Monday, June 30, 2008

Sandra - my "extra" Mama

I just found out my good friend Sandra is back in the hospital tonight after suffering a stroke at work. This is not the way I wanted to end the month of June. 
I talked to her daughter tonight and Sandra is stable, but doesn't have much use out of the right side of her body. They're waiting for some test results tomorrow to see what kind of damage has been done.
I met Sandra back in 1999 when I briefly dated her son... and I think Shane and I would both agree that the best thing that came out of that relationship was the love that I have for Sandra  and the rest of  his family. His nieces are like my own and I will always have a special place in my heart for all of them.
Sandra and John are Savannah's Nana and Grandpa John... another set of "grandparents" who love her like she was one of their own. They drove three hours to Cordele to celebrate my marriage in 2006 and  Savannah's birthday party in May.
I talked to Sandra last week and she was so excited that Pat and I were pregnant again. She knew how much we have been hoping to add another child to our family and she told me she's been praying for it... and I know she has.
My thoughts are with all of them tonight and I wanted to post a little picture of Savannah with her Nana... Sandra is larger than life and I've loved her since the day I met her and knows she's felt the same about me.

An upcoming visit...

My longtime friend, Shanay, emailed me today and asked if she could come down from New Jersey next week a visit us for a few days. Of course, the answer was YES!!! 
It's been such a long time since I've seen Shanay... we met back in 2000 when we were both reporters at The Telegraph. Shanay returned to Jersey a few years later and I drove with her on the trip home... we've always had a great time together and I can't wait to have her here and introduce her to my little family. 
It will be the first time she's met Pat or Savannah.
I realize the necessity of having good friends around... after moving to Arkansas all by myself and starting over again I had to make a new group of friends. I haven't done such a good job with that since moving here so it will be nice to have a girlfriend close by to chat with for a few days.
Come on down Shanay... I can't wait until you get here.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Little Tori...

My second cousin, Misty, goes into the hospital in the morning to have her little girl, Tori. I know she and her husband, Chris (as well as the rest of the family), must be excited and scared as it gets closer and closer to the time to leave for the hospital.
I guess Savannah and Tori will be third cousins and although we don't get to Georgia very often, I'll certainly be excited to meet little Tori in person.
I hope things well tomorrow and Tori makes it into the world safely and as quickly as possible.
I can't wait to hear all about it and see the pictures.

Rainy trip to the park...

We took Savannah for a brief trip to the park today... she fell asleep on the way and a few raindrops fell so we knew it wasn't going to be a long visit.
Here are a few pictures that we took... it's still hard to believe how much she's grown. She's no longer a baby, but is a toddler who can walk, talk and tell us when she wants something (and when she doesn't).
She's a good girl... but she's feisty!

Stories from the past...

I had a "blast from the past" this morning watching television... I'm a crime buff... guess I wouldn't have covered cops and courts for 12 years if the subject didn't interest me so much. I've always been fascinated with what leads a person to kill someone else.
I turned over to the I.D. channel to watch 48 Hours Hard Evidence... and low and behold it was a case I covered as a reporter at The Macon Telegraph. 
It was the story of Cherry Hammock, a woman who was convicted of murdering her husband, Jay.
Here where the same people I interviewed over and over again during my time as a reporter: Defense attorneys Frank and Laura Hogue (who would be the defense attorneys in Macon I would want if I had been charged with a crime), Crawford County Sheriff Kerry Dunaway (who I have no comment about - although those of you who know the "food slot" story understand why that is the case) and assistant district attorney Biff Tillis (who I dealt with once or twice, but always found to be OK).
I picked up this story in 2004 (before the sheriff and I were at odds, I believe)... it was after Cherry Hammock won the right to a new trial. The CBS crime show became involved because they thought it was unusual case.
The couple, who had been married only a few years, were getting ready to divorce in September 2001 and fighting over the home they had built together. She claimed he kicked in the door to their bedroom and she shot him.
The must unusual thing about this story is that I met the victims parents while I was covering another murder... they lived across the street from a man who was killed in his driveway (and it wasn't a bad neighborhood). I was talking to neighbors when I met the Pete and Wyolene Hammock... wonderful people who were still grieving the loss of their own son.
Weeks later I would see them again in the Crawford County Courthouse as they watched their daughter-in-law get ready for her new trial. The cameras were rolling as things got underway.
Hammock ended up pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter just before jurors were to start hearing the case... and she was resentenced to five years in prison.
I just checked online and she was released on parole in 2006.
This was an unusual case... one I didn't cover from the beginning so I have no way of knowing all the evidence. I didn't hear all the evidence, but I know the truth will probably never fully be known.
I wonder what has happened to all of the people involved in this case... Cherry Hammock and the victims parents... they told me the hard time Jay Hammock's son was having accepting his father's death.
It's just weird to be taken back in time....

