Thursday, December 31, 2009

We had another snow fall the other night, only about 2 inches.  There is still quite a bit of snow in the yards but the streets are clear now.  I haven't seen this much snow in Oklahoma since I was a kid.  Very pretty!

My daughter Julie is having a New Year's Eve party tonight and Ron and I will go for a little while but I don't do the midnight thing anymore. 

Anyone have any New Year's Resolutions?  I haven't given it much thought.  I just want to try to do the best I can in whatever I do.  That's about as much of a resolution as I have made. 

I do hope that 2010 is a happy, propsperous and healthy year for all.  Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The last week of vacation

It's the last week of my vacation.  I've rather enjoyed being snowed in.  It gave me an excuse to be a complete slug.  I am going to try and be a little more productive today though. 

Ron and I went to see Avitar last night.  I learned something I should have known.  If you are blind in one eye you can't see 3-D.  It just looked normal "to me" anyway.  The movie was good, kind of an animated science fiction version of the Indian wars.  There were so many political messages I was afraid it would freak Ron out.  (He hates movies that try to teach him something)  The conservation message was loud and clear complete with "tree huggers" and we Americans were taking over the alien's land for a precious mineral (rock) for the big corporations.  Sound familiar?  Ron surprised me and didn't get overly offended but some how he made a reference to Tarzan and women's lib.  I must have missed that part!  Anyway, it was fun and we had a good time.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Did anyone get a Snuggie for Christmas?  I just don't get it!  Isn't a Snuggie like wearing your coat backwards?  They show people sitting at football games wearing snuggies.  What about their back ends?  Would you need to wear two of them?  One on the back and one for the front? 
Well, another Christmas has come to pass.  The girls made it over yesterday for dinner along with Ron and my brother.  We had a good day.  The snow is slowly melting but looks like it will be around for awhile.  I'm moving slow today.  I'm not sure if I'll even try to get out today.  The streets still don't look very good.  I don't want to get stuck somewhere and there are always things to do around the house to stay busy.

I finally got on facebook.  My daughters have tried to get me on it but I just wasn't that interested.  I'm still not sure what I'm doing yet and not sure if I'm even interested.  I'm not sure just what the purpose of it is.  People telling you what they are doing all day.....????  Or is that twitter?  I'm confused.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

The sun is out but the drifts have blocked the front and back doors.  It's really pretty outside but it sure is cold.  There were lots of stranded motorists last night but they set up shelters around town.  My family will try to get over this afternoon if the roads are good enough to travel on.  This is the first white Christmas I think I've ever had.  Beautiful!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

always a day late

Well, the blizzard has finally hit Oklahoma.  We are usually a day late and a dollar short but here we are.  The wind is gusting at 50 miles per hour and so far we've had only sleet but it is supposed to turn to snow this afternoon.  This will require some last minute holiday changes to our itenerary.  Our church service has been canceled so we will be staying home.  I guess it will just be Ron and myself tonight but the girls and their spouses are coming over tomorrow if the roads are good.  This may be the first white Christmas I've ever experienced.  I don't remember any snow when I was a kid.

Last night we had a gathering at my daughter's house and we had a lot of fun.  Games, food, good company, it doesn't get any better than that.  I was sorry Ron couldn't be with us but that's how life goes sometimes.  He gets off work at 3:00 today so he will join us then.

Well, I hope everyone is having a safe and happy holiday.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Expectations

It's hard to keep our expectations for the holidays in check at times.  We all dream of Norman Rockwell images of families around the holiday table, everyone smiling and all the dreams of the season coming to fruition.  However, if we put too much of our energy into our fantasies we may set ourselves up for a let down.  I have to admit I have always had a little trouble in this area.  I want everyone's Christmas wish to be fulfilled and I put way too much pressure on myself to meet those expectations.  This year has been different, the events of the past year have changed me.  I don't know whether the change is temporary or permanent or maybe just the result of a family in transition.  There are empty chairs at the holiday table and family members are shifting their roles to fill the space.  In spite of the obvious sadness of losing someone as dear as my mother I am not feeling the stress of fulfilling everyone's expectations.  I'm just a little numb this year.  There are so many things I understand now about my parents.  How they were moved to tears by a song or how nostalgic they became when they looked at pictures of loved ones no longer with us.  I thought I understood their feelings but I really didn't until now.  It is so different now being the "oldest" in the family.  I can't really explain it.  I hope it is a position I finally become accustomed to and I'm sure I will in time. 

