One time I kind of liked this guy who was a huge health nut. Anyone who knows me at all knows that my favorite hobby is to be in the kitchen, whether it’s to cook or bake OR eat what I’ve just cooked or baked. And while I try to be healthy from time to time, let’s face it: I use butter. And lots of it. And, I won’t lie, there are evenings when all I have time for is a drive thru meal. Sick. I know. So anyway, I remember one time I had a McDonald’s bag sitting in the passenger seat when I pulled up to the Health Nut’s house. I looked over and saw it and instantly went into panic mode. I crumpled that bag up into the smallest ball I could manage and stuffed it under my seat and prayed to God he didn’t decide to look for anything under the driver’s seat. Later that evening as I drove home, I began to think how ridiculous it was that I couldn’t just be myself and that I had been afraid of what he’d think if he had seen the McDonald’s bag. Silly.
One of my best friends, Sam, and her husband have what they call “buffet date nights.” Don’t let the name deceive you. Sure, sometimes they do go to one restaurant that offers a buffet, but their spin on “buffet date night” is pretty darn clever if I must say so myself. They pick one item from all of their favorite fast food joints and they go to every last one of them and get their orders to go. Then they take their bounty home and veg out in front of the TV, savoring every last bite of junk food from five or six different restaurants. And Travis never turns his nose up at Sam if she eats more fries than him or if she’s eating her fries so fast that she nearly bites her fingers off (I’m not judging. I’ve done this myself.).
That’s the kind of love I want to find. One that doesn’t care how fast I eat my fries. And one that laughs at me when I get so excited that all I can do is fist pump the air. And one that thinks my dancing is so awful but dances with me anyway. And one that laughs at all the wrong times with me, like when we’re supposed to be quiet in church. And one who thinks my corny sense of humor is funny. And one that will sing off key with me in the car. And one that gets mad when they see the McDonald’s bag in my passenger seat….NOT because they are disappointed in what I chose for dinner but because I didn’t bring them a snack, too. I want to find someone that thinks my obnoxiously loud laugh is music to their ears.
And someone who kisses me goodnight even though I ate french fries and a Meal Deal Number Four for dinner.
If this person exists, send him my way, would ya?
So many emotions running through me right now. Anger. I’m mad that she’s gone. I’m mad that she’s not here to see me walk across the stage. I’m angry that she’s not here to watch my cousins walk across the stage. I’m angry that she’s not here to help me get ready at my wedding. I’m selfishly angry. And I’m sad. I’m sad that she won’t know my babies and that they don’t have the privilege of knowing her the way that I did. I’m sad that I can’t call her and hear her say, “Hello, sweetie!” Then I go back to being angry. Just angry that it was her and not someone else. I don’t wish death or the pain that comes with it on anyone, but why was she taken? Why my aunt Roxanne, the kindest, most loving, most giving, happiest, lady I ever knew? Why? I wish someone could tell me. Just tell me what the point was. I don’t want her to be gone. I don’t want to wake up tomorrow and not be able to call her and tell her happy birthday. I don’t want to wake up Friday knowing that it’s been a year since she stepped into heaven. I want her to be here with me. I want to be with her on her birthday. I don’t want to lay flowers on a grave. I want to bring flowers to her house and feel her hug me. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and as milestones come and go, there isn’t anyone else that I wish I could call and tell them to. There will never be a day that I don’t miss her. I won’t ever forget her laugh, her contagious laughter. I’m sad that I won’t ever hear her tell me that she loves me, but the special thing about my aunt was that did more than tell me that she loved me. She showed me. She made me feel that love. She lived her love out and because of that, I feel it every single day. I feel it in so many ways, like when I see flowers blooming or when the sun peeks through the clouds on a rainy day. I feel her love when my nephew comes running to me with his arms wide open. I know how to love as an aunt because she taught me what it was all about. I love her so much. And I miss her so badly. I’d give anything, anything at all, to have her back.
I love you, Aunt Roxanne. I can’t wait to get to heaven so I can see you again. If there’s a spa in heaven, I’m sure you have reservations waiting for when I get there for a mani/pedi. God, I miss you. I miss you so much.
