Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge 10/31/12

1. What creeps you out?

Snakes. I am so afraid of snakes. Dead bodies, too. I am always so nervous when I go to a wake or funeral and the casket is open. I hate the way the person looks all made up, don't want to remember them that way, and think that you should have a closed casket or be cremated.

2. What's your least favorite candy?

Tootsie rolls. Yuck! I am a fan of Tootsie Roll Pops, especially the raspberry ones, but the actual tootsie rolls, gross! The weird part is that when I am eating a Tootsie Roll Pop, three licks and I am biting into the center! The center is a tootsie roll, my least favorite candy. I can't explain it. I think it has to do with my lack of patience!

3. Are you a fan of scary movies?  What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?

Absolutely not! I probably should not admit this, but I am afraid of the movie "ET". My parents assure me it is not scary, but I was scared of it when I was little and refuse to watch it to this day. One of my high school friends also said that the back of my parents' house looks exactly like the house used in the "Scream" movies, so that was the end of attempting to watch those. Right after my surgery, my parents and I went on a big outing to the movies. "Alex Cross" is what we saw. One of the actors cuts a woman's fingers off!! I was done! I am totally fascinated and love being scared by haunted houses, but scary movies, I'll pass.

4. What part of life confuses you the most?

Ugh, really, do I have to answer this? I don't. It's my blog, but I will. My dating life has always been so confusing. I don't know whether to tell people about my disability if I am online dating. I don't like online dating. I have trouble meeting men to date, in general. I do have some good stories, but I don't want a good story. I want a teammate. A champion (Eat, Pray, Love...I love the champion idea). God will work it out, but it will be confusing until that happens. And, of course,  Mike's death will always be confusing.

5. Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, poppy...what's your favorite seed?

Poppy but I always get nervous eating those because we are subject to random drug tests at work.

6. Imagine your life ten years from today...what's changed?

The last 6 months has taught me that life isn't always how you imagine it. But if I am dreaming, in ten years, I will be a lawyer, happily married, with 2 or 3 adorable kids. We will be living somewhere that feels like home and we have a dog or two. My friends will have 10 or 12 year old kids, but my kids will probably only be 5 years old or younger. I also hope that I continue to travel, am generously giving to those less fortunate whether in time or money and will have started my foundation. Lastly, I hope my faith is strengthened and I am still excited about serving the Lord. That's a lot for 10 years! Oh, and it would be spectacular if the Redskins won the Super Bowl!

7.  What do you a) love the most and b) like the least about the Hodgepodge?

a)  I love the questions and that they give me a unique way to chronicle my life and get my thinking.

b) I dislike that I don't participate enough because sometimes I don't know how to answer the questions or don't feel like my answers are good enough. I started this blog for myself, so that really shouldn't matter.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by Sandy.  I am thankful that everyone I know is safe and didn't suffer much hardship or damage, but that is certainly not the case for the majority of people affected.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

That day.

I've recently found myself replaying the events of April 3, 2012 over in my head. The day started off with a frightening thought that quickly became reality.

I don't remember what the weather was like that day.
I don't remember what I was wearing.
I specifically remember driving to work with my dad and all of a sudden I said,

"I think Mike is going to die today."

{I had absolutely no reason to say this}

He gave me an are-you-out-of-your-mind look and continued driving. I couldn't get the thought out of my head and spent far too many hours at work dialing his cell phone. It was ringing, so that meant he wasn't in the hospital. About lunch time, I called my dad and asked him to send Mike an email. Maybe he would respond to my dad and my fears could be put to rest. Dad said, "I'll do it because you've asked me to, but I am telling you not to worry." "Just do it", I said and he did. No response.

