Sunday, December 15, 2013

Aunt June's Eulogy

Aunt June would be proud that I have my makeup on today. She once told me she was praying very hard for me to find a good Godly man, but if I didn't start wearing that makeup it might take a little bit longer. We were on family vacation several years ago and I remember Aunt June doing somehint hilarious and I asked her if I could speak at her funeral. I think she looked and mom, then looked back at me and said something like "Ofcourse Shug! But you got to make it funny." We all have our June stories. She was truly one of a kind. As I am up here I realize I am speaking for so many of you. I want to focus on the characteristics of June that we all cherished. Aunt June was hands down the funnest person I have ever met. She had fun wherever she was and whatever she was doing. I think that is why we were all drawn to her. She embodied the word fun. I remember going through a difficult time in High School and I asked God to point me to a verse so I would know He was real. I opened up to Psalms 27:13 "I am confident of this I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." That stood out to me and makes me think of my Aunt June. She truly saw the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. She truly lived life to the fullest. She remains the one person I have always wanted to be like. We were celebrating my Mom's 60th Birthday and Aunt June took the bouncers hat off and put it on her and got everyone out on the dance floor. She begged my friend and I to stay out late while everyone else was tired and wanted to go home. I believe she was 84 or 85 at that time. Aunt June was always so youthful. I am sure you have heard the story of her winning the bikini contest at age 60 against girls in their 20s. She was fearless. Aunt June loved her family and friends. She was married to my Uncle Todd for 64 years. I could listen to Uncle Todd tell stories of how he knew she was the one and how blessed their life was together. She was a mother, grandmother and loved her boys...Todd, Michael, Steve, Charlie, and Chad. I think the greatest relationship I was able to witness was the one she had with my mom Janice and my Aunt Judy. They were the 3 amigos. Aunt Judy was a flower girl in her wedding and she tells me 'There wasn't a time I didn't know my Aunt June.' June was so present in their lives. I know my mom and aunt treasure their many trips together, their numerous shopping sprees particularly at TJMaxx, and the countless hours they spent on the phone. There is no way to express the bond the 3 had. And when my sister Jessa and I were apart of the group, we knew we were apart of something special and rare. Aunt June was such a happy person. Uncle Todd has said she never woke up in a bad mood. She never wanted to talk about anything sad and I honestly don't remember her talking bad about others. She touched so many people...Fayetville, Newland, anywhere she went. I posted something on the internet on my Facebook account honoring June and the response was tremendous. Some people had only met her once or twice and shared how much she meant to them. My cousin Melissa Graybeal although not blood related wrote about Aunt June and Uncle Todd taking her in one summer. 'I think she wanted a little girl to spoil, so she borrowed me. She flew me home and it was the first time I had every flown. It was so glamorous!' June was always taking children into her home. She did the same with Mom and Jundy then this continued with Jessa and I. We would stay with her during the summers at her mountain home. We would pick black-eyed susans, look for lost golfballs, and go to Grandfather Mountain. I remember we went blueberry picking and she went on and on about my sister and being city girls and how we had never picked blueberries, could he believe that? The farmer went to get our baskets, and she said to my sister and I, 'Guess what I have never picked them either.' Aunt June also had a way of making people feel so good about themselves. I remember programming her VCR so we could go to Grandfather Mountain and watch our soaps when we got back, Young and the Restless and Bold and the Beautiful. She was so impressed and I think she called everyone she knew. And lastly, and most importantly, although there are so many thing I could say about my Aunt; I will conclude by sayinh she knew and loved the Lord. The few times I saw tears in her eyes, it was tears of joy talking about her Lord and Savior. She was so grateful for such a beautiful life. My friend Stephanie said at first she thought it was sad that June passed on Thanksgiving, but the more she thought about it maybe God planned it that way so when we think of the anniversary of this sad event,m we are reminded to be thankful for what we have. I believe this was a message she wanted to leave as part of her legacy. She taught me so be thankful, to let go, to have fun, to cherish every moment, to focus on the positive, and to never forget God in your life. It is hard for those she left behind and it is hard to say goodbye. But let's remember she is having the biggest party of her life and one day we will join here. It was an honor to be her niece and honor to be here. Thank you for letting me share.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Quotes I like

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring"

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and found their way out of the depths. They have an appreciation, a sensitivity, an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Aging with Grace

I hope to write about some of my patients that have impressed me, there have been so many in the past but I have failed to write them down.

Today 11/16/2011 I had a 93 year old gentleman that was sharp as a tac. He served our Country in Okianwa. He has been married 70 years and lives by himself. He takes care of his wife who is suffering from Dementia. She fell and broke her wrist so he goes to the Nursing home daily to feed her at mealtimes. We talked a long time and next time he comes in, he is going to bring some old photos. He was spunky and on top of everything. He knew exactly what medications and doses he took. When I asked him what his secret was he said working hard all of his life.

I asked another patient in the hospital the best advice he could give me, he said never to waste buying an extended warranty on anything except for maybe his treadmill. Wow, enough said.

It seems to me the patients that do the best share one thing in common and that is positive attitude, I have seen many patients give up mentally and their health follows. Is this attitude innate? This has been quite impressed upon my soul.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A New Me

Ever since I can remember, I have struggled with my weight and I am telling you that I am tired of it. I have been interested in health...physical, spiritual, mental, emotional for a long time as well. However, this does not mean I have or am living a "healthy" lifestyle. My weight has been up and down and when it has been down is when I am exercising regularly...running and aerobics in particular. I made a personal commitment when I turned 30 that I would finally lose weight and keep it off...Well I turned 30 a few months ago and I have lost a few pounds but I have a long way to go. This will involve intense focus. Maybe God has given me this time to focus on my health since I am single and do not have a family. There is a wealth of knowledge out there to be gained and I have the time to focus on it. Eating clean will be my focus. It is amazing how good you can feel when giving your body the right fuel. Eating clean takes preparation though and I must prepare to do this.

