Friday, November 16, 2012

Light Gives Heat

Growing up, I remember Mom "sponsored" a less fortunate child in a third world country. Remember those commercials - a host with a soothing voice showing heart-wrenching photos of hungry children with the familiar plea of "for less than a dollar a day, you can save a child's life." It was the 90s version of the SPCA commercials set against Sarah McLaughlin's "Arms Of An Angel." How could one resist?

I don't remember how long we sponsored this child. Realistically, it probably wasn't for very long. But I remember getting photographs of the little girl, and I remember feeling a sense of charity that made me feel good (even though, as a child, it obviously wasn't my money going to support this girl).

Although I'm officially a "grown-up" now, I'm not in a place financially where I can afford $30/mo to support those less-fortunate than I am. That's why I'm so interested in the mission behind Light Gives Heat. They have an amazing mission, AND they are actually creating jobs in these less-fortunate countries. Their mission is simple: Empowering Africans through the encouragement of economic sustainability and creative endeavors. Motivating people in the west to "be the change they want to see in the world."

PLUS. The product they create is beautiful!

I first heard of Light Gives Heat when I received a beautiful necklace as a Christmas present. Since then, I've bought something every year as a gift for someone. It's beautiful AND it all goes back to a great cause. I love that there's a story behind each piece, and included is the story of the woman who MADE the piece as well.

I may not be able to afford much in the ways of charity and giving back (yet), but with Light Gives Heat , I can buy something practical AND charitable. Check out the full story at

Monday, April 9, 2012


This morning, for the first time since I was 8 years old, I woke up and Mr. Bevo was not around.

I've had about a week to "prepare" for this. I'm exhausted from crying, and I feel like there are no liquids left in my body. He and I were alone in my apartment. I was right next to him, with him, as he took his final breath. Sister and Dad came over shortly after. We wrapped him in a burnt orange pillow case.

He's with Mom now, and that thought is what's keeping me together. I know she's so excited to see him again.

No kitty was ever more loved.

"When you are sorrowful, look again into your heart and you shall see that, in truth, you are weeping for that which has been your delight." -Kahlil Gibran

Things My Mother Would Love #19: Me & Bevo

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

#20 The Desiderata

This isn't something I have to imagine that my mother would love. I know that she read it. I know that she loved it. In fact, when my sister turned 17 years old, she gave her a small copy to keep in her wallet at all times. When I turned 17 (the first birthday without my mom), my sister gave it to me, and it has been in my wallet ever since.

When I was in London, on the 5th anniversary of her death, I visited St. Paul's Cathedral (read the blog post here). In the gift shop, I was surprised to find a copy of the Desiderata. I bought it and mailed it to my sister that day.

This passage is so meaningful to me. Every time I read it, I find another gem that is particularly meaningful for whatever reason.

My favorites are:
- Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.
- You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
-Be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be...
-With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Friday, February 3, 2012

#19 Me & Bevo

My beloved Bevo. It's a hard subject for me to talk about sometimes. I love him so much I feel like I'm going to burst. He's about 17 years old now, though I don't think any of us know exactly how old he is. He's been with me through everything. Besides my freshman dorm and the sorority house, he's lived with me every single place I have lived since I was 3 years old (granted, he didn't come into my life until I was about 8 or so). Sherman, Alabama, Denison, Dallas, Austin, then Dallas again. He's been everywhere.

Isn't that crazy? He's been in my life since I was EIGHT (about) years old. I am now TWENTY FIVE years old. He is my constant. He's been in my life longer than my mother was. He lives with me now, in the 500 square foot efficiency apartment where I live by myself. My once FAT little cat now has a thyroid issue that requires me to give him two pills a day to help him gain weight. The condition also makes him EXTRA vocal, which is sometimes hard to deal with at 4am.

