Sunday, September 13, 2009

Battles have been Lost but the War's not Over

This morning in the great state of Massachusetts, a Mass (see i made a funny) of people are walking, some are walking a few miles and some many. They're walking in hopes to Cure Cancer. There are four stupendous young women who are among the throngs I like to call my friends. They're not just any friends either. They are from various backgrounds; Stacy: computer Extraordinaire and owner of Captain Jack the pirate cat , Cindy: I am certain Teacher of the year somewhere in the future; Hayes: Miss ICanGetAnythingDONE; and last but not least, Amy: sweetheart of a gal who's got the heart of a lion and married to the most filthy mouthed boy I know and love...along with she's walking in honor of her mother-in-law, Billie, and her friend, Jeneen.

We've all had our touch with Cancer. I know my good friend Ted's mother has battled it. My own grandfather and aunt died from it. While those deaths definitely impacted me in ways it would take a lifetime to tell you about, Cancer took a dear young friend of mine years ago and that is who I think of when I think of Cancer: Cindy Church.

Cindy left a young son, Brandon. She fought the good fight against the evil and tried everything she could to win....but it ravaged her body and finally took it over leaving her a shell. It's been over 10 years since her death but not a day goes by that I don't look up at her picture in my office and wonder what her life would have been like. Cindy lived life in it's face....laughing, always smiling, right up to the end. I visited with her a few weeks before her death and while I sat there seeing how this cancer was taking over her body, it did NOT take away her soul. That day....more than ever before, I wanted to live life with vigor. Laugh at Death. Stare it in it's face and Dare it to push me around.

Today, I want you to reach down in your FREAKING pockets and purses and wallets and bank accounts and see what can YOU give!!! I Challenge YOU!!! Because you don't have to give don't have to give don't have to give hundredsd....

You Just Have to GIVE. Will you do that? The JimmyFund is still open for business...clicking on Team Surviving Grady is still taking requests. The group picture above was taken this past May at a gathering of us all...the guy in the far left hand?? Well let's just say, he wanted to be in the picture as well(thanks Brain!)

So there you have it....two different clicks. If you don't want to give in the name of Team SG...give in the name of your loved one who's fighting or lost the battle. Just GIVE TODAY.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

There's Snow in Texas

Yesterday we were remembering the tragic event that occurred 8 years ago in NYC. While we never want to forget those who were lost, life does move on. I've been saving this story for the right time and I think today is it.

In the sports world we hear about all the various athletes who are using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. We hear about those athletes who favor criminal-type behavior that sometimes land them in trouble with the law. We hear about athletes who are married yet are philanderers causing havoc on their family and kids. We hear about those athletes who are just plain obnoxious and think the world revolves around them.

What we don't hear about are the athletes like Justin Snow.
Justin Snow plays for the Indianapolis Colts. He's #48. He's their long snapper and a tight end. Now mind you, I have no clue what those positions are because I am not a football gal. I'm willing to learn...but no one person has intrigued me enough to want to learn. :)

But back to Justin. Justin is from Texas (I know you're shocked!). He is from Abilene and attended Baylor University. He also already has his B.S. and M.S. in Speech Pathology. Now you're probably wondering how in the heck do I know all of this and why do I care? It starts back a few weeks ago while I was on a business trip to my company's other location near Fort Worth.

While working in my company's other location Granbury, I like to stay in a smaller town, Glen Rose, on the outskirts so I can relax and not run into any employees. The Holiday Inn Express there is awesome and the manager, Joe, treats me like family. Recently a large building was built by a local family who opened up a restaurant, bar and clothing store in it. I've been frequenting the restaurant and the bar quite a bit. One night a few weeks ago, I was in the bar eating and cavorting with the locals when a couple walked in I had never seen before. They sat down and after a while, we all began to talk. Once I divulged my career, of which the gal said she sorta figured it out, and the topic of athletes gone criminal (i.e., Vick) came up, this gal began telling me a story. She said she loved the Colts to which I asked why...I know you don't have to be from an area's sport's team to love them.(i.e. ME) She talked about how when her youngest son was in speech and she was taking him to the Baylor school for speech therapy. She said at the time, Justin Snow was in school and he was her son's teacher. She talked about how her son loved Justin and it was reciprocated by Justin. Apparently these lessons lasted I believe over a couple of years. Anyway, fast forward to this past spring when her son was going to graduate from Speech. They were putting on a huge ceremony for the kids because if any of you have been involved in Speech it IS a big deal. (believe it or not, I had to attend Speech therapy at a young age)

Anyway, this mother calls up the Colts because by this time Justin is playing for the Colts...yes a football player HAS his B.S. and M.S. in Speech Pathology!! She calls and talks to their P.R. staff person and just wants to relay this message. "Please give him my number and tell him why I'm calling. " Next thing you know Justin is calling her and they are making plans for him to come down to attend the ceremony to surprise her son. Justin lives in Texas north of Dallas so the drive was a short 3 or so hour one. (3 hours or less is a short drive to us Texans) I wish I knew this mother and son's name....but I never caught it.

