Monday, January 31, 2005

The Angel and The Devil

I have a roommate. She's very sweet - very angelic - very selfless and awesome.

Her name is not April.

Her name is Maggie. Maggie is one of those very special people that I think a person only meets once in a lifetime. Her blue eyes sparkle most when she's making other people happy.

I do, however, have a roommate named April. Although she does have an infectious laugh, she is mildly crazy. She has obviously suffered a childhood trauma, and this repressed memory is somehow triggered in my presence, leading to intensely physically violent spells.

I love my roommates.

Our Anthem

I walked into work last Sunday and noticed that the bar was full of tuxedo jackets and bow ties. All of the waiters were crowded around the television as the Steelers and Patriots lined up to battle for a SuperBowl spot. A sickly young boy was leaning against his father, belting our national anthem into the mic, the ferocity of his singing zapping all of his strength. To my right, our Columbian chef mouthed the words along with him. In front of me, three Mexican waiters held their hands over their hearts. Our Croatian matre'di is humming too and I notice that I have tears in my eyes.

Our anthem always does that to me. It wasn't necessarily just the diverse group of people surrounding me, so grateful for the citizenship that so many of us take for granted. It wasn't the rarity of watching grown men in football uniforms and military stripes wipe tears from wintry red cheeks. It wasn't even the off-key notes of this sick little boy.

It's just this pride. It usually wells up around "And the rockets' red glare..." and I can't help but sing out by "O say does that Star Spangled..."

I remember when Jerrod and I first started dating. We were out riding around in his truck, windows down, warm autumn day. There was no radio, just comfortable space and a very new love. For some reason, I started to sing under my breath, "O say can you see.." and he joined in... loudly... with gusto. We were singing our country's anthem with vigor and passion. We paid no attention to notes or harmony or any type of musicality. We were giggling so hard by the finale, that he couldn't drive. We stopped for ice cream and laughed and laughed and I knew that this little patriot was the one for me.

New Love - Lasting Love

I am with an old friend. We are looking at each other through woman eyes - each admiring how the other's heart has matured. She is telling me of the love she has finally found and always deserved. Her eyes are shining off of the tall glass of red wine in front of her. A genuine happiness has rested in her bones and she is finally easy. Even as she giggles and recounts moments of awkwardness, she is confident and at peace.

A smile creeps over my lips and remains for the rest of the dinner. With each bite of pasta, she tells me of their love and I repeat the stories of my own. I am happy for her and happy for myself. I listen as she questions the newness of her relationship: "When do I tell him that I love him?"

I think of the blue eyed, dimpled cheeked, loyal and loving man with my heart, and can't help but share her giddiness - can't help but hear that first promise in my ear, the softest whisper, like a breeze, "I love you."

Knowing love is like fitting the 100th piece into the puzzle. No more searching. No more forcing the wrong piece because it looks like it should fit. No more work. Finding love is finding completion - finding wholeness.

I look at the high blush in my friend's cheek as she speaks of her precious new love, and think how lucky we are to be loved in return.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

A Fascinating Dream

I have always been intrigued by this passage. I wonder about it's lesson - it's meaning. We are always trying to decipher dreams - why was this one important enough to find a place in the world's best seller? Enjoy.

- - - -

While I slept, my heart was awake.
I dreamed my lover knocked at the door:
"Open to me, my sweetheart, my darling,
my dove, my flawless one.
My head is drenched with dew,
my hair with the dampness of the night."

I have taken off my robe-
must I put it on again?
I have washed my feet-
must I soil them again?

My lover thrust his hand through the latch-opening;
my heart began to pound for him.

I arose to open for my lover,
and my hands dripped with myrrh,
my fingers with flowing myrrh,
on the handles of the lock.

I opened the door,
but my lover had left; he was gone.
My heart sank at his departure.
I looked for him but did not find him.
I called him but he did not answer.

The watchmen found me
as they made their rounds in the city.
They beat me, they bruised me;
they took away my cloak,
those watchmen of the walls!

O daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you-
if you find my lover,
what will you tell him?

Tell him I am faint with love.

