Kids Say the Darndest...

and most wonderful things.

If you read back a couple posts, you will see that my parents lost their pup George just a short time ago. Like I said, it's been a rough time for the family but we've been getting through it.

For a bit, I kept Ariana home and we did not visit gramma and papa's house because they needed time to heal, especially without questions from a three year old.

We've been back over since, and she hasn't been too questionable. Mom explained that George has passed on to Heaven and was with Ariana's daddy. Ariana said, "He's not with my daddy," and mom reflected on a poem she'd read in which pets' souls wait in the rainbow forest until their owners come. Pretty interesting that she would say he wasn't with her dad in Heaven. Maybe George really is hanging out in puppy purgatory until his owner gets there (and let's hope and pray his owner takes his sweet time because I really like having my dad around). Hopefully he is enjoying his time with the other pets, and the rainbows, and forestness and all the other fun stuff he's doing while he waits.

Anyway, back to the point.

So I guess a couple days ago, Ariana was talking to my dad about George. I guess she could tell he was sad and he missed him because Ariana, being the sweet three year old that she is, said, without hesitation, "Papa, you can have my Kinger."

Kinger is our pup that we love very much and Ariana's pretty well attached to. But, without a second thought, my daughter was willing to give her pup to her grandfather because she could see how sad he is without George. The selflessness, empathy, and general beautiful souls of kids is amazing. It also makes me feel like I just might be doing something right with raising her.

Tonight, King was at my parents house with us. Ariana was already there and when King and I walked in she was surprised he was there but not unhappy - King's Here! Then later in the night she said something along the lines of, "King's here in this house now!"

It was like she thought he was staying there and she was helping her papa heal. For now, King is actually staying with us, but I think my parents know that if they want him and need a big pup around, King is theirs.

Oh my little girl. Her dad would be so proud. And something tells me he might have a hand in how awesome she is (I mean besides his 'hand' genetically - teehee) I really don't think he's ever that far from her.

I think we can all learn a lesson from little ones. When someone his hurting or in need, give something of yourself. Maybe as adults we need to learn from children to be a little more giving and a lot less selfish. We need to love one another and when others hurt, if we feel it too, we'll be more inclined to help those hurting (does that make sense? It does in my mind). Feel for the people around you, don't be afraid to share emotion and help carry some of the weight of their sorrows. If we love one another, I think life will be much easier and much, much more enjoyable.

Thank you, Ariana, for once again teaching me an invaluable lesson.

I Really Dislike...

I keep seeing this poem in lots of places. And I really dislike it.

I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with this photo. That, in fact, is me, Jonny, and Ariana inside my belly. Our family. As whole in the living flesh as it would ever get. 

So, some clever soul grabbed my picture (yeah, I know it's the interwebs, I guess anything is fair game right? grrr) and threw this crappy poem at the bottom of it. 
Okay, So. It certainly appears that it's supposed to be like a memorial and a way to honor a fallen Marine but there are just a lot of things about the words that I just do not like. I'm going to take a moment to tell you exactly why I don't like the poem so maybe people will understand why the meme offends me.

First, I didn't write this poem. It's not about me and Jonny, our relationship, or our family. Someone just attached it to the photo and thought it fit. Number one thing that I didn't like. Of course, it didn't have to be written by me, but if you're going to attach it to our photo at least let the damn thing be about us. It's a very powerful and personal photo to me (yes, once again, I know, I chose to share it with the word via the interwebs but it doesn't mean I have to agree with what was done to it) and I just wish it were treated as such by others.

Not sure if the text on the photo is big enough so here it is:

Remember The Day

I borrowed your brand new car and dented it?
I thought you'd kill me, but you didn't

Remember the day I dragged you to the beach
And you said it would rain, and it did
I thought you'd say "I told you so" but you didn't

Remember the time I flirted with all those guys
To make you jealous, and you were
I thought you'd leave me but you didn't

There were a lot of things you didn't do, but you
Put up with me, loved me, and protected me

There were lots of things I wanted to make up,
To you when you returned from Iraq

But you didn't.

