Almetta

Today I had to say goodbye to someone I was not ready to say goodbye to. My dear friend Sandi’s mother passed away on New Years day. Today we all gathered to say not goodbye, but see you later. I have no doubt I will see Al again someday.
I was completely floored when I was asked to say a few words at her memorial service. I cannot fully express what a true honor it was.
Her daughter Sandi was not only my friend, she was my mentor, my confidant, my sister in Christ, saying see you later to her was so hard, having her mother gone now brings it all back to the forefront. I will miss both of those ladies like crazy now. The world is just a little bit dimmer without Al in it. So here is my farewell to her:
There are many words that come to mind when speaking about Almetta McQuarters.
Kind, generous, welcoming, a great dancer, anyone who has been to a Mary Kay function with Al can tell you that she was the first one on the dance floor when the music started. Fashion icon, loving, joyous and, I save the best for last, a woman of God.
To be in Al’s presence meant you felt welcomed, it is a rare trait, to be able to make anyone in your presence feel like they belonged. She made it look easy, she always had a word for anyone that she came into contact with. It truly was an amazing thing to watch.
It is no mystery why, year after year, she won the highest honor there is in Mary Kay. Miss Go-Give, it simply means that she was always quick to jump in and do whatever was needed. Greeting guests, making them feel welcome, helping set up and helping clean up afterwards.
I have a story that I would like to share, to me it optimizes exactly who Al was.
After Sandi passed, some of us formed a group we called the ladies that lunch. Once a month we gather, either at a restaurant or someone’s home.
Roughly 6 to 7 months after Sandi passed away Al said she would like to host the gathering in her home.
So, on the designated day we all gathered in Almetta’s home, there was good food, great fellowship. We told stories about Sandi, we laughed, we cried and just had a good time.
Al said she had chosen some mementos of Sandi she had gathered and she wanted to share them with us.
We could each choose one. She took us into her guest room where she had lovingly laid out the things she wanted us to choose from.
This was not done in a haphazard way; you could feel how much thought had gone into the activity of choosing what she wanted to share.
As we went in, she began to guide us towards what she thought we would love the best.
She was right, what she had guided me towards was a perfect token of Sandi’s memory for me. It was a book of poetry that she would read when she came to visit with Al.
Al told me they would sit on the patio and Sandi would read to her.
She put such time and attention into taking care of each of us. In her grief, she found strength in helping others get through theirs.
That she could do this says what kind of person she was, she was strong.
She is everything Proverbs 39 talks about.
She was a woman of noble character whose worth was above rubies and we are all better for having had the privilege of knowing her.

Loss

October is an incredibly hard month for me, Michael died this month, my friend Sandi has been gone three years today and now Nocona has left us in the month of October. I am beginning to hate October, my heart is in about a million pieces right now.
I did get to pick up Tess from school Friday, so happy to be able to do that again, she was able to spend the night and we had fun on Saturday. We have discovered a new place to go, thanks to a friend at work.
It is called Kid Mania and it was so much fun we went twice, she loved it, a very physical place where a kid can get out energy and get a ton of physical activity in. I highly recommend this place for everyone.
Yesterday I posted a blurb on how I felt about myself, my looks in particular, I stand by it, it is how I feel about myself, it is how I have always felt about my looks. Melissa, your comments will not be posted and please know the drama you tried to stir up did not work. I spoke to the one you mentioned and she took umbrage with your words, she is trying now to find you to tell you that.
This won’t be long, I am going to run to Costco and the grocery before settling in for a night of television, it is The Walking Dead, Once and Revenge tonight. Very excited for the new season, I love when the new seasons start, it always reminds me of the beginning of school. I don’t think one ever outgrows fall, new shows, new weather and new teachers.
Oh, one more thing, I have a friend who is hysterical in his pain, he has a gift with words, I am trying to convince him to start a blog. Once I am successful with that endeavor I will be mentioning him often and create a link to his blog from here.

