Friday, May 8, 2009

Well, another mother's day almost here and gone... I can't believe it's been about 4 years since I've actually had a reason to celebrate it, to dote on mom all I wanted, and to really see her smile brighten up the day in an instant. It's not with remorse or grief that I write this entry now, but rather, a feeling of pride in the mom that I was fortunate enough, and truly blessed by God to have. She topped it all, no doubt. And even though I might not show that I miss her as much as I used to... I do. I miss her everyday, every moment. I look at kids who are graduating from high school, fellow future Marines, people who are succeeding in life... THEY all have moms to be there for them, to give them a hug, and to tell them they're proud of their son/daughter... why couldn't mine have stayed a whole longer?? I don't know. I'll never know. I stopped asking myself that question a while back. The important thing, is that she was more of a mom in those short 15 years I had with her than most moms will ever be able to be to their kids. I was truly blessed... and THAT my friends, is what you should prolly know about my mom. She was a blessing from day one, and her memory is still alive in her sons and daughters and in the hearts of all her friends.

We love you mom... Happy Mother's Day to ya!! ♥

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nobody said it was going to be easy...

...18 days left at home... wow...

I can't believe it's already been 6 months since i signed my contract to enlist in the Marine Corps. Just yesterday I was stressing about weather or not I was going to be able to pass all of my classes at Wor-Wic Community College for the credits I needed to join the Corps (sometimes i can stress needlessly about EVERYTHING), and it seems like just yesterday that I made the decision to join the Marines to begin with. Time is flying, and I'm definitely flying along with it.
Summer is coming, and along with it, the lengthy rain showers that seem to drag on for weeks and weeks at a time. But, the rain is needed in order to make the grass greener during the hott summer months; the flowers to stand up straight, delicate, yet strong; and to bring in a fresh new feeling in the air... the anticipation of unforgettable summer memories... it's time to make more!!
Along with summer, well MY summer anyways, also comes 3 months of training. No beach for me this summer!! It IS going to be rough, challenging, and character revealing. But, like the rain, I know that this period of "rain" is needed to make me stronger, stand taller, and it is just the first step to opening so many more doors of opportunities for myself in the future. I'm surprised the anticipation in my chest hasn't given me a heart attack yet. haha... I am SOOO excited to finally start out on my own path. My older brother Blake started out on his about 8 years ago, a former Marine himself... My older sister Kellie started hers last year when she married the man of her dreams and moved out of the house. Me?? Well... it's MY turn now. I just want to do it, boot camp that is, and be done with it. So i can finally earn the right to be called a United States Marine. Thousands of people have gone on before me and gone through Marine Corps boot camp and have succeeded. I, too will join their ranks and be one of the Few... one of the Proud.
I'm not going to settle for second best, nor will I be known as an average Marine. I will do my best, give my best, and live up to the honest and remarkable standards that many Marines have set, the ones that have gone on before me. I pray that God will be by my side, giving me strength and accuracy to accomplish the task at hand every day of my life.
Nobody said it was going to be easy... but that's the Marine Corps for ya!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Aaahhh... its been a while since I've been on here to write... school, the family, trying to make some last memories before i leave, homework, and my daily workout routine has been distracting me from such pleasures as writing down my thoughts, but i know i should, so... this is my attempt at getting back into the routine of blogging before i must say farewell in a short 5 weeks when i leave for boot camp... uuuuggghh. Boot camp... 3 months long, with blistering heat and a humidity index of 105 degrees Fahrenheit, about 12 hours away from my family, with no way of communication to/from home except through hand written letters back and forth, oooohh, and the sand flees, that's going to be a lot of fun too I'm sure. I'm not going to lie... it's going to be the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I have to do it. It's the ultimate test I must go through in order to prove to my superiors and commanding officers that I am worthy of being called a United States Marine.