We are having a friends & family get to gether this evening.  Ron won't be able to attend since he has to work but since nothing feels normal this year anyway I'm just going with the flow.   Sometimes we just have to give ourselves a break and go with the feelings.  This is my year to sit back and just be quiet.  (If you knew me you'd know how totally OUT OF CHARACTER that is!  But I'll regroup this year and come back full force in 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My feet haven't touched the ground since Friday, I've been on the go every day since.  My daughter and I have been working on a family dvd of old family pictures to give as a Christmas gifte  We finally finished it last night and the first time we played it all the way through we both just started bawling!  Very nostalgic with grandparents now gone.  But I think it will be a great keepsake for the family.

I think I can have a breather today.  My list is much shorter for today.  I still have to pick up a prescription, buy some stamps and go to the grocery store for some last minute items but that's not too bad!  At least we don't have 2 feet of snow to deal with.  It is turning cold today but as long as the roads are clear I'm good to go.

Hope everyone has a glorious Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Odds and Ends

My day didn't start off on an excellent note.  I cut the heck out of the bottom of my foot this morning.  Seems I missed a piece of glass last night when I swept up the glass I dropped on the kitchen floor.  But, not to worry, I FOUND IT!    So, I'm limping around today but hopefully the bleeding will stop soon.  Just kidding......

Yesterday our local paper called and told me I won the annual Christmas Story Contest.  A photographer came out to take my picture for the paper.  This was quite an accomplishment on his part because I'd rather have a tonsilectomy than get my picture taken.  But.....I was gracious and didn't put up much resistance.  He left and then called me back later and said when he got back to the office there was nothing on his camera.  No pictures.  I started to tell him that I had a serious medical condition that somehow interferes with digital cameras thereby rendering me unable to be photographed or I could have just told him I'm a vampire but then I wouldn't be able to explain being out in daylight so I behaved and he came back and took it again.  This time with a different camera.

As part of our hospital's annual Christmas fal-de-ra we have a door decorating contest.  This year's theme was "A Country Christmas" and here are a few of this year's entries.

The sun is a little bright but it is a bed with a quilt, dresser and fireplace!

This is the start of a barn.  There will be a horse and other animals added!

This one is the Candy Land Door.  They also decorated their entire wing......

This is a 3-dimensional horse.  I think this one is really cool!  Our maintenance department created this one.

Sunday is the big Christmas party and when the voting will take place.  Lot's of great food, a visit from Santa, and fun for all.  We set up a Santa's workshop where all the visiting children can go and pick out a toy.  Our patients will get toys from Santa himself.  We are able to do all of this because of the generosity of volunteers and supporters.   So this is a very festive place to be at Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Well I made it another 24 hours without it costing me anything!  HOORAY........but all the news isn't good.  My daughter Julie (who had her ACL repaired May is going to have to have it done again on the same knee.  It seems the graph either didn't take or it has torn.  Bummer....that was a very painful surgery and a very long recovery.  I feel so bad for her but what can you do.  Just grin and bare or bear it. 

It seems that whenever you feel like a rain cloud is following you around it doesn't take long to realize that your problems are only inconveniences when compared to the suffering of others.  One of our RN's received a call that her daughter and 2 granddaughters were in a terrible car accident in California and her daughter was killed instantly.  The children are 18 months and 4 years old.  The grandmother drove straight through from Okla. to Calif. to be with the children and fortunately they were not severely injured.  She brought them back here to live with in Okla.  Now, that will make you put your troubles in perspective! 

Only two more days and then I'm going to enjoy 2 weeks of lazy bliss!  The shopping is done and the presents are wrapped so there nothing left but the Christmas cheer!