- - - -

Song of Songs 5:2-8

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Poem of Today

some days a Sadness can wrap its fingers over my shoulders and
press me down down until I am left
on the corner of the couch,
crying into the nook of my elbow,
a pathetic heap of Loneliness.

most days are better,
but it's these Empty days that wring my stomach
like a washcloth,
quench it of easiness,
hunger for Significance.

the presence of Separation clings to the air like drops of humidity,
curls my baby hairs,
frazzles my strong facade,
chokes the confidence from my smile,
forces stubborn tears to finally fall freely.

some days a Sadness dictates my writing,
coaxes my fingers to type out LONELINESS
while my proud heart calls DON'T PITY ME,
and either way,
he is not here and does not want to be,
i am not there and don't think i should be,

Friday, January 21, 2005

Get it out already!

Eye boogers. Eye gunk. Something in your eye. Cheese.

All names of those little pieces of mucus that some people have trouble removing before going out in public. Others seem to have some kinda mass mucus production company in their eyes that just keep those little doggies forming. It's like, every hour, there's a new development!

I, for one, cannot concentrate on what the speaker is saying if distracted by a chunk of greenish, yellow substance in the eye with which I am trying to make contact. Can be gooey, can be crunchy, is sometimes stringing across the lid. Usually, I have to just look away, give myself some kind of small task to do like re-tie my shoe, and let the person know, "I'm still listening" all while trying not to gag. Ugh! And sometimes it's like the person has made the attempt to get it out, but hasn't really followed through, and you'll see a hunk of it stuck in their eyelashes or strung down their cheek. It's so gross.

If I am close to the person (meaning I've had more than one conversation with them), then I will tell them, "Uh, I think you've got something in your eye." If you don't know the person well, you can always say that it's an eyelash or piece of fuzz. This spares you both any humiliation or awkwardness. In the event that I do know the person, I will often times go for the gold myself, inching my finger toward the hideous molecule and picking it out with steady fingernails. My family and boyfriend HATE this crazy pet peeve of mine, but I ask them, "Would you be distracted if this same mucus was around the nostril area?" The answer is yes, so why is everybody hating on the nose but giving the eyes a free pass?!!!

I'm tellin' ya! It's awful! I like to really look a person in the eye when they're talking - really give 'em my full attention! And even if they were describing all the riches in Heaven above, I still wouldn't hear a thing because I'd be thinking entirely of the junk in their eye and also of the best method of removal! Ew!

Now, usually, I find this to be a problem in men, most likely because they spend incredibly less time in front of mirror throughout the day; however, in the event that you do see these creatures curled up in the corner of a female eye, it can be even worse because it will appear as a humongous form of mascara mixed with mucus. This is a disgusting combination and, in my opinion, could have toxic impact on the ocular cavity and all that lies within.

I shall conclude with this:
1. If I ever have eye gunk of any kind, please tell me. (although I constantly check for it)
2. If you ever have eye gunk and someone is kind enough to alert you, please remove it. (for all sakes involved)
3. If you are about to post a negative comment on this piece, referring to me as a "sick individual" or the like, you are probably one who has a mass mucus production complex. You need to look at the problem within before blaming someone else for your overzealous ducts.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Tonight, God smiled on me. He usually smiles on His children, I'd say, but tonight he must of really shown those teeth, cause my boss let me off work early and gave me two free tickets to a Broadway show! It was awesome.

I called my roommate, Maggie, at 7pm - as soon as I found out. We were going to see LITTLE WOMEN and it turns out that they made the story into a musical. Sutton Foster plays Jo, the lead. She is phenomenal. (I saw her a few years ago when Jerrod and I came up to New York and got tickets to THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, for which she earned a Tony.)

This classic story gets me every time, though. The four sisters have such a bond and Maggie told me later that I remind her of the quirky Jo. Maggs said she saw the tears forming in my eyes when Beth falls gravely ill. It was ironic to get to see this show, because last night when I got home late, my roommates were still awake and I told them the story of my little sister's illness - the one that left her paralyzed - the one that called our women to spend 20 days crowded into a stale hospital room. My sister eventually recovered, but the character tonight did not.

It was heart-wrenching. As they sang of death and of life going on, I thought of Maggie, sniffling so close beside me. She didn't realize it, but I overheard her tell someone on the phone once that her biological father died when she was nine. I don't know if that crossed her mind tonight, but as the mother searched for meaning in her daughter's death - as she pleaded for her LITTLE WOMEN to move on, I was thinking about Maggie - wondering what a mother says to her blue eyed children - nine year old ringlet headed girl - seven year old man of the house.

