Monday, May 12, 2014

Paige's Graduating YALL! OH EM GEEEEE!!!!

Well this blog will be a little different from ones of the past.

Sometimes I think about my childhood. I think about Christmas mornings, Halloween trick or treating, Easter fun, summer time, popsicles, crab trap running, swimming pools, mud riding, skating on cement, birthday parties, etc. In all of these memories 3 of the people that I cherish the most are in every memory. My siblings. Three people I cannot imagine my life without. Three people that have made me love them one minute yet ready to ring their necks the next. But when all else failed, we always came together as a family. As I think about these memories I am sad to think of Kiptyn currently being an only child. (NO, I don’t have baby fever I promise) My main goal with my crumb snatcher is to get him better, and Lord knows that’s on its way as we speak; however, I am saddened that he may never get to experience all these things that I got to experience. For more reasons than one, however; that is not important right now! But, the thought of him missing out on all of these things breaks my heart especially at moments like this ….




This week our family will celebrate an achievement and accomplishment that we have been waiting on for some time. The last of us will graduate and begin her life as an adult. Can you believe it? Paige is all grown up y’all!!! Saying that brings so many tears to my eyes, happy tears because of the person she has become, sad tears because she’s growing up, scared tears because I know what’s to come, but confident tears because I know she will outshine my expectations and do more than I ever imagined! Today I had to bring Paige to the doctor for a small outpatient procedure and during my wait I reminisced on so much. Being 10 years younger than me of course I took on the role of “mother hen” when Paige was born. Those of you that know me know very well I would gladly take your life if you would have ever crossed her the wrong way. (Yea so maybe I had to remind a few people who her big sister was when they decided to speak wrongly to her- no apologizing, I meant it ;) ) She was my baby, my first child that I poured all my love into. And unfortunately Jadi and Justin can probably confirm that I let her get away with more than them or gave her more than them. Well shucks so did my mom come to think of it … We never got HALF the stuff she did! We never got away with half of the stuff she did! But isn’t that what it’s all about!?!? Being the baby of the family I mean. The baby always lucks up right!?? Well our baby did for sure, but she also had her fair share of unfair things cross her pathway in her 17 years. She has faced things in 17 short years that I pray most children will never have to face. She has been attacked and judged by the people that you would never expect to do those things. She has felt pain, hurt, and loss. I have watched her struggle yet never fall without jumping back up. She has proved so many wrong! But throughout it all she has held her head tall and exceeded any expectation that anyone ever set for her. She has outshined most! She has done EVERYTHING she has put her mind to and she never let anything or anyone stop her. I cannot express the amount of gratitude and respect I have for my baby sister. I cannot put into words the amount of pride I have for her. She is one amazing person that I know will change our world somehow, someday. Those of you that know Paige are probably smiling as you read this and saying, oh yeah that’s her for sure! And it is! And that’s why I wanted to write this blog, to express my sincere gratitude for my baby sister, to offer her a few words of advice that I have learned along the way, and to show her that no matter what we will ALL stand behind her every step of the way! So here goes ….


