Dear Chris Cornell,

Back in February, when I heard that you were coming to our city to perform, I knew I had to be there. My husband and I talked, and we decided we could not let our son Noah miss the opportunity to see you live either. Then, when I heard that it was an acoustic show, I about lost my mind. I cannot even begin to describe the level of excitement that was racing through my brain! I got an email with a pre-sale code, and the day of that pre-sale in March, I sat in front of my laptop, watching the timer until it said “on sale now!”

I wrestled with myself that morning on which seats to pick. I wanted to make sure my husband and I would have an amazing view, but more importantly, I wanted to make sure my son Noah had the best view possible. I wanted to make sure we were in a spot where nobody’s head or body was going to block his view. My heart was racing as I was trying to decide. I could see the seats that others were purchasing, and they were getting taken at a pretty good pace! I finally decided : Box seats, right center, third row. Boom! Purchased…..and now we wait.

We decided not to tell Noah right away, and give him his ticket for his birthday at the end of June. The wait to share our excitement with him seemed to take years! And when the day finally came, Noah opened that card, saw the ticket, and was in complete shock. He got tears in his eyes, and said it was the best birthday gift ever! Perfect!

Thursday night came, and we were all so excited to get to the Orpheum to see you. You’d have thought Noah was going to meet you in person by how nervous he was! We found our seats, and waited for the show to start….

Noah started playing guitar around the age of 6. Nothing too exciting, but he was getting to know the instrument. His dad plays guitar, so they would play little bits together, and by the time he was 9, he had the fire and desire in him to learn more. His dad would teach him chords, and Noah would practice and practice. I was always hearing guitar through the house, and would hate to make him stop playing to go to bed at night. He’d go on YouTube and teach himself songs that others were playing. He would always gravitate to your music. He aspired to be as talented as you.

For whatever reason, the fire has started to go out this past year. He’d never be practicing when I’d get home from work, and when we’d ask him about playing, he’d just say he didn’t want to anymore. It was sad, because he was getting really good, and it was so great to see him that excited about learning guitar. I was sad that he’d lost the desire for learning guitar.

So, my secret motive here, was to use you, the one he aspired to be like, to be the one to light that fire again. And let me tell you, as soon as you were on stage playing, I could see his face change. You are more than just an amazingly talented artist. You sir, put on a show better than any I’ve ever seen. Song after song I could see the passion for guitar coming back to my son. He’d whisper, “mom, remember this song. I want to learn it.” I’m pretty sure I heard that from him over a dozen times during your show! The way he just watched you, and cheered after each song, made my heart swell with happiness.

On the way home, all he could talk about was how you played the guitar so amazingly. He took the CD’S from my car, so he could listen to them as he plays, as soon as we got home. At midnight that night, I could hear him playing guitar in his room. And I’ve heard it everyday and every night since. That sweet sweet sound is back!

So, I wanted to thank you for being the amazingly talented human being that you are, and for reigniting a passion in my son’s soul. I wanted you to know that you should always keep doing what you do. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll hear Noah doing covers of your songs soon.

Sincerely,

Angie – a mom who’s heart is very full 🙂

Life’s Perpetual Flow

Life is constantly flowing. It never just stops and holds still. It keeps moving, slowing down from time to time, but always in constant motion.

I wish I had the perspective on life at 18 that I now have at 38. Curious to what life would have looked like through those eyes then.

I am in school, work, and have 3 children that keep me busy. It is tough, but positive because I am moving forward. Obtaining a degree that I have longed for since I was 18. My kids are continuously growing, and becoming more independent. Life is flowing forward. 

My brother called me tonight, and told me he and his wife will be moving to Florida next June. He will have his bachelor’s degree then, and they will start a new life in a new place. Sad, but good…life’s constant motion.

It’s good to remember to stay in motion with it. That’s how you progress, and grow. Sit stagnant in the waters, and you’ll probably end up drowning. 

Just some thoughts going through my head as I wait for my kids at their volunteer meeting. I’m happy they still need me.

I’ll Be Sad If I Want To

Ever since the morning I heard of Chris Cornell’s untimely passing, I have been in a funk. I still function, and go about my day, but there is this lingering dark cloud always near me. The cloud of sadness, the cloud of mourning. Though we never met, I feel like he has been with me through so many big moments in my life. He was a part of my memories through his music, and this music has such an impact on my heart.