Mary Kay Seminar

Sunday I will begin my Mary Kay Seminar experience. I know, not my first time at this rodeo, however it is my first time without Sandi. The last time I was there was my last time with her, that time I was the only one from her personal team to go. We got to spend major amounts of time together, it is a gift I cherish to this day.
This is not going to be easy, however, with Wanda, Faith and Louise I know we will be ok. We all have such wonderful memories of our dear friend that I know together we can not only celebrate our lives in MK we can celebrate the woman that brought us together as friends.
A lot of people have a hard time understanding the relationship we all had with Sandi. They don’t understand we were friends long before she brought me into the Mary Kay world. She was a mentor, friend, sister and huge influence in my life. We shared our sons with each other, we shared details of our lives, when my mother passed a way she shared her mother with me.
She never had a daughter, she used to tell me that if she’d had one she imagined that daughter would have been like my Elizabeth Anne. Sandi took great delight in the fact that Tessa’s middle name is the same as hers. One day I’ll tell Tess about my friend Sandi who was glamorous, smart, beautiful, funny and above all loyal.

My Weekend

On Friday I went to pick up Tessa from school as it was our afternoon to have an adventure, first on the agenda, a stop at the school playground to swing and play. And play we did, Tessa decided we should play a game of zombies, in which I was the zombie, I gave it my best shot, however I believe the folks of The Walking Dead would not have hired me to be one of the walking dead.
As we were leaving the school, sitting at a stop light, the most horrible thing I have witnessed to date happened. I saw a little girl crossing the street, on the red light. I saw a car turning on the green light and thought I hope the driver sees the little girl, then it dawns on me that the driver does not see the girl.
Tess and I both see it at the same time and begin yelling no, the SUV hits the girl and knocks her off of the bicycle, I threw the car into park and told Tessa to stay in her car seat. I did not want her getting out until I saw if things were bad or if she could safely be exposed to the situation.
There was no blood on the ground, the girls bike was mangled and her cell phone destroyed, she was on the ground and her leg was hurt, but no blood. The driver of the SUV who hit her was already calling 911, I asked the little girl if she knew her mothers number as her phone was destroyed and incapable of making a call. She did, I dialed, no answer, I left a voicemail telling the mother that I would call her back. I called a second time, still no answer, I then sent a text message. A few minutes later I did receive a call from the little girls mother. I answered and asked if she was indeed the mother and she answered affirmatively. I handed my phone to a paramedic who, in theory would have been better equipped to tell a parent their child has been injured.
After giving my statement to the police officer, making sure the little girl was ok, Tessa and I left, I assured her the girl would be fine and her mother was coming. We then went off to McDonald’s to take her mind off of it, then on to her school carnival, she had so much fun at the carnival. Bouncing in houses, running in a giant round thing, eating junk and playing with her friends.
Later that evening the mother of the little girl called me and told me thank you for being so diligent in my effort to contact her, she said the little girl was fine. Banged and bruised and would be sore the next day, but other than that she would be 100% in a few days.
I was relieved to hear that, it was such a horrific event, I believe I witnessed a miracle, that child could have been hurt much worse or even killed. She was riding without her mother’s permission and without a helmet, people no matter what age your child is, please make sure they wear a helmet.
That was my eventful Friday, Saturday was much quieter, it was my dear friend Sandi’s birthday, I still can’t believe she is gone. I miss her so much, to this day when something good happens I can hear her voice. She was such an amazing woman, a great friend and an all around outstanding human.
Sunday was Mother’s Day and it was spent with my 4 favorite people, Jeffrey, Elizabeth, Alex and Tessa, I was very surprised by Tessa being able to join us. So it was a great surprise, I hope everyone had a great weekend and is having a great week.

Facebook Drama

Today is my last Thursday as a Friday, I will miss it, I admit I have become spoiled; however, I shall enjoy my Wednesdays off as well.
This weekend will not be an easy one, I am going to the Mary Kay Career Conference at the convention center, I know you are wondering why this will be difficult. I have not been back to the Dallas convention center since Sandi passed away. This was the last place I got to spend significant time with her, at Mary Kay Seminar, before her passing. I am both looking forward to going and dreading the emotions it will bring to the surface. I still miss her so much, there is so much in my life that I would love to tell her, get her sage advice, and hear that wisdom one more time.
I shall not be alone in my adventure, Wanda and Louise will be there as well, we will have each other to lean on.
On to other happenings, apparently I have caused some Facebook drama, I try not to do this, however I unknowingly caused this. Last night Elizabeth Anne calls me and says mom, why did you friend so and so, I said I don’t even know who that is. What are you talking about? Apparently I clicked or touched or maybe by mind control inadvertently hit a button and friended someone I didn’t even know but knows my ex-husband. The only thing I can think of is she must have “liked” one of my pictures that I tagged Elizabeth in and I looked to see who she was, why, because I don’t know her. At that point clicked or touched where I should not have. I apologize if this caused any anxiety on the innocent bystanders.
However, here is my pet peeve, if you don’t know the person who posted the picture, don’t like it, or comment on it. If you do, something like this could happen, I don’t know you, I don’t want your comments on my photos. It is as simple as that, I never, ever, comment on something someone has posted that I don’t know. Simply because you have tagged a friend of mine does not give me the right to comment on your Facebook, I am asking for the same respect. That way you don’t run the risk of me accidently friending you.
There, done, going now, enjoy your Thursdays people, I will talk to you after Career Conference.

