Sunday, April 26, 2009

Missing you Mary!

I just miss Mary! That's it! Every single thing about her. I hate that she's gone & I can't share my life with her. I just miss her!! I know she's in a better place and we will all be together soon & I know she is with my everyday & in everything I do, but I just miss her okay???

That smile I could see through the phone & her energy just filled your heart with love. Her seagreen eyes that had that yellow around the pupils that glistened when she looked at you. Her heart was pure and her love was all yours.

God is so lucky to have her now... all i have are memories. Yes, I'm grateful for that. Actually, I'm grateful for alot but I just miss her so much!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Birds of Love

I am so amazed and so happy for all the amazing interactions I have with the Robin's, Mourning Dove's and Cardinals... even the disheveled dove Chad & I like to call the Turkey because its so big & fuffled looking.

I'm even more amazed of the stories from my Cousin Susan & friend Laurie that include the Mourning Dove, Robins & yes, even the "Turkey".

Susan has watched the Mouring Dove build a nest in her hanging basket on her porch and the Robin build a nest in her light on her home. The funny thing is, is that the Robin laid eggs in the Dove's nest in the basket & the Dove has taken over the Robins nest. A lil family they are!

Laurie just shared a story & picture of the bird on her house that wouldn't get scared away by her barking dogs. She stayed long enough to capture a picture of it. Laurie was so amazed and had a strong feeling that bird was sent there for a reason. Warning her of the moments to come when the ambulance went racing to her friends house who just had a seizure. She blogged about it and posted a picture ~ when I saw the picture, I was amazed to see that she had our "turkey" too. Of course it's not a turkey, but a dishelveled looking dove ~ to me a symbol of real beauty. The beauty of comfort and love.
What blessings we have - these birds of love - giving us hope and love from our family above!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mary at 13

I came across these pix of Mary when she was 13...

What a lil star she was even then!

I loved growing up with Mary.... she was a unique lil sis. She was so good at everthing she did. She would follow in my footsteps by doing things I did, but she would take it to the next level and be the champion.

I took up an interest in speed skating when I was 13, she would just watch me and wait to inherit those black skates with cool white stripes. She took them and ran..... she was like lightning in those things. Me? I just thought they were cool & did some dancey moves in them.

Mary was not a quitter & she gave her heart and soul to whatever it is she was doing.

Cheerleading, gymnastics, dancing and more. She exceeeded herself. Me? I would just do it, try out for the best, make it and get sidetracked for something else. Mary was a completer.

Triathelate winner . . . . . . Best of the best in the Co-ed rollerbladers in Texas. She beat them all. Amazing she was. She didn't bask in the wins, she would compliment the opponents and tell them they were great. That was Mary! The Best ~ with a Heart!

I am so proud to be Mary's big sis and #1 fan. I only wish we had more time. I can't stop missing her.

I just joined a "no frills" gym yesterday called Spartans. It's hardcore - I instantly thought of Mary and wished I could tell her all about it. She would be going crazy with excitement over the phone. The owner is crazy serious about training every single one of his members... he reminded me alot of Mary. I could hear Mary now "YEAH!! YOU CAN DO IT JENI!" "I'LL CHEER YOU ON!"... This guy was training this girl outside when Chad & I arrived yesterday. She was flipping over a tractor trailor tire down the whole parking lot. Whew... tough stuff. Mary would love it!!! Such a challenge... she would be like "No Problem - bring it on baby"!
Soooo, I am doing this for you sis! In honor of you! I will be happy to give you my sweat - you already have my tears!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kelsey - Mary's lil legacy

Kelsey is my oldest neice. Only 12, almost 13. She is Mary's daughter & my very special neice. I am proud to say that we have a special relationship even if we are 2000 miles away.

We talk on the phone pretty regular since she inherited her mommy's phone and we both have Verizon, we can talk and text for free. She still has her mommy's voice on the voicemail and there are times when I am even happy when she doesn't answer, then I can her my sister sweet lil voice and it brings her near.

