To My Father

Dad,

Don’t let the jealous words, threats, and bullying of a childish individual drag you down. Don’t give him that power. I was not kidding about the Antisocial Personality Disorder. It is a serious problem.  They use ANY means necessary (words, threats, deviance, destruction, power plays, BRAINWASHING) to try and fill the void that their own self-functions, identities, and interpersonal functioning’s cannot achieve. In laments terms this means his insecurities and fears are what drives him to do these unspeakable acts we have come to expect.

You must realize by now that you have everything he could ever want. He made a life mission to drag you down in the mud, and you have proven time and again that you are above it all.

You have riches that he could never achieve. You have parents who chose you. THEY CHOSE YOU! Don’t you ever forget that! This current situation obviously sucks, but you got to see them. They welcomed you in. They welcomed us all in. Cherish what you can. Life is too short to dwell on his words.  You cannot change the past. That is why it is already behind us.

You should only look to the past to see where it has gotten you now. The greatness you have achieved! You have a HUGE family. Look around you! You have a wife who loves you. She stands tall and proud with you even at your craziest moments. She sees what the rest of us see. You have three daughters who love you and think about you every day. So what if the past was filled with “dark moments”. You STILL stepped up to the plate and did what was best! I regret nothing of our past. I live in the here and now, and it’s a great place to be!

I may have had some rough patches in my childhood, but they made me the person I am now. I do not ever want an apology for that. You did what you could and that is enough! Now, I have added to our family, with a new crazy son-in-law for you to pick on! I have added two BEAUTIFUL children, and they think the world of you! They love their Grandpa Scott and Grandma Shell (muahahaha!). Again, I may have started my life path a little late, but I have made the most of it, just like you! We try our best and let no one get in our way! I only look to the future. No one will tear me down!

Racheal forever in the middle (I love you!). She has your temper and takes S#&* from no one! She fights tooth and nail for everything and she should be proud of the woman she is becoming! You helped her get there! She loves us all unconditionally, and would fight to the death for any of us! I cannot wait to see where life takes her next! She is another great jewel to add to your riches.

Krissy, the youngest, but the smartest! Her achievement list goes for miles, just like yours! She shows the drive and determination that I have seen in your eyes! She is going to go places and will achieve greatness like no one before her. You helped to shape her into that great person and now you get to see how far she goes! Don’t let anyone rain on that.

You also raised a son. A person who I remember going places with us, playing, laughing, and full of light. Look at him now! His light shines still. He is smart, a free spirit, and not ashamed of who he is. I don’t have the same connection with him as Racheal, but I still call him family, and I love him just the same! You stepped up, when you didn’t have to. You could have “washed your hands” too, but you didn’t.  That is something only a real man would have courage to do.  Thank you for keeping him in our lives.

You have friends, family, and so much more.  You had the Zoo crew, which was like a band of “dads” for me growing up. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything!!! I love talking about all the memories growing up in and around your garages! You have been a mechanic, a race car driver, a mover, a dishwasher, a ski instructor, a coach, a team player, a driver, a father, a grandfather, a husband, a hamburgler, and so much more! You have a million wonderful memories, and a million more to make. Do not let ANYONE cast a shadow over the things you have done! Be proud of where you are! Be proud of who you are! Be proud of everything you have achieved! I know we are all proud to be able to call you ours!  I love you! WE ALL LOVE YOU!

-Jessica Lynn Govertsen (Fox)♥

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Nonsense I Call Thee Friendship

Peach candy canes and dum-dee-dum-dum pops.

Scrubbing floors with tooth brushes due to coffee pots.

 

Cheering, theater, dancing fools…

Classroom meetings become friendship tools.

 

Ducks in tequila the brown, not the Rose.

“I’m crispy” says the Green Gummy Bear, I suppose.

 

Gnomes and faeries frolic though the Candy Land free as can be,

Late night escapades to see where the ocean and the sky do meet.

 

Tap dancing Princess, “But, I’m a cheerleader” she says.

“Once Upon A Mattress” we jumped belting “I’m Shy” once again.

 

Big dreams and crazy schemes,

Who dares say no to you!