Today was his funeral, and having been to many funerals for those who died too young, I can almost picture the sadness and raw emotion that was in that place. It made me somber throughout my day knowing that there is a wife mourning the loss of her husband, children crying at the loss of their father, and many friends that will never have the chance to make more memories with their dear friend again. I had someone say to me today, “Isn’t it funny how his death has struck you? You never knew him, and yet you mourn him.”

It got me thinking of all of the times I relied on his music to get me by. Like in high school, when I had no clue who the hell I was, and had no idea how to figure it out. I recall listening to Soundgarden in my room and letting the stress of social norms leave me for a while. I recall playing Soundgarden in my car as I started college, and feeling this sense of independence and freedom as I embarked on my new chapter in life. Through the years, I can attach a memory to many Soundgarden songs, and smile as I think back. When I ran my first half marathon, Audioslave filled up my Ipod as I ran, and “Gasoline” was my anthem as I crossed the finish line of my 13.1 mile journey. Audioslave played constantly as we mourned the loss of our good friend Rodney in 2012. “Shadow on the Sun” consumed my mind as I tried to understand why he left so soon. Then “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” took over as my new ringtone last year, as his solo album captivated my mind. I did get to see him with my son in concert last year, and for that experience I am forever blessed. My son, now 12 years old, is learning songs of his on the guitar now. He is still impacting lives of all ages through his music. Dear Chris Cornell (a post I wrote about the experience at his concert with my son).

So, no, I never met Chris Cornell. But he was with me in high school and college. He was 172-chris-cornell-charlotte-nc-20160620-1953.jpgthere when my children were born, and was there when friends were lost. He was there for my milestone achievements, and comforted me in darker times. To say that I cannot mourn for him is asinine, as he was a big part of my life through his music.

All of his fans feel this way, I know. His talent and musical genius will never be matched. As fans, we do have the memories in our lives attached to each one of his songs. We have each other, and we will always have the gift of his music that he has left behind.

 

Self righteous

Treated more like an obligation,

more than out of admiration,

the rope I walk on is very thin.

For just one mistake,

could make the ice quickly break,

and cause my world to cave in.

The words cut so sharp,

as they rip through my heart.

the inevitable seems very clear.

The meek will take cover,

while you steam as you hover,

yes the end is finally near.

 

 

 

 

I’m The Weird Mom

Spring is here!!!! Isn’t it? Currently there is a winter weather watch just to the west of us…..and tomorrow is May 1st. Crazy!

I’m the weird mom who is secretly hoping for a snow day tomorrow. You think I am crazy, right? Because we have already had a lot of snow days this year, and our school year has already been extended by one day due to the weather. Okay, I will explain my reasoning.

My husband won a national teaching award, which I am very proud of. He has to go to the ceremony and conference at the end of May in Texas to receive his award. Being the wonderful wife that I am, I will be accompanying him on this trip. 😉 Our kids will be staying here with my mother-in-law while we are gone. I was excited when I learned that we were coming home on Tuesday evening, as the last day of school for our kids is now the last Wednesday in May, due to the snow days mentioned above.

You see, in the 16+ years that I have been a mom, and the 11+ years that I have been a mom of school aged children, I have NEVER missed the kids’ last day of school. I am the weird mom that gets emotional over their last day, takes the traditional last day of school picture, and takes them out for ice cream after picking them up to celebrate the start of summer. I love it!!

My husband came home with our plane tickets, and the date of return jumped out at me like a bad dream. “Return date : Wednesday, May 31 2:30 pm.” What?? We were told Tuesday night! I was planning the last day of school celebration and now? I’m the weird mom that was horrified to learn that I would be missing the kids’ last day of school for the first time ever…….I was devastated.

So now there is hope, thanks to this impromptu snowstorm forming to the west. Pleeeaasssee snow so much that school is cancelled! Please let there be one more snow day, so that the last day of school gets pushed to Thursday June 1st, and this weird mom can maintain her streak of never missing a last day of school. Please?

Being a weird mom is a pretty awesome thing. I love my children unconditionally and openly. I will dance with them in public, play with them in the rain, and sing with them loudly in the car. I tell them “I love you” every time I hang up the phone with them, or kiss them goodbye in the morning. I discipline them when needed, and give them the benefit of the doubt when warranted. I cheer them on during their school performances and extra curricular events. I am their biggest fan, biggest advocate, and biggest protector. I am the weird mom who has children that know how much being there on the last day of school means to her.

If Mother Nature could do me this one solid, I’d be ecstatic 😉

We All Have A Life We Aren’t Living

This piece hits the nail on the head. Beautiful ❤

MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO

“Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.” ~ Tuck Everlasting

Inside each of us lives a secret—the life not taken.

