TV Shows to Binge This Summer!

If you’re anything like me, you always have to have a TV series on deck, ready to entertain you at any moment. Below I have compiled a list of my favorite TV shows (that I’ve watched this year only) that keep me occupied during my downtime. Some of them I have watched every single episode & others I am still watching!

HERE WE GO!!

  1. SHAMELESS (Showtime, Netflix)

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I have watched every episode available to stream. This series had me hooked really early on. It is set in southside Chicago and follows a family in poverty. The oldest sister, Fiona, takes on the role of guardian to her 5 younger siblings and chaos often ensues. The comedy in this show pulls the whole thing together. Something serious and sad will happen and CUE DADDY FRANK, the alcoholic, drug addict, father of the family swoops in with some comedic, unorthodox actions to wipe your tears away and provide you with a laugh. This series takes many twist and turns that I never expected, often leaving me frustrated at the characters (but in a good way). I WANT MORE!! I definitely recommend adding Shameless to your watch list!

 

  2. WEEDS (Showtime & Netflix)

Weeds follows a widow, Nancy, and her two sons, as they find ways to cope with their husband/father’s untimely death. To support her family, Nancy decides to start selling Marijuana. Only intending to be small business and sell to the parent’s at her kid’s school, Nancy finds herself in bigger business, selling to big names like Snoop Dogg. Her children become involved and while things work well for awhile, they eventually go south. The humor is heavy in this show as well but also finds places to stab a dagger right through your heart. Weeds was mostly a late night watch for me, but I finished it very quickly. The only downfall of this series for me was the ending. It seemed very thrown together and as if Showtime decided to end the series the day before the writers gathered to tie a bow on the box that was Weeds.

 

    3. THE ACT (Hulu)

If you enjoy anything based off a true story, this short series is a show for you. The Act follows Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother Dee Dee in the years leading up to Dee Dee’s death as well as Gypsy’s incarceration. Dee Dee suffers with Munchausen’s by Proxy, leading Gypsy to believe that she was deathly ill with various diseases, disorders, and other medical conditions. Gypsy had been told and treated as if all of these issues were true for her entire life until she became old enough to realize it was all a lie. We meet her neighbors as well as the boyfriend she secretly meets online. This man becomes the person to work out Gypsy’s plan in murdering her mother to get away from the toxic life she’d been born into. Before watching, I watched a lot of news/media coverage on this case and it made the show that much more interesting for me. This show made me scream, cry, and want to kick a chair over. Watching Gypsy’s story unfold as she finds out she could’ve lived a normal life was very unnerving but worth the watch.

 

4. BLACK MIRROR (Netflix)

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Black Mirror is for those of you who enjoy darker subject matter. Though some of these episodes may appear happy and upbeat at the beginning of the episode, most take a dark turn for the worst. This series does not follow a plot line, as every episode is different. It is like watching a bunch of movies in a series. With Black Mirror you never know what to expect. The latest season, consisting of three episodes, features celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Anthony Mackie. Though the Miley Cyrus episode was not my favorite, it still gave me that Black Mirror gut wrenching feeling that I have come to know and love. Start from season 1 and keep going! No worries if you skip around. You won’t miss any important details to the episodes because they are all a different story. This series is one I did not binge, but rather spread out over time. It was a lot to take in, but definitely left me thinking every episode.

 

5. The Chi (Showtime)

The Chi follows several different characters in southside Chicago as they deal with the death of two teenage boys in the area, Coogie & Jason. I have just started watching this show and their are only two seasons available at the moment, but I am hooked. A friend has been recommending it to me for over a year now and I am SO happy I finally decided to start watching. This show has more of a serious tone, occasionally throwing some humor in for our release of tension. I love the characters and the acting is PHENOMENAL. I truly believe this is an artistic show and deserves more main stream attention. This is my current binge session and I hope you join me!!