Massachusetts, Connect- I-cut, for seagulls and Starbuck’s

Tweeter then “gweeter”

Troubled duo runs amok.

 

Now the time ticks on

Memories of this life won’t fade

We could all write huge novels from the memories you gave.

Love you!

 

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Night Walker

The year was 2002. I was had just moved in to my Aunt and Uncle’s house Charlotte, NC. I was highly independent, and loved taking the trolley and bus home from work every day. The nights however were always a little scary.  The neighborhood we lived in was near the area of town that most called the “ghetto”. To get home from work I had to ride the bus straight through the center of this area. I was always feeling a little on edge going through due to all the horror stories in the paper and on the news.

One night in particular, I got off of work a little later than I was used to. I believe it was around eleven pm.   I took the trolley form my job to the bus station to catch a ride home.  Upon arrival, the station was eerily quiet, for I was use to the hustle and bustle of either the morning commute or the evening commute home. This late at night none of the shops in the station were open and only a few people were waiting at the nearly deserted station. I enjoyed the quiet, but still felt at unease. I decided to take a seat near the terminal for my bus and wait for it to arrive. Suddenly I noticed a person standing about ten to fifteen feet away from me staring in my direction. Of course, my imagination immediately transformed that person in to a mugger seeing a young girl all alone in a huge city. I was suddenly filled with thoughts of terrible things and thoughts of all the shows, movies and books I had seen about such a scene. To my relief my bus had arrived in that moment and I did not give them a single thought. I climbed aboard the bus and got ready for my twenty minute journey home. I looked up from my seat only to see the stranger from the bus station suddenly board the bus. I was a little nervous, but I figured I was being quite silly and started to read, trying to focus my attention elsewhere.

Approaching my stop, I went to pull the string telling the driver that I needed to get off. To my surprise it had already been pulled! I gathered myself up and climbed off the bus, quickly heading towards my home. I then noticed I was not alone on my walk. The person from the station, and now the bus was not far behind me. Now, I was defiantly scared! I of course walked faster and quickly reached my yard. Stopping on the porch I swiftly turned around to “catch” the person who was surely following me. Only to my surprise they kept walking. In fact they kept walking to the house across the street. The strange mugger I imagined in my head was none other than my neighbor who worked late nights! Boy, did I feel stupid! I eventually told the man about what happened and we had a good laugh. I still feel embarrassed any time I think about it.

 Much like the “victims” in Brent Staple’s Night Walker, I too automatically assumed the worst, just because of the person’s looks and the scene around me. It was nice to read a story from the point-of-view of the other person.  I definitely related to this story. In paragraph two, Staple’s writes: “It was clear that she thought herself the quarry of a mugger, a rapist or worse.” This was clearly how I felt in my experience with this situation. I feel horrible now for how I acted, but of course I still am glad I was precautious just in case it had not been a neighbor or a coincidence.

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One of many defining moments…

When I think of defining moments in my life, many things come to mind. The one that keeps coming to the forefront of my mind is life before and after the death of my best friend. My life was very different after she passed away. So different in fact I lost who I once was.

From the first day she entered my math class as the new girl, to the final day I saw her face. I called her my friend. Middle school though high school, we had our ups and downs. Life for us was always about having fun, being social and always getting into some kind of trouble. The last three years of her life we were very inseparable. We lived together, laughed together, and enjoyed the same things. We were always going on some adventure, always looking for the next thing to experience. Then suddenly it was all over. I remember only bits and pieces of the day she passed away. In fact, I barely remember the next month after. I was truly devastated.
May first is a day that will forever haunt my mind. I changed that day.  I became distant from everyone in my life. I turned to drinking to try to solve the pain. Of course it was a dumb thing to do, but at that moment in time, I really didn’t care. She was my best friend, my family and one of the only people in my life at that time, that I was close to. For quite a long time I lost myself. I was no longer excited about anything. I found enjoyment in nothing. It is a time I would rather forget.

After months of spiraling down, I finally “woke up” and realized that this was not what she would want. I was supposed to be with her that day, but for reasons I still don’t understand, I was not. I lived. I needed to live and stop punishing myself for things I could not control. It was a long dark road, but eventually I made it through and I know I am now stronger because of it.