How I met Sandi

I can’t remember if I have told this story here, however, I feel the need to tell again, as today marks the 2nd year without Sandi.
When Jeffrey was in Kindergarten he came home every day talking about Daniel, it was Daniel this, Daniel that, until I decided that I needed to meet this Daniel. I asked Jeffrey if Daniel’s mommy picked him up from school or did he ride the bus. Turns out his mommy did indeed pick him up from school, so the next day I asked Jeffrey to point out Daniel so I could introduce myself to his mother and have Daniel over for a play date.
Jeffrey said Daniel is the one in blue, this was Kindergarten, there were at least 10 little boys in blue, when I pointed that out to Jeffrey, he let out a loud sigh and took my hand and pulled me toward his new friend. I met this tiny, dynamo of a woman, she knew of Jeffrey as well she said, as Daniel talked of nothing but him. I asked if perhaps Daniel could come to our house for a playdate, she explained that she would have to get to know me better before letting her son come over by himself. I instantly respected this mom, I was the same way, she then asked if I had ever had a Mary Kay makeover. I said no, she said we could kill two birds with one stone, the boys could play and we could have some girl time.
That was that, Sandi came over with Daniel and she and I bonded over makeup, the fact that we both were transplants to Texas, she was from New York, I was from Oklahoma and that we both were protective mothers.
Over the years she became not only my friend but my mentor, my sounding board and another mother to my son. We used to joke that we were raising the same child as Jeffrey and Daniel were so much alike. We talked almost every day, she was always there for me, in the rough times and in the good times.
I miss her as much now as I did the day she left us to go home, I know she touched so many people’s lives, she was a powerhouse, she packed so much into such a short amount of time. She raised not one but two amazing sons who are doing great things with their lives. I know she was proud of them and continues to watch out for them from above.
Today I will not cry, I will rejoice in the fact that I was blessed with her friendship and guidance for the amount of time I got to know her here on this earth. I will say a prayer for the hurting hearts that were left behind and will pray for continued healing from the pain. I will pray for others to find joy and comfort in the memories of Sandi and with the knowledge that we will see her again.

A Life Well Lived

October is a traditionally hard month, it is the month I lost my first son in, it is the month I lost my dear friend Sandi in. It seems to be a month for mourning, however I know Sandi would not be happy with anyone being sad. Her life was one well lived, she was a warrior, battling a beast for over 20 years; she fought with such calm assurance. We all knew the last time she battled she would be victorious, in a way she was, she went home. I know without a doubt in my mind and heart that God met her at the gates of heaven and said welcome home, we’ve been waiting for you. I know there was much rejoicing and a celebration that such a warrior had come home.
Hers was an honorable death, a life well lived, filled with friends, laughter, love, family and graciousness. I can only hope that my life is lived half as well as hers was. I still miss her, it has been two years and I can still hear her voice at times.
I urge all of you to live a life that when you are gone people will know the kind of person you were. That you were above board, honest, honorable, a joy to be around, that was my friend. I work on it daily, the joy to be around part, This year the Ladies that Lunch will be meeting on the anniversary of Sandi’s passing, I imagine there will be laughter and a few tears. However, when I see Sandi again I hope I will be able to tell her I lived a life that she would be proud of. When I hear her voice it is when I have done something good in my Mary Kay business.
So, on October 20th, please say a healing prayer for our group, for her friends and family left here to remember her.

