Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Feels Like Yesterday, Feels Like Forever

By: Samantha S. Daviss

As we are all aware the days seem to be getting longer, nights shorter, and the earth is spinning faster. I feel like there is never enough time in a day, but yet they fly past as if in a blink of an eye.

This week marks the two-year anniversary of my entire family losing one of the most wonderful human beings I had the privilege of knowing, loving, and respecting….my dear sweet mother-in-law. I don’t like using the word anniversary when it comes to the passing of someone, to me anniversary carries such a positive connotation, and this was definitely not a happy time for us.

I will never forget the morning we had to tell her goodbye. It was Texas/OU weekend, and the reason I remember is because I was sitting on the top floor of Baylor Hospital in Dallas, overlooking the State Fairgrounds, watching as the sun rose over the Cotton Bowl and the preparations for the big game were in full swing.

Most people that day were throwing on their school colors, filling their coolers, and loading up for a great weekend of fun and laughter; while my family and I were trying to figure out how to say goodbye to the woman we all loved with all of our hearts and souls. We were trying to figure out how we were going to be able to forge forward in life without her sweet hugs, kind smile, and adoration for her kids and grandbabies.

I was trying to figure out how to keep her spirit alive, so my boys knew just how much their Memom loved and adored them, until her last breath (and still continues to love them, even though she isn’t able to tell them). I want them to know that this woman was the kind of person I hope they each have just a little bit in their souls; the kind of person that could find the good in anyone, the kind of person that didn’t speak ill of anyone, and the kind of person that had enough innocence in her soul that a certain inner peace exuded from her pores.

Now don’t get me wrong, this wonderful person was no push-over. Standing at a mere 5 feet tall, I have heard stories (hilarious ones I might add), but nonetheless stories of how this tiny tower stood the test of time. Through friends, men, children, grandbabies; and just funny stories of her in her younger years as a 20 and 30 year old gal.

She lived her life with no regrets, no sadness, and no qualms. My husband and I talk about her on a daily basis (amongst ourselves and with our boys). We want our boys to remember her as the spirit and protective guardian angel that surrounds us on a daily basis; not a distant memory that is only talked about at holidays over hanging the Christmas stockings or the Thanksgiving turkey.

Even though there are some days it hurts me so much not to have her here on earth with us; I know she is at every soccer game, every t-ball game, every basketball tournament, every baseball game, and most importantly every ER visit we have to endure. I guess it’s the selfish side of me wanting her in the here and now. I know she is in a better place and out of pain; but the selfish side of my soul wants her here to squeeze her grandbabies, to cheer them on at games, and to sign their numerous casts that they have worn.

But even though she is no longer tangible to us, I know she is here. I feel her love every single day, and her protection over us as we go through life.

I can only hope that when it is my time to go, I leave such an impression. Maybe not on the world, maybe not through some scientific discovery, or by saving the environment; but by leaving smiles on people’s faces when they think of me after I am gone.

That is my goal in life, is to be a good enough person to affect someone in some positive manner. I want my millions of gallons of tears missed (being tears of laughter, sadness, or just because I watched a Kleenex commercial); I want my ability to drone on and on about a topic missed; and I want my love and protection of my friends and family missed (because when I love, I love big).

Make your mark on the world. It doesn’t have to be earth shattering; but make your mark, and make it a permanent one.

Carpe Diem—Leave each day to the fullest.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Boy oh BOYS!

By: Samantha S. Daviss

You would think I would run out of stories to tell about my boys, but every day is a new day and a new adventure in our house.

Most recently my middle one has been telling me every five minutes that he wants to marry me. But the other day he took it back, because I didn’t get his milk fast enough; so he had a total and complete meltdown and told me he was no longer going to marry me. So as you can only imagine, my heart was broken.

And the very next day, he asked me for some more milk, and I retrieved it for him; and upon my return he announced to me that he was going to marry me again, so apparently the wedding is back on. But he also proceeded to tell me that “I was the best mommy in the world.” And I asked why he said that…”Because you get us stuff when we ask for it.”

Good enough for me.

But the excitement with that one didn’t stop there…we have now officially broken five bones in our house this year. I’m wondering if the ER will consider just getting me a hospital band for each boy, so I can run my arm under a scanner, like at the grocery store, and we can go on back to our designated room.

It was pretty simple, he and his big brother were kicking the soccer ball down the driveway, and his foot rolled over the top of the ball, and broke his tibia. It really is amazing. We are a very outdoorsy family; but we don’t do crazy stuff like rock climbing, or cave jumping, or swimming with sharks. 

We do normal outside activities just like every other family in the world…but apparently my grace and coordination rubbed off on all of my children.

But regardless of our accidents we are all always smiling and loving life together. I tell you what, this little guy is taking this full leg cast like a champ. He is definitely a better patient about it than I would ever be. And his two brothers have been amazing. The minute the accident happened, the little one ran inside the house, grabbed a Band-Aid and slapped it on his brother’s leg; while the oldest also ran inside and grabbed his ankle brace, thinking maybe he sprained his ankle.

