Bobby’s Heavenly 33rd Birthday – “Looking Back”

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Birthday in Heaven

Today, April 14, 2017, is Bobby’s Heavenly 33rd Birthday. Our only son. I miss him being here on earth. Heaven seems so far away. I can’t visit there. If I’d go, I’d have to stay. God’s not ready for me yet. 

My thoughts….

I – “The Hardest Day”

Bobby lost his life on May 31, 2013, trying to save others. He died a beloved hero.

Bobby loved his job as a firefighter. He knew the risks, and he went for it anyway. He always had a servants heart and he was a very hard worker. He survived 2 tours of duty in Iraq before coming home to become a firefighter. It seems unfair to have survived a war in a foreign land, and to come back home to be taken, in the end, by a deadly hotel fire. 

II – “Siblings”

Bobby was the only boy amongst our 3 girls (plus myself), and he always felt outnumbered. Well, he was! But if any one of his sisters ever really needed something, he was there for them. They might have knock down drag out fights, but when it counted most, he was there for them. 

Lauren was 10 years younger than Bobby. He thought she was SOOOO cute. He loved it when she said and did silly things. He got such a kick out of her. I would tell him not to laugh if she said a bad word, or got certain phrases wrong (ie. New York Yankers), but he could not help himself. He was only 10, and at 10 years old, I guess that was funny to him. The more I told him not to encourage her by laughing, the funnier it became to him. I get it. I too have a younger sibling. What goes around, comes around, so don’t make fun of your siblings. 🙂

Bobby had a close relationship with Liz.They were only 18 months apart. She would draw the line with him, and he knew not to cross it. He tried it – once. He never tried that again. When she “set a boundary”, she meant it, and he knew it. Their bedrooms shared a wall. At night, I would hear them knocking on the wall from one bedroom to the other. As it turned out, they were “talking in code”. They had a special code word for goodnight. So sweet. We still use that word today. 

As children, Bobby had sort of a love/hate relationship with Nicole. She was 6 years older than he. She had to babysit him a lot because I was a single mom and I couldn’t be everywhere at once. When he got upset with her, he would yell at her, “You’re not the boss of me!” He gave her a very hard time when she needed to correct him because, well, she wasn’t his mom. But when Nicole needed some money for college, he gave her all he had – $50. No one asked him to do that, he just did. It was his heart, and she was in it.

III – “Math Whiz”

Bobby knew the value of a dollar and he worked very hard at saving. He was the only one of the kids who was able to save his money. When the girls were broke (almost always), they visited the “Bank of Bobby.” He gladly gave them a lone, but only if a proper interest rate was negotiated in advance. 😉 Smart boy.

Bobby was good at math even as a little boy. As I’ve mentioned before, when he was 6 years old, and I was trying to divvy up lunch money in the morning for the 3 of them (amidst all of the chaos), he would quickly take charge of all the coins laid out on the bed, and divide them into thirds quicker than I could blink. He never had trouble with his “math facts”. Never.

IV – “Reconciliation” 

Even though Bobby struggled with different things and with us parents as many teens do, I always knew he loved me. He would slip notes under my bedroom door a lot of times to say “I’m sorry” for misbehaving, and to say that he loved me. I would tell him that I forgive him, and we’d work out what he could do differently next time. Although it was difficult at the time, I treasure those sweet notes now more than ever before. 

IV – “Goodnight Sweetheart

At bedtime, when Bobby was about 14, I would say goodnight to Bobby and send him off to bed. A few minutes later my bedroom door would crack open. There was Bobby with his head poked through the crack, smiling, and singing to me – “Goodnight  sweetheart, goodnight, wherever you arrrre!” He had a very good singing voice. I would say, “Goodnight”. A few minutes later, he was back – “Goodnight, sweetheart, goodnight, wherever you arrrrre!” Me: “Goodnight Bobby.” Just as I was falling off to sleep, he was back – “Goodnight sweetheart goodnight wherever you arrrrrre!” Me: “Goodnight Bobby! Go to bed!” Bobby: “Ok, goodnight. Love you.” Me: “Love you too Bobby.” ❤

V – “Looking Back”

I love looking back and seeing that picture in my mind of Bobby poking his head in my bedroom doorway and singing. I wish those would have been the days of “selfies”. I still remember what Bobby’s voice sounded like at 14. You know, that age where a teen boy’s voice gets crackly and deeper? That was it. It still makes me smile. It’s one of my favorite memories of him.

At the time of Bobby’s serenades, in a very rowdy household (4 teens and a blended family), all I wanted him to do was go to bed so I could get some sleep for another rowdy day. But look now, how special it is, that God left me with some of the best memories of him ever. There are more, but this is all for now.

VI – “Love You Forever”

Now I say to Bobby, “Goodnight, sweetheart, goodnight, wherever you arrrrre!” 🎶 

Happy Birthday in Heaven my sweet boy.  🚒 💙🇺🇸 Sadness over the loss of you is here to stay, but my memories of you will never go away.

My Christmas Present to YOU!

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20 HOLIDAY SHOPPING “SAFETY TIPS”

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Written by: Cydnee Green

This is no joke ladies.  I wrote this because I have lived it. Please read, and keep these words in mind.

This is not written to scare you. It’s written to keep you SAFE, and ALIVE. No one wants to imagine that they can be a CRIME VICTIM. But it CAN happen to YOU.