 

These shows are not the only ones I have watched this year, but these are the five that I have caught the most interest in. Comment below some suggestions you have for me, as watching awesome TV shows is my favorite past time!

 

Others I’ve started watching/are currently watching:

-Pose

-The Goldbergs

-The Bachelorette

-Love Island

-Riverdale

-Dead to Me

-Ted Bundy Tapes

 

Comment your suggestions below! Thanks for reading. 🙂

-Cay

 

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Dieting for the FIRST time!

Okay, so maybe I look “small” to most people. People ask me why I need to diet.

  1.  It’s kind of annoying when people ask that.
  2. It’s just healthier!
  3. But most importantly…I want to feel GREAT about myself & my body! (as I currently do not)

I have gained a lot of weight in the past couple years. This, sadly, is result of my depressive eating habits. I, like many other people on this planet, battle depression every day. When it got really bad, it became my habit to turn to food for comfort. A lot of the times it worked…

…but only in the moment.

I felt okay while I was eating and watching whatever Netflix series I was on at the time. I’d feel fine then go to sleep and wake up the next morning regretting the double cheeseburger meal with a large fry, large Dr. Pepper, and three chocolate chip cookies. I would be sluggish and tired and no happier than I was the day prior.

Now, I love that McDonalds meal. It’s my go to. It satisfies my betraying taste buds. But for my mind and body?? Nope. Though I realize that now, it took me ages to figure it out. Then, I didn’t realize how much my eating habits were affecting me. I was gaining weight, my acne was out of control, and my bank account was suffering.

I decided to make a change a week and a half ago. So far, I feel more energized, more motivated, and feel like I can actually do this. I’ve “tried” dieting before and by that I mean I would KIND OF eat right for a day or two. And that was it, Dominoes was getting a call day three. Large cheese, with extra cheese, no garlic on the crust, and an 8 piece BBQ wings. I would regret it the next day. Every time.

I tried a trainer’s diet but found that, with my picky eating ways, it was hard and I was just doing a lot of not eating as opposed to eating better. Now, my friend Vanson introduced me to Weight Watchers and that’s my current journey. We aren’t far in the story, but we are making progress. 

I am 23 years old and it has taken me this long to decide to change my eating habits. Some even call it a lifestyle change. Though it took longer than I wish it did, I am proud to say that I feel like I’m ready to commit to this process and attempt to lose weight. My first weigh-in day is on Monday and I’m nervous, but excited. I’m trying not to get my hopes up as I have just started, but I can’t wait to sit here and write the post that begins with...I REACHED MY GOAL!!

See ya next time,

Cay Sandy

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That Home Feeling

Since my parents passed, I have not lived anywhere that feels like home.  I lived in a cute but creepy little apartment in the top of someone’s home. That was an experience to say the least. At first it was cute and homey because it was an actual house. However, living there was strange. The walls creaked and the windows made cracking noised. I had to walk up two flights of stairs every time my pups needed to potty. I was the youngest person living there and that was a little strange for me. Not to mention the utility bill was INSANE.

Though I liked the quiet, part of me felt like I was missing the college living experience; hearing your neighbors music, worrying about parking… Sounds like a stupid thing to want to experience until I realized I might only get to experience those dumb things for a short period in my life.  Eventually, I want to purchase my own home and get out of the chaos that is college housing.  But for now, I like it. That leads me to my current living situation.

I had the option to continue living in my parents house with my brother and his family…or live with my grandparents…but I didn’t want that…for several reasons.

  • I like being independent.
  • I like living walking distance from campus.
  • I like being close to my job.
  • I don’t want to live in my parents’ home…I have a hard enough time walking inside of it.

