Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Garmins, Deadbolts and Drunks

It's midnight.
It's storming in Virginia.
My daughters have so far, driven 18 hours to get to a town in that state.
At the moment they 2 hours from their destination and lost.
And exhausted.
"Maps? Who needs maps?" they said this morning. "We have the Garmin."

Ralph is trying to find a hotel which is close to where they are.
I am trying to remain calm.
Ralph's hairy daughter is even looking a bit stressed.

Still, as they drive through the darkened sleeping town of Charlottesville, my weary girls have suddenly perked up and are noticing stores and buildings to visit "first thing in the morning".

A phone call just informed us that "they are all locked in for the night".
I can rest for the first time since 5 a.m.

(I have emailed Casey a map.)

******addendum to the above:******
text messages arrive to my phone about 20 minutes they are in their room:
Abby: I don't like it here.
me: Why?
Abby: (silence)
Me: ?
Abby: There are men outside our room.
Me: What are the men doing?
Me: Are ya'll locked in with the deadbolt in place?
Abby: Yeah....
Abby: I'm scared mommy.
Me: Did they say anything to you?
Abby: (silence)
Me: Call me.
Abby: I can't. Casey's sleeping.
Me: Well wake her up!
Me: (I try to call her)
Abby: Bad service. Can't answer your call.
Abby: I think they're drunk. They just left.
Me: If Casey is sleeping then it must be safe. Deadbolts are safe too.
Never hesitate to call 911 if you need someone to help you.
Me: TV on?
Abby: No.
Me: Good. You are exhausted. but safe with your sister and your dad and my prayers.
Sleep now. OK?

Silence for the rest of the night.
No rest for me after all....

Monday, July 12, 2010

Big Weekend

Usually, I have to miss the annual fund raiser tournament that is held each year for Jae, Taylore' and Alicia's memorial scholarship. In the last few years, all three families and close friends have organized and pulled off a ginormous fast-pitch softball tournament in Sherwood. It started 4 years ago with 24 (?) teams and this year we had almost 60.
I've always missed it because I also became involved in presentations within the Bereaved Parents of the USA National Gathering.
Even though I may have been in Chicago, St. Louis, and New York, my heart's always been in Sherwood at the ball tournament.

This year however,..the gathering was in Little Rock.
"Great!" I thought. "I'll be able to travel back and forth between the two events!"

I expected to be busy and in fact, I was crazy busy.
But I was also completely unprepared for a couple of things:

**Letting go of control.
I don't know hardly anything about tournaments.
Nothin at all.
Can't control things I don't know about, but that doesn't mean that my opinions aren't strong. It's tough to be passionate about something and yet be unable to significantly influence the outcome.
Control freak?
I would usually say no,..but I'm feeling more and more grumpy these days when I'm in the middle of things that are important to me. I've got to work on that with prayer.

**Going between the events and different groups of people was a huge emotional swing.
Some who read this blog may think:
"Of course Becky,..going from a ball tournament filled with families and children is a happy place and then you have to go to the doom and gloom event where 300 moms and dad's are discussing their own nightmare."
The truth is that they are both wonderful.
We've tried hard to make our tournament one which is competitive but gentle too. Trophy awards end up being full of hugs and even tears.
Our daughters played on the same fields that we now hand out trophies on in their memory.
I tell ya,....it's a mental challenge.

Yet,..I love being there because those friends are the ones I've made in the dark pit of grief and despair.
Bar none, the Bereaved Parents event is one of my most favorite groups of people in this whole entire world.
I can't imagine another large group of people so laid back and relaxed. Laughter happens constantly, spontaneously and our loss is shared as easily as if we are discussing the weather. There's no describing it.
People from all across America and all types of loss (multiple child loss, murder, special needs, chronic illness, car accidents, suicide and more) You just gotta be there to understand.
No frazzlin way.
With that group of friends I find myself surrounded by the wise, the heroes, the strong, the fearless, the tested and the laid back.
AND it rubs off on me.

Going from that group to the tournament where so many details mattered wore me slap out. (along with never going to bed Friday night)

I said goodbye to all my BP friends Sunday morning and then helped award the last trophy that afternoon.
Walking out of the ball park I had what some would call a meltdown reflected on the rich blessings that I am surrounded with.
All because of Jae Lynn.
That girl always has shown me the ridiculous extremes of most emotions.
It's cool to know she still does.

I miss you so much Jae and wish I could see you.
Wish I knew how close you are to us.
I wish I could see Heaven.

I wish....

Monday, July 5, 2010

Just got back from our annual week of camping and then a weekend with Jack and Deb, my cousins in Texas.
As usual, I took a gob of pictures but can not get the memory card to work tonight.
(as Rosana Rosana Danna used to say "It's always sumpthin"!)

On the way to Texas, we shopped at Canton, Texas....the largest flea market in the South.
Have you been there? I shopped for 8 straight hours and did not get to even half of it.
Acres and acres and acres of stuff.

Oon the way home,..we all needed to "go" and do you know where Ralph stopped? At a divey gas station called "Peckerwood"
The owners of Peckerwood are proud that they cleaned their bathroom once in 1964.

10 days away from home at a CRAZY busy week of my year.

This Friday, I am honored once again to be the opening speaker for the National Gathering of Bereaved Parents. It's in Little Rock this year and I would love for any parent out there who has lost a child to come!
Do you hear me?
It's very very laid back..jeans/sneakers and you will make instant friends with a couple hundred people. Food, fellowship and talking about the kids we don't get to talk about much anymore.
Call me/email me or go to our web site OR just show up and register at the Holiday Inn/Airport this Friday morning at 7:30 !
(One of my break-out sessions will be about blogging!)

Another HUGE thing in my life is our annual softball tournament which is in Sherwood at the EXACT same time as the BP gathering. (sigh)
You can find more info about that here.

I'll post after it's all over and who knows,... maybe I'll add a picture or two!

I'm blessed.