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Ashlea – Girl Gang Member

This is my final Girl Gang Member post about my best friends. So, lastly, but only in writing this blogpost, and certainly not least in any way whatsoever, here is my Ashlea. Oh, wow! Where to begin with this one? We met when her oldest and my youngest daughters were in 4 year old kindergarten together and we haven’t missed a beat since. She is . . . Fierce – furiously eager or intense. She can flash those piercing eyes in your direction, head cocked to the side with a slight smile dancing in the corner of her mouth. You can’t help but want to know what she is thinking and then you must go do it with her! It’s always an adventure. Brave – possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance. Hmm . . . this badass BFF of mine has been through mud pits, sprayed in the face with venom, and hung out to dry in the middle of a desert. But NO MATTER WHAT – she always comes out the other side of whatever it is still with that “pretty girl swag”. (go look that definition up) Vivacious –  lively; animated; spirited. We were once known as the Dynamic Duo. She is my partner in crime. She is wild, fun and up for just about anything. What haven’t we shared? She is a survivor. Just like me, she has been through more shit than you would find in a pasture of a million cows that were all just given enemas. How’s that for a visual? We’ll be in our eighties and still crazy – TOGETHER! She would probably describe herself as this “Flawed and fabulous because perfect doesn’t exist and normal is boring.” And this is just one of the many reasons I LOVE ME SOME ASHLEA GRAVES!!! We ain’t afraid to get our hands dirty in this crazy thing called life! So, for today here is the good . . . I am BLESSED to call her my friend, my sister and to have her be part of my inner circle – my Girl Gang. I love you, Ashlea! Much Peace and Love Y’all! I hope y’all have a great weekend. PS – yes this is an old pic below. Most of our pics I can’t show to the public! (wink, wink)

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Heavenly Light

Good afternoon my wonderful Look for the good . . . family and friends! Many thanks to all of you for checking in whenever your time allows. I am doing my best to pass on even just a sliver of positivity as much as I can. I was going for daily on Instagram/Facebook but as my life would have it . . . I get interrupted or my ADHD yells “Jane, come here!” from another room. I take off in a hurry to see what the panic is all about and by the time I get there I have already forgotten who called me or I got distracted and stopped somewhere else along the way. #daysinthelifeofJane

Also, just in the last few days there have been some major changes at The Crazy Harts Club. However, those details will come in later blog posts as my little heart allows. For today, here is the good . . . no matter how much darkness is surrounding you, always look for the light. Even if it is a tiny, pinhole bit of light, search for it. It’s there you just have to look for it. If you are blind and someone is reading this to you then listen for the light. You might ask – how in the world can I listen for something you are to see? The light doesn’t always have to be seen. It can be felt in an uplifting presence. It can be heard in a loved one’s voice or simply a bird singing. The light can come in something as big as a gift or as small, yet powerful, as a hug.

Please follow @lookforthegoodinc on Instagram for quick positivity! Share this blog post, share my Instagram and Facebook with ALL the people you know and everyone you come in contact with – even if you aren’t on Instagram and/or Facebook. The Instagram posts will also be on our Facebook page – Look for the good. We can all use some good . . . EVERYDAY! Much Peace and Love Y’all!

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Positive Purposeful Post

“Don’t let your dreams be just dreams.”

It has been a minute since I have written a blog post. My summers are not easy and I’m rarely alone to even think. We took Kloie back to school this past weekend, Grayson is asleep at this very moment, and ALL THREE DOGS are in their beds and quiet (miracles do happen).

Does anyone else wonder if you can still have dreams no matter how old you are? Sometimes I wonder about that and other times I say “Yes! Why not?”  As some of you know, if you keep up with my blog, I am 41 years old and just last month had one of my life dreams come true. I am now a real author! (See the link on my Home Page to order a book or send me a message and I can get one to you – NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE IN THIS WORLD). I always dreamed of writing my own book. Now that is a reality and the second book is already in the works. My Summer with Jimmy & Nan Dee is a short memoir which makes for an easy read. However, The Preacher’s Daughter will be quite different. (wink, wink)

What about dreams for younger people? Of course, when we are young don’t we all have some grand idea of what we want our life to look like? To go to college or not? To get a job now or later? What kind of job? Do I want to get married? Have children? Where do I want to live? We can plan all we want but I will tell you from experience – we are NOT in total control. God is. That is not to say just sit back and do nothing! You do have to help yourself (and others I might just throw in there).

So, for today here is the good . . . Dream. Dream BIG. Dream small. It doesn’t matter but do dream and make it happen. It may not be easy but it will be worth it.