I have done a good job of compartmentalizing Ron's cancer and I can just keep it there until the next CT scan.  He seems to be feeling good and so we will remain hopeful.  The best thing to do is just keep on living every day it's the only day any of us has for sure!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

If it weren't for bad luck............

Don't they say bad luck comes in threes.  I sure hope so because that would mean my streak should be just about over for awhile.  Let's see, in less than 10 days I've had my car towed and the battery replaced, washed my cell phone in the washer, and today the sewer line backed up.  OK.....that's enough.....  I just have 3 more days until I'm on vacation for 2 weeks.  I just want to make it to January without another costly incident.

My daughter said she was going to make one of these for her dogs.  She said one of them wouldn't care and the other wouldn't know the difference!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The foreign exchange student?

My daughters attended a small college in Oklahoma.  The college was located in a small town in the southeastern part of the state, right smack dab in the middle of the Bible belt.  Now my daughters grew up in the 3rd largest city in Oklahoma and in a very liberal college town.  It was always my goal to teach them tolerance and to judge others by their deeds not their ethnicity and to respect all religious beliefs.  I was happy to see them exhibiting all these traits as young college women.

The girls started their college careers living in a co-ed dorm and working as desk clerks in order to offset the expense of school.  They quickly realized that they were not living in the liberal university town where they grew up.  Most of the students attending this school were from rural towns where prejudices and intolerance were not only tolerated but encouraged.  The girls quickly learned what subjects to avoid in order to fit into college life while realizing just how sheltered they had been from such intolerant views.

Now my daughter Julie is severely dyslexic and has always struggled with reading and spelling.  So working as a desk clerk presented challenges.  She struggled taking phone messages and checking students in and out but used her outgoing personality to compensate for her disability.  Being a desk clerk provided opportunities to meet all their dorm mates and to establish friendships with many of them.  Students would hang out at the desk and visit with the clerks on duty.  This is how Julie met her friend Bonnie.

Now, this particular dorm was where all the student athletes lived.  Bonnie was on the girl's tennis team and had come to the college on a tennis scholarship.  Julie had often seen Bonnie with a particular young man and one day she asked Bonnie if he was her boyfriend.  Bonnie didn't answer immediately but finally responded, "You seem pretty cool, I think it would be OK to tell you."  She then took a piece of paper and lightly wrote, "I'm a  l e s b i a n" on the paper and slid it in front of Julie.

Julie studied the note for what must have seemed an eternity and then responded innocently, "You're uhh Lebanese?"

"Huh"? answered Bonnie, obviously confused.

"Uh, you're from Lebanon?"  repeated Julie.

Bonnie leaned closer and whispered slowly and distinctly, "No, I'm a LESBIAN."

Barely glancing up Julie replied with astonishment, "Ohhhhhhhhhh!"  Not sure what to do next she gave Bonnie a little congratulatory punch in the arm and said, "Well, good for you."

Bonnie continued to look at Julie with a look of puzzlement, not sure just what to make of  her reaction.

Julie whispered, "I'm dyslexic Bonnie and I can't read worth @#$%."  Then both girls burst into laughter.

Julie and Bonnie became good friends and whenever Bonnie paid Julie a compliement on how she looked or on a new outfit Julie would tell her, "Coming from you Bonnie, that really means comething."

Another day older and deeper indebt!

I think I finished my Christmas shopping this weekend or at least my wallet says I've finished.  Between ruining my cell phone, the new car battery and various other stupid people tricks, there is not much left over for Christmas.   I tried everything to dry out that cell phone but nothing worked.  I guess an entire wash cycle was just way too much water!  (can't imagine why)  

This is my last week of work before I am off for 2 weeks.  I have absolutely no plans other than Christmas and then I plan to veg out until the new year.  Sounds productive doesn't it.  I want to do a little closet cleaning and a lot of reading. 

This is the light show Ron and I went to see Saturday night.  A family in town puts it on every year and they collect food and money for the local food bank.  It was really good!

