Friday, September 5, 2014

Paul Angel...

15 years seems like so long ago...but it seems like yesterday on a day like today.

 It wasn't a regular Sunday. I had started a job that summer at a nursing home, and as one of the Management leaders I had to work one Sunday a month. That morning I went by my grandparents (they were leaving early for a family reunion) to show my PaPa my new car I had just bought. I was so proud of it and him being my advisor and car enthusiast, I just had to go show him. He looked it over...sat in the front seat...ran his leathered hand over my steering wheel and told me I "had done good". We talked for a bit...sat on the front porch and shared a drink and then I was on my way. They even passed me on the road (he tended to drive a little fast) on the way to their reunion that morning and I just smiled and waved at PaPa and MaMa.

 I came home that afternoon from my shift to find my sister in law standing on the porch. Tears in her eyes...she said "It's Papa". She jumped in my car...the one he had just sat in, and we headed to the hospital. On the way there she filled me in on the details. They had gotten home from the reunion and he had sat on the couch to rest and watch the news. He was drinking sweet tea and asked my MaMa for a refill by shaking his cup of ice. She got it like she always did, but when she came back in the room, something was wrong. He was slumped over and not responding. My sweet little MaMa, who was in the earliest stages of Dementia) called 911 and then my brother. She sat outside on the porch waiting for them...she didn't know what to do. They got there and began working on him...Paul showed up and saw them working on him as they loaded him in the ambulance...but Paul knew. Knew he was gone...knew that we would never hear his velvet voice again.

 We all got to the hospital and were in the family room when the doctor came in. He had to give us the news that we all dreaded to here. There was nothing they could do. He had suffered a massive heart attack and was gone almost immediately. We grieved...oh we grieved hard that day. One of those gut wrenching, wailing cries that takes your body over. I took my tiny grandmother in my arms and promised her that we would never leave her and would take care of her. I told her that she was a good wife to him...the best.

 We went to see him one last time in the E.R. MaMa stood silently by him, rubbing his head and holding his hand. She gently leaned down and kissed his face and whispered over and over..."I love you Paul Angel". We got some of his personal belongings...MaMa put his gold wedding band on her necklace and we left. Empty...lost...broken.

 This man that had been our pillar of strength, our faithful leader, our Godly example was gone. We knew that when he died it would be hard...we just weren't expecting it so soon. We weren't prepared...he still had veggies growing in the garden...great grand babies to love on...birds that still needed to be fed...and my MaMa who needed him to take care of her.

 My PaPa was special. He loved Jesus y'all...I mean loved Him. He loved the word of God and I loved sitting and reading through his bible and the verses he had underlined...notes he had written. He loved my MaMa...his Chris. She had been slowly losing her self over the past years and his patience with her...his love for her was a perfect picture of marriage. He loved his family fiercely. He loved his country and proudly served in the Navy! He loved the church. He loved gardening and taking care of wounded animals and wildlife. He had even tamed a squirrel that he called Buddy...he would eat right out of PaPa's hand. He loved to walk on the beach and would search for hours for shells and shark teeth.  I remember walking with him on those early morning walks...we didn't talk much, but we didn't need to.  He was special.

I miss him today.  Some days memories hit me and I laugh...sometimes I cry.  His memory lives on through his 9 grandchildren and  27 great grand children.  I tell my kids about him.  About things he did...what he funny he was.  He left a that will never be forgot.  It's hard to imagine that he has been gone for 15 years...but man am I grateful for the 24 years I had with him.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


14 years ago today I said " I Do" to a man I barely knew. No, we didn't elope...didn't have an arranged marriage...I just hardly knew him. You see, when Ric and I met, we went on three dates and knew that we loved each other...knew that we would be married...and knew that forever had each other in it. We just didn't know each other. Yes, I knew that he was Godly, funny, caring, hot....oh, the list could go on. But seriously, how do you know someone in three dates. God had brought us together in His perfect timing, and we just knew...quickly! It was a whirlwind to say the least. I had finally found the man that I loved. The man that I had guarded my heart for. The man I had fervently prayed for.

We got engaged just five weeks after meeting. Some think that's a tad crazy, but what's crazy is that I would have said yes on our third date (ok, second but that sounds real crazy, so I'll keep it at third)! It was the sweetest, most thought out proposal ever. He thought out each detail and had my family involved in everything.  I remember being just giddy when he asked me...and when I heard him say "I love you" I lost it. Those were words he saved just for me...words he had never uttered to another woman (other than his momma and sisters).

