Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Daughter of A Soldier

This keeps going around in emails, and I'm not sure who wrote it as there was never any name mentioned. I'm sharing because it is an inspirational story and hits close to home.

The Daughter of A Soldier

Last week I was in Atlanta, Georgia attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest act's of patriotism I have ever seen.

Moving thru the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camo's, as they began heading to their gate everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering. When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red blooded American who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families.

Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal. Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He kneeled down and said "hi," the little girl then she asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her. The young soldier, he didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.

The mother of the little girl, who said her daughters name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had been in Iraq for 11 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her daughter, Courtney, missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up. When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it.

After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, "I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you." He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying "your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon."

The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet he saluted Courtney and her mom. I was standing no more than 6 feet away as this entire event unfolded. As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of selflessness, turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.

We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be an American.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Poems: Remember When

And in death, we’ll remain forever
the dreams continue on
and I'm left standing here alone to find my own way
my head is killing me
and all i want to do is sleep forever
in your arms
with my body encircled with roses
and one single red rose
woven by the stem
through my fingers
folded over your soft, protecting hands
holding me together
for eternity...
in the midst of my confusion
©8 July 2005

Love you, Dearest
I can't get over the way I feel
I can't seem to let go of the pain
I can't seem to get you out of my mind
Surely, you will never leave my heart.
You've touched me forever,
leaving a mark on my hurting soul.
Past writings, I wrote dreaming of love.
But this is true,
this is real
this is what love really is.

I see you happy.
I hear you happier.
We touch, happiest.

Your touch is tender, sweet.
Your caress is gentle, sweeter.
Your kiss is soft, sweetest.

Sitting, closely.
Laying, closer.
Embracing, closest.

I like you, dear.
But I love you, dearest.

Remember When?
I remember when
I couldn’t wait to fall in love.
I remember when
There was this aching pain in my heart.
I remember when
It seemed like forever before I would fall in love.
I remember when
It seemed even longer before someone would fall in love with me.
But I didn’t know
Love is worth the wait.
I didn’t know
There is still an aching pain of wanting to be with you.
I didn’t know
That love was just around the corner.
And I didn’t know
That you were even closer.
I didn’t know
That love like this feels so special.
I didn’t know
It would be someone like you.
I didn’t know
There was so much that I didn’t know.
Now I know when you’re in love,
It’s more than knowledge, it’s a feeling.
I know when you’re in love,
You feel like you can fly.
I know when you’re in love,
You feel like you’re walking on air.
I know when you’re in love,
You feel like you can touch the sky.
I know I am in love,
Because my heart flutters when I hear your name.
I know I am in love
Because my heart races
when I hear your voice.
I know I am in love
Because I can’t wait to see you again,
I fall asleep thinking of you
I wake up thinking of you.
I know what I feel…
I want you to know what I feel,
I want you to know that I love you.
©July 2005

Changed, Forever
taken back several years
 where dreams existed
   without fear…
       people dream
until it’s taken away
   forced to take another path
   to follow another dream
     waiting for time to pass
so the pain can disappear
                    and new dreams will develop
    versions out of the old
                 like shadows looming over and
               covering the bright blue sky
          that create a darkness in the world
       that speaks for itself;
    a darkness felt by many
through their own emotional let downs
and physical restrictions
          people fight
          some will live
          and some will die
          and others, many, will never be the same
we’ll all be changed forever.
©4 August 2005

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Faith Flashback

In going through some documents saved on an old flash drive, I found the following prayer. I wrote it for my high school Baccalaureatte. This was back when I was more active in church. Now, I show my faith through Habitat for Humanity. One day, I will give a copy of this poem to new homeowners at a house dedication.

Dear Lord,
            Thank You for watching over us our entire lives, especially when no one else could. Please bless us as we go forth into the world filled with many opportunities. Give us the power, love and self-control we need to help us fully use the gifts you have given us. Please bless our families and friends for keeping their faith in us, especially our parents for being our biggest fans and for renewing our faith in ourselves and in You, time and time again. And now that we are moving on once more, help us to keep our faith in You.
            Amen.