Savannah and Daddy dancing

I captured this video on Saturday and had to share it... please excuse the stuff on the floor and the kitchen table. I've learned to let go of the fact that there is always a little chaos going on around The Fitzgerald House.
Daddy has set a bad precedent now because Savannah cried every time he stopped dancing with her... and if you asked him this time two years ago if he would be dancing with a girl I'm sure he would have said "NO WAY!"
Daughters change everything, don't they?

Friday, June 27, 2008

My wonderful Hubby...

He'll blame this on the pregnancy hormones, but I just have to say a few things about my wonderful husband.
I'm not sure how I would have survived these last few weeks had it not been for Pat. He married into quite a family two years ago and it has never phased him in the least. My husband... who isn't one for a lot of affection ... was a rock for me during Daddy's funeral and met a lot of family members who are just as touchy-feely as I am.
You truly do realize how important love is when something bad happens... it shows you how strong your relationship is and how committed you are to each other. 
We made a commitment last December to have me stay at home with Savannah while Pat supported us on his salary alone... and I know the sacrifices that he makes every day. Now we're having a second child and the plans he had for himself will now be put on hold because we have a little one on the way.
I couldn't ask for a better husband and for that I'm very grateful. I love you honey... I know we say that many times a day, but I just can't say it enough.

Two weeks...

It's hard to believe it's been two weeks since Daddy passed away. There are some moments when I can't believe he's gone and then there other times when it seems like his funeral was months ago.
I've heard from so many people... those who have lost a parent and those who still have both parents... and they agree that emotions will come and go.
I do believe that my pregnancy is more than just a coincidence... this little baby growing inside me is going to help us move forward. My focus has now shifted from being sad about my Daddy to thinking about making sure this baby gets what he or she needs to come safely into the world... and of course taking care of Pat and Savannah.
I'm sure there will be times during my pregnancy that I feel sad that Daddy won't get a chance to meet this little one, but I know he's watching from a distance... and making sure we're all OK.

Seeing the peanut...

I got a pile of paperwork yesterday about my upcoming prenatal visit and was excited to learn that I'll get an ultrasound at my first visit on July 14. I chose a doctor who deals with high risk pregnancies and although my first pregnancy was smooth, my doctor at the time considered it risky because of my weight... therefore I wanted a doctor who would thoughtful of this so we can make sure this baby comes safely into the world.
It looks like we'll get several chances to see this little baby... the practice includes three ultrasounds during a patient's pregnancy... two in the first trimester and once in the second (which is the one everyone will be anticipating since it will determine the baby's gender).
I'm excited to see my little peanut next month and make sure everything is OK in there... I cried the first time I heard Savannah's heartbeat so I'm sure I'll be waterworks again.
Pat has already said he and Savannah will be staying at home or in the waiting room.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm not alone...

I had to post this because it's so true... I was almost embarrassed when I walked up to the counter and asked for five pregnancy tests the other day... I just want to make sure we continue to stay pregnant.
My first doctor's appointment is July 14 so I'll be forcing myself not to buy more tests!


When I was pregnant with Savannah, I got on this hot and sour soup kick... Pat would have to go up to the Chinese restaurant near our apartment and pick up a container of this wonderful soup. It didn't matter what time he brought it home to me, I was always happy to gobble it down.
I guess it makes sense that Savannah likes going to the Chinese restaurant.
I've asked him to stop by our favorite Chinese restaurant in Charlottesville tonight and bring me some sweet and sour chicken along with rice and the soup they serve with their meals.
My stomach is already excited about having that great meal when he gets home tonight... luckily this is one of his early days so he'll be home around 10:30 p.m.

Our tickets have arrived...