Someone sent me the following video and I thought it was cute and worth sharing. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Well, I'm still looking for my brain.  My fog continues.  I decided to get a jump on chores last night by getting the laundry done.  Too bad I didn't check the pockiets first.  As I was taking the laundry from the washer I could hear this buzzing sound coming from inside the washer.  I couldn't imagine what it was but when I finally got down to the bottom of the clothes what did I find but my cell phone.  It was vibrating and buzzing and obviously totally messed up.  Can't imagine why!  I took the hairdryer to it and now the buzzing stopped but I'm not holding out much hope that it will revive. 

The car turned out not to be too bad.  It just needed a new battery.  The old one had a short in it and I know there is a short somewhere in my car but so far no one has been able to find it.  Soooo I don't know how long this battery will last but maybe long enough to locate the short.  I'm having an expensive Christmas but it's not from buying gifts!  Yuk. 

Tonight I think Ron and I are going out to look at Christmas lights.  I might as well get out and enjoy other people's decorations since I didn't put any out myself.  Like the battery is dead!  I'll get it recharged by next Christmas.

I'm waiting for my son-in-law to get here.  I have a cabinet in the laundry room that is pulling away from the wall and he's going to help me fix it before it comes crashing down on the washer & dryer.  He's a good guy to take his day off and help me.   I need to get in there and get the cabinet emptied. 

Friday, December 11, 2009

What I Miss Most!

What is the saying, of all the things I miss it's my mind I miss the most!  That's how I feel this morning.  I know I had it yesterday but I'll be darn if I can find it this morning.  I wandered around my house trying to get ready for work and I must have ended up in the same room about 12 times with no idea why I was there or what I was looking for.  You just gotta laugh on days like that and think of it as an adventure.  I don't know where I am or where I'm going but I can sure have fun on the way.

I have an email friend in Connecticut.  We've been writing to each other for over 10 years but we have never met.  We are the same age and have a lot of things in common.  We both have rheumatoid arthritis and family members with mental disorders.  It's amazing the kind of friendships that can be developed through the internet and how wide your world can expand without ever leaving your house.  Anyway, I am going to make a real effort to meet Liz sometime next year.  We haven't figured out the details (as we are just in the 1st planning phase) but it's going to happen. 

As you can see, I accidently discovered COLOR today.  I have no idea how this occurred but I got online and had new options I didn't know existed.  A new tool bar and I have no idea where it came from.  But....I'm going to play with it and see where it goes.

So, everyone have a colorful day!  

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Santa's Helper

This time of year brings back so many memories of Christmas’s past. When I was a little girl I thought my father was the smartest, bravest, most clever father in the world and that opinion was solidified the year he entertained Santa at our house.

I was five years old that Christmas and as usual my mother bundled all us kids up to go to church on Christmas Eve. And as usual, my dad had pressing matters that would prohibit him from joining us. So off we went leaving my father behind to tend to matters unknown to the rest of us.

After the Christmas Eve service we headed back home to get ready for the arrival of Santa. Now, remember this was long before cell phones so there was no chance to call ahead to warn my dad of our impending arrival. So as soon as we walked in the house we were met by my surprised father, caught red handed in the act of putting together a doll buggy for me. Without a moment’s hesitation he excitedly exclaimed, “I can’t believe you missed him! He just left a few seconds ago”.

Unanimously we inquired, “Who just left?”

“Why, Santa Claus” responded daddy as if it were an every day occurrence.

I just stood there, the youngest and most gullible of all 3 of his children, my eyes darting from the doll buggy back to my father.

He went on to explain, “I was just sitting here doing some paperwork when there was a knock at the door. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and there stood Santa Claus, his reindeer and sleigh parked in the front yard. He called me by name and said Earl, would you mind putting this doll buggy together for me, as my sleigh is quite full and I’m afraid it will fall out. Then he said he’d be back later with the rest of the presents.”

I didn’t know whether to be happier about the doll buggy or the fact that MY father had just met Santa Claus and in our own living room. I mean I knew my father was special but I had no idea he was on a first name basis with the big guy!