Even now, it is still hard to write about this. Hard to write, and be able to not write a novel on how things happened, how things went afterward, and how it still affects me even at this moment. I lost my best friend, and through that experience I learned a lot about who I was, who I am, and who I could be. This one defining moment happened almost seven years ago. One moment I will never forget, that led me to have many other defining moments. Shaping me in to the person I am now.

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Positve change through death?

Losing someone you care about is a tragic and unforgettable moment in time. It is also a moment which changes your life forever. No matter who you lost or how you lost them, the feeling is relatively the same. Eventually you begin to think about your own life. You may think about how you would like to change things, or maybe how you could have done some things differently in the past. I’ve been there many times in my life. Every loss affected me in very different ways. It is through these experiences, I have come to realize something very intriguing. Death, although considered a sad, dark and sometimes very tragic thing, can ultimately lead to positive change. Whether in the lives of those around you, or in your own life, it changes things in ways you never thought possible. How could death, a sad and depressing subject, create positive changes which influence your life forever? It seems a strange concept to grasp. I am not saying death is a great thing, and I am certainly not saying that loss is a gift in disguise. What I am saying is that when you lose someone no matter how close they were to you, you change. From my experiences those changes more often than not are positive.

It all starts here. The reason I am writing this today. My most recent loss was followed by my recent decision to positively change due to that loss. This past year I lost the one person who inspired me the most in life, my great grandmother Anna. Our family always affectionately called her Ganna.  She was a classic little old lady; always seen wearing a white wig, thick glasses and a brilliant smile. Her hands were delicate, wrinkled with time, and her skin much the same. Yet, by looking at her you just knew she led a long and productive ninety six years. She loved knitting, crocheting, and most of all her enormous family. She was a woman who had an endless and unconditional love for everyone in her family, as well as her community. In my eyes she was everything, an inspiration, a teacher, mentor, friend and of course my great Grandmother. Unfortunately, this past year she had passed away. She always told my mother that I was destined for great things. After her passing my mother told me again of the many conversations they shared. I began to think of everything that woman accomplished in life, everything she experienced, all she knew. I thought of all the experiences we shared together and how I wanted to be able to live a full life much as she had. Ganna had died peacefully, truly unafraid and welcoming of the inevitable. She lived her life, and she was ready to “go meet god”. She said that she had done so much on this earth and was ready to “go home”. That peace, that surety she felt sparked a new light on my own life. I wanted to be able to feel the same way. I wanted to know, that when my “time came” I too, could feel that peaceful calm. That certainty, that I had truly lived a potentially full, amazing and loving life. It was then I decided it was time to start really living and stop just existing. I wanted to be able to share stories, much like she did. I wanted more than what I had.  Immediately I began to think of all the things I wanted to do. All of the things I wanted to be able to share with my children and eventually grandchildren. I decided then and there to do the one thing I have always wanted to do most. Attend college, and earn a degree. Three days later the application was filled out and I was on my way to fulfilling that dream. I knew I needed to change. I needed a positive change. Her death although a sad thing, may very well be the one thing that ultimately changed my life forever. Her life and death played a major role in how I became the person I am now.

Similarly, I have seen this positive change that comes after death in an entire community. Approximately around midnight on New Year’s Eve 2002, sirens could be heard all over town. These were not from the locals celebrating or from someone getting pulled over, or even a fire. Something even more horrible had happened in a small and mostly quiet community.  Three of the local high school kids had gotten in to a horrible accident. One of them was lost forever. The entire community mourned. Everyone had some story involving what they were doing when the accident happened, or how they knew the people that were involved in the accident. The halls of the local high school were quiet, very unlike the usual banter, yelling, and chatter usually heard between classes. After a few days there was an assembly to remember Sean French. He was the student who sadly passed away in that accident. Forever he was marked as a victim of drunk driving. The principle of the school started the assembly by explaining the best he could, the events of what had happened, and the availability of councilors should we need them. He then announced that the school was bringing back the SADD program (students against drunk driving). This was the first noticeable change in our community. Over the next year many other things in our community began to change. Sean’s run was created. It was a run to help raise awareness about the effects of drinking and driving. People from all over began coming to this annual event. The whole community participates in many ways during the honoring of Sean’s life. Sean’s death, though tragic, changed an entire community forever. We now look out for each other more. We all help try to put a stop to the partying and drinking that young teens much like Sean and his friends regularly participated in.  I feel our community changed greatly, when we all lost a fellow member of our tight knit town. We went from a town that denied the existence of the foolish decisions our younger members were making, to a town that now prides itself in working together to help prevent any further tragedies of this nature.  Even going as far as to reach out to other communities to help them educate and provide information to help stop teens from drinking and driving. This further proves that death really can bring about positive change.

