The Matriarch

She had many who loyally dedicated themselves to her. Not because of who she was, but because of what she did. She unselfishly dedicated her life to them. And they loved her for it.

Most of the world will never know her. To them she would be insignificant and unimportant. But in her small corner she will be held in the highest regard.

She held no official office or carried any official title. But that did not stop the reverence we felt when we called her, simply…

Nanny.

She had plenty of reasons to be bitter – she outlive 3 of her 10 children, survived an extremely abusive husband, worked nights waiting tables to provide for her family because that same husband drank and gambled most of  his earnings away – but she wasn’t. She loved life and raised her family to be the same. Her only complaint was the slowing down that came with age… she didn’t like it!

Mostly, she didn’t like the fact that it robbed her of her independence. Even though she had spent her life taking care of those she loved and they’d do anything for her because of it, she didn’t want to burden anyone. And in death, she kept to this. No frantic calls to EMS or days spent hovering in the hospital. After visiting with a couple of her children and talking on the phone with others, she went to sleep Friday night and didn’t wake up Saturday morning. Peaceful.

Her real joy came from her family… and it was large. I watched today as the chapel filled. There were a few friends and aquaintances scattered about, but then the family entered and the room was full – 7 surviving children with spouses, 16 grandchildren (many with spouses), 10 great-grandchildren and a herd of extended family.

Family is often messy, sometimes hard, but always beautiful!

Tomorrow, Christmas Eve, will be spent at Nanny’s like we have done for as long as I can remember. Presents will be opened, bellies will be filled and laughs will be heard. It’s what she would want us to do. But it won’t be quite the same without her sitting there quietly basking in the joy that is HER family… her blessing.

Nanny, you will be missed! We love you!!

WHERE… have you… BEEN!?!?!?!?

Crap, I’ve been gone so long that the dashboard on wordpress has completely changed. It took a minute to learn how to navigate it. I said I was going to “lighten” things up a bit around here. Apparently I don’t have much to say if I’m not ranting about something.

My “free” time has been occupied by a few different things lately:

  1. I have a 1/2 finished home-project going on. We’re closing in part of the back porch for our Christmas gift. It involves framing a small wall, installing flooring, painting new floor, sanding new floor so it looks old, applying poly coating to floor, sanding again, another coat of poly, sand again because I did a poor job applying the second coat of poly, applying last coat of poly (whether I do a good job or not), installing 3 windows, and trimming out around the windows.
  2. Practicing guitar.
  3. Stressing over the family business. 2 yrs ago we had approx. 10 employees and COULD NOT keep up. After tomorrow we’ll be down to 3 with NOTHING to do. This economy SUCKS!!!
  4. Looking back over the past 2 yrs. of blog post and realizing I’ve gone practically nowhere spiritually. Same frustrations without any relief  in sight.
  5. Getting educated in all things Twilight… for the second time around!
  6. Going to basketball games.
  7. Stressing over college on SO MANY different levels!
  8. Short stint with Gears of War on Xbox live. It’s a good thing I don’t own a Xbox. I tend to lose hours in front of that thing.
  9. Scaring Tammi with bug horror stories… because it was easy and fun!
  10. But mostly I sit around in a mindless daze… cause that’s my specialty.

There’s probably a few more things I’ve been up to, but that’s all I can think of for now.

personality test

Thank Tammi for throwing this personality test out there. Here are my results:

Architects need not be thought of as only interested in drawing blueprints for buildings or roads or bridges. They are the master designers of all kinds of theoretical systems, including school curricula, corporate strategies, and new technologies. For Architects, the world exists primarily to be analyzed, understood, explained – and re-designed. External reality in itself is unimportant, little more than raw material to be organized into structural models. What is important for Architects is that they grasp fundamental principles and natural laws, and that their designs are elegant, that is, efficient and coherent.

Architects are rare – maybe one percent of the population – and show the greatest precision in thought and speech of all the types. They tend to see distinctions and inconsistencies instantaneously, and can detect contradictions no matter when or where they were made. It is difficult for an Architect to listen to nonsense, even in a casual conversation, without pointing out the speaker’s error. And in any serious discussion or debate Architects are devastating, their skill in framing arguments giving them an enormous advantage. Architects regard all discussions as a search for understanding, and believe their function is to eliminate inconsistencies, which can make communication with them an uncomfortable experience for many.

Ruthless pragmatists about ideas, and insatiably curious, Architects are driven to find the most efficient means to their ends, and they will learn in any manner and degree they can. They will listen to amateurs if their ideas are useful, and will ignore the experts if theirs are not. Authority derived from office, credential, or celebrity does not impress them. Architects are interested only in what make sense, and thus only statements that are consistent and coherent carry any weight with them.

Architects often seem difficult to know. They are inclined to be shy except with close friends, and their reserve is difficult to penetrate. Able to concentrate better than any other type, they prefer to work quietly at their computers or drafting tables, and often alone. Architects also become obsessed with analysis, and this can seem to shut others out. Once caught up in a thought process, Architects close off and persevere until they comprehend the issue in all its complexity. Architects prize intelligence, and with their grand desire to grasp the structure of the universe, they can seem arrogant and may show impatience with others who have less ability, or who are less driven.

Albert Einstein as the iconic Rational is an Architect

Dr. David Keirsey, Robert Rosen, George Soros, Gregory Peck, James Madison, Ludwig Boltzman, Charles Darwin, Adam Smith, and Thomas Jefferson” /> are examples of the Architect Rationals

Sound like me?

Wha’dya see?

GODISNOWHERE

So… what do you see in the above compilation of letters?

Brighter days

You may have noticed the new look around here.

I went back to some of my earlier posts and realized that I had become increasingly “darker” as time went by… from questioning and seeking to gripping and complaining.

I needed to lighten things up a bit, so here we are.

A visual reminder to help keep me from shouting while seeking refuge in the dark corners.

Compassion Bloggers

Compassion Int’l has a group of bloggers (including an 8 yrs old boy) in the Dominican Republic blogging about their experiences. Go check out their experiences and what they’ve had to say about it so far.

Here’s a preview –

“For my life it is the simple revelation that God’s will is most often found when need and ability collide.” Brian Seay

WARNING: You’re heart may hurt a little.

it’ll be okay… I promise

You know that sense of fear and dread most people feel with the unknown, not me.

Slightly out of control + not sure of the final outcome = EXCITING!!!!

But because I know how so many of my friends and family feel, this song came to mind immediately after hearing the election results:

It’s kinda my mantra anyway.

Whatever tomorrow may bring… I’ll be fine.

Here’s to new beginnings.