a little goes a long way

i have known my best friend for more than thirty years. her name is shannon. i am six months older but she is more mature. way. together we are gorgeous, neurotic and hilarious. we share common interests; including entertainment, clothing, accessories and sweet tooths. especially the sweet tooths. we have been through the thick and the thin, the better and the worse and we still love each other. she is my sister, my mentor and my therapist. i love her dearly. when our relationship started, we were little girls. we have survived childhood, adolescence and have grown into women. we have weathered the storms of other friends, boyfriends, the birth of each others firsts and the death of loved ones. we are part of each others families and we wouldn’t want it any other way. while we have been many places together and share many memories, we have always had the best time doing absolutely nothing… besides being together.

we grew up across the street from one another. i would go to her house for days on end. she had a swimming pool, snack drawer, little brother and a gramma much like my own. her mom introduced herself to my gramma in the grocery store. the rest is a lifetime worth of memories and good times. we have walked, biked and roller skated through the city of grand terrace a hundred times over. i have probably spent years of my life at her mom’s house. we used to hunt for ladybugs, ride anything with wheels and spend hours a day in the backyard. we would sit up at night in the kitchen; snack on everything and giggle about anything. as we got older we continued with these same activities, even after we moved away from our parents and grandparents.  we have always snuck out of the house to see each other when we were sick and not supposed to go anywhere. we also used to call each other and say:

“i’m bored.”

“me too.”

“well come over here and be bored with me.”

isn’t that hilarious? and we would do exactly that. just be in the same place. bored and usually eating. we simply enjoyed the company. we don’t get together as often as we used to because.. well…. because we’re adults, we have families, jobs and other obligations. the days turn into weeks and months before you know it. it took me a long time to realize that it didn’t matter if we had elaborate plans, simple plans or if we actually did anything at all. just being together and sharing is all the good time we needed.

shannon has two children and they are both my sweethearts. callie is my original sweetheart. she is shannon’s first. she is my first as well. i experienced that pregnancy with shannon, including nausea, weight gain and sobriety. the three of us (shannon, alfonso and i) were connected at the hip during that time. we went to shannon’s appointments together, we painted the house together and we even went to lamaze class as a happy family; just the three of us. i was enamored with this little girl and she had yet to take a breath. she had a place in my heart, my home and my new car. she happened to be born on my saturday. at that time i had three consecutive days off. i took two extra days off just to be close. i was so excited to see and meet her. when shannon returned to work three months later. i kept callie for one of those three days off. i had my own supplies including car seat, bathtub, towels, clothing and eating supplies. she always made me happy. when i felt bad, i went to see callie. when i felt depressed, i went to see callie. whenever i needed a pick-me-up, i sought callie. she loved me too. one day she sat on my head and when her mama inquired as to what she was doing, she responded:

“i love herrrrrrrrrr.”

years later, when i was pregnant with my son, i saw her almost everyday. they lived in between my work and home. every night i would stop by and give her a bath. we had fuuuuuun. this carried on until my prego belly was too big to accommodate. i was unable to find a comfortable way to bathe her and still be able to breathe. not to mention, my son had his hard joints pressed into every rib. yes, bathing my darlin’ became a chore and i had to resign. she was N. O. T. happy. not at all. she cried the first night. she refused to allow shannon to bathe her. she wanted “neeeeesshaaa to doooo itttt”. she didn’t even stay in the bathtub, she got up, stomped down the hallway to the master bedroom and sat sulking on the floor of the shower.

my son, kenneth, was born a few months later. shannon was present and pacing in the delivery room. moments after he was born, i dismissed my cheerleader and fan club to get some much-needed rest. the next morning i received a phone call from her asking:

“can you have four-year-old visitors? can you please ask? she’s dying to see you. she’s been crying about it.”

my poor sweetheart was tortured knowing that kenneth had made it into the world and that she hadn’t seen him yet. she came to the hospital laden with gifts, goodies and curiosity. she even wore a new outfit! she climbed up in the bed beside me and looked at him with awe. she inspected his fingers and toes. his not yet formed belly button. she commented on how hairy he was. she was so excited she could hardly contain herself. a week later, we all (alfonso, shannon, callie, mike, kenneth and i) went to big bear for a couple of nights. it was during that time that callie found out that newborns were not as much fun as she had hoped. they don’t play, they don’t cooperate and they usually have something going in or coming out of them. that did not hinder her interest in him at all. she was attendant at every diaper change and she asked every question under the sun. she loved kenneth. she kept tabs on him and she made the idea of nursing him utterly hilarious.

