, that I made a horrifying realization.

I digress. 

When informed that the landlord would be coming in the next day, not on vaction as scheduled, I was in a rush to pick up and clean my house. I was more worried about picking up the playroom and baskets of laundry, than I was the bathroom they would be working in.

I picked up dirty clothes and dusted, and moved the things off of the sink in the master bath, but never once did I think to clean out the cabinet under the sink. Where they had to move the cabinet and sink out into the bedroom, they had to either, A-remove the contents of the cabinet, or B- the contents fell out and they had to be picked up.

Why, you ask, would this be so awful that I refuse to ever look my landlord in the face again and to avoid him at all costs?

Because I forgot what I had hidden away in that bathroom cabinet. I forgot that my husband left the boxes of our new bedroom toys in the master bath floor, and one day when my child needed to use the potty, I hurriedly stuffed the boxes away under the counter from her innocent eyes.

Yes, I forgot to clean out my sex toy
boxes before the landlord had to move that cabinet. So either he had to take them out, or pick them up when the cabinet was moved, because everything that was under that sink previously, boxes and all, were organized in a nice little bag. AND I NEVER ORGANIZED THEM! 

Let's take this a step further if you will. The contents of the boxes were haphazardly stashed in the master bath mirror that does not latch all the way. The mirror that is directly over the cabinet, that covered the trap door in the floor to under the house, which gave them access to the pipes. 

Picture with me, this image that I cannot get out of my head. 

They start banging on the linoleum on the floor, to pull it up, which jolts the mirrored cabinet door open, and dildos come raining down onto their heads. They replace the toys. They resume working, having to pound on the floor to get the trap door open, which jars the mirror open, and causes the dildos to come crashing down on their heads again. They replace them. They then spend countless hours pounding and banging and fixing my pipes, while being pummeled, banged, and pounded from above with the very instruments that frequently fix my, ahem, pipes. The following lyrics have been playing on repeat in my head; It's Raining men, hallelujah, it's raining men......or plastic parts of men! The irony is not lost on me. 

The horrifying realization that I spoke of earlier? It comes from the realization that two someone elses on the planet unequivically know your exact level of kink. Have seen , and have in all likelihood, touched, and have been pummeled by your kinky toys as well.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Commando Cook Episode #1

My hubbie, the chef who was born to cook, has had a wee accident rendering him unable to bear weight on his left foot for an unspecified amount of time. Not only is he unable to work for the moment, but unable to cook as well. Sooooo... I am left with a daunting task, cooking. It is unenjoyable to me. To eat is glorious, to have to cook is the ninth circle of hell for me. 

Since our family is depending on me to avoid starvation, I find myself forced to explore the kitchen. And all the foods. I said to myself, "Okay self, we have to do this, have to figure it out. I have avoided learning how to cook since forever, and now the time has come to woman up. So since I am involuntarily forced, you know not winning the lottery and all, allowing for the hiring of an actual chef who enjoys tasting this, a pinch more of that, I might as well make it enjoyable! Or at least get a cutsey pic in my sweet apron!" Says the girl who has burned grilled cheese, almost killed my toddler and myself by leaving the gas stove on while taking a nap, and who has caught butter on fire.

So it is here we find ourselves dear 'Snappers! In this mostly foreign universe, the kitchen! Waaaay out of my comfort zone! I need liquid courage, some Framboise Lambic! But no, then I would probably screw up dinner, because of my bad case of Look! Squirrel! No grown up drinks for me! This whole deal makes me uncomfortable!

Why couldn't I just bake my way through the next few months? Or make kid sandwich, fruit and veggie cartoon characters or scenes? I seriously rock at those! I make a mean set of apple-peanut butter-marshmallow teeth! I regularly make marshmallows pops, and witches brooms too! Why oh why must I learn to cook actual food???

Well piffle! Let's get on with it then! On tonight's menu is chicken noodles/soup. I am following the directions... I am
actually cooking! And... I am cooking commando. Screw skivvies! Least I will be comfortable while I try not to screw up this cooking thing! Woot woot!

I am happy to report that tonight, the second of four nights of me running the kitchen, that I fed five people.........

It's a miracle! I can make tacos, omelets, spaghetti or pasta with meat sauce, and anything that comes in a box. Outside of that, I am pretty much useless in the kitchen.

