heart in the clouds

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

RIP David Meade

I never in a million years would have dreamed I would have to try and memorialize two great friends in less than a month. But that is the reality and I've been taking time to remember some really special memories of Angela and of David. It hasn't been difficult; we made plenty.

I remember when I first met David, I thought he was larger than life and I was intimidated by him and several others at Porter. I could tell they were all very good friends and I thought it would take a lot of work to integrate into the group. But, I was wrong and first impressions could never be more wrong.

On one of the first Sundays I visited Porter, some of the singles invited me to lunch at Schlotsky's. I remember just observing the dynamics and the personalities during that lunch and I came away from it thinking Angela was Melinda (Cravens) Bridges roommate and that Melinda was somehow pregnant with David's baby!!! Wow, that was soooooo not right hahaha. I quickly learned that my perception was way off and then it didn't take long at all to really start caring about my new friends. I loved hanging out with them as much as possible. Mostly I remember Angela, Melinda, Nancy Noe, David and me getting together to play cards...Nertz...and occassionally other games. We ALWAYS laughed nonstop while we ate and watched Nancy win just about 99 percent of the games.

We exchanged gifts for birthdays and also at Christmas. David always had a knack of knowing what we would like without even asking us. I have a beautiful green scarf from Churchill Weavers in Berea that David stood in line for hours to get (at their old annual sales); other years he brought me beautiful pieces of navy blue Bybee pottery to match my kitchen colors. If I needed an opinion on anything home decor...David was my guy. He had impeccable taste in clothes, shoes, music, antiques...and oh how he loved chocolate. I think he may be the inspiration of yet another book I don't have time to write "Why can't straight men be more Gay? (and I'm not talking about the sex, ya'll)" Seriously, straight men could learn a lot about women from gay men.

I hope David truly believed that I never saw him any different because he was gay; I hope he knew that I loved him anyway. I remember visiting with him for a brief time exactly a week before he passed away. He was bedridden, very very skinny from the disease of amyloidosis that had ravaged his body and he could barely see, yet; he still found a chance to insert some humor into the conversation and make us feel comfortable in the room. I hugged him as best I could that day and told him how much I loved him. I trust he believed me because he said it back and even in his pain, I think he was concerned more about how we felt than what he was going through.

He was a good man and I know a lot of people miss him. I know he and Angela were probably suprised to see each other in heaven; but they probably laughed it off and went to find a deck of cards and a carmel apple salad or a chocolate, peanut butter concoction.

See you someday my friend, Go with God.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cinnamommy observations

I haven't blogged much in the past few weeks. I guess I've been uninspired, unmotivated and downright apathetic about it. I have so many blog topics in my head right now, I thought it best to do a bullet list of things for this post.

  • First, about the blog title today: we were driving in and the traffic sucked. Zachary was asking me 20,000 questions per usual and he wanted to know if Daddy was going to get me coffee this morning. I said yes and he asked me what my favorite was. I didn't want to confuse him with the long name of my drink so I just said cinnamon. He tried over and over to pronounce it correctly and then for some reason turned it into cinnamommy.
  • Last night we went to see Lily Sauteben's dance team at Tates Creek High School. All day Zach kept talking about watching Lily dance; he was so excited. We sat in the bleachers with her friends and family and cheered her on. Zach was pretty happy when the coach introduced Lily, but he was concerned they they wouldn't let her talk. We were clapping intermittently for all the girls as they were announced and once Z noticed Kim Greenfield wasn't clapping for all of them, he called her on it. Then she called him out for the same thing by asking why he wasn't clapping; his response was simply "cuz I NOT." He squeezed in between the two people on the bleacher in front of us and then out of the blue, just hugs one of the OTHER dads around the neck and I'm pretty sure he told the guy he loved him...he got lots of laughs for that so I'm sure it's just the beginning of stranger love. After the "show" Z found Lily and she picked him up...he was blushing so red and just staring at her with a cute little grin. He was speechless and mesmerized. We got home and started doing the Mickey Mouse Hot Dog Dance and said he was dancing like Lily! Then on the way to the bath, he randomly says "Mommy? Sometimes I dance...like Lily." It's official, he's infatuated.

