Life's Sweet Journey

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Our Middle

What have I been spending time doing? I have been spending time trying to figure it all out, trying to understand, wanting to make myself get on here and let it all flow through my fingers. So I sit down to write; something that I have so wanted to do in these past two weeks and yet something I have been dreading. I wasn't sure if I would post this at all. Part of me even briefly considered just giving up on blogging altogether... 1.) because I wasn't sure if I wanted to or even how to go about posting this and 2.) because I knew that I also couldn't go on blogging if I didn't write about it, because to just continue on as if the world was as it always had been was an impossibility. But so often I have wanted to come on here; to lose myself in someone else's space for a while and then to share in my own.  I knew I couldn't give this space up because this blog and this community have given me so much.  I have found solace, friendship, warmth and support.

I also found it strange that of all the weeks for the post topic to be about our biggest heartbreak that would be last week, in the week when the world dropped out from under our feet. In the week that I experienced my biggest heartbreak and devastation. My brother died last Saturday. It was sudden, it was unexpected, yet it was also something we have spent much of our lives dreading in the back of our minds. If you had read this post you may understand more as to why. These are words my dad had put down, that "although solid in his recovery, the beast that is addiction caused him to relapse one final time." Final is something that I hate having to use in my vocabulary. I don't even know how to grasp the concept of that when it comes to my brother. There is a part of me that wants to cry every minute or scream at the top of my lungs, but my body won't let me. There is a part of me that wants to feel angry, but I can't. A part of me that wants to feel that at  he is at peace, and while I know he is, I am not there yet. Instead, I don't really feel anything.  Not a numbness really, just nothing. There is such a large part of me that still doesn't believe it is real. A part of me that is choosing to do and plan and prepare so that I don't have to fully face the understanding of what is happening.  I don't know if that is best but everyone says that people grieve in all kinds of different ways. That's what they keep telling me anyways.

For now, I do not know what else to say so instead I will share with you what I had already written and read at his funeral...

There is a quote I read in a book by Sarah Dessen that says, “There has to be a middle. Without it nothing can ever truly be whole."
From the second I saw this quote I thought “well, yes, that’s definitely the truth. So fitting for my brother.” 

John Wayne, you were the epitome of the middle child, maybe because you had it coming and going.  During the week I got to play the oldest while Patrick was the baby. And there you were in the middle.  Officially you and I were supposed to share that role but when Jaclynn was with us I still think I let you go ahead and take it, since you never really liked to share much anyways.  And with your wit and charm made it all your own.

Though our family will never physically be whole anymore we will always be whole.  You will always still be there in the middle. In the middle of all of us.  We just have an extra bit of crazy with us now, which is fitting given we are and always will be "those crazy Fosters.” 
I don’t know if you knew this but sometime in the past year I started to twirl my hair.  I thought “well I have joined the crazy hair twirling side of the sibling group now”.  When I found myself twirling the hair on the back of my head (John Wayne did this so much as a kid his hair always stood straight up on the back of his head, no matter how much you tried to control it) in the car just a few days ago I thought "oh man, I’m really in for it now." But it was nice, because now anytime I find myself pausing with my hands in my hair I will be able to stop and think of you.  I can still remember when you had that alfalfa pulled so tightly on the top of your head that when you shaved your hair off you had a huge bald spot back there because the hairs had just been magically stuck up in place from all of your incessant twirling.  It was a good look, but it will never beat the hair do that got you escorted out of chapel when we were at TCS.  

I can still remember the scene you caused walking in with your bright blond Eminem hair bobbing down the isle. Mimi had to come pick you up and take you to get it dyed back brown before you were allowed to return to school.  I can only imagine what she had to say when you walked in up there.  I can just hear her now, after she gives you a big hug, saying “Oh John Wayne!!” and then licking her fingers and trying to rub your tattoos to see if maybe they are just sharpie. Because, while I assume that God gave you a good little spit shine on some of those tattoos, mainly the ones you tried to give yourself, he also let you keep a good majority of them.  You would be one who would make it into heaven with most of his tattoos still lingering. I know you got to keep the one for May May.

John Wayne, please know that she will always know you and that you will always be a part of who she is and that we are blessed to have one of the best parts of you here with us.  It’s not as if we cant see you in her already.  She was beat boxing to me and Wally just the other night. She definitely has a good bit of her daddy in her. And while that may scare some of us, we know that she will be alright.  Because when that wild hair of a two year old becomes a wild hair of a young adult she will have the best of both sides of this world in her corner. You could not have picked a better person to be the mother of your child and she will have Kaley to look towards as an example, but she will also have you up there helping God keep watch over her wild ways in order guide her feet to a solid and steady foundation with which to walk from.  

I love you.  We all love you and you will always be with us, because you are our middle!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Men are cats, REAL men are dogs!

Today on Whatever Wednesdays... Girl Code!