Many of you are probably thinking "That's not so bad, it shows that he was good to her" or something like that. Trust me, I see that side, and I see the author's attempt at making it sweet or whatever, but being the person in the photo I see the side that irritates me, too.

Number one, it kind of makes the "she" of the poem - or ME in the photo - look kind of dumb. She was always wrong and I did things to piss him off. It makes the "he" of the poem - or JONNY in the photo - look nice but almost like a pushover. I don't know. I know I should probably take it as an honest attempt at a tribute but it rubs me the wrong way.

I actually did dent his truck when we first moved to NC. Funny thing, actually, that that is in the poem. A guy backed into me in a parking lot. I was barely pregnant and super hormonal. Thank God my mom was with me and a crazy and determined-to-help gal happened to be watching from across the parking lot. That crazy gal is now one of my best friends, Ria. Between Ria and my mom, they made sure to take care of everything so we knew who the guy was and how to get in touch with him to get it fixed. Don't think the poor guy knew what hit him that day! I was too busy freaking out because it was Jonny's new truck and he was gone on training. Jonny wasn't mad at me, he was totally mad at the dude. Especially when he got home and the dude tried to be a douche. Don't worry - Jonny took care of it and got the money and fixed it. And I made a BFF out of it. Def wasn't all bad. Funny the poem knew about it.

We lived at the beach as much as we could, and we loved dancing in the rain. Being in the warm summer rains of NC. I have many stories about Jonny and I and the rain. Irrelevant stanza, but I guess I get the point. He didn't poke at her, he just dealt with her. I like to think Jonny more than "just dealt" with me. 

Ummm... I didn't flirt with guys in front of Jonathan. I guess this is the stanza that pisses me off the most. Implying I was some kind of juvenile playing games. Or at least poem girl was. Could I be a bitch? Oh yeah. But I didn't have to play mind-EFF games to do that. Jonathan, actually, was never the jealous type. I think that's part of the reason we got along so well. I'm super social and some people might have seen my friendliness as flirty but it never was and thank God Jonathan never saw it that way, either. He let me live my life. He trusted me. He loved me just the way I was, social butterfly-ness and all. It was kind of definitely amazing and I miss it. He had a level head. He used to tell me basically that he knew I was his and he had nothing to worry about. He was sooo right. Man, that man was sexy.  Even if I were a flirt I doubt I would have. There was no straying  from him. Insert chills and moment alone... ;)

And then it says you put up with me, loved me, protected me. That is spot on. He did all those things. I know I'm not the easiest person to love, but he did anyway. He put up with my bullshit and my bitchiness (or pregosaurus as he deemed it - I was not a nice pregnant person) and he still loved me all the same, even if his nostrils were flaring worse than a bull's and the vein in the side of his head was throbbing like it was trying to escape his skin, he still loved me. He wouldn't let me go to sleep without telling me he loved me, we were never allowed to go to bed mad with each other, that was one thing he was a stickler about and I am so thankful for He protected me always. He might not have been the jealous type but he certainly didn't stand for anyone being mean to me, looking at me even semi-wrong. I used to call him my puffer fish because he'd puff all up whenever he saw a "threat." Oh gosh, I miss that. It was adorable. I was his princess and his world, his words. 

And then the poem screws up again by saying Iraq. Two different wars, two different places. I think that's just disrespectful to him. At least be accurate about where he was when he gave his life, ya know? 

Okay. okay. After further analyzing the poem isn't that bad. There are certain parts I take more personally than I should. And when I really think about I do think it was done with good intentions. 

