The day that just went right.

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I think we all have these days where everything just goes right. Where we are in awe, or shock, or complete dismay that our day is going better than planned. It’s rare and often feels impossible. I had one of those days today. I kept asking myself, is this real? Just when I thought something would go wrong, it didn’t. It got better.

Days like today make me believe in a higher power, even more than I already do.

I could blame the good vibes on coincidence. But something told me it was much bigger than just a few pieces falling into place…at the right moment…and right time. 

My dad arrived at my apartment around 8:30 AM today. The plan was to leave me his car while he attempted to drive my car safety back home. It’s about 90 miles to Pocatello from Logan. And throughout the past week I could barely drive 5 miles before my car began to overheat. It turns out there was a hole at the entry of the radiator causing it to not allow the fluids to pressurize. We filled the radiator with water. It felt like a lost cause. It looked helpless and hopeless. There was no way he was going to get it back to Pocatello.

But surely, like the Mr. Fix it that my dad is, grabbed 2 tampons and shoved them to cover the obnoxious little hole that created this hot mess. He wrapped the hole with black electric tape as tight as he could. He pushed the cap on, and he was on his way.

45 minutes had passed and I hadn’t heard from him. I took that as a fairly good sign. If he didn’t call, he must have been okay. Low and behold, he made it to Pocatello. And on less than a quarter of a tank. That doesn’t seem possible.

God works in mysterious ways. And today, it really worked in our favor. We are forever blessed.

The funny thing is, as my dad was traveling back to Pocatello, I was greeted at the park by two sister missionaries. I was hesitant. I was unsure. They were walking closer. I know they were going to say hello. Their reputation consists of nosiness and you’d think they’d have to be extroverts to master the missionary tasks.

Hello.

There is was. It was wasn’t too loud. It was sincere. The HELLO I knew was coming. I had time. Why not let them in? It was a beautiful morning. And nothing was going to keep me from enjoying the sun on my skin. Or the breeze whistling around me.

I’m always friendly toward missionaries. I let them say what they need to say and I’m on my way. It’s not that I don’t agree with what they say. Most of what they share, I believe in too. But I don’t want to lead them on. I don’t want them to think I’ll commit to going to church, or suddenly want to serve a mission of my own. 

But they seemed extra nice. And I’m not used to seeing ‘Sister’ Missionaries, so I humored them. 

Hello.

That’s all it took and we clicked. I was taking photographs of beautiful flowers in a secret garden that I thought I’d be safe from any guests. They asked me about photography. It was small talk, of course.

The next question was about General Conference, and if I had watched it. Luckily, I had…so I didn’t look like a complete idiot. There were sincere talks that I genuinely appreciated and I was able to converse about.

We talked about life and the tender mercies it provides. We talked about how God trains us to be victorious. Much like a sports game, the players train continuously to prepare for the game in hopes to be victorious and win! It was a wonderful metaphor. And it helped make sense of the trials I’ve been through. It helped me open my eyes a little about why it feels like one bad thing after another happens in my life. But like the sister missionary said, God is training us for our most victorious moment, whatever that might be. And I agree. God wants me to be victorious. 

It was a beautiful morning. And it was truly the day that just went right.

But alas the day is not over. My friend was in a bind. The night before she experienced an issue with her brakes on her car believing it was a similar problem with a broken hose she had before. She took it in this morning to get looked at. They replaced her hose and suggested that she flush out her system. The pressure was too much and ended up shattering one of her cylinders. The part wouldn’t be available until later that evening, but she had a flight in Salt Lake City to make and had to leave by 1 PM. 

Luckily I had my dad’s car, and I was able to offer her a ride. She was extremely thankful and expressed to me how good of a person that I am. That I have a good soul. And that she would do the same for me. It was an incredible feeling that still makes me smile. It’s amazing to have friends who appreciate who you are.

So again. IT was the day that just went right. I hope you’re all lucky enough to experience something like that at least once in your lifetime. Maybe it’s because I kept a positive attitude, but I think God throws a couple of those days out to people who need a reminder that they are good people, doing good things, and sometimes need a good day.Image

 

 

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That Stupid Little Dot.

