Tag Archives: Death

Saturday in El Paso, Texas

As of this writing, it’s been 48 hours since a 21 year old kid drove 9 or so hours from the northern part of my state to my city to kill people like me.  Hispanic people whether or not they were born here in the United States (like me) or whether or not they crossed over from our sister city, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico… either way this maniac wanted us dead.

It was a normal Saturday morning for me.  I was trying to enjoy my one day a week that I don’t wake up to an alarm and get my day started.  The plan for the day was to get up to make breakfast, clean the kitchen up, get a list of things to buy across the street from me at Target for my trip to the DFW area this coming weekend, go to the gym, hit up said Target, then get back home to shower and catch up with Netflix and Hulu as much as I could.

In the middle of cleaning the kitchen up and watching something that I already forget that I had on just as background noise, one of my bandmates started up our group chat on Facebook messenger saying “Hey stay away from the Cielo Vista area…there is an active shooter at the Walmart”.  It was about 11:15ish or so.  Yeah, I was getting the day started a bit later than I wanted to, but my initial reaction was something along the lines of “damn.  Maybe some person just either specifically shot at somebody else or they accidentally fired a gun or something.” Not what was actually going down.  Shortly after his message, however, more information started flooding in.  I turned my cable box on (yeah, I still have cable.  The apartment complex provides it for us, so I use it for some channels) and switched it to the local news stations.  KTSM was first.  Nothing.  Just a message scrolling along the bottom of the screen saying that the message my friend had sent and that they had a crew heading that way.  KVIA had nothing yet.  KFOX and KDBC had nothing either.  So more reason not to kinda worry.  And I say kinda worry because to put things in perspective, the Walmart where this went down is THREE MILES from where I live.

To be honest, I never go to that particular Walmart because it’s just too damn crazy all the time and it’s an older model store that doesn’t have the same layout as the newest versions of their stores are.  As I’ve said a few times here, my introversion drives me away from really crowded places like that, as it’s always an adventure just trying to find a parking spot there, much less to get through their isles to try to find the things I need to get.  I go to one that is 2 miles further away from me, but is newer and has a little bit more breathing room for me to navigate through.  It’s still chaotic, mind you, but I’m used to that chaos.  Same goes for the location by my dad’s house that I’ll go to sometimes.  Oddly enough, I actually DID go to the Walmart by my dad’s house on Friday night because I filled my gas tank up at one of the stations in his neighborhood because the prices are routinely 10-25 cents cheaper than ones near me.  Those cents add up considering I’m filling a 32 gallon capacity tank.  Anyway, after thanking God for making it to the gas station, as I was running on fumes, I drove the 3 minutes up to the Walmart, got critical groceries (since I just got paid that day and kinda live check to check most of the time), then drove back home to put the stuff up, then hit up the gym.

Back to the point and back to Saturday morning 11:30ish AM…

The group text goes on saying that it was on Fox News.  I tuned the TV to that and it was on commercial, so I switched it to MSNBC and that’s where I saw the headline on the bottom about it being a mass shooting and dozens were hurt and dead.  WHOA.  Word starts to get out even more and I started getting messages that there were multiple shooters and were going to target multiple locations.  El Paso was going to be a warzone starting NOW.  Next place in line was Bassett Place.  Bassett Place is a mall with two large anchor tenants on either side of the mall.  Costco is on one end and Target is on the other.  As I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, Bassett Place is essentially across the street from where I live.  Stupid me, not really thinking about it then, or whatever… I don’t know… go outside to throw an empty gallon of distilled water container in the dumpster about 25 feet from my door.  I can see the main street, Montana, from there (sorta) and I saw flashing emergency vehicle lights and heard their sirens.  They were probably going to Bassett.  Again, at this point, the fear or whatever didn’t kick in.  I don’t even know why not.  So strange right?  Best thing I can think of putting into words of what I was thinking at the time was “Heh.  Nah, man.  Nothing’s happening at Bassett right now.  Units are probably rushing up from the firehouse and stuff on Chelsea or something going to Cielo Vista.” And I walked back inside.  I got a group text from my dad including my sister about this point too, making sure we were ok.  That’s when another moment of heart dropping came into play.  For two reasons.  First of all, there could have been a very slight chance my sister could have been there.  She’s closer to the one I go to as well, but you never know.  She could have possibly gone there as I remember she has said she has before.  Secondly, what could my dad have been thinking?  He knows both of us are early risers and that we shop for groceries on Saturdays sometimes.  I can’t even imagine the terror he felt wondering if one or both of his children were dead, or if one or both of his grandchildren were dead.  I reply right away that I was home cleaning up the kitchen and my sister replied a few minutes after saying that they were safe.  WHEW!!!   Shortly after that, I get this message on my phone:

Active

Shit got REAL then.  “ALL El Paso City/County residents are asked to shelter”?  My dumb ass was just outside throwing away something that could have waited and I put myself in harm’s way.  I saw the damn emergency vehicles!  I’m right next to another potential place of harm where bad people could run toward to try and escape, and there I was… walking out there.  HELL NO.  I tuned it to the local NBC affiliate, KTSM, who by then started to broadcast.  Multiple reports started coming out, messages were flying from friends.  Horizon City was next; Bassett was next, this was a coordinated attack by a large group of people.  I was in the line of fire.  Even if it was just one person, that one person was 3 miles away from me and could very well be heading my way. I was just frozen, I guess.  I didn’t think about this until later on in the night, but if for some reason somebody was going to spray bullets at my apartment unit… there was little in between the wall and me.  Just my new 4K UHD TV that wouldn’t stop a bullet and that was about it.  Even if I were to somehow fly over my couch, that’s just wood, suede, and foam.  Still not enough to stop bullets.  People started messaging me or commenting on my Facebook posts to stay inside and don’t leave my house.  HELL NO!  DON’T HAVE TO TELL ME TWICE!  I’M STAYING IN!  I started checking the police department twitter feed as that’s where the information was coming through and I see this:

Tweet

Holy smokes.  Multiple reports of multiple shooters?  THEY are confirming it!  So, I blast out the screenshot of the emergency text telling people to not open up their doors if anybody knocks unless it’s the cops.  At this point, I think my nerves are starting to kick in.  I was flipping channels between KTSM, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News trying to find the latest news and all they were saying and showing at that point were people coming out of Cielo Vista Mall but nothing about Walmart.  Then word came out that the shooter had been apprehended.  EPPD was still securing the situation and verifying if there were any more shooters.  At the time, they believed there was only one, but still be vigilant, they said.  Okay.  So, by 2 or so, it was confirmed to be all over.  The wild reports of possible things in different places were dying down.  KTSM had a screenshot of the killer at the front entrance, gun on him, ear and eye protection on probably about to shoot people as seen from the security camera.  Same description as what an eye witness said she saw of a man shooting at people in cars walking along the road.  Same description of a man, El Paso Police took into custody without incident on Viscount and Sunmount streets.  It was really over, but that was just the beginning for me.  I was glued to the TV.  I didn’t want to even go outside.  What for?  I was on social media scrolling my timeline on twitter catching updates from the local reporters I follow, checking the EPPD twitter feed that I follow too, but wasn’t getting messages on for some reason, checking Facebook and doing something I thought I’d never have to do… mark myself safe so that everybody could see I was still alive.  Businesses started posting that they were closing for the day out of respect of the situation and out of the safety of their employees.  Honestly, I didn’t even want to be out anyway.  Then again, when do i?  But even more so then.  Friends started sharing their stories and the focus of the day shifted to starting to repair our lives.  It wasn’t without incident for me, though.  My nerves were shot and I was on edge.  Sometime around 4 or so I heard a snap outside my door like the snapping of a piece of paper or one of those snap firecracker things and I immediately jolted.  I was still traumatized.  I stayed glued to the TV until about 9:30 or so when I took a shower, turned the TV off, and went to my room to pray and try to get some sleep.

I was worried about what Sunday morning would bring.  I was going to fulfill my Sunday Obligation and go to Low Mass at my FSSP apostolate downtown like do every Sunday, which is heading away from the massacre, but all the while I was wondering who was going to be there.  Were the pews going to be overfilling with people coming to seek comfort and/or get back to God?  Or were people going to stay away in fear?  It was pretty much a normal Sunday.  I saw the usual congregation that attends the 8am Low Mass.  Father O’Neil started off his homily with us all reciting an Our Father and 3 Hail Mary’s then intertwined his already prepared sermon with the tragedy that unfolded Saturday morning.  I still needed to get those things for my road trip to Dallas this Friday and maybe something to make for dinner, but I didn’t want to go to a store.  It just didn’t feel right yet, respectful yet, to carry on less than 24 hours after probably the worst day in El Paso’s history like nothing happened.  I talked to a few friends, and one like me, was too afraid to go out.  Just sad and depressed.  All of the people I talked to were.  I offered to go pick my friend up that needed groceries, but she declined as she was going to go to her parents’ house and swim with her daughter and her daughter’s friends.  I had made up my mind to not go out either unless it was to help a friend, so I just stayed inside.  I didn’t know how to feel at that moment.

