Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hey Dad...Can We Talk?

Well, here we are......another Father's Day without you.
Just so you know, it isn't the same.
Never will be.
You are in Heaven, with your Heavenly Father.
That is so incredibly comforting. 
But at times like this, it's still tough.
However, that's life, right?
I have to be grateful for the time we had.
For all you taught us.
Thank you for being such a wonderful Father.
For being such a wonderful example.

And now, there are a few things I wanted you to know.
Life has gone on......and it's time to catch up.
Catch up on the things you've missed in a few short years.
(and since I've neglected my blog, I'm going to fill y'all in here too.  
After all, this is my little online journal in a way and I've missed some BIG stuff:):)
But this is really for you Dad.......all the things I'd want to tell you if I could.
So here we go, in no particular order......

You would be SHOCKED to see Mom now.
Or maybe not.
She's a AMAZING!

I can honestly say she has held it together better than I have on most days.
At least, that's how it seems.
She is STRONG when she needs to be.

Example A.  She drives herself everywhere.  Even in Winter:)
B.  She EVEN pumps her own gas.  FOR REAL!
C.  You should see how she has taken care of Aunt M.  You'd be so proud!!

D.  She pays the bills herself.  And she's pretty good at it:)
E.  She cooks dinner most nights.  Not a bowl of cereal like I would do if I were alone.
She sets the table and has a nice dinner.  You would love it.
F.  She coaxed Taylor through her first year away from home in Chicago.
(more on that next:)
G.  She flew to Florida ALONE!  And let my dogs crawl all over her:)
H.  She watches over others in the neighborhood.
(P.S. Psycho is gone, so life is quieter on the street;)
I.  Turns out, you weren't the only green thumb in the house.......
she does a pretty good job keeping your yard looking like the park you created;)
There's more.......but you know that, right?

Taylor won't believe this but little Tater Tot grew up.......
she graduated last year and moved all by herself to Chicago.
I know kids do this all the time, but this is sweet Taylor.
She was offered a chance to train with JOFFREY BALLET, and you know
how much she loved ballet.......and how awesome she was!
(Clara in the Nutcracker)
Dad, you would be so proud.  We sure are!  
However, she is now thinking she's had enough.  Maybe.  You know she danced since she was 3 years old.  She's 19 now.  
Still has to train a few more years to gain an entry level
position in a ballet company.  
That's okay........people do it all the time.

(SugarPlum Fairy in the Nutcracker)
But I think it's hitting her that this is for a job. Much different than dancing joyfully for your studio and hometown.   I think maybe the joy is leaving her a bit.
And for a girl who just wants to be happy and make others happy, that's a big deal.
She is a small town girl who loves dancing .........but the constant competition, 
the constant "audition" that comes with training to be a dancer is wearing thin.
You know her.  She will never cut somebody down to better herself.  Ever.
She is a sweet, likable young woman........still.......but she is not a 
"look at me" type of person.  Never has been, never will be.
Others first.......that's her.
She's truly a "good girl".
Wish you were here to tell her that it's okay to switch gears and be whatever she wants.
That she has already accomplished so much,  it would be understandable.  
That she has had the privilege of performing roles some only dream of.

Because she so wants to please us, I'm never sure what she's really thinking.
I know leaving is all part of growing up.
We are a close family, and I think that's a big part of it.
She was such a serious student,  at the studio all the time,
and gone every summer.   Her choice.
But I think she might be ready to find something else she loves too, 
a bit closer to home and family. 
To discover another side of herself.
I just want her to be sure.
Really sure.  Really, really sure.
If she does hang up those pointe shoes, 
I'm going to miss seeing her perform something terrible.
But I'll get over it:)  Anyway, stay tuned.  Who knows what the future holds:)
And as you know, this girl WILL land on her feet.
but i'm the mom.......of course I think that:)
Ahhhhhh.......You forgot to tell me it never gets easier being a parent:)
I have to tell you one more little story, and I know.......this is turning into a book.
While living in Chicago, there were many homeless people 
looking for handouts on the street.
With her big heart, it was tough for her not to give in and hand money to every single one.......
and there were MANY, as I said.
But she did something that even I didn't know about, until she got home.
All year, she put her spare change in a bag.
Dimes, Nickels, Pennies.
And on her last day in Chicago, she went down to the street and handed her ziplock of change
 to a certain homeless man she saw every day,
 who really did look down on his luck, but had a beautiful smile.
He seemed kind, never pushy, never "scary".  
So she gave him her bag of change and watched him smile bigger than ever, 
and through his tears said
"Thank you...God Bless You for your kindness."
You and I know he may have done something with that bag of coins
 that he didn't need to do. 
But maybe not.  Maybe our sweet girl gave him more than a bag of coins.
Maybe she gave him HOPE.
Now that is pretty much all you need to know about the 19 year old Taylor:)

Where do I start with this girl!
You would be so proud of her too.  And amused.  
She still says and does what SHE wants.......and I learn from her every day too:)
She cracks me up daily.
Let's see.  She got into College 2 years early, just as she said she would.
She is majoring in Athletic Training, with a dual major in Physical Therapy.  Maybe:)  
She's gonna be awesome at it!
But a part of her is also still thinking of Marine Biology, to work with dolphins:)
I say, "Why Not"?  So who knows!
But let's just say if she could be an athletic trainer at the
  University of Alabama,
there would be no decision.
In fact, if she decides to go away to school, that's where she'll go.

