A Little Bit of Jackson:

I can count on one hand the times when I have truly have not understood the plan that God has designed for myself or my Loves. That is not to say there are other times when I have been sad, angry or distraught.  But shattered and unable to make sense, that has been few.

This week has been shattering. And anytime something breaks into a million pieces, we are left behind holding the shards, wondering how the hell to piece something back together. We hurt. And knowing that the people we love are experiencing a hurt a 1,000 times ours, there are no words.

There is no fix. And at times it feels there is not enough strength, grace or patience.

But there has been love. Lots of love. An outpouring waterfall of Love.

I did not know Jackson well. But I love his Mama fiercely. And I love that in this shattered time, she has shared Jackson with the world- amazing, caring, beautiful, talented, humble Jackson.

I have thought of him often. And I have thought of how I would like to carry this lovely soul in my space- my world needs a little bit of Jackson……..

  • When I kiss my Mama: which I intend to do more of
  • When I golf with my dad
  • Heck, even when I golf
  • When I wear blue
  • When someone calls me Ma’am- Jackson made Ma’am a compliment
  • Anytime I pass a Texas Roadhouse
  • When the Aggies play ball (I might even become a fan)
  • Dimples- any dimples, any time
  • When I do anything of service
  • Wrestle with my nephews
  • Dr. Pepper
  • Anytime Russell Wilson makes a touchdown!
  • If I ever give birth to an 11-pound baby (I know this one is a stretch but if it happens, I will think of Jackson)
  • Anytime I am with his Mama.

This list is woefully short, but I know that is temporary. I look forward to adding more Jacksonisms in my life.

I will start with a Dr. Pepper.


For the Love of Anger

My sweet tribe is suffering an unimaginable loss.

A loss of such magnitude that stories are shared on the news: graphic images coupled with newscasters speaking in high rapid tones to convey the urgency of this magnitude.

With every story shared about this loss, we shake our heads, shed another tear, mumble another f-bomb and wonder how the hell this could happen.

Because this is an unimaginable loss.

I know loss. I have grappled with the injustice in the universe, cursed at God and wondered why me? But this one leaves me a bit speechless and wondering how my sweet tribe will recover.

This one leaves me angry.

More stories are shared. Stories around a driver, stories around a father, stories around a criminal past. And it is so easy to be angry.

I’m a big fan of anger. While others are talking that someone is in a better place, I take the ‘this is f$cking sh!t balls’ approach.

Have I mentioned I’m trying not to curse so much?

Have I also mentioned I’m not doing a very good job at trying not to curse so much?

Where does anger sit in this process?

In my potty-mouth opinion, anger is a pillar to moving through grief.

It must be addressed and it must be felt. The other day I was looking for my Ouiser to slap because my goodness, I really wanted to slap something

*On a side note, if you have not seen Steel Magnolias, go see it now.

My tribe has handled the unimaginable with amazing grace and love.

But I want them to know that when things get angry, we can offer up a Ouiser, hold their hand, sit in the uncomfortable, and perhaps teach them a new curse word.

We are here when things get angry.


There are not Enough Cookies

I am making cookies tonight for my friend’s dad.

I mix the butter, sugar, flour with a spoon.

In frustration, toss the spoon in the sink and dive in with my fingers. I feel the dough in my hands. Knead, turn, mix, knead, turn, mix

It calms my restless head, my restless heart and my restless hands.

It is messy. I am messy.

My friend sent me a text this morning. An unbelievable, gut-wrenching text. My friend lost her son in a tragic accident.

And therefore my friends dad lost his Grandson. And since my friends dad likes my cookies, I am making cookies.

Because I don’t know what else to do. And it calms my restless head, my restless heart and my restless hands.

It is messy. I am messy.

We never know what to do when we grieve.

Because grief is scary.

Grief is the scariest, most unknown, pitbull of emotions. And while we can surprise our Besties on their 30th birthday with fireball shots and chicken wings, when it comes to Grief, facing our most intimate, primal of emotions, we assume that our Besties want to be alone.

It’s kind of like walking up to that big haunted house with all of your friends and having them say, “I think you got this, right? We’re going to get a pizza.”

We never got this. My dear friend does not got this, nor does her cookie-loving Papa.

As I write this, after making 230 dozen cookies, I can say that today was heartbreaking, devastating, raw, and ridiculously sad.