Coming to work today was the same thing.  Just the unknown to deal with.  We had a town hall to start the day where management told us that it was ok to feel however it is that we feel.  Some cried, some felt anger, some just felt sad.  I’m in the sad camp, but I’m writing this out now because writing is how I rid myself of negative thoughts.

So, El Paso will start to pick up the pieces.  This kid drove 9 hours to our community to try and break our spirit and our love, but he didn’t and could never.  We’re probably closer now than ever before.  This picture below here may depict how we feel.  Amigo Man (the official El Paso mascot), Chico (the El Paso Chihuahuas our AAA Baseball Team mascot), and Paydirt Pete (UTEP’s Mascot) are all crying, consoling each other, but we’ll all pull through better on the other side.  Hug your friends and family whenever you can.  Tell the people that you love that you love them, each chance you get, because something like this can happen to you.

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Faith and My Journey With It

Do you ever get those moments of wonderment and at the same time joyous clarity over things in your life?  I do from time to time.  One of those moments happened over this weekend for me.  I did something that I rarely do, which was take a day off from work.  I didn’t do it for just sitting on the couch nexflixing or anything, but I took it off for religious reasons.  During a homily sometime within the last couple of months, the district superior priest for FSSP was visiting our apostolate here in El Paso when he mentioned that when he was a parish priest, he’d tell his congregation to take Good Friday off and spend that day with God.  Sure, I had done it in the past at my old neighborhood Novus Ordo parish, but I had never done it in the 3 years that FSSP has been in the diocese.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t for lack of interest in attending Mass or anything like that, but I just always would come up with some sort of an excuse to myself that was work related to get myself to not take that time and give it to God.  Without any hesitation I did it this year, though.  Quite honestly, I’m very glad that I did.

I’m finding that each passing day I get closer and closer to God.  I’ve had quite the journey to get where I am and a funny thing about it is that I’m not even sure, aside from Divine Intervention, about just how I formed such a close connection with our Lord.  I say it’s funny because when I look at my family, at least from my father’s side, nobody is Catholic.  Sure, my grandparents are in name, but they don’t attend Mass.  My father, well… that’s a long complicated story that I don’t think he’d want me sharing, my uncle is protestant, and my sister is protestant as well.  All of us were raised in the one True Faith, but as per the norm these days, they have all strayed away from Holy Mother Church.  I’ll be honest, even I did for quite a while.  Even as far back as my early childhood after baptism and first holy communion, I wasn’t a regular attendee of Mass.  Mainly it was because we had no means of transportation to get to the local parishes to make it to Mass.  Sure, we could have walked when we me moved to El Paso when I was 11, but we never really did after the parish finally got their land and stopped holding Mass at the school over the wall from my house.  I did my two years of confirmation classes, but I’ll tell you right now that I don’t remember one bit of any of it.  I wasn’t engaged in my faith at all.  I’d even go as far to say that I was an atheist and even read a bit of Anton LaVey’s books that a friend of mine had.  I had no reason to be religious.  I type that now and cringe, but it was true back then.  I wasn’t evil, violent, or anything like that, but I was just a normal teenage guy wanting rebellion for rebellion’s sake.  It was stupid.  It was only after I had graduated high school that I decided to attend Mass for myself because I wanted to.  I’d always run into my first year confirmation teacher and her husband who are now some of my dearest friends in Christ…  More about them in a bit.  Anyway, I’d always see them at Mass because they’d either be singing in choir or would be leading in some ministry or another at the parish and I’d always felt at peace when I was around them, as if God was telling me to follow their lead.  Well, sure enough, my faith would come and go as I’d find more important things to do as a guy in his early 20s would and I’d make rare appearances at Mass.

