Monday, November 26, 2012

29 Years

Twenty-nine years ago, I stood in front of this mirror in Bill's aunt's house and, just for a moment, had a tinge of panic. Marriage? Forever? What was I getting myself into? 

Unlike so many these days, I really did not enter into marriage lightly or unadvisedly. I never thought of it as something I could get out of if I was unhappy or bored. 

When I married, I was 24, college was behind me (at least for the time being) and I had plans for the future. I was alone for about a year an a half between a previous relationship and Bill coming back into my life. 


That "alone" time turned out to be a really good thing for me. I had never been the kind of person who "needed" a man. Indeed, I feel sorry for people who "have" to be in a relationship. Who are afraid to be alone. Who allow their relationships to dictate who THEY are. I cringe when a couple tells me they "complete" each other. It takes two complete people to make a healthy relationship. My alone time gave time to think and decide what I really wanted out of a relationship. Honesty, trust, and respect were very high on my list. 

I am not saying that Bill and I have not had our ups and downs. We, like all married couples, certainly have. I wanted to call it quits when I lost my sense of self for awhile. But, we have learned to give each other space to pursue our individual passions. We have learned that we can be apart and still be "together." I love Bill, but I am not in this relationship because I "have" to have him. 

Like my psychology teacher once said "It takes two healthy "I's" to make a "We."

She was right.




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dad-less Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was my Daddy's holiday. He was an excellent cook who truly (with a  little bit of grumbling!) enjoyed hosting the yearly gathering. He would assign dishes to the rest of us, not trusting us with the turkey, the dressing, or his cream style corn. We could bring the lesser things like lima beans, stuffed eggs, and dessert. 

With Daddy, there was never any set limit on people who could be invited. Every year, he would have his children, his stepchildren, the spouses, the grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren. Also included were my sister's in-laws, and any other folks who needed a place to be on Thanksgiving. It was not unusual for people to be coming in and out to eat for several hours. There was always plenty.

This year will bring a lot of changes. My stepmom is having her family over to the house that she and Dad shared. My sister is having her in-laws at her home. And I will be attempting my first Thanksgiving dinner on my own for my seriously ill Father-in-Law, my husband, Bill, and Bill's two brothers. While the dressing, salad, veggies, and stuffed eggs will be from scratch, I am depending on Heavenly Ham for meats and my sweet stepmom for a promised pecan pie. 

While I am sure it will all be OK, the "man of the hour" will not be there on the other end of the phone to coach me through my dressing preparation or answer the million questions I realized I never had answers for until Dad was gone. 

What I would really rather do this holiday is to just take off to parts unknown for a week. But, if I left Thanksgiving Dinner to the dubious talents of the Sander's brothers, I would NOT be my father's child. Dinner will be as nice as I can possibly make it. 

Daddy would approve. 


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Enough!

Every few days, I admit, I get overwhelmed with the number of requests that are made of me to share photos, copy statuses, and "like" pages.

If did this for all 462 friends, my wall would be unreadable, clog up the feeds of my friends, and not leave me any time to check on friends having a hard time, ask about their family members, and find out what I might be able to do to help. 

For the record, I live with several "invisible diseases." And I know and try to support my friends who are also living with these. I don't have to copy a "spiel" into my status to be aware of my friends who do suffer. Some choose to talk about their suffering. Some prefer not to. I try to honor my friends by letting them take the lead in such discussions.

Yes, I hate cancer. My Daddy died of this disease and My father-in-law is terminally ill with it. Not to mention other family members and friends I have lost over the years. Donations to the American Cancer Society, Blair Batson, and St. Jude's will do more for these folks than copying a status.

I hate animal abuse and give to organizations that try to prevent this. Sad, sick animals on my wall only make ME feel sad and sick too. I know what goes on and where to send my money. 

And the one that makes me the most crazy are the ones implying that unless I share this status or that picture, I am denying Jesus, don't believe in God, am ashamed of the Gospel, etc. None of this is true and not constantly sharing those things on my wall does not make me less of a Christian.

If I shared these every time I received them, my wall would never reflect "me." I try very hard not to "overshare" and I choose what I share very carefully. I have had to "hide" friends who clutter my wall with so many posts that I don't get the truly important things from other friends. Your latest 19 cat pix are cute, but I really want to know how another friend's surgery went. 

Be selective. Your friends will appreciate it.