Small Town

Funny “I’m from a small town” story. Today is my mom’s birthday, and true to myself, I waited until this morning to order flowers to be delivered to her work. I called the flower shop that my family has often used in the past. Here is my conversation with the florist:

Me: Hi, my name is Rachel, I live in Birmingham and today is my mom’s birthday. She works at ***** *********. Is it too late for me to order flowers to have delivered since I clearly can’t come into the store?
Florist: Of course not. Now, how do you spell Thresa’s name? I know it’s a little different.

I NEVER TOLD HER WHO MY MOM WAS!!!

Here’re the flowers:

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Valentine’s Day

I have a dilemma with my boyfriend. It seems that he remembers EVERYTHING I say. For Valentine’s Day, he bought me a bouquet of roses and lilies because he remembered lilies were my favorite, though I don’t really remember saying that until maybe two days ago when I saw some in the grocery store I like (and he ordered my Valentine’s flowers weeks ago). But, we do live together and we’ve been together a little over a year, so it’s possible I’ve mentioned it. The gesture was sweet just the same.

Here’s my dilemma. I don’t remember anything! I can’t remember the stuff that I’ve told him I like. I can’t remember the stuff that he’s mentioned in passing that he likes, which makes me a terrible present-buyer. I did do pretty fantastic at Christmas, but only because I stumbled upon a website that makes clocks (his favorite collectible other than cars) out of Formula 1 discarded parts (his favorite sport and yes, racing is a sport). But for Valentine’s, I bought him a waffle maker so he’ll stop complaining about the Eggo’s I buy. I’m a true romantic, I know.

So, I’m thinking I’m going to have to start a boyfriend notebook and secretly write down all of these things he idly mentions that he likes so I can look as savvy as him when I’m giving gifts. Cause really, I’m not.

Fingers crossed I mentioned my favorite kind of diamond cut in passing ;)Image

Goals and Other Things

 

Driving home from work last night, after a 12 hour day, I thought back on how lucky I am. Yes, on this night, I was exhausted after working more than a full work day getting ready for a college basketball game and then interacting with customers and coworkers, trying not to burst my introverted bubble. But, I am doing what I love. I never dread going into work. Sometimes I complain about the hours I work, the lack of weekends during certain sport’s seasons, and, occasionally, the people and strong personalities I work around. But this is sports. All of this is built in and expected.

This is the goal I had worked for, through my public relations degree when my cohorts were hoping to work for non-profits, or big firms, or the fringe few that wanted to do wedding planning. Through grad school with the stress and the projects and the tests, none of that accounting for the huge life changes I went through. I worked so hard to get to this point, to finally do what I love to do. The only reason I was so driven towards getting to this point was seeing my parents do jobs they hated, dread going to, just to make a life for our family. It wasn’t until I was in college that my parents both found jobs they actually enjoyed, with my dad working in the field he had wanted to be in since high school.

Me and Daddy

My dad was always incredibly proud of where I am in life. Really, he was always proud of my drive and determination to get out of that small town. One memory I always have is his pure enjoyment out of getting my business cards, no matter what my job was. Up until this point in my life, I have had three jobs with business cards, and my dad always wanted a stack of them, even when I was working in retail for three years. I have no idea what he did with them, but I knew whenever I got my first box of cards, a good sized chunk of them needed to go to my dad.

I’m not finished with my journey. I’m where I need to be right now, but there is still so much road ahead and I can’t see all of it. It hurts to know that my dad won’t be there to see me reach all of my goals, and all of his goals for me, but I’m glad he got to see me start my journey in the right way. At his funeral, I heard countless times how proud he was of me, how much he talked about me, how I was so important to him. I was proud of my dad too. He pointed my feet in the right direction and stood back to watch me take every step.

Why?

On January 18, 2013, around 4 in the morning, my dad died. (I hate saying “I lost my dad.” That sounds so insincere. I didn’t misplace him, he died.) He was two months shy of his 54 birthday and I was his 27 year old daughter, spoiled and coddled and well loved by the man I called Daddy, even after it was age appropriate. It was an instant growing up moment. You see, I don’t live near the house I grew up in. My family is in Arkansas, and I have somehow found myself in Birmingham, Alabama, a five hour car ride away. I spent three months living in fear of when my phone would ring.

My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2012. Being the stubborn, gnarly man that he was, he chose not to seek treatment or hospitalization. He was not afraid of the disease, he was wary of the treatment. He had seen the men in his family face cancer, seek treatment, and lose. So against our wishes, he decided to go out on his terms.

So this isn’t a real post. Hell, I don’t really care if anyone reads this blog or not. This is a place for me to collect the stories of my daddy, my family, and my life. The stories I can’t sit down and tell others face to face because my emotions are too raw. I can’t vocalize the words and the memories. But I can put them in writing. This is my introduction to you.