Thursday, September 23, 2010

the checkered flag...

the checkered flag waved for my friend, mark, last friday night at 10:45pm when a lady did not see the glow from the headlight on his motorcycle and proceeded to pull her car out in front of him.

mark's race was finished.


yesterday, i drove to the neighboring town of owensboro to attend mark's funeral. i was late to the church but slid into the back pew unnoticed. i missed the beginning of mark's eulogy. however, rev. wood, mark's long time friend and mentor, was coincidentally right at the point in the telling of mark's life-story where mark and i lost touch.

"when he returned home from lexington, mark often came by the house to see lori and me," wood said then continued, "i'm pretty sure if there were lights on in the house, mark thought they were on for him."

wood smiled;

the congregation chuckled.


a reason, a season, or a lifetime?

had i ever needed anything, i know mark would have done whatever he could have to help, and, though i had known mark most of my life, we were only really great friends for a few years. so, if i had to classify the type of friend mark was, i would have to say he was a friend for a season.

people who are said to have come into your life for a season, have done so to perhaps share, grow, or learn with you. maybe, they have brought you an experience of peace, made you laugh, or given you an unbelievable amount of joy...

but, only for a season.

mark's and my "season" of friendship began when i was in college and dear friends with his girlfriend, jeanne. our friendship lasted through jeanne's and my graduation, my marriage to john, his marriage to jeanne, the birth of my katherine, and several years thereafter while he and jeanne were living in lexington and she was in medical school.

during that time, mark made me laugh... A LOT. mark was a very funny guy! and he adored katherine. he always kept a photo of her in his wallet so that when others would pull out their pictures to share he would have one, too. that brought me great joy.

when he and jeanne divorced, he moved back home, and we lost contact.


now, i knew mark had moved to owensboro, gotten married, welcomed into the world a little girl, and that mark and his brother had recently been taking care of their ailing parents. however, there were a couple of things upon which rev. wood elaborated i didn't know .

first, wood told us that mark battled cancer a couple of years ago. according to the reverend, it was at this time that mark renewed his faith in and relationship with God. then wood told us that just this past week mark took his mother, who is currently battling cancer, to texas for treatment and further testing. mark and his mother actually returned home from texas on friday only hours before his death.

"cancer is sometimes a gift," said woods. "it gives you time."
"it gave mark the time to get things right with God, and it gave his mother a full week with him she may not have had had she not been diagnosed with cancer. mark was honestly blessed to have had it...

for, cancer gives you time;

motorcycle crashes don't!'"


after an invitation to pray for salvation, music, and a benediction, the funeral ended. the family receded out of the sanctuary. mark's wife, lana, looked at me and smiled through her tears as she walked past me holding the hand of their beautiful little, natalie. next mark's parents and brother walked past his mother stopped and squeezed my hand. it was heartbreaking.

there were several from the henderson county high school class of '87 in attendance jill, whom i had known since pre-school, donnie, who was my math bowl partner, michelle, with whom i had played little league baseball, shelly, who was in my junior honors us history class, lori, who sang in choir with me, and dann-Y, who was a buddy of mine all through junior high and high school...

many, many more,

who were unable to attend,

were there in spirit.

it was a very nostalgic day.


i was at the back of the funeral procession, which brought mark from owensboro to henderson and home to his final resting place. at one point i looked down at my speedometer and realized the long line of cars ahead of me and i were only going 45mph on the 70mph audubon parkway. i giggled to myself. mark, who liked pretty women and fast cars, wouldn't be diggin' this trip one bit! too bad, mark... we continued to slowly but surely make our way.

as we neared henderson, cars, vans, trucks, and semis pulled to the shoulder of the road and stopped out of respect for the procession.


around 3 o'clock, we bid mark a final farewell at roselawn cemetery.


(mark with richard petty, king of nascar)

... i have finished the race,
i have kept the faith.
(2 timothy 4:7 niv)


mark is with the KING of kings!
until we meet again...

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Sunday, September 19, 2010

turn, turn, turn...

Music-Pete Seeger

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late.


my kids' hope friend, andrew,
welcomed his son into the world this week.
paxton only weighs 2 lbs;
but, i hear he is a fighter like his dad!


an old friend was killed in a
motorcycle crash on his way to work
friday night.
he was a dad...

i need to plant a tree;
while i am still young.
God willing, i will see it grow
and bear fruit.


