I will tell her although we all must battle fears, that she should strive each day to not live from a place of fear in her heart. That everything we fear is everything we long for, and to live from a place of love is much more worth while.
I will tell her that she has resilient blood and that I will try my darnedest not to roar and fend off her fears but let her maneuver her way through them. But that if she ever does call that I will come running through the woods with the ferocious might of a mother grizzly bear and dissipate anything that tries to harm her soul. That although she will need to learn to awaken her own strength that lays sleeping, that I will always have some to lend.
If I have one wish it will be that she is stubborn, for children that are stubborn grow up to bash their way fearlessly into this world.
"When I told my mom that I was going to rehab, she was about to catch a flight to her 40th High School Reunion. I told her: ‘I guess you won’t be bragging about me to your friends.’ She said: ‘Actually, I’ve never been prouder of you.’"
"My mother had a painting of herself hanging in the living room, if that tells you anything. She always thought she knew the best for everyone. If she gave you money or gifts, you’d soon learn that she was buying admission into your life. I’d never accept anything from her. If she paid for the flowers at your wedding, for example, she’d feel entitled to comment on the rest of your arrangements. It was so clear to her how everyone else should be living their life. I made a lot of bad decisions in life— just to keep her from getting her way."
"Do you resent her?"
"Sure I do. We never had a conversation that wasn’t part of her agenda."
"I was an English teacher. The demands of the system required that I give out grades, but I never felt good about it. How do you grade someone’s writing? Writing is about revision. It’s about access to self. If a student writes a poem, and it’s the best they can do at the moment, how are you supposed to compare that to the student sitting next to them? How are you supposed to give one a 90, and one an 85?"
“My parents were always fighting. They weren’t very supportive. I used to be bitter about it. I was caught up on how my life could have been different if I had better parents. How things would have been different if x, y, and z had happened. But then you get older and you realize maybe they didn’t have the capacity to give you what you needed. They couldn’t understand you, just like you couldn’t understand them. You realize they were dealing with their own disappointments. And you even start to think, ‘Maybe I could have been a better son.’”
Rednecks, sweet teas, rebel flags, SEC football, families, and the white sands of the Emerald Coast of Florida. #lovethesouth