“why he cry, neesha?”

“he’s hungry sweetheart.”

“what him wants, neesha?”

“he drinks milk.”

“oh, want mama get it ?”

“no sweetheart, i have milk for him.”

“where?”

“well. hold on, lemme ask mama something.”

“shaaaaaaannon!”

“what?”

“callie wants to know where his milk comes from.”

“tell her.”

“ok. well, sweetheart, his milk is in my boobies.”

“oh” she said with a very curious look on her face. we all know it was a concept too complex for her to understand, but she attempted to. every time he cried after that she said:

“i think him hungry. i think him wants you boobie.”

priceless! she is still just as curious and candid today. i love her very much. she is absolutely beautiful inside and out. she is very considerate and helpful. she got to be big sister for kenneth and that turned out to be excellent training when the MadMad showed up almost two years later. i was not as close in proximity when shannon was pregnant with AJ. she gave birth to him quietly and without me as a screaming cheerleader. we did not start out with the same relationship that i had with callie. however, we have since made up for it and he is my friend. he comes to me when he’s happy, hungry or hurt. he sometimes calls me “neesa”. and sometimes he calls me “mama”. i’ll take it either way. he’s a lot of fun and i adore him just as much as i adore his sister. i have given birth once, but i have three children. they rock my world.

now, with ALL of that said, we are two women, two friends, and we share our three children. we are close in ways that cannot be explained. hopefully the friendships of our children will stand the test of time and they can blog about each other in the future. we had a sleepover recently. simple, yet astounding. shannon and her little man, my friend “the MadMan AJ” came to pick us up. apparently, AJ had inquired as to our whereabouts first thing in the morning for two days in a row. he’d asked for us and we were available. the boys are always excited to see and play with each other.  they pulled up into the driveway and as shannon opened her door, i could hear AJ chanting:

“kenneth. kenneth. kenneth?”

his voice makes me smile. he’s a happy little man. he has the most expressive eyes and boy, does he know how to use them. i peeked inside the car and when he saw me those eyes opened wide and he squealed:

“neeeessa! kenneth? kenneth? kenneth?”

“he’s coming sweetheart, hold on.”

“kenneth?”

we made a few stops and when we got to the house, the boys busted out of the car faster than you could imagine. they ran straight inside murmuring about choo choo trains and went into AJ’s room. he came out shortly with a puzzled look on his face:

“neeesa. help. choo choo train.”

i pulled all of the train related items from our overnight gear. they just wanted to hold a train each and watch the thomas the train dvd. two peas in a pod those boys are.  they rip and run until they are worn out. they get testy with one another and have been known to hit. but if you separate them, you’ll be sorry. they have to have eyes on each other at all times. my son asks for AJ constantly. you would think they were separated at birth. good memories and a great friendship are being formed. it warms my heart.

so we watched some movies, snacked (of course),  and then it was bedtime… until “g’morning!”. we were going to make breakfast. WERE. we had pulled the waffle iron out and all sorts of things, only to realize that the dishwasher was going to be installed and the magic man that would do it was already on his way. plan change: to zorba’s i went. with breakfast retrieved and the boys seated, we served them and fed ourselves standing, the way most moms do.

we didn’t have any plans, just to be together. we often take the kids for walks. to help expend some energy, to get them out of the house, to enjoy the world and all of the critters it has to offer. so, we walked to the park. they had so much fun. all three kids were on the swings at the same time. i was being ordered around:

“mama, push me.” from my own.

“neesa. fwing. help.” from the MadMan, and

“neesha, can you push me higher?” from the little miss.

they were ecstatic. it was amazing. they were laughing hysterically and for just a second and it made me laugh too. they were so happy and it didn’t cost a dime to take them to the park. they were swinging with each other, laughing at one another and enjoying life. callie and i agreed that swinging barefoot is the bees knees. if you’ve never done it, i suggest you do it. i took so many pictures. i just wanted to stay there and watch them. freeze time. they grow up so fast and time breezes by.

