Thursday, July 31, 2008

Watch Over Him...

Artwork by Jenny B Harris.

In the last month, I have learned that...

family is made up of all sorts of people - not just those born into it

pain won't kill me

I can function pretty well on very little sleep

to prioritize my activities according to what's most important to me

I have an unlimited supply of tears

I am wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy stronger than I thought I was

I can go from a deep sleep to fully awake in less than 2 seconds when Jack calls at 4am

it costs me approximately $8 in gas to get to work and back, but for 42 cents I can mail a letter halfway around the world

the glue on the flap of an envelope tastes really gross

there are a bazillion ways to say "I love you"

prayer works - God listens

there are some awesome women on this planet and I am glad to call them my friends (Theresa, Penny, Stacey, Joyce, Arlene, Linda, Beth, Jignasa)

there are some incredibly strong military wives who were perfect strangers less than a month ago (Christan and Chantel) who are now a source of great strength and inspiration to me

I simply adore Jack's ex's (Barbie & Kelly)

Jack's mother is an amazing woman (Dottie), and I cherish every moment we spend together, whether it's talking about our day or saying our evening prayers

Jack's sisters are heroes (Tina & Gina)

the man who loves me is incredibly brave and unselfish

I am going to love being part of the Hignite Family (again)

the group of children I love the most has doubled (Joel, Sammy, Rachel, Mikey, Alexis, John, Meg, Mariah, Olivia)

just because you're someone else's child doesn't mean I can't love you like my own (Kevin, Jessica, Stephanie, Jason)

my mother (Pam) and my sister (Rachel) are amazing women, and I can't even begin to think who I would be today without them

I am blessed

This is by no means a complete list of the things I have learned in the past month. But it's a good start.

What have you learned in the past month?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thinking about him...

There are times during the day (mostly when I'm writing or blogging, or when I'm driving to and from work) when it's absolutely silent and I'm all alone with myself. During those times, I shut the world out and just think about Jack. I let random memories and images from our teenage years and our adult years flood my mind and heart.

Sometimes, the thoughts come to me on a breeze . . . like catching the soft scent of a lilac bush as you're walking by. Thoughts of him drift lazily into my head. I'll remember something awesome he said to me ("I love you, Tina") or a request he's made ("I want our first dance after we're married to be to I Can't Help Falling In Love With You.").

And sometimes, thoughts of him pop! zing! wham! right into my head at odd times. Like a little girl who jumps on your back like a monkey when you least expect it! These thoughts and memories of the fun and laughter and excitement we've shared are the ones that threaten to knock me off my feet and make me forget where I am and what I'm doing.

Like today, while I was in a meeting at work. No disrespect to the presenter (he's an awesome guy), but the topic was b-o-r-i-n-g. And it was almost two hours of boring. So, naturally, the mind (at least MY mind) strayed away from SOP changes and process updates and such to more pleasant things like how much laundry I have to do when I get home (LOTS!) and what I'm going to eat for dinner (Penny's yummy Mexican lasagna). I for sure had the TEGO thing going on (TEGO=The Eyes Glaze Over), and suddenly, there it was in front of me.

I was gone from that room and those people, and for about 60 seconds, I was filled with a rush of memories...

Arriving at the airport. The look on his face when we made eye contact for the first time in over 20 years. The hotel room in Killeen. Jack in his Army sweats, and me in mine. His eyes. The ice-cold air conditioning. Braunschweiger & Ritz crackers. Holding hands. Charlie Gordon's War. Jack's laugh. The Alamo. Lots! Of! Music! Man on the Moon. PT. Trips to the base. Kisses. Little Italy. Meeting John. Our song. Java Monsters. Hearing his key in the door. Tanks. Breakfast at that little table in our room. Snuggling.

My heart and mind were filled with the most awesome memories of my trip to visit him in Texas.

I didn't check out for too long. At least I wasn't nodding off to sleep like some people were. hahaha! I saw a few heads nodding. Like I said it was a boring topic and it was a bit warm in the room.

So, I made it through the meeting. I did manage to actually absorb quite a bit of the info and what I didn't quite catch, I will refer to the handouts.

And, as if on cue, just as the meeting was concluding, my cell phone vibrated.

It was my love.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Night Walker, a.k.a. Who kidnapped the #@%*& sandman!

Why do I have to be close to brain death in order to get any sleep these days?!?!?!

I just lay in bed tossing and turning, until the covers are a mess and I'm all sweaty and frustrated. I just can't sleep, and nothing's working.

I don't want to drink a glass of wine, because then I'll get all sentimental and cry (more than usual) and I might drunk-dial someone. (Yes, I'm a lightweight drinker.) And I'm afraid to start taking any sleeping meds because I don't want to get addicted. (Or do I...?) Just kidding.

I've been writing a TON since Jack was deployed - both online and in my journals (I have a record FOUR journals going right now).

Alright. I've got to get a handle on this. It's 1:48am on Monday and I need to be at work early - like in 5 hours! YIKES!

But, don't worry, I'm not insane yet. I'll let you know if it gets REALLY bad. Maybe. :)

Wish me luck... I'm going to go try again.

Oh, and if you see the sandman, would you send his punk ass my way, please?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Borrowing from a comment on Christan's blog

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Enough said.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Blessed to have choices

So, this post begins with a power struggle.

Lately, my heart and my brain both want to be in charge. Neither is willing to take a backseat to the other. So, when I start feeling too much (i.e., crying my eyes out) then my brain kicks into high gear, pulling me from my heart and throwing me head-first into thinking mode. Which leads me to a natural defense mode called "how do I fix this?" I quickly come to the conclusion that I can't "fix" anything, because truly, nothing is broken. And then I feel helpless, and I find myself crying again. It's exhausting.

I was thinking today about the way I feel now that Jack has deployed. I'm always about 3 inches from crying, and while it's true that I am by nature an emotional creature, it's never been anything like this.

So, Choice popped into my head today, and Blessing popped into my heart.

I know that nothing in life happens by accident. We make choices in our lives, mostly based on who we believe we are and what we think we deserve. Those choices lead us down a path. A path which, at any moment, we can choose to abandon or pursue. We have a choice. Plain and simple. There are no accidents. We cause things to happen in our lives based on our choices. We have created the life we have right now, based on our choices. I have created the life I have right now. Jack created the life he has right now. We had free will. We made deliberate choices.

So, I started to think about blessings. When I normally think of blessings, I think mainly of prayer and Thanksgiving. But the blessings in my heart today are slightly different.

It's like being blessed with dirty dishes. It means I have food to eat, right?

It's like being blessed with high gas prices. It means I have a car to drive, a place to go, and a vehicle to get there, right?

It's like being blessed with presidential debates that interrupt my regularly scheduled progamming. It means I live in a democratic society, right?

Or being blessed with tears because I miss Jack. It means I love and am loved in return. Right!

Or being blessed with fears because I worry for Jack and his army brothers' safety. It means that our country's freedoms are being protected by extremely brave men. Right!

Thank God that we have the blessings of experiencing the natural outcomes of our choices. It means we're free. It means we're in charge.

Life is deliberate, purposeful and solid.

I feel blessed.