2020: the worst year of my life.

Likely this post will be all over the place, as my ‘thoughts and words” are not yet back to normal.  Artist Kelly Shipp

“Where One Day Ends, A New Day Begins.”

February 2020 sold my house and relocated to a much smaller space. Only to fall the first night I arrived. An omen of things to come?  The following is my recall the past Year.
At Baptist Hospital in August 2020 following 20+ falls, learned of three (minor) strokes; the last fall resulting in a brain bleed; AND because of the last fall also told I’m needing a shoulder replacement. 
OMGoodness
No. Just No.
Maybe this physical breakdown was to avoid or postpone an emotional one? Finally able to close my Mothers probate, put that heartbreaking debacle to rest EIGHT YEARS following her death. All-in-all i was able to keep a promise to my Mother throughout but it was nothing compared to how my heart hurt seeing such hatefulness and greed from one sibling. 
NOTHING we have is ours anyway, so why the fuss? 
My last fall was a shock, blacked out didn’t try to get up when I came to, my head was bleeding.
Thankful for Dr. Micheal Carson and P.A. LeAnne Griffin. 
It was then realized:
Whatever happens next, I’m okay, I’m at peace.  
Okay so I can get a little dramatic but peace it is.
The caveat: was told later by a friend all my words were gibberish. Since I did not realize this, continued to expound on everything and yet nothing. Some might say what’s new? 
Much of the next few weeks, most days are fuzzy. One of my neurosurgeons did not want me to stay alone.
So God sent Sharon McGhee, 

Telling her how transportation (among others) were appreciated, trying to give her money for gas, etc. Sharon responded with “that’s what we are supposed to do.”

Sharon immediately put me at ease.
Then He sent Kara Flippo, with her husband Danny’s hamburgers. Kara has either called or texted daily since I came home.
 
Know Dione Vetsch? battling her own health issues found time to bring me soups and more. Wish I was this strong and reached out to others needing help like Dione.
My then-neurosurgeon didn’t want me to be alone. So, my Sister, Dee Ann manned the phone calls. Kelly Booy lived close, we devised a plan I could live with. My sister was to call me every morning. like Lorie, Kelly was always at the ready,
Running errands, brought me food and anything else needed. Most significant Kelly was willing to share her 14-year-old daughter with me.
Arden Booy is Kelly’s daughter. Bright, beautiful, smart. The ‘apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.’  Fourteen years old, Arden is amazing. 
Deborah Evans Price and Austin Hunt knew how to help from their homes in Nashville, TN.  
 
Lorie Capps IS.A.FORCE. A FORCE for good. Her ‘TEAM’ includes husband Tim Capps and their son Cael. Knowing her forever, had NO IDEA just how bossy she could be, (said with much love and the utmost respect.) sitting in her chair at Salon Cortillo. Lorie Capps is  part therapist, a Woman for All Seasons. Literally no idea what I would do without her. A God send? Most definitely. 
Amber Bailey, my niece works six/seven days a week, yet for the past year she has been  here every time I fell within minutes. EVERY TIME. #beyondgrateful
Been sitting on this post for more than three weeks, fearing I’ve left some one  out. Decided to go ahead and post. Please forgive if I’ve left you out, my memory is not what is was – my memory certainly was never that fabulous…but now? I’ll take it.

“Lift Up Your Headt


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Into The Wild: Frozen in Time – FACE YOUR FEELINGS

FACE YOUR FEELINGS

Abundant Friendship

Friends Through
Thick and Thin


Facing feelings make us vulnerable to our truth. Why do we tend to romanticize the past?

Personally, I’m thankful that all the good memories remain.

Good friends, solid friends remain. They do not blow away with the wind. In my case, because I can be loyal to a fault, sometimes God had to pull me away from ‘friends’ kicking and screaming. He prunes us when we need it most.

There are times we must ignore the MESSENGER delivering the message. God gives us guidelines from many different sources. It’s up to us to be open in our minds enough to HEAR what we are to hear and learn.

It took me forever to be ‘settled’ in Conway. Today, I still miss my Nashville, Tn. Friends, work partners, and social life, – always the most fun. Was it tied to my work? You bet. Nothing is funnier than being behind the scenes for any event or show and talking about it later with those who present. Yes, it can be stressful, trying to honor one’s client and the show’s criteria but it’s the best stories behind the scenes.

