Today I will celebrate your life and test the waters.

It has been 11 long years since you left us. I have never celebrated that day by trying to remember all the beautiful things about you but today I will test those waters. It is kind of like testing the water before you go in a pool. Warm at first but colder as you go. Maybe it will stay warm all of the way. I will pray for the families of the three friends who died with you.
So here is to you Nikki. Your laughter was contagious. Your soul was beautiful. You were bullied but you never stopped until you made friends of those bullies. I know because they told me at your service. You never did tell me. I was proud of you.Your smile was always beaming. You never failed to be nice to everyone and even got fired for being to “nice” to the customers.
You overcame so much of your Autism and other issues because I never told you they were there but even though some remained, it took a while before someone caught on. You ordered tomato soup one year because you were working at Walgreens and it was your money right? So you paid almost 25.00 for 4 cans of tomato soup that cost less than a dollar because you wanted to order online.
You wore party dresses to waffle house and when I ask why, you said, “Because I am dressing for me mom. Not other people. I don’t have anyone to impress”. You learned to hug even though it was hard. You still hugged to the side but you hugged. A big deal with Autism. You loved deeply. You were a champion at doing something until you got it done even when I thought you could not.
You had a light in you that few people have. You loved your baby sister and your family and your friends, Kelli and Kandice and your friend Samuel from Australia and Joel who came to your service driving 12 straight hours even though you had never met. You had tons of online myspace friends that were in your life even be it online.
You loved to sit on the porch and when you left even the neighbors said later they missed the waves and the smiles. You brought a beauty into our world that will never be replaced and as I quoted in the song, “This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.” I love you. Nik. Always. Love, Mom

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Anxiety & Art

I have anxiety, usually on a daily basis. Some good days and some bad but as an artist, that can be hard. So I decided to start painting anxiety art. It never has a duplicate because it is based on my anxiety level that day. I love it because it gives me the chance to revamp what is making me anxious (which can be anything) and I can express myself through art. Good days make for happier paintings, anxious days show me just how hard that day was. So, I am calling it Anxiety art. I name them as i wish. This is Universe.

Why are certain things “taboo” on Facebook?

I wonder why I see a lot of things on facebook that are memes saying, Do NOT air your personal issues on facebook? Deal with them privately and I have to laugh. Why it is taboo to put what you want or feel if it isn’t always nice ? I do not mean mentioning names but um, let me see.
We post or read post that tell where you are going, where you eating, who you are dating, when you are drunk, what your baby does 400 times a day, who your friends are and what you are doing every five minutes. There are post about your marriage, your kids, hospital visits, doctor visit, what your OBGYN said, in detail, gag.
There are post about who love, and basically every aspect of our lives but if someone post, God forbid, “My feelings were really hurt today or you are sad because someone will publicly show their love about anyone but you so you say you are sad or put, (God FORBID) you are having a tough day and the list goes on and people go into a frenzy. NOT the place for facebook? Really, seriously? It is social media and I know more about you there than I do as a person.
I know just about every single aspect of your life but do NOT, and I repeat do NOT put actual human emotions or thoughts on there. You will virtually hung and tied to a facebook rafter. So, I just think it is amusing that you see all these DO NOT post personal things on facebook. Well, I don’t think you get more personal than knowing everything about you including pics of when you are drunk, high, (yeah I have seen those) your personal EVERYTHING but we cannot post about a bad day. hahahahahahaha. I guess in a world of do not offend it has gone socially viral. lol

When Life throws you Lemons, Make Coffee

Yep, that’s right. When Life throws you lemons, brew a cup of coffee or tea. Sit down and sip the good strong taste. I am not a laid back guru type but I do meditate sometimes. Just to get away from it all. I find music soothing and when life turns sour, I have to do something to control the hot temper I am known to have.
I am very outspoken and I am not one that can easily curb my tongue but I do try. Sooooooo, I try to find ways when life throws a curve to boomerang it back so I can smile and act like the smiling sweet and calm person I am often not. Since I have anxiety this is VERY important. I will overthink why there is a reason my egg yolk busted. There must be someone cursing me that day. hahaha.
So, I guess I am trying to encourage those of us who can get discouraged easily to find ways to fight back without killing someone. I wouldn’t think that would be a very good idea. So, remember throw that lemon in the trash and get to brewing.

The “Uncool” Mom

I am the dreaded “uncool” mom. Whether your kids are young or adults, many of us will be the “uncool” mom. Other friends parents, or step parents or even relatives will be the ones who party, or hang out, or just are the “Good time” buddies. I do not go shopping, I do not do the late night hang outs (though if the invite comes along, I might do that a few times).
No, my children did not tell me this and I actually have a fine relationship with them and I adore my grandchildren. But I know that I am not the “Cool” mom everyone wants to have. But I am a great mom that many people wish they could have.
I am there whenever I am needed if I can be there, I love them unconditionally, I stop to help no matter what is going on if I am able.
I go to Grandparent’s day, activities, help with things at school and fund raisers. I am also quick to let them know how much they mean to me and how much I love them. The “cool” moms are sometimes too busy being cool to do all of the things that great moms take the time to do. NOT to say all cool moms do not this because they are on a list I cannot compete with because they are cool AND do what I do.
But us “uncool” moms need to be okay with what we are and who we are. I may not be the “life” of the party but I am funny, I joke, I laugh, I cry, I try to be up with things but sometimes I am more worried with being there than how my make-up looks or how nice I am dressed. You are more likely to see me in sweats, hair pulled up, looking around for the best deal on stuff for the grandkids and making sure my kids are okay.
So kudos to all of the “Cool” moms who can do all of this and still be the best ever. I admire you. But I also admire us “uncool” moms who have the most beautiful hearts and who love, go out of our way and find more happiness in what we can do to be there as opposed to being “cool”.