The following words are some great words to live by and definitely explain in a nutshell why I do what with Habitat for Humanity:

"If you cannot, for whatever reason, be of help to others, at least don't harm them. Consider yourself a tourist. Think of the world as it is seen from space, so small and insignificant yet so beautiful. Could there really be anything to be gained from harming others during our stay here? Is it not preferable, and more reasonable, to relax and enjoy ourselves quietly, just as if we were visiting a different neighborhood? Therefore, ff in the midst of your enjoyment of the world you have a moment, try to help in however small a way those who are downtrodden and those who, for whatever reason, cannot or do not help themselves. Try not to turn away from those whose appearance is disturbing, from the ragged and unwell. Try never to think of them as inferior to yourself. If you can, try not even to think of yourself as better than the humblest beggar. You will look the same in your grave." Dalai Lama

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Poems: Time Will Change Love

I never understood love until I met you
and I was never in love until I met you
I never dreamed of being in love like I am with you
and when we were together I never dreamed I'd ever love anyone else

I learned a lot about love from you
and a lot about hearts
I've learned a lot about dreams
And a lot about time changing things

somehow, since you've been gone,
this time around,
I can breathe again
somehow
I can dream again of other things
And understand, without too much pain,
that time will change
and just because we want it to be
doesn't necessarily mean we'll be together forever.

I’ve learned that
time has changed us, and always will
it's inevitable
And we can’t control time or love
and time will change my love for you

©7 July 2005

Friday, February 22, 2013

Poem Flashback to 2002

I am reviving some poems I wrote in high school. It's amazing how much time can impact your perspective on things. Eleven years after writing these, I can't help but wonder who I was writing these about, and almost want to cringe at the teenage angst I felt.

I Want

I want you to notice me
The way I notice you

I want you to love me

The way I love you

I want you to hold me

The way I hold you

I want you to want me

The way I want you

I want you to need me

The way I need you

I want you to see me

The way I see you

I want you to like me

The way I like you

I want you to notice me

I want you to love me

I want you to hold me, want me

I want you to need me

I want you to see me, like me

I want to be with you forever
I want to be in love with you for always
©28 February 2002

This One Time

Once I was falling in love
Now everything is falling apart
No one understands how I feel
No one knows me well enough
To help me deal
I’m trying to comprehend what is going on
Once I understand one thing, it’s gone
I’ve turned another twisting, winding curve
What did I do? Why such treatment I deserve?
He doesn’t know how strong my
Feelings are for him
The lights seem so very dim
I can hardly see; everything is so very difficult to see
How can he not understand?
How can this possibly be?
I have tried so hard to let him know
I must let him know again, it must be so
I will confess my true love and feelings for you…
©8 March 2002

Come and Go

I remember when everything seemed to be going my way
But now everything is falling apart
I am so confused
I am so alone
No one seems to understand what I am going through
I am falling out of love
We had the best of our lives together
I thought I would love you forever
But now when I am with you, the love is gone
A sense of security and understanding
All gone with the setting sunsets
It’s put to rest for eternity
In the rising moon and shining stars
My love for you
Will not rise again with the bright orange sun
Our candle has burned out
But the memories never will
©April 2002

Hazard

I have come to realize my dream
To become a better person; someone else
I want to be somebody else
Don’t let me get me
I am a hazard to myself
Don’t want to be my friend no more
Every morning I fight a war with the mirror
I can’t stand myself no more
I’m ready to shove myself out the door
I am a hazard to myself
I just can’t do it anymore
Living the life of someone else
©17 April 2002

Inspiration...lack of

A pen in my hand
A pile of papers on the desk
I want to write, but what about?
Why won’t you tell me what you feel?
What is so wrong?
Why does it seem everyone is so against me?
He doesn’t like me.
Never have.
Never will.
I will never be popular
I have never fit in.
I look in the mirror and cringe
Not at the physical image,
            But at the internal one
I don’t like what I’ve become
I can’t stand who I might be
I have forgotten who I was.
©30 April 2002

Mend My Heart

Every night I cry myself to sleep
Wondering why I am in a hole so deep
I can’t get out, I can’t stop falling
A bottomless pit, can’t stop bawling
I wish my tears would dry up forever
As long as I am falling, I can’t hold it together
I was so happy and so carefree!
Not I am suffering so. How can this be?
I felt nothing could knock my world apart
Now, piece by piece the pain tearing at my heart
I need someone, anyone, to touch my hand
            Let me touch the sky
Do this, mend my broken wings so I can fly
Be the wind beneath my wings and help me soar
No one knows what is inside me, a secret forevermore
I can’t confess, so many things I fail
I cry night after night and fill pail after pail
Who will hold me and not let me drop?
Who will love me and never ever stop?
So many problems, I can’t take this sadness
Make me better, bring my gladness
Make me happy, make me strong again
When there are days when everything is wrong
Anyone, be my strength, be my friend.
            Please don’t pretend.
Save me from the river made of tears I am crying
Deeper and deeper I fall, I’m holding on, I’m trying
How can everyone be so happy when I’m so sad?
That makes me so upset, so very mad!
Soon I will stop trying, forget, won’t care
Don’t stop me, don’t you dare
I am on the edge, try to help me and you’ll come too
You didn’t tell me this would happen!! Your fault!! You knew!!
Try to help me and I will save you!!
I will save you from this cruel, cruel world!!
©April 2002