this friendship, between shannon and i, this life long friendship was based around these same types of outings. going for walks, bike rides and swinging at the park. when we were kids, shannon almost always took me with her, wherever she went. we have been everywhere together. her family has always included me and treated me as a family member. back then, we didn’t have money or cars, we just had each other. someone to talk to and laugh with. we were blessed that our families came to pass one another. and our children are also blessed because of it. they are able to visit, interact and love one another as often as we can get them together. granted, groceries, water for fun and baths, along with something damaged and/or broken are not free. they are a luxury, but the time together is free, and the small cost is worth it. our friendship and theirs are effortless and rewarding. just us. just them. it’s essentially us all over again, but this time with an audience.

i have come to appreciate this friendship on a whole new level now that we have children and they are able to interact. i have some very dear friends from my childhood and from my different places of employ, but my thirty year friendship with shannon is one to be recognized. we have been through a lot, and even when separated by distance, we have always been there for each other. i hope that our children are able to foster the same type of relationships with each other. we have laid the ground work and provided an example. we talk to each other, laugh with and at each other, and we love each other. we share, we care and we make room for each other and our kids. we don’t always make plans or have a place to go. we just need to make room and be prepared. yup, a little goes a long way.

Advertisements

thirty days of thanks

the figurative essence of a man (an excerpt that was also posted, but  has since been removed to eliminate the repetition) is an interesting rambling on of my favorite aspects of man.  Not just man, but men.  Men in general and men in specific.  It would like to be something more complicated than a list of my favorite attributes of men. However, it turns out that “the essence” was merely the appetizer portion of my blogging debut.  The meal itself, would follow in a whirlwind of hopes, dreams, realizations, ideas, inspirations, dedications and memories.  I would be lying if I took any credit for this idea or its pure soul-searching motivation.  In the interest of giving credit where credit is due, I want to highlight my facebook friend, Paula F, for the encouragement to give thanks out loud.  She encouraged her whole world to share their thanks with her each day for the month of November. To truly celebrate Thanksgiving.  I enjoyed the initial thought so much that I may have, literally, raised my hand as if to scream “Teacher! Teacher! Pick meeeee!”

even though I was very excited and anxious to participate, I took a little time to consider the dedication that I wanted to promote with my posts.  I knew I would start light and eventually end up heavy handed, but such is the way.  Once I started, I was already on a roll.  With a meager, yet humble and encouraging audience I started my day thinking about my thanks.  Actually taking time to form the thought, and draft the prose in my mind before publishing any flighty nonsense.   Of course, I want to have fun, encourage fun and always bring a smile to my readers, but I found myself searching, better yet, requiring, that my posts be clear minded, well formed thoughts and some sort of “method to the madness”.

It turns out that being grateful and expressing thanks is not as easy as it sounds.  In fact, it doesn’t sound easy.  Not to me, anyway.  I feel that the best way to express any thought requires the use of vocabulary.  And one cannot properly use vocabulary without a clear cut understanding of the word(s).  You have to comprehend before you can use them to communicate.  With that said, being thankful is simply that: expressive of thanks; effectively conveying meaning or feeling.  Effectively conveying meaning or feeling?  Wow, this is serious business.

lemme catch up. day 1: i’m thankful i have life. that i made it into this world and was given a chance. day 2: i’m thankful for my body. while i am aging, it APPEARS to be gracefully. LOL.

day 3: today, i am thankful for the will to do what is necessary and the ability to follow through.

day 4: today i am grateful for grade AA butter and warm Belgian waffles. MMMMM!! just kidding, today i am grateful for the desire to be helpful, even in the face of certain disappointment and adversity. perseverance! i can’t hide my shine! 😉

day 5: today i am thankful 4 men. MANLY MEN! (4 me, 1 man in particular), but men who care for themselves. well groomed and handsome men. freshly shaven men with new haircuts. men who smell good and who’s smile melts your heart. men who care enough about any and everything 2 care out loud. men who remind u that u’re a woman. men who make u smile when u don’t know it and give u butterflies when they look at u. men.

Jennifer Perez Awww….I want a manly man…=)!!!! Enjoy yours:)

Nicole Reese oooo I second that, you made me thankful!

Tanisha Ware installment 2: men with strong arms and broad shoulders. a man you can hide behind because of his strength and size! men who hold you up and never let you down. arms that hug you, hold you, love you and bring you flowers. a man that adores you. a man that cares for you. men. mmmph!

Camille Fairman Williams OMG, you worded this so accurately and beautifully. Can i steal this for my wall?? I’m in absolute agreeance.