Later that day, I went to my monthly prayer group. During our prayer request time, I spilled the secret I had been keeping for months. I explained that Mike had been in and out of the hospital for the past couple months because of depression and suicide attempts. Every time Mike was in the hospital, I was sad but grateful. I knew he was safe. When he was out on his own, I worried. Freedom from the hospital confines meant we could talk as much as we wanted, but it also meant he wasn't as protected. If a few days went by and I hadn't heard from him, I worried. It usually meant he was not in a good place and I would receive the news that he was back in the hospital.

I hadn't heard from him for a few days and had this unnerving thought when I awoke that day. I was full of fear and was desperately trying to keep it together.

My prayer group and I prayed together for his healing. In the middle of prayer, I burst out "STOP! I need to check my phone". Again, crazy looks, as I fished my phone from my bag. I looked at my phone and what I hoped not to see was bright as day - a message from Ava asking if I had heard from Mike or if he was with me because she did not know where he was. My worst fear was about to come true.

I called her right away and explained that I hadn't heard from him and the police needed to be called. I left off the part that all day I had been thinking he was going to die. I hung up with her and my gut nudged me to pick up the phone and call the police. So I did.

{Never mind the fact that 911 told me to google the number to the WASHPA police. Thanks for the help, 911. Love ya, too}

After  explaining everything to the lady on the phone, she didn't want to believe me. She kept asking me if I was a family member. "My name is not Clements", I said, "but I am close enough to the family to be one, just please listen to me. Ask me any question you want to and I will answer you. There is not a question I cannot give you an answer to, so please just give me a chance." So, she started and it was almost like a game.

Bring it, lady. Hit me with your best shot.

 She did, and much to her surprise, I hit all of the balls out of the ballpark. By end of the conversation, she was asking me if I wanted her to call me back with their findings.
"No", I said. "I already know the answer and I don't want to hear confirmation from you. Please just go out and find him and bring him home safely."

They did what I asked. They brought him home safely.  Safely in the arms of Lord.

Worst day of my life.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Waitin' on Sandy!

For the last two days, my family has been preparing for this storm. I've decided to stay at their house to avoid being stuck by myself with floods, winds, and power outages. I was at my condo during a tornado warning and that was kind of scary, so I'm avoiding all unnecessary stress and staying over here.
All the preparations and talk of the impending hurricane remind of September 2003 when my friends and I rode out Hurricane Isabelle. It probably wasn't the smartest move the University has ever made to keep us on campus during that storm, but it was one of my most memorable college experiences. I remember hearing that William and Mary had been evacuated and we waited to see if Richmond was next. President Cooper decided staying on campus would be just fine. He obviously had no idea what was coming and what damage Isabelle would do.
Campus awoke to heavy rains and high winds. The power was out when we woke up (I think) so University officials came around to tell us classes were cancelled. But, let's be real, do you think I was actually going to class in that mess?! Fat chance! Facilities came and put sandbags in front of my apartment door to try to prevent the place from flooding. My roommates left to go over to the neighbors to play drinking games and I called my friends to come help me across the street to their apartment. The winds were so bad that two people had to walk me across the street. I was blowing all over the place! Any balance I had was gone with the wind! Thankfully, I made it across the street with the aid of my friends and began what would be one of my most memorable college experiences!
The University officials told us to be sure to eat everything in our refrigerators. Four apartments got together and brought quite a "buffet" over. The guys got the grill going and  were cooking up every piece of meat possible out on the patio in a corner shielded from the rain. The girls got all of the vegetables and made one of the best salads I have ever had. Nine years later, I still remember this salad! We also gathered all of the ice cream and just feasted! We played lots of games, drank lots of wine and beer, and watched the crazy people out on the IM fields as they enjoyed their homemade "slip n' slide", and waited out the storm. Periodically, we would glance out the window and comment on the severity of the storm. Nobody was too concerned, though, because we were all together, just having a blast!
Eventually, we crashed and fell asleep all throughout Apt 804. When we woke up, we did not expect all of the destruction that was before us. One of the most beautiful campuses in America lost over 100 trees. Thanks to downed trees, three out of four entrance/exits to campus were blocked. The power was out with no sign of coming back on anytime soon. And, all of our food was gone. Somehow, we received word that President Cooper was handing out sandwiches and water in DHall and decided to close school for a week. We all lined up to get our free food and contemplated our "hurrication" plans. I called my mom to explain I needed to come home and she gave me every reason for why she didn't want me on her doorstep.  She offered to pay for a hotel for me and all of my friends, but there were no hotels with power within hours. Finally, Mike was able to convince her that it was a good idea for her to welcome me home and he and I started the journey. The only problem was Mike barely had any gas in his car. There weren't any servicing gas stations within miles of campus. Mike and I prayed and prayed that we would find gas and not get stuck on the side of the road. As we continued to check for a station that was open, we finally found one and cruised to the pump on fumes. Thank the Lord we were able to gas up and continue our adventure. With a full tank of gas, we cruised up 95N, singing all the way home!
My hurrication was nowhere near as exciting as other people's. I kind of regret not doing something totally spontaneous, but I will always remember the night we "survived Hurricane Isabelle".
Hurricane Sandy is quite different. I will be hanging out with my family and studying for the LSAT. Three cheers! (Note the sarcasm). I am thankful the Federal Government made the early call on no work tomorrow and my optimistic nature is cheering for no work on Tuesday, too. We'll see what happens. I thought we were supposed to have heavy rain all day today. So far, nothing too bad. But, we're waiting on a woman, so you know how that can be.

