Thursday, July 14, 2011

Brandi's rainbow heart has touched my almost magenta heart...

There are times when our hearts just belong to our friends that we have known for years. They are ... well... comfortable. They are strong, there are a lot of memories. There are past activities in which we have bonded to them... school dances, keggers in school, classes shared, secrets told. We support each other through boyfriends and marriages, child birth, and the ups and downs when we are parents. The biggest reward, and sometimes job, we have during our life, being a parent.

It is amazing how we have different friends we lean on for different things in our lives. I know personally I go to different friends for different needs in my life. Kara, she gets both sides of my feelings when I am confused. Kday, she sees the silver lining in everything. Kim... so much like Rosanne Barr that it amazes me... blunt, straight to the point. Dawn, she makes me smile, because with every memory of her, we were usually laughing... laughing hard. Kerri, she has this gift of nurturing others and is just like everyones mom and puts them on the right path again. Paula, just like a comfort food, something that I need to know is there. Tammy, recently connected in the past six years or so, originally by email, now facebook, is the friend that I have known the LONGEST, but brings the kid back in me from fourth grade. She might not remember it but I had her in third grade for a few days before my parents put me in private school yet again... and I even had her in the second grade... we just weren't fast friends yet. Laurel is my friend that we can sit next to each other and finish each others sentences. She is warm and bright and we can talk for hours and never repeat the same things... ever...

We, however, even later in life, run into people that just touch our hearts in a way that we feel an instant and constant energy. They mirror some of our belief systems and our way of thinking in ways that are most amazing.

When I transferred to Mead from Shadle Park High School, I was really scared. I knew a young man there that I had dated a year or two earlier, and I knew a few young men I went to church with, and I knew Laurel. Laurel was a Senior, and I was a Junior. I signed up for as many classes I could with her, yet, we got... TYPING together, and... Leadership. Those were the extent of our classes together. So pretty much I was on my own to find and build friendships.

Now, I have never been the prettiest crayola in the box. I was like... well... periwinkle. (Why ever did they name a color of crayon cornflower blue? Odd to me... always has been... always will be...cornflower, REALLY? Is it a marketing ploy to stick in our minds. Do they want us to walk around the room and wonder where the hell we can find cornflower blue... in a big meadow, while picking corn? WTH, I still don't get it.) Go look up the color periwinkle. It is nothing special... trust me on this one... I was always REALLY THIN... too thin for my liking. My eyes have a droop in the corner of them which my half sister, Megan, used to tell me, makes me look so sad. I got frost bite on my lips when I was in kindergarten... (all three weeks of kindergarten I went to at least, as I got kicked out of kindergarten... didn't like taking naps... didn't like the other kids taking naps, and really liked talking a lot during nap time and getting the others to do so as well... this is another story, for yet another day...). I had bought a snow cone in the freezer section of the grocery store. It melted so when I went home, I put it back in the freezer and it melted into a solid block of ice. I sucked on it for what seemed like days... but... in reality it must have been several hours... Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, The Electric Company, The New Zoo Review... and The Brady Bunch... With this in mind, my lips turned a bright color of purple grayish color. My mom was upset my lips were dyed from the popsicle. After several days of my lips being a beautiful color of... well a mud puddle after a rain (ha)... and us having fellowship on Sabbath, at their friend the Larry Thayers house, (doctor in our church and small town) they were told I probably froze them ... gotten frost bite. Now, you must think I have gotten side tracked... yet... I have not. I know I was talking about my feeling awkward in high school. I am explaining it wasn't only in high school... but... also in grade school and junior high and started at a young age. SOOOOO stick with me here.... the size of my lips today, this is the size they were in grade school as well due to that damn snow cone. Fast forward back to high school... I took cosmetology at the skill center... which translates to... I liked to mess with my hair and change the colors. I liked to cut it, color it and curl the crud out of it. Don't forget the aqua net... as it was essential back then. It was a must. The only good thing I had going for me then, and now too actually, is that I had great eyes. NO... not the shape, remember, they make me look sad, by drooping in the corners. But my eyes... they are light blue. I like my eyes. The one thing I get compliments on... the one thing I like.

Back to high school and periwinkle. Within days, I saw a girl that stood out in my mind, as ... GULP... A GODDESS! You know... the girl that can enter a room and simply glow. The girl that every boy is going to turn his neck and head just to see... and as she walks away, he will watch her as far as he can... even standing on his tip toes looking like a goof (thanks for the word that is now a staple in my vocabulary) just to see over people as she is leaving. SHE was that girl. She, was... A MODEL. She modeled. Now if that doesn't intimidate an ugly girl, I don't know what would.

Being ugly and having issues in your life, you learn to compensate and be liked in other ways. Between my life and my religion and sticking out to some... I had to learn how to fit in, in a world where being a teen is hard at times. My way of escape, even to this day... is laughter... to make others laugh. When I laugh the most is when I am ignoring issues that need to be handled. Just the way it is... and it always has been.