Finally, I have found a way that is perhaps an easier conveyance to connect loss and positive change. I speak of the biggest loss this country has ever faced. Of course I mean the World Trade Center and 9/11 attacks.  A whole country faced loss that day. A whole country felt the massive emotions that this tragedy placed upon us. Did we, as a country change that day? Yes, we certainly did. Those changes we have made will last forever. We really will never forget. Our country became more unified that day. No matter where you were or what you were doing you felt the same mix of emotions: fear, sadness and eventually outrage. We all experienced some degree of those emotions. Flags and other representations of our country flew off the shelves. Flags were placed everywhere to signify our unity as a country. Before this, we were a country who seemed very much consumed with what our own individual needs were. We strayed from helping others, from being families. We were too busy in our own lives to really know what was going on around us. Suddenly, it seemed the world stopped. Then, when we could all start to process what had happened, many changes took place. Strangers began helping other strangers. Families communicated more. We all suddenly had more pride in our country.  I know it is a little touchy to speak of positive changes arising out of this horrendous event. I know you may be thinking, how could anything positive come out of this? Just take a look at the support the firefighters, the policemen and other people who risked everything to help those in need. A whole country rose up in the face of 9/11, gathered together and faced it together. America became once again a unified and prided country. This in my eyes is definitely a positive change. The loss of all those lives brought people together. It made communities stronger. It seemed to make families more whole. Things that seemed like they didn’t matter anymore to the U.S, like pride, unity and family, suddenly became a forefront in our lives. This massive loss affected us in so many ways, both negative and positive. What I emphasize here is the point that, much like the other two previous examples, death can bring about positive change. In this case it is the unification of us as a whole, and the return of pride in our country.

To sum it all up, death affects us all in different ways. Sometimes, it changes us in ways we never imagined. We can be so hurt, and lost after losing someone; we don’t realize that from those losses arises an eventual positive change. From a personal level, to a small community and finally as an entire country we can clearly see that even though death is considered a dark, depressing and sometimes very tragic thing, it can in fact shed light and bring out things in you that you did not know existed. Loss forever changes your life, as well as the lives of those around you.

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How to become a Successful Procrastinator:

How to become a Successful Procrastinator:

 

Procrastination is a highly over looked art. Some people are so goal orientated, motivated and prepared, that they have no time to procrastinate. I think it’s a shame. In the past, I have been considered a professional at the art of procrastinating. Here I have combined some simple and easy steps that can teach even the most prevalent non-procrastinator how to succeed in this fascinating art.

Step one is to create a list of all the things you want to get done for the day. They can be small things, like putting away your laundry, tidying up the kitchen, paying some bills and so on and so forth. Now, make sure you write down everything you want to accomplish for the day. You will also want to make sure that everything is spelled correctly and is in an appropriate order which chronologically fits in to your day. Re-write your list if necessary to ensure you wrote everything correctly.  I repeat this step at least twice. It is a perfect way to waste time. Finished? Good step one to successful procrastination is complete.

After you wasted all that time creating your list, it is time for step two. Lose the list! In my house this is a very easy task. Leave it on any table for a few minutes, and it will magically disappear! If this does not work, you have many other options. For example if you are female, a great place to put your list, would be in the bottomless pit we lovingly refer to as a purse. If you are male I suggest placing the list in a sock drawer, your wallet, or if you are anything like the males in my house, tape it to the seat of the toilet. For, you will never find it there again.

