June 25, 2012

To You


I'm at a loss for words. It's been over a week and I still don't think I've fully accepted that you're gone. It's been a living nightmare and I wish that there was some way for you to tell us that it's ok. That you're ok. If this had happened because of a car accident, I'd be just as upset but I could rationalize and accept it. But that's not what happened. You were taken. And for that I will always be angry.

I can't help but be filled with regret on times I've missed with you. When you were little and I had to watch you and Billy everyday after school. I was so angry with Mom and Dad. Why did I have to do it? It wasn't my responsibility. I wanted to hang out with my friends and go do things. I'm now haunted by the memories of you guys asking me to play a game and me telling you no, to go watch TV because I wanted to be on the phone with a friend. I was 14, it was what 14 year olds do. But looking back, even before this, I regret those lost moments. I know I can't change them, but know I'm sorry.

When I found out I was going to be an Aunt I was skeptical. Not about the facts, but that this would turn out to be a "good thing" like everyone was saying. How can 16 and pregnant be a good thing? I was so disappointed in you, scared for you, mad for our parents loss of "freedom" to go away for weekends, etc. But you were determined to see this through. I wasn't a fan of the name you chose, I'm still warming to using it, but when someone made the comment that "you were a car and she's a car" it made so much sense. Shelby and Chevelle, great cars at that. I guess you knew what you were doing. And then I saw her and I was so proud of you. You were obviously stronger than me. I don't know if I could have done what you did. You took on everyone. Not that it was ok but you spoke to our parents in a way that I would have never even attempted. You probably should have worked on the word choices but the point is, you spoke your mind no matter who was on the receiving end.

And then I came home when Mom called me with this tragic news. I'll never forget it. I came as soon as I could. I took on the rock role. Not that I wouldn't anyway, but I had to. I couldn't let Mom and Dad make those decisions. I had to protect them. To be strong for everyone. Parents aren't supposed to be predeceased by their children. It's not the way it's supposed to happen. It was easier for me to step up and do everything, not only to shield them, but to stay busy to keep myself from shutting down.

As it turns out, Chevelle is going to be a saving grace. Without her, I think Mom and Dad would be completely lost. Through her, you're still here. She looks exactly like you when you were her age. They have to take care of her now. We all do. And we will. She is loved by everyone. There's actually a line of people to babysit her. And me? I'm the proudest Aunt you'll ever see. In the week I was there everything changed. I never understood what people were always talking about but now I get it. My relationship with CJ is beyond important. It's my job to be her friend, mentor and confidant. And I will be all of those things. And when she asks about you I will tell her what she wants to know. I'll tell her how pretty you were. How you were your own person. The jokes you made. The things you did that annoyed me or made me laugh. I'll make sure she knows exactly who her mother was. How much you wanted and loved her even in the short time you had together. She's going to be spoiled. After all, that is my job.

Yesterday was hard, today feels barely easier. I feel lost. I miss you, so very much. You'll never be forgotten. I refuse to let that happen.

June 04, 2012

Hats Off to Me

Here it is, the post you've all been waiting for (mainly so I'll shut up about it) Graduation weekend!

Of course I took pictures with my phone but my camera's settings were all screwy so any pictures my friend Mike took with my camera came out blurry and craptastic. I asked my mom to e-mail me the ones she took. She did even better. She printed and mailed them all to me and I got them last week. After some scanner reconfiguration we're ready to rock!

The ceremony actually wasn't too bad. 2 1/2 hours to get through the procession, all the speeches and the name calling. Maybe it was because I was sitting with friends or maybe it was because I was texting Mike throughout the entire thing, but it went by fast.

In good planning Boyfriend and I went to AC for the weekend the day after graduation. We got lucky and had absolutely gorgeous weather the entire time. 

We walked the boardwalk all day Saturday and I ended up getting my 2nd sunburn ever. I didn't feel it at all and didn't even notice until I changed my clothes to take a nap before dinner. It's upsetting. It means my skin/chemical makeup/something has changed. At 25 I started using sunscreen on my face. Mainly because it's in my moisturizer and makeup. But now, I actually burn. It's new to me and I'm not sure what to make of it. I feel like part of me has been lost. Have I used up my Free Tan card?? God I hope not...

We stopped in the Oh My Godard art gallery that's in the "mall" and there were SO many pieces I wanted to take home. The price tags made it a tad impossible (plus I didn't win big) so I went home with links to the artists instead. This one was tagged at around $1,700 and was about 3' long. I was told they could do a smaller one for about $500. (sorry Mom!) I saw this one and immediately thought of my mom. Not only is she a coffee junkie she's a whiz at Scrabble. Seeing these in person was amazing. They are so life like. They also had Monopoly ones which were equally awesome. There was another artist who did paintings of wine glasses/bottles and yhey were insanely realistic. Reflections in the glass and all. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the artist but I can always call the gallery. I'd really love to have one of his pieces. Look at me! Considering buying art. 

We went to a classic car show that was on the boardwalk and walked through just about every single casino.

I made Boyfriend take pictures with me since we had none. Even if I was being a child about them. That's half the fun isn't it?! 

Saturday night we went over to Borgata and had dinner at Fornelletto, which was AMAZING. It's an Italian restaurant that's pretty much in the basement. Walking down the steps felt like descending into a wine cellar. The atmosphere is intimate but not stuffy. 

While walking around Borgata we ran into a group of three people, one of which was screaming gay (he was telling girls that were passing, "Work it bitch!") He asked if I'd take a picture of them, which I did, and he proceeded to tell me how amazingly pretty I was and that he loved my dress, etc. Have I mentioned that I LOVE the gays? His two girlfriends kept assuring Boyfriend he was gay. We took a picture but like an asshole I didn't get one with my phone. 

Overall I had a great long weekend. Graduated, saw my parents and best friends and spent a gorgeous weekend in AC with the Boyfriend. 

And of course no trip up the NJ turnpike is complete without a plane coming in for a landing. As a side note, this is one of my favorite things* to look for when I'm on the TPK. I love watching the planes take off or land.