She is a busy lil girl, diving herself in books & studies, volleyball & track. Typical lil girl in that she gets bored alot and needs things to do. She has a best friend named Camila whose family has been a blessing in this terrible time of loss for her.
We had time last night and took full advantage of it... we spoke for 1 hour and 10 minutes. I'm always a little weary of talking too much directly about her mommy in fear she will just get sad and I won't be there to hug her, but I know how important it is to bring her up and remind her that she is still near. Last night, Kelsey asked me if I'd seen the movie "August Rush" & she knows I have because I got her Robin Williams autograph on a picture of the movie. It was the last movie she saw with her mommy. I took that as a cue to talk about our Mommy Mary. She said it was on the TV right now as we were talking. She misses her so very much and it breaks my heart in two.

I had a heart to heart talk with Kelsey and even spoke to her about her feelings on what she will call her new step mom. I gave her my advice and left the ball in her court and let her know that she is a little lady, almost 13 and she can make that decision on her own, but to remember that once you make a decision like that, it is really hard to take back. So I asked her to just really think about it & reminded her that I would love her no matter what. I shared with her my own personal experience when I got a new step dad. I felt really good about what I shared with her and treated her with respect. That is what my dad would do and why I loved him best. What a great teacher I had and now I can share the same ways with her. She seemed to be okay talking to me about it and I felt like it was a great time to really open the gate to our relationship as neice and aunt. I want her to be able to tell me anything and know I won't judge or steer. I love that lil girl more and more everyday and count the days to see her - only three months away.

Kelsey is so wise in her young self! So smart, so beautiful and so fun! She is real. Did I mention what a wonderful big sis she is to our lil Brett? She cares about him and always quick to include him in our circle of love.

Mary ~ you did a beautiful job with these legacies and I will do everything in power to keep them close and help instill the power of love that was instilled in us by our mom & dad!!

Black Birds ..... go away

Every Saturday I would go out and sweep my patio of the mess my lil birds would make all week eating the seeds I left for them. Fill up the birdfeeder and watch them flock to the food. But am reluctant today in fear of the black birds that have found it.

Well, for the past month these black irredescent birds that are bigger than the lil birds I've grown fond of would come take over . In packs of 5 or 6! I've tried to find the beauty in them and accept them as I have my other little feathered friends, but I cannot.... they don't fit in and they are just down right disturbing.

I don't like them... they're loud and too big for my patio and bully the other birds away. Annoying! I would look out and see my lil cardinals hiding in the bushes and the finches would stay in the tree away from my patio. The doves would still come but seemed annoyed by the invasion of grackles or ravens or magpies... whatever they are - i don't like them! There is no peace or serenity to these birds ~ nothing sweet & loving to associate them with.

I've posted wishes on my blog before that have come true so I am going to come right out and say it: I WISH THESE BLACK BIRDS WOULD GO AWAY!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Our Mary

Marys soul is in heaven.

Her spirit though is different.

It is the part that lives on in everyone she left behind.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Today! Tears & Joy...


I cried for you this morning when I read your dear friend Laurie's poem on her blog about you! It was so sweet & I just sat there picturing you as she described what you were wearing that last day she saw you.

Then I went about my day, thinking about how I wish you were here with me. I was headed to try on my wedding dress that had come in just days before. I went alone, but felt you with me.

Then I went to Michaels craft store to get things for Courtney's baby shower.... your sweet lil Kelsey called me. She sounded a lil sad & I didn't have to ask why, I already knew. I hung up with her with a promise to call later that night.

I went home & picked up Chad so we could pick up my wedding shower favors at "Bed, Bath & Beyond" ~ you would love them Mary, they were bought because of you. Lovely soothing lavender fragnant diffusers. We headed to Party City after that & I had to sit in the car for a few. I started crying as I thought about Kelsey & Brett & how they have to live without you. My heart bleeds for them. My loss is terrible, but I have 35 years of memories, they only have a few.

It's been a tough day today Mary... but it gets better - YOU MUST READ ON...