This next step is one of my favorite ways to procrastinate. Mindless computer time! Facebook, Twitter, Pineterest, Youtube and your email are all creative ways to waste time doing things other than any of the goals you put on your list. Simply declare you are only going to check your accounts and statuses quickly, and then you will get to your list. The most important part of this step is to do exactly the opposite of your previous statement. I like to start with my email and work from there. After going through all your spam, forwards, and other various emails, you are then ready to move on to other vastly important sites like Facebook. Facebook is the ultimate way to pass precious daylight. Whether you are checking up on what other people are doing, looking at photos, watching videos or even sharing posts that interest you, time will pass quickly. A quick look online, suddenly turns into a three hour mind numbing adventure of living vicariously through others.  Feel that feeling of laziness yet? If so, you are almost a true procrastinator!

Step four is all about using kids as an excuse for procrastination. Kids really are a great way to really get you in the mood to procrastinate. From carrying out their mind numbing “I wants”, to participating in the seemingly endless “mommy/daddy watch what I am doings”, you can spend a lot of time not doing anything from your list in step one. If you do not have any children, you could think about borrowing some. I am sure you know someone who would love a break, and some quiet time to themselves. Don’t have either? Well, then my best suggestion for this step would be to act like any child you could think of.  Watch some cartoons, color outside of the lines), perhaps play dress up, dance around the house, or my all-time favorite child activity nap time! Nothing quite says procrastination like a good afternoon nap!

Still have time on your hands? Don’t even think of grabbing that list. We are now on step five. You have successfully wasted time with making a list, hiding said list, surfing the web while living vicariously through others, acting like a child and perhaps even taking a nap! Now, we must work on something important. No, I do not mean the stuff you are supposed to do today. I mean something even better. It’s time to do something that actually can be put off until tomorrow!  My personal favorite is uploading music to an ipod. I could spend hours downloading and listening to all sorts of music, pod casts, and other various time passing devices that the great people of Apple have to offer. No ipod, no problem! How about you read a book? Specifically choose a non-required piece to read. Too much effort you say? Perfect! You are almost a master of procrastination.

Time for step number six: channel surfing!  First you must find the remote. Next, find a comfortable place on your couch, plop down, and hit the power button on your television. You now must find a show to watch. It is really important to not use a guide to find which show you would like to view.  A true procrastinator knows flipping through the hundreds of channels is the only way to go. A professional procrastinator also knows to only watch pieces of shows and/or movies, and never watch them from beginning to end. This way, you never have to say you watched a full show or movie, and thus have an adequate excuse for spending too much time watching said television shows.

Here we are at the final step. Go ahead and grab that list (if you can still find it that is). Now is the time to stress out and panic over all the time you wasted doing non-essential tasks. Repeatedly stare at your list with a look of horror, as you realize the day is coming to an end, and you have successfully finished nothing that you intended to do from that list. You have two options here. You either try to do at least one task from the list, or you again hide the list and pretend you never found it. Either is acceptable, because both options are choices a good procrastinator would make.

Congratulations! You have completed all the above steps and are now a professional procrastinator. All of your goals that you had planned for the day have successfully been averted by other mindless tasks. You can repeat any of the above steps as many times as you want in order to achieve as much wasted time as you need. There are many other ways to become knowledgeable in procrastination, but I have some Facebook time I need to catch up on. That being said happy procrastinating!

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Looking back on a transformation

The transformation of a butterfly to a mother:  

 

Life before and after becoming pregnant with my first child was a lot like night and day for me. My life changed so completely it was almost unrecognizable. I went from being the life of the party, a wanderer, and carefree, to becoming a homebody with great responsibilities, a positive outlook on life, and worried about everything (much like many new moms are)! It was a great defining moment in my life, and one I will never forget.