I guess the worst part are comments I've seen in places it was posted. Comments putting the poem and the photo too much together and people making judgements on me and/or Jonathan because of the words in the poem. That just pisses me off. It's not a poem about us. You don't know us. So shut up and just be grateful he gave his life for our country. Just say, "Thank you for your service" instead of something ignorant about me "taking his car without permission" or "flirting with every guy in sight looking for a meal ticket" (yeah I've seen comments along those lines and those are what make me livid). The meaning behind the poem and the meme is that be grateful for even the silly things or the things you didn't think you should be grateful for because you never know when you will lose them (even I will admit, it's a good general meaning) so the commenters should keep that in mind instead of being judgy buttheads. Yes, I said buttheads. 

I guess after seeing it enough times I just wanted to set the record straight. Just wanted my voice heard.

So, take it for what it is, a not-so-brilliant attempt at a memorial with an unrelated and poorly written poem (just my opinion, sorry)

I do thank everyone who memorializes Jonathan and keeps his memory and legacy alive. It's certainly something I strive to do and one of the many reasons I write here. I don't want to come across as ungrateful and I'm afraid that's what I've done. I know I don't get to choose what every memorial says and I am not the end-all be-all of memorializing and remembering him, and the general message of the poem of basically "Don't take life or loved ones for granted" is a great one, I just think there are some things that should be handled with a little bit more care. And this photo, one of my very most favorite photos, is one of them, at least in my world.


My fingers are cracking, bleeding. I'm hanging on so tight but the blood between the stone and my skin is slick and I feel the slip starting. The pain rushes through my hands. I grip tighter but it feels like there's no use. I scream, is it from pain or fear? No one hears. They are standing right there, but my screams are muffled in a whipping wind of constant noise. There's too much going on and I'm too small. How did I shrink? When did I become so much smaller? I smell the rusty tinge of copper and taste salt at the back of my throat. I swallow the blood and my voice cracks as I try to call out one last time. Is there even any use anymore?

A face below seems to lean my way. Maybe I was heard. The face turns. I slip more. The face is alarmed. I squeeze tight. I pray that I can just hang on. I've been heard, they're coming. The person with the face reaches up.

I let go.

I squeeze my eyes shut. If I can't see it, it isn't happening. I can feel wind whirling around me. It is filled with discontent, anger, fear. It's haunting voice, licking at the sides of my face, whispering in my ears. Discouragement, angst, anxiety. It lashes me. Pain. White hot pain in it's purest form.

It slows down. I still haven't figured out what "it" is, but I'm moving slower. I drift to a stop. My bare feet hit the cold, rough surface. The sky is overcast, burdened with the feelings hidden in the wind. A light drizzle kisses my skin. I hadn't realized how cold I was. I'd been falling in the cold wind for so long my skin was frozen. The soft warm droplets felt like kisses of healing, angel kisses. I look at what I'm standing on. Unmarked, grey surface. Not concrete. Not stone. Not dirt. What is this? It hits me. I am lost. I am in the middle of an unmarked zone on a grey day, utterly alone and completely lost.

What happened to the face reaching for me? How did I survive the fall? And most importantly, where do I go now? The rain behind me takes on a soft golden glow. I know that golden color. Honey, warmth, contentment, skin in the summer time. Bronzed skin under a July summer sun... I know this warmth.

I turn around and walk back into the grey. Avoiding the tug in my heart and the pain in my soul. It's always been easier to run.

Gorgeous George and the Fragility of Life

It's funny what makes you really stop and think about life and death. Not funny ha-ha and not funny ironic. I guess funny interesting. Or funny "I wouldn't expect that to evoke those emotions" ish.

Yesterday, our family experienced a loss. My dad went downstairs in the morning to find his buddy, his true best friend, his English Bulldog sleeping on the couch. Except yesterday, George wasn't just sleeping. My dad lost his buddy yesterday and it's hit our family, especially my parents pretty hard.

"He's just a dog," some might say. But in our family our dogs are family members. If we could take them every where with us, we would. So it's no surprise that the sudden and unexpected earthly departure of Georgie has seriously taken it's toll. I guess the really bad part is he wasn't sick. He was fine. He was playing and totally normal all day and evening before. Dad and mom said good night to him like always and the next morning he was just gone. No chance for a goodbye, no warning, nothing. Just gone.

