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IT’S THE CLIMB………………….Thanks y’all-s, thoughts and reflections

First of all I would like to start by thanking Debi and her husband Robert for making this trip possible. Being a journalist and finding myself at a loss for words isn’t usual for me. :p As hard as it was to say goodbye, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making it possible for both my son and I to have that opportunity. We BOTH needed it and the pain will ease but the regret would have lasted forever. May God bless you and yours for the unselfish generosity, loving compassion and honor to Garrett that you showed by sending me those tickets. I am forever in your debt and mightily humbled by how loving of a God we have.

Secondly, I would like to say it was truly a pleasure to meet Kellie, her children, the new baby (aka chunky monkey), and all of the extended Buthe family, as well as seeing everyone I knew from the family there as well as friends from long ago. Saddened as we all were by the reasoning behind it all. I am honored to call you all family, you made no differentiation between me and Ean and I cannot tell you how welcomed, comforted and part of it all that made me feel. Thank you, it would have been difficult without family by our side. Thank you for the warm and open love and welcome you gave to my son, he NEEDED that family connection and you guys were wonderful! Gloria, I hope that this past few days has changed you as it has I. I feel as though we could have a great and close connection not only with us but the kids as well. And it is comforting to know that they have those family roots and connection there and now they, especially Ean knows that. And again, it was EXACTLY what he needed. From the depths of my heart thank you. <3

Thank you to my awesome Kansastock crew (Ames, Coleo and his lovely gf Arielle) for the love and support and in person hugs and time spent with me. Arielle is lovely, intelligent and just perfect for Cole. You could see the spark between them and my aunt even asked me when y’all were getting married. She went out of her way to bring her and Cole to meet my aunt and I at the mall, just so they could support me and give me a hug and I could meet the wonderful woman who stole our best friends’ heart. *on a sidenote, the brownies disappeared, did not make it home with me and I didn’t have a single one )-; but THANK YOU for sending them.

All of my galz who offered all their words of love and support as well as prayers through this whole difficult time, thank you. I know you will all say “pshaw, it was nothing you wouldn’t have done for us, what are friends for” but there are no words for how soothing that was to my soul. <3

We took Ean to see his father’s grave (since GAB was going to be buried next to him and I wanted him to be prepared ahead of time). All in all I think it went well. Gloria, Ean and I cut fall flowers for his headstone planter, Ean carefully trimmed the grass away and had a few private moments to himself. He didn’t say much but he seemed thoughtful. I wouldn’t say upset but hopefully it gave him some needed closure.

As I drove around my old hometown I found that though there had been changes, it was still very much the place I remember. I felt pretty nostalgic as I toured old areas and these lyrics ran through my mind by Toby Keith……Something made me smile. Something seemed to ease the pain Something about the universe and how it’s all connected. I felt how deeply I had changed and the rightness of that change. I KNOW for certain in the depths of my heart that the move was the right thing to do, that the universe had aligned in my life the way that it was supposed to unfold, that however does nothing to stem my grief or my regret at them not having those years together. I wish I could give those 5 years back, but the path cannot be untraveled and so my peace with it all has been made, and allowed another door to open. We look forward to the kids enjoying long summer visits with their family.

I left the young, in love, foolish, untrained girl behind with you and only the woman returned. I’ve let go of all the what ifs and anger and regrets now I hope for peace and healing to flood in.

Lana, Cory and Kellie, I cannot tell you how deeply sorry I am for your loss. I can only say that as deeply as I feel it cut me it has to be 1,000x harder for you. Nothing could ever hurt as badly as having to bury your child, especially so young. I felt the brush of it when Aley and Alexandria had that wreck and it horrified me. As you go know that there are many many people praying for peace and healing and standing around you to support you when times get rough. The grief will never leave but I hope for you an easing and a knowledge that this isn’t goodbye only until we meet again.

Thank you to the Harley bunch, it truly warmed my heart and I know GAB was smiling down when y’all pulled up to pay tribute to such a powerful young soul.

Karen and the CDC crew: it was AWESOME to see you and I <3ed Ean’s face when he saw and remember y’all. Each little connection was such a powerful comfort to him.

My nephew’s funeral was packed, so was the overflow room and I believe there were people standing in there. There were many many more who wished to be there and were unable to do so: Awe insipiring how powerful his impact was in the time that he spent here. I hope that everyone remembers that and takes from it the knowledge that your OUTLOOK on life has a power to effect other and change the world. We can choose everyday to hold our heads up and keep going no matter what life may throw at us with the knowledge that there will always be hope, there will always be dreams and even when life knocks us facedown in the dirt or throws a curve that we cannot begin to understand that we can keep climbing and choose to never quit. How could any of us do less than Garrett with all that he faced with courage every day of his life?

Joel, thank you for the ride from KC to Augusta, it was much appreciated. Kate & Steve thank you so much for opening your home to us we appreciated the support. And I cannot thank you enough for the loan of your vehicle while I was there it made it possible for me to be a part of what I needed to when I needed to.

I am sorry I missed many people I would have liked to spent time with and hope they understand that it was certainly not personal it was just really hectic and emotional. I am hurt by the insinuation that I was not under an obligation to spend every moment with my “Buthe” family because I flew there ONLY FOR MY NEPHEW’S FUNERAL , however that was such a tiny blip and I’m certain wasn’t meant in the way it came out, I was awfully raw and emotional at that time…..

Thank you for the “special gifts” for my children to have a “piece” of GAB with them always. I appreciate the unselfish generosity.

In conclusion, the hole left behind by that little freckle faced kid will gape large and raw for a long time for a lot of people. Let us turn our minds towards “solutions” to the situation by using our energy to support people who supported GAB through his life. MDA was a HUGE part of Garrett’s life and they were his other family. Please support MDA and honor the memory of those who lose this battle every day. Ewalt elementary school taught GAB from Pre-K-3 and all of you showed up in force many time to support them and never made GAB feel as though he were any different. We should get more involved with supporting our schools, in our children’s educations, and in making changes where we can when we find lack.

Most of all, thank God for every day that you have. Each one is a gift and may house a memory to cherish for a lifetime.

RIP?

This is a video of one of the songs played at the funeral and it really touched me:

too bad Miley sings it, LOL……………J/K