Staying with the wedding/baby shower theme for the day, Chad & I were looking for a particular picture for Courtneys shower when I came across a video of photos of you that Chad & I made only a month after you left us.. once again, tears just ran from my eyes, dripping down my face. I couldn't stop them - I tried!

I had to head out to go to meeting....

Weak from crying, I started to drive, I had to stop short in my tracks because a Robin walked RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY CAR! I thought that was peculiar and it even made me smile. The lil bird seemed to be there just for me. To take my mind off the pain and brighten my day. It did - for a moment!

I was almost out of my complex, when all of a sudden TWO Robin's flew within 2 feet in front of my car. They got my attention! Again!! The first incident was pretty incredible, but the second one made me start questioning my sanity. Was this really happening? Am I really being summoned by these birds or am I imagining things?! Have I opened myself up to see this or is this a normal daily thing I never paid attention to before? I don't know. It seems too incredible to be true. As I'm questioning my sanity, I am also bewildered with sheer joy with these encounters. Whether I was going insane or not, I loved it!! Well, it doesn't stop there.

I left the complex and headed down the road. As I was slowing down, I had to come to a halt because another Robin walked (Yes, Walked!!) right in front of my car. That is 4! 4 Robins comforting me... stopping me in my tracks to bring me back to my senses. You can imagine my state of sanity at this point! yes, I was beyond words, my head was spinning with excitement. Certainly this has to be an act of God! Never! Never in my 39 years of life has this happened to me. I would remember! Wow! This had been the most adventuresome journey. I continued on to my destination. With my window cracked for some fresh air, it was the Robin's distinct tunes I heard. As I neared the place I had to be, I happened to look up on the telephone wire and beautiful grey dove was perched up there staring at me. I am about to lose my mind at this time because I am so amazed at the wonderments of my birds following me. I pull into the parking lot of my destination and hear the sound of the Robin's song up in the tree. I raised my head high and what did I see?? A Robin at the very tip of the big tree.

Well, needless to say, I had a wonderful meeting - Oh, I almost forgot, the person speaking at my meeting was wearing a baseball hat with a RED CARDINAL on it & his name was David!!

Mary, Mary, Mary - you are everywhere - the signs are here for me to see! I see! I see!
The day isn't over just yet... I spoke to our sweet lil sis Lisa & she tells me about her blog she was inspired to write about you today. So beautiful it was! It brought tears to me one more time.
Your life was so valued here Mary & we miss you so much.
Thank you so much for staying near.

I spoke to Kelsey again to end my day....
don't worry Mary, she's going to be okay.

This Time a Year Ago

The day before Easter, I was running around.... headed to the mall to get Chad some sneakers. He was long overdue. We stopped at his friends house to say a quick Hi. I was coming back to the car when I heard my phone ring. I saw Mary's # & had just missed the call. I was going to call back when our visit was over, then I saw a text from her # saying "Jeni, you need to call me!" The words may not be exact, but that's okay... because what came soon after would blur any memory away. I thought to myself, "Oh no, Mary & Brian must be having troubles". Then before we were on the road, a call came in from my brother. I thought I'd better answer because it didn't seem normal to get a call from my sister & brother so close. I couldn't understand a word David was saying. I thought I heard between his sobbing words that "Mary is gone Jeni - she's dead". I threw the phone at Chad & said "here you take this call - I can't". My heart stopped and I couldn't breathe, I just stood there in a state of shock watching Chad take this call. I had to breathe, so I took quick breaths and just stared at Chad hoping that I heard wrong. He was calming my brother down through the phone, so I knew what I heard was true. I screamed and yelled - "No, No, No.. Not my Mary! Not my Mary!" I started whimpering chants to Mary: "Mary, Mary, Mary.... why? why? why?" "No, No, No!!" During my cries somehow the next thing I heard was Chad talking to Brian. I was lost in my loss so I don't remember if Brian called my phone or Chad called him. It doesn't matter...... We asked how, when, why, what happend??? It was Brian calling and texting me from Mary's #.
She took her life with her neighbors gun around 1!
My mind raced and I couldn't believe my ears.... it was around that time that I was going to call her to say Hi, but i didn't because I decided to wish my friend a Happy Birthday first because I knew I would forget later. Oh how I wish I would have made that call... maybe it would have made a difference. Maybe she would tell me her woes at that time and I could let her know how valuable she was and how precious she was. Her life to me was more precious than all the gold in the world. She was not only my sister, but she was connected to my soul. Words can't describe how much love and admiration I had for her. Still do. I know she is in a better place and is busy doing God's work, but oh how I miss her sweet lil voice and beautiful spirit.