On the train home tonight, she told me a little of her story. Told of the brain cancer that ate away at the last years of her father's life. Told of the coupon cutting her mother was forced to do when hospital bills and a sudden one-income home left them little to live on. Told of the memories she still has and the ones she hates that she's lost.

I looked at her tonight, not knowing what to say, but thinking how proud her mother must be of her strong, intelligent, self-less Little Woman.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Wedding Pains

My boyfriend tells me that weddings are the most painful events of the summer. I would argue that having a cavity filled, a water skiing accident, or perhaps a blistering sunburn on the top of the feet would be worse, but he stands firm. So firm, in fact, that my little Romeo has begged to get married in a Las Vegas Drive-Thru. He doesn’t want any of our friends to have to sit through a wedding – experience that “pain” – so he’s suggested Vegas. How romantic.

Now notice that we aren’t looking at any ol’ Vegas Chapel – even Britney walked in The Little White Wedding Chapel and got a veil and ceremony – no, it’s so “painful” that we are using a Drive-Thru. In and out! Hey, Mr. Sentimental, maybe we could get a burger and fries while we’re there?! I say to him, “Jerrod, if it’s so painful, then why would you want to marry me?” He says the marriage will be a breeze, it’s just the ceremony that hurts. Who is this man?!

The thing is: he’s not joking! He is firm in his decision and says that if I won’t agree to Vegas, then he and his groomsmen are wearing tuxedo shorts – a cruel ultimatum. Although Jerrod’s legs are nice, most men taper down to skinny little sticks connecting the dots from knee to ankle, all so that “the audience will at least have some entertainment”. Imagining the groomsmen he might choose, the "audience" will be blinded by brilliant shins from black short hem to top of black sock! I say that we are there to exchange personal and sacred vows, not to create a spectacle!

He thinks I’ll come around. He also says he would never propose to a girl unless he was absolutely positive that she’d say ‘yes’. Note the lack of sparkle on my left hand.

Monday, January 17, 2005

One or the Other, it seems.

wrapped up in a quilt,
special-made by his mother,
i smell him in each stitch.

he managed somehow to pry my fingers from tight
around his heart
to head back home.

he is on a plane towards loneliness,
where a big empty house is all that waits
for the sound of his footstep.

i am left to cuddle on a beat-up couch in a small apartment
smelling my quilt for his scent
and abandonment.

my throat keeps closing up tight.
my eyes keep going wet - dried out - wet.

i want to find peace in this dream i am chasing -
want it to stop feeling like punishment.
i want to find peace in this dream i am weaving with him -
want to be together for good.

just want to feel

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Some Kinda Wonderful

As Joss Stone passionately calls for "a witness" on her Some Kind of Wonderful cover, I look over at my man and think, "Amen, sister."

Jerrod's been here in the city for the past 3 days and I am already dreading his departure tomorrow night. It's felt so right being together again. And although it may seem hard to imagine a boy from Corbin, Kentucky navigating the streets of New York City, I have seen it this weekend and it is glorious.

When we leave my house, Jerrod likes to push me a little behind him and say, "I'm in charge" as he looks to the Subway signs. For instance, last night as we were off to a show, he was looking for the 4, 5, or 6 train or the Green Line to the Grand Central Station stop. The problem with Captain Pace being "in charge" is that, being color blind ("chromatically challenged" is the term I think he prefers), he refers to this line as Orange, and can therefore get a little confused. So, it sometimes takes him a minute or two, but he is very persistent and I am very encouraging (as I've been hitting him with a lot of "move to New York and love me" propaganda). This, of course, will never happen, but a girl can dream.

Other fun Jerrod-Pace-in-the-City stories include the bus. I slid my Metro card into the slot and headed down the aisle to find a seat, when I heard the busdriver say, "No son, it's like this. You gotta look at the picture." Jerrod had slid his card incorrectly into the slot using about 4 or 5 different methods - NONE of them matching the picture right above said slot. The driver had to take the card from his hand, place it on top of the diagram so Jerrod could see the perfect match, and then he inserted it for him. Jerrod just smiled, shook his head, and said, "Sorry. I'm from New Jersey."