I’m not the kind of person who usually lets the little things get to me. I know when to pick my battles. And I certainly don’t waste my energy on things I can’t change…not for too long anyway.

My mother is buried in the Rexburg, Idaho Cemetery. Her grave is an extra special place that brings me comfort, but it’s not the only place I feel her at. I feel her all around me whenever I take the time to ponder about her for any length of time.

But there is one thing that always rubs me the wrong way when I am fortunate enough to travel to my birth place and her resting ground and place flowers upon her headstone.

It’s that stupid little dot. The dot that doesn’t belong. The dot carved in stone. The dot that cost just a little more money. The dot that shouldn’t be there. The dot that represent so much more than a dot.

My mother’s birth name is:

SUZANNE J PRICE

But her headstone reads:

SUZANNE J. PRICE AVERETT

There it is. That stupid little dot. A dot that shouldn’t even matter. A dot that I should be able to surpass. But it’s there. Every single time. And as I visit her grave I focus on the positive. But there it is. That stupid little dot. Sitting there. Burned into the stone. And it’s been a goal of mine ever since I saw it, to replace it. I know it’s no small price to pay. But one day, I will replace it. With all the love in the world. To remove that stupid little dot that makes me cringe.

Because to me, that dot represents carelessness. Somebody somewhere disregarded her at that moment, sloppily picking out a headstone. Carelessly writing out her name, making an assumption that that dot even existed. As if my mother didn’t live 36 years with her name. As if it didn’t even matter. And maybe it shouldn’t. But to me, I owe my mother at least that. Respect. And I don’t even know whoever was responsible for that very preventable mistake. I have my ideas…but I don’t really want to know. It’s not so much who did it, or who didn’t look close enough before it was carved in stone, as much as I care that it happened. And that I’m going to erase it someday.

I’m going to do more than cover it with dirt each time I visit. I’m going to place an entirely different headstone down on her grave. Something I can be at peace with. 

I miss you mom. And I’m going to do this for you.

45.

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She would have been 45 today.

To adolescents, maybe 45 seems so far away. It feels like a lifetime. But to the rest, 45 is not even halfway. It’s not even a glimpse of enough time. And she didn’t even make it that far. And I tell myself she would be pulling out little white hairs now and cursing her “old” age as she looked unsatisfyingly into the mirror tracing yet another unwanted wrinkle that she could clearly point out, but that most others would barely even notice. Because as humans we take our age for granted. It’s a reminder that we’re not as young as we used to be. As if that’s a reason to limit ourselves. As if that’s an excuse not to celebrate another year, because we’re not as young as we’d like to be.

But today I celebrate her life. Her life is in each leaf I see blooming as the newly awoken trees stretch their branches for another Spring. Her life is in a stranger’s smile as I pass them by, catching their infectious grin. Her life is in the laughter of children sliding down a slide. Her life is in the voices of friends and family, reminding me of the kind spirited woman she was. Her life is in the rays of sunshine that warm my toes and kiss my skin. Her life is in the beat of my heart as I steadfastly move on, day to day, living a life she only dreamed of for me.

Death is inevitable. It’s something we can’t escape. It’s something we are taught to prepare for and live life to the fullest. But when that life is cut short, something about the nature of this world shifts. We fall down. We collapse. It feels unbearable. It feels impossible. My mother was young. She was healthy, despite the cancer that lived in her blood. And she was taken too soon. That’s something I will never understand. I don’t think I’m suppose to. But from her death, there have come harsh lessons and great rewards. My trials are a never-ending reminder that I’m still alive. Even if she couldn’t make it to forty five.

Sometimes I have days where I feel like I’m falling from Cloud 9. Or that I’m climbing a ladder going nowhere. It almost seems pointless. But then I reminded about the simple joys of life. And I remember the quiet lessons my mother taught me by example.