Before the birth of my son, I guess you could say I was a “social butterfly”. I was always out somewhere, always with friends and always having a good time. I was young and just wanted to live life to the fullest. I was having fun, but I was never really happy.  I was in this endless cycle of having fun and trying to be care free. Some use to call me a “free spirit”.  It was never what I really wanted, and I found myself trapped. Growing up I had many life experiences and events, that I feel made me grow up to fast and I reacted, by rebelling against growing up and apparently making very poor decisions. Around the age of seventeen I began a vicious cycle or drinking, hanging out with a different crowd and giving up on school and anything else that I felt was not worth my time. I burned many bridges, including with some of my own family. I lived place to place, crashing at various friends’ homes, sometimes not even knowing where I would go next. Sadly enough, those things just didn’t seem to matter to me. It was almost as if I had given up on any sort of real life. This cycle went on for quite a few years. I eventually ran into an old friend of mine Craig Fox. We talked and laughed about old times, we hung out quite a bit. We decided we should try to be more than friends. We had a lot in common, shared many of the same views, and even confessed to a mutual crush from years ago. We dated for many months still continuing to hang out with mutual friends, party and just generally have a good time. I was still the social butterfly, just as he also enjoyed the company of many friends. We had no clue what was about to happen.  May of 2007, approximately nine months in to our relationship, we found out two would now be three. Suddenly, the life we were both leading, didn’t fit at all.  That’s when everything changed.

After finding out I was pregnant, I didn’t know what to think.  Here I was twenty-two, barely holding a job, living a life of partying, having fun and throwing all cautions to the wind. Surely no place for a baby! I soon found myself nose deep in any book I could get my hands on. I spent hours in the local library trying to figure out the best ways to care for a child and myself during a pregnancy.  No longer was I carefree person with poor decisions. Suddenly, I was this pregnant lady, who tried to eat the right things, get the right medical care, take the right vitamins, and figure out the best way to afford all the expenses that came with a child. I even tried to fix relationships with some of my family members. I knew things would never be the same with them, but thankfully my family is forgiving.  Mother and I became close after she found out of the pregnancy. Of course, she was not very happy about it at first, but I think she saw the same changes I did. I was finally getting my life on track. Craig was able to get a job with his father, which was definitely a great stress reliever.  It paid really well, and the owners of the company were very nice and family orientated. They understood that Craig wanted to play a major role in the pregnancy, so they were flexible with his schedule and my appointments with the doctor. I soon realized that I had purpose in life. I no longer needed to be in the vicious cycle I had put myself in. I could still be a “free spirit”, but now I had to control most of my old impulses and decisions. I decided to make more conscious and rational decisions, which affected not only me, but the baby and Craig. I also became more aware of the people in my life. Most of the people I called friends, suddenly seemed to drift away like I had the plague. Some had jokingly stated that they didn’t want to “catch the baby disease”. Apparently being around me would suddenly increase their changes of also becoming pregnant. I went from their “social drinking butterfly”, to the “boring pregnant lady”.  I really felt as if my world really shifted from night to day. I was no longer concerned over where the next party was, or who was doing what. I finally focused on what mattered.  I finally realized that I didn’t have to go with the flow anymore. I could grow up, and it was going to be alright. I knew I needed to set better examples. I wanted to better myself, and my life for what would soon become a new family. I wanted the things I felt that I never had growing up. I wanted a real family, filled with love, memories, knowledge, and stable, healthy environment. I wanted my child to grow up and be proud of his parents.

Life before and after becoming pregnant with my first child really was a night and day experience for me. I was a girl who wandered around from place to place, never knowing what was going to happen next. I was a “social butterfly” that cared only to have fun, party, drink, and generally have no cares or thoughts on the consequences of anything I did. Then suddenly, I became pregnant. I became someone who didn’t care about the social circles. I didn’t want to be out partying all the time. I suddenly cared about my actions and what followed. I became someone who wanted more out of life. Who knew something that starts out so tiny, could change someone so completely? Who knew that one little life could change not only myself, but my now husband, Craig, into two people who seem entirely different from the people they once were? My son is four now. Looking back, it seems like a fuzzy dream to think about life before he was born. Some things, I will never forget, while others I am happy to erase from my mind. Every day he is a constant reminder to me to always set the best examples and never look back.  I could not imagine life without him. I know I would not be here writing this today, if it were not for him and now his little sister too.  They both have made me and my husband better people. I really did change from a “social butterfly” to a mother. I couldn’t be happier.

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