Our Jimmy Buffett tickets came in the mail yesterday... after they originally went to our old address in Charlottesville. We're taking our niece, Erin, to see him Labor Day weekend at the Nissan Pavillion in Bristow.
I'm excited because this will be the first time I've seen Buffett live... Pat has been several times and he and Erin went the year before we married.
I just asked Pat if he worried about me going now that I'm pregnant... guess I can be the designated driver if nothing else!
I'm excited about going!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Fitzgerald family...

pregnancy calendar

will be expanding in another eight months. 
I wanted to let you all know that Savannah will soon be a big sister... I found out yesterday that I'm pregnant and according to my calculations about four weeks along. Most people thinks it's crazy to post so early, but I had to share our wonderful news with all of you.
We have wanted another baby, but it's surreal that I got pregnant this month since it's been so stressful with my Daddy's death. I guess there is another angel up there looking out for us.
Now I'm back to worrying about making sure I bring this child safely into the world... luckily (or unluckily) for you readers I now have a blog to post all of my fears, concerns and experiences.
I hope I don't lose of you... please bear with me through the awful parts.
I have my first prenatal exam on July 14... until then I've bought a few $1 pregnancy tests to make sure I still have two positive lines (see it's already starting).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Savannah's battle scar...

Savannah has finally started taking steps on her own (I'm working on getting it on film), but it seems to come with a little injury.
Last night she hit her chin on the coffee table as she was making her way around and this morning it seems she hit the same spot on the corner of the recliner.
She ended up with a heck of a red spot on her chin... it hasn't kept her from eating and drinking, but I'm glad we don't have any pictures scheduled for this week.
Here is a shot I took of her a little while ago... she looks sad, but I think it's because she was tired of me trying to take her picture.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A play date in Macon

Savannah and I met up with my friend, Heather, and her daughter Delia last month when we were in Macon. We had a great time catching up and letting the girls get to know each other.
I wish we lived closer because I think our girls would be great friends... even if there is several months in age difference between the two of them.
I wanted to post a few pictures that Heather took ... my camera was packed up and I forgot to take it out.
Savannah doesn't look too happy in her photo with Delia, but I promise you she had a great time playing with all of the different toys... and Delia was very gracious with Savannah who doesn't quite understand about sharing... she's used to having access to any toy she wants around here.

Pictures from the past...

My cousin, Misty, scanned these old photos and sent them to me today. They were from her Granny's collection which we pulled out last Monday after Daddy's funeral. There were a few I have never seen before and a couple that I haven't seen in a long time.
My Mama's photos were destroyed years ago so pictures of us have been hard to find.
The first one is of my Daddy when he was young... this is the youngest color picture I've ever seen of Daddy... although I can remember seeing a picture of Daddy when he was very young washing up after a day of working in the fields.
I can remember about the time the second picture was taken... it was in the lasted 70s when we lived in Florida and we were at a freezer for Tater Town.
The third picture is me and my older sister, Shannon. It must have been taken when I was close to Savannah's age because it looks like I have six teeth... just like my baby girl does.
The fourth picture is of me in elementary school... I can't remember the grade, but I do remember the woman combing my wild hair... I think that is why I look a little teary-eyed.
The final picture is a Christmas photo taken in the early 1980s... Mama has an 8x10 of this in her house, but I haven't seen a small version of it in years.

Oh dear!

We were sitting in the living room a little while ago when I looked out the back door window and saw a buck... and boy was he big!
He even had the beginning antlers that will are new in the spring and covered in fur. 
We have seen (and smelled) possums, squirrels, raccoons, skunks and now deer in our back yard.
We have our own nature preserve right out the back door!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Savannah and Maggie

This is a video I took today of Savannah attempting (and succeeding) to pet Maggie, our 16-year-old cat. We had to share it.

Date night...

Pat and I actually had a date afternoon and not a date night. We decided to go to a matinee and then an early dinner... it would save a little money and we could get home in time to see the fireflies.
We had to do a little shopping first so we headed out to run a few errands and then went to see "Sex in the City." We got there a little early so I was able to count the seven men that we in the theater along with my husband... all of them were with their wives or girlfriends.
I thought it was a great movie for any "Sex in the City" fan... although Pat (who learned to enjoy SITC when he didn't have cable television several years ago) thought it was an hour too long. I laughed and cried with the women and I thought they had all matured into women with real relationships and not just women with various bed partners.
We then went to dinner at a small place called Rhett's River Grill and Raw Bar... it was a place Pat and his friend, Eliot, had checked out a few weeks earlier. We had a great appetizer and then burgers and fries... nothing fancy, but it was very good food.
We then came home and relaxed... watched a little fireflies and then turned in early.
Now I'm up early and waiting for my little one to come home this afternoon... it was nice to have a little baby-free time, but I'm ready to have my little girl back.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Confederate Railroad - Daddy Never Was The Cadillac Kind

I thought of this song last Monday as we rode in the procession from the funeral home to the cemetery. I think it describes both of my parents very well... they've never had a lot of money, but they've always tried to do their best by us.
I told Mama that Daddy would have been excited to know that he stopped traffic on the busiest road in Cordele and that police officers blocked intersections and stood at attention for him... an honor that people in most places outside of the South don't get to see.
My Daddy wasn't the cadillac kind, but I know he had to have enjoyed that last ride.