Helping Hands

Life is an amazing journey, it is not an experiment, it is not something you barrel through, it is a journey, that if taken in the right manner can lead to adventures, joy, love and endless possibilities.
I am constantly amazed at this place and time God chose to set me down in, at times I have thought perhaps He had gotten the timing off. I am part old-fashioned, and new fangled, at times I don’t fit in anywhere and other times I fit in everywhere.
There are times I am positive I am God’s comic relief, I have said it often my life could be a sitcom, when the wars and pestilence and bad behavior of humans gets to be too much, God switches the channel and has a chuckle. He is not the only one amused by the happenings in my life, Elizabeth Anne finds comic relief in a lot that I do.
The one thing i can say about my life is that it is never without surprise, that it is rarely boring, that I am surrounded by amazing humans.
I am often amazed at what I see happening in other people’s lives and how they handle it and how they turn it around and make something positive out of the negative. I know one woman who has started a foundation that helps women who want to get out of the adult entertainment business. It is called ROTH, Reach out to her, she is amazing, reaching out to these women, finding safe havens for them, getting them job training and teaching them by example and by word about the amazing forgiveness that is God. It really makes me think about how we should all be reaching out to each other and lifting up instead of pushing down. I can only hope and pray that if I ever am called to help someone I will be there and be positive.
Heady thoughts for a Friday, but there you have it folks. I hope everyone has a fantastic Friday, in the words of my dear friend Sandi, Go out and make it happen.

Wednesday Thoughts

Do you ever wish life were easy? Do you ever look at someones life and think wow God must really love them, their life looks so easy. I have, I admit it, there is a couple I used to go to church with and their life looked so easy. It seemed they had and continue to have everything, I would just look at them and think God must really love them, and then wonder why God didn’t love me like that. Then upon talking with a friend she told me the things this couple had gone through, I realized that God loves us all the same and we all go through things that no one knows about. I realized everything I was going through and would go through in the future was not of God’s making, but of the worlds making. God would be able to use my experiences and how I handled them through Him to possibly help others in the future. So here I sit today realizing that God loves me, He is always with me and I am the only one that control how I react to the world around me.
I have nothing to contribute regarding the things I have been through, some things are not for public fodder, some things are simply my own.
Today is Wednesday, next week this will be my day off, I am so looking forward to that new schedule! A day off during the week to run errands, to schedule an eye appointment, dentist appointment, have lunch with friends, really anything, such a luxury, and still have my Saturday and Sunday off! Wow, could anyone ask for anything better? I think not!
I really need to make a run to the Goodwill and drop things off, I do believe that will be my first Wednesday project. I know this means getting up at 4am instead of 6:30, but I am up for the challenge. This is going to be fun!
For now, I am finishing my coffee and putting my makeup on and making sure my hair is presentable, 3 more days then new schedule time! What are you all going to do with your Wednesday? Me, well I will work, then work out, woohoo, big exciting plans! I hope everyone has a great Wednesday, in the words of my friend Sandi, go out and make it happen.

Zumba Time

Yesterday I tried Zumba for the first time, I convinced my workout partner, Kay, that we needed to do this. Wow, that is all I can say, well actually not, I am going to say a lot. I finally got it by those endorphins everyone is always going on about. I loved it! It was not like exercise at all, it was an hour of dancing. I haven’t sweat that much in, well, a long time. This morning I could barely get out of bed, my legs and arms hurt so much. We will be doing the class every Tuesday and Thursday, it was just a blast! High energy, low impact fun. There was a woman in there that wore this scarf thing around her waist that had all of these jingle thingies on it, I want one. I need one. I want to jingle when I shimmy. Let me tell you, I didn’t know what I was doing, at times I was lost, but I just kept moving, and figured the more I went the more I would get the steps. I probably looked like a big ol’ donkey, and I didn’t care, still don’t.
Elizabeth Anne has gotten me hooked on a new game, it is a drawing game, for those of you who know me really well, you know that I do not draw well. So it is funny as all get out, I laugh so hard at my own drawings. Elizabeth sent me a text last night that said “What the hell is that” out of sheer frustration at her mother’s drawing ability. For the record it was a cat pouncing. the word was pounce.
Happy Wednesday, the week is going slow, I blame the time change, I am hoping the weekend goes slow as well. Saturday I am volunteering at a Susan G. Komen event, I don’t know what I am going to be doing, but I am sure it is going to be a fun time. I have to be there at 7am, that I didn’t know I had volunteered for until Wanda sent me an email telling me the specifics. I will have to remember to set my alarm Friday night, I am very excited, I do this in memory of Sandi and in honor of all of my friends battling breast cancer.
This morning, the Irishman made my coffee, I love it when he does that, his coffee tastes so yummy! Wednesday is off to a good start!