Stay safe, everyone.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Halloween Costume

The other day a friend asked me what I was going to be for Halloween. Without even thinking, I spouted off, "Well, I have a broken heart, a new scar, and one less screw in my foot. Not to mention, there are still bags under my eyes. That's pretty scary, if you ask me. Do I need another costume?" Suffice it to say, that was not the response she was expecting and it wasn't even the response I intended on giving. It was the first thing that came out of my mouth. She was a little taken aback and I responded with, "Oh, I'm sorry. You probably just wanted to know if I was dressing up".
I haven't been into Halloween since I was no longer allowed to go trick-or-treating. I probably won't get back into it until I have kids of my own and can enjoy it with them. It's probably only the trick-or-treating that will lure me back in. We all know I have a sweet tooth the size of Texas!

The funny thing about grief, especially deep grief, is that it changes you. For many months after April 3rd, even now on bad days, I would walk around feeling like I was completely lost in my hometown. There were all these familiar faces and I had no idea who they were. Who I was. I would stare into the mirror and the reflection back would be someone with red, sunken eyes, tear stained cheeks, agony. Then I'd get dressed, put on a fake smile and move throughout the day. Who was this person? She looked vaguely familiar but not recognizable in this new reality.

"If you wake up in a different time, in a different place, could you wake up a different person?" - Chuck Palahniuk

Yes, when tragedy strikes you immediately change. You have no choice. You cannot stop it. I'm working through what all of this means. It's a lot of work. It's hard work. At times, I feel like I can't work through it because people have expectations of me. I should be happy. I should be positive. I should not cry and show my grief because it's been nearly 7 months and people might be tired of it. I get tired of it, but it is not going away quickly (the grief counselors say 14 months of really hard work, but there is a lifelong impact) and I have to keep working. Sometimes I feel like I am wearing a costume every single day.

A few weeks ago, I went to the doctor for the first time in a year. The nurse comes in and asks how I am. Then a few minutes later, she repeats the question. I answer, "I'm fine", but in my head, all I am thinking is "Why is she asking the same question so many times? Can she see I have changed? Can she see the hole in my heart?" I continued to smile and prayed she would ask a different question. She did. I survived. I was probably barely convincing that I was fine, but the appointment moved along. I was out the door. I had (un)successfully deceived someone. I just didn't feel like getting into it.

I had to keep going. I have to keep going. Dude wants me to keep going. God will help me to keep going.