I find him to be a very strange, yet lovable, individual. . . And Some Kinda Wonderful, indeed.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

More gym

Today I will brave the gym once again. My friend, Ellen, and I agree that there is absolutely nothing natural about being in a gym. When she told me that she nearly fell off of the gym equipment yesterday (twice) during her personal training session, I felt somewhat encouraged. I have successfully dillied and dallied enough this morning so as to have conveniently and quite purposefully missed TOTAL BODY CONDITIONING and CLUB ABS. I will take the train to another NY Sports Club, in effort to avoid previously mentioned (blog entry) "Barry", and have plans to do a quick little 22 minute XPress Line workout with a somewhat normal personal trainer. Now, these are the same expectations I had for yesterday, so I'm not getting my hopes anywhere near "up".

What I am looking most forward to, however, is a little thing I saw on the Sports Club schedule called HIP HOP FUNK. I've only been to Hip Hop Funk one time before, and it was awesome. The flambouyant latino teacher was very patient with his three pupils. I caught on relatively quickly "for a white girl" (as a stranger in the gym pointed out to me as I took a water fountain break) and the other two ladies were about 10 years older than me with NO rhythm, which made me look like the Break-it-down-Britney of the class. All ingredients good for my Hip Hop experience. When I went to work that day, I tried to teach a 44 year old Mexican waiter I work with my new routine, but he couldn't get the salsa outta his bones. I felt like a hip hop master.

So, I am looking forward to today's gym experience. If nothing else, at least I won't have to avoid a certain personal trainer by ducking behind physioballs or by squeezing between the rows of treadmills. (I mean, I hate going behind tread mill runners. One false step and BAM! You've got sneaker tread all over your face.)

Wish me luck.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Why did I go to the Gym today?

The goal was to drag my lazy body to a group class called TOTAL BODY CONDITIONING. I really think the name says it all. I'm in and outta the gym in 45 minutes (add five for a locker room tinkle on the way out) and my Total Body has been Conditioned in less than an hour. Brilliant! I mean, the class setting is really the way to go. You've got somebody up there with a phenomenal body really encouraging you to "bend those knees" and "lock those wrists" and "breathe!"; but you're not intimidated by said teacher's body because all of your fellow class attendees have bodies like yours. (But really, without some sort of trainer, how many of us just wonder aimlessly through the gym, avoiding eye contact with drooling meat-heads, staring at the equipment like, "What does this one do?", and wondering what we should eat when we leave? I doubt I am alone here.)

So, in a class setting, you're basically an efficient worker-outter.
Unless you show up late and they don't let you in.

In this unfortunate case, the gymee has to fend for herself and try not to fault the subway driver for letting the R train in front of us and thereby slow our entire route, leaving us to stare into the windows of the classroom, unable to avoid the "IF YOU ARE 10 MINUTES LATE, DO NOT ENTER" sign! No, the gymee must funnel that frustration into some sort of motivation.

In my particular instance today, I headed to the Elliptical Machine. Now, I am not a runner. As my friend Cathy once said, "I don't like to run unless someone's chasing me." I agree wholeheartedly with this philosophy, but I've heard that 20 minutes is all you really need to do at a time to get into shape. I climbed up on a machine, entered my weight and age, (all those lovely particulars), and watched music videos on the little TV in front of me. But I didn't have headphones so I was trying to read lips and it's so hard to not keep checking the time! You feel like you've been on there for at least 12 minutes and you look down to see 3:19. Argh! Plus, my machine was rocking and squeaking. If I had a body of steel, I wouldn't mind making such loud and obnoxious noises with each glide, but as I don't, I begin to feel self-conscious. . . like the 83 year old man across from me is thinking, "My Elliptical Machine is skiing so smoothly - she must be quite a heifer!" I put up with it for about 10 minutes when I rememberd the XPress Line and changed gears.

This is something the New York Sports Club has that I LOVE! XPress Line is a 22 minute workout and you go from machine to machine, right down a straight line, and you're in and out in no time. You wonder, "Is this too short to really garner results?" but then you feel sore later and know it's not a scam. A 22 minute workout with a trainer accompanying you along the way, adjusting your seat, adding the weight, coaching and encouraging - it's awesome!

Unless, like today, the only trainer at the XPress Line is a guy they all call "Barry". Is "Barry" his real name? No. But he goes by Barry White because he is a black man with a deep voice. He is not suave. He does not sing, to my knowledge. He is my height or an inch shorter, he is stocky, has a beard, wears thick glasses, but has that very deep voice - hence, Barry White.