My goal is to eat less, move more, eat more fruits and vegetable, lose weight, (at least 30 pounds) and keep it off!! I also have a goal of running a 5K and eventually a half marathon!

Enough of the ups and downs on the scale, I am so tired of it I could scream!! So here goes to becoming healthy, it is going to take a lot of dedication, perseverance, focus, preparation, and hard work but I am tired of being overweight. I am tired of pretending it is not a problem or ignoring it. All the money I have spent over the years on losing weight, all the hard work I put in for my education (I am in the healthcare field), and the things I have learned is being ignored and I am not going to ignore it anymore. We all have problems and this happens to be mine.
So I will try to remember to update you on my progress. Why hide my struggle, I am sure everyone knows any way.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


What goes up much come down....Must you always be brought down after a high? Is that how it works? Is it all about balance? Do you tend to move towards a middle level because gravity doesn't let you stay high or low?

I met a British guy who had been sailing around the world for the last 3 years and experienced many things. His stories and what he had learned fascinated me. He told me that with traveling he had some of the highest highs and lowest lows...I understood what he was saying at the time because I was in a different culture at and in the midst of these highs and lows. But I think it is true in the day to day life...without grandiose travels or separation from the known. Now that I am back in Virginia, my 'home' if you will, the same remains true. The feeling I am talking about is like coming back from vacation, or the feeling after the work and preparation for a big holiday (the moment is gone so fast), or visiting a friend or loved one then having to leave, or when your visitors leave you. You get to a point so high that there is no where to go but down.

So my options are to ride it out or seek balance. I am going to have highs and lows, I am going to be riding the open waters one day and then I will be faced with some great storms the next. The water and breeze on my face will be a great reminder of freedom and the joy of life, then there are going to be winds so hard that I will question that freedom and joy. How do I learn balance?

When I am struggling with balance in my life, should I ask?

Am I balanced? Am I talking to God? I am living just for today? Is my life manageable or in a disarray? Am I emotionally supported? Am I physically involved, working out, breaking a sweat? Am I resting enough or too much? Am I feeding my body the right fuel? Am I reading and seeking out truth? Am I taking time to relax, time for myself? Am I organized at work? Am I playing enough or too much? Am I helping others or too focused on myself? Am I financially making smart decisions? Am I being honest with myself? Am I seeing the situation for what it is? Am I being fair, honest, righteous, and kind to others and myself? I am not always kind to myself. Am I jealous, even unintentionally? Am I putting too much un-needed expectation on myself? Am I thankful and grateful? Am I loving?

When I experience the lows in life, I can choose to force an action. Maybe the questions above can serve to guide my quest. No matter how exhausted I am emotionally or physically, I can choose to force an action. I can make myself get up or just lay there. Life is about God, Balance, Giving, Who I am, what kind of person I am (not what I do or who I know). So I say to myself wake much easier not to...Get up, get out of here...get up or lay there. I often let the highs and lows guide my path…but I also know I can choose to force an action. What will I do today? I am not sure. I think the unexpectedness of life, the ups and downs will eventually bring me back to a middle ground or I can choose to seek out it out myself and be more grounded which is what I think the soul craves...Homeostasis.

Inspired by my best friend...Stephanie Woolwine Whited who already is and will be a tremendous counselor. Our original discussion on this was in Samoa during one of my lower times.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Written a long time ago on Einstein

Einstein is the man, some of his quotes and my thoughts!

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."

Curiosity is another one of those things that make life interesting. I am thankful to have a brain and be able to question things I don't understand. However, I think there is a fine balance for me to question ALL the things I don't understand and remain faithful and simple. In first Corinthians, it says "I see but a poor reflection in the mirror. But one day I shall see fully as I am fully known." This helps me face life and the questions that can not be answered or understood. This to me is an example of how two things so opposite in connotation come together to express something more profound for me.

"The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible."

I think this is beautiful. The word contempt means the act of despising. I find that I run after things that I truly inwardly despise. It makes no sense and reminds me of Paul's struggle between desiring to do good but doing otherwise. I have to remember that kindness, beauty, and truth can be found in the land of the living, even if I have to wake each day anew and devote myself to seeking these three things.

"Never regard your study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy but to the profit of community to which your later work belongs."

"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


People come in and out of your life, sometimes just moments, sometimes longer, leaving implications that are so numbing you become mindless and are filled with despair because the moment is gone but also with un-sureful gratitude that you experienced a small touch of God's hand...something that touched you so greatly...or allowed you think about something in a different light...or showed you a piece of yourself you never knew...or opened the opportunity to experience something you would have never experienced without him or her...

You feel a sense of pain that the moment has passed you by but also of peace that you were supposed to meet that person...You want to cling to everything about them so you don't forget them...It reminds me of the quote from Peter Pan..."Never say good-bye because good-bye means going away, and going away means forgetting." How do you not forget? Do all good things come to an end? Johnny Cash sings 'Everyone I know goes away in the end'...It can be pretty damn depressing but I guess you live in the moment and do your best not to forget flashes of times that changed you, small little glimpses that are deep within...and you live to create that for another person and live to find it again...

(I am not an Optimist, probably more of a Pessimist because I have been hurt so many times...but perhaps the best way to describe my view would be that of a Realist...the pain of good-bye is real, very real- but I realize some good-byes are meant to matter how painfully real they are at the time or how misunderstood they are)