I got a text from my friend at 6:15 this morning.

And I howled at the moon for the news.

At 6:17 I got a text from another friend.

6:18 another.

And we made a plan.

A plan that no one walks this journey alone no matter how scary that fucking house is or the pitbull of emotions.

I hope we can keep this promise to our friend- that we hold her hand and help her through whatever may pop out.

At the very least, we have cookies.

We love you my friend.


Delights Day 30- Knowing when to say Goodbye

I get attached to my body parts- as flawed and imperfect as they may be, they are mine and mine alone.

The bone on bone knee to your left? You can call him Rusty.

If you spend any time with me, especially doing anything active like……walking? You notice Rusty, you see Rusty’s troubled past.

I’m a tad hobbled, a little limpy…..lets face it, I walk like penguin. Rusty has aged to about 80. But I am not 80.

Rusty has supported me through years of bump skiing, marathons, hiking, biking and poor decisions. I do love Rusty and our contentious, swollen relationship.

But I can no longer rely on this beautiful knee of mine. A couple weeks ago on a backcountry ski, I had to turn around before I summitted the Banana Bowl. Who turns around before the Banana Bowl?????

Last week in the beautiful powdery trees of Steamboat, Rusty complained, protested and finally decided he had enough. Who leaves the beautiful powdery trees of Steamboat?

Today I sat with my surgeon, wondering what else we could do for Rusty. He words were, “Heather, anything we do for your knee, other than replacing it, is like using duct tape on the Titanic.”

Fine. Fine witty surgeon.

And so I rallied the troops. Called the Hubs and made a plan. Rusty and I will spend the summer together. It will be Rusty’s last hurrah. We will swim and bike, take short limpy walks together. And as the leaves fall from the trees, we will say goodbye.

Rusty will be replaced with something new and shiny- something not of flesh and bone but titanium and plastic. It will serve its purpose but it will never be Rusty- nothing could ever be Rusty. But I am now at the point where that might be okay.

Sometimes making a decision is a delight. A terrifying perhaps painful delight but a delight none the less.


Delights Day 29: 14 Days With Mary Marguerite

My Mama and my Uncle are transcribing my Great Grandma Burbank’s journals.

Today they sent 1941 and I am intrigued.

Grandma Burbank is my Granny’s Mama- my Granny who just passed this summer.

We grew up with stories about how very, very poor the Burbank side of the family was; squirrel was a good meal, snapping turtle made a good soup, you always did your business outside and electricity was quite bourgeois.

Today I opened the latest pages. I love the first lines from my eloquent Great Grandma B….

Drop a word of cheer and kindness- just a flash and it’s gone but there’s half a hundred ripples circling on and on.

Here are 14 days with Great Grandma B as she tried to feed and clothe seven children. Days were busy and full and no rabbit was safe. Here are some little notes- My Gran is Emma Mae. Bob is my Great Aunt Mary Bob and the rest…..well we’re figuring it out as we go.

January 1, 1941, Wed

Drop a word of cheer and kindness-just a flash, and it is gone-but there’s half a hundred ripples circling on and on and on.  Harry, Ruby, Gene, Roy and I butchered for Mrs. Burbank.  Rained most of day.  She gave us quite bit of meat and some lard.  Stopped at Mary’s on way home.  Ruby and Harry ate supper at Uncle Henry’s.  Owen Montgomery called hunting Jane for a date.  Ha! Ha!  He got her at Uncle Henry’s.  Joe Fritchie called wanting Bob to work and Walter came after her.  Jim and Bob spent night with us.

January 2, 1941, Thurs

Mended some.  Gene cooked head meat.  Harry’s left about 9:30 a.m. for California. Jane didn’t go.  We sure hated to see them go so far.  Gene and Roy went with Don to Newton. Nola and Lilly called to tell Harrys goodbye. Rained in morn but sun shone beautifully in afternoon. Thelma and Irene Crouch brought my lard cans home. Ollie went to L’ville with Ralph.

January 3, 1941, Fri

Washed. Jane, Roy, Ollie and Mavis went to Buck’s 18th birthday party. Bob came home with them from Fritchie’s after party. Turned so cold at night, spit snow and wind blew part of clothes off line.