She is a southern girl and the SEC is where it's at.  Sorry;)
No, not sorry.  ROLLTIDE! hahaha
But she's gonna miss the beach if she goes.  Really bad!
You might've thought I was a beach bum, but she has me beat:)
She loves anything that has a "board" in it's name.
Surfboard, Skim Board, Paddle Board...

And get this.  She somehow started a cookie business.  
SugarBelle's Cookies of Naples.  And guess what.  They're GOOD.
And Beautiful!!!
Decorated sugar cookies.......YUM!

She has a summer job at the Old Naples Surf Shop!
Talk about "meant to be":)
She has a very "cool" vibe and is perfect for this job.

I'm not done yet.
She still loves to play tennis.
And this week, her coach asked her to help
run a kids tennis camp a few days a week at the resort.
Talk about HAPPY!
Yes, she's doing what she does best.
Being Jordan!
She keeps me young........and exhausted;)
But I wouldn't have it any other way.
Did I mention, she is also a good girl?
And that she wants a mini bulldog someday?
Her dad isn't on board with the idea yet, but what else is new?
We'll keep working on him:)
Jordan is kind and extremely friendly.
She talks to anyone and everyone.
She is 17.........and AWESOME!  You would be So proud!

Well, if I have to admit it, he does a good job of taking care of me.
But I sure wish you were here to tell him retirement is awful.
Never do it.  That you hated it!
But you would never lie to him, I know:)  hahaha
He isn't retiring yet or anything.
But it's on the horizon.
(Okay, I can't think about that right now:)
Besides, I'm busy figuring out his next career.
He still loves working, you know.
  He needs challenges!
Then there is Golf.  
He REALLY loves hitting that little white ball in a little hole.
Don't ask me why.  But he does:)
When he goes to Flint, he takes Donna's Donuts to Mom and has coffee with her.
He likes her coffee...and he LOVES talking to her. Really.  
They talk politics, children, the weather.  Everything!
For Father's Day, he and the girls went out fishing today:)
Memories.  We all need to make memories!
P.S.  He absolutely LOVE his dogs.  Don't believe anything else!

Well.......there's nothing much new to say Dad.
Like you, I would just rather not talk about myself.
Either someone likes me or they don't, isn't that right? 
 Best way to be.
I still love the beach and floating in the gulf.
But now I'm loaded with sunscreen.  
Too little too late, but I try.
I'm doing pretty good with the MS.
A few little things here and there but nothing major.
Most days;)
But as I get older, I would like to say that I really didn't need a disease
 to mess with my brain.
That's already going all by itself:)
Oh, and guess what?
I got a JEEP!
I've had some awesome cars, but this is the best.
The coolest. I love it!!!!!
We have such a blast with it:) 
And it carries our kayaks, so that's good.
 I just wish I had some rocky terrain to take it on!
I promise you one thing Dad.  I will never totally grow up.
How boring would that be!
Phil has resigned himself to this fact. 
hahaha...Oh, he loves it.  (You and I both know that;)
AND.......I still love football.  (Although i forgive you for making me go
to piano lessons instead of letting me play football outside:)

No, my life is still very much about being a Wife and Mom,
 and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I'm a pretty good fix-it person and I owe it all to you!
Not a day goes by that I don't think about you.
Sometimes I smile.  Sometimes I cry.
But don't feel too bad.  That's how I am with everything these days:)
I have two messages on my phone...the last two you left.  
One was from March, just checking in.
And one was from the night before your surgery. 
I have recorded them, emailed them and saved them every which way I can.  
But they are still on the phone in case I need to hear your voice right away.

It makes me sad yet makes me happy.......
and somehow reassures me when I need it most.
But even on bad days, I try to be as happy as I can.  
That's good, right?
Lastly, I need to tell you about my boys.

Dad, you know how much I wanted a dog my whole life.
If nothing else, you have to admit I really did want one.
Now I have TWO!  And I'd have 20 if I could:)
I think I'm a good dog mom.
Maui is still Maui.........
Sweet, Silly, Goofy, Big, Maui.
The best dog you could ever have.
He loves to play outside and let me tell you, he is my nap buddy!:)
And we will get another Goldendoodle someday.
Now Freddy...that's another story:(
Freddy is getting older and not doing too well.
He sleeps alot.  A LOT
He doesn't have a long time with us.
And wouldn't you know, now he decides to get cuddlier and sweeter than ever!
This little guy loves me like no one else, I swear!
But someday soon, he's gonna come see you.
So please bundle him in your arms and give him all the hugs he needs.
Because he's gonna miss me........but not half as much as I'll miss him.
Take care of him for me, please.

Guess what?
Thats' it!!!!!!!  Hahaha
Long winded as always:)  But i had to get you all caught up.
And in the process, anyone else who's interested.
That is, if anyone had the time to read this long, rambling note.
If not, that's cool.  
it was for YOU from ME!
Because I miss you, And I love you.

Happy Father's Day Dad!!!!!!!

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