Tanisha Ware take it honey! have it! it’s all yours! i’m just saying out loud what we all feel. and even if your man, the man, her man, his man, any man isn’t the “size” or exact “make and model” as i have described, you missed the point. as long you feel good when you’re with him and great when you miss him, you found him.

Camille Fairman Williams uh oh if that’s the criteria… i think i may have caught me one of those…YAY!!

Julie Stropka Word! Mine is not always clean shaven but he smells yummy and he does all the rest!! ♥

Tanisha Ware bahhha! @Julie Stropka, you said “word”… wooooooooooord!!

Tanisha Ware installment 3: a MAAAN! a man that makes you bite your lip in anticipation. a man who asks what you want and listens to the answer. a man who waits patiently for your response to a question he already knows the answer to. a man who is truly disappointed if he is forced to disappoint you. a man who will always make it up to you. a man.

Julie Stropka Don’t you just love it! 😉

Tanisha Ware mmm hmm! i do. like a fat kid loves cake!

Camille Fairman Williams alright… where are you getting this from?? are you picking my brain when i sleep? Gathering all the hopes and dreams of my wanted man? LOL

Tanisha Ware it’s just what was in my head when i woke up with this morning. 😉

Camille Fairman Williams and the funny thing is, is that what you’re saying and what most women want isn’t far reaching or far fetched in the least. very attainable, i know those guys are out there (fingers crossed) ♥

Tanisha Ware they are. but they wear figurative camouflage and are hard to see… knights in shining armor disguised as runners in nikes.

Julie Stropka and they find you when you aren’t looking…I promise! I met my hubby at Best Buy! 🙂 He is a good man who takes good care of our family..♥ Trust they are out there, and I hope you find yours 🙂

Tanisha Ware installment 4: a man, dammit! a maaaaan! not a boy who thinks he’s a man, not a boy who has to tell you he’s a man. a man you can see from a distance. a man that exudes man. a man who loves himself and those who love him in return. a responsible man that can handle business!! ALL business. a man. dammit! a man.

Julie Stropka You should be a blogger..seriously this is good stuff chica..

Tina Edwards ok, yer killin’ me. yes yes, manly men are good, don’t want to think about you and whoever too deeply, so cut it out. I mean, honestly, would you wan’t me to go into any kinda detail about how I feel about Jase? Really?

Tanisha Ware installment 6: a man of quality, integrity, dignity and dare i say; grace. a man who can walk, talk, move, stumble, fall and always make it look like something you want to be involved in. a man who will always have your back, be at your side and live forever in your heart. a man you love to watch and who watches you. A MAN!

Tina Edwards I’m gonna start listing Jason’s tattoos… I mean it!

Tanisha Ware Tattoos don’t scare me! You should know that. I’m plotting and planning No. 5.

a thankful day 6: as my dear sweet granny used to say “if it wasn’t for the bitter, how would you know what was sweet”?

day 7’s thanks… today i am thankful for being resourceful. for seeing the forest and the trees. for seeing the snake, letting it bite me and treating the wound accordingly.

2day i am thankful 4 my mama! it’s her bday. so HAPPY BIRTHDAY Michele Tazzi ! there’s no 1 in the world like my (or ur, if u wanna be picky) mama! i wish i had me somma her cookin’! wish we closer in proximity & able 2 njoy a night of kamikaze shots (down 2 our last dime) like we did so many years ago! 😉 oops! was that ‘posed 2 b a secret? I ♥ u mama!

Michele Tazzi Shhh.don’t tell all our secrets..lol but Kamikaze shots are just wonderful.I Luvs my Biggie ones both and wish u were here too so I could cook for you and make bread so I could watch you tear the loaf up getting a chunk…lol Luv Ya Baby

Tanisha Ware I love you too, ma! Happy father’s day and happy easter to you!!

day 9: today i am thankful for my aunt. she’s going away on an medical missionary excursion. she’ll be far away, physically, but not far from my heart. she takes better care of me and my son than i do. i wish her safe travels, rest and food when she needs it, but most of all, I WISH FUN FOR HER! i hope she has a great …time. i think we’re both homesick already. have fun DD! we’ll miss you! XOXOO

day 10 of thanks: today i am grateful for the opportunity to start anew. sometimes life just sinks. but everyday that we are blessed to wake up, we have the chance to make a change and bring us that much closer to what we really want. the hard part is separating the “what we want” from “what we deserve” or the “what we… need”. wants will never outweigh needs. fill your needs and your wants will be met.