I've been thinking a lot about this. How sudden it happened. Life is so damn fragile. We are not guaranteed another day, another minute, even another second. We take our time for granted. We assume we're invincible until one day throws our mortality in our faces. We won't live forever. No one will. And that's the scary part. Every one you love, animal or human, could be gone when you least expect it.

I certainly wasn't expecting Jonathan to just... die. I was expecting that since he had a "safe" job, as told to me by his buddies, that he'd be fine and come home. Sure, I was scared. Sure, I knew he was in a warzone and there was always the possibility, but I didn't expect it. Well, I might have expected it a little bit starting the night before after the phone call I received (have I told that story here?) but I hadn't up until that point, and certainly didn't want to believe I did even after.

Do you kiss your loved ones goodbye when you leave? Do you tell them you love them, even if they've pissed you off? I'm not just talking about when they're deployed or in danger or when you're not going to see them for a long time. I'm talking every day. I'm a stickler for that. I will say I love you to my loved ones every time I'm done speaking to them. On the phone, in person. Even if I'm flaming at mad, I'll still say I love you. Because I know how true it is. I wasn't exactly happy with Jonathan our last phone conversation (maybe one day I'll tell that story) but I still told him I loved him, because I still did. Even if I'd been a super bitch to him on the phone.

I guess I'm just saying we need to remember to embrace life and learn how special the people and animals we love are to us. We chose to love them for a reason. Don't let that reason be clouded by irrationality or mood swings.

Like I said, funny how such deep thought can be brought on by a "silly dog" but that dog was well loved and is now very much missed.

And before I sign off, let me just say, I love you guys. Maybe not like I love my family, but I certainly appreciate you. I appreciate the comments I receive, I appreciate the support, I appreciate the healthy criticism (although the mean people can shove it), I appreciate and love those of you I've become friends with through this blog. So when I'm gone and all that is left are my silly ramblings and musings, I want the world to know that I did appreciate everything I was given, even on days when my mood clouded reality and I stupidly felt like I had nothing to be thankful for.

In loving memory of Gorgeous George. Georgie Porgie Puddin' Pie. You might have been a turd but we loved ya all the same. We're all turds in this family, anyway. Enjoy humping Jonny's leg in Heaven and constantly purring at him to play with you - he's had too much peace up there and needs to some excitement. I'm sure he'll play with you up there, big boy. Keep each other company until we all meet again. 


Sometimes I think I could waste my life doing just that; wondering and what if-ing. Even nearly three years after he left his earthly life, I wonder what life would be like if it weren't so. In fact, I think I spend a lot of time during these months doing just that. I also wonder if I'll ever stop wondering. I seriously doubt it. What would our life be like? How would he have been when he came home? What would we have argued about? How would we be raising Ariana differently? Where would we live? And then the ever heart sinking question - would we have made it? My heart tells me yes. My heart tells me I would have stood by that man through hell and back. Of course, I'll never really get to know. I stand by him in death, even death hasn't deterred my love for him, (even though I've certainly been pissed at him) so I have a good feeling we would have.

I think it's utter bullshit he's not here. It's a funny thought, really. It's just crap. Like... it's stupid. It's total BS that Ariana doesn't have her dad with her in a "normal" way. It's crap that he isn't here to help me. It's stupid that I can't touch him anymore. At least that one I have the memory of. I pray I'll never forget his touch.

Tonight when putting Ariana to bed, she laid facing me. Rare with her, because she usually likes to spoon and of course she's the little spoon. But she turned around and she faced me. I told her I really missed her dad. She talked a little about her dad (honestly I'm not really too sure what she was saying, I think something sounded like she said he picked her up so maybe she was talking about a dream or just telling a story - I don't know) and she told me not to cry. Then she did a funny thing. She touched the side of my face and brushed my hair back. Sounds trivial. But not if you were married to Jonny. He always did that. He did that when I was sad and needed a little extra love. He did it before he kissed me. He did it to tell me I was beautiful. So it was just weird in a moment when I was feeling overwhelmed by his absence that my little girl would touch my cheek.