January 4, 1941, Sat

Boys and Buck went out at night and Buck spent night. Was cold. Violet called and Jane went home with her. Gene and boys cut wood in morn. Gene and Ollie cut awhile in afternoon. Roy caught an opossum. Girls found living room flue platform on fire when they went to bed. Gene and them put it out. Mended most of day and ironed. Gene and boys rung the old sow as they couldn’t keep her in. Boys killed 2 rabbits.

January 5, 1941, Sun

Violet, Esther, and Buck were here for dinner. Went to Sunday School and Christian Endeavor at East Pinkstaff Church.  Walter, Jean and Margarite Fritchie called in evening and went to Christian Endeavor.  Gene spent evening at John’s. Ralph T. went to Hammond. Children walked home with Violet. Dovey Ann had fever at night. Bob went back to Fritchie’s after Christian Endeavor.  Was 10 degrees above zero in morn.

January 6, 1941, Mon

Gene went to L’ville in afternoon with Tiny. Ordered Bob’s and Mavis’ shoes from C.M.O.  Ollie expected to go along, but Mrs. Diver didn’t come. Mended. Harry and Emma May started back to school after holidays.  Roy spent morn at John’s. He and John fixed flue where it had been a fire. Mavis, Harry and Emma May spent evening at Nina’s.

January 7, 1941, Tues

We washed. Roy cut wood at clearing. Gene helped Millard Miller cut wood. Ollie went to L’ville with Tiny. Uncle Vinis’ spent evening here. Roy killed 2 rabbits and 1 squirrel. Gene got pictures taken while surveying from Harold Cramer. Jake Elders’ baby died at 3 a.m. with pneumonia. Nina and girls called.

January 8, 1941, Wed

Mavis and I ironed. Aunt Pearl ate dinner here.  Rev. Roller and Lilly called.  Roy and Ollie cut wood and Gene helped out and buzz wood at a wood cutting for Carter Crouch at Uncle Henry’s woods.  Bob and Mavis got their shoes, but Mavis’ were too small.  Lige Wesley called.  Dovey Ann had fever at night.  Roy had a bad sore throat.  Sent Katherine and Pearl Bowen a letter.  Heard that Minnie Tiffany had pneumonia.

January 9, 1941, Thurs

Leonard Ferriell came after Mavis for Mrs. Tiffany.  Gene, Roy and Ollie cut wood in morn and Gene and Roy in afternoon, Ollie helped Uncle Vinis haul in fodder in afternoon.  Uncle Vinis called.  Ma got a card from Ruby at Amarillo, TX.  Was cloudy + spit snow.  Jake Elder’s baby was buried.  Fritchie’s bro’t Bob home at night.  Gene and Roy killed 1 rabbit.  John began plowing on Harry with tractor.

January 10, 1941, Fri

Sewed on aprons.  Mrs. Tiffany bro’t Mavis home after dinner.  Harry and Emma May were home excused from exams.  Bob and Emma May spent afternoon at Joe Fritchie’s.  Ralph called in morn saying they were going to move to Octaves’ house next week.  Jo Pinkstaff called in evening wanting to rent Ma’s house.  Ollie waited until 2 p.m. for Mrs. Diver but she didn’t come.  Gene and boys hauled 8 loads of wood with Uncle Henry’s team.

January 11, 1941, Sat

Mended all day.  Bob washed her clothes and she and Mavis ironed.  Gene and boys worked in clearing in morn and they and Uncle Vinis got a big mess of fish at Charlie’s in afternoon.  Violet and Jr. called also Adrian Claycomb wanting to rent Ma’s house.  Ma spent afternoon at Aunt Pearl’s.  Bob was sick with flu. Roy and Ollie went to Flat Rock with Uncle Vinis’ at night.  Car killed guinea and Bob cleaned it before she found out it was Lilly’s.  Took it to her.

January 12, 1941, Sun

Was a lovely warm day.  Roy ate dinner with Buck.  Norma and Arlene called in evening.  Hanford Wesley called in afternoon + he, Gene, Ollie, Herbert and Harry went to clearing.  Geo. Millers’ called. Went to Sunday School and Christian Endeavor and preaching at East Pinkstaff.  Bro. Albert gave some very good thoughts on a Christian putting stones in another’s way.  Sharon Borden came for Bob, but she was unable to go to work for them.  Nola brought up popcorn which they popped.  Lee Mitchell called.