I'm starting to look at myself in the mirror and not be so scared by what I see. Glancing at my driver's license is still frightening, but I digress! I see myself changing and am slowly starting to keep the door ajar for the change to peek around the corner. I'm not ready to welcome it, but I'll look through the peep hole and think about letting it in. Really, I have no choice.
The one change I am willing to welcome is that my faith is being strengthened. When the unspeakable happens, when the world is turned upside down, when the man you loved and trusted more than anyone else is gone, you grasp at anything you can.
God, being who He is, has been here the whole time. He is the only constant. He is changing me, and as promised, the result will be a beautiful creation. One day, the sunken eyes, tear stained cheeks and agonizing expression will be gone. One day, I will be able to smile as brightly as Dude did without it feeling fake. One day, I will be able to experience the joy God has for me.

And, maybe one day, I will don a Halloween costume just for the fun of it, not just the candy. But, probably not, I am all about the sweets!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Reminder from an iPhone and Flowers

I had been avoiding updating my iPhone for quite some time. I heard people lost their text messages, photos, and the maps were screwed up, so the idea of upgrading was not at all appealing. There are a few texts and photos I am not ready to let go of, so I put off the upgrade until I was forced to make the change.
That day finally came. My phone went crazy and I knew I was not going to be able to do anything productive with it until I agreed to that upgrade. After getting over my earlier anxiety about what I might lose, I hit the button! Nothing happened. I hit the button again. Still nothing. At this point, frustration sets in. I am trying to do what I don't want to do but know I have to do and now it won't allow me to pull the trigger! So, I read more closely and it told me I do not have enough free memory to complete the process.  Grrrreat. Now, I have to voluntarily get rid of stuff (and still risk losing the photos and texts that I want to keep)! Reluctantly, I start flipping through apps and emails I might be able to delete. I am staying far away from those photos! Then I go to the songs that I never listen to anymore . Gone, without an issue! After deleting everything I would be fine to see go, I check the amount of free memory and there is still not enough to complete the upgrade (I have a ton of songs! The iPhone is a dream come true for a person like me who loves singing and talking!). Not enough memory means I have to go to the forbidden territory -- the photos. Yikes! I take a deep breath and I start the trip down memory lane. About 5 photos in, I come across this:
This is a photo of the last gift/surprise Mike sent to me. He sent these a week after my surgery last October with a note attached (I came across the note later that day - not sure why I kept it and why he signed it. I always laughed because he'd forget to sign his name!) that read:

Ain't  nothin' gonna break your stride! Ain't nothin' gonna get you down! Feel better. I'll see you soon. 

The roses were a wonderful surprise and the message was thoughtful and appropriate considering I was banished to sitting in a chair for 8 weeks of no weight bearing. He knew I was upset, but he also knew that I would survive and get through this and wanted to reinforce it with the message. I remember calling him to thank him (and sending him the photo) and he said "I sent them to you a week later because I wanted you to remember the message. You were too drugged up the first few days to comprehend".
I didn't notice it when they first arrived, but over the course of a week, beautiful golden blossoms emerged. A secondary surprise was that the roses were surrounded by Peruvian lilies. 
Mike loved to surprise and I welcomed the surprises as I love to be surprised! However, the ultimate surprise came on April 3rd when he took his own life. While I knew it could be a possibility given how sick he was, I never believed he would ever do it. I was completely surprised, but this time, I did not welcome it. 

 His last and final act has gotten me down. It has broken my stride. 

I will survive. 

Had I not had to clean out my iPhone, and later, clean out my drawer where I found the note, I would not have come across these photos anytime soon.  I believe I was meant to find these again and be reminded of the message Mike wanted to be sure I was able to comprehend. Upon reflecting on the photos tonight, God showed me something else. When I first received the roses, I was so focused on the red blooms that I never even saw the little yellow buds that would soon enhance the bouquet and transform it from beautiful to gorgeous. (The Peruvian lilies really pack some punch, don't they?) 