There are moments in which we truly live and centuries in which we die—all the while we hope that somehow we can just get by.

We hold onto the faith that we will end up exactly where we need to be, and that in the end it will turn out to match where we wanted to be, too. We make decisions based on money and narrow our options based on sensibility, yet we always wonder what would happen if we drifted outside of the margins we have grown so accustomed to.

We each have a path that lives unlived inside each of us. The life we deemed too risky to try, the one that made sense to our hearts but not our minds.

But…

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If I Could Turn Back Time

Have you ever thought that if you could just go back to one specific point in time, you would make a completely different choice, and this would change the path of your life that lead to where it is now?

I have several of those specific points.

Sometimes I find myself in a position where I am actually mad at myself for choices I made. Not that they were ones where I was in trouble or danger. Just choices where the heart was over the head. I found myself in a desperate spot where staying seemed like the only choice. I look back now, and wish I could tell the foolish girl that I was to stop and think. I would tell her that there is so much more than the little world she is in at the moment.

I fear that some choices I made are causing effects that are trickling down upon my children now. One of the best things I can do is always be honest with them. Tell them that nobody is worth sacrificing your own happiness. I have to make sure they know that their own dreams are more important than anyone else’s.

I may not be able to go back in time, but I can start from now and change my path.

 

 

Andy’s Story

We lost our dear friend Andy in January. I was approached by the producer from KWIT, our local public radio station, about writing a piece to honor our friend. Andy loved listening to public radio. 🙂 After several edits of a longer piece I wrote, we finally ended with the perfect story. At first, I felt it was not enough to have just four minutes to speak my piece about Andy. My 1100 word story was cut to 680-ish words to allow for the time we had. After hearing it on the radio this morning, I realized it was the perfect amount of words to describe our incredible friend. Andy was the drummer in a band, along with my husband (on bass), and their friend Ryan (guitar and vocals). After Andy passed, Chris and Ryan got together and wrote “Andy’s Song,” which was played at his funeral. This song is also featured at the end of my story. I hope you enjoy listening to it. I feel this was the perfect tribute to an unforgettable friend ❤

Andy’s Story – KWIT 90.3

Nothing

Mumbling fool you did it again,

Waiting for the night to come to its end.

You stomp and you stagger all through the hall,

Loudly declaring you’re ready to brawl.

It’s tired this way of drowning yourself.

Tedious is the way you handle it now.

Nobody minds if you miss a meal,

Nobody cares how you really feel.

Crawl back to your dungeon, just go to sleep.

I’ll just let you lie there, I won’t make a peep.

Moving on.

Perfect and honest advice. ❤

Sara in LaLaLand

For those of us on the pursuit to happiness, we have to come to the realisation that we have to move on from certain things in our past. If we let them linger, then those things can hold us back and if they can and we let them, they will. Whether that be an ex partner, an old friend, or a bad habit, something that has been around for a long enough period of time that we feel a pang of guilt at the thought of cutting ties.

The thing is, even as difficult as even the thought is, sometimes it is what needs to be done to free you  from being  held back from being truly happy. If you are honest with yourself, that aspect of your life, no matter what or who it is, they are making your life less than desirable. You might be so used to…

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The Reality of March 15th

March 15th has a sting to it. The kind like cold winter air hitting your warm face. A sting like a knife slowly pressed into your soul, never to be removed again. March 15th carries the weight of the world’s saddest souls, and only casts shadows among the living on this day. March 15th is cursed in a way, that only those in our inner circle can understand.

March 15th is when we lost our best friend : a father, husband, son……tragically taken too 12828549_10153926528567457_1014387025005233938_osoon in a mechanical accident at a meat processing plant. March 15th is a day nobody will ever forget, as it was this wretched day that stole our friend, and changed the course of all of our lives forever.

Yes, for the last five years, March 15th rolls around and tears open a healing wound, only to set the process over again. It is such a dreaded day. The day our friend Rodney was stolen from this world.

Now, in the same respect, March 15th also happens to be the birthday of my husband’s cousin. The cousin who was like a brother to my husband. He was a father, son, brother, and probably the most tenderhearted spirit I have ever met. This man wore his heart on his sleeve, and would give you the shirt off of his back. His heart was so true, and his role in our family was immense. My children 30848_116269121750566_3367176_nlooked to him for fun times, and for comfort. Sadly, the year after we lost Rodney, we lost Anthony to another tragic accident. Four years without him, still feels like a lifetime. And the reality of it all still seems so surreal.