So the brotherly love and bond is definitely there; blood definitely is thicker than water. Even though there are also those days that I am pretty sure one of them is going to kill the other one, out of pure frustration. But even as loud, chaotic, the multitude of cookie crumbs I find in my bed, the numerous pairs of shoes I trip over in the house, and the endless number of toys I put away (both inside and out) on a daily basis; I know I am going to wake up one morning, and shutter at the silence in my house.

I am watching all these young people that I have been getting to know over the past eight years, grow into wonderful young adults, and planning their high school graduations, filling out college applications, all the “Senior Nights”, and proms; and I know that my day is not too far away.

In fact my oldest just went to his first homecoming. He had a great time and loved every minute of it. But to see his little smile next to a young lady, made my heart skip a beat. It skipped knowing that the little boy I once held in my arms nightly, rocking him to sleep, singing (not well, but singing nonetheless) until he drifted off, or the nights I laid next to his crib with my hands between the bars because he was scared or didn’t feel well are a thing of the past. He is growing up so fast, broken bones and all. He is turning into the wonderful young man that I have hoped and prayed he would become. But there are still those days that he still needs his Mommy. And he is the best about our daily hug routine. He will come out of nowhere, arms wide, just needing a hug. And that is something I never, ever get tired of.

So to that I say thank you. Thank You for watching over my little family and providing us with laughter, tears, smiles, and lots and lots of hugs and kisses inside our four little walls…while these wonderful (albeit a little clumsy) boys grow into some extraordinarily fine young men.

Boys are amazing. They are rough and tumble, clumsy and funny; but have the biggest hearts and the most love to offer any one human being, especially mom.

Friday, September 26, 2014

What College Really Taught You

By: Samantha S. Daviss

You typically walk away from every life experience learning something. Whether it be via a book, a professor, a lecture, or just a general common sense “Life lesson”; you walk away knowing something new. You may not realize it at the time, but you in fact have learned something new.

College is no different. Hopefully with that lovely, very expensive, four year degree you walked away with some academia knowledge, not just how to pop open a beer bottle with your teeth. Hopefully it was learned knowledge, from the well-paid professors that the university lured you in with to thatschool in the first place, that you can walk away with and offer a new perspective on the world in your field of expertice.

Now I say hopefully you walk away with some academic knowledge under your belt. But college also teaches you so much more than what you can learn in a classroom or a lecture hall…it teaches you the following:
1) How in fact to open a beer bottle with your teeth or your class ring (if that's your thing);
2) it is a necessity to soap the central fountain of campus in the dead of the night, without being caught by staff or faculty;
3) Ainfraction in your Greek letters is a no-no; but you have to rebel somehow, right?:
4) It may look like chicken scratch to the rest of the world, but you somehow devised your own form of short hand to survive all your long-winded professors;
5) Hangover Rule: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday…not a good idea; Thursday and Friday…still not your best idea; Saturday and Sunday…is a given. (Not that I'm condoning drinking.)
6) the ability to pull an all-nightwear on that dreaded final and still have energy to stay up for the game and after party the next night on no sleep;
7) You figure out that you can get a change of clothes, your lunch, four books, and a pair of track shoes in your backpack;
8) And with your backpack…you figured out that they are totally cool at college…especially when you are “doublestrappin’” (putting both straps on your shoulders);
9) You learn that friends are you family now;
10) And you learn that the bars right across the street(s) from campus were geniuses when they picked those locales. (Again, not condoning drinking)

College can be a lot of work, but college can also be a ton of fun. It is that time in your life when you really discover the real you and get out from the pressures of high school, and that particular mold you had been put into your entire life.

It’s the time you get to be a dork if you really are a dork; or a book worm if you really are a book worm; or funny and outgoing if you really are, instead of hiding behind who you think everyone wants you to be, or expects you to be.

College is amazing, so take that time to enjoy it, learn, and appreciate the gift you have been given with an amazing education and life experience.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Nice Warm Blanket