So sis I have anticipated this day for a long time. I have contemplated what I would tell you and what I would leave out. I questioned what was important for you to know and what lessons I would allow you to learn on your own (they say those are the best lessons of course). I have watched you grow for 17 years, I have watched the woman that you have become. I cannot put into words how proud I am of everything that you have accomplished. I searched and searched for what I was going to tell you about the “real world.” I searched my mind for the life lessons I had to learn and how I could apply them correctly to you. Then I remembered a speech that I heard at a Scentsy Convention in 2012. So I dug up my old notes and it all came to me, a lot of the things she spoke at that convention I noted because I wanted to remember to tell you for your graduation. Everything that I wanted to tell you – because likewise, you know you are just like me right? Whether you want to admit it or not you’re like my clone. When I hear things about you all I can do is shake my head and warn people to watch out!! They can’t say I didn’t warn them because I know what’s coming. Been there, done that! I promise! NO WORRIES I WON’T TELL MOM IT ALL! ;) She’d probably kill me too, 27 years later. Needless to say sis, as I watch you walk down that aisle Thursday I will probably be a basket case, or maybe I’ll be calm and collective – who knows!?! But before then I want to tell you a few things that you should take with you as you begin your journey of life. 
You are now beginning big girl world. In this big girl world you will experience a lot. A lot more than you expect, things won’t always be peachy-keen, and people won’t always be nice, or sincere, but please take these words and soak them in, as for it took me 27 short years to learn some of these things, and continue to learn many of them (Yeah I’m working on practicing what I preach!) But put on those big girl panties sistah … the real world has begun. But go into it with an open mind and an open heart.
Paige always remember to love yourself for who you are. DON’T CHANGE FOR ANYONE!! Take me time, get to know yourself. Don’t worry about what others think. Blow them off! I remember Heidi quoting “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” And this is true. You know this – you’ve experienced this first hand! (Remember that conversation we had in the car this evening! This blog is the reason I couldn’t put my words into sentences because I knew I had this planned all along … YOU KNOW THEY DON’T MATTER!) You are an awesome and amazing person, just the way you are! Never change that!! You will make mistakes … its ok, we all do! (Me more than anyone probably) Forgive yourself! You deserve it! Make new friends. We all know you are great at this (mom and I talked one time and she said “Courtney, Paige has friends EVERYWHERE, from Morgan City/Berwick/Patterson to Charenton/Franklin/Centerville!! Y’all never had that many people for me to keep up with, yall stay local with your friends – but not her. And my reply was, you are right mom, but how amazing is that!) And I stand by that today – you are a person that can make an impression on anyone – Keep it up. Friendship can change your life, everyone needs a few good friends. The friends you have are lucky to have you! Don’t get too busy for them – sometimes as we grow up that happens. L Don’t judge others. You NEVER NEVER know what battles they are facing on the inside. You have been judged and you know first hand the pain that brings! So remember think before you speak (even though sometimes that’s hard for us- I know I know- I said I am working on these things too sis) Accept people the way that they are. You never know who will become your new best friend! You may someday have to forgive some of your friends. Forgiveness is necessary and freeing!!!!!  Learn to let go sis! It’s hard I know I struggle with it daily! At convention Heidi quoted someone saying “To forgive is to set a prisoner FREE and discover that the prisoner is YOU!” Gosh this is so true! Holding on to anger will hurt you more than anyone else (remember that car conversation again? –it’s time to let it go my love – as hard as it is for me to type these words because I know the pain you feel from what was done – you must let it go for you to move forward – SHOW THEM – SHOW THE WORLD!) It’s not always easy to let it go –but that we must do. Too much time spent on the things we cannot change allows those things to eat away at our character and change the person that you are trying to become, Heidi said, and she IS right! Don’t let it change the person you are baby girl! You are so much better than that!  She quoted an author saying “There is nothing simple or easy about forgiveness, it’s one of the costliest gifts we are called upon to give!” We are supposed to forgive the ones that hurt us! As hard as it is, I know this from personal issues I have going on myself, we must do it! Forgiveness FREES US to move on and choose what is good and right and to learn to let it go! Heidi said, forgiveness is not only about others, its about yourself too! She’s right! Don’t forget to forgive yourself too sis! You will make mistakes as you walk along this journey of life – you will do things and say that that you just WISH you could take back, we all do! Don’t dwell on your mistakes. Don’t live with regret! If you hurt someone, ask for forgiveness! It happens, its life! You must live it one day at a time, but enjoy every single moment of it! It will pass you by before you know it! Sometimes we have to do things in life even if you are afraid, uncomfortable, even if it’s hard, and even when it hurts! Do it for YOU! YOU DESERVE IT!
“Laugh often, cry when needed, and love deeply.” At convention Heidi said, “Laughter is life lubricant.” It is Paige, it so it. Enjoy every minute of what you do. Live your life! Laughter connects you to other people to friends, to family, to everyone! Don’t be afraid to cry once in a while .. its ok, its normal, its healthy! Love with all your heart!! Love GOD first and foremost, he will get you through this journey, I KNOW! Love your family, your friends, love yourself, love what you do! If you don’t love what you do it will be just a job! You see on facebook just how many people have JOBS and how many people actually love what they do! (PS .. no one ever had a smart big sister like me – hahahahhaha just clowning) Be inspired! Inspire others! Always lend a helping hand! God sees it all sis, and he will pay you back tenfold if you follow as he commands! Stand up for what is right! If you don’t who will? Don’t be like me don’t judge that lady for a tantruming baby in Wal-Mart! Stand up for what’s right!!! We live in a cruel cruel world sis, you will learn that fast! Make the world a better place, make people understand – not just Autism because you know that’s my pride and joy, but everything! You may lose friends over it – that’s ok – they were not your friends to begin with if that’s the case! You will inspire others to do the same – I promise! You will change the world! Heidi quoted “What’s wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it, and what’s right is right even if no one is doing it!” Remember that! It’ll be easy to slip into the crowd. But do your thing! Continue doing as you have always done! Billy Grahmn says “Courage is contagious.” So very very true! Courage doesn’t just come over night either .. it will take time. You may take 27 years  and a life changing experience like myself to learn to stand up and be courageous, but it’ll come, I know this! Life isn’t always easy! You know – you have felt heartache and pain in your life. But remember there are NO shortcuts in life! Success is not handed to you! You have to work for it sis! And work hard!!! Dream big! Bigger than the sky! If you don’t dream big you will never know what you are capable of in life. Find inspiration in those dreams! Honor them, cherish them, and last but not least ACHIEVE THEM!!!! Don’t worry while you are trying to achieve these dreams you will come to walls …. My advice will be don’t succumb to that wall .. find a way over it, around it, or under it! NEVER EVER EVER SUCCUMB to that wall!! (The devil in disguise one might say – don’t  let him win Paige). A few things Heidi talked about in her speech that I encourage you to do that I never did were .. make a bucket list (how fun would this be right???) Make a list of places you want to go, things you want to do, dream about those things that will bring you joy! Make a commitment to do them!! YOLO RIGHT??? Don’t let anything hold you back .. we aren’t going anywhere! READ READ READ! Reading opens your mind – I’ve learned this since Kiptyn’s Autism diagnosis! Pick books that entertain you, or teach you, or inspire you, otherwise you’ll get bored. (psstt… I said you’re a mini me .. I know these things) Keep a journal so you can go back one day and laugh and cry over all that you have accomplished in your life!
After all that rambling I hope you can take those lessons as you leave the nest and put them to work. I hope you put your mind to it and achieve all that you deserve! I hope you continue through life just the way you have the last 17 years and continue to make myself, mom, Jadi, Justin, and the rest of everyone else so VERY VERY PROUD OF YOU! Live your life to the fullest my love, never forgetting your roots, but soaring your wings and flying!!

Can’t wait to watch you achieve this outstanding milestone in your life!!

I LOVE YOU SIS!!! 

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