This message is for everyone. However, I am dedicating today’s post to my youngest daughter, Kloie. You are smart enough. You are strong enough. Don’t let ANYONE hold you back from doing what you are supposed to be doing and being who you are supposed to be. Much Peace and Love, KloBo! Much Peace and Love Y’all!

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What is a gift?

Does a gift always have to be material? Do you always have to be able to see or touch it?

Today is my daddy’s 83rd birthday. I pushed to get my book finished so I could have a material gift to give him for his birthday. I wanted him to be able to see what I have accomplished despite the many difficulties I have experienced (some completely my own fault). I wanted him to be able to touch and read and ponder over the words I put together to create this story. I met with him last Thursday for a birthday celebration lunch and surprised him.

For today, here is the good . . . I received a much greater gift than pages with words on them. I received the gift of time. You can’t see it or touch it – only experience it. Two years ago, an angelic voice urged me to write My Summer with Jimmy & Nan Dee. My daddy, also known as Jimmy, and I spent countless hours together. I learned about family history, the history of Greenville, South Carolina and had an unexpected visitor show me what is truly important in life. For all of this I will be forever grateful. I don’t know how much time I have left with him. We never know with anyone. Time can be a gift. What gifts can you give or have you received that are not made of materials? Think about it . . .  Happy 83rd Birthday, Daddy! Much Peace and Love Y’all!

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Positive Purposeful Post

BE. HERE. NOW.

Oh, oh, oh! I battle with this like wrestling an alligator while in a bikini in the Louisiana bayou in the pouring down rain. Throw extra mud in there too! Heck, add another alligator into the mix. Why not? I struggle living in the moment. I am always looking ahead. I haven’t been diagnosed but I am pretty sure I have ADHD, definitely have anxiety and surely a sprinkle of OCD. I am a serial planner. I have had to be simply because NOTHING can be done on a whim at The Crazy Harts Club. This is due to having a severely handicap child (now adult – UGGH!) for over nineteen years. My schedule depends on everyone else’s and everything I do seems to be a domino effect. But who wants those Debbie Downer details today? Not me. I am feeling confident in my journey. It isn’t an easy one but definitely entertaining.

So, for today here is the good . . . Try asking yourself this when you get all in a tizzy – “Is the world going to come to an end because of _______?” I am trying to start there. Life has a way of getting busier and more complicated. I don’t think that is the way it was intended to be. I hope for you to be well, be at peace and to BE. HERE. NOW. Much Peace and Love Y’all!

 

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Positive Purposeful Post – Sort of . . .

You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.

Am I? You better get ready for this post! Strong – it can mean many things but here are some definitions – solid or stable; healthy; thriving; able to resist wear; energetic. Those that are around me outside of my admirable, fierce, intimate circle of friends think I am a ball of energy. I am constantly moving, talking or doing. I wonder if they think I sleep eight hours a night, have very little stress, and my life is like riding a unicorn that poops out glitter? It is everything opposite of that. I AM EXHAUSTED! Not tired but EXHAUSTED! I am stable – well this could be debated by some. Ha, ha. I am trying to get healthy. Seriously! I have reached out to my neighbor, who is a personal trainer, to help me with my food issues. I know you need to exercise as well but food is my problem. As you know, I hate to cook and add all the other crazy in my life on top of that I would just rather eat doughnuts for every meal if I could. Or cereal. Too bad Grayson can’t eat cereal because Kevin would be in trouble. It would be cereal for supper. And it is only by the grace of God that I resist anything but lately everything has been wearing me down.

My best friend, my husband, my Kevin stays stressed but I can’t go into detail here. I worry about him having a heart attack in his early forties. I wish he could let go of a lot and enjoy his life. I don’t want him to be sad or angry. Here I am talking when I struggle with the same.