I moved out of the cute creepy house because there was the mildew problem. My window unit a.c. proved to be more of a problem than a cooling mechanism. It caused mildew to spread all over my carpet. I requested to have it fixed but it took them weeks to get to it. It began making me sick.  So my boyfriend’s parents, being the wonderful guidance I need in my life, gave me the option of living with them until I could figure it out. So, that’s what I did. They had a room with the perfect little day bed in it, and that’s where I slept…one room over from my boyfriend. This was as close to a home that I’d had since my parents passed. I would wake up to breakfast, or come home to dinner. This didn’t always mean I ate it because I am one picky individual. But that isn’t the point. Sometimes I would come home to the few clothes I brought with me washed and folded despite how hard I tried to hide them so they wouldn’t wash them. But they would anyways.  After about two months, I decided it was time for me to get a new place. I love them all very much and always appreciate everything they do for me, but I’m a young woman that likes and needs her own space. They understood and helped me look for somewhere else.

And now here I am, in my new apartment, typing this blog because it feels therapeutic. I have never been so invested in making an apartment look and feel nice until now. The old house apartment was just about finding somewhere because I was forced to move out of the apartment before that. So everything was just thrown in there. But this place…I like this place so far. Sure, the walls are too thin and my water smelled like eggs until today, but it’s mine. I live alone and I like it that way for now. It’s new and I’m the first to live in it so that makes it feel even more special. I’m decorating like I never have before and I am trying to make it feel more comfortable…more like home.  I’ve got a lot of work left to do, but so far, it is coming along.

Now for the sad stuff so scroll away if you’re feeling triggered.

My mental health isn’t the best. It hasn’t been since my senior year in high school and has only declined through the events in my life.  Everyone tells me I’m strong and that they admire me for that and I just smile and say thank you. But the truth is, I’m not strong. I just have a good front.  I allow people to see me in a light that makes me look strong.  I hold it together pretty well most days, but for the past week it hasn’t been so great.  I’ve skipped school the past two days and probably will tomorrow, which really sucks because I have worked harder this semester than I have any other.  You would think the more time passes the easier it gets, but that isn’t true.  I’ve spent most of my time repressing things and not wanting to face my life as it is. I look passed things and try not to think about things that make me upset. But on weeks like this, that is not an easy thing to accomplish. Because I start to remember..and I start to replay things in my head…So I try to get up in the morning but I can’t…and when I finally sit up, I look at my apartment and think, “What can I do in here to make me feel better?”…so I eventually get out of bed and start trying to make it feel like home.

Now I am laying on my bed, staring at my window remembering that I need to hang my curtains.  But I don’t have the hook things I need to do it.  So I’m on to my next task… Force myself out of bed—drive to Walmart—get what I need to hang those curtains. Then, for a moment, I will be happy.

 

-Cay

Life Isn’t Fair

I woke up to a text message this morning telling me I was no longer allowed my federal financial aid.  If I can’t get this fixed, that means I can’t afford to go to school.  What am I going to do? I made ONE bad grade in the subject that has always been my worst. I really only have myself to blame, I guess.  The only problem is…I had no clue I was on academic probation.

The man that emailed me kindly informed me that I signed all the documents agreeing to the terms of my probation. I guess this is true since he has the paperwork.  However, I have no recollection of signing a paper or even being in a conversation about me being on probation.

I keep thinking to myself, “Caylee, you idiot, how do you forget about something like that?”

Well, he says I signed these papers in May of 2017.  My father passed away in March.  I don’t remember a lot that happened during that time.  I was trying to find a norm in my life.  I wasn’t even going to school at the time, but working a full time job and trying to figure out how to be an adult, support myself and get through life without my parents (my mother had passed away the previous October, four months before my father).

I’m not really sure of the message I’m trying to send with this post…I guess I just really needed to vent to someone I can’t see.  I have tried very hard to get back into my life.  I was out of everything for a year except for work, because, well, I can’t live without money.  I tried so hard to make good grades this semester…and I did except for that one stupid history class.

My mother worked at my university for a long time, so thankfully I know a lot of the staff there.  I immediately called someone she was close to that I trusted.  I knew she would help me because she genuinely cares about me.  Some days I will go talk to her and she will just stop what she’s doing and listen regardless of the day she’s had or the problems she may be facing.  She’s a sweet heart.