So, goodbye to this day. The day we should be celebrating Anthony’s 39th birthday with him. The day that should be like any other day in our world with Rodney in it. March 15th you are a thief, and a reminder of the day one of the most loving people was born….but never to spend a birthday with again.

This day will end soon, and we will have 364 more days until we relive the pain of the loss of two great men again. Sorrow does not even begin to describe the atmosphere of this day.

March 15th, you are no friend of mine.

Dear Photograph

In 2012, I submitted a picture to the site Dear Photograph. If you have never been to the site, you really should take a look.

You send in a picture from the past, taken in the same area today. It is such an amazing concept!

Anyway, I submitted it in 2012, and it was published on their site today. It is such an awesome feeling! You can see my picture, and more, here : Dear Photograph

 

Ba Humbug

In this season of being thankful, I find myself feeling low. I have been reflecting on all I have, all I am, and all I long to be.

I am miserable. What the hell is wrong with me? The heavy burden of carrying it all by myself is finally crushing me. I am longing for the companionship of someone who has an interest in the idea of being an active participant in the family. I am tired of the laziness, I am tired of doing everything myself, I am tired of being the only one trying.

I get jealous when I see other couples who are happy. I get sad when I see husbands helping their wives. I long to not feel so weighed down by everything I tackle everyday. 

And I am sad. My friend is dying of cancer, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. I am angry because it is not fair, and I am sad because I do not want to think of life without him in it. This waiting for death is rediculous. 

I’m tired of alcoholic family members, and the chaos that comes with that. It is draining and frustrating. Sometimes I feel it would be best if I talked to nobody at all. 

I’m heartbroken that I put so much effort into this day, only to have it go unappreciated. I’m tired.

Tomorrow will be better I’m sure. Today is just very hard.

Unfair

Our friend is dying, this is not fair!

A life so full of energy, just taken away.

A brother, a son, and a father…..

this is not fair for the poor little girl.

 

A slow death, snuffing out the light

of a man who truly cares

about his friends and his family.

No, this is not fair.

 

Watching and waiting,

the clock moves so fast.

I cannot bear the thought

of how this is deemed fair.

 

Miracles happen, almost everyday.

Time cannot be cut short,

with all left undone.

The unknown is not fair.

 

I cannot bring myself to visit,

though I know it should be done.

I will cry, and he’ll cry, and the clock will tick on.

I plead for your mercy, shine down on this son.

Our friend is dying.

Why him?

It’s not fair he’s the one.

 

 

 

 

 

It Was Just a Dream

A few years ago, I had a dream that my mother died. I woke up from this dream with my heart racing, my body covered in sweat, and I was shaking. It was around 3:00 in the morning, and I could not go back to sleep. I went to the living room and tried to watch television. I tried to convince myself that it was just a dream, and I should just go back to bed. To no avail, an hour later, I sat in the living room wide awake.

At 4:00 in the morning I decided to call my mom. Even though I knew that I would be waking her from a sound sleep, I just needed to hear her voice. I dialed her number, and the phone rang for several times. Finally she answered the phone. “Angie what’s wrong?” She asked sleepily. (Because me calling this early in the morning would usually only mean something was wrong). I told  her I had a terrible dream, and I just needed to hear her voice. I needed to know she was okay. She assured me she was fine, and I told her I loved her. I apologized for waking her, and we hung up. I went back to sleep.

Dreams are funny like that, don’t you think? Even though I knew it was just a dream, the feelings that came with it led to anxiety and fear. Even though I knew it was not real, I had to prove it to myself that it in fact was just a dream. I have had other dreams like that since. The ones that seem so real, you almost need verification that they were not. THe mind is a crazy, complicated thing.

Migraines Are For the Birds

I have a headache. Not just a little headache that you get from a stressful day, or not eating or drinking enough water. This is a good old fashioned migraine, and I’m so tired of getting them. I’ve had them since I was about nine years old. At first, my parents didn’t believe that they were as bad as I said they were. But over time, they realized the headaches were so crippling and debilitating, and they believed me when I said they were as bad as they were. When I was in my early thirties, my doctor put me on sumatriptan. It was a life-saving miracle drug! I would take one at the onset of a headache and within a half hour the headache was completely gone. I did notice that it made my heart race a bit, but it was nothing that was ever too much to worry about.

I noticed that overtime, I started to use the medication more and more. It seemed I was having at least 15 headache days a month! And I was only prescribed 9 pills a month through my insurance. There were some months where I would end up buying a whole nother months worth of 9 pills at full price just to get by. Now mind you this is not a narcotic. It is not an addictive drug. However, it seemed that I was getting addicted to it. My headaches were more frequent and my usage of the medication increased.