So, i thank God for my supportive family, and the closest person to me left on this earth, my big sis Kellie Michelle =]] She's been a huge source of motivation, insight, and wisdom when it comes to ... well, pretty much everything. In times that I have doubted my ability to really go through with this whole Marine Corps business, she's been there to encourage me to keep fighting through the rough times and to press on towards my goals... teaching me that the reward at the end will mean so much more to me if I have to struggle to reach it. She's really helped me with following through on my dreams, and making me stay the course and learning self discipline at the same time.... soooo, thanks big sis =]]

Last week was our mom's birthday... April 11th she would've been turning 46, haha, oh god... how she would've hated the sound of that. She hated the sound of her "old" age, and stopped counting long ago. Never wanting a birthday party to remind her that every year she was one year older, but her kids wouldn't let it go at that... I can remember one year, a while back, we had a surprise birthday party for her at Mamma Lorraine's house in Girdletree, inviting all of her friends and then some... and.... she didn't complain one bit. She was too busy laughing and carrying on with her surrounding family and friends that had planned the night out to a tee, all for her. Which was usually the case with mom. She was always laughing, if not smiling... crying from laughing most of the time. haha.... Aaaaahhh, those were the good ol' days indeed. Every year, Kell and I have a traditon of going out to Zia's Italian Restaurant in Bury and catching a movie that we think our mom would've liked to see... somethine cute and funny, without any drama or tense "icky" feelings afterwards. This is how we spent our Mom's last birthday together when she was still alive. Just us 3 ladies, a night out on the town, and in great company. We relive this memory not just to do something every year, but to celebrate a life that was not wasted, to feel closer to mom, and to spend quality time with each other; which is what mom would be wanting us to do until the day we die. So i sincerely hope that I'll never have to miss our yearly outing on April 11th, because it not only means the world to me... but I'm sure it means the world to mom too. Even though my duties with the Marine Corps will take me far away from home at times with the war in the Middle East, I'll always keep comin back home... because, as i've said before... my home is where my heart is, and my heart is with my family. ♥

Friday, March 27, 2009


Aaaahhh, my sister's home for the weekend... =]

The above statement should be sufficient enough to explain how happy i am... but this is a blog thingy... so i think i should probably elaborate for the reader's eye...

Truth be told, no matter where my sister and I are located at the time, i always feel like i'm at home with her. so truly, my home is where my heart is. =]

We could talk for hours on end, both beginning a really good story we just HAD to tell each other only to be reminded of something else that we wanted to say, and then that "something else" reminds us of something ELSE we wanted to say... we carry on like this for an extended amount of time, feeding the vicious cycle of randomosity (yes, i just made that word up) and A.D.D. like thinking, filling in each other on the stories, jokes, new found revelations, or really just the day to day frivolous things we want to talk about, until at last... our stories and tid bits of our weeks spent apart have gone in a full view circle until we something pops into our head that reminds of the first thing we were talking about at the VERY beginning of our conversation, and we finally end that story and move onto yet another.

Maybe we're A.D.D, or maybe just I am. But either way... oh look... a cat... (lol, no but seriously).

I love just being with my sister, whether it's a night out on the town, us driving through the country side talking, or having a cup of tea together... My sis said today that I've heard a trillion times before, but for some reason it just struck me deep today. "Those who truly care about somebody keep them close to their heart." And in testament to that, home is where the heart is. As I said before, I know without a doubt, that when I'm with my big sister Kell, I might as well be at home. =]

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ithaca... by: Constantine P. Cavafy

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island where you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithaca means.

My World History professor gave this to the students in my class to read, and to see if we could come up with the underlying message that Constantine P. Cavafy was trying to convey in his writing.
And it's just this: To the one who is traveling through life, just waiting to get to the next step... whether it's the goal of going to or graduating school, getting a job, getting married, buying a house, a car, having children, or retiring just to watch your own kids do the same... do NOT live as if you're just getting through to reach your final goal. The beauty and prize of life is not at the end of the road, but in every memory we make, and every second we spend along the way with those we love. If your only goal is to reach the end, once you get there, you won't have anything to show for the life you lived. Make the most out of every second, and realize that there really IS a heaven on earth. It's all in how we decide to make the most out of this blessing we call life...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Eyebrows and Relationships...