Long before INTO THE WILD with Jack Hanna, my PR agency assisted him, his team in bringing all kinds of animals to television. Ostriches come to mind, yet my favorites are still the snow leopards and the Eagles. In fact, we asked Ricky Skaggs to help release an Eagle in one adventure. Behind the scenes, I was busy locating a cherry-picking machine in Pigeon Forge, TN. to help with the release. Was it a piece of cake? Not so much — but it was my responsibility. Everything needed to LOOK easy, even if it was not! Of course, we found the cherry-picker.

When Good Morning America wanted the Gaither Vocal Band to perform, initially Bill said no. I was gobsmacked, his reason?They were busy with rehearsals on a boat, on the lake more than an hour away from Nashville. Well, I was not about to let them miss the opportunity.Thankfully, we had a WONDERFULLY KIND producer, ABC’s Tom Guisto. Tom agreed and off we went.

What made the difference for me? Don’t like to ‘lose’ any opportunity any time, anywhere. Even now, if you ask for a story about one of my artists, I’ll always ask for the cover.

Covers obtained were deserving and perfect for the publication. It helped/helps to LOVE artists we represent. Rarely did we take a client not loved by the entire team. If they are the best, we want the world to know.

Because I loved my experiences so much, sometimes all spoken by me was about the past. Very consciously about two years ago, I made a focused effort to STOP. Just Stop. I did slip a couple of times, okay maybe three or four, yet if I brought up old stories NO MATTER how fun and funny, I tried to STOP. And I did. Do they still go off in my head? You bet.

Avoiding the VERBAL retelling diminishes the quest to say more about the past. In my spot? Know the feeling?

Trust this: the more we are in the present, the happier we are.

Every morning I have a place to get-up-and-go-to, and it makes me happy. The blessing is not lost on me. Art on the Green deserves my best, and I can only give my best if I stay IN-THE-PRESENT.

Let’s all work to stay in the present. It does make a difference.

Oil Painting by William McClanahan #investmentpiece

Oil Painting
by
William McClanahan #investmentpiece

 


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Monday, Monday

Ansel Adams said “Our lives at times seem a study in contrast… love & hate, birth & death, right & wrong… everything seen in absolutes of black & white. Too often we are not aware that it is the shades of grey that add depth & meaning to the starkness of those extremes.

Ansel_Adams_and_cameraAnsel Adams with his camera.

April 14, 1918 Josie Dee Reynolds (McClain) was born.  She went to heaven September 18, 2012.  Today she would have been 96 years old.

MotherJosie Dee Reynolds McClain

April 14, 1918 – September 18, 2012

I miss her everyday. Everyday.  Every. Single. Day.  Mostly miss her when I am happy, and doing well.  Now, that seems to be all the time.  I called her all the time, all. the. time.  I am happy, at peace and loving my life and I want her to know.  My only sad moments are because I cannot share these times with her.  She — as would my Father — be so happy that I’m happy.

They taught me integrity, compassion and kindness.  I didn’t always follow their path, but I have tried.  That I cannot tell them this one more time makes me sad.  They loved me in a way that showed me how God loves me, something I will always cherish.

And I would like to tell her Norman Holland died.  She liked him, thought he was fun and funny.  She was right.  His memorial service is this afternoon at Christ Church in Nashville, Tennessee. It will be streamed live at christchurchnashville.org.  Tune in if you can, there is no more wonderful funeral than a music artist’s.   Norman was the music artist’s producer.

1795495_235724073285798_7556317969844113294_n

Second to Mark Lowry, Norman Holland was one of the funniest people i knew.  He could also make me madder than anyone.  LuLu Roman introduced us, and it was LuLu that felt something was wrong and had someone check on Norman that day.

Norman is all over my house, the gifts he gave me that I can see.   We loved to shop, we loved sales.  Norman introduced me to Mark, to Bill Gaither and so many others in the music industry.  He was a force, but he never acted that way.  He just worked tirelessly to make a difference.  He did that, in spades.

Norman called me out of the blue about four months ago, “I just want to hear your voice,” he said.  So we talked and talked — reminisced — and laughed about all the fun we’ve had.

I’m going to remember him from the last phone call – and know he’s at peace.


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