"laughter through tears"
is NOT my favorite emotion.
if i am crying,
let me cry, dammit!

now, laughter causing tears,
is a totally different story:D


with God i can build myself up.
though i find myself closer to Him
when i am all torn down.
(the rub)


when i am happy,
i like most to dance with myself...
when no one is looking.


i have lost two friends
in the past 3 weeks.
i am mourning what once was.


i have allowed obstacles
to come between God and me.
it is time to move them out of our way!


i keep "my garden" small.
i love and protect all that is in it.
i have allowed a few weeds
over the years thinking,
they need a place too.

that was foolishness!

weeds are weeds;
they are destructive.
they will destroy a garden
(no matter how big or small it is).

i hate weeds!


i have prayed about and fought battles.
at times i waged war with windmills;
at times i waged war with giants.

war is tiring.
right now, i am resting.


i have learned to embrace only
that which is good.
i have learned not to embrace
only for the act of looking good.

looks can be deceiving!


when i am bored...
i eat.

it is time to busy myself...
count my blessings...
and fast.


my favorite pair of pajamas...
are a pair my friend, dana, gave me.
they have developed holes:(

i think i shall use the fabric
to make something


i keep "my garden" small.
i love and protect all that is in it.
i have allowed a few weeds
over the years thinking,
they need a place too.

that was foolishness!

weeds are weeds;
they are destructive.
they will destroy a garden
(no matter how big or small it is).

i hate weeds!


the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.(phillippians 4:7)

it will for you, too.
it is not too late.

love and God's blessings,
dani xx

Saturday, September 11, 2010

smoke rises

i cannot let this day pass
without remembering its significance.

(just before the collapse)

september 11, 2001

dressed in a gray 3/4 length sleeved tee, my ralph lauren weekenders, and steel-toed metatarsals, i walked into the administrative building where our office was located. not unlike any other day, my boss, tl, asked if i wanted to go have a "smoke"...

i said, "sure, let's go, but let me get me a grab a cupppa coffee first..." ("having a smoke" at the company where we were working was more like "hanging out around the water cooler".)

i grabbed a cuppa, and we headed out of the building. as we did so, tl held the door for one of the accountants, who was arriving for work. "have you all heard that an airplane just hit one of the towers?" pam asked.

jack, who was joining us for "a smoke" said he had heard about it...
no details.

we walked out onto the patio. preoccupied, i drank my coffee. tl, jack, and pat smoked and talked. i heard them talking but really wondered what tower the airplane had hit. i didn't realize pam and jack were referring to one of the towers at the world trade center and the airplane was in fact a large jet.

shortly thereafter, pam stuck her head out the door and informed us a second plane had crashed into a second tower. as my three co-workers quickly extinguished three cigarette butts in a sand-filled ashtray located outside the office door, 
it dawned on me...
the world trade center?! the four of us hurried back into the building.

i followed tl into our office, which was also the company's information center (where cnn headline news constantly looped) for the company's telemonitors . tl and i just stood there in stunned silence, horrified. our co-workers, rhonda and sue, arrived. none of us could believe what was happening.

we heard our fellow employees start to gather in the lobby to watch the news. we walked out to join them.

more breaking news: "the pentagon has been hit!"

concurrently, a maintenance man walked into the lobby from the factory. he looked over his shoulder and exclaimed, "guys, this is not a terrorist attack-
these are acts of war!"

false reports ensued: "we are getting unofficial reports that the white house and the capitol building have also been hit!"

in what seemed like slow motion, i panned the room. the looks of shock, horror, and disbelief encompassed the faces of everyone, respectively. i backed around the corner and into the empty hallway to catch my breath. i noticed a facilitator was teaching a class across the hall from where i stood. the instructor looked at my face obviously wondering what was happening. i walked toward the door as he opened it.

"we are under attack..." i heard the words come from my mouth. "they have hit the world trade center, the pentagon, the white house, and the capitol building."
the gentleman turned away from me, uttered something, and dismissed his class.
i rejoined tlrhonda, and sue. we made our way back into our office. in complete silence, we sat staring at the monitor.

"tl, what is going on?" i asked. "there's smoke coming from the bottom of that building?! smoke rises; something is not right!"

tl shrugged his shoulders, "i don't know, but, you're right."

within seconds the building began to collapse!
what i had noticed wasn't smoke at all:
 it was dust from the impending collapse
 i had witnessed pouring from the lobby floor of the south tower.

knowing i was going to accomplish nothing, 
i put away my work, grabbed my phone and keys, 
and told my co-workers i would see them 
in the morning ("God willing," i thought to myself).

i needed to go talk to Him, 
to God.
so, i drove directly to church.
once there, 
i went into our sanctuary,
made my way to the altar,
and began to pray.

that tuesday will forever be etched in my mind,

and those same prayers will forever be in my heart...

they are still here today.

love and GOD'S blessings,
dani xxx

Saturday, September 4, 2010


henderson county high school's
senior class president...

(kitty katherine!!!)

congratulations to the 2011 class officers!!!

love and God's blessings,
dani xx