I am thankful for her…and Rhett…and his family…and my family…even though that isn’t the best of subjects right now.  I love them all.

I just wish it was my turn to catch some kind of break.

 

-Cay

My Best Friend Through Pictures

My mother passed away three months ago. She loved to take pictures; not just on her iPhone, but high quality photos. I loved watching her do it because she was passionate about it. This Christmas, my Daddy bought me a nice camera because I want to be a YouTuber. However, I thought I could give a try at photography as well. It makes me feel closer to my Momma, even though I knows she is right beside me all the time.

My best friend and I have been through a lot together. We were best friends, then we were enemies, then roommates which inevitably made us best friends again. This time around we are even better than before. She is a great girl with a strong head on her shoulders but has been put to the test a lot recently. Finally, she has put her foot down and made a decision that will help her lock away the pain she has been experiencing for the better part of two years.

Let me tell you her story through a series of unedited photos that I got the pleasure of taking of my best friend.

 

MY BEST FRIEND, FRANCES


1. Petty

Our (mine and my boyfriend’s) favorite adjective for Fran is petty. This is not a shot at her by any means because it is one of our favorite things about her. When most people are called “petty” it’s normally an insult, but for her it is not. She keeps us entertained with her petty comments. The best part is when she tries NOT to be petty because that is when she is the funniest of all. I have learned a thing or two from her about when and how to be petty. Despite everything she has been through she still remains petty, much like her face in these pictures.

 

2. Trusting

Being a trusting person is a good quality for the most part. However, trusting someone should have a limit when that trust is broken multiple times. Fran is a very trusting person. She trusts the people she loves the most. When those people break her trust she will give them a second chance time and time again until that tenth second chance becomes their last. It takes her many moments of heart-break and realization to finally cut someone out of her circle of trust, but when she does, there is no going back.

 

3. Happy

For some time, Fran was happy. She was happy to be with someone, she was happy to be in love. She was happy doing the things she did on a daily basis. She was happy to be living with me. 😉 She was just happy all the time.

 

4. Hurt

She got hurt. She started realizing things were happening that shouldn’t be. Things were happening that hurt her. It made her question things. It made her ask why? Why was this happening to her? Why couldn’t she let him go? She wanted to, but would go back every time. She was blinded by love; something I could understand.

 

5. Letting Go

Despite being hurt worse than she ever had been, she always went back. This time is different. After talking her through crying spells, helping her through tough decisions and watching movies to get her mind off of things, she finally came to a conclusion; she deserved way better than what she was getting. She knew she deserved better every time she decided to give him another chance, but kept going back anyways. This time was the end. She had to turn her back and walk away because she knew that was the only way she was going to be truly happy again.

 

 

 

6. FUN

Now that she has finally let go and realized that she deserves way better than she has experiences, she is back to smiling, laughing, and just being FUN again. She was never boring, but it wasn’t the same as I can remember her being before. We are back to staying up late, joking around, and just having fun like we used to. There are no more tears, no more anger, no more pain. Fran is back and better than ever. She is starting over with a smile and won’t let anyone in that doesn’t make her feel like the special girl that she is. If she tries to, me and Rhett will shut it down really fast because we both realize how great she is and that she deserves the world. (Please don’t kill me for using these pictures!)

 

 

This last picture explains everything. Behind her in this picture is a mess. It’s a mess of things no one wanted or cared to pick up. Behind that, there is a closed door. The mess represents everything she has been put through. The mess is the things she has had to get through to get to where she is now; happiness. The door is the one she finally decided to close. She has never wanted to close that door, but she finally did. After coming through and closing that door she shook off the mess that was left. The door was a hard one to close but one that was inevitable. This closed door is a result of the mess she was put through by someone who couldn’t see her true worth. I am so happy to finally see her take this step. I know it wasn’t the easiest, and I know the days to come will be hard, but that is what me and Rhett are here for. We are here to pick up the mess that was left. I have been there and done that and couldn’t have gotten through it without friends and family. Thanks to my Momma and Daddy, I’ve created a story through my lens of Fran’s story. I’m so proud to call you my best friend.

