Sunday, September 10, 2006


Well, Weston went to his first game last night and had such a great time! He had many stories to tell...I am afraid I may lose my ticket to the rest of the games! :) I am glad he enjoyed it though, it was definitely a great experience for him.
Kylie and I just hung out yesterday. We went shopping after I took Kristen's senior pictures and then came home. Kyle has been on my case to clean out the DVR recordings--there are programs on there from 2 years ago (sorry, the John Mayer/Brad Paisley Crossroads episode is staying!!), so I went through the list of recordings and deleted as much as possible. On there, I found where I had recorded Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet In Heaven. I hadn't watched it yet and there was nothing on TV, so I thought I would watch it. It was alright in terms of viewing, but it's great thought-provoking material. Who would the 5 people be that I would meet and why? Now I realize I am not as old as the man in the movie, so I haven't had many friends/family die, but I could definitely think of a few. If you aren't familiar with the movie, it's basically about a man who dies and when he enters heaven, he meets 5 different people that have a lesson to teach him. Many questions from life are answered for him through these meetings. Anyway, I started thinking about who would my 5 people would be if this were a real occurence when we get to heaven and I could only come up with a few. I am sure these people could change as life goes on, but if were to die today, here's who would be there so far and what I could learn from them:

1) Auntie Karen--I think the greatest lesson from this meeting would be asking for her forgiveness for taking the last few years of her life for granted. I have learned from her death that we never know when our last day will come--we are not guaranteed a minimum amount of years. She and I weren't on the best of terms at the time of her death. Yet we had such great times together when I was growing up. She was almost like a big sister to me! However, her last years were spent being sick and I didn't understand why she wasn't as she used to be. I distanced myself from her due to my ignorance. Sure, there were times she did things that just weren't right, but I think my reaction should've been to let more things just go than to hang on to those issues and hold them over the relationship. She was hard to handle the last few years of her life, but those were her last years and I regret the time I lost with her. She was family and I denied her the right to be my Aunt.
2) Gabe Murray--Gabe was a guy that I met in the 8th grade at church camp. Erika and I became really good friends with Gabe and his buddy Bubba Farmer and even kept in touch with letters for a longtime afterwards. I'll never forget getting the letter from Bubba that told me Gabe had passed away. He was so young! I learned a lot from this even at a young age....I learned that being a kid doesn't mean we are immortal. I think at that time I just assumed that I could do anything. I learned that friendships are strengthened through tough times more than the easy times. Several years later, Bubba was at my wedding. I think Gabe's passing created a bond with us and we became great friends and wrote each other for years. I also learned to cry, to feel the pain of what it's like to lose someone.
3) My step-brother I never knew--I never met him. He was a boy that was fathered by my real Dad with a woman and he passed away at about 14 years old. I learned that things aren't always what they seem. People aren't who they are. I never knew that my real Dad had fathered another child (in his defense, he didn't know until then either). I had assumed in my naiveness that people are good and they are true to their word. That boy's existence showed me that I placed my Dad on a pedestal that even he couldn't stand on. I learned that people fall. They make mistakes. They are only human.
4) "Mutt" Bell- Kyle's great grandma passed away at nearly 100 years old. Sure, she wasn't always in her right mind at the end, but that lady knew me and treated me as one of her own from day one. She taught me that I was important to at least someone in Kyle's family. I never felt unwelcomed when that lady was around. She would seek me out, hug me, and call me by name. She was a bright light in an otherwise dark place for me. She was funny with the stories she would tell and the things she would say. I want to be like her when I grow up! She taught me that no matter who we are, we are someone to somebody. I admired her respect. I admired her willingness to not judge, but rather welcome everyone.
The last spot is reserved for later. I can think of people that are still living who have taught me a lot in this life. I know there are people that could shed some light on some unanswered questions that I don't even realize right now. Anyway, I enjoyed the lesson in the movie (actually based on a book). I am who I am because of the people in my life that have shaped and molded me with their insight, their connection to me. Sometimes life plays out in a way we don't understand and may not even like at times. But there is a reason for it. People enter our lives and exit our lives at a time that is not for us to decide. And with their visit is a meaning, a purpose.
So, thanks to all of you that I have crossed at some point in life. Thank you for making me who I am today.

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