Daddy finished putting the wheels on my doll buggy. He then suggested I park it under the tree and then maybe; just maybe, Santa would bring a doll for the buggy. The next morning, sure enough, there was a doll sitting in my buggy just waiting for me.

There have been Christmas’s since then, in fact, I have celebrated fifty-five more but I still have that special gift from Santa sitting in my attic reminding me fondly of the Christmas when Santa’s helper got caught red-handed.

This is the cutest little guy....Watch his facial expressions!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

signs that a marriage has gone bad....

It's beginning to look a lot like I go deeper and deeper into debt! Timing is everything and this year is no exception. I got in my car after work yesterday and low and behold it wouldn't start. Tried jump starting it but at 8:00 p.m. I was waiting for the tow truck to come tow it to the mechanic. So.....I know what I'm getting myself for Christmas! A repair bill! My car is 14 years old but I'm babying it along because I don't want the expense of a new car. At least not right now. I'm trying to time the whole car thing with retirement. I will retire in 5 1/2 years so I want to get another car in about 2 years. Just enough time to pay it off before I retire. I also want a carport before I purchase another car. But that may be wishful thinking. But on the flip side...I'm lucky I have a job, lucky I am close to retirement, lucky to have a car in the first place. (There is always a positive side to everything) I'm also lucky Ron has 2 cars and is able to loan one of them to me! So see......I have nothing to complain about after all!

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All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service here

Please pass this information on to bless a woman going through Breast Cancer treatment. This organization serves the entire USA and currently has 547 partners to help these women. It's our job to pass the word and let them know that there are people out there that care. Be a blessing to someone and pass this information along.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

If I Had A Grandchild

Here are some of the gifts I'd so be buying if I had a grandchild. I especially loved this recordable children's book. Imagine yourself reading to your grandchild every night....... isn't that cool?

Another Christmas tradition you could start is the elf on a shelf. My daughters have this book and elf that they move around their classrooms every day. The kids named the elves and they report to Santa every night to tell him who is being good and who isn't. I even got in the game and wrote their students letters from Santa. He told them he was checking every night to see if their names are on the good boys and girls list......

Of course if I had a little granddaughter she would so be getting clothes, or a doll house or maybe a crooked house.

Or one that looks like a pirate ship for a grandson.

Of course if I had grand children I'd have to also get a part-time job!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Birthday Girls

I'm not a cat person but this is just too darn cute!

39 and holding!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I had a busy Saturday! Soup N' Salad did a fundraiser for the hospital today and I went with daughter #2 to that and then we went shopping. It was a lot more hectic today than it was yesterday afternoon when Ron and I went to the mall. But we accomplished our goal. This evening Ron and I went out to eat with both daughters and 9 of their friends. It was a birthday celebration for the twins. They will be 39 years old tomorrow! Unbelievable! Where has the time gone? 39 years ago on a beautiful Sunday afternoon they were born at 4:40 P.M. AND 4:42 P.M. I remember it well! I was 21 years old and their dad was in the service. Vietnam was in full swing. He had been gone 6 months and he didn't see the girls until they were 7 months old. That was quite a time. Fortunately I was too young and dumb to be scared. I thought one extra baby was no big deal. I didn't know that I wouldn't sleep through the night again for the next 3 years. But those little babies were just so darn cute. Never mind the fact that I couldn't tell them apart! There was only 3 oz. difference in their weight and they were exactly the same length. It never occurred to be to paint their toenails a different color. Duh! I do remember thinking it felt like I had won the lottery. I was just so excited about having twins. I am truly blessed. I am a little disappointed I never became a grandmother. That's an experience I would have loved to have. I hear there is nothing like it!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Where's my Christmas spirit....have you seen it anywhere?

The Christmas spirit eludes me this year. I'm not depressed or anything but I just don't have the Christmas spirit. I'm just going through the motions. Actually, I'm just doing what I have to do but nothing extra. I haven't decorated the house, put up a tree or played a single Christmas cd. If you knew me you would know how unusual and out of character all this is. I'm normally the Queen of Christmas. My kids have always teased me by saying my house looks like a Hallmark store. I'm not bah humbug or anything. I just kind of want to take a time-out this year. I hope to be rejuvenated in time for Christmas next year. Maybe if I'm patient it will all come back to me in 365 days.