I don’t talk about my past very much, because well, it’s the past. But I do want to talk about my present, the gift I have been given. Saturday was my wedding anniversary, one of the happiest days of my life, because it is my new beginning, my resurrection so to speak.
I refer to my husband as my mulligan. For those of you not familiar with golf terminology, a mulligan is a “do over” — it is a second shot you get to make up for a really bad shot you had during your round.
Now it’s not in the PGA rule book, it is more of an unwritten rule or terminology used by recreational golfers; but it gives you a second chance to correct your mistake.
I don’t use this term for my husband in a negative terminology, it is actually a term of endearment. Seeing how when we were younger, we met playing on the golf course, and that is where our friendship grew many, many moons ago. But I say as truthful as I can be, he is my “do over.” I was lucky to find him; and him to find me. We are probably the most unlikely of pair, but we work magically.
As I said, I don’t talk much about my past, but I have started thinking that maybe I should. Because life isn’t all candy canes and roses; life has some serious hurdles. And some of those hurdles you feel like you can’t overcome, but you can.
I am a product, nay a victim, of divorce. And a pretty horrible one at that. It was not amicable at all. This man broke my soul for a while, he broke my heart, and he broke my faith in trust.
The reason I bring my past up on my day of celebration with my husband is to remind myself, and everyone out there, that life does go on. Mine did. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a rough bumpy road, and I don’t want to paint this fabulously rosecolored picture that I got divorced one day, and met this wonderful man the next, and got married and had two more perfect boys.
In the end, yes that is how it turned out.
But the “in between” is the part that I think most people don’t hear about, or want to hear about. But it is hard and painful, especially when a child is involved. Not only are you having to guard and protect yourself, but this innocent little creature, too; from all the heartache and damage this life-changing event has done to you both. I feel people that have gone through this need to understand that eventually there truly is light at the end of the tunnel. Whether you find love again, or you find yourself again. Either way, you are coming out stronger and all the better for it.
I’m not talking about my former life because I can’t move past it. Quite the contrary. I am talking about it to let others know that they are not the only ones out there hurting.
I am talking about it because every day I wake up now I have a smile on my face — I’m not wondering how I’m going to get out of bed today. I am talking about it because I have allowed my heart to open up again to another man; not to be sheltered and shut off from the world. And I talk about it because I am so grateful every day that God put this wonderful man in my life, who accepts me for who I am, doesn’t try to change me, and allows me to spread my wings.
But mainly, I talk about my past, because unknowingly, I was always in pain. I never knew what trust was. I was never given that opportunity to totally and completely trust a man, other than my daddy.
My husband has done that for me. I am able to be comfortable in my own skin and be good with him going on a guys’ weekend, or traveling for a living, or leaving the house for a couple hours; without this mountain of fear of distrust pouring over my soul.
My life, now, is constantly wrapped in a nice warm blanket. A blanket filled with comfort, trust, and smiles. I attribute a lot of this comfort to my husband; but I also attribute a lot of it to myself, in the fact that I took the time to really get to know me, and find a partner that enhanced my strengths rather than one that tore me down.
So to that I say thank you to the love of my life, and to those of you out there hurting, “this too shall pass”…you just have to find your warm blanket. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Small Towns

By: Samantha S. Daviss

I can say I have been lucky enough to live all over the world, well a lot of big U.S. cities, and abroad for six months. But that still counts as “all over the world”, right?

I am so glad that I have had the opportunity to live in some of the largest cities in the U.S. I truly enjoyed living there at the time, but now that I am back home, in Texas, and small town Texas to boot, I now know I am where I belong. I think if I hadn’t lived in those big cities, I would have always wondered what I was missing. But I was fortunate enough to live there in my 20s and early 30s, back when I had patience.

Now I go to the city and I absolutely lose my mind. I really don’t think at this point in my life I would survive the traffic, the anger, and the chaos of the big city as a mom and a little more seasoned woman. That is one thing I have learned about myself, is that I do like wide open spaces, quiet, and solitude. When I was younger I used to think being alone meant no one liked me, or something was wrong with me; but now I crave silence and alone time.

My husband and I are building (hopefully what will be) our forever house. And it is in a spot, that when I open the car door, I hear…absolutely nothing. And it makes my heart sing. Now I know the horns, the hustle and bustle, and the excitement of the big city makes some people’s hearts sing, and that is wonderful. I share their admiration for where they live, but I know I am not that person.

Does that make me less exciting? Does that make me less cultured? Or less adventuresome? I don’t think so. As they say, “To each their own.”

There are so many reason I personally enjoy the small town life, but the main reasons are simplicity and comfort.

The comfort in knowing you can walk in almost any place and see or know a familiar face. I love the comfort of knowing your kids are (hopefully) safe in school, because they are taught and cared for by people you have known a lifetime. And with that comes the fact that those educators know they can pick up the phone and report in about your child to you, good or bad.
But living in a small town filled with comfort means you can be planning your 20th high school reunion and know you can pick up the phone and ask any classmate for help, or talk to them about the planning aspects, even if you haven’t seen each other in over a decade.

But the part of small town life I love the most is the simplicity of it all. I enjoy driving past all the old century-marked buildings filled with new life and new businesses; and the next second I can be on the out skirts of town driving past heads of cattle grazing in the sunlight.

I adore the fact that one day I actually pulled out of my office parking lot and passed a man riding a horse down one of the busiest roads of my town, and not one person was flustered by this fact. And I worship the fact that I attended a very lovely baby shower not too long ago, with my mother as my date, at a very lovely home on the edge of town; but, as we climbed back in my car to leave, she had to pull a piece of hay out from between her toes in her open-toed shoes.

You can’t find that kind of excitement in the busy hustle of the metroplex, now can you?

I say if the shoe fits, slide that boot right on and start tromping through the fields of the simple small town life.

Living in a small town doesn’t make you simple, in fact I have found my life to be busier and more hectic here with more access to more activities and outdoor adventures that we constantly partake in; but it does help you appreciate the quiet times you have in between the busy times.