Thursday, December 30, 2004

In ten days I'll be running my 2nd half-marathon--13.2 (I believe) miles. It's a long run and so far I think I'm kinda ready. My longest run so far has been 8 miles, which is substantially lower than what it should be, but if I'm at least up to 10 before the day of the race, I should be fine. Anyway, it's strange because for the first time EVER I am seriously lacking in the motivation department when it comes to exercising. I don't know why, but for some reason I got really really lazy over the fall semester--maybe it was all the running around I was doing during the day, I don't know, but hopefully I can get it back on track. On top of that, I need to to lose the weight I've actually gained over the semester. I've maintained my weight well through college because of regular exercise and this semester has been so bad that I've actually gained. Yikes. What's more frightening is how easy it was to do!
Anyone else lacking motivation? Maybe we could start a club and inspire one another? Or like iron sharpens iron....?

Friday, December 17, 2004

Hey all!
I know I sent out a forwarded message to some of you that read my blog, but I thought I'd post this also. One of our cartoonists at my university's newspaper just won an award for his cartooning through MTVU. Most of his stuff is really funny--Farside-ish. So if you like that kinda stuff-you should check out his site.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Wow, it's been a little while since I wrote a lengthy entry on here. I really missed doing this. It seems like the only writing I've been doing lately has been for school papers or journalism assignments. Don't get me wrong, I love the journalism assignments and the papers aren't too bad either, but after a while I feel like I just need to purge my thoughts, you know? It's not the same thing to talk to someone about it. So many thoughts and feelings; it's time for a late-night session. (Well, it's not that late--10:40 pm)
On Friday I'll be heading back down to Tucson to see one of my very best friends graduate from UA. She's not "technically" graduated yet because she'll take another class next semester to finish her degree and she'll be running track, but NCAA finals will be in California when she's supposed to graduate (same time I'll be getting married, so she won't be there, unfortunately). I'm really looking forward to going down there and visiting her--I miss her sooo much! On top of that, I have missed Tucson a lot and though I've been preocuppied with school and such, it's still been on my mind. Granted, my friend Lynn isn't down there anymore (she was the other intern) and now she's back at Drake University in Iowa. We still keep in touch, but my mind flashes back to nights on the town, chats in the newsroom, laying out on rafts in the pool for hours, talking non-stop for a while and then just dazing at the sky for the rest. Man, it truly was a spectacular summer. I miss the bread/sandwich place (Beyond Bread), home of the very best sandwiches on the planet. I miss the coffee shop that's a few miles away from the office, just south of downtown, where they'd make you whatever kind of coffee you wanted and if you didn't like it, they'd make you another one; free of charge. If you were short on cash, they'd give you the drink or whatever and keep a running tab; pay it when you return, they'd say. So great.
I just love everything about that experience, aside from the fact that I couldn't bring my church and friends down there with me. It was my own individual life; make up my own schedule, do what I wanted to do, go to bed when I wanted, get home when I wanted--answer to no one. Not half bad. But I have to say that it still wasn't home, which I've realized since is not actually a place. It's a feeling.
I no longer live in Gilbert, the place where I grew up, yet everytime I go back and smell the dairies nearby (yah, sounds gross, I know) or run in the park where my numerous cross country meets were held, it still feels like home.
While I was in Tucson, and I still remember this distinctly, I felt like, well, not completely there. I remember being at the bar with my friends on the last night and though I was sad about leaving, I missed home. More specifically, Obadiah.
Okay, so I'm cheesy, but I'm serious. I felt alone in a crowd and though my happiness is not contingent on his presence, it certainly feels more like home when he's there. I could move anywhere, at any time; as long as he's there with me, I'll be happy.

I'm sure you've had enough of that, so, long story short, I'm still excited about revisiting my "old" "haunts."