– my mother was the kind of person who rooted for the underdog. because of her I never put myself above anyone else.
-my mother was able to forgive those who wronged her in her dying days. she showed me a kind of strength i never thought possible. because of her I’ve learned to let go of my grudges.
– my mother had the greatest sense of humor. because of her, I try to bring a little more laughter into this world.
– my mother graduated from college. she may have done it later on in her life, but she did it — and because of her I value my education and the power that comes with it.
– my mother was a nurse. she cared about people, genuinely. and she served others without asking for anything in return. because of her, I know the importance of serving others and cherishing the simple moments in life.
– my mother didn’t play by the rules. we ate out on sundays. we were friends with every kind of person. we talked about pooping and farting. we talked in accents. we watched R rated movies. we ate ice cream cake with our hands (burr). we sang karaoke and didn’t bleep out the swear words. we peed with the door open. we lived life the way we wanted to, not by how everyone else thought we should, how society or our church expected us to, but how we felt was good for us. because of her, I don’t panic about making mistakes. I learn from them and I don’t sweat the small stuff.
– my mother tried to bring her family together. she tried to make others feel included. because of her, I want to surround myself with family and friends who make me feel good, and who can laugh at my jokes, and listen to me on a bad day.
– my mother was a beautiful, strong, hard working, silly, amazing woman. and I will always remember her for the things she did for me.

I am so fortunate for the short time I shared with my mom. She taught me more in 12 years than most learn in a lifetime.

Thank you mom. I love you so much. Happy Birthday. 

Three little birds.

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Why did you get a tattoo?

The question of the month. For me.

I was the person four years ago shouting at the top of my lungs that I would NEVER get a tattoo.

I think I was simply scared. Scared of what others might think. But I’ve done a lot of changing over the years.

I have three birds flying high on my right ankle. My first tattoo, and I decided to put it on a bone. It hurt like I suppose 5 million bee stings would. But I managed. I just needed to remind myself to breathe deep.

There are three birds; therefore, there are three reasons I endured the pain of permanently inking my body.

#1: Strength.

There is a saying that goes a little something like this:
“Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” This is honestly the best way I can describe how I’ve lived most of my life. I believe I’ve been faced with challenges that most people never even catch a glimpse of. And that’s ok. I’ve learned to deal. I’ve also realized that my trials don’t even come close to some of the pain others have to bare. But I’m not trying to compete. I’m just trying to get perspective, that life is only as hard and easy as you make it to be. I make choices everyday that place me in situations that I get to decide how I react. And with my strength, that only gets stronger, I face each trial a little differently. And a little better. And in the end, I’m only stronger from it.
One bird belongs to my mother. It reminds me each day that she would want me to keep flying, even if she can’t.

#2: Freedom. 

There have been physical and mental restrictions in my life. There are things that I cannot control. And sometimes I feel as if I am behind bars. And there have been people in my life who I care truly and deeply about who have had to face the trial of actually being behind thick bars locking them out from the rest of the world. And it’s cold and dark. And color is limited. And life is poor. And I cannot do anything about it. But in recent events God has given meaning behind this particular trial. And I have gained a new perspective on how important and fragile our freedom is. I don’t ever want to take it for granted. And each day I will be brave and live freely.
One bird belongs to my father. It reminds me each day of the sacrifices he has made for my sister and I.

#3. Champion.

In my opinion, being a champion sometimes means doing things you don’t want to do, but you do them anyway. I have had to endure this kind of pressure before and I’ve struggled to accomplish the things asked of me sometimes. But my sister, is  the true definition of a champion. She is someone who stepped up to the plate even though she didn’t have to. And especially when she didn’t want to. But she has been my champion. She has rooted for me. And she has had to be the bad cop sometimes. And she’s been a support that has lifted me to places I never thought possible. I love her dearly. And I hope to be half of what she is someday. I could die happy.
One bird belongs to my sister. It reminds me each day that she always has my back, and will remain loyal and true. And will defend me until the end. She is my champion through and through.

The three birds represent my family and their greatest lessons they have taught me. I am forever in their debt. And that is why this tattoo will forever remain with these meanings. And I will never regret those lessons, no matter the pain I had to endure. It was the least I could do to endure the 20 minutes of torture on my skin to remind me of the pain I’ve been through in my life and surely will continue to. But with strength, freedom, and my champion — I will be just fine.