To Make Amy Laugh

Hey Amy!  I know you saw all of this, but I’m writing you about it anyway and yes I’m posting it on the blog.  I know you love this kind of acknowledgement…me letting the world (or my world at least) know how much you mean to me.  So before I get to any of the mushy emotional stuff…which will be coming, I wanted to tell you this funny story.

Tuesday we were at your house and Tim gave us your box of pictures to go through.  He emphasized that we could take some of them to use on the posters but since they were very special to you he wanted them ALL back.  As we went through the box we found so many of our pictures from college.  The funniest thing was that it was quite difficult for us to find pictures of me that didn’t have either a beer, a cigarette, or both in them.  It got to the point that we all laughed when we came across yet another shot of me.  So Wednesday night after the funeral we were at your mom and dad’s house.  I was down by the garage and had just opened my first beer.  Tim came around the corner and saw me.  He ran down the driveway yelling “Brad, Brad get her a cigarette and grab the camera!”  So for old time’s sake we took one more “party shot” of me.  I know if you’d been there (well in body that is) you would have been laughing so, so, so hard.

Thank you for letting me feel your presence this week.  When I was making the picture board there was this great shot of you, me and you know who.  I thought for a second about putting it up and then I felt you say “Don’t you dare put that up there, Les.”   YOU did look gorgeous in that picture though, that’s the only reason I considered it.  I also found some pics of you and Keith.  I thought about sneaking off with them. .. didn’t want Tim to feel sad when he looked at them.  But then I realized that all of the frogs you kissed before you met him were a part of you and he wants to know and hold onto to all of it.

I am thinking about you constantly, but you know that.  I am looking for signs and seeing/feeling them.  Just wish I could hear you laugh.  Maybe next week I’ll tell the shower curtain story one more time for you!

Happy Halloween BTW and for their very first one Gavin and Brantley are going as miniature wrinkly little old men…

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Update and Request

So first for the details.  I am exhausted, drained, and starting a new life without my best friend Amy.  The last time I talked to Amy was October 13, the day after the infamous blog drama.  We talked for an hour about family, friends, God, and Jesus.  I could have talked to her all day long but I had somewhere to be.  I hung up the phone thinking how very much I loved her.  Last week I got a call saying she was in the hospital in labor with her twin boys.  She was only 31 weeks pregnant.  I was worried about the babies.  The last news I got before leaving for Orlando was that she was doing great, labor had stopped, they were moving her to another hospital, and they even thought they’d keep those babies in for one more week.  We were in the Magic Kingdom when I got the message that she’d had the babies early Friday morning (Oct. 23).  The babies were doing great, but Amy had pneumonia.  She was going to be fine, but the down side was she couldn’t see or touch her boys.  I told Kristin to tell her I’d call her Sunday night after returning home.  On Sunday morning after 9:30 Kristin called in hysterics to tell me that Amy was in a coma.  Two hours later, Heather called to tell me she was gone and that now they were simply keeping her on machines to harvest her organs in preparation for donating them.  She died of a ruptured brain aneurysm.  She never got to touch, hold, or see her baby boys, Gavin and Brantley. I don’t know what my life will be like without Amy in it.  But more than anything, I am thinking of her husband, who now must raise 2 boys without his beloved partner and her mother, father and sister who have lost the beautiful, loving, and generous baby of their family.

So now for the requests:  First, there is a trust account set up for the babies.  If this story touches your heart and you are so inclined to make a loving donation, please email me at horner38@gmail.com and I can pass along the information for that account.

Second, this morning Kristin and I were reading a book that Amy gave Kristin.  We came to a page and Kristin said “Ah, this one’s for you Leslee.” and then she read from the book “when you get your first book published, I want you to dedicate it to me.”  This was a book about friends and that page was about two friends and one of them was a writer.  So apparently, Amy wants me to dedicate my first published book to her and damn it I intend to fulfill that request.  I have been playing around in my head with a novel idea for almost a year now and it is time to start writing it, since my other two are pretty much unpublishable.  What that means is that I will not have as much time to devote to “Waiting for the Click,” but I still intend to post everyday.  I have so many friends that are writers, bloggers, or just folks with wonderful tales to tell and I’m ready to tap that well.  I want to post one or two “click stories” each week from guest writers.  I titled the blog with the big click in mind, but there are so many little clicks in our lives.  I’d love for you to share with me and my readers a moment when something clicked and you knew that life would never be the same.  It could be love, friendship, spirituality, loss of a relationship, discovering your passion, finding a great job, or anything….

Send them to clickstories@gmail.  Also, keep stories under 1000 words please.

Thank you for stopping by while I was away.  Be patient with me as I ease back into writing and as a purge a lot of what I’m feeling here.  I’ve been writing letters to Amy in my head for days now and I do intend to actually write some of them here.  It would make her happy.  I’m exhausted at the moment and have not edited well.  Forgive me for any mistakes or awkward sentences.