Now, here’s where I dabbled in Protestantism.  When I was 20, my right knee blew out.  I tore my ACL and I had a buckle tear in my meniscus.  I was laid out unable to move my leg at all because my knee was locked up, so I spent the entire spring stuck downstairs sleeping on the pullout couch.  I got to see every minute of MTV Spring Break (which was still pretty cool back then), and I had a lot of time to just sit there with my leg immobilized and think, miss walking, and read.  One of the things that I read was this Christian book about coming back to Christ.  There was some sort of protestant “come to Jesus” thing at the end of it and it put me to tears.  I know what had happened to me was a wake up call from our Lord to get myself on the straight and narrow path that I just decided to dance all around.  I went with my sister to her place of worship and found myself immersed in the overwhelming charismatic love for Christ.  I was buying in.  Why wouldn’t I at that point, right?  I never really knew my faith so it had no defense against it.  So, there I was listening to these strongly vocalized sermons and I was giving them the benefit of the doubt until I heard about 10 too many Catholic bashings.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  That’s not what Jesus Christ and His church was about.  There’s no hatred about it OR Him, so I bailed out and went back to the church which He founded on the rock of Saint Peter and started my journey all over again.

My friends were happy to see me, and I even got involved in groups studying encyclicals and books of the Bible and started to attend Mass regularly.  All the while, I was still living a crazy life doing stupid things that I’m not proud of AT ALL, but I could never really see the consequences my actions were having.  Years past with a few wake up calls from Christ here and there, but the one HUGE wake up call I had was in February of 2008.  I did something very stupid, but was lucky to escape from it unscathed.  Well, physically unscathed at least.  But this event finally woke up dumb ass up and got me to embrace our Lord Jesus Christ completely.  I made it a point to go to confession at least monthly, and became even more involved in prayer groups with my friends there at the parish.  I became so involved that I was even able to convince my mom to go with me to Mass.  I’m so grateful that that happened in those short 4 months because my mom ended up passing away in early June of that same year.  I’ll always have that happy thought with me, that my mom saw me finally turn my life around and give it completely to Christ.

That brings me to one of the points I wanted to make and I thought about.  I know some people of know of a lot of stories about where people lose their faith because of the loss of a close loved one.  I had the complete opposite effect happen to me.  Yes, I cried my eyes out as I told my mom how much I loved her as she slowly transitioned from this earth to purgatory… and even typing that out brings me to tears now… and I cried and cried when we got back to the hotel we were at in Lubbock where she passed away that night and did the same thing when we got back home and I saw her bedroom.  Heck, I’m crying right now as I take myself back to those moments and type it out here, but never for one minute did my faith waver.  All I cared about was getting a priest over to her ASAP to give her the anointing of the sick and to give her absolution so that I’d be assured she would be safe in the life after this one.  Once I knew that was taken care of, I left the rest in God’s hands.  Let His will be done.  At her viewing/Rosary and at her funeral Mass I felt sad (of course), but at the same time a resolve to make sure that I remained close with God.  There was never even a question about whether or not my faith was going to go under any test.  If it ever did, I passed it with flying colors.

In the nearly 9 years since my mom has been gone, I have grown more and more attached to God.  Thanks to His grace, he brought the aforementioned FSSP to El Paso and thanks to a Lenten retreat the year before that, I was able to experience the Traditional Latin Mass beforehand.  Me being able to experience that the year before FSSP came here was thanks to those friends I was talking about earlier in the blog post.  This couple, who are my parents’ ages have pretty much become like secondary parents to me.  For sure, I’d say true Godparents.  If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have the strong faith I do now.  They have enlightened me to many a things in this beautiful church we have and because of them I have learned a great deal on my own.  With that said, I’ve found that the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (as it’s also called) and the Traditional Catholic lifestyle is what I’ve always needed in my life.  Everything about it is so moving.  There is reasoning, history, and biblical meaning behind every single thing.  2000 years of tradition will do that, I suppose.  Attending Mass at Immaculate Conception Church has also helped me grow in and actually learn my faith even more than I already did.  I’m nowhere near apologetics level, but at least I know why certain things are the way they are and I know why things are done and the reasoning behind them.  It’s so funny because a few of my friends from work ask me why we do things from time to time and because of that, I’ve heard this from a handful of people now (or a variant of it), “Have you ever thought of becoming a priest?  You are so smart and are so kind, peaceful, caring, and understanding.  I could totally see you as a priest.”  Sometimes that last part is omitted, which I should start following up jokingly “why do you say that?  Because I’m a single guy?!  Might as well join the priesthood because I’m not married?!”  hahaha!

All kidding aside, maybe these people have a point.  Maybe God is calling me to the priesthood.  Maybe my sometimes insane journey these past 36 years has lead me on a lifepath to be a great priest.  That’s not what He’s told me in my heart, though.  My heart tells me that I’m supposed to get married and raise children.  At this point, better late than never right?  Honestly, I’m not holding out much hope.  I think years carry baggage and inherently being my age with no kids and never been married is a real turn off, I’m thinking.  Or perhaps the opposite sex thinks that I’m some sort of philandering d-bag just looking to get what gets looked for these days, if you catch my meaning.  A few… err… a WHOLE MESS TON of bad apples really does spoil the whole darn bunch.