Grandma's Hands


I was privileged to take a photo of"Five Generations of Women"shortly before my 93 year-old Grandmother passed away last year. The photo , shown below , features the hands of my Grandmother , Mom , Sister , Niece and Great-Niece. While I can't take credit for the idea , I was so happy to have had the suggestion & capture this moment. It inspired a friend of mine to do something similar , which turned out so beautiful it became a special keepsake , prior to her father's passing."


Grandma , some ninety plus years , sat feebly on the patio bench.

She didn't move , just sat with her head down staring at her hands.

When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK

Finally , not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled.
"Yes , I'm fine , thank you for asking , " she said in a clear voice strong.

"I didn't mean to disturb you , grandma,but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK , " I explained to her.

"Have you ever looked at your hands , " she asked. "I mean really looked at your hands?"

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over , palms up and then palms down. No , I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making...

Grandma smiled and related this story:

"Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands , though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.

"They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.

They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child , my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

"They have been dirty , scraped and raw , swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.

"They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors , and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand.

They have covered my face, combed my hair,and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up , lay me down , and again continue to fold in prayer.

"These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life.

But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ."

I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband
I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.

I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I've got only question today.....why are the transgressions of Tiger Woods so news worthy? I realize he can hit a little ball with a stick a long, long, way into a little bitty hole on a nice manicured patch of grass but really???? America's fascination with movie stars and sports figures amazes me no end.

Sarah Palin is in town today. They were lined up starting yesterday morning in hopes of being one of a few hundred who will get a little bracelet that will allow them to purchase her book and get it autographed by the author. Sorry, no body's book is worth me freezing on a sidewalk all night just to get an autograph. But here's to those with the fortitude to persevere! She should feel right at home here in Oklahoma since every county in the state voted for the McCain/Palin ticket. I didn't know we had that many moose hunters!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Boogie Man

Here's a little boogie woogie entertainment for your viewing and listening pleasure!

Christmas 2009 at the hospital

This is a picture of the reception desk.....I think it turned out very well.

The lobby display...this Santa Claus was a donation from one of the local antique dealers. He's huge! Our maintenance shop built the over sized rocking chair just for Santa!

This picture shows just how big Santa is!

Last night was our annual golf cart parade. In spite of the fact we were dodging rain drops it went pretty well. We had a lot less participation this year so we will need to see what we can do to rejuvenate interest in the parade. We've already chosen a theme for next year (A Candy Land Christmas". We are going to use the board game as an inspiration. Should be cute. This year's theme was "A Country Christmas". We had 2 decorated out houses in the parade. CUTE!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I hope you dance

My best friend Pam took her life 7 years ago next month. She was only 45 years old. I remember the Sunday morning I received a call from another friend telling me how sorry she was about Pam's suicide. I remember thinking she had the wrong person or there had been some terrible mix-up because I knew that was something Pam would never do. Why would she? She was a mother who loved her child more than life itself. She had a husband who loved her and had been her best friend since she was a teenager. She was always involved in every aspect of her daughter's life and had just become the secretary/treasurer for her sorority. Hadn't she just called me the week before to tell me she was going back to school for her degree. She was so excited that her employer was going to pay her tuition. Now, someone was trying to tell me that she got up on a Sunday morning and went to her back porch leaving her husband asleep in their bed. She put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. I couldn't comprehend what was being said, I couldn't believe it.

Christmas never comes anymore that I don't think of my friend. I have replayed our last conversation over and over. What did I miss? How did she hide her pain? What was she thinking and why didn't she reach out to someone? It took me several years to realize that I will never have answers to those questions. I can't help but think of her daughter and how she wasn't there to see her walk down the aisle. How she will not be there when her first grandchild is born.

This was the song played at her funeral. I had heard it many times before her death but the words have such a different meaning to me now.

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance

Here's to you my friend...I hope you are dancing!