Just two short months after we got engaged, Ric had to move to Georgia to start his job as a youth pastor. We were apart from May until we wed in September. We saw one another occasionally but really got to know each other, as best we could, over the phone. Ric hates...HATES...talking on the phone. Needless to say, we didn't really know each other. We didn't have cell phones, Facetime, Facebook...nope, just the good old telephone.

 Our wedding day was perfect.  Every detail was just as I had wanted it...but what I remember most is standing there on our wedding day and repeating the words that Ruth told Naomi in the Old Testament, "Where you go, I will go. Where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people will be my people. Your God, will be my God." I had no idea how important those words would become over the next years.  But that day, I remember feeling more love for that man than I had ever even imagined could be humanly possible...but I still didn't really know him.

 Little did I know that over the next years that we would have four children, go through great times, mourn over loved ones who had died, weep over teenagers that had gone astray, pray for our sick children with uncertainty, move three times, drive... a lot, go through really hard times, laugh like we do, break 6 cell phones and iPad's (Ric) and lose 5 drivers licence's and debit cards(me), stay at the same church...oh the list could seriously go on people.

I  knew that the man that I married would be my closest friend, the one I laugh with about everything, cry with about everything, and love, but I had no idea that I would love him more today than I did the day I stood beside him as we got married. It's a crazy love I tell ya. I can't imagine my life without him. I don't just love him...I like him. Y'all know we are Baptist folk, and one of the quintessential lines of baptist talk is "I have to love you, but I don't have to like you". Well that line doesn't pertain to my relationship with Ric...I love him, and I like him. I like the way he laughs, the stupid things he says, the way he loves football, the way he rubs my foot (every night...don't hate ladies), the way he loves Christ. I like him (except when he eats standing that drives me crazy...just sit down), I really do!!

You see, I do love Ric Blazi....more today than I did yesterday. I have seen him become a father, four times over. He is such a good dad, especially in the stage we are at in parenting. This stage is far harder than having babies and toddlers...and he is in his element at this stage. I have seen him grow in his ministry and begin to preach like a seasoned pastor. He is pouring into our teens and church like I have never seen before. He teaches them truth, how to defend that truth, and why they should love the truth. I have seen him love his children and teach them about God and His unbelievable grace. I have seen him go through struggles and come out stronger. I have seen him pray over one of our kids, with tears in his eyes. Yes, I love him more today than I did 14 years ago. I have seen him make mistakes...and sometimes learn from them.

14 years ago I married this handsome man with the darkest brown eyes . I could look in those eyes and know that I was safe...that I was loved...and that he would be faithful to me....until death parts us. 14 years ago, I knew all of that, but I have lived it now...and that my friends, is what makes me truly know who Ric Blazi is. He is a man of his word, a man of faith, conviction, and a man that stands for truth. He is faithful, kind, generous, and most of all he loves me. And after 14 years, I truly know him...and I love him even more because of that! Happy 14 Years...I love ya Rex...

14 Things I have learned in the last 14 years:

1.  Your wedding day is awesome, but it's what comes after that means the most.

2.  Saving our first kiss for our wedding day was the best thing we did...crazy hard, but boy was it worth the wait.

3.  Georgia football only lasts about half the year and Georgia football games trump anything…even babies being born (although we got married on the same day that Georgia played Georgia Southern…all the while several family members may have had ear buds in listening to the game during said wedding…I still get grief for that one)

4.  Having 4 kids is crazy...but it's our kind of crazy and I love it!!

5.  That I would rather drive closer to the white line than the yellow one...and it drives him nuts.

6.  Looks me (my looks of course, not his...he has some eternal youth serum he drinks every night...I swear)...

7.  Love and commitment don't...

8.  Marriage is fun...go on dates...get away by's important.

9.  Frozen Yogurt should always be included in above dates...

10.  Pets drive my husband crazy...but our kids love them.  Cute pups and kids trump his vote...sorry babe! You get Georgia football...

11.  That paint thinner will not cause blindness…even when you are pregnant and shouldn't be painting!

12.   That men truly have the secret…about mowing the lawn. I may have to explain that one day soon but yes men, I know you're secret and I will expose your secret to your wives….y'all are so tricky!!

13.  That everything that happens is NOT a life or death situation…although I do forget this truth…daily!  I have perfected the "gasp" for every situation in life...drink spilling and kid cutting his hand open...same difference. 

14.  That God is faithful and good and His kindness toward me astounds me.  He gave me a good man, and I am a blessed woman indeed.  God is good, all the time!!! 

Happy are the best and I love ya!!