I have a soft spot for reflections when taking photos of the outdoors.

I have a soft spot for reflections when taking photos of the outdoors.

Learning to Breathe

Some days it’s like I forget how to breathe.

I close my eyes and turn my face to the sky. I let the sunlight kiss my face; my lips and eye lids with shadow and warmth. I let the breeze run it’s soft fingers through my hair and brush against my cheek. In that moment, that one small beautiful moment, I catch my breath. And I learn to breathe again. 

Commemorative Speech

In the fall of 2007 I took an Oral Communications class (go ahead, laugh at the name and where it’s coming from, I’ve heard all the jokes), more commonly known as “speech class”. One of our assignments was to write a commemorative speech, this was the one speech we were allowed to read directly from and forgiven for lack of eye contact. 

I wrote my speech in the form of a letter, so that I felt as if I were speaking directly to my subject, and really, I was.

Dear Jeannie,

It’s only the first week of November and, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the colors have already fallen from the trees. Yet the fir trees seem obvlious to the end of summer as they bask in the col wind and overcast sun of late fall. I’m sure the awkward change of seasons has left Mother Nature listless as she watches all her beautiful creations fade from the earth as winter begins to cast its frozen cloak over everything. 

Without you I am like the change in seasons - awkward and feeling as if some of the best parts of me have faded away with the warmth of summer or the colors of fall. Like Mother Nature, I too am listless and heartbroken because in March 2003 one of the most beautiful creations to ever grace the earth was taken fro me and the world is not as appealing without you. For quite some time I felt as if winter’s frozen cloak was never lifted from my life, but instead it seemed to become heavier with each passing day; weighed down with guilt and fear and anger and animosity.

I felt guilty about every time I didn’t live up to your expectations, I felt as if I could have done better for you and been better to you. You were more than my cousin, you were my best friend - even when we were apart for a period of time, we were “together”. I honestly can’t remember a time without you. The Sunday drives, the day and weekend trips out of town and our two week  Tennessee vacation. The many, many bars we checked out across the state, the parks, the shops and anything else we could find. All the times I both physically and metaphorically fell in the ditch and you were the one who pulled me out. But I’m still convinced it was your idea when we were five or six and tried to walk to town from Grams to buy candy.

Each time I broke a promise, each time I changed my plans, each time I left you out of something - each of these moments came back to haunt me after I realized there was no making these things up to you. The chance had passed and the opportunity to be the friend you deserved was gone forever. 

I was afraid of everything. I’ve lost other people I loved and it does not get easier, loss scares the hell out of me. The idea of losing someone and spending the rest of my days knowing I let them down or that I was a disappointment really bothers me. The fact that you were a mere nine months older than me and could be taken in such a sudden way left me with a fear I’d never experienced before. The reality that it can happen to me and at any time is a scary thing to be made so painfully aware of. The idea of being dead does not scare me, but the endless possibilities of a painful death do.

I was angry with you, angry with the gods, angry with everyone. I think I was, and still am, angry with myself. Angry for many of the same things I felt guilty for. Angry at myself for being so selfish and, although it was for only one passing second, feelings as if I was the only person you left behind. That night in the hospital Dawn asked me to promise her that I’d never leave her, that I’d never do that to her - I’m angry because I could not tell her that, I could not give her that of false hope.

I haven’t been to church once since the last time I went with you, probably because most of my anger, hatred and animosity were directed at the One who took you from me: God. I would have given anything for Him to leave you behind. He wouldn’t make a deal, He couldn’t just do this one thing for me. Instead He took you away from us and left us to bear the loss. I blame Him for everything! So now I have a new fear, I’m afraid that I may have lost my reason to believe in His existence. How can I be expected to put all of my faith into something that causes so much pain, something that takes the most beautiful, interesting, significant people and things away from me before I’m ready… Before you were ready. Before Kristy was ready or Nonnie or ….

You might be gone, but being so insecure and unsure of my feelings about God and faith, I will have to rely on you for one more thing. When it’s time and I NEED to figure it out, when I’ve fallen in my last ditch - I just need for you to pull me out one more time.

I love you and I miss you more than you could every know-

Love always, 


Feb 14, 2011

Just because you say you’re alright, doesn’t mean you are.

Just because you say everything is fine, doesn’t mean it is.

Just because you smile doesn’t mean you’re happy.

Just because you work hard doesn’t mean you’re successful.

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you’re loved.

Just because you sing doesn’t mean you have to carry a tune.

Just because you believe in something does not make it absolute.

Just because someone’s gone doesn’t mean they’re not with you.

Just because you cry doesn’t mean anyone else will notice your tears. 

Just because I say it doesn’t bother me doesn’t make it true. 

Recent Lessons Learned

(Originally posted June 12, 2011 in my “notes”)


Life is about change and changing is about living. I avoided change as much as possible and continuously reinforced my “walls” over the past fifteen years and then BAM! The walls were breached, change entered into my domain and I rolled with it. I enjoyed it; I lived. Now it’s all about rebuilding bigger, thicker, taller, stronger walls… or accepting what life throws at me and moving along with it. Once again, a change, a choice, a decision; living.

Mean what you say and say what you mean. If you are not someone’s friend, don’t pretend to be for status or any other reason. Saying the wrong thing or not saying the right thing could be a mistake and come back to haunt you or someone you care about.  Not only can you use your words to say what you mean, but your actions as well. I do for people I care about because I can’t always articulate my feelings into words that I am not afraid to use. I knew this prior to today, but the REALIZATION of some of it came just today.

Although we are all “free” to feel our feelings, some do not allow themselves to experience that freedom because of fear. Fear of hurting someone else, fear of being hurt, fear of losing a part of themselves to someone else, fear of trusting someone else with their emotions, fear of trusting at all, fear of repeating the past, fear of that freedom; of letting themselves completely go. (Hence my walls.)

Life is one lesson after another. Continuous change, continuous learning opportunities - it’s how you deal with these changes and feelings that result in the lesson learned. Accept the challenge and live your life.



My very first post in this blog I stated that I hoped this blog would have a successful and happy ending… In all actuality, even if I’d found wealth, success, love and everything else a person wants in Florida this blog SHOULD never have an end until the “blogger” is gone. The Diary of the Travelling Panties was never really about my attempted move or about the places I’ve gone or things I’ve done - it’s about my journey through life and the search for myself, inner happiness and peace. I’m thinking I probably have a lot of journey left. I hope. 

More journey means more adventure and more memories and, of course, MORE BLOGS. 

Courage isn’t having the strength to go on - it is going on when you don’t have strength.

- Napoleon Bonaparte

Mar 8


I’m far from thin and I will never be societies idea of beautiful but what I am is true to myself. I am ME expect nothing more and accept nothing less.

Mar 8

I’m fairly simple. I want little and ask for even less. Talk to me, not at me or over me. Journey beside me; do not expect to lead or follow for respect should be mutual. I will be someone’s priority and no longer your option.

Mar 8

I tried Amazon, I checked with Barnes and Nobles, I even went to Ebay and Craigs list because you can find EVERYTHING there!! However, I still haven’t found a copy of the “Idiots Guide to Life”… Help a sista out?

So, so true. And don’t assume to understand someone elses.

So, so true. And don’t assume to understand someone elses.

Life is our journey. Every mistake is a lesson, an experience, a memory. In the end the bad won’t matter compared to the good you could leave behind. Always learn, always love and always pay even the smallest amount of generosity forward!

Life is our journey. Every mistake is a lesson, an experience, a memory. In the end the bad won’t matter compared to the good you could leave behind. Always learn, always love and always pay even the smallest amount of generosity forward!

Jan 8