Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Feeling Fortunate...

I'm feeling pretty fortunate tonight.  I'm not particularly sure why so much tonight.  I guess it's been a night of reflection and fun.  I went out with some friends tonight and there wasn't anything special about the night.  It was just really great.  Elijah went with us and two of his friends met us for dinner. We all talked and laughed and told funny stories.  I realized while we were eating that it won't be long and impromptu dinners with Elijah won't be happening.  Someone told me today that these next few weeks will be filled with times of sadness.  I didn't feel that tonight.  As I thought about it I had my own little celebration in my head for all that he has become.  On Sunday he will officially be an adult.  That's crazy, right?  Eighteen?  How could he already be eighteen?  It doesn't seem possible, except it does!  It's what we've been preparing him for all these years.  We've taught him how to be responsible, how to care for himself, how to earn money and pay bills.  We've taught him how to make wise decisions and how to have respect for the things he has and how to strive for the things he wants.  Yesterday he received a letter saying he received a Guy Harvey Endowment.  He received a President's Scholarship, a Dean's Scholarship and an Honor's Scholarship.  Does it sound like I'm bragging?  Of course I am!  I'm proud of him.  We gave him a stable foundation and planted a desire to learn in him and it has paid off.  He has built from that foundation an earned everything he is receiving.  We can't take credit for it!  He truly has done it mostly by himself.  We don't check on his grades, his homework and anything else for that matter.  He's self-sufficient.  It's amazing.  
I don't really like the term blessed, although I've used it on a number of occasions.  This would probably be one of those times to use the word blessed for most people, but I think that word means nothing close to the way we use it.  If we didn't have all that we have we would still be blessed.  Today we are fortunate.

I'm sitting on my back porch in my new dumpster chair....which is fantastic and people throw really useful things in the dumpster.  I'm listening to The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack.  I love it.  I can't get enough of it. It's an amazing story of someone who had everything, but had enormous demons that got the best of him for so many years.  The music causes me to pause and think about how someone gets to that point that they are alone with nothing but the very thing that is killing them, yet they don't have the strength to walk away.  How does that happen?  How did we avoid that same fate?  It could have been any of us, but it wasn't.  I'm sure he never set out to be a junky, it just happened.  I look around me and although I'm not living in a mansion in Van Nuys, I still have it all.  I have an amazing husband who fixed dinner for everyone while I went out even though he isn't feeling well.  I have 3 incredible kids and amazing friends.  I drive an awesome little car and have nice things to wear.  I have a college degree.  I still have both my parents and one of my grandmothers.  I have wonderful memories to look back on and a future to look forward to.  It's enough.  Lately I've had a bad attitude about some circumstances that haven't been to my liking.  Tonight I'm deciding to put that behind me and celebrate what I have and persevere towards my goals.

The air is still tonight.  The sky is amazing from my view.  The music is fantastic.  I could sit here forever soaking it all in.  I hope you take some time to soak in where you are tonight....welcome to wherever you are...life is beautiful!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Barely On This Side Of The Hill

Tomorrow is one month away from my birthday.  That means I have one month left in my 30's and that is really hard to believe.  I know, I know...many of you have gone there and it's no big deal.  It kinda seems like a big deal to me.

These next 6-8 weeks are going to be busy times at the Porter house.  There are so many firsts and so many lasts for us and it's all crammed into the months of May and June.  It's going to be an emotional roller coaster for sure.  There are going to be extremely happy times and many times of reflecting on all the years that have passed.

To start out the firsts and lasts, I visited my grandmother in her home for the last time.  Although that really doesn't seem significant because she didn't die, it's the only house I have known. I love that house and have very fond memories of spending time with my grandparents there.  She was very heartbroken about having to move to an assisted living center, but I tried to focus on the positives for her.  She has Alzheimer's.  It's sad to see a woman who was so independent and very progressive for her generation become someone who needs lots of care.  I will cherish walking around her home on Sunday as she told me stories of how she came to possess things.  Elijah was with me and it was a great day!

May brings the first time Brian and I will have an adult child.  Elijah turns 18 on the 10th.  He's always been somewhat of an adult anyway.  It's been an amazing journey watching him grow and mature.  He has such a bright future ahead of him.  I'm proud of the man he has become.  He's basically grown up with Brian and I and it has been such a delight seeing all that he has accomplished.

Of course, May brings the first time I will be over the hill.  FORTY-------how did that happen.  Where has time gone?  There are so many things that I have done, but so many things yet to do.  I'm thankful for the life I have had.  It hasn't always been easy.  Getting married at 19 and raising a family in my early 20's was oftentimes a struggle.  I can't imagine it any other way though!  It's what I wanted!  No, I don't have the job that I want for the rest of my life, but I finally graduated from college!  I get to coach high school sports, which is a dream come true.  I have close friends who encourage me and support me in the hard times and celebrate with me in the good times.  I have a beautiful family. I have a husband that is incredible.  He's more than I could have ever imagined.  Life is good!

June brings the last time I have a child in elementary school (thank God!!!)  It's hard to believe that Lilikoi will be in middle school with Lennon next year.  I'm excited about that.  Middle school brings about so many new experiences and I look forward to seeing how she grows over the next few years.

June also brings the first time we have a high school graduate!  Yay Elijah!  He has worked hard and earned a full scholarship to Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale.  That's amazing and a huge accomplishment.  It is so rewarding seeing all his hard work pay off.

Firsts and lasts....so much to celebrate and so much to reflect upon!  It's going to be a crazy couple of months, but I'm excited for that.  Life is what we make it and I think we've made a pretty good one!  I'm excited (and a little nervous) as we move through these next several weeks!  I'm sure there will be lots of tears and maybe even a meltdown, but all-in-all I'm glad I've made it hear!

Welcome to wherever you are......