Other side of the wall 12/15/04

Every night at eleven, she bathes them
On the other side of the wall
Yells bouncing off of the ceiling and into my room.
I remember the time I heard her screaming
At two in the morning
In the same place she bathes them.
I was afraid
For her
and the kids.
I scribbled in my notebook
Cradling the cordless in my hand and
Pressed the on button
The sounds stopped
And resumed again the next night
All over again I heard her screaming.
Again I scribbled.

I haven't heard her scream since
Though the kids continue banging around
On the other side of the wall.

It was the latter part of May. Towels, clothes and hangers were strewn about my room and it was dark outside. I could hardly contain my excitement.
She picked up and I practically squealed into the phone like a giddy 12-year-old girl who received her first phone call from the boy she liked. He had proposed.
She was excited, asked me to recount every minute detail from beginning to end, so I did.
A flower brought in one, by one. Words, notes, kneeling...yes! Big hug, shaky legs.
How was her family doing? I asked.
Her father had finally found a great job, one he liked much better than his previous and afforded him enough money and time to fix up the backyard of their new house. He was constructing a waterfall and was excited about it, she told me.
Mom wasn't so happy about moving in the first place, but she was getting used to it. She'd found a job in a dental office like her old job, my friend said.
Finally, things were stabilizing.
It was the beginning of June when I got the e-mail: call immediately.
Though early on a Sunday morning, I grabbed the phone.
What was wrong? Was she okay? What had happened that she'd write such a short note?
Bravely, through exhausted words, she told me.
Her dad had died suddenly the morning after we spoke in the latter part of May. Literally twelve hours after our conversation.
I wanted to fly to her rescue; hug her and cry with her, for her.
Unfathomable. My superman-dad had almost met the same fate just about three years earlier, but had survived.
It wasn't his time.
Now I sat in stunned, shocked, shaken silence. What could I say, do?
I called my mom and for the first time since finding out, tears spilled out as the words followed suit.
I left that day with mixed feelings.
Feelings that still haven't ceased.
How do I comfort? What do I say?
I pray for them; my friend and her mother.
It's been 7 months full of firsts; first Father's Day without him. First Thanksgiving without him.
Now it will be the first Christmas.
Such a joyous time for so many, yet I can't help but think of people in situations such as those my friend is experiencing, will experience.
Soldiers won't return home from battle. Loved ones will yet again grieve another year without someone special who perished in 9/11. In Iraq. In Afghanistan. In the Pentagon. On the streets and in the home.
At this time of year, when my mind becomes bogged down by gift receipts, credit card bills and numerous holiday responsibilities, it's also a time to reflect on the freedoms I have, the time that I, as well as my loved ones have, and what I can do to love someone else.
I love my friend and her mother very much. There's nothing else in the world that I'd like more than to help them get through the season, but I know there's really not too much I can do except pray for their comfort and continue to be open to my friend to talk to. I wonder how many others are coping with this sense of helplessness and just the feeling of uselessness.

jr prayer 12/15/04

It's quiet Lord, outside
the darkness has settled over the
sun. And now I'm here thinking,
praying for someone.
I know she knew you at some time,
Even sought your direction and was
so close. Now she's struggling,
needing medication and doctor visits
just to get through the day.
You're there to heal the sick, the broken
and the bruised. You're there to comfort the hurting,
ease the pain of the abused.
Lord, come now, with your arms open-stretched
To hold each one that grieves, openly
Empty on this night, this day.
Remind them you would never give them
more than they can bear. That you desire
to bring them through their loss,
bring them through the nightmare.
I know You are here
and You are there.

(As I believe God said--'it is finished')

Thursday, December 02, 2004

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man, I have a headache. Stress and finals; crazy days. Oh my.
So that's me right now. More importantly, please pray for Obadiah. He's got a terrible TERRIBLE cold right now. He's had a massively sore throat, has felt sick to his stomach and just weak. He always goes to work, no matter how sick he feels, but this illness was bad enough. Anyway, he'll probably still be feeling rotten through the weekend, but keep him in your prayers. As for me, pray that my health continues to be good because I have three more class days, and several finals and papers. Almost there!
Anyhoo, more later.