God showed me that He doesn't want me to settle. He wants to give me life to the fullest. 

 Life these days is certainly not as bright as that bouquet (the bouquet that lasted for 3 weeks!!), but with time, those "golden blossoms" will emerge. I feel better than I did 6.5 months ago and am hopeful and prayerful that time will continue to help me move forward.
Dude's note indicated that he would see me soon. Unfortunately, he started to get really sick by the time I was "released from the wingback chair prison," and we did not get to see or spend time with each other before he died. I will see him soon enough, though. In the meantime, it is important for me to be reminded of his message, to know he is always with me, and to expect a life full of "red roses and Peruvian lilies"!  

PS: I didn't lose anything valuable in the upgrade and my phone is now free from clutter.
{Never mind that I should have been more concerned about losing text messages instead of photos because photos are backed up on my computer. That's what happens when you freak out!}

Thursday, October 18, 2012

#17: Just say NO to drugs

This is as much a public service announcement as it is a recap of my seventeenth surgery.


If I had done this, I would not be laying on the couch in pain right now. Drugs are tricky. They make you feel awesome and take away the pain, but as soon as you start to wean yourself off of them, they can wreak havoc on your body. I'm a prime example. I'll spare you all of the details, but don't take narcotics unless you absolutely need them! Ok, now, I'll get off my soapbox.
    I was dreading this surgery because it was annoyingly simple. All the doctor did was remove one screw from my foot. I tried to negotiate to remove all three, but he is the boss when I am under anesthesia. So, one was all that was removed, and yes, I got to keep it! I added it to my hardware collection. 
Dr. Garrett explained to my parents that the surgery would either take 10 minutes or 45 minutes. It ended up taking 45 minutes because he had trouble getting the screw out. It was in there pretty good. Since the surgery was pretty short, I was asleep, but I must have been in some sort of lala land. The nurses commented that I came out of the operating room talking (Shock a rock!), but wouldn't cooperate when they were trying to get my to do things. I'm normally a good patient, so I don't know what that was all about. Apparently, I wasn't all that cooperative when I was awake either hence this photo:
My parents said I told them to take this picture, but I seem to be protesting! After getting some hives and dizziness under control and receiving my surprising discharge instructions (full weight bearing, no restrictions! This is a change because originally he said no wieght-bearing for a week.), we headed home.
Recovery at home hasn't been so bad thanks to my wonderful friends who know just how to make me smile! I love surprises, and boy, have I been treated to many! Whether it was Julia and Dana coming over to bring me lunch and fresh apple muffins, Dorcey convincing my mom that it really was OK for me to have the pain medicine while she balanced cupcakes, sweet potato chips and cider in her arms, or the many cards, phone calls and messages I received, I am one blessed lady. It is not often that I have surgery at home (normally in Minnesota or California) and y'all make it such a treat for me!
Look at all of the pretties:
A sunshine basket that sweet Jen has been collecting since Mike passed away and thought now would be the perfect time to give it to me! I've had fun with all of those goodies

This cupcake ornament is just one of many things in a big 'ole honking care package from Kerry and Todd! Kerry was the only benefit to having surgery in Minnesota because she lives there. My parents always appreciated the relief she provided them.

My parents friends knew what was up by giving me these socks! I have an unattractive bootlet that will be made prettier with these fancy things on my toes!

And, the dark, uncomfortable times are made that much brighter when you get to sit next to these three beauties! (Friends hand delivered these beauties so that was double the fun!)

Today, I peeled 3/4 of my hair from one side of my head (tip: don't go 5 days without brushing your hair. It WILL stick to the side of your head!), put on some real clothes and went to the doctor. Con: He said I might feel sick for a few more days because of the side effects of the Percocet. PRO: My stitches are out, my bandage is off, and tomorrow I can take a real shower! OH HAPPY DAY!
I'd intended to go back to work on Tuesday, but my drugs had other plans for me. I'm calling it a week and I'll be back to work (and the LSAT) on Monday. I did learn two interesting tidbits of information today: 1. Your brain is not fully developed until you are 25 years of age and 2. There is no silverware in prison. This prisoner said you eat with your hands. Thank you to daytime TV for that new knowledge.