The thing with "Barry" is that he only says one thing - ever:

"All day long, all night strong."

Now, as I'm doing leg presses and/or bicep curls, I do not want a trainer standing over me with a clip board saying, "All day long, all night strong." This is not an appropriate gym pep talk, in my humble opinion, no matter if you're a bass, a tenor, or a soprano! And what really gets me is that he eventually expects you to finish the phrase! For example, you're on your 13th or so rep and you're really working the muscles - think you might pass out before making it to your goal of 15 - and then you hear "Barry" say, "All day long. . ."

Hmmm. . . Wouldn't, "Come on, you can do it" be a little more appropriate at this juncture?

Now, if you ignore this and head toward rep 14 with grit in your eye, he will simply repeat the beginning of his classic quip. If, upon hearing said phrase, you decide to ignore him and continue to focus on your workout rather than his verbiage, he will only repeat that first little part again - lingering at the end and raising that low bass up a key or two to kinda show ya where he's going with it. "All day longgggg. . .?"

So today, I missed Total Body Conditioning, did 10 minutes of semi-jogging, and was unable to do XPress Line. In fact, had to use the upstairs locker room cause "Barry" was posted up at XPress Line right in front of the Woman's Restroom! Saying his little iconic slogan to all who passed!

I was basically wasting time. I knew that after Total Body Conditioning was a class called Club Abs. Now, having taken a 15 minute ab class before, I knew that these things should really be called, "Why does it feel like someone keeps punching me in the belly?" I mean, you're really hurtin' after one of these classes.

So, 1:45 finally rolls around and I have my mat and towel down, I'm cocked and ready to go in Child's Pose, breathing deeply. I know in my heart that this is my last chance to make something of this excursion into the city. In these 15 minutes, I needed to work my body into submission. After all, Total Body Conditioning sounded great, but Club Abs sounded like Club Getting to the Point. I mean, the flat tummy is what women everywhere dream of attaining - the prospect of that elusive 6-Pack being the entire reason for my gym membership.

Then the instructor enters. Now, I hear his voice and turn my head to look up at him only to see his gut! A gut?! How can the Club Abs trainer not have visible abs?! I mean, the class isn't called Club Hide and Go Seek Abs!

I can't help but think that maybe Club Abs isn't for me if this guy represents the end result. But then I think, I'm not being fair. He's probably pregnant. After all, it's New York and I've seen a lot of crazy stuff here.

So the first thing he does is turn off the lights and turn on some slow jams. I question his Tori Amos version of Nirvana's "Teen Spirit" as a workout catalyst, but I roll over and prepare for the first of what I'm expecting will be many an excruciating crunch. Now, ol' dude assumes his mat at the front of the class and demonstrates the crunch - we join in - then he shows us an easier version. I stick with the tough one, seeing as how we just got started, and am a little worried that the instructor is already doing the easy one - when he stops completely! Just stops crunching! And starts counting!

"100! 90! You're doing great!"

Okay, he is right beside me and I have terrific peripheral vision EVEN IN THE DARK! He is leaning on his arm, and has one knee cocked up with the other arm just draped over it. Lounging! The man is lounging!

"We're really working now!"

I roll my eyes.

"And 77! Don't give up on me, ladies!"

I nearly choke.

"Try to let the elbows touch the knees, if you can."

If we can? Can you even touch your toes?

"Feel the burn!"

The burn?! I mean, miserable. Of course, when he hits, "8!" he lies back and finishes out the set. What a phony! He then leads us in some obliques and this is where I almost laugh out loud. We are to lift our knees into a 90 degree angle, legs perpendicular to the floor, and take our right arm across to our left side and then vice versa. Okay, sounds fine.

Then as I'm alternating arms across my body I hear, "Throw that baseball ladies! Just toss it! Make sure you're flicking those wrists! It's just like throwing a baseball! Really pitch it!"


So I start flicking - really flicking my wrists - and I take my "baseball" and throw it right at his little face every time I cross my arm his way. He, of course, is counting down and sitting up.

"Last inning ladies!"