Money Matters...

When Pat and I married two years ago, one of the things I relinquished control over was the money. It wasn't a matter of who handled their finances better, but for me it was an issue of using each of our strengths to the biggest advantage.
I handled my finances as a single woman for more than 10 years, but I thought it would be best if one of us was in charge of the money although it was a huge trust issue for me to give up that control.
 I don't think we discussed it really, but he always paid his bills when they came in the mail so I knew it would be OK.
I haven't regretted the decision one moment because Pat runs a good financial ship, but we both agree it's time I get involved in the family finances, I need to know what we have coming in and going out. It's a decision we made several months ago, but I have yet to really get involved.
So in order to get a good handle on all things financial I ordered Suze Orman's book "Women & Money," a book dedicated to teaching women how to manage their own financial futures even if they are married, stay-at-home moms like myself. It came in the mail yesterday along with a wreath my friend sent for Daddy's funeral and cards of sympathy.
I find it ironic that Suze's book - which details a topic my father obsessed over most of his life - came in the days after his death. Daddy and I had a good talk days before he died and I explained to him that my first responsibility is to Pat and Savannah... something I'm not sure he ever understood. 
He always felt like his children should give to the large family unit because we had money... and he thought being a journalist meant I had a lot of money (and I guess I did compared to what he made as a working farmer years ago).
I never could make him understand that it wasn't just about paying the month-to-month bills, but building for the future.
I just started reading the book, but I realize how much truth is in her words and how much time I've lost making poor money decisions. 
I've always paid my bills on time and had money left over at the end of the month, but I didn't invest it for the future or make it grow so I could become more financially secure. 
I'm promising myself now to get more involved in our finances so we can have a more secure future. I want to see where we can tighten our belts and if we can put more money into our savings.
A long time ago I made the decision to have a life different from what I knew growing up and I built a journalism career that paid a decent salary and allowed me to do things my parents were never able to do.
I want Savannah to know how she can take money  - in her savings account and her piggy bank - and make it grow. Pat and I have promised to teach her to respect money and not treat it just means to have everything we want.
I guess I have to teach myself that first.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A week now...

It's hard to believe Daddy has been gone a week today... it hardly seems like this time last Friday Savannah and I were sitting in the Charlottesville airport waiting to get on a plane. In one way it seems like forever and then it seems like it was just yesterday.
I know we did all we could for Daddy and he's now in a better place where there is no pain... up there with his beloved Mama and brother and sister. I worry more about my Mama and sister, Lynn, and how they're going to handle being in their apartment without him.
Several people have stopped by to collect things Daddy used ... his emergency alarm and his oxygen equipment. My sister and brother took down Daddy's hospital bed and they're expecting someone to come by next week and pick it up along with his wheelchair.
I think that is when it will really start sinking in that Daddy is never coming home again. 
My Mama, who has been out of work on partial disability for several months, will return to her job on Wednesday. I worry about her, but I know that working will keep her mind off the fact that Daddy is gone and allow her to move forward.
It's Lynn I worry about the most because she took care of Daddy every day. She's going to be in the apartment alone the most and I know it will be hard on her.
I'm hoping that Mama and Lynn will both grow wings now that Daddy is gone... he had been sick for a long time and it kept everyone in the house from really living.
I'm going to continue my daily calling... I've been talking to them every night for months and that will probably be more the case now that Daddy is gone.

Baby-free weekend...