  • Seems like it's been an "eat out" week as we've had something just about everyday that prevents us from being home at dinner time. So Monday night we were at Q'doba. Zachary's never really met a stranger and that night was no exception. He asked just about everyone in the place what their name was. One guy in particular made an impression on him. His name was Ed. After they introduced themselves, Zach looked at Ed and said "Does Ed talk?" Ed was a little taken back because he suddenly couldn't find words, only laughter and then finally said..."Well, yes, Ed does." Talking in third person is catchy.
  • Saturday night Jill Campbell and I made dinner for David Meade and Jeff and she came to my house to meet up and get organized. Jill's got a new baby and he's still has to be with her all the time because she's his food source. So before we drove the Danville, Jill wanted to feed little Nathan. Zachary didn't make too big of a deal about it, but he did want to know what Nathan was doing. Jilly explained about mommy's milk and all and that seemed to satisfy him. Every night since then, Jill and Nathan have been the first people Z thanks God for in his bedtime prayers.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Blahs and Building 429

So I guess I'm feeling a lot sorry for myself lately and I wish I could just trust God and snap out of it. I found out yesterday that we will not be moving home anytime soon and I have to say it's just very disappointing. Not because I didn't get the job, but because I am not getting any closer to my family. I don't hate where I am, well don't ask me that in the middle of the winter, but I'm just getting more and more discouraged about being so far from home.

I realized the other day that my sister's family hadn't all been to visit me in three years and it just depressed me. My sister's been out a few times, but it's just never worked out to get her whole family here at once. I never dreamed this would be the reality of our lives, that our children would not get to play together very often. I guess the ideal in my mind was living close enough where it would be convenient for them to grow up together. I always thought I'd be back home by now, close to my mother. I've had a lot of ideals busted lately and I'm weak and weary. I buried one friend last week and am watching at least one more prepare for the same fate. The tantrumonious three's are getting the best of me to the point that I want to throw my own tantrum.

I guess I'm just overwhelmed. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me; I'm just venting, really. I'm not going to go jump off a cliff or anything. I know God said he'd never give us more than we can handle...but sometimes it gets a little too close for comfort.

I did hear a song this morning as I was almost to work that I have heard once before by Building 429 and it really needs to become my anthem for this season of my life. I'm really liking these guys music lately...one good song after another.

I don't usually put song lyrics in my blog, and I'm only copying part of the song here, but felt like maybe someone else would like to read these words or look up the song. I think it fits a lot of circumstances.

Last half of "Always"
'Cuz I believe always always
Our Savior never fails
Even when all hope is gone
God knows our pain and His promise remains
He will be with you always

Friend I don't know where you are
And I don't know where you've been
Maybe you're fighting for your life
Or just about to throw the towel in
But if you're crying out for mercy
If there's no hope left at all
If you've given everything you've got
And you're still about to fall
Well hold on, hold on, hold on

Cuz I believe always always
Our Savior never fails
Even when all faith is gone
God knows our pain and His promise remains
Always, Always
He will be with you always
He will be with you always
He will be with you

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Where's your ball?

Tuesday night after Angela passed away, I was visibly sad and I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. I found out about her passing while David was giving Zachary a bath. I knew I had to pull it together so I could put him to bed and not let him think his mommy was falling apart.

I tried, but I just couldn't and he kept asking me if I was okay. I'd tell him that yes, I will be okay and he'd ask if I was sad. I told him I was sad because I miss my friend.

Z: Where is her?
Me: She's in heaven now.
Z: in heaven?
Me: yes
Z: silence, then ...with Moppett? (reminder this is the cat we put to sleep in Dec. that I told him went to heaven)
Me: Well, okay, yes I suppose so.
Z: silence again, then ...with Linda's mom? (our babysitter's mom died last year and we told him she went to heaven)
Me: Yes honey, with Linda's mom.
Z: why are you sad?
Me: Because I miss my friend.
Z: her will get better and come back.
Me: No, I don't think she would want to come back now that she's in heaven with Jesus.
Z: Why?
Me: Because she's so happy now.
Z: why you sad?
Me: because I miss her.

David was hugging me and I was crying again. I looked down and Zachary was trying to get in between us so we picked him up and he hugged on me too and then said "I will get you somethin."

He got down and walked over to his bookshelf. On top of the shelf sat a softball. He picked it and held it out to me and said "Here mommy, this for you."

I said "um, thank you."

He said, "Are you better?"

I guess he thought the ball would make me feel better for some reason. He told me I had to take it to bed; that I had to sleep with it. He said I needed to bring it to his bed and read him books with it. So I did and he kept asking every few pages "Where's your ball?"