The first night, I made tacos, and they were good.
The second night, I made spaghetti.I inadvertently used the pour not sprinkle side of the giganto size sea salt, and guess what? The seven and forty one year old choked it down. Love their hearts! There was enough salt in the pasta to create another ocean! And usually I make good pasta.
The third day I made a box dinner of creamy chicken alfredo. The noodles were like shoe leather before it's worn in. The sauce was goopy and sticky. It was disgusting. My husband ate it, but I had a nice salad. I couldn't stomach the yuck! 
Bless his heart!
Today I made homemade chicken and noodles/soup. And it was good! Really good! And you know whats even better? I didn't kill hubbie the dearest, my bff, her kid, or his best friend! And they liked it! They actually liked it! 

And I got a super cute selfie to commemorate the occasion! 

 Our first Redneck Dinner Party that I cooked! Aaawww! Rainbow Fiesta Wear in the yard with the besties! Because... crutches and porch stairs. And mismatched chairs, glasses, skeeters and a half gallon of Sailor Jerry! Woop woop! Cheers!  
And here is my cute commando cheffing selfing!

* stay tuned for more episodes of the Commando Cook, coming soon, because I am stuck in the kitchen for my forseeable future*

Hugs and Kisses, 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Reflections from the Road

 I am headed to the beach with my six year old and my father. Vacation therapy. 

This has become our ritual as the years pass since we lost my mother. In her death, I have found a new best friend and confidante. We are closer than we have ever been. I am still his cherished and spoiled little girl, as is my daughter. She is close with her Grandpa, and they also share a special bond. One that only they have. She is her Grandpa's girl. Just like I have always been my Daddy's girl.

As has become our tradition, my Daddy drives and I am lulled to sleep by the constant wave like twists and turns of the West Virginia Turnpike. The constant curves rock me like when I was a child, in the car with my Mommy and Daddy, and little brother headed to the beach. The beautiful and majestic mountains that I love turn into the scenic overlooks of Virginia.Virginia runs into the flatter land of North Carolina, which eventually turns into the long stretch of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Hatteras, we are almost there! I always feel safe and secure when we are with him.

This was the destination of our first beach trip after we lost my mother. This will be our fourth trip with my father to this paradise. It is the place where I broke my leg, where my baby learned to swim, a place to relax, to slow down and enjoy each other, to heal, to figure out life without my mother, and to enjoy our island away from home. I have so many fond memories and pictures of this culturally rich little island. I hold it and them close to my heart.

So again, just for this week, every year, we can escape and play like children in the sand and surf, or at the pool. We can fly kites without abandon, and build the sandcastles of our dreams. My father is helping to teach my little one just like he taught me all those years ago our family's beach traditions. We are also helping to teach her the importance of family, working hard so that you can play harder,  and to always stay a kid at heart! She has also learned that we are very blessed to be able to share these beach trips with my Daddy, because not everybody gets to go to the beach every year, and life is fleeting. 

We are also blessed with a husband and father, the calibre of my Daddy, that graciously shares us every summer. To my husband, I am forever grateful for his constant understanding of our needs.

These vacations to the Outer Banks of North Carolina have meant so much to us all. They have allowed us all to appreciate family more in the here and now, and to let my father and daughter(and me) develop memories that will last a lifetime. Children bring such joy, and our vacations are so fun and filled with joy and love. Grandpa and his little conspirator against Mommy. 

So we are off to the land of pirates, treasure hunting, seafood, long pool mornings, longer beach afternoons, Blackbeard, Teach's Hole, 

Ocracoke Island and the ferry, the sandy beaches, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, 

the Bodie Island Lighthouse, the Ocracoke Lighthouse,

 Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, The Chicomaco Life Saving StationMuseum, The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, sandcastles, kite flying, The Wright Brothers Museum,

and new and wonderful memories.

So life goes on. Life changes, but it goes on. You appreciate the here and now, and look back fondly. And every year, I look back as I take this drive with my father and daughter to our favorite beach. As I am lulled into a sleepy, dream like state by all the gentle curves, I look back on all that was, where we are now, and how far we have come. I remenisce, shed a few tears in rememberance as I reflect on life and loss, and am humbled by the man that is my father, the beautiful girl who is my daughter, and the strength I have witnessed in both of them. I am beyond blessed to have the love of these two amazing individuals, and the close bond we all share.