I'm taking Savannah to her Aunt Kathy and Uncle Tom's house this afternoon so Pat and I can have a baby-free weekend. We planned this more than a month ago, but I never dreamed it would come at the end of such an emotional week.
Kathy asked me yesterday how Savannah held up while we were in Georgia... well she had so many people who wanted to hold her that she was wore out by the time we got back to the hotel each evening and she practically slept through our 12-hour train ride home Tuesday night!
I'm hoping Pat can take tomorrow off as planned and we can go out to dinner and see a movie... we've been planning to go see "Sex and the City." I love our precious little one very much, but it will be nice to have a little time to gather my thoughts and just breathe.
Here is a picture of Savannah taken during a visit at her cousins Erin and Joe's house... I thought it was time I posted a happy picture on my blog again!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Go Rest High On That Mountain

This was a song that I always wanted to be performed at Daddy's funeral, but I don't think I could have gotten through hearing it while I sat in front of his coffin.
My cousins, Cathy and Linda, sang "Amazing Grace" - one of Daddy's favorite gospel songs.
I had to put this video on my blog though... because it will always remind me of my Daddy.

Up in the clouds...

The sun shined so brightly when Savannah and I were up in the clouds last Friday making our way to Georgia. I instantly thought of my Daddy and what would happen if he died this time. 
I didn't realize that he was already gone and Mama and Pat were trying to keep it from me until I could safely get Savannah to Cordele.
I looked at the sun and clouds and thought about Daddy reuniting with his Mama who he loved so very much. 
Maybe it was the time of day or the nice weather, but I've never seen the sun shine so bright or the clouds be so puffy as they were that evening.
This is a little tribute my sister made for Daddy and I had to post it to my blog.
They were welcoming my Daddy home.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We made it home...

I just wanted to let all of you know that we made it home to Virginia safely this morning... with only one snafu! 
I was trying to back into the parking lot at the motel yesterday morning and hit a pole the the steps... therefore scratching paint off and putting a small dent into the rental car! I had just avoided another motel guest backing into me and was thinking about that when I heard a hard bump.
I guess it's not a good idea to let a grieving woman drive a car she's not real familiar with.
Thank goodness Pat was so understanding... I've always known my husband was wonderful, but his support for me these last five days has been incredible.
We dealt with the rental place and then made our way to the Amtrak Station and a sleeper car... it was a very nice way to travel and we made it home in about 13 hours (because there was a short delay).
I'm happy to be home, but now I have to get the thank you cards together and out... there are so many people who sent cards and well-wishes... I even had a few cards when I got home.
It means more to me than I can say.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thank you so much...

I just wanted to say thank you to all of those who sent words of love and encouragement to me in the last few days... it has helped me cope with losing my Daddy.
I always wondered what it would be like to lose a parent and although you know it's for the best, there is never an easy way to say goodbye. 
Pat has been my rock and his love just continues to amaze me. He got a lot of hugs from strange men and women over the last few days and never batted an eye... and he held my hand and cried with me when I needed him to and just stood beside me when I needed him.
My Daddy was so happy that I found love and happiness... and our Savannah was a light in his life. I know he is now watching after her.
I know there will be days ahead when I cry for Daddy, but I know the hardest part is over... and the healing can begin.
We leave Cordele early tomorrow afternoon heading for Virginia... we'll get on the Amtrak train in Atlanta and be in Charlottesville Wednesday morning... I'll be glad to be home again.

Goodbye sweet Daddy...

Here I am again writing on this blog when I should be sleeping... I will tell you that I slept more tonight than I have since the night before Daddy died. 
I know today will be hard and it will probably be a while before I lay down my head for sleep and don't have thoughts of Daddy running through my mind.
I talked to so many people last night who were touched by Daddy in some way... his nieces and nephews who he spent lots of time with in his younger days, old friends who came to pay their respects, members of my own family who have lost their own fathers and my brother's friends who had become like second, third and fourth sons to Daddy.
I've also been touched by all of you who have reached out to me by email or phone to offer your condolences and words of encouragement. Everyone of you have made this process easier and I appreciate it more than I can say.
My Daddy couldn't read and write, but he was a smart man in many other ways that were important. I've learned a lot from him... some good and bad... that I will carry those things with me and pass on to my children.
Daddy had a hard time sharing his feelings of love with people... it kept him from telling us how much he loved us and how much we meant to him. I know it was something he battled with until the day he died, but I hope he knows that we all loved him as much as I know he loved us.
I can't remember a time in my childhood that he told me loved me and our battles during my teenage years could be put in the Dysfunctional Family Hall of Fame, but I do know that he always thought he was looking out for me and a lot of it was battles of self-hate he had with himself.
In a few hours we'll put Daddy into the ground beside his beloved Mama... he loved her so much that speaking of her always made him cry. I know that they're together again and although he's probably worried about my Mama, he has to be happy to be with his Mama again.
Mr. Rainey told me last night there was enough room at the family cemetery plot that Mama could be buried next to Daddy... that was always his wish, but he never thought it would happen because of the way they buried my grandparents long ago.
Mr. Rainey said it would be a tight squeeze, but Daddy will one day (my Mama - as we all do - hopes it will be a long day from now) be buried very closely to the two women he loved more than anyone else in the world. Knowing that brings me a peace that I can't begin to explain to you.
I've written about death many times as a newspaper reporter and cried at many funerals when I never met the person who was in the casket. But nothing prepares you for the time when you have to say goodbye to your own parent and it has been very hard on all of us who loved him... and on the ones who love us.
If you've made it to the end of this post than you're a glutton for punishment or someone who loves me very much... that means more to me than I can say.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Daddy's visitation...

