Tag Archives: Hugs

Photo Friday: A best friend reunion in autumn.

26 Oct



I’ve included two photos for today’s Photo Friday because I absolutely love fall (It really is the perfect season), and my best friend, Skidmore, is coming down from Virginia today to spend the weekend with me. We’re planning to go shopping (yay retail therapy), watch movies (which will be chick flicks galore, obviously), jam out to Taylor Swift’s new album (since she’s our favorite singer. Yes, guilty as charged) and just do our typical best friend things. I can’t wait, especially since I haven’t seen Skidmore since the beginning of August. This best friend reunion will be much needed after the stressful week that I’ve had. And having Skidmore here during my favorite season is as close to perfection as things could ever get. 🙂

An Emotional Whirlwind.

30 Jul

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” -Henri J.M. Nouwen

I feel like I’ve been through an emotional whirlwind recently. I had a tough travel day on Thursday (even though I did finally make it home), I came home to find out that one of my dog’s has a tumor, Delta lost my luggage and I didn’t receive it until today, and a limb went through the windshield of my car and it has to be replaced (but thankfully I wasn’t in my car when the limb went through my windshield). For the past few days, it’s felt like nothing has gone my way. It’s almost as if anything that could possibly knock me over has slammed into me with full force.

However, the one thing that I am holding on to is the fact that I get to see my best friend Skidmore on Friday. I’m holding on to that one simple thing with every fiber of my being because if I know that if I give myself even a small chance to stop and think, I’ll just fall apart. Though I know that once I see Skidmore I’ll most likely finally break down, I’m trying to hold it together to some extent until then. Not because I don’t want to appear weak. Far from that, actually. I just know that if I give in to what I’m feeling right now, I’ll just start crying and I won’t be able to stop.

Maybe it’s stress. Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t seen my friends in what seems like forever. Either way, this feels like the eerie calm before the storm. But waiting to break down until I get to Skidmore’s is exactly what I need. Though the waiting wouldn’t really change much, it would change everything all at the same time. Skidmore is the easiest person in the world for me to talk to, and I know that if I was talking to her through body-heaving sobs, she wouldn’t even say anything. She’d just hug me and wait until I was able to get out what I was feeling. I need that kind of patience, that kind of willingness to listen. For so long, Skidmore has been the one person that I’ve turned to for everything, and even though it’s never a good time to feel like your world has been flipped upside down, I feel like it couldn’t have come at a better time since I’m going up to see Skidmore this weekend anyway for her 21st birthday.

Either way, all of this is hard to grasp right now….especially the weight hanging on the fact that my dog, Roxy, has a tumor. My family put our oldest dog, Max, to sleep at the beginning of this summer, and the fact that Roxy may not be far behind is the most heartbreaking thing I can even imagine right now. I want to cry….and scream…and run…and throw things….and hold on to Roxy for as long as I possibly can. None of this is fair. I understand that losing a pet never is. However, it’s just as if all of this stress has hit me like a bulldozer, and I don’t even know what to feel. So I’m just hanging on for a few more days…hanging on until I can fall apart in the company of my best friend.

A Moment Of Being A “Normal” Kid.

28 May

It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while I think back to the years before my surgeries and intense physical therapy, the years that I got to be a normal kid like everyone else my age (excluding the fact that even then, I was going to physical therapy twice a week).

I played t-ball and coach’s pitch before all my surgeries, and when I think back on those years, I remember just how happy I was. Even though I still walked different during that time (as I have my entire life), I was able to do everything that every other kid on the baseball team could do. I cheered in the dugout, went up to bat, stood in the outfield waiting for a ball, and walked with the rest of my team to high-five the other time while saying “good game,” even if we lost. As well as feeling like a normal kid, I was also able to be part of a team, and looking back, that meant so much to me. I don’t remember being made fun of during those moments, and though I probably was, I can’t remember it, and that’s when you know you’ve got special memories.

Specifically, I remember one of the games when I played coach’s pitch. I was up to bat, and Mr. Richard, my coach, stood on the mound smiling at me. He pitched the ball, and even though I hit it, it didn’t go far. It landed close to Mr. Richard’s feet. Even though there was a player from the other team standing behind Mr. Richard, Mr. Richard grabbed the ball and kept it away from him. At the time, when I was running to first base, I didn’t know what was going on. I just knew that the first baseman hadn’t caught the ball yet, so I kept running. As I was almost near third base, the biggest grin spread across my face as I realized what Mr. Richard had done: he was giving me my very first home run. I remember running as fast as I could from third base to home plate, and as soon as my feet touched home plate, everyone in the crowd jumped to their feet and cheered for me. In that moment, I felt like I was on top of the world, and more than that, despite my limitations, I had made a home run, just like every other kid on the team had at one time or another. It was a magical moment. There’s no other way to describe it.