Update Nov. 15th: Wanted to add a couple of pics of Amy.  I’ve written so much about her that I wanted to have her face here on the blog somewhere.  She sent me the occasional picture during her pregnancy…the first is 12 weeks, the second 20 weeks.

Amy 002Amy week 20

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Another poem written in college…

In a dark room

four seats

smoke filling the air

The windshield showing

a picture

as we search for an escape

an adventure, traveling

inside the mind

as the heart pounds

The music vibrates

as we stare deep at the picture

words flying through the air

soaring back and forth

never reaching the point

of acknowledgement

The future is lifeless

says the concience

Have you ever cried

for that which

we have not yet reached

or do you cry

for where

we’ve been before

It is both

for that which has left

for what can’t return

close the eyes

never think

Unplugged…I Hope

This will post Friday morning and I should be unplugged.  I’m writing it on Wednesday night though.  Everyone in my house has been sick except for me.  Callee had the cold first and today there was little left of it.  Mark came home with it Monday night and today he successfully made it through an entire work day.  Bella was showing signs over the weekend and peaked today.  She has the same problem I did as a child, when she gets a cold she coughs non-stop.  I had to pick her up from school today because the cough was just too much (her teacher also thought she had a fever, although the school nurse said she didn’t).  Anyway, all of this would be just fine and something I could handle like a champ except for one small thing: we are heading to Disneyworld tomorrow.  We booked the trip about 6 weeks ago.  I came home from the gym one Saturday morning to find Mark planning a vacation.  The man who pretends to hate the place was searching the web for the best deal he could find.  Needless to say we’ve been looking forward to it ever since.

I love Disneyworld.  It is one of my favorite places on Earth.  There is just something that happens to me when I get on Disney property.  I don’t even have to be in any of the parks to feel it.  It’s a happy place.  There are down sides to it though.  The crowds, lines, food, and merchandise can get annoying.  But even with all of that, you know the huge corporate hand that’s pulling the strings, Walt’s original intention still remains the force behind it.

Since we live in Florida we get good deals on trips to Disney.  We started going when Bella was 2 and we always stay on property.  I have to say my favorite part of the trip is my early morning walk to get coffee.  I love the parks and the rides and shows, but that walk is beautiful.  I get up about 6 am, which is an hour earlier than I ever get up at home, and leave while Mark and the girls are still sleeping.  The walk usually takes about 30 minutes and I savor it.  I soak up all of that imagineering energy and use it for my own little fantasies.  I think of the most impossible yet desirable outcomes in my life and I pretend they’re not so impossible.  I see myself in places I may never go, with people I may never meet, doing things I’d just die to do.  My heart beats faster, I get goose bumps, and I feel inspired.  (I swear I’m getting butterflies in my stomach just thinking about that morning walk.)

I sat here all day today contemplating whether or not to call Disney and cancel our trip.  The girls assured me they will feel great once they get to there and I don’t doubt it.  My hope is that everyone is on the upswing tomorrow and Friday morning (as you read this) I’ll have just enjoyed that fabulous walk across the resort to the food court for coffee.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and if I don’t reply to your comments or tweets you know why….

Freckles

So I am a freckly person.  As an adult I like my freckles, but as a kid I hated them.  I don’t know that anyone ever teased me about them, but I just couldn’t stand them.  None of my friends had them and neither did my sisters.  I remember being around 8-years-old or so and looking at pre-freckle toddler pictures of myself and thinking how much prettier I was without them.  I was so relieved in Jr. High when I was allowed to wear make up and could cake on the foundation to cover them up.  And when they started “retouching” school pictures I was overjoyed.

Lately I have begun to notice freckles sprouting up on Callee’s face.  Oddly enough, despite how much I hated them on myself, I love them on her.  I am thrilled at the idea of how she’ll look with freckles.  It doesn’t make sense for me to feel this way.  If I didn’t already know the definition of insanity, I’d say this was it.  This isn’t just limited to these freckles either.  I love when I see myself in my daughters.  When I tell Callee to give me just 5 more minutes and she counts to 5 and then says “now”, then counts to 5 again and says “now” again, I think aw, I used to do that kind of thing too.   And when Bella gets a little overly worried or remembers some fluke thing that no one else does, I smile a little inside.

I am trying to figure out why it is that I’m happy to see my traits (even the traits I didn’t/don’t like) in my daughters.  I don’t know if it’s a need to be connected and to have something that keeps us tied despite where life takes us or if in actuality I am accepting myself by accepting them.  When I find their quirks and flaws cute, I can see the beauty in mine.

When it comes to my daughters though, I most definitely feel that I am put here to hold their hands and guide them along their path.  I don’t believe it is my duty to push or pull them onto mine.  I hope that I am always willing to listen openly to them and to appreciate what makes them unique as much as I appreciate all we have in common.  I hope that I can see past the similarities to notice what makes them special and help them uncover their passions and talents.  I want their dreams to come true, freckles and all!