Sara’s Story 3

I am so stunned. My mind and body are numb. Kandice (your other best friend)came over as soon as I called her to tell her it might be you. She is in shock. I do not need meds because now I know what being in shock is. It is unreal. I cannot think. Kandice is checking myspace to see. Everyone here is in shock but trying to help. Mom is sending Cricket. She simply cannot bear it.
Mom Nana is here and Papa. Granny is keeping everything together God bless them all and Robyn and Aunt Donna and Aunt Sandy and Aunt Sherry are all in tears. The cousins are trying to be brave for your sister. I am in my room staring at the wall.
Just staring. I am rocking back and forth because i do not know how I am going to do this but I have to. You have a sister who needs my love and her mom too. I am just in a state of pure catatonic shock.
I cry and cry and cry. You , it just cannot be you. Not the one who always made us laugh who loved life and who brought joy to everyone she met. Who made friends out of enemies. Robyn said cousin Stephen called and he cannot come. he is building a ship but he got the approval to carve your name and information into it.
So many people loved you. Your Tennessee family is coming. You always feared turning 30 but you were afraid of dying. Ironically, last week, and why didn’t I catch it? You said you believed in Heaven again so you were not scared anymore. We know now it was you. But if any consolation can be found in this it is that you were killed instantly. You left us before that car blew up. Oh dear God, this pain, this emptiness where my love for you was. I do not know what I am going to do. Nothing can take away the pain. Your sissy popped in and sat beside me. I held her and we cried and cried. I keep thinking maybe you were not in that car and this is all a bad dream but now I know it is real. Kandice said Joel and your friend Tigs from Australia have been calling. All of your myspace friends are writing but I guess she is handling it. I just cannot right now. I can’t.

WHAT day is it? I don’t know, don’t care. I am writing on a napkin so I do not have to go downstairs around anyone. Granny and nana forced me to eat but I almost threw it up. No t.v. or music is allowed right now because those were what you loved so much. Oh dear god. I am so sorry for all the ways I have failed you and your baby sister even if she is not a baby anymore. I must have done something really wrong for this to happen. I keep waiting for you to walk in the door, look around and laugh and say, “Heeeey ya’ll! I just got lost. I’m sorry. My bad.” And then you will smile.

Sara’s Story. Continued from page one.

I went through the next day, calling and thinking maybe you were trying to be a grown adult so you were not trying to get to a home phone but in my heart I knew. I had known since it happened I think that you were in that car wreck but my heart could not accept it. Finally, that evening, your sister called and said “Mom, did you check the hospitals?” I said, “No, but let me call her friend’s dad”. I didn’t want to call. I ask Dan to call her friends dad but I was scared. I whispered, “God, please let it be okay, please”. I heard Dan tell the dad, “No man, just hit me up? What is going on?” Then he came back into the room and fell to his knees. I knew.

It was her in the wreck but we were not allowed to be notified because only one person was thrown out of the car. It had somehow jumped the median from one side of the interstate to the other and was hit by an SUV. Then it rolled off to the side of the road and according to a witness, it exploded. Anyone inside the car was not able to be identified so we were not allowed to be called. Only that father. I went numb. I called your sister and told her to put her boyfriend on the phone. I asked him to bring her home. I knew from the girl who was thrown from the car that it was you. The dad said everyone was killed.

Someone called the family. People started coming. I think I was in a state of shock. All I remember the rest of that day was talking briefly to our moms and your dad’s mom who was telling me she was coming the next morning. I know people came and I know your sister was talking to people and Dan was and your friend from two streets over was there but that is it until the 19th. I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I went and sat in your room and I cried.

February 19th. 2007

I am writing on a crap piece of paper I found and I am crying. I cannot do this. I cannot do this. I feel like I cannot breathe. I am crying so bad I think I will never stop. I miss you so much. You were the one in our family who kept us laughing. You looked at everything with hope and it was always, “It’s all good mom, and Where id the love?” when I got upset. You loved your sister like nothing else in this world. You loved people. You loved life. You loved Dan like he was your dad. You simply cannot be gone.

Granny came and your dad’s family is trying to help find out the facts. Your cousin that you are closest in age to is crying, your sister has been crying and so many but I cannot help them. Your cousin in Afghanistan called and he is crying because they won’t let him come home. Dear God, this cannot be real. It is all a very bad dream. Your Aunts and Uncles, cousins, grandparents, sister, Dan. All here Even your dad and his family. I am in house full of people but I am ALONE. So alone. I miss you so much. I cannot believe this is real.