Overcoming Loss Part One

Last Monday, I was notified that my best friend for seven years was killed in a car accident. My heart was crushed. Completely crushed. I always figured I would get the call informing me of my mother’s death. I know that sounds really brutal, but I am the type of person that likes to prepare for the worst. However, I don’t think any amount of “preparing” would have prepared my heart for the news I received last Monday. Nothing. My friend was twenty years old. After years of trying, she had finally got her life together and she was heading places. She was going to graduate from the community college in May with a associates degree in Psychology. She would have started going to Radford in the fall. Over the summer, she was going to Illinois for an internship at a horse barn riding reigning horses. I remember when she told me about it; she was so excited, and I was excited for her, eager to hear all her stories when she got home……….but that isn’t happening now I suppose. She is gone.

Earlier I stated that Mary Cole was my best friend, but she was really more than that. She was more than my sister. She was my twin. Heck, there was even times we believed we shared that whole twin telepathy thing. For example, we were at a horse show and Cole was cleaning her tack; we both began singing the same song at the same time. There was not a radio playing. Just us two singing. We told everyone about this, but unfortunately, no one believed us because no one witnessed it. But I promise you, my dear reader, it did happen. We had that type of friendship were we could just look at one another and know what the other was thinking.

…………….I just can’t believe she is gone. I never would have thought I would have buried my twin when she was twenty years old……we had plans to grow old and be those crazy old people that no one can stand together……..even our children would have disowned us when we were together……….That was what we were going to do. We were never going to lose touch. We were……Best……Friends…..Forever……

Daddy Revelation

I know, strange title. But that is exactly what I had, a daddy revelation. For those that don’t know me, I will provide a very brief back story. My father passed away due to bone cancer that had spread to his lungs and then to his brain when I was two years old. My father loved me very much, or so I am told. I do not remember my father at all. But please, no pity party. This is a post about my revelation I had today.

My father was a man who I am told was very much like myself. Tough as nails and country as I’ll get out, but I reckon I’m mighty different from him. I’m getting a college education instead of settling where I was raised. I am learning that despite the stereotypes I was raised with, city folk are alright, even fun to hang around. My best friend is actually a Northern city girl (yeah I know, double yikes). But she is actually pretty nice, and we get along great. I am not sure Daddy would have approved, but I reckon I will find out one day when I finally meet him. Which brings me back to my original point, my daddy revelation.

Since my father passed when I was so young, I never had that father-daughter connection that I have heard is so lovely. Instead, I have had to search my entire life for it, wanting the protector I’ve heard fathers can be. Yes, I have a post called Superhero where I have already stated most of this, but I need to get it out again, and hope that it will reach someone who needs to hear it……… I needed my daddy, and my daddy wasn’t there. He couldn’t be. I remember as a kid catching snowflakes on my tongue and wishing that my father would be brought back to life, knowing it was a wish that could never be granted, but praying that somehow it would be. But it wasn’t. Of course not. I would tell friends how much I missed my father and all they could say was “I understand how you fell” I honestly would love to slap every person that has ever said that to me. You don’t “understand”. You can’t. You haven’t been there, and if you have, then you still don’t know what it is like for me. You can’t know because we are all different. Yes, it still hurts when I think on what I’ve missed, but that is where my revelation comes in.

Psalm 68:5 “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling”. My GOD loves me like my biological father would have. GOD is my protector, the thing that I have searched for for so long. I only thought I needed my father, but I really needed GOD. HE is my heavenly father. I am not sure why I thought that I needed more when I have always had all I ever needed. I was just too blind in my own insecurity to see it. GOD has always been and always will be. I relish in the love of my FATHER. A love that you can’t describe unless you have been there. Unless you have experienced it. It is wonderful. It is pure. It is joy. It is patient. It is kind. It is true love. Not the fancy butterfly feeling you get when you see your crush, but a true, pure love. It is GOD.

