Whatever Our Souls Are Made Of

I know I am in love because I see you every way I turn–no matter what I am doing. I know I want to be with you, not just with you, but share everything with you, too. Just being close to you is not enough for me. I want to be a part of you; A part of your life forever. I never have to wonder if you love me. You complete me–my heart and my soul.
You’re my best friend and my soul mate. You have been there and supported me like no one else has before. I’m lost without you. I love you more than life itself. There are no words I can say to truly tell you how much I really love you. I couldn’t picture myself without you in my life. You are perfect for me in every possible way, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.
You give me reason to strive for more of everything. I learn more and more from you every day. My heart is forever yours. I know saying, “I love you” is powerful, yet I feel it’s not enough. My life was a wreck before you.  I never thought it would change, but you came into my life and everything took a turn for the best. You show me the value of life. You give me the most amazing feelings inside. It feels great to actually love and be loved in return.  I know our love will last a lifetime. I can’t wait until I am your wife. I love you with all my heart.  

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Letting Go

As my grandmothers final hours are at hand I recall some of my earliest memories of her. A diminutive five foot tall Sicilian woman with a fiery personality, a kitchen full of wonderful aromas as there was ALWAYS a pot full of something cooking on the stove and a heart of gold. Although by today’s standards she had a large family of five biological children and two stepchildren of her own;  her door, her kitchen and her heart were always open to anyone who needed a warm meal, some wise VERY opinionated counsel, a shoulder to cry on or just a warm loving hug.   She basked in her role as mother hen to many and as she would say “adopted” and stayed in contact with them all. As I watch the parade of people come to pay their respects in her final hours, family bound by blood and the ones that we consider family bound by her love, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have had such a role model throughout my life. In my mind I will always remember her as a collector of people, a giver of love and a beacon of light because no matter where we gathered, as long as she was there each and every one of us felt like we were home. I’m sure anyone who has ever known her has great memories much like mine. They are awesome, funny and ALWAYS loving memories. Something we will always have to cherish and hold close to our hearts. It isn’t often in our lives that we come across someone so amazing that that person stays with you forever. Maw Maw was that person. There is no doubt in my mind that anyone that has ever been in her orbit will carry a piece of her with them forever.

Maw Maw cared more than most, loved more than most and was made to suffer more than most because of just how much she cared. No matter how many times she was knocked down or made to endure things that no one ever should or most could, she just kept coming back; caring more and loving more—opening herself up to even more heartache and more pain because she loved so many so very much. Yet there were never any complaints or bitterness—it was the only way she knew how to live. The only way that we should ALL live.

The kind of love Maw Maw felt for us was a love without condition. She may not have approved of everything we did, may not have liked some of the decisions we made and she would not hesitate to let us know what she thought in no uncertain terms. Then she would just keep on loving us. We could always count on her to listen, to chastise if the situation warranted and then to comfort, protect and help us navigate this crazy unpredictable world.

She lived a simple life. It didn’t take much to make her happy—a phone call, a card, a visit from family or friends that she considered family, or a kiss before saying goodbye. We were the most important people in the world to her. She lived to make our lives better and was very proud of us all.

To think that someone like that felt that way about each of us should make us all feel more than just a little special. We can never forget that there is a part of her in every one of us, something that she gave to us and asked nothing for in return.

Money can be squandered and property ruined, but what we inherited from her cannot be damaged, destroyed or lost. It is permanent, and it keeps her from becoming just a wonderful memory. It allows her to live on in us all.

There have been and will be times in our lives when situations arise where we’ll want so much to talk to her, be with her or ask her just what we should do. I hope that, when those times come, we can begin to look to each other and find that part of her that she gave to each of us.

Maybe we can learn to lean on each other and rely on each other the way we always knew that we could rely on her. Maybe then she won’t seem quite so far away.

So, for your wisdom, your humor, tenderness and compassion, your understanding, your patience and your love; thank you, Maw Maw. After you, the mold was indeed broken. I love you.
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When You Know You Know

The year was 1989. I was a junior at a small private school right outside of Baton Rouge in a small community called Central. My classmates and I were just returning from our mid term break and were not anxious to get back into the daily school grind after being out for two weeks celebrating Christmas and New Years. I was still half asleep as my autopilot steered me towards my first hour class when all of a sudden I saw HIM. His warm brown eyes and incredibly long lashes woke me up in a hurry as another kind of stupor hit me when our eyes met briefly in the busy hallway. Who is HE? Where is HE from? What is HE like? kept me from focusing on my studies all morning and before I knew it lunch time was upon us.

As luck would have it, HE was friends with a group of my friends who I normally spent my lunch break with. He ended up sitting almost directly across the table from me. As I was getting the scoop on him (his name is Troy, HE was there to pitch for our newly formed baseball team and most importantly to me at the time, he was single) I couldn’t tear my eyes away from him. It is rare that one meets someone with that much presence at such a young age but this guy was larger than life. About the time that I was trying to figure out a way to start a conversation with this super confident hunk, another classmate had decided he was going to TRY and show the new guy who was boss and threw a bread roll across the table at Troy. We briefly made eye contact again and I could see the conflicting emotions in them. Rage then logic….that day was his first day at a new school but even as angry as he was he had enough restraint and control to understand beating the brakes off of someone would not be starting off on the right foot and that tomorrow was another day. I was smitten.

The bully shortly thereafter was let’s just say shut down and I longed for Troy from afar, not letting on to anyone my true feelings as he was an A lister. An athlete. I was an introvert. A dreamer. Nothing ever materialized as time went on and we started our own seperate journeys in life but over the ensuing years every once in a blue moon I would think about THOSE eyes and I would smile.