I may have talked about it a lot, I know, but I can still remember our first kiss. The very first time our lips met. It was like they already knew each other, like our souls had already known one another and were joyously meeting again. He held my cheek and brushed my hair back. His lips met mine. The softest, most full lips. He was full of confidence but gentle. The other hand was at the back of my neck. My body was engulfed immediately in tingles, a sensation I'd never experienced from a kiss. As cliche as it sounds, I thought my legs had turned to some semi-hard goo and were going to give way any second. While not every kiss after that was as intense, probably due to a lack of surprise since I knew what I was expecting, they were all magical. I'm blessed to be able to remember how it feels to kiss him. Over three years since I've had that. I can still tell you what it feels like to be in his arms, to sleep next to him, to ...other stuff ( ;-D), to fight with him, to joke with him, and what his presence felt like next to me on the couch or in the truck. He certainly had a presence. Even just sitting next to him, it was like he engulfed me. He was always so warm, my personal space heater. His arms were the perfect size to fit around me. His skin was smooth but his hands were rough enough to be sexy but not feel super gross. He had beautiful hands.

Oi. I could go on and on. Sometimes I think that helps but then I think too much, I remember too hard, and I long for him too completely. I miss him. From deep within the pits of my being I miss him. It's terrible, but I have to try to not think about it. I guess that's part of dealing with grief, is actively not thinking about it. If you do, it might completely take over your life and I just can't let that happen. I still have to live. I have so much more to live for.

I'm not over him. I don't know if that term will ever be applicable to me. "Over." Love like that isn't ever over. Doesn't mean there might not be more love for me out there. Shared love. But our love will still remain. I just miss him. I miss us. I miss me from then, too. And I miss the three of us that never got to happen.

This time of year is so dumb.

Miss you Stink, hope you can read blogs in Heaven and you know how much you're still on my mind...

Mediocrity and Change

I've been feeling so blah lately. Just not content. When I think of one word to describe life as of lately, I can only come up with mediocre. At best. Maybe it's having just come back from a great Caribbean vacation, maybe it's the dreaded March approaching, maybe it's just the blues, but I'm suffering from a nagging feeling of just not feeling content. I feel like I should be doing more. Maybe I am just desiring excitement. Maybe the excitement I got on vacation made me realize I miss having adventures. I want Ariana to be an adventurer as well. I have the constant urge to run away. Obviously, I can't. I have two horses and a dog that need me (I'd take the baby with me) but boy do I want to just go. I've been kicking myself for my lack of writing. I've been holding all this poop inside me and not letting myself use the one outlet that seems to lighten the burden. I've had a strong desire to write a book. I've got a really neat story line I want to try but the reality of it is I'm scared. I'm really afraid not that the book won't amount to anything but that I won't finish it. I'm terrible at starting things and not finishing (master's program, cosmetology school, jobs...) for some reason I've had a serious commitment phobia for the past... oh 3 years (duh) and I don't know how to overcome it. Maybe finishing a book is just what I need.

I'm in the mood for change. I am going to be making some changes. I need more peace and center in my life, I need to be content. I need to be doing something that I'm proud of. I need to finish something. I've decided I am not happy with how people are these days. People don't treat each other nicely. It's like others' feelings aren't considered anymore. I'm not saying just other people. I'm including myself in this, as well. I will not only be trying to be a better person but I won't be accepting less from others anymore, either. I'm going to try to treat others better, but I'm certainly done letting people hurt my feelings for no reason.

I'm definitely making way for a better, stronger, more exciting Rachel who actually finishes things. Wish me luck. Bye-bye mediocrity!

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