Time to Say Goodbye

When she was finally gone
She took a piece of my heart
When she went to heaven, I fell apart
Year after year we found the other when we were lost
We stuck together, whatever the cost
Now I am lost, but I can’t find her. She’s gone.
I still love her. She’s still my best friend.
That’s why I am crying.
That’s why I am here to say goodbye.
And to say one more time that I love you.
©April 2002

WHY?

why do you say you understand me
when you don’t even listen when I speak to thee?
you hear me, but don’t comprehend
and then say you understand
would you please care about what I have to say?
listen to me
don’t say you understand
when you haven’t listened
to what I have to say
but no matter how I attempt to explain
you will never fully comprehend
what I am
who I am
what there is inside of me
©19 May 2002

Who's There?

who can save me?
who understands the problems
that I must endure, alone?
I am surviving
hanging on by one single string
hoping, wishing I could tear him apart
bone by bone, piece by piece
but he is not the only one to blame
he did leave me with one single kiss
I was falling apart;
beginning to lose heart
I couldn’t keep my life together
but still I hoped he’d love me forever
no one (not even me) knew what was going on
when I began to feel so alone, afraid, scared
when he left because of that, I spiraled
            down even farther
I was too foolish and scared to stop him
            from leaving me forever
©6 June 2002

Poem: Friday Night

I’m up against the rage of the storm
I’m determined to make it on my own
And I want you to know that
I’m willing and I’m able to endure the suffering
that only brings out the best in me
I’ve dreamt of better days
and I’ve made it through worse nights
I’ve reached for your hand to help me through
and all I’ve found is your face behind closed eyes
I’m only getting stronger, going through this alone
because every little bit of suffering
brings out the best in me

Every little bit
Every little bit of suffering
Brings out the best
From within the soul

And the depths of the heart
Are revealed to the world
Thru every little bit of suffering
Little bit of suffering
Every little bit of suffering
Can break the heart
And tear the soul

but in the end
Each and every broken piece
falls back into place
Because every little bit of suffering
Brings out the best in me
©18 July 2005

Pay it Forward

Have you found your calling? Or do you know someone who has? I'm lucky enough to have found both. I truly believe that I am where I am supposed to be in my life right now and because of that, I am able to help my friends pursue their dreams. I'm living my dream helping others accomplish theirs.

This is where you come in.

My good friend Justin, whom I consider a brother because we practically grew up together, needs a little helping hand in funding a Voice Over demo reel. His dream of breaking into the advertising and commercial industry is only $2,000 away and he needs your help to accomplish this step.

What will you get in return? For some, it may just be the satisfaction of knowing you contributed to helping someone get that much closer to accomplishing their dream. In short, a passion to pay it forward is all you need.  If you're looking for goods/services in return for your financial contribution, Justin has graphic design experience and can create brochures or other promotional materials for your small business, party invitations, or anything that's tailored to your specific project.

Convinced? Great! Visit Justin's indiegogo page to donate: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/343864

View his promo video here.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What Habitat for Humanity means to me...

It means seeing the grateful expressions on the faces of the people we've helped.

It's knowing I've personally made a positive impact on a future or current Habitat homeowner's life when they break down in tears of joy and gratitude trying to come up with the words to thank volunteers for coming together to build them a home.

Habitat means giving someone the opportunity to turn a house into a home when they wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to do it themselves.

It's making a difference in my own community. When I can have an impact here at home, I don't feel the need to travel across the world to make a difference.

It's having a sense of belonging to a local community and being able to give back.

It's helping to give others the opportunity to have a roof over their heads and the peace of mind knowing it's affordable and built with love and built well. I've grown up with a roof over my head and I enjoy helping others be able to give that experience to their children.

It's being able to show my faith by helping others. I'd rather be out helping someone than sitting in church.