I was snuggling with him, giving him kisses, smelling him, and telling him how much I love him. I love the way he smells. I realized I need to write about him. About how it is now. Right now. For the past several years (even since 2005), I've been trying to prepare myself for what is bound to happen. Eventually. I just can't talk about it. I can't think about it. I can't.

I know it seems a little crazy, but I know he loves me unconditionally as well. We will actually sleep side-by-side sometimes, his little paw on top of my hand, all night, even without my provocation. It makes my heart melt every single time.

For now, I want to love him every day. Cherish him. The little white clover-shape on his black face. His little beauty mark on the left side of his nose. And I love knowing that mom once loved him too. Mom once petted him, fed him, called his name, told him she loved him.

I remember when I pulled him from the bushes of 2309 Ridgewood in Sherman, TX. He was a black and white puff ball covered in burrs.

"Mommy, can we keep him?"


As we cleaned him off, still then a normal little baby kitten, I had no idea what an impact he would be in my life.

Beaver Jones, I love you so much, you smell amazing :) You have always been there for me, and I don't know what I'll do without you.

This post actually interrupted me watching a Ryan Gosling movie, and I can't seem to bring myself to start watching it again. We have to cherish what we have, especially when we have it. So, for now, Ryan Gosling can wait. I need to snuggle with my Bevo.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Things My Mother Would Not Love

I've been struggling with my weight more than usual lately. My entire life, it's always been the only thing I could ever think about, and now, it occupies my mind even more than I thought possible.

Since I moved to my new apartment and started living by myself just about a year ago, I've gained a ridiculous amount of weight. Maybe partly because of the freedom of it all. Maybe partly because Raising Cane's is just too freaking delicious for me to say "no" to. Either way, I can't help but wonder what my mother would think of my weight. As someone who struggled with her weight her entire life and was at an incredibly unhealthy weight when she died, I can't help but think that she wouldn't want a different life for her daughter.

I'm hoping this mindset will give me the strength to persevere through this daunting weight loss. My mother would want me to be healthy, and I'm hoping to accomplish that.

Monday, July 11, 2011


There are so many things that go through my mind that I think I should post about..

- Thanksgiving 2010 (which was almost 8 months ago now)
Thanksgiving 2010 was amazing, and filled with family as usual, but this year, my aunt (Mom's sister) and cousin from Virginia came to celebrate, as well as my aunt (Mom's half-sister) from California. It made me think about the things that are only possible once someone passes away...

- Helping my sister move back to Texas and the drive from California

- Midnight in Paris. Maybe it's because I LOVED this movie so much, that I really thought she would love it, too. My sister paused when I told her this, and it made me wonder if I'm not just fantasizing some of these things that I think she would love.. it's been so long now. I was a completely different person in 2003 than I am now. I was only 16..

- 8 years is a long time. Sometimes I am overcome with emotion at the fact that, it's been a long time since I've seen my mom. Since I've heard her voice. Since I've felt her embrace. And it's only going to become a longer amount of time. I become short of breath when I think about the fact that, one day, it will be ten years. Another day, it will be twenty years. It's too much to think about...

- This evening, I made her delicious chicken and rice casserole (with too much cheese, just like she used to make it), and listened to a Pandora station of Tom Petty, the Eagles, the Beatles, and Van Morrison.

I miss you. Every day.

Friday, April 29, 2011

#18 The Royal Wedding

I'm sitting here, glued to my TV (I've had to watch my Royal Wedding coverage in segments), and I can't help but think how much Mom would LOVE this. They're calling this wedding the first royal wedding of the social media age, which is appropriate considering the hash tags and live tweets scrolling across the bottom of the screen. With 5,000 tweets per minute, I have no doubt that Mom would be live tweeting with the rest of them!

I love watching the pomp and circumstance, and the idea of the romance and the fairy tale aspect is inescapable. Westminster Abbey is one of my favorite places in the entire world (as it was for Mom, too), and all the images of London don't hurt either.

I love the red carpet on either side of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, too.