So there they were getting ready for the ceremony when down the hall way comes walking her son....and from the other direction is walking Justin Snow. She said they both halted in their steps as they met....and the hugs that were exchanged were phenomenal. She said she was crying and it was so touching. During the ceremony Justin gave the boy his diploma AND a jersey with #48 and Snow on it. Mom said it was the most touching and beautiful thing she has experienced. Now what football player will take time out of his day to do something for one little kid? Mind you, there were no reporters around documenting this. No photographers trying to grab a story. It was going to be a one knew.

So now you understand why that Texas mother roots for the Colts....and although I'm not gonna jump on the wagon for the whole team...I am definitely going to root for Justin Snow.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In Memory Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9

On the afternoon of September 10, 2001, I drove to the airport to purchase myself a plane ticket for a trip I was going to take in November to visit my cousin in Pennsylvania. We had talked about this trip for quite awhile...planned it all in advance. She was going to take me to New York City for the weekend for fine food, broadway and entertainment. I was so excited about this trip...bought the plane ticket and headed back to work. Done deal.

The next morning I was at work in my office when I heard a supervisor in his office yell out for all to come see(he kept a television in his office so we all figured some ridiculous show was on he wanted us to come see). As we walked into his office, we couldn't believe what we were hearing. A plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers in NY...continuing to watch the news....another crash. It was like watching a isn't really the news, it's a movie right??
As the days and weeks passed, discussion of whether or not I was going to take my trip to NY was in the air. After much discussion with my cousin and her husband, we decided to go. It wasn't going to be for a few months...we'd just change our itinerary. During this time, I was a mentor for a kids' group and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get them involved in understanding for what happened that day. We organized a day event of food and fun and then we settled into the project for the day: A memorial and cards for a firestation who lost 17 men that day. I researched on line and found the fire station after reading many stories. I had previously cut out the pictures I found off the internet of all of the firemen with their names, pasted and glued them onto a poster, decorated it and had it laminated. As I discussed with the kids about 9-11 and what the men had did to try and save those in the towers, I held up the poster and named the men one by one. I barely could get through naming them as I was tearing up as my voice broke. One of the kids raised his hand and asked "Miss Donna, did you know them?" I replied that I did not. He then asked "Why are you crying then?" I attempted to explain to them how it touched my heart and how tragic it was that so many had died that day and I hoped that we could help the firehouse by showing how much we appreciated the guys. So card making commenced!! I have to say we had a slew of kids and adults and we made dozens and dozens of cards. All thanking the firemen for what they do, saying how sorry we were for their loss and lots of art work as well.

Many of the other adult mentors helped out by giving various items to bring, such as, cajun spices and fresh peppers. I had a huge suitcase with a bag that carried it all.

The plane trip up there was a long one....just anxious about going to NY. Once we got there, we headed over to the firestation. I began by taking some photographs of which I need to scan and save on my computer but they are put away in a box for now. After taking photos, I kept waiting for an opportunity for a firefighter to come out...finally one did and I approached him explaining who I was and why I was there. I showed him the bag and explained about the spices and peppers inside. He seemed genuinely excited about it saying "They're just about to cook lunch so I'll go run these into them...thanks Ma'am...thanks alot!" He turned and left. My cousin was shocked I didn't want to try to go in and meet them all...but I was not on a mission to meet men that day. I just wanted to show thanks and give respect to those who died. While I took a few more photographs, I realized I had forgotten that the kids all had begged for me to get a picture with a firefighter. It was getting late but just as we were getting ready to leave, another firefighter came out and I made a bee line to him. I approached him explaining I was the one who had just brought in the big blue bag of which he got all excited and said "Oh yeah...they were cutting up the peppers and putting them in the shrimp they were about to cook!!" That made me smile big. I explained about the kids and all and they wanted a picture to which he said "heck Yah...come on in...let's get next to the truck and all" I WISH I had these pictures to show ya on today. Perhaps I need to get those down.

I did find these pictures on line and wanted to share....I kept my laminated poster as a reminder. I never wanted to forget how that day and that visit impacted me. Within weeks, I made huge decisions that shifted my world into another paradigm. Life is short and Time should not be wasted. My cousin and I have discussed a visit next year to NY visit the memorial that was created. But I want to return to the firestation to bring my pictures, to show thanks and perhaps to bring them some more haberno peppers. Maybe this trip, I'll pay attention to the cute firemen there ;)

Live happy.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Would the Real Josh Beckett please Win?

I don't want to jinx him any more than I need to. I'm expecting plenty of K's along with a low ERA and a big fat W at the end of the game courtesy of Commander Kick Ass, himself.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

That is The Question??

Shakespeare may have thought the question was "To Be or Not To Be?" but right now there's a bunch of Rabid Red Sox fans are wondering "What is the Missing Piece to the Puzzle??" Then there's the Question of "What is going on with Beckett?" And the most recent Question of "What happened to the Byrd who pitched against Halladay?"

there's flurries of Pitch-tipping talk......should we really have kept Kotsay?....what about Petey?....But someone in Boston better fix whatever is broken or There won't be any SoxTober at Fenway.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

oh Where oh Where has my JPB Gone? Oh where oh where CAN He BE???

WHO IS THIS?????????????????????????????????????????????