Most of all, THANK YOU to all of you for your kindness. You are wonderful and I cannot adequately express my gratitude for the love and support you have shown me.

I'll be back in two cute shoes soon....

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My 6th month report card

When tragedy strikes, I've noticed there are two responses. People jump to surround you or they back away not knowing what to say or do. For the most part, I've experienced the former and cannot be more grateful. I think back to coming home from Dude's service and my mom was remarking how it seemed how I was protected that whole time. I had the opportunity to spend some hours on Davis School Road, to reconnect with people I hadn't seen since college, to meet some of Dude's friends I had always heard about but never seen face to face. They shared stories, condolences, laughter and sentiments. A few college friends and I went to Primanti's (which I thought was gross, but it was the first meal I'd eaten in a week) and we just wanted to be together. Nobody wanted to be alone. My closest friend from college, MSD, flew in to be there with me and to share a hotel room (the honeymoon suite of the Bridgeville, PA Holiday Inn! HA! That has a story in itself). I was in complete shock, in a fog, but in the darkest time in my life, I was not alone. And, I am still not alone. Even when I desperately want to be by myself and process what all of this means, God feels closest and sometimes it feels like Dude is close by, too.
I've experienced a good amount of loss in my life. All of my grandparents have died, my aunt was killed in a drive by shooting when I was 9, my childhood friend died in a house fire,we lost people in our high school (one to suicide), I was even close to death myself a number of times as I fought to stay alive the first three months of my life. But this is different. This hurts more than any of those other losses. This loss is complex and painful and shocking and sudden and confusing and heartbreaking. This loss is one that will leave a hole and questions that cannot be understood until I get to heaven. And, once I get there and I see Jesus and Dude, I probably won't even care to ask the questions that swirl around in my mind now. So, while those other losses are noteworthy, they aren't as profound or as deep as this one. This is whole new territory for me and I'm a terrible navigator.
I mentioned above that I am grateful for the way people have surrounded me during this. And I am. So grateful. But, with all of those people come a host of opinions about what I should do and how I should feel, most from people who have never experienced a loss like this before. I take in every word because I know they say it from a place of compassion even though I may not interpret it as such. But, I do have two people I use as my thermometers to help gauge my progress through this unfamiliar territory.  AJC, a close friend,  lost her mom four years ago somewhat suddenly. The other, MSD, was a psychology major, was good friends with Dude and I and knows me very well.
I remember when I first told AJC the news she brought to the forefront the roller coaster of grief I will experience for (unfortunately) the rest of my life. She said I just want you to remember you will have good days, bad days and sometimes you just won't know what will hit you when. But, she said, it is important to experience all of that, but to do your best to manage it so it doesn't always seem so overwhelming and debilitating. I've clung to those words and throughout this journey, I've tried to do my best to allow myself to experience the pain, but to continue to move forward. I talk to her almost everyday and I've been able to talk about things besides the loss with much more ease lately. Now, I know you're thinking that a lot of posts have been about grief. Yes, that's true because writing helps me sort it all out and I want to remember these feelings. It is also easiest for me to write about grief because there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about this. I have other posts they just take more effort and need pictures and I am too drugged up right now to get into all that. AJC also encourages me to continue with the support groups which have been so helpful and echo the ups and downs that she reminds me will be present.
MSD calls and checks on me every week. She offers a different perspective because she spent a lot of time with Dude and I. She also studied psychology and is in the healthcare field, so she tags her professional opinion onto our conversations at times. I mentioned last week that for the first time, I felt like I was making some progress. Her response, "You know, Jess, I agree. I think you are".


