Friday, September 22, 2006

"Clean" vs. Explicit

I recently purchased a CD off of iTunes. I had the option of buying the explicit version or the "clean" version. Because I don't completely understand why they should even make an explicit version I purchased the "clean" version. You are probably wondering why I am putting quotes around the word clean thus far into my blog. I am going to explain now. The CD I purchased was anything but clean. Yes, they removed the words that would have gotten it an R rating at a theater, but there will still PG-13 words as well as lyrics so suggestive that even my friend's 9 year old gave the CD back to her mom and said it was too gross. If you can't give a "clean" CD to a 9-year-old then should it even receive the label clean? Whatever happened to a song being on the Top 40 hit list and being able to know that it would be ok for your child to listen to the CD? I think it is a shame that this is what popular music in America has come to. These "musicians" pretend to be roll models to young children, yet they can't produce a product that is safe for their young ears.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I'm Back

Ok, I've been back from my so-called-vacation. I'm working through a few ideas for new posts, but nothing is complete yet.

News to report:

1) Kimberly-Clark will be letting approximately 200 people go from their Knoxville location. Doesn't look too promising for me. Just pray they keep me until January 1, 2007 so I can be fully vested. Thank you President Bush for signing new laws protecting us after 3 years of employment rather than the traditional 5. WooHoo!

2) Alzheimer's is the cruelest disease. Not to the person who has it because they don't know what is going on. But it is cruel to those who have to care for the person with it. But alas, God will get the glory for everything in the end.

3) B is coming to town this weekend. YEAH! She is bringing her friend S to a ballgame. B and S will be hanging at my house so it will be fun.

4) H moved in this weekend. It is nice having a roomie again. We are going to go on a diet/exercise regime together. I wonder how long we can make it last. I'm sure it will be the subject of future blogs as me having to cut out some of my favorite fast foods will not be fun.

5) Last home game for UT for a few weeks is this weekend. That means my feet will get a much needed break from standing behind a popcorn stand for 6+ hours until October. I am thankful for the extra money I am making, and thankful for the break I will be getting.

Well, that is more than I intended to post on. Wow! I guess I had more to say than I thought.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Happy Vacation to Me!

Yes, I'm on vacation this week. In fact, my whole family is. Mom, sis, and niece are at the beach (much needed break for the 3 of them!) Dad has taken to the mountains for some camping and staring into the woods (he enjoys hours upon hours of this!) Me, I'm staying in Knoxvegas for some R&R. Well, as much R&R as one can get when they have something planned for each day. However, I'm doing things I don't normally get to do and that is why it is a vacation. So, no more posts for this week unless something really crazy or random takes place.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Remembring Emma

The following article was in the Knoxville News Sentinel on Saturday, September 2. Chandra Harris started interviewing my sister before Emma passed away, and when she heard the news, she wanted to finish the story as a tribute to Emma. I'm glad she did. No sweeter words could have been written. Thanks, Chandra.

Remembering Emma
Her infant daughter was taken away too soon, but the memory of their time together and her bright-eyed 3-year-old help young mom find strength for the future

By CHANDRA HARRIS, September 2, 2006

TALBOTT - Strands of necklaces drape around her dolls' ears and then underneath their noses.
The beaded decorations, to 3-year-old Gracie, symbolize oxygen tubes that wouldn't be enough to save her baby sister's life. Born at 23 weeks, weighing a pound and five ounces, with barely formed lungs and a heartbeat that could be seen through her thin skin, ailing Emma Faye Cody fought for her every breath for seven months. She lost the fight near the end of July.
It didn't matter that a glass window barrier stopped Gracie from planting kisses on Emma's forehead at East Tennessee Children's Hospital. The question was always the same: "When is Emma coming home?"
"Soon," her mother, Jessica Cody, would say. She would quickly follow up her answer with a quiet chat with God asking Him to please "lessen the close calls (of Emma dying) and keep her baby's heart beating so she can see, play with her sister."
"I have a baby sister. Her name is Emma," Gracie says to strangers in grocery store aisles. "She's in the hospital now. But she will be coming home soon."
Emma wouldn't be coming home.
Her pastel nursery would remain empty. Her pink baby clothing would stay neatly folded and affixed to hangers.
Still the big sister, Gracie asks: "When will Emma be coming home?"
Her Nana answers: "Baby Emma went to live with Jesus in heaven. She's not coming home with us because Jesus knows best."
Temporarily satisfied, Gracie scoots off to play with her dolls, still adorned with her necklace oxygen tubes.
Carole and David Turner know their granddaughter will ask the same question later but "we'll just keep answering her the best we know how."
At 24, Cody's questions aren't dissimilar from her daughter's: "Why couldn't Emma have made it? Why couldn't she get better to come home?
"I am angry with God."
Dreaming that the loss of her child isn't real, Cody can hear what Emma's cries might have sounded like in her sleep.
"I never heard her cry," Cody said, remembering rubbing Emma's tiny chest night after night.
Soothing Emma soothed Cody as she dealt with the heartache of going through a divorce.
What became normal was driving to and from Hamblen County to Knoxville; hearing the microwave-sounding beeps of Emma's monitoring machine and resetting it herself; handing her bills over to her parents; figuring out when her mother could stand in her place at the hospital; and checking in with her dad, who took on the roles of father and grandfather, to tell Gracie "goodnight and I love you."
"I would whisper the same thing in Emma's small ears every night," she said.
"She looked like me, with her fat cheeks and her big brown eyes. She was stubborn like me, never wanting to give up.
"Emma taught me how to be a fighter for every moment in life.
"She was the littlest thing that I ever put my whole life into," Cody said with a tear-stained face.
She finds her refuge in what seems like buckets of her tears, her parents' patience and strength, and homemade meals from her surrogate grandparents, neighbors Bill and Betty Pearson.
"While I know God doesn't give more than you can bear," she finds herself asking rhetorically, "Lord, haven't you given me enough?"
"I don't know where or what to do from here," she said.
"I eventually want to go back to Walters State (Community College). I want to get married again. I would even have more children. I want a family life like my parents gave me and my sister.
"But right now I can only concentrate on the next five minutes, the next 10 minutes and Gracie keeps me looking forward to the next minute because her life helps to continue mine.
"I do thank God every night for the short time I had with Emma. And then I thank Him that I still have Gracie."
And Gracie thanks God for her "Mommy, Nana, Bop-Pa and God, can you please keep Emma's diapers changed until me and mommy can come and get her? Amen."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Sweet Memories

Every Tuesday night is card night with my grandparents. We usually play with my aunt, but sometimes my cousin J or my friend J will join in on the festivities. This past Tuesday night as we were putting away the card table, my grandparents and I started singing old hymns. After I got all of the stuff put away, we broke out the old Cokesbury Hymnal and went through singing the songs we knew the tune of without the music. What a blessing this was to me for many reasons. To start, my grandparents know so many of the words. At a time in their life where we are dealing with them forgetting so many things, they still know the words to the "classics." Secondly, I got to hear my grandfather sing again. One of my fondest memories as a child was hearing him singe "O Holy Night" during the Christmas season. It was his solo during that time of year. Thirdly, it made them happy. They were comfortable singing these songs. It was something they knew how to do. And they weren't just sitting in their house feeling sorry for themselves or worrying about what might be going wrong with their health. I pray that God will bless me with many more sweet memories to add to the collection I already have of these dear people. I love you, Granny and Papaw!