Deb Avila Davis what a inspiration T 🙂 thanku for sharing u got a beautiful soul friend!

Tanisha Ware ‎*blush*

Deb Avila Davis lol 🙂

Nicole Hannibal awwww well said!

Tanisha Ware who let me post “sinks” and not “STINKS”? lol

Deb Avila Davis me lol i knew what you meant lol

day 11 of thanks. november 11th. a bittersweet day for me. i am grateful to all that have served, continue to serve and will serve. but for me, today is the date of my dear sweet granny’s birth… and sadly, her death. she died 4 years ago, today, on her 82nd birthday. lord love a duck if i don’t miss my sweet gertrude…. bless the lord and the heavens above for sending me such an angel. x

Tanisha Ware she loved me sumthin’ FIERCE, and i loved her back! i only hope that i can be the kind of mother, sister, aunt, and hopefully grandmother that she was. she was the most phenomenal person i have ever known.

Tanisha Ware with that said, i GIVE THANKS this day for my grandmother, Arlena G. Ware, for without her, i would not be me. she gave me her heart. everyday. thank you gertrude!! i love you! i miss you terribly!

Kim McNamara Revelles Wow you just touched my heart! Well said my friend. Your grandma was a special woman! I remember her, she was such a sweet lady. I believe you will be just like her and even better! Love ya girl, hope you have a great day! ♥♥♥

Tanisha Ware agreed! if you knew her, then you felt her, if you didn’t know her, you would have wished you did. thanks kim! xoxoo

Lana Ross wow sorry

Sharly Eckley She must have been special if God gave her and took her on the same day. You were blessed to have her as long as you did. I miss my grandma, too. Grandmas are so great!

Tanisha Ware i agree sharly! i whispered that to her, that day… “gramma! you gotta me some-kinda-wonderful to be born into and removed from the world on the same date!” amazing right? and i agree, grammas are great!

thanks on the twelfth: today i am thankful to be “healthy”. to be whole, have and use all five senses and not in need of any medication on a daily basis. i am thankful that i haven’t ever required a cast, crutches, a brace of any nature, surgery, replacements or upgrades. i am here, now, just as i came. i’m taller, heavier and more talkative. but i am free of pesticides and preservatives. 😉

thirteenth thought of thanks: perhaps the END of the day is the best time of day to confess one’s appreciation for the day. *shrug* today, i am thankful for friendship. for true friendship, lifelong friendship, facebook friendship, family friendship, acquaintance friendship. the general ability to connect with others.

day 14: today i am thankful for kisses. in love kisses, not aunt margaret kisses. sweet “end of the day” gentle pouty lipped kisses. kisses that linger… on the lips and the mind. the kind of kiss that makes you stare off into space and grin unknowingly.

days 15 and 16: yesterday i found myself unable to place thanks on any one thing. i thought about it for most of the day. i figured if i went back to posting in the morning it would help, but still, nothing came to mind. i listened to a lot of music. specifically “pretty wings” by Maxwell. even as i drifted off to sleep, he serenaded me and when i awoke his words and downright passion resonated in the air around me.

i want to take time to thank anyone that follows their musical calling. music is so very powerful. i am grateful for any song that has made it to my ear, past my heart and straight into my soul. music brings everyone together. it speaks for the lost, the quiet, the meek, the unloved. it reaches into your memory and brings out memories, people, smells, places, other songs. it’s amazing.

so for my thanks, i would like to be thankful for Maxwell. and i would like to thank any musical artist and every musical artist for bringing the funk!

day 17: today’s thanks include nubi hawaiian delight frozen yogurt with mochi, clean white fluffy fuzzy robes straight out of the dryer, “tisses” from my son, lunch and errands with the gal pals from work, texts from just about anybody (bahah!) and the very rare pat on the back from the boss.

day 18: today i am thankful for curiosity. for that nagging feeling that makes me look under the foil on a week old refrigerator experiment. the desire to see what’s in, what’s next to, what’s behind, what’s near, what’s under, what’s covered by anything else. the need to know the answer, even if i don’t want to know the answer.

the want of all the information, not the selective judgment free aspects that i am provided. the facts, the goods, the truth and the light. the real and never the fake. the substance! i am a seeker of the why.

day 19: today i am thankful for the unexpected. the things that keep me on my toes. keep me, at least attempting to be, one step ahead. the things that knock the wind out of me when i’m already in full motion. the things that make me rearrange my plans or throw them out the window altogether. the things that make life GRAND.