I will forever be sad over Grayson. I just will. I don’t want to hear any stupid comments about being thankful I have her – of course I am thankful with so many children and teenagers passing away too soon here on earth. But most people don’t know what it is like to have a 19-year-old who has to be in diapers, has to be fed, clothed, bathed and can’t do anything to take care of herself. Not only does she not have any fine motor skills (she can’t grasp anything – not even my hand to hold) to point to what she needs and/or wants but she is also non-verbal. Most people don’t know what it is like to grieve every day for years and years and years. She can’t even sit up by herself. EVERY SINGLE DAY of my life I face sadness. I wake up every morning just hoping when I walk in her room I don’t find her dead from a stupid seizure. She can’t tell me what she wants to eat. I don’t know what she likes to watch on TV. For years now we rarely see her smile. She even looks sad. So that doesn’t help either. If she seemed happy I would be able to function much better. I feel like the worst mother ever because I can’t tell you these things about my own daughter and I can’t help her and I can’t change anything! I hate all the drugs she is on. I hate she can’t say “I love you, Mama!” I hate seizures that she has most days. I hate that I can’t pick her up and dance around with her anymore because of her size. I hate that I can’t lift her at all. I hate that she doesn’t sleep at night and sleeps most of the day. I mostly hate that of all people, most of my extended family treats Grayson terribly. There you go. It’s in black and white. It has been typed out. They know it. Others know it. Yet they don’t change it. I know I said ‘hate’ a lot and I don’t need the comments on how you shouldn’t use that word. Come spend a day, or less than that even, and tell me how you feel. I am tired of feeling overwhelmed with all the pressure of what needs to be done for Grayson yet I have very little support. I need to be trained very simply and slowly on her eye gaze (you’ll have to look that up). I want her to have a voice more than anyone but who supports me to help her do this? I want her school to help her and other students like her who can’t use an iPad or touch screen. She is in there! I just need a team of people who believe in her and will help her. I am so thankful for her nurse, Grace! My gosh. She goes out of her way, above and beyond, to not only help Grayson but this entire family (of course Reesy, Bella, and Copper included). I feel like a failure with her new puppy, Copper. We rescued him in November but he is 7 months old. I also need a team of people to help train him and support us in training him to be a therapy/service dog. The thing is MONEY! Everything is MONEY and this is something we have always been short on because of our situation. I have been a stay-at-home mama for most of Grayson’s 19 years. We also NEED a one story, open floor plan, handicap accessible house. We have chunks of sheetrock ripped off the corner of our walls because her wheelchair doesn’t fit very well in our house. Her bedroom is tiny and barely big enough to fit a bed in because we had to enclose a room downstairs for her years ago when we couldn’t lift her upstairs anymore. Because of where the ramp into the house is located I can barely get her in and out of the house EVERY SINGLE DAY because we hit walls while lifting almost 200 pounds to lift and turn her wheelchair to get in the door. I feel like I give all my time and efforts to help other people with no payment because I just like helping people. I don’t want payment.  Can’t someone help us with these things? Why don’t people care for people anymore?

I worry about my Kloie being hours away from me and wondering if she will be okay because her school is so difficult. When I see her it is like sunshine on a cloudy day. It scares me to let her go back after she visits for a long weekend. We are even talking about colleges now and I want to cry every time because she may move very far away. It is extremely hard for me not to be selfish in that area.

I am sad about feeling isolated. Old friends eventually stop asking us to do stuff because we always have to say ‘no’. We can’t do what other people do because Grayson can’t. We can’t go where other people go because Grayson can’t. I don’t do anything on a whim because it takes days to weeks of planning on how to take care of Grayson.

And my list goes on BUT as always promised I will try to Look for the good . . . so for today, here is the good . . . I am doing pretty good on my clean eating plan. Please comment below or send me messages of some good because I am in serious need and who knows I bet your comments will help someone else. Much Peace and Love Y’all!

 

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Valentine’s Day is over but love still remains.

Valentine’s Day is over but love still remains. What is love anyway? What does love mean to you? I have reached out to some of my favorite people for their answer on this. I discovered it is not always an easy question to answer. See below –

“Love is a warm place to fall. Love is trust, laughter, security and weathering the tough times in life together.”

“A commitment, action.”

“Love is a verb which means action. You can say it all day every day but that’s not action. To me it becomes love when you put action behind those 3 ‘little’ words . . . . . . putting their needs above yours, being supportive, being accepting of who they are. I like to see your love NOT necessarily hear it!”

“You genuinely want the best for another even if it does not serve you well.”

“I guess wanting their needs above my own. And missing them greatly – the feeling of worrying about them and missing them.”

“Love is doing things for others that you know they appreciate. Love is being able to spend a lot of time with somebody and not get annoyed. Love is enjoying each other’s company.”

“Love is based on relationships. Love is not only a verb but also a noun. Love is a bond with no barriers. Love is cement that holds things together.  Love is deeply caring for another person regardless of the differences.”

“Love to me is trust, comfort, compassion and passion mixed.”

Some find Valentine’s Day difficult, sad or lonely. But for today, here is the good . . . Love can be many things to many people and it pertains to all sorts of relationships. It doesn’t have to be just for adults. Maybe you don’t have a significant other. Maybe you don’t have children. Maybe you don’t have pets. Love can be friends, coworkers, anything you want it to be. So, go out, love others and be loved yourself. Much Peace and Love Y’all!