Midway through the lecture McCarthy is talking about how everyone in his audience has gifts. Then he tells us to stop and think about these gifts and ask ourselves if we are truly using these gifts to make our world better. “Up until this point,” he says, “you have been given every gift to make you the person that you are today.” He wasn’t talking about being gifted in the conventional way that you always think of…”He is super smart, she can write really well, he is outrageously fast…” McCarthy was talking about the bigger picture.
I have been given amazing supportive parents with big hearts who always had time for my brother and I. Mamma Julie, as she we fondly refer to her, would do anything for her children. I will always remember how much she loved it when Zach or I would unexpectedly show up with a group of friends expecting supper.She never ever complained about that, even when Zach and all his football friends that could eat us out of house and home would show. She loved moments like that, when her cooking skills got an impromptu lesson, and we all loved her for it.Among all of my friends Mamma Julie’s cooking is famous.They talk about it for months and months after the meal is over.I will always appreciate my mom for those moments.
Papa Tom always has a big heart that is quick to lend a helping hand whoever needs it. I remember acknowledging that trait in him from a very young age. He organized softball tournaments for kids in the community that were sick to help their parents with the medical bills that were no doubt piling up. Now that my dad owns and operates his own construction company he is always doing something to make someone else better than they were before, often doing much more than they originally requested at a better rate and better quality than they could find anywhere else.
Then there is my brother, the good ol’ younger brother that most people dread to talk about and often leave out of discussions of love. No me though, without fail he always puts a smile on my face. I can never imagine loving someone more than I love him. When I think about my love for him I understand why parents say that they would do absolutely anything for their kids. Though I have no child of my own I can imagine that the way I feel about him is not much father from how I will feel about my own children should I ever have any. We have a very unique relationship, never really having been in a fight. I can’t remember a time when we didn’t get a long, always in awe over siblings that were always at each other’s throats. This was a concept that Brother and I were never aware of. I won’t spend too much time on him because the thought of missing him brings me to tears all too often. He is amazing influence on everything that I do. I always want to be the best person that I can be so that he knows that the world is his. The award to my favorite person in the whole wide world goes to Zach, any day of the week.
After family is always the discussion of friends, mine are something wonderful. There is Amanda, the same best friend that I have had since I was in 7th grade. Though life has sent each us of down very very different paths we have such a love for one another that couldn’t be duplicated. I don’t think I tell her enough how much I appreciate our history together and the future that is still to come. Though time has tarnished our relationship to something very different than it once was when we do manage to get together it is still amazing.
Then there is my team of friends in my current life. The writing of this blog got put on hold for the weekend, I swore that I would get around to it this weekend, but the truth is I was spending too much time with them that of course it couldn’t get done, they were more important, they will always be more important. There are 4 of them that are a constant staple in my weekend life. It doesn’t fail that Friday night I get a text or a phone call from all of them asking what is going on. This Friday for sure was no exception. Matt is always the first to call or text to see what is going on simply because he gets off work first. He makes the long trek down from Grand Island multiple times in a weekend to Hastings to be with all of us, truth be told when it isn’t the 5 of us it feels weird. Casey showed up next, fresh off a bus full of High School Cross Country kids. Tyler then makes his bald headed appearance. And when Brian is finally off work he shows up and the night always goes from there. This past Friday found us all at my house eating a meal that Matt, Casey and I cooked together while waiting for the other two boys to show up. The evening that followed was one filled with great discussion, laughter, music and an epic rubber-band fight that will leave me finding ammunition for weeks to come in various nooks and crannies of my apartment. J The memories from that evening will no doubt bring me warmth and a smile for many years to come. I remember thinking a few times throughout the evening how much I was going to miss this when I was gone. How painful it might be during my lonely African evenings knowing that the four of them were together without me. I love our little group and the love that we bring to each other. I really can’t help but think about how I am going to miss it when I am gone. But I also know that it will be here when I get back.
Until next time-