Soooo... the other day, started off like any other day. I got up, ate some cereal, took my brothers to school, and then hit the gym. After I got home from the gym I took a good look at myself in the mirror and decided it was time for an eyebrow waxing again. So I went to Top Tek Nails here in town to get the job done. As soon as I walked in I was able to go back to the "eyebrow" chair and sit down while the salon owner's wife got the wax stick ready to administer some pain on my eyebrows... do people really pay to get their skin almost ripped off their face so they can beautify themselves??? Oh well, I'm not going to judge... I was there for the very same reason!!
As the woman waxed my eyebrows, I asked her how her daughter and her son were and how everything was going for her... not knowing that this would be the topic of conversation for the next 20 somethin' minutes. She tells me her son is doing well with his job and what not, but her duaghter... now THAT is a different story entirely. Her job, oh that's going well... but the most terrible thing that could've happened (in her mom's opinion) HAS happened. She broke up with her boyfriend, Daniel. I'm sitting there in the chair, wondering why this is such a bad thing for her mom. Come to find out, this is the only boyfriend that her daughter has ever had that the mom actually approves of and grew to like. Daniel was one of those, well, "momma's boys... he was sensitive, funny, kind, caring,"... the list goes on. The only person in this whole equation that DIDN'T like him, was her daughter, the one who was dating him. "He's not mocho enough, he cries too much, he's a sissy..." she would tell her mom. What a trajedy indeed. But why should the mom care about who her daughter dates, or why should she try to control her realtionships?? The answer is beyond me... but i do know that the mom loves her daughter, and she only wants the best for her.
But my thought is, how do you REALLY know if somebody is good for somebody else you love just by looking at them, or talking to them, or even forming a friendship with them?? You can't, and you won't. While her mom might've been seeing all that was good about Daniel, Daniel still had something about him that didn't mesh well with the daughter, and the daughter could see right through Daniel... You can not know the true character of somebody unless you have a relationship with them; and for some reason, i beg to think that it is the same way with our relationship with God. While the majority of the human race sees Him as a very judgemental, harsh, strict god, they only think this way becasue they do not know Him first hand. If one were to know Him they would see through their own eyes that God has always been a loving, merciful, and kind Father who also wants only the very best for His children...

But like I said, one can only know somebody for who they really by having a relationship with them...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Life is in Your Hands...

You know, when i was growing up and even until recently, I've always had this attitude about life that was probably not the greatest one to have. I've always viewed life as something that I'm just going to "make through", and something that I'm going to come out on the better side of when I'm completely through with it all.
This attitude hasn't gotten me anywhere in the past 18 years of my life, and I'm starting to realize what my true attitude and view on life should really be. Life is an adventure... indeed it is. And the only one who has control of my life, is, well, ME. It is in my power to live a happy, successful, healthy life. Why should I let my life go by and allow it to be depressing, futile, and feeble??? And beyond that, why shouldn't I take every opportunity that life hands me to become a more rounded, disciplined, adventurous, knowledgeable, and talented human being? The more opportunities we have to learn something new, the more people we are able to connect with, and the more opportunities we have to experience something out of the ordinary, everyday.

For example, by going to college i have met quite a few people who have changed my life, and they really don't even know it. From the admissions workers in the office to my teachers and professors, i have come across several enlightening characters that have actually turned into mentors more than anything. I would not have met these people or connected with their walk of life had I not made up my mind to go to college.

Another life changing decision I made was to join the Marine Corps. My recruiter Staff Sergeant Russo and I have formed a bond that not many people can understand. Yes, he's my recruiter, but him being a Marine and my future superior in the Marine Corps, i look up to him now more as a big brother; from him i can learn priceless leadership qualities, Core values, the knowledge i need to be a "good-to-go Marine", and the true meaning of "Semper Fidelis" (Marine Corps motto, Latin for "Always Faithful"). His fellow recruiters, Staff Sergeant Capps and Sergeant Mendez treat me like family as well, and anybody who's been a Marine or who is going into the Marine Corps could tell you that this is the "brotherhood" spirit of the Corps. Marines are family, no matter their race, color, age, or gender.

But I'm just starting off!! I'll be leaving for the USMC recruit training depot at Paris Island, South Carolina on 26 May of this year. The road of ahead of me is FULL of opportunities, success, free knowledge, and experience. The people I'll meet, the teachers/(Drill Instructors) ill have, the places I'll go, the things I'll learn, the adventures I'll go on, the battles I'll fight, the people I'll help, the experience I'll gain... it's all endless!!

But I've got to make the decision NOW that my life is going to mean something. Or else when I'm old and most of my life has been spent as a Marine who's just trying to get by, I'll regret the things i didn't do, the places i didn't end up going to, and the lack of relationships that I established through out my life. I want to experience life at its fullest, to feel the wind in my sails, and to always view myself as a very fortunate soul indeed.

Life is in our own hands...