I watched this show with Wally once and thought to myself (or said out loud to be more exact) "What in the world is this craziness?" And then I was hooked and we watched like three straight episodes. She's was just like... "It's Girl Code, duh!" So since Shay would love for us to share some girl code of our own I am going to start with the lovely subject of men and what mothers sometimes say about them! So here goes Melanie's girl code...

"Mother always said, never trust a man who tells you to trust him." - Wisegal (Lifetime movie)
Well, that mama's been around awhile and she knows her stuff! A man tells you "Come on girl, you can trust me" then girl you run the other way!! Kick your shoes off, grab them in your hand, and haul booty. Ain't no reason to play around with that.  And if you find yourself in said situation with said man, you must keep a friend around for back-up. Because we all know how charming "trust me" can sound in the right lighting. True story: Wally and I are finishing up an evening downtown and go to walk her dog (she lived right across the street from the main park in the middle of our downtown area) when we overhear a guy trying to coax some girl to come with him. Red flag #1. We do think this girl may have known this dude, but either way... girl's friend is trying to pull girl down the street in the opposite direction. Girl is not going all too willingly and is instead stopping to hear this guy out while the guy is trying to persuade the friend that it is fine to let this girl go with him. At this point he is getting frustrated and barks at the friend that she can trust him and tries to pull the other girl with him. At that point I decide to just shout "run girl, run the other way" (I don't know what came over me, but I think Walls and I were in the middle of our own man discussion and I was in the heat of the moment). So what does this girl do, she says, "what?! Oh ok!" and literally starts to run the other way. The friend nods us a thank you while the guy gets clearly perturbed and tries to get the girls attention back (she didn't run very far). He must have assumed that the girls were with us because he tells the friend to "go with the other Jackie" (whoever that may be) while pointing towards us and trying to get her to leave her friend with him. Ultimately I think the friend was going to end up winning this situation but after a few minutes of trying to to talk to this poor random girl we went back into Walls apartment.
Moral of the story: Girl, don't trust that player! He's got nothing that you want to put your trust in!

The type of men to trust: Dogs
Men are cats, REAL men are dogs!
I think I heard somewhere (maybe on Girl Code) that the men are dogs saying should be changed. I agree! Though I do not have a dog of my own I had one growing up and this one is growing on me. Dogs? They are loyal, protective, there when you need a cuddle, and can truly be your best friend! They are loving and will have your back at all costs! Trust the dog men! Do not trust cat men. I have a cat. I love my cat! But here is what I have learned about them. Cats are self absorbed, run around your feet whining, mouthing off and begging for attention, if they don't get their way you will be sorry, and they only want you around if there is something you can offer them. Protection? Heck no, they would drop you in a second if some stranger came along and offered any kind of affection (either that or just run right out the door the second it is opened). While I do not think many real men still exist, they are out there. The one living in my house is living proof and though he is off the market there are others like him out there waiting for a good girl to come home to.
Moral of the story: Say no to cat men!

We have each others backs... period! No ifs, ands, or buts! 
1.) The world is tough enough without us being shiesty to one another! 
2.) Do not take another girls man! 
3.) Never let a relationship ruin a friendship! Play nice and learn to get along!  

Moral of the story: Be a chick, not a dude... bro code = no code! 

Play with fire and you might get burned!
This is a literal connotation of the term. The sun is a big ball, made of boiling hot, hotness (let's call it a burning hot fire ball shall we?). Man invented this lovely thing that we call sunscreen.  Before that, God made people and he made some more fair than others. He also made some smarter than others. If you believe that your skin tans different in different areas, well then I think you may occasionally be correct. So there you sit, on the beach, feeling like the top of your thighs are getting burnt and already look darker than the rest of your legs. So what do you do? You put sunscreen just there! You leave the rest of your white legs exposed to the sun, since you are only going to be out for another hour after all. Later in the day, after your shower, you notice a very definitive line down the side of each thigh. Your thighs now look like Bella, while the entire rest of your legs look like Beyonce (or close, you can dream girl, I'll let you)... we shall call this a leg mullet (whiny girl thighs, fierce party calves).  I'm not really sure who you are but it's ok girl, it happens to the best of us. P.S. ouch my calves burn!
Moral of the story: Just sunscreen your whole body dummy! Or let it all fry... but we must have balance!! 

Ok so I don't really know if you were lookin' for all of that but it's... 
 and I do what I want! 

What's your girl code mood at the moment?! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Which Story Do I Belong In?

It's another lovely edition of the Whatever Wednesdays link-up and the topic is: If you could live in a different decade, what would it be and why? 

Well, I have always found this quote, from Cornelia Funke's Inkheart, fitting for my life at times...
  "My dear, you were obviously born into the wrong story." 
Except the story that I was meant to be born into changes all the time. 