I should just shut up about things now, but close by saying that in short, I am in love with my faith, Jesus’ church, and specifically the way I practice it within the traditional Catholic lifestyle.  If I can recommend one thing that I wish everybody could experience, it would be experiencing the Easter Tridium Masses, the Christmastide Masses, and the Requiem Mass (that is offered with a couple of variances on All Souls Day).  They are beyond words to describe the beauty of them.  I’ll also add that I’m by no means perfect and I still have a very long way to go, but I think that I am well on my way on the path that God intended for me all along.  Good things do come to those who wait.

 

Here for the party

The past few weeks, for as troubling as some of it has been, have also reminded me about how every passing day of mine is better than the day before. Each day off that I get to relax and take time out to just reflect reminds me about just how good I have things.

I’ll try my best to explain. If I look back at my life, I can clearly remember how misguided I was during a lot of it. I was angry and bitter about a lot of things in my life. I had a pretty bad mood. That’s nothing like what I am now, but when I think back to it, all I do is shake my head at the disbelief over how bad of an attitude I had towards life. I still don’t even know why I was like that either. Maybe it was the young me trying to find out just who the hell I really am. That mixed in with crazy hormones was probably a bad mix.

Believe it or not, considering my current stance on life, there was a time in my life that I desperately wanted to fit in with the crowd. I wanted to be part of the cool people and all that garbage. When I realized that I would never really fit in with all of my oddities, naturally I got frustrated with that too. Why wasn’t I getting the girls? Why wasn’t I getting the attention I wanted? Sure, I was funny and have that eccentric charm, but there are a few simple truths that killed my chance at popularity. Looks, money, and the desire to attain either of those. I was who I was, and come to think about it I still am that. I’m always going to be that short, fat, moron who will always try to find the funny in almost any situation.

With that said, over the past few weeks, I’ve thought about just how much more comfortable I am getting in my own skin. I have been occasionally taking time out of my free time to just sit on my couch and allow my brain to wander around and just do it’s thing. One of the things that got me to laugh was just how much of a contradiction my home décor is. Then again, it is completely and totally me. I have a lot of my wall space dedicated to music, with a Mötley Crüe poster and large pin, 3 Metallica posters and banners (in the middle of a LOT of Metallica memorabilia around it), my autographed Steel Panther stuff, and my Beatles poster all up on my walls. Next to that is my ode to my Catholic faith and family there, then followed by sports memorabilia, empty bottles of booze that carry memories in them, with it’s own space, a large metal cross that my late mother purchased and had up in our home, and finally a real Ocean’s Eleven movie poster that satisfies both my love for movies and my love for Las Vegas. It’s pretty clear that you see what really matters to me by spending two minutes in my living room. I laugh all time when I think about it because I can only imagine people looking at me in disgust saying “Jesus doesn’t mix well with your Metallica – Sad But True poster, dude… OR those empty Cabo Wabo Tequila bottles either for that matter. To me, it does. Everything about me goes hand and hand. I don’t fit into a single mold (shhhh with your weight jokes!).

I’m happy. I’ll tell you that right now and tell you that I’m honest about that fact. I really am happy. I’m happy with the person that I am and happy with where the situations and decisions that were put in front of me have placed me in my life today. Just yesterday, as a matter of fact, I found myself just completely happy over the fact that I woke up at 7am, for some insane reason considering that I was up late at Nocturnal Adoration with my Adoration brothers at my old Catholic Parish until about midnight, but happy at the time time that I did wake up so early so that I could get to the things I needed to do, like get my truck washed, go grocery shopping, cleaning my house, and doing laundry. All of that just brought me such joy. Cleaning up, organizing, and yes even grocery shopping has always just brought me peace and happy thoughts.

I know, at this point you’re probably wondering what the hell is wrong with me. Don’t worry, me too reading that back to myself. It’s just part of who I am. I kept posting updates on my social media outlets about just how much of a good time I was having. I bet people thought I was kidding about it, but I was being honest.