I'm typing this instead of sleeping, but I'm hoping it will allow me to clear my thoughts and let me finally be able to get a few hours of rest. I've gotten about five hours of sleep since Thursday night so I'm overdue some shuteye. 
Visitation was hard tonight, but it was great to see so many people come out and pay their respects to Daddy. There were a few people there I didn't know... some who knew Daddy when he was young and others who were members of the church where he was baptized.
Pat and I went to the funeral home right after our trip to Atlanta and saw Daddy... it was one of the hardest things I've had to do. He looked good, but he didn't look like my Daddy... I guess there was no way he could.
I can't tell you how blessed I was to have Pat here with me... I don't think I could have made it without him here as he has held me when I needed to be held and listened to me ramble on from lack of sleep and clarity.
I watched my brother, Gene, and his girlfriend, Cynthia, and sister, Shannon, and her husband, James, and I know the comfort that comes from having someone who loves you there when you need them the most.
But I especially saw all the people that came to be here for my Mama and Lynn... family on both sides from afar, friends from work and even some of the ladies that lived in the apartment complex and were Daddy's chatting buddies... they came to be there for Mama and Lynn when they needed them.
I'm not saying we weren't all glad to see the two hours pass by... I don't know who got to their cars the quickest.
Tomorrow will be just as hard, but it's the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. I miss Daddy already, but I'm glad he's no longer suffering and is in a better place.
I'll keep you posted.

Web site to Daddy's obituary

I wanted to post the link to Daddy's obituary here in case anyone wanted to share your thoughts.
We went to the funeral home this afternoon and saw Daddy... he looked good, but he didn't look like my father.
Thanks for your well wishes and kind words... they mean more to me than I can tell you.

Father's Day...

This certainly wasn't the Father's Day plans I had planned just last week. Pat and Savannah were supposed to head out this morning for a weekend with Savannah's grandparents in Virginia Beach while I stayed behind to attend a concert with my nieces. Plans had changed at the last minute and they were going with me to relax in the pool while I rocked it with the girls.
It seems like that was years ago.
I'm writing this as I sit in a motel room in Cordele and about to leave to pick Pat up from the train station in Atlanta. I can't even begin to tell you how eager I am to have him here with me as I face putting my Daddy into the ground.
I had planned to work this week on a few videos of Savannah to honor her Daddy and Granddaddies for Father's Day, but now I'll just post a few photos. I promise that in the weeks ahead I'll make those videos and load them up.
Father's Day in the years to come will be a day to celebrate the men in my life who have meant something to me... and these three men will always be celebrated that day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

R.I.P. Daddy - Eugene Talmadge Crawford, 1933-2008

I wanted to let you know that my Daddy died this evening... just a few hours before my brother and got here to say our goodbyes. 
I could tell you a lot of things about my Daddy... he could be crass, but then turn around and be tender the next minute. There were many times he spoke without thinking, but I think he felt he knew what was best for all of us.
We battled during my teenage years and I spent my adult years trying to make up for it. 
The last good conversation I had with Daddy was Monday and he talked really clear to me... he told me how much he loved us and how proud he was that I found such a great husband and we had our wonderful Savannah... as he said "You two go together like two peas in a pod."
I loved my Daddy... he was a gentle giant in many ways... with a much bigger bark than bite (although I'm not going to lie and say there was never was a bite!)
I know people like to remember the dead as saints... and although I love my Daddy very much and always will, he had flaws like every other person.
I wish I would have made it here to say goodbye to Daddy, but I'm so very thankful for the last good conversation we had together... we said our goodbyes then.
I love you Daddy... and I promise that my beautiful Savannah will know how much you loved her and wanted to see her grow.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Another update on my Daddy...