We turned off the lights after we read the last page of book number three. We laid there in quietness for all of 20 seconds when Zachary put his arm under my neck and pulled my head into the crook of his own neck. He was stroking my hair and whispering "It's okay mommy, it's oooooooookay." He'd do this for several seconds then ask if I was better and ask where the ball was. He finally drifted off to sleep. But I lingered there longer than I normally would because I was just so grateful to have my child with me. I thought about how sad Angela's mother must be to not have her baby anymore. It's gut wrenching to think that our children could leave this Earth before us and I pray that never happens to me.

I finally was able to get up and take a shower. I made sure I took the ball with me to bed and as silly as it sounds, it did make me feel better. I thanked God that he gave me such a beautiful, sweet and empathetic child. All the tantrums, back talk and other annoying behaviours just faded into the deep recesses of my mind for the rest of the night at least.

Wouldn't you know it, the first thing Z said the next morning was..."Mommy, where's your ball?" I told him it was in my bed and he smiled the biggest smile. I soaked up that smile like a sponge because I knew he would do a Jekyll and Hyde on me in about 30 seconds when he saw it was time to get his clothes changed! And...I was right.

RIP Angela Cox

It's been a hard week. It's actually been a tough year already. I've been overwhelmed at the fact I had three very ill friends, now I have two. One has been permanently healed by our great and marvelous God. I met Angela Cox very soon after I moved to Kentucky in 1999. She was always smiling, always cracking a joke and just such a welcoming person. She was the first one to invite me into the group. The group would end up playing cards, ringing in several New Years together, and just generally having fun together. Slowly the group members began to get married and our single days morphed into lives with spouses and children. Angela got a job with Ernie Fletcher and that took her to Frankfort, where she blessed so many other lives with her spirit and her voice. She loved her family and all her friends and it just overflowed from her. Whenever I was in Frankfort, I'd go to her office and just catch up and laugh more. She was truly a good friend to anyone who allowed her the opportunity to be in their lives.

I remember the day I heard she'd been burned in her house fire. I was so heartbroken. No one deserves to go through something like, much less Angela! I couldn't bring myself to go to the hospital for several days. I don't know what I was so afraid of, the way she might look, that she might die and I would only remember her that way, that I wouldn't know what to say to her ...to her family...whatever it was, it kept me away. I finally felt compelled to go and then I went several times a week. I talked to her and read her scripture, not knowing if she could even hear me. But then one day a message went out that she was awake...it was Feb. 8. Before that she had responded to things we said by trying to open her eyes, moving her toes, etc. But this message said she was awake and aware of her surroundings. I was supposed to get on a plane for Dallas on Feb. 9, but I just had to go see her before I checked in at the airport. I'm so glad I did. I put on all the garb you have to wear in the burn unit...the plastic gown, the gloves, the hand sanitizer. The nurse was in the room talking to her and giving her meds and she told Angela she had a visitor that she would probably recognize.

I walked in and her eyes met mine and she mouthed my name and sort of shook her head in excitement. It was so good to see my friend recognize me and say my name. I wanted to hug her, but I couldn't risk touching her and passing any kind of germs no matter how small. I stood by her bed and told her how happy I was to see her awake. The nurse talked about how great she was doing and even talked about starting some rehab in the next two weeks. I didn't stay long, but as I was leaving I told her how much I loved her and she mouthed back that she loved me too. I'm so grateful for that morning; so grateful that I had that chance. I didn't know then that those would be the last words I heard from her in this life.

As Angela's body began giving up the fight against the burns that covered more than half of her body, I began to lose my positive outlook about her survival. I just can't process any of it and I cannot understand how a loving God would let her suffer for two months when he had already planned to take her. I know there is a much higher plan to it all, but I just don't see it. Sharon Berry was very comforting to me last night when I was asking these very same questions. She said that perhaps God was using her during these two months to show the doctors, nurses and so many others the faithfullness of her life and of her family and friends who stood watch by her side during the whole ordeal. Maybe someone saw Christ through all it and as a result their life is changed forever because of Angela's life. We'll never truly know the answers to all of these questions until we see her again and even then, will we still have questions? I don't think so; I think we will be too consumed in enjoying eternity to even let these things cross our minds.

I love her, I miss her - someday I WILL see her again.