23 days of thanks: although i have been a total slacker since thursday, i am here to give my thanks. for the 19th: i am thankful for payday. what a way to start the weekend. for the 20th: i am thankful for my bestest friend Shannon Adcock and her two beautiful children. they came to visit with us and we had a tornado o…f fun. for the 21st: i am thankful for sleeping in late with SuperBoy.

installment 2: (a continuation of the 21st) children are always angels when they are sleeping and mine is no acception. he’s just so darned cute.

installment 3: for the 22nd: i am more than grateful for the lingering of love. the impish smiles, the slight swelling of pouty just kissed lips, the swooning in delight. the feeling that you love, have been loved, have made love and all is what it should be. i am grateful and thankful that someone’s heart is open to me and they are willing to let me in, to hold their heart and care for them. thankful they will do it in return. thankful.

installment 4: for today, the 23rd of November, i am thankful for the kindness and understanding of others. i am not the easiest person to get along with (no commentary allowed). but there are quite a few SPECTACULAR people in this world, who not only tolerate me, but actually like me (some of um love me! i know! can you imagine?), and that means the world to me. i do what i can to be a good person, a good woman and a good friend. i’m not always right, and i hate to admit that (sometimes), but i always have the best intentions. i love my life. i love my family and i love my friends. thanks for listening.

today, today i am thankful for my family. i am a holiday scrooge!! but i have too many good memories of thanksgiving to let them die. we ’bout to get this kitchen fired up!! if we’re fb friends it’s because i knew you, know you, love you, work with you or care about you in some way, so that makes you special to me. have an awesome day with your family! make some memories!!! XOXOO

Tanisha Ware says “Don’t sit over there thinkin’ you can escape my last 5 days of thanks for the month of November. I ain’t done yet! You just wait.

while shaking my head in shame, i must admit that i did not make it back to express my thanks, not  for those last five days of november.  and i haven’t expressed anything more than random thoughts during december.  however! for every moment leading up to thanksgiving day, i was focused and sincerely grateful.  i lost a lot of my holiday spirit just growing into an adult.  and whatever little light still shined was completely burned out when my granny passed away.  but i’m a parent, i am someone’s mother.  not just someone, but Kenneth.  i am Kenneth Michael T’s mother.  i owe it to him to provide a warm and safe environment in which to grow and learn.  i also owe him fond FAMILY memories full of traditions and fabulous food.  and it took aaalllllll the way up to noon on Thanksgiving day for me to actually pull it all together and get off my ass and say “let’s do the damned thang”!

and i did exactly that.  my son spent the holiday with his father and that side of the family.  i talked with my aunt and co-chef around noon.  we planned out a menu and headed to the grocery store.  ludicrous, right?  but we did it anyway.  we spent an insane amount of money for a full turkey dinner with only two guests.  she and me.  we filed the groceries away accordingly and started our mission.  we turned on the music, had some laughs and got the party started.  a full turkey dinner planned and executed by the ladies of Ware.  the menu included turkey, sage cornbread dressing, greens, brown sugared yams, sweet potato and lemon ice box pies.  oh, and kool aid.  it was de-lish!  almost dead on.  my sage cornbread dressing was so close to my sweet granny’s that it actually brought a tear to my eye.

but i was thankful.  for all of it.  for every last bit of it.  i don’t think that i would have been as inspired or as thankful without my new found attitude.  is it an attitude?  a perspective?  a “way of life”?  i’d like to think so.  i’d like to think that each day i have awakened renewed and refreshed but most importantly appreciative.  happy to alive, to be loved and be living my life!  indebted to the lord, the moon and the stars for blessing me with my son.

there is something to be said for living up to a challenge.   there is more to be said for accepting the challenge and persevering!  i’d like to think that i not only accepted and lived up to the “thankful” challenge, but that i grew from it.  that i am a better person for it.  i am trying to see things differently each day.  not always succeeding, but trying to see the brighter side of life.  the silver lining.  learning to embrace what has come to pass and prepare for what is on the horizon.  but never, never losing sight of the light.

thank you to Paula F, for encouraging me to be a better me.  you are my light.  and thank you to my cyber-clapping internet-encouraging facebook friends.