My Many Interests

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Joy of a Mailbox

My grandmother Carmon has always been a letter writer. My brothers and I would receive cards in the mail for birthdays, holidays, and days that I think my grandmother made up just to get rid of the cards that she had stockpiled.

Well, now Lilly gets cards in the mail and Great Grandma Carmon sends cards filled with stickers. Any kind of sticker that looks pretty or interesting will get sent and Lilly loves to put them in her coloring books, regular books, notepads, or just blank sheets of paper. It gets to the point that she will walk with me out to the mailbox to check it expecting an envelope and if there isn’t anything for her, she’ll comment, “I need to write Great Grandma Carmon and tell her to send me more stickers!”

“I think Great Grandma Carmon would love to hear from you, Toot.” May be why Great Grandma Carmon slips up every once in a while, is to get that phone call?

National Geographic Kids MagazineSo, I thought that it would be cool to set up something where she did get mail on a regular basis. No, I’m not getting a credit card in her name. Though, that is a . . . .  Any way. I go to Half Price Book Store and will get those National Geographic Little Kids magazines. Then I got to thinking, why not get a subscription and have them mailed. I’m still paying about the same price after subscription discount and she gets something in the mail.

Another that is for her age group is Highlights High Five. I’ve never read this one but it’s a younger version of the Highlights Magazine that you always found in the dentist office, so it can’t be all bad.

Do you have any favorite kids magazines? Give me some titles so that I can pass them along.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I’ve come to find over the last five to six weeks, how much I took my wife for granted. All the little things that she did of which I was oblivious. From taking care of Lilly to jobs around the house, and most of it on her sickest days. I offer up an apology every day to heaven, knowing that she hears me and that she forgives me, but knowing that an apology is not enough.

I have to go forward and keep up the work that she left behind. That means raising Lilly the way the Carroll wanted, getting healthy so that I can be here for as long as Lilly needs me, and keeping Carroll’s memory alive and introducing her to new people though she is gone.

Valerie Harper of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW and RHODA fame, that is if you are a child of the 70’s, announced in her book and on TV that she has terminal brain cancer. She, like Kiwi, has survived her expiration date, but knows that the end is inevitable. And, also like Kiwi, she doesn’t let that stop her. In her words, “You can die with cancer, but not of it.” It’s basically a choice. You can let just the thought of cancer go ahead and put you in a bed and you wait for it to happen, or you can go out and live your life until it does come for you. That is what Carroll did. She said that when it gets here, she’ll be ready, but until then, come get me.

So, with the will to live that my wife exhibited, I step forth with some changes in my life. My child will be my first and last thought everyday, just as my wife was, but with a renewed sense of empowerment. I will teach my child that every day is a new day and that we are not dead until the dirt is put over the top of us. We will wake up every morning and think, what can we do to make our world a better place or how can we help someone else who may not have it as well.

Carroll and James Cruise CloseupWe will also learn how to be healthy. The day that Carroll passed, one of the last things she said to me was, “get healthy.” Meaning, give up the cokes and the eating out and make sure that you are here for our daughter. So, I will start by cutting down (I can’t do cold turkey) on the cokes, eating out once a week as a treat, and walking more.

I miss my wife so much, but it hurts less when I’m doing things of which I know she would be proud. So, here’s to the changes and keeping a smile on my wife’s heavenly face.