Thursday, March 28, 2013

Heart and Soul

There is a main road that winds its way like a vein through the heart of Augusta; Walton Way. I have traveled this road more times than I could ever estimate. When new houses are born or trees have come crashing down, when renovations and roadwork block my path, I notice. A few years ago I noticed a new fixture on the lawn of a middle school. An ominous picture. A lonely little figure. On a bench sat a bronze little boy holding a ball and staring off into an imaginary play land.
It's haunting and well it should be. That is why memorials are placed. This year is the first time in all my travels I stopped to get out and look at the little boy. I knew there couldn't be a happy story there. Maybe that is why I never took the time to stop.
In passing this little figure spoke to me of missed opportunities. In person, I could almost swear he actually spoke because the story...his story seemed to scream through the metal. On the plaque was his name: Daniel. On the plaque was his birthday...and date of death. Fourteen years. That's such a short time on this earth.
I stood there for a moment choking back tears. I have a daughter of my own now and I shuddered at the thought of losing her. My heart wrenched for Daniel's parents and so I had to find the story. Daniel's story. It was a very easy search. It wasn't the newspaper or the television page where I found it. It was on his father's business website. This event that was so defining was displayed for the world to shame...just pure and utter reality that this man had lost something so precious that he had to let everyone know. I copied the story from his webpage because remarkable people don't have to live a long time to really make a difference to their world. I wanted all of you to read about his courageous albeit short journey on this earth.
Daniel Joseph Ginn Moretz, 14, died on Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Fourteen-year-old Daniel Moretz handled his death as he did his life.

"He was feeling horrible, but he never complained," said his mom, Julie Moretz.
Daniel, who survived 11 heart surgeries - including a transplant six years ago - died Wednesday at Medical College of Georgia Children's Medical Center.
Dr. Bill Strong, the former chief of pediatric cardiology at MCG, was with Daniel when he came into the world with the major vessels of his heart reversed, and the right ventricle not fully formed.
And Dr. Strong was there Wednesday when Daniel's transplanted heart gave out.
"He was the most remarkable young man," Dr. Strong said. "He had courage, and he had a spirit that he was able to transmit to others.
"He was a wonderful human being."
And Daniel was an accomplished one.
Daniel had been befriended by former Vice President Al Gore, and Daniel had been President of the United States, too.
Well, he was for a week, with help from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"We were in Washington and he got to do a lot of things the president got to do," Mrs. Moretz said.
Daniel was an advocate and a gifted public speaker. He'd addressed the Georgia Transplant Foundation and Make-A-Wish. He even spoke to the Georgia Bulldog Association.
He loved to volunteer, Mrs. Moretz and Dr. Strong said, and was out wearing a bright orange vest during a recent charity walk, helping to direct human traffic.
He particularly loved working with the Children's Heart Program at the medical center, and Dr. Strong gives him much of the credit for the creation of it.
But most of all, Daniel was thrilled by those things that just made him a normal kid.
Having missed so much school over the years because of doctors visits, he was overjoyed when he received an award for attendance for the first nine weeks at Langford Middle School.
"He did not want to miss school," his mom said. "We worked so hard to make his life normal."
He cherished Saturday morning breakfast with his dad, David, and fierce battles on the PlayStation2.
He always wanted to play football, but couldn't because of his condition. Instead, he cheered on his beloved Dawgs on television and went to every Academy of Richmond County game he could.
Sundays were church days for the Moretz family, which includes sister, Morgan, who attends John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet High School, and brother, Lee, who is away at college. Daniel was active in the bell choir at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection.
And then the boy who didn't learn to walk until age 4, the one who had more than 150 blood transfusions, the one who lived every moment of his life will be laid to rest.
"He has made his mark here," his mom said.

As I finished the article, my cheeks were streaked as I thought about the boy who just wanted to be like everyone else. But it served as a stark reminder that we have this one life. To love, to live, to be something to someone. Some waste it and squander it and never make the impact that this little boy did in his brief 14 years. And although the goal seems complicated, let's face it, even a boy with a broken heart could do it. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A day at the race

For record keeping sake, let me say that my 4 1/2 year old is 48lbs and in a 6X currently. She's a tall girl at 42". Still dwarfing her classmates, I have to laugh when we have someone over to play. They are so light and little that I pick them up with more force than needed and surprise us both. Since she is such a sucker for any woman with white hair, she immediately takes to any "grandma" and claims her as her own. At the Steeplechase in Aiken on Saturday there was one such woman. She was small and frail looking, but Addison wanted to sit in her lap. I think she said yes just to be nice, but I couldn't let her continue holding what she referred to as my "substantial" child after she shifted continuously. Addison was mad at me.
The Steeplechase was rainy and muddy and cold...and then the sun came out and the horses ran and we ate like pigs. That's basically what you do there. The horses comes around...and then you eat and drink for 45 minutes...and the the horses come around again. A cycle that lasts 6 races. It's a rich man's tailgating I think. Silly, stupid women were wearing sun-dresses, hats and heals in 40 degree weather. Fashion was definitely king over sensibility. Addison and I trudged around in our coats and sweaters with scarves. We are smart before pretty.
"Moving Violation" was the winner that day. Although I was rooting for "Sir Dynamite" just because I like that name. I think my next dog should have that name.

 The horse that got away. He dumped his jockey and continued to run the track..twice.

 The jump.

 Arggg you Matey. I'm at a horse race, but I'm acting like a pirate!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I need to laugh

Today I have been to the court house, the municipal building and the power company. I have a long list of things to do and no desire to actually write it down. I saw a post of Facebook today that said, "That awkward moment when you are not sure if you actually have free time, or you're just forgetting everything." This is a prime example of my life. I will get in the car, start down the street and poof...the destination is zapped from my mind. There are a few moments of panic while I go over my previous steps to jog that very stuck thought from my mind. It happens in cars, in rooms, but the most annoying one is when it happens on the web. I will pull up the Internet...and stare at the Google search box...and wonder why I even logged on. I have so many purposes and yet, they leave me in an instant. I worry that it's early onset Alzheimer's. However, I'm pretty sure its just too much stuff running around in my head. I am a self-admitted Superwoman.  But alas, I am still human as well. And I will have to laugh as I pull over on the side of the road because I don't have a clue as to where I'm going. I'll laugh when I have to walk a country mile to find my car in a parking lot. What color is that thing again? Thank goodness for panic buttons. I call them "car locator devices". Priceless.
Or maybe I'll just laugh because I have so much "free time" on my hands, I don't know what to do with myself.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Trip to Jacksonville, FL

Addison exploring our awesome villa.

 I enjoyed the bed too.

Because she's just that pretty

Here's the perk of being an only child...lots of pictures.

 She loooooooves her G-ma.

 Christmas with baby Libby.

Christmas...yeah, I know its March

I finally got around to downloading the photos from Christmas onto my computer. What can I say? This year has been busy.
 Addison decorated her own tree. All the ornaments were still on the bottom branch...even though the tree was only 3 feet tall.
Santa came!


 The infamous blue horse. Not exactly an easy thing for Santa to find.

 But who spoiled her the most? Grandma and Papa.
 Maybe they'll spring for her real car when she's 16 too.