I was hoping to have good news to post about my Dad today, but it doesn't seem like he's doing much better. He's been in the hospital a week now and it seems to me that his breathing has gotten a little worse than it was.
John, a friend of my parents, died today and he was two doors down from Daddy in the hospital... so that has sort of freaked everyone out a little. 
I know we've been lucky to have Daddy with us for the last 17 years... I remember how sick he was when I was in high school and I never dreamed he would live to see me married and with children.
I'm not ready to lose my father, but I also don't want him suffering any more than he already has. I know his suffering makes those who live with him suffer and that is not good for anyone.
Here is another picture of my Daddy... he's a flawed man, but he loves each of his four children in the only way he knows how.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

No Officer, we don't have an emergency here!

Savannah loves the phone... at first it was just our cell phones, but I think she's been watching me interview people for my freelance work on the home phone and has now taken a liking to it as well.
I went into the kitchen this afternoon to put the leftovers of Pat's dinner in the fridge and came back into the living room to see Savannah playing with our home phone.
I took the phone from her and hung it up... and as she was crying on the floor the phone rang.
It was the Greene County E-911 calling to make sure we didn't have an emergency at our home. How embarrassing is that?
I explained to the 911 operator that my daughter grabbed the home phone and some how called 911 and that everything was OK here... but she sent a deputy out any way (as is standard policy apparently).
So I had to step outside 10 minutes later and explain the same thing to the young deputy that showed up.
How in the world did Savannah dial 911... I'm still trying to figure that one out.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Power of the press...

I've forgotten how much controversy a small story can make. One of my recent freelance stories was about Albemarle County's proposed animal noise ordinance (targeting dogs). 
I started my story with a lady who owns two large dog and moved from the country to a subdivision a few years ago... the story goes on to talk with county officials and people against the ordinance.
Apparently the paper set up the system to send comments to Pat's work email... and he's now forwarding them to me.
Apparently the story has generated more than a dozen comments... some people mad at me for making readers feel sorry for the dogs and others saying that the story tells the situation as it is.
Pat seems to be enjoying probably what is happier email in his box after a two-day weekend.
I'm glad my story has generated some conversation on the topic... that's all a journalist can hope for.
It will be interesting to see what happens at the county's meeting tomorrow.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Grandpa is celebrating his 75th birthday and we wanted to post a few of our favorite pictures of Savannah with her Grandpa.
We love and miss you very much Grandpa.

Daddy's Hands-Holly Dunn

My Daddy will be celebrating his 75th birthday in a hospital bed tomorrow. He went into the hospital by ambulance on Friday morning and although they thought he would be coming home today, the doctor decided his blood pressure was too low to release him from the hospital.
This song has always been one that brought tears to my eyes... because there were times during my teenage years when I didn't know if my Daddy and I would ever get along. It took my growing up to realize that Daddy always loved us in his own way... and although it wasn't the easiest way, it was the only way he knew to be.
I love you Daddy... and I hope you have a wonderful birthday.

Savannah's new pool...

We've been talking about buying Savannah a pool of her own and we did so today. It's just a little blow-up pool, but we put her in it after dinner tonight with a few of her bath toys and she seemed to enjoy it (although I think the water was a little cold).
Daddy decided he would get into the pool with her and he braved the cold water to sit and slash with her a little.
Hopefully the water will warm up tomorrow when we put her in it... she's going to be a water baby!

Sunday at Erin and Joe's house...

Savannah and I had a great time at Erin and Joe's house on Sunday... we enjoyed a few hours in the pool before feasting on some great food and then topping it off with frozen custard (YUMMY!).
I had to post a picture of Savannah and myself before we got in the pool (and I got really burnt) and then a picture of Savannah wiped out... she actually slept in a dog bed (covered with a blanket).
She's just too cute, isn't she?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My first freelance work...

Pat brought me a copy of my first freelance work that appears in his paper today (the real benefit of having a husband who works at the place you write for). I have two stories in today's Daily Progress ( ... one about a proposed county ordinance against barking dogs and one about a local businessman who is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people responsible for the theft of 30 cars from his business.
It's really great to be writing again... I didn't realize how much I missed it until I started working on the stories. The craft really does get in your blood and it's hard to get it out.
Please check out the Web site if you have a minute (and I desire)... both stories can be found on there.