SHE... SHE ALWAYS had friends near her. Why wouldn't she... she was gorgeous. I would never get to know this young lady... the Goddess. I would see her look at me in the pit from time to time, when I was doing something to make my friends laugh. I would feel so inferior to her... and I felt odd near her as I was a bit.... dah, dah, dah.... JEALOUS. How could she be so natural and so good at just BEING and I had to try so hard to make others laugh... to just feel accepted and to ignore my issues?

By the end of our senior year... this young lady had started talking to me... as we had econ together. I sat in her row. Me, Mike Nieman and Brandi. I was so nervous... what would she say... she was a cool kid... I was a nerd... I had one thing going for me... Mike Nieman. He liked me... he was my friend... and... he was HER friend. I was able to join in the conversations they would have. We got matched together in groups for class... slowly, I didn't feel so isolated and fearful of the Goddess way that was in my mind.

If I was periwinkle... she was... well... she was... actually hold on... I will be right back. I am running to grab Carlie's box of crayolas... the big box of 64 we just bought for her summer craft box.... Dang it... 64 isn't very many. When did 64 crayolas get to not be enough for arts, crafts and activities? Seriously... note to self... please get Carlie the pack of over 100 crayolas for first grade as this was crap... couldn't find bright enough or vibrant enough colors for my liking... Carlie is the artist and deserves the biggest box...

So... if I was periwinkle... then she was... well...MAGENTA! I looked through the whole box... and magenta is what I came up with! I love magenta. It just attracts the eye... and is filled with so much... calming, cheerful, vibrant... she was for sure... MAGENTA!

All of these years later, we started talking through her brother Scott. It has been fun reconnecting, so when his sister was a part of that, it was a double blessing. We have talked on IM through facebook... inbox... texts... on the phone and I was lucky enough to meet her for his birthday. He talked of her always, and it was so evident that she is his pillar, and, one of his biggest fans, with very good reason to be.

There is some family resemblance between the two in their mannerisms. When they sit side by side and talk, you can just see that they are so much alike in personality and they feed off each other. They talk about things from childhood and she tells him his memory is so much better than his. They talk about how Scott is becoming like his dad expecting her to remember the directions in town although she hasn't lived there for a bit of time. There is this look of love and admiration that they give each other that is precious and deep, and no words need to be spoken, when you witness it, you just know.

They are both kind and gentle. They both want to be the best people that they can be. They both like running and he encourages her to run but a back injury has taken her out for a bit. They both laugh at each others jokes. They have the usual childhood memories. She calls him turbo... although that had to change as the other pet name she had for him was not liked by their mom. They are siblings... best friends. It is like it was there when God created light... just... in our minds... always there. They are both deserving of the best people in their lives and of nothing but goodness and grace. They both are dear to my heart. She calls him Scotty when she sings Happy Birthday to him. It is touching.

Do you ever get this urgency feeling of pride in someone... of... being proud of the man or woman that they are? I feel that for Brandi. I have thought of this often and have really tried to put my thumb on it... of what I feel... and this is what I think. I have this urgency of pride for Scott as well, as he has overcome some obstacles like a trooper, full force, and no end in sight. He is going to accomplish whatever his heart desires. If he feels it in his heart, he has the ability to achieve it.

I think Brandi has become a woman of many colors... she wears many different hats in life, as we all do... yet, she does it so well... with class... with grace... with dignity.

Here, I show you, there are gorgeous colors... we have different colors and although they may not match well next to each other, on their own, they are beautiful.

I see Brandi as yellow to her brother Scott. She brightens his days. So many of his memories he talks about, as being the fondest, or the deepest, have Brandi in them. She brightens his days. He sends her jokes through text each day. They stay connected through not only memories and family bonds, but, also, through laughter. We all need laughter... WE ALL NEED LAUGHTER. She walked in and met him at a restaurant for his birthday in which was a big surprise for him, and I saw the transformation of his face and his posture immediately. Like, well... I don't know... like walking on the beach and finding a message in a bottle and lighting up knowing that there is something inside that is deep and meaningful... yeh... like that. He had a sparkle in his eye, and you knew that when she was in the room, he felt, hmmmmm.... at home. That is why I chose yellow.

Green... the color I think of as growth. Not only in ourselves, but helping others grow. She always has words of wisdom to share... even if those words of wisdom come out as... ya goof... or ya big goof... She encourages others to grow. Always a beautiful thing to have and share with others... growth... it is a good thing. She, however, with her family, has grown. She has grown into a mother and a wife. Some of us never get that growth... we go through the motions... yet, never grow into those big girl panties. She has... well... not so big girl panties as in size but as in responsibility. She works seven days a week to provide ALL that she can for her family. THAT IS HUGE. We all provide food and shelter right... she wants to provide them with everything. So.... this kind of mixes in with the next color... but don't blend them into a gray... as Brandi is anything but gray....

Brandi is red violet... which to me... is her passion. I see her passion being many things... her brother... her husband, her family, her love of cooking, her love of camping, her love of friends, her love of gardening... but, her biggest passion and what I think I connect with Brandi the most, is the love of her children! Her sons... her three musketeers.