Trust me – I know from my own personal experience. It can. And it did.

Crooks are PROFESSIONALS. Their full-time “job” is ROBBING YOU! This is literally what they do for a living, and they are well rehearsed at it just like you are on your daily job.

Before becoming a victim of crime, I had this idea that crime was something that you see on TV, or read about in the newspaper with “other” people. I did NOT think that it was something that could actually happen to ME. This, my friends, is what I call – “WRONG THINKING”.  Hopefully because I am someone you actually DO know, this will resonate with you better than it did with me before I became a victim.

These are my “STAY-SAFE” TIPS for you that I have learned.

  1. PRAY God’s protection over yourself BEFORE you go out shopping.

2. WALK BRISKLY through the parking lots, (especially if you are alone), otherwise you are an easy target.

3. DO NOT BE TALKING on your CELL!!!  This makes you a VERY easy target. Crooks see that you are distracted. This makes you “easy prey”. Nothing is THAT important.

4. LOOK people ‘in the eye’ while walking past them. Just look and observe.

5. BE AWARE and ALERT of your surroundings at all times (Literally turn your head around) while your walking. Notice who’s around and behind you. Crooks don’t want you to notice them. Also they look just like “normal people”….. No mask, nothing.

6. DO NOT carry a purse. Oh, “but I NEED my purse!”  No you don’t. You CAN shop without one. YOUR PURSE is ‘usually’ what they are after. Why tempt a crook?

7. PUT YOUR MONEY and/or credit card IN YOUR BRA -OR- YOUR BOOT!  I’m not even kidding – Especially during the holiday season.

8. If you do take your purse ANYWAY, and the robbers DEMAND your purse (gun or no gun), THROW your purse BEHIND THEM so they will have to go after it, and you can RUN the other way. REMEMBER: It’s very hard to shoot at AND HIT a moving target.

9. While ON YOUR WAY BACK TO YOUR CAR – Be sure to check in, around, and under your car “before” you get back in it after shopping. Does anything look suspicious?  If so, DON’T GET IN. Get help!  (Yes, crooks can hide under your car too.)

10. Also as you are walking back to your car, WATCH for cars passing by you driving very slowly.  Robbers don’t always come on foot. Mine came by car.  Look them in the eye as they approach or pass you by. Don’t be uncomfortable with it – Let THEM be uncomfortable with it. This may encourage them to just keep going so as not to be identified later.

11. When you DO get back into your car, YOU ARE STILL NOT SAFE – UNTIL… your doors are locked, AND your car is IN MOTION.  Crooks can car jack you sitting still (even if doors are locked). And they do.

12. ALWAYS load your purchases IN THE TRUNK. This gives you more than one way to escape, should someone come up from behind you to rob you. If they do, RUN RUN RUN to whichever side that you can get to first. IF they somehow manage to push you into the trunk (FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE first – gun or no gun). If they DO manage to put you in the trunk, and there is no “release”, kick out a tail light and wave frantically.

13. DO NOT LOAD CAR FROM YOUR SIDE DOOR.  When you load from the side door, and a robber comes behind you, you are hemmed in, it becomes almost impossible for you to escape. If the robber tries to push you into the the car, you fight, kick, punch, slide down onto the ground and EVEN try to crawl UNDER THE CAR. They don’t want a scene where they might get caught.

14. DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to STAY OUT OF THAT CAR – Even if they DO have a gun. DO NOT LET THEM GET YOU INTO THAT CAR.  IF they ARE going to shoot you, your chances of survival are much better getting shot right there in the store parking lot (where there are people around), than they are in SOME REMOTE LOCATION WHERE THERE IS NO ONE AROUND.

15. Crime Scene #2 IS ALWAYS WORSE than Crime scene #1. If they take you someplace else, some remote location (Crime Scene #2), the outcome can be MUCH MUCH WORSE.  Your chances of survival are slim to none. There are also much worse things that can happen at Crime Scene #2 besides getting shot. I had a friend who ended up at Crime Scene #2, and you don’t want to be that person.

16. IF you have children with you, talk to them before you get out of the car.  I used to tell mine, “Don’t dawdle in parking lots.” “Lets go quick!”  If they asked why, I just told them, “Because it is safer, and safety is good.”

17. I almost ALWAYS at least ask if there is a “security person” who can either walk with me to my car, or if closer, watch me walk to my car (especially if I am alone). Store managers are usually VERY accommodating.

18. FOR the MEN out and about this season – Keep a “special” money clip in your pocket, with a $50 or $100 bill in it with the dollar amount showing.money clipThis way, if they say, “Give me all your MONEY”, you can hold up your (special) clip with the BIG bill showing, then throw it behind them so you can get away or do whatever you gotta do.

19. Practice these TIPS with your family if you can, or AT LEAST read this often. Make these things “clear in your mind” BEFORE you go out shopping. We learn by repetition.

20. Remember………. Criminals are professionals, and they go to “WORK” EVERY DAY just like you do. The only thing different in their job and yours is that THEY ROB PEOPLE FOR A LIVING. This is how they support themselves.  It’s very important to them for survival, just like your job is to you for your family’s survival.

YOU are not the expert on finding them.  THEY are the expert on finding you – and I am hoping that “my gift to you” will be helpful in keeping your family safe this holiday season.

BE SAFE, BE ALERT, BE AWARE 

P.S. A note from my friend, Theresa ……. Don’t forget about the RED panic button on your remote!