Sometimes it is my own and other times (typically depending upon the book or movie that I am loving at the time) it is a far different time and place.  If I watch Downton Abbey, I want to live in Yorkshire in the early 1900s. I have always felt that my soul would fit right into a Jane Austen novel or that I would make the perfect Jo March and run a school for boys in the late 1800s. Sometimes I want to live in the wild west and ride the range. Other times I feel an inkling to go back to small town America when it was just blooming.. think "Little House on the Prairie." 

I think those would probably be my favorites, though there are tons of others I think I would like to try out. Like maybe a boarding school during the 1960s. Sounds fun?! Ok, well it was in "The Trouble with Angels."

I do know that I can't live with the dinosaurs. I would not make a good cave woman! Though watching The Croods did make it a little more appealing. Such a cute movie; you should totally see it! 


Friday, June 28, 2013

Just Call Me the Mad Hatter (or am I the Rabbit? or Alice?)

And all today's wisdom will come from Alice and Wonderland, mainly because I had tried to start a paragraph, got halfway through it and then realized it made not one lick of sense to any suitable brain. Made perfect sense to mine today, after a two hour long crazy and fun conversation with a friend that in hindsight left me feeling a little out of sorts and in a mood for comparing her story to my own (they are similar yet each with their own twists)... thou shall not compare! It's never good (see there I go not making much sense again)! These words should sum it up better than I ever could. Enjoy! And have a fabulous, carefree, and crazy weekend! Apparently that seems to be the mood I am in. 

And that is all. Good day to you! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Peace for the Soul Place

It's Wednesday and I am about to get all kinds of Whatever Wednesday up in here because I am going to start with today's topic and transition into Tennessee. Alrighty people?! This is mainly due to the fact that my response to today's topic is going to be short and sweet (somewhat). 

The lovely Whatever Wednesday gals, Shay and Alissa, would like for me to discuss my first kiss with you, but considering I talked about it in last weeks Whatever Wednesday post, you can read it in more detail there or just take it like this...  I don't really remember, ok?! Probably something one should remember, I know! I could be all sly and just say my dad, but technically it could have been my mom (I guess I could ask which one kissed me first if I wanted to, but nah!). I could also say that I think my first "official" one was in fourth grade in the fort part of our playground in the backyard. However, 1.) I do not know if that is completely correct and 2.) I may only be remembering it because it is the one my brother remembers and often reminds me of. Prime example I was setting for my younger siblings! Except I think John Wayne had probably already had his first one long before that point and I also think it may have taken place because he dared us. Who knows?! Not me! Maybe my brother can tell you. 

Anyways... I do know who my last one was with. And where! It was to Babe, in the shining state of Tennessee (ok, so really it was here at home, last night before going to bed. But Tennessee is a happier setting and also useful for the following) and that is how we will move into the rest of this post.  

I am not sure if my soul was meant to be raised for city living.  I think it belongs somewhere in the likes of Tennessee with a decent mix of country living and the suburbs. More of your small town feel, if you will! Most days I know that Florida is my home and that I belong here but some moments, I find myself longing for a different place, a different way of life. A place where things move at a slower pace and life doesn't seem to make people so flustered. My heart literally seems to sing when I am in Tennessee. It is at peace and my world is calm. I am on vacation but I also feel as if living there would make me slow a little bit and take in more around me. We were coming off the boat after a day on the water and joking with some of the neighbors about what goes on in their "little" cove (they were joking about all the craziness but...). And that is when I referred to it as "a little slice of heaven" and not a single one of them disagreed. They have a corner of the world that still seems untouched by the outside. Where you know your neighbors (heck you know everyone on the almost 30,000 acre lake) and where you all have each others backs. The kind of place where you can leave your doors unlocked while boating and not fear coming home to absolutely nothing, mainly because those who may even think of coming in "uninvited" also know you have an extensive gun collection. It is the type of place where all are welcomed and where setting an extra place at dinner because someone swung by for a glass of sweet tea is never even thought twice about (just pull up a seat). It's this magical land where the beer cooler always seems full, yet people's hands are never empty. Where the sun doesn't seem to burn as harshly and where the water is perfect for bobbing. Children are respectful because they have been taught how you treat others and the world is less 'dog-eat-dog' and more about 'help-a-brother-out' and 'roll-with-the-punches'. It's a place where you don't have to worry too much about people gossiping about you because what they may say about you, they will also say to you and it's never really in a harsh, judgemental way. It's more so a way of acknowledging that we all have our "stuff" and we may as well put it on the table. I am not sure what it is about all of it that sounds so appealing to me, but I could very well plant myself on a piece of land up there, settle in and never leave. 

 Going, going, gone.

Alas, my home is here and while some part of me may long for more land and a quieter, slower pace I do love my life in the sunny state of Florida and I would miss my people (most of them anyways ;) ). If I could bundle it up and take it all with me then I would, but then... I don't know if it would so calm anymore. 


Where's your place? Where do you find peace?