And here's the thing: any time you go to an abs class or yoga class, you're really working hard so you live for those two little words, "And release." You work and work and hold and clench and breathe - "And release" - and then there's a big collective sigh. Well this guy was releasing all over the place! And he gave us more breaks than he did exercises! Like he got tired watching us!

And get this! As the other women in the class are exiting, they are going over to him thanking him! "You were wonderful." "Great class." "I really felt the burn."

Listen, if anything needs to feel the burn, it's his 1989 inspired windbreaker pants. As it is, however, I left the gym with abs still donned in winter fat and an uncomfortable feeling as I heard a blue-haired woman utter "All night strong?" on my way out the door.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Have you ever been to Mexico?

There is a guy at my work named Oscar. Oscar - a Spanish name. The first part pronounced "oh" not "ah" and the last part pronounced "scar" not "sker". This is his name. Difficult to remember for a lazy Kentucky tongue.

OH-scar is shorter than me, as are all of the Mexicans at work. He is my younger brother's age, with a spikey hip hair-do, sports robes of ENYCE or ROCAWEAR. Bobs his head and twists his hips as he walks down the street to the reggatone and cumbria tunes he has downloaded on his MP3 player. Still a tad bit shy with his English.

My friend Rachel walks next to him as the tired Sardi's crew heads toward the train. We are American, Mexican, Ecuadorian, Bengali, Irish. Segundo says he likes "Raquel" because, "She is my size." She tells the group of the music she used to listen to when she spent a recent summer in Mexico. She has never met Oscar before. She is trying to explain this music to him and he is having trouble understanding her, or he is too involved with the guitars in his headphones. So she says, "Well, have you ever been to Mexico?"

His mouth drops. His dark eyes are squinting, searching hers to see if she is serious or if she is joking, but she just waits for his response with innocence skirting around her pupils.

I laugh out loud. I love my friend's unassuming nature in that simple question. A shorter, brown young man who speaks Spanish and is on his way to a Mexican dance club is not necessarily Mexican. She does not pre-define him; does not reckon his ethnicity.

What would the world be like if we all allowed others to define themselves rather than sticking our own presumptuous lables on them?

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Food for Blogging

When I tell the stories of my youth, I am always taking a gamble. There's the worry about how my family will react, then the gut feeling that I don't want to censor or be censored, then the anxiety about whether my audience will relate. Usually, my siblings laugh and my parents are uncomfortable. Most of the time, I censor my stories as much as possible without removing the parts that actually make them funny. And a lot of the time, my audience reacts with, "You have the Leave It To Beaver family."

My family is one that grew tobacco and corn and our own pumpkins for Halloween. We owned land and worked it and can now appreciate its worth beyond monetary value. We answered the telephone with, "Hello, this is the Whitaker residence." We addressed our elders as "Mr." and "Mrs." and were in trouble if our parents heard otherwise. We hug - a lot - and do "group hugs" and "group kisses" - which consists of all five of us in a circle, arms wrapped around each other, kissing the cheek to the right, then left, then right, tip-toeing to reach Mom or Bobbie Jo.

We went to church every week and if we got up too late, my dad would bring me the Bible and tell me that home services are in a half hour. I would prepare a sermon, preach to my congregation of four, and my younger brother would lead us in the hymns he selected. We church played and choired and handbelled and Bible schooled and nurseried and picnicked. We have a birthday party, complete with cake and ice cream, every Christmas day for Jesus.

My family is modest, and (as my dad always tells me) wishes I was, too. My family is honest, and I at least got that trait - sometimes telling too much. We never had cable television growing up, but we do own over 50 board games. We played all kinds of cards, but never for money. We watch as my dad gets tense at RISK and we talk over hours of euchre. We LOVE croquet, and my dad uses a handicap, as he would crush us all otherwise. Santa has a new board game under the tree for our family every year.

My mom has tea in the fridge at all times. She would give me the air in her lungs if I couldn't breathe. My dad gave his children every opportunity he didn't have. Passes on lessons and lineage for us to treasure; tells us his stories to pass on, but never writes them down. My brother is morphing into an image of my father every day. My sister is stretching up into a woman.

The stories of my family are worth telling. The stories of my life shine a positive light on a negative world; don't need to be censored, because their innocence is hope - remind people that filth doesn't have to seep its way into the nooks of every 21st century home. I look at my family and fear ever making one of my own because I don't think I could ever create a home as wonderful as the one I grew up in.