I think about Mr. Richard every once in a while, and even though I haven’t seen him since I was a kid, I sit and wonder if I ever thanked him. I’m sure I must have, in one way or another. Whether I thanked him through the huge grin that remained on my face through that entire game or through one of the countless hugs that he became so accustomed to receiving from me, I’m sure he could tell how grateful I was for that moment that he gave me. However, sometimes I wish that I could explain that for me, that moment is one of the most special moments I’ve ever had. I got to be like a normal kid, and I got to feel the rush of happiness and excitement that comes with completing a home run. If only for one night, I wasn’t someone with Cerebral Palsy. I was a baseball player, a team member, and probably one of the happiest people in my small town, even if only for a moment.

Goodbye Sunshine State.

24 May

Well, I’m back from Florida. It was a wonderful trip, and I loved that I got to spend a few days with my best friend in her home state. It was so much fun to meet her friends and hang out with her family and get to know them all better. Though I loved going out on the beach and soaking up as much Florida sun as possible, I’m a mountain girl at heart, and I’m happy to once again be among the Blue Ridge Mountains that I’m fortunate enough to call home.

I thought I’d post a few photos from the trip. Enjoy!

Day 1 of the Florida trip. At Disney for a boat ride and lunch.

Group shot at Disney.

Malia and I.

Before going out to dinner for my last night in Florida.

Check back tomorrow for Photo Friday where I’ll be sharing some of the more artsy shots from the trip!

Tuesday’s Treasures.

6 Dec

“Yesterday I got lost in the circus, feelin’ like such a mess. And now I’m down, I’m just hangin’ on a corner. I can’t help but reminisce.”-Colors by Amos Lee

Sometimes the things you want are the things you just can’t seem to have. This concept is one that I have struggled with a lot over the last few years. But what I can’t seem to remember is that it’s not about dwelling on the things you don’t have, but being grateful for the things that you do.

5 things that I treasure every day:

1. My parents: Though we’ve had our share of arguments in the past and I had days as a teenager when I wanted to be as far away from them as possible, they’re my parents. They’re the most supportive, loving, understanding people I know. Their support and belief in me over the years has made me realize that there is always going to be someone there to catch me if I fall. They’ll help me back up and point out that it’s the struggles that have the ability to make us stronger. Though I understand that idea, it’s something that I need to remember. Yes, struggles are difficult, but they aren’t the end of the world. Even if today is really crappy, tomorrow is a new day.

2. My best friends: We’ve been through so much in the last few years. We’ve had our share of fights and tears, but through it all, we’ve supported each other and offered a shoulder when one of us needs the strength to stand. The special thing about true friends is that even when you don’t see each other very often, when you do see each other you’re able to pick up right where you left off. Like no distance has passed. I’ve had the opportunity to currently have 3 true best friends. They have helped me through all sorts of things, and I have no idea where I’d be without them. The laughs, the tears, the fights, the hugs, the deep conversations, the random trips. We’ve done it all and more. And I’m so happy to have such amazing friends in my life who are there for me no matter what, and they know I’m there for them too.

3. Books: Even though I haven’t been able to read for a while because of staying busy with school, I’m looking forward to Christmas Break so that I can read lots of books. I feel like books are special in that they allow readers to just escape reality. I know I’m not alone when I say that we’ve all had those days where we just want to escape for a little bit and not have to worry about anything. That’s what’s perfect about books. They allow us to escape things without even having to leave the comfort of home. I can’t wait for Christmas Break when I can curl up with a book and live vicariously through the characters in the book I’m reading. It’s such an amazing feeling.

4. Music: I can’t imagine a single day without music. It seems just impossible. Normally, I’m listening to music throughout my day (except when I’m in class, obviously), and the genre of music I listen to depends on my mood for the moment or what I’m doing. For instance, today when I was studying in the library, the artists I listened to were Peter Bradly Adams, Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, and Adele (i.e relatively quiet music that is easy to study to). Often times, music describes my mood better than words can, and I think that’s why I’m so drawn to it.

5. Hugs: For me, hugs are pretty much the most amazing thing. Whether it means giving a hug or receiving a hug, it embodies the wonderful emotion of friendship and love…all woven into one simple gesture. Above all though, I think the power of hugs is what is really important too. I mean, I’ve had days where I thought things wouldn’t stop going wrong, and then I get a hug from one of my friends, and it feels like the world is able to right itself, even just marginally. My really good friends know how much I love hugs, and so when I receive hugs from them it feels even more special. I don’t know how many of you have heard of the Free Hugs Campaign, but it was started by a man named Juan Mann, whose mission was to reach out and hug a stranger in order to brighten up their lives. The Campaign has made t-shirts that read “Free Hugs,” and a few months ago I bought one of them. I wore the t-shirt about a month ago and decided to then go spend the afternoon sitting out on my campus’ quad. By the end of the afternoon, around 20-30 people had come up to me and asked for a hug. Though I know that’s not a hug amount of people, it felt good to know that one of my hugs could’ve turned someone’s so-so day into a great one.

What treasures are you happy to have each day?