I was happy doing the things that made me happy. Oddly enough, I was talking to a friend of mine just this morning who recently has been down in the dumps and feeling lonely, etc. I don’t know why, but I had realized that this person has relied on other people to make them happy. Nothing that they have ever done for themselves had made them happy. Does that make sense? It’s nothing new in my observations, to be honest. Just to generalize (and I know I’m probably wrong and don’t have any scientific data to back this up) I always find people talking about doing things to make themselves desirable for another person. I ask myself, “For what?! Why not try and do something for yourself! Make yourself happy! You wanna do something for somebody just to have that one moment of temporary happiness, or those few moments of happiness? For what??!! Just to not have it appreciated later, or even worse just be pushed over or left behind? Then what, dude?!” I told this person to be happy with themselves instead. Do things that made them happy. It’s a crazy idea, but it’s true.

I realized that I finally learned that lesson myself about 3 years ago. I stopped letting the actions of others or others’ opinions of me dictate my happiness. I finally took control of that. Only I will control what makes me happy. Somebody doesn’t want to talk to me? So what? Somebody thinks I’m an idiot? Good for them. I’m going to keep being the weird dude I’ve always been, except now I’m not going to apologize for it or try and change to appease somebody else and have that control my emotions or my self worth. I am who I am and do what I do for me. I gotta say that I feel pretty happy about that.

So, there it is, peeps. Be happy for yourselves! Do what makes you happy… that is unless it harms somebody else. That’s a dick move. Don’t be that person.

A Sight For Sore Eyes

Well, this weekend worked out very differently than I thought it would for a few different reasons.  The one instance this weekend that I want to share with you, however, was a moment that I had wanted/needed for 8 years.  I finally got the chance to attempt to tell my mom just how much I miss her.  Honestly, though, it’s not something that I actively think about.  No offense to people not like me, but I really don’t like to dwell on anything negative much.  Bad memories, hurtful things, horrible experiences, etc… I let them go.  Now, that’s not to say that I’ve forgotten about my mom… and I should actually backtrack a bit and mention that my mom passed away in June of 2008, but I don’t go around living my life feeling sorry for myself or anything like that.  I know my mom wouldn’t want me to be that much of a wuss.  I know she wanted me to pick myself up off the floor, dust off, and soldier on.  I wouldn’t be able to live that way anyway.  What’s the point of being all emo for months on end about a passing of somebody close to you?  Yes, I know it sucks.  I know just as much as you do, but we all have to find solace in the fact that God has a plan for all of us.  The people that pass away in your life before you fulfilled their plan.  It’s as simple as that.  If we’re ALL good, we will see these people close to us again.

Anyway, forgive me as I step off of my soapbox and get back to the point.  I had my first real moment in 8 years with my mom at about 3:40am on Saturday morning.  I was deep in sleep when all of a sudden I found myself standing in a kitchen with brown granite countertops and beige walls and as I stopped focusing on the polished steel refrigerator I noticed that I was talking with my mom.  She looked like the last time I saw her relatively healthy, which was around April or May of 2008.  I can’t tell you what we were talking about, but when I noticed that I was actually seeing and speaking to my mother, I stopped her right in the middle of her sentence, held her hand and pulled her in for a hug as I told her “Mom!  Wait!  I need to tell you that I miss you SO much!”  I saw her face so vividly and I couldn’t even get the words out before I broke down crying.  I woke up with my eyes just flooding with tears and I realized what had just happened and I could still feel my hand touching hers and I looked up at the crucifix that was over her casket that is now hanging on one of my bedroom walls and audibly said “Thank you for that moment, Jesus.  Thank you so much.” And I just broke down crying.  I knew it was her and I knew that I had gotten the chance to see her, touch her, and tell her that I miss her so much.

I cried and cried for a good half hour just thinking about how much my mother means to me and how fortunate I was to see her again.  8 years is a long time and so much has happened since then.  I say that but say at the same time that 8 years is nothing either.  Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday that we were making our new creations in the kitchen, laughing while listening to music.  She taught me so much, and I took it all for granted.  I’m slowly learning and remembering all the things she taught and tried to teach me even to this day.

So, I’ll end my tale that I’m typing out with tears in my eyes to say to all of you to cherish the time you have with your loved ones.  Never take the people you love for granted and let them know each chance you get that you love them.  I know there are people out in the world that hate to hear that, “I love you”, but tell them anyway (What’s wrong with those people, by the way?).  But when they go, don’t feel too bad either.  If you ask, God may grant you another visit like He did for me.  If we live by God’s example and by the words of His son, our Lord Jesus Christ, we are assured to see them again when we pass on too.