Friendship

Many of us take the value of friendship for granted. Maybe you are that individual who always has had plenty of friends, or maybe you are the person who sits and relishes in silence. I will admit; I am the latter. I love silence. I love being alone, but I also crave to be close to people. Close like close in friendship. I never really had a best friend in elementary school, nor middle school, sort of in high school; however, we stopped talking once I left for college. Now that I am in college, I am surrounded by friends. Surrounded by people that care about me. People that I care about. For the first time in my short life, I can trust people. I can trust my friends here. And that is a true blessing from GOD.

Friendship has always been difficult for me. I am a relativity difficult person. I am moody, stubborn, and very set in my ways. (another aspect of my Southern upbringing). People don’t understand me, and I am perfectly okay with this because quite frankly, I don’t understand them. However, I don’t believe that we have to understand one another to be friends. All we really have to do is be there for one another. Love one another. Listen to the one another’s problems. For Christians, we pray deeply for one another. Honestly, that is what I love most about the little college town of Berea. People here care for me. We all come from different walks of live. We all are flat broke; we can laugh and joke about it, all while leaning on one another. GOD designed us to be social creatures. GOD designed us so that we need other human beings to be healthy. While I relished in my non-friendships in grade school, I realize now exactly how much I missed out. I never went out, never partied, never really did anything but work on the farm where I lived. But Berea has offered such a close nit community that I can just holler and a friend will hear and come running. Here, GOD has provided a place for me to create the friendships I was too afraid to form when I was a child.

Most importantly, I am growing close to GOD. Each and everyday, I am growing in my love for HIM, in my relationship with HIM. As an old gospel song states, “You can search the whole world over, no greater friend you’ll find.” It is so true. GOD is my best friend. If all of my friends that I have here in Berea, no matter how wonderful having their company is, I know that I will pull through because GOD will be there. My best friend is ALWAYS at my side. HE is there loving me every step of the way.

Just The Southern Way of Livin’

I reckon y’all have figured out by now that I am a country kinda gal. It’s just who I am. Purely as a joke, I tell others that I am bilingual (now before some of you get you panties in a knot, let me say that I know that I am not bilingual. I just talk a little different at home than I do in college). However, I am fluent in both redneck and English. I am also bi-cultural. I can go from the redneck ways of the mountains to the more sophisticated ways of the city in three minutes flat. I am adaptable, changing the way I act depending on the company. I am brave (some may say fearless) when it comes to animals. I learned as a small child that the only way an animal can get the best of you is if you let it.

Over my spring break, I had an encounter with a certain animal. That animal was a 2,000 pound bull. My bull had gotten into the field with my neighbors heifers. (for those of you who don’t speak cow, a heifer is a cow that has not been with a bull). With his new-found girlfriends, there was no way my bull was going home. My mother, my neighbor, my fourteen year-old niece, my neighbor’s grandson, and myself ran that poor bull all over that field for two hours straight in an attempt to get him home. However, he just wasn’t gonna go. At one point, my niece, my neighbor’s grandson, and my mother were a human fence to herd the bull into the gate. My neighbor and I were attempting to run him up the real fence into the gate. The bull, GOD love it, was so exhausted he just didn’t have it in him anymore. He stopped running. No amount of hollerin’, pokin’, or prodin’ was gonna get him to move. So I eased closer. The bull, feeling threatening, turned on me. He lowered his head and started that snorting. I knew it meant he was going to head-butt me. I knew that if I ran, he would come after me. If I stayed, I was certainly a dead duck. For some odd reason, staying just seemed to be the right thing to do. He first knocked me down. I laid there thinking as he came down for his second blow “I am going to die. This is the moment I am going to die. But dad gum, I ain’t going out of here without a fight.” I punched him in the nose. I suppose the bull realized that I wasn’t an easy target because he turned and ran at that point. Yes, I could have died, but I escaped unscathed, minus the six stickers I got in my hand when I fell into a brier patch.

And that, my friends, is the Southern way of livin’. We are a people that takes whatever situation is presented and make the best of it. We are also the type of people that when we get knocked down, we come up swinging. Just a friendly reminder to all who are out there, if you are datin’ a Southern lady and you decide you want to beat up on her a little, buddy, all I got to say is you better make the first lick count cause she’ll come up and kill you with whatever she just happens to get in her hands next.