Thursday, September 25, 2014

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

 Today as we are still mourning the loss of a huge piece of our family puzzle, we have to pause and give thanks for the sweetest gift in the world God could of given us 7-years ago today.  As Ryder watched his Grandma weep yesterday....he sat with her.  Through her tears she said,  "Ryder- I wish Grandpa could hold me again and give me one more kiss".....he gently leaned into her, wrapped his arms around her, and gently kissed her cheek saying, "I'm here.  I'll do it for Grandpa." All I can think is how thankful that sweet man must be in heaven, that your still on this earth helping to carry out any loose ends left undone... like kissing his love one last time.  Happy Birthday my angel on earth...we'd all be very lost without your love.
I know you want Grandpa here for your birthday today...and I promise he is...I can hear him from Heaven saying, "Happy Birthday, Ryder!  Grandpa Loves You!".

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I am without words.  We are devastated.  Life is entirely too short.  Without any notice we lost our patriarch.  My husband's father was one of the best men in the entire world.  It is hard to put one foot in front of the other today and I'm left here wondering if tomorrow will be any easier.  Please keep us in your prayers.
Grandpa at Rustin's 5th birthday party on September 7, 2014.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014



There is no doubt this is your least favorite part of the day.  You and Rustin begrudgingly sit at the dining room table.    It's homework time.  For the record...I totally get it... who honestly wants to come home and do more work after sitting in a desk and learning all day? Unfortunately, it still has to be done.

Rustin pretends to be busy, but really just plays with two pencils and stares out the window.  

You and I banter back and let out loud groans....I preach to you about how groaning won't miraculously get it make frequent subject changers while dropping your pencil on the floor  for the dog to chew into a zillion pieces.  I'm almost positive you're secretly hoping their won't be another pencil in the house and we'll be forced to stop for the afternoon. Before too long I start to feel like the guy sitting behind you in this picture.

Then just as it starts to get way too serious for a first-grade boy and his thirty-something year old  Momma...Rustin brings us both back to the center with a costume change into a blanket turned cape, and a high-pitch super-hero voice...and neither of us can contain our laughter.

See it's crazy...because your least favorite part of the day is my favorite.  I'm with you....I'm with both of you...and for this moment you're 100% mine... and I'm forever grateful.

I love you both more than you love Fridays with no homework...and that my sweet boys is a lot of loving!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Dress

I walked into my closet this evening and pulled out "the dress" from the plastic that the cleaners had wrapped it in after I wore it last.  You know "the dress"...everyone has one or at least I assume everyone has one.  The dress you wear when someone gets married and the same dress you wear when someone you've loved moves onto heaven.

 She was my grandfather's baby sister which made her my great aunt.  God doesn't make them any better than my sweet Aunt Irma.  Tomorrow morning,  I'll put "the dress" on for her.  

She is in some of my very first memories.  I had this old blanket when I was little that I refused to give up and for some reason my parents didn't feel the need for me to give it up either.  Picking battles I suppose.  I kept it by my side always and she loved to tell me she was going to take it from me.  It was a game and I knew full well she'd never really keep it.

As kids we caught lightening bugs in the cul-de-sac in front of her house and played cards at her kitchen table.  She lived in Wal-Mart country and you were hard pressed to find a prouder citizen of Northwest Arkansas.  She loved big and always said..."Joychelle- you know Jesus loves you and so does Aunt Irma.".   Parking upfront at a store was a sign of "Good Clean Living".  Her theory on company..."It's a lot like fish.  After 3 days it starts to stink.".  (We must've been pretty stinky growing up because I know there were summers we stayed longer than 3 days.)   She always watched what she ate...watched it go straight in her mouth that is.  Oh and absolutely nothing made her prouder than being "Another Happy Methodist"....just ask the bumper sticker on the back of her car.

She was always there...never the center of attention...but always making sure nothing frayed.  She was there when my Grandfather left us 25 years ago.  Even after he passed she never left her post as my grandmother's sister-in-law and best friend.  She was there when my grandmother re-married to a man who was a good man, but not her big brother...and together she and my Mom stood tall.  That's what Keightley's did....stand tall.  She was there when my grandmother fell ill to strokes and heart hold my Mom tall.   She was there for countless drives to Colorado.  She was there when I got my marriage license and stayed until the day I got married...making endless bouquets of flowers and holding my Mom tall.  She was there when my sister got married...repeating endless bouquets of flowers and holding my Mom tall.  She was there when my Grandmother was called to heaven and she's been there for weekly Sunday talks...always holding my Mom tall.  Through it all...she'd brag on my Dad for putting up with all of us girls...and was never happier for him than the day Ryder was born.

I am still not sure how she spread herself like she did.  We were just her niece's but she had three children of her own, six grandchildren, great grandchildren and she somehow always  found a way to reach her love to each and every one of us.

She'd spit nails if she knew I sold our tickets to the Aggie football game, cancelled work, missed Rustin's birthday celebration at school and drove 6-hours one-way to Arkansas only to turn around and come 6-hours  back home the same day  just for her.  She'd say..."Well for heaven's sake..why would you cancel all of that and drive all this won't even get to see me!".    And to that I'd say...because nobody taught us that you do for family better than you did.  You did it for us all those years....and there is no place I'd rather be than in Northwest Arkansas saying good-bye one last time.

So tomorrow morning, I'll put on "the dress" and count my lucky stars that it has bright pink and orange flowers because in her words "Nobody needs to wear black and sob over little ole' me!"....and I'll celebrate the 91 years of life that I was so blessed to be a part of...even if only a few of them.

You surely got the very first parking space at Heaven's gate, because nobody lived life cleaner than you did  Irma K. Whitehorn.  All my love...