That same day, as Chad, Charlotte & Courtney were at my home helping me gather pictures for the memorial and make travel plans for the next morn ~ i stepped outside to get some air and noticed my first Cardinal. It was a bright lil bird that took my mind off the horror of the moment and actually brought a smile through my tears. The beauty of the bird instantly reminded me of Mary. So little, so bright and so beautiful!
That was just the beginning.... the cardinals live with me to this day.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cardinals of Love

It's been a while since I've written about my friend the cardinal.... they still live out back with me and bring comfort to me with the beauty of their presence. They started my bird kingdom out back and showed me the way - that wings of love are here for me and let me know I'm going to be okay!

They appeared to me the day Mary died, from NY to Texas, they are here and they are there and seem to be comforting everywhere. In times of need and times of wonder - they show themselves and bring answers to us who believe.

Just recently as Mary's friend was talking with a therapist and sharing her thoughts on the beautiful cardinal visits... the therapist said the birds are healing and bring peace with them. She looked out the window to see if one would appear and didn't see one until later on in the session as healing was taking place. She looked out and was amazed to see, a bright red cardinal letting her know she's okay. What a wonder - what a joy - these cardinals of Love - oh boy, oh boy!

If you've got a story of love brought to by a cardinal ~ please share it with me!

You can also see more on cardinal sightings & stories throughout my blog (older posts) and in Laurie's blog located in my "Links to Love".

Saturday, April 4, 2009

1992 - Sisters in motion

1992 - I was in Houston, trying to grow up and you were half way through college cheering your heart out at Howard Payne University! You were such an inspiration making your way to the top as head cheerleader, top of the Dean's List and getting ready to teach and coach the kids to come!
We were so proud of you sis! Still are! Heaven is blessed with you as were here.....

My Sister...


We were two peas in a pod for a long time.... you were my little minion! I loved being your big sis and you were such a wonderful lil sis!!

I was so lucky when I got you. You were a lil spit fire, that was for sure. So unique and a personality all your own. I loved you for that. Somehow, I was always the one who was able to do things right for you. Somehow, you would listen to me. Well, most of the time... hehe! But eventually you would come around.

One memory that stands out is a time when we were just six and three. I had upset you about something and you were crying in your bed, so I decided to apologize by giving you a hug. You wouldn't have any of it. You tried pushing me away. I stood back with my hand on my hip and said, "Fine, give me my hug back then"! I started pawing at you to get it back. It tickled you and you started laughing, so I tickled you more and we laughed our way back to being friends again.

You were more than a sister Mary, you were my best friend and my #1 fan, as I was yours!!

I miss you sis, but am so grateful for all our memories. I have soooo many, I don't know where to begin. I will capture them and share them on my "Memories to Cherish", because that is what this blog is for - YOU MARY! I love you more than you know! I refuse to shut the door on 35 years of your life... you were too too special to be hidden in my head as silent memories.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Another Bird for me

This is my other little bird. I was a little confused by my new birdie doves. I knew one looked a little more rough than the other & this is the one... I feel most sad for. It's my mourning dove. A friend from work gave me some birdfood that they like ~ what a sweet gesture! Thank you Terry!
I woke up this morning and put the food on the ground and by the time I got out of the shower, my lil dove was there......
We think she has a nest nearby. How wonderful would that be?
I'm thinking of naming my doves. What do you think?