If we’re being honest, I didn’t know National Sibling Day existed. But if anyone has siblings that deserve an entire day devoted to recognizing their greatness, it’s me. I have the best brothers on the face of this planet. Don’t try to argue with me. Both my brothers are younger than I am and I’ve always felt like somewhat of a mother hen to them. Jeffery and I are 14 months apart and Nathan, the baby, is just about five years younger. I love them both more than I could ever put into words. And I’m close to them both in different ways. They are my best friends. They are the two of the three men in my life that I could call at any moment for any thing. They learned from my dad how to treat a lady and how to love. They are both dads (that’s really weird to write) and watching them evolve from annoying, bratty brothers into husbands and fathers has been such an incredible transformation to watch.
Jeffery. Where do I even begin? He’s the comedian. We have the same sense of humor. He surprises me quite frequently in the middle of the day with text messages of jokes or funny pictures or songs we want each other to listen to. And when we’re together, we’re laughing. No question. He’s stubborn. He’s set in his ways. He’s a family man. He’s strong and passionate and devoted. He was the first person I called when I decided to leave my ex and come back home. In between sobs, I told him I just wanted to come home and he said, “Come home, Rachel. We miss you.” He was sitting in a tree stand in Missouri and there I sat, on a cold hotel floor in Iowa. And I’ve cherished every moment I’ve had with him since I’ve been home. I love him more than life.
Oh Nathan. My baby brother. He and I are so much alike. We are the social butterflies of the family. We can, and often do, strike up a conversation with anyone. No one is ever a stranger for long. We are both talkers. We both use our hands when we talk and we get that from our momma. We wear our heart on our sleeve. Nathan got married last year and it was really hard for me to watch him go from my blonde headed, toothless baby brother to a grown man becoming a husband. All I could think of as he said his vows was the letter I still have that he wrote to me when he was about five. It said, “Rachle I love you soooo much I would get bet (beat) up.” And then there’s the one he wrote that said, “Rachle you are so cool. P.S. just choking.” I love him. Nothing could change that. He’s sensitive and compassionate. He isn’t afraid to love and to show it. He is going to be such a good daddy to his new little baby. I love him with my whole heart.
I am so lucky to have been raised in a home with a family that taught love and wasn’t afraid to tell each other just how much we loved each other. I can’t imagine life without them. I love that on any given evening, I can call Jeffery and tell him I’m headed over for supper. I can’t imagine not living a couple miles from both my brothers. And I can’t wait to have babies of my own that will be best friends with their cousins. I’m a lucky, lucky girl.
Jeffery and Nathan, I love you more than you know. Happy Sibling Day.
the most amazing sister on the planet.
I know I said I was probably done writing about The Valentine’s Day Teacher, but I make the rules when it comes to my writing, so I can break them if I want. And I want to. So that’s what I’m doing.
I honestly can’t believe it’s been over a year since the first time I laid eyes on him. But what weighs even heavier on my heart is thinking back to this exact time a year ago. I knew my time was limited with my aunt. She was getting worse instead of better and to say that I was a mess is an understatement. I remember sitting in my Methods of Teaching Geometry class, my mind swimming with thoughts of how I’d ever live without hearing my aunt’s voice again and wondering who I’d call on days when I just needed to hear her say, “I love you, sweetie.” Thinking back to a year ago, had it not been for The Teacher, I really don’t know how I would’ve survived such a dark time of my life. I remember calling him one April morning and telling him that Aunt Roxanne had taken a turn for the worse overnight and he didn’t even miss a beat. He immediately got on the phone with the right people and within minutes, was letting me know that he would fill in for my mom (he has his principal certification) so that she could make it to the hospital to be with her sister. He was so thoughtful and made that really hard time of my life a bit more tolerable. If I wanted to sit and cry, he let me. And if I wanted to get in the car and just drive, we did that. I know that each year around this time, not only will I remember the last days I had with my aunt, but I will always think of the ways that The Teacher’s love pulled me through such an incredibly painful time.
I’m incredibly proud of The Teacher. He just got a principal position a couple hours away and I know that he has worked so hard to get where he’s at now. He’s climbing the ladder and I know this is just a stepping stone that will lead to even greater things for him. He’s a hard worker and that shows in everything he puts his hands to. He’s determined. I couldn’t be more proud. I just wish I could tell him how proud I am. But that door is closed and I’ll have to be proud from the other side of the door.