Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Uncomfortable, Green Chair

I was sitting in an uncomfortable, green chair, waiting. It seemed like I had been sitting for a really long time. I was playing with one of my many Barbie Dolls. I remember being a little annoyed at the sitting but trying to behave. My mom had this look in her eye, the one she got when she wanted me to behave. I got this look when we were walking into church and so forth. At this moment, I had this eery feeling that bigger things were afoot.

After the doctor came through the double doors, my family jumped up, really eager to learn the outcome of my father’s tests. Mom explained to me that my Daddy might be sick. I didn’t know what that meant. He had no symptoms I was aware of but my mom always told me the truth. I came home once and Mom asked me what I learned that day, as she always did. This day I replied, “There’s no Santa Claus?” She simply answered, “No” and that was the end of that. No making excuses to cover up my realization. I always liked that about my family. We were always very open and honest.

I knew I could always ask questions. I climbed in my Daddy’s lap and asked him what was happening. He explained that he had Huntington’s Disease. Little did I know, my life was about to get crazy. One of my favorite quotes is, “Change is never easy. You fight to hold on and you fight to let go.” Powerful, isn’t it? Especially here I think.

My Dad fought a hectic battle for his life for 12 years. He lived a lot longer than most people infected did. Infected ...that sounds so harsh. It sounds like something you didn’t mean to get. He was born with this disease. His symptom onset was a lot earlier than anyone expected, unfortunately. He was still the happiest man I knew throughout his struggle. Every Sunday he made it to church, he praised the Lord for the beautiful day, regardless of how unbeautiful he might have appeared. Even though he was very sick, he was alive and that in itself was beautiful.

People loved my father, especially after his death. People would come to me, people I barely knew, and fill me in on their admiration for my father and our family. What were we supposed to do? Sit at home cry at our unfortunate luck? There was no pity here. This whole battle my family was fighting left me with extreme emotional issues. I wasn’t always sad though. I was really proud of the way my family dealt with things. I was jealous a lot. Yes, my dad was sick and yes, I loved when people asked about him, but my family is going through this together. It seemed because I still had a smile on my face, people assumed I was well. There was certainly no smile in my heart. I supposed they couldn’t see that or didn’t care enough to want to talk to me about it. Perhaps they didn’t know how to go about such conversation. I always felt guilty, like it was selfish for me to be upset, my father was the one dying. It pained me most to just have to watch and let it happen. It’s completely unfair to watch someone you love slowly die and have no say...

Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Obama is coming through this time for the environment!

(ATLANTA – May 19, 2009) On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will announce $600,000 in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to the city of Aiken, S.C., to help create green jobs by revitalizing former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use. This is the first investment of EPA Recovery Act funds in Aiken.

President Obama signed the ARRA on Feb. 17, 2009, and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at

I will be sure to check the website often to see how this plays out. I'm excited that the first investment is coming to the Carolinas!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

YouTube - Lost Generation

Denise sent this to me and I love it.

'This is amazing - as you listen intently follow along with the words forward and backward. Make sure you read as well as listen. This is a video that was submitted in a contest by a 20 year old. The contest was Titled "u @ 50", by the AARP. This video won second place. When they showed it, everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause. So simple and yet so brilliant. Take a minute and watch it."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Green Effect

Everyone hears repeatedly that small steps toward making the world a better place lead to big results but many people don't know where to start. Well, Sun Chips (which I love) and National Geography are teaming up to inspire and let community ideas become realities! The program is called The Green Effect and is awarding $20K to 5 top entries. To enter simply submit 100-250 word plan for how you would green up your community. Winners will also receive a profile in National Geo, and a trip to meet with environmental leaders.

Entries due by June 8, 2009!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Huntington's Disease Awareness Month

I just realized how long it's been since I've posted anything new. Crazy! Thank you insane school/work schedule.

I was just informed May is Huntington's Disease Awareness Month! Friggin Awesome. I wasn't aware it had a specific month but don't most things these days?! I have been working on a post about my struggle. It will need to be broken into parts but I have been diligently picking at it and will post that this month for sure. In the meantime, check out the awareness section of the Huntington's Disease Society of America's website!