One morning, I woke up with a horrible headache and took a sumatriptan pill. Shortly after, I began to experience horrible chest pain and a rapid heartbeat. I started reading online about other people who had seem to get addicted to this non-narcotic medication. They complained about similar things that I had going on with me. For example, more headaches than they had before they started taking the medication, running out of their prescription too soon before being able to refill it, rapid heartbeat, chest pains, and a list of other symptoms.

After about 2 hours of the chest pains they went away. I decided right then and there that I wasn’t going to be so reliant on this medication anymore for my migraines. Info it will be 3 years this March but I decided to start taking that medicine. I have not taken one pill sense. I noticed but now I am down to about to migraine days a month. I have little headaches off and on throughout the month, but nothing compared to a migraine. When I do have a migraine, I take ibuprofen and Excedrin Migraine, and just tough it out.

To me, the side effects of the medication we’re not worth the temporary relief that it did bring to me. So here I sit writing this blog instead of doing my school work, because this headache will not allow for deep thinking. A small price to pay for a lesson that I greatly learned about being so dependent on medication to fix my problems. Has anybody else had similar experiences with that medication? It sure seems a lot of people on the internet have. Hopefully tomorrow I will wake up refreshed and headache free.

The Frailty of Life

Frail

Our cat is pregnant. It has been such an exciting time for our family! The kids have been taking such good care of her. They make sure she eats enough, they have been rubbing her belly, and all that good stuff. They even were making bets on how many kittens she would have.

This morning her labor started. She was ready to go. We had made her a little spot in our oldest daughter’s closet, because that is where she had been laying for the past week. I had to leave for work, but only worked 4 hours today, so I told the kids to call me if there was a problem.

I got a call. The first kitten had come out. My daughter said it was all white with a black stripe on its head, and it wasn’t alive. She described to me that the mama cat was licking it, and nudging it with her nose, but the kitten was lifeless. My heart broke for her as a mother. I could picture her desperation to get her child to breathe.

My husband was home at the time packing for a trip he was leaving for, so I am glad the kids had him here. I called to check in with them on my break, and my daughter told me there were no more kittens. She said that the mama cat was just cuddling with the baby still. I told her not to move the baby until I got home, because I didn’t want to upset her anymore.

When I got home, we took the baby kitten away from her. We buried her under our pear tree. I petted the mama and told her I was so sorry. My heart broke all over again as I looked into her sad green eyes. She ate a little bit, and then became focused again. We have two more kittens so far, one dark orange, and one light orange. Both alive….both healthy. My mind keeps wandering to the white one with the black stripes…..I’m sure mama cat is thinking of it too.

Life is so confusing that way. A healthy full size kitten stillborn….no reason, just gone. It makes me think of how it is like that with us humans as well. Life really is so fragile. So much is taken for granted, so much is assumed that all with be ok with a situation, but we never really know. Each moment we have, each breath, truly is precious.

Heartbreaking Reality

I didn’t even get an invitation to my step-brother’s wedding. I don’t know why I was kept off of the guest list, and this has left me sad and confused. The more I think about it, the sadder I seem to get.

My dad married his mom almost 20 years ago, and with that union came many different feelings. Not all were positive, but over time, we all began to mesh together as family. There was no “step” in front of anything. It was, “this is my brother, this is my sister.”

As time went on, he was made a part of my wedding in 2005. He was the only family member to come visit when my son was born. We would talk on the phone regularly, and there were birthday calls, and holiday cards. Normal stuff.

The last time I spoke with my step-brother, was on my birthday last year. He called, and when I answered, he was whispering “happy birthday sis.” I asked him why he was being quiet, and he told me he was waiting in the car while his biological sister and fiancée were in a store. And as quickly as the call began, it abruptly ended when he said, “They’re coming. I’ve got to go.”

Like I am a secret? That call left me feeling so weird. And ever since then, I have not heard anything from him. He quit answering my calls and texts, and I quit trying to get in touch. My heart hurts as I hear that I am the only family member that received no invitation to this wedding, and I have nobody to vent to.

If my only crime is that I was born of the wrong blood, then it probably is best that I am not invited. But the feelings that this leaves are painful, and maddening. I feel like it was all for nothing, and find myself lost and left out.

Family is always first in my book. Blood or no blood, family is family. I will never be fake or secretive with any member of my family. But now it seems maybe I have to be more selective on who I let into my family circle……that’s the heartbreaking reality.