I thought about you today as I do occasionally. You – the person who was taken from us way too soon. It has been around 15 years but your flame still has not burned out.
You were my cousin: like a sister, a friend and a confidant. We went through periods of in and out of closeness as people often do; but we always came back to each other.
You were so beautiful, smart and cool although you thought you were none of those things.
You had a life force that would make me light up and have so much fun when you were around. I really enjoyed the years we spent together.

I think back at some of the memories I will forever have of you.
I miss your honesty… even when I didn’t want to hear it. You would call me out when I was being inauthentic.
I miss making our radio station cassette tapes that I still have and must get transferred before they fall apart. I was the regular radio dj and you were reporting the dow jones industrial average for our listeners because you had intelligence past your age.
How about the numerous times we got separated into different rooms because we were either arguing or being downright mischievous and our parents didn’t know what else to do to kill our power other than separate us.
I miss our experiences together at art and sleepaway camp.
I miss the the trips your family let me tag along with. The places I got to experience with you.
I remember we saw Debbie Gibson together at Sea World and although you wouldn’t have admitted it later, you enjoyed it when she waved and smiled at both of us in the crowd cheering.

In high school, we would have hung out with a different crowd but I love that we could still find common ground like when I went to see the B52’s with you.

I loved that I stayed with you in Gainesville in your college dorm so I got to experience what it was like to have an on campus life while I went to a junior college to get my AA degree first.

I love that I got to know you as an adult. What a beautiful person you became! Your humor, wit, and sarcasm  developed to a higher level. I truly enjoyed our talks. You had such a level of understanding of the world that I longed to have.
I think about how we would be now.
I wish you were here now.
I wish I had you to bounce ideas and thoughts off.
I wish I had you to joke around with, in that humor that only our family gets.
I wish I still knew you.
I miss you Andrea!!!

High School graduation day.

The right thing


Most days I struggle with regret that I said the wrong thing. Sometimes this can be referred to as foot in mouth syndrome; speaking before you think; wrong thing at the wrong time.
Most of my life, and especially the last few years, I make an effort to be the best me. I tend to be good at seeing my own faults and working towards fixing them. One fault, the fault of saying the wrong thing and then regretting it later, is something that repeats itself over and over again in my life. I am about at my wits end.
I have taken leadership classes. I have taken courses on emotional intelligence. I took a 12 week Dale Carnegie “How to win Friends and Influence People”. Yet I am still unable to filter my words.
I know people who lack the filter as well. Do they consistently regret what they say? It does not appear so. Am I making a too big of deal of it in my mind? Am I more sensitive to what I say than others are? I have destroyed a relationship or two over my words. Perhaps people who really love me and know my heart tend to overlook this fault? Even if I can still maintain relationships on a personal level, it is still something that is needed for my professional life. I have seen people getting to the top by walking all over people and their feelings and I do not have the stomach for that. I am too sensitive. I wish I had a magic formula to know the right thing to say. Until then I try again……