Toughest times: at night or early in the morning

Most helpful resources: Grieving a suicide by Albert Hsu, grief blogs and support groups, Mary

Treasures: my guardian angel earrings from Alyssa and John; the Lego White House Dude built before he died; photos

Most relaxing: talking to Ava

Biggest challenge: Prayer -- my mind is all over the place so I pray simple prayers

Most thankful: for my friends who surround me even when they aren't physically close, for the LSAT because it helps my mind tremendously and helps me to move forward.

Favorite grief eat: Cupcakes, duh!

Grade: P for Progress -- Not that close to healing, but progress, for sure.

Since I have never been through this before, I am thankful for everyone's support, and particularly the perspectives of AJC and MSD. As AJC reminds me, "You are going to get through this. You will not fall. There are too many people looking out for you and we will not let you fall". Truth.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Signs you're grieving

You know you're grieving when....

1. You have to ask someone to repeat something 5 times because you can't, for the life of you, process what they are saying even if it is a simple as "What is your name?"

2. You find your keys in the refrigerator

3. You try to use your cell phone to turn on the TV. You wonder why that doesn't work, but finally find the remote control. You try to use that, but it doesn't work either. The TV cabinet is closed.

4. You discuss which brand of tissues have the best absorbency

5. You get so caught up in a conversation with a fellow griever, you completely forget to eat dinner.

6. Your friend, who has no relation to the tragedy, sends you an email about GriefShare and you write back "OH MY GOSH! THIS IS AWESOME!"

7. You discuss with your friends how long it's been since you've cried. The person who has gone the longest without tears feels like they've earned some sort of badge of honor.

8. Your non-grieving friends tell you to watch Matthew Perry's new show "Go On" because it's a knee-slapper! You do, and realize you are laughing at yourself!

9. You/your friend sends a sappy text message to Mike's cell phone only to realize later that he didn't get it, but someone else probably did.

10. Your mind is

But, through it all, you realize how much you are loved and are immensely thankful that your friends and family tolerate your crazy behavior.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lovin' You Is FUN!

Six months ago, you left the world and broke my heart. Coulda, shoulda, woulda is pointless because it doesn't change anything. So, instead here are some of my favorite memories with you. Remember....

  • The "first day" you met me, you pat me on the back, I jumped and spilled my drink ALL over my desk, papers, and maybe even you!
  • UR playing in the NCAAs and we missed the bus to my social because we were so into the game. So, we went to Taco Bell and then Barnes and Noble and sat on the floor paging through travel books
  • All of our crazy DG and APO socials. And, yes, DGs always will be the "damn gorgeous girls you bring home to your momma"
  • Hurricane Isabelle -- you had to call my mom to convince her that I needed to come home, we cruised to the gas station on fumes and rocked out to sweet tunes all the way home -- "One more round of Jose Cuervo"
  • Sleep talking. Puhleease, there is no way I said I had a crush on Justin Bieber! And, look who's talkin'! You're famous for "Meanwhile back at the ranch..."
  • Going out to dinner with our parents - You ordered the most expensive thing on the menu thinking your dad was going to pick up the tab. My dad grabbed the bill and you are forever known as the "big spender" in my family!
  • Our college reunions --  Thanks for saving the sprinklers from ruining our dinner!
  • "King James" and "Wear your pants"
  • Prior to your law school graduation, I proudly proclaimed to your family that you were going to win "Most Outstanding Student". Nobody believed me and then when you won, they all thought I had some insider knowledge. No way! I just knew you and that there was nobody else more deserving. Your mom was so proud of her "Mikey".
  • Surprises!
  • Your 29th birthday weekend in Pittsburgh
  • The time the Redskins beat the Steelers 
  • Praying together for your healing
  • Your last words to me.
I've got some big ideas to keep your spirit alive! I can't wait to get to work on them!


Lovin' you is fun!

xoxo, JB
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