Don't get me wrong... I know we moms love our kids... I get that. However, I am not sure that all moms make their kids their lives. Not all moms make their kids their WORLD... not all moms make their kids their EVERYTHING. I can assure you without doubt, that Brandi and her husband have made their sons not only their earth, but their universe. I am touched and honored to see a love like she has for her sons. I am amazed that someone feels like I do... as closely to my belief system on parenting. Little steps are huge steps... love that is so evident, there is no wonder in the bonds that exist.

Going back to the working 7 days a week. We were talking one day and Brandi mentioned how tired she was working seven days, not tired of working, but physically tired... but followed up with... but, I want Jacob to have the best graduation ever, and the best going away party before he leaves to the military. As Carlie would say... that filled my bucket... (which means... that made my day).

Turquoise Blue... Have you ever been to Lake Louise in Canada? Well... if you haven't you are missing out. Brandi reminds me of the color of Lake Louise. It is the clearest and most gorgeous color of blue around. It is calming. Not only the color of it, but the calmness of it, and the scenic view of it. The trees protect it and they add to the beauty. You can sit at the edge and just BE. You can hear nature, you can feel a breeze... it is calming, like when you are hurt and a parent holds you until you feel secure and safe again... just a calm... Brandi is turquoise blue.

Robin Egg blue... it is fresh and clean. A new start! A beginning. Brandi faces new starts like a trooper. Life seems to restart on us again and again, sometimes on a daily basis. Her world is changing as she prepares to welcome her son to a new world of independence of adulthood. She is hesitant. We as moms don't want to think of a single day without seeing the faces of our children. We don't want to miss the opportunity to hug them for support and encouragement, and if we are honest with ourselves... to feel needed by our children. She has given this young man roots and family values. Now, it is time to welcome him into this new space. I didn't do well with it. She embraces it and is facing it. She is in this new start of being a soldier's mom. Oh my Gosh... I so know that she is so prideful of that. This young man is going to serve his country. What an honor to have such a noble and caring young man. It is not only Jacob that she and her husband have taught well, but also Chase and Trey. Can you imagine having three sons and a husband in one home? She is well protected and respected I am sure. They are blessed to call her wife, and mother, or mom.

We were texting one day and she wrote me... GREAT IDEA HANDSOME. The next text read, sorry, that was for Jake. Made me smile... the way I would talk to my son...

Blue green... calming, like the breeze. She brings calm to those around her. She may be in her own moment of needing time to just BE at that moment, but she shares her calm with others. She is there when needed to calm their spirit and give wisdom. She is giving of her time and a pillar to many which is calming to those around her...

She is blue violet... another color of passion. There is going to be a day where Brandi is going to be a grandma. In the next ten years, I am sure she will have a grandchild. I see her as knowing what is needed to make her grandbabies feel loved and adored. I love my grandbaby with all my heart and I know Brandi is going to be the same way; doting... bragging, time consuming grandma that grandbabies need. She is so proud of her boys... wait til they have babies of their own. She is going to be the best grandma as she knows what it takes... and this I am sure of....

Brandi is purple... the color of the yaya sisterhood. SMILE.... What is that? Well, like the movie... friends... a sisterhood. They are born to another family... but bound through love and trust... hopes and dreams... dreams and realities. They are bound by unconditional love even after all the years pass. I love that Brandi also has high school friends that she still adores and they have a real sisterhood and commitment to each others lives. I love, love, love that. There are some things in life, that only get better. I believe that women need those types of friendships and love... the extra support as we take on so much more in life with our emotions than men at times. We want to be everyone's everything and it wears us out.... yet we rejuvenate each other.

Brandi is PINK! Brandi loves one of her friends so dearly and she happens to be kicking some cancer ass. I will not post a name, as our fights are so personal, and so much our story and not others... so the name is with held. Yet, I can tell you this woman is strong in her fight and she is doing nothing but purely fighting and kicking some ass on the way. This woman has come into our conversations from time to time with her progress and it is so evident on how much Brandi stands beside her in this wonderful journey we call life. She is learning lessons with her friend along this path. I am proud of you for loving your friend with all your heart.... and for not treating her any different... we are never different during the ass kicking we dole... just a different perspective, yet the same person.

My friend Brandi... you are magenta... I am working closer to magenta. Sometimes we make ourselves magenta even though we don't have the example of being deep or have the example on how to make ourselves into what we want to be. We feel our way around... and we get to where we land by trial and error. We learn through our friends and those we hold dear to our heart, and mostly, we learn through our children.

Thank you for showing me your rainbow of colors. Thank you for living life and loving with all you have. Thank you for loving others wholly and completely. I love you and your ENTIRE family more than you know. That has not changed, nor will it... ALL of your family.

I am so glad you are in my life and you have touched me in more ways than you know.

I can't wait to have Jacob be my guinea pig for cookies while he is out and about. I can't wait to continue growing and learning... and... and... and... We are going to have a bake shop... perhaps a bake shop and deli.

I promise you will be one of the people that when I am on my death bed... you will be one of the people in my life... I will be old and wrinkled... I will have lost most of my memory... I will have no teeth... but you will have been a part of my family... and a true friend... and in so many memories...

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