Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Year of the Milestone

If someone would have told me by the time I was 26 years old I would be a vegetarian teetering on being a full fledged vegan I would have said, "YOU'RE CRAZY!" Life has a funny way of working itself out because I am in fact that vegetarian who just recently celebrated one whole year of not eating any animal flesh! I can honestly say this is a proud moment for me because I had so many doubts and fears about taking the plunge. I am from the South: meat is in my DNA. I thank God daily for the affirmations and the faith I desperately needed to focus on my diet more intently and be more determined than I ever have been before. I love that about God, always on time and never late. Right before the new year hit, I dubbed 2013 "The Year of the Milestone." Not simply because we collectively as a society managed to avoid the end of civilization, but because I finally finished school. I felt like that was the start of all my major milestones in my life, but now there are so many more. So far, I attended my first ever inauguration of my favorite president, got my first writing job as a freelance writer, bought my first car ALL BY MYSELF, and I have so much more to look forward. I plan on moving to Washington D.C. this year and getting further into my craft, I am going to start my own business, I am going to Jamaica for the first time to see my best friend get hitched, and I plan on doing a whole lot of traveling. I thought 2012 was pretty epic, who knows, the year of the milestone, 2013, may be my best year yet! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The WIll to Live

One would hope the day would never come that they would see a loved one slip away from them before their very own eyes. This very phrase is my exact reality at the moment. Though my paternal grandfather has been far from the perfect man, I love him dearly and I cannot imagine my life without him. Brought up in the rural south with limited opportunities and many strikes against him (black, poor, uneducated), my Paw Paw managed to forge a fairly nice life for himself. He started working at the most profitable job in the small town of Jonesboro, Louisiana: Smurfit Stone Papermill. He worked there for 51 years and never missed a single, day of work. He dedicated his life to working hard and making plenty of money. He also owned a pulpwood hauling business and car repair shop. He was always business minded and focused on taking care financially. Financially comfortable, my grandfather failed to oversee his family life with the same great care. It did not seem as traumatizing when his children were younger, but now that they are older they have managed to understand and deal with it. I imagine my grandfather has millions of thoughts running through his head right now. The only thought I wish he had constantly was the will to live. After a years of heavy drinking, smoking, and poor eating, his health has finally caught up to him. He had a quadruple bypass in 2010 and still did not manage to work on improving his health....and now its too late. He has irreversible heart problems, poor blood circulation, and diabetes. These very problems resulted in the life saving amputation of his right leg. All my family and I want is for his health to improve and for him to return home and all he wants is to give up. If it were not for the mercy and love of God, I am sure he would. All and all, my grandfather's state of life is a constant reminder how NOT to treat your body. No excessive drinking, smoking, bad eating, or overworking myself. I MUST always treat my body as the most precious temple before it is too late. I love him dearly and want him around to see my children grow up, but if that were not to happen, I will always remember his hugs and kisses, his weekly allowance of $33.33, his buying me ICEE's and chips, and riding through the countryside with all the windows open. Paw Paw, please live because if you don't, surely a part of me will die forever. I love you.