 

None of these pictures were taken to intentionally write her story, they were just pictures. But, after looking through all of these pictures, it just made sense. Isn’t she beautiful?

Some of you may know, but most of you may not.  Momma has cancer now, too.

Crazy, right?

My first blog about my Daddy was hard enough to write and I honestly did NOT think it was going to get the response that it did.  I am very happy because we have so much prayer being thrown our way, and now we need it more than ever.

A week ago today, I found out my Momma has stomach cancer. Scary.  We thought she wasn’t eating and was losing weight because of the exhaustion and stress from taking such great care of Daddy. Boy, were we wrong.

Mrs. Kerri (Rhett’s mom) and I pulled up to see her at the hospital and my brother met us in the parking lot.  He said “I need to talk to you”. My stomach dropped. I had a feeling he was going to use the “c” word but I thought there was no way that could be true.  Not ever, let alone right now.  I had already been hit with the big “c” with one parent, but the other one too? No.

“We got some bad news. It’s cancer.”

I looked away and blinked a tear from the corner of my eye.  I had no idea what to say.  Mrs. Kerri just put her arm around me and squeezed.  Thankfully, she is very very experienced in this area as she has been a nurse since she graduated college.  Not only was she a nurse, but she worked for hospice.  She has a way with words.

“It’s gonna be okay baby. Your Momma can handle this.”

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Momma is a very strong woman.  I saw that as I walked into room 618 looking at her and Daddy sitting together crying.  Now, crying isn’t normally a sign of strength, but right now that’s okay.  I hugged them both and just let them cry which lead me to cry.  It sucks seeing both of your parents cry.  After a minute I gathered myself enough to ask questions.  “How are you feeling?” “What did they tell you?” “What are we going to do?”

A nurse, ironically named Miss Donna, walked in with the warmest aura about her.  She just made me feel good.  Daddy was crying and saying things like, “It’s one thing that it’s me, but her…I can’t do this. It’s not fair”.  Her response amazed me.

“Steve, stop that.”

She caught me off guard, but I knew EXACTLY what she meant.  Stop with the crying and the negativity.  We have to be positive, laugh, smile, pray.  It isn’t just him now, but the love of his life too.  Tough; we’ve got to stick together.

Mrs. Kerri had been waiting outside, but Momma and Daddy asked if she wanted to come inside.  She told me she felt as if she was intruding, but I was very, very thankful she was there.  Rhett had to work, so she offered to come with me. God knew what he was doing when he convinced her to do that.  She came in the room with us and sat beside me at Momma’s feet on the end of the hospital bed.  She asked the same questions I did, but now it was Momma’s turn.  She took advantage of Mrs. Kerri’s experience/knowledge.  Momma was asking the questions I didn’t actually want the answer, but she needed to know.

Mrs. Kerri is like a second mother to me so she avoided answering some of the tough questions Momma threw at her.  She was protecting me.  She didn’t want me to hurt or cry, so she answered in a way that I wouldn’t really grasp as sad.

She left the room to answer a call, so I crawled to Momma and snuggled up. “If I don’t make it, can you be strong? You have to be strong.”

Mom, stop. Just shut up. Stop saying that..

These are the thoughts that ran through my mind. I was mad.  I felt like she was already giving up. I began to cry despite every effort not to.  I know she wasn’t thinking that way, that she was just telling me what I already knew but needed to acknowledge. She was just being sure that I knew it was possible.  I just said “Don’t talk like that”.  She’s going to make it.  She’s strong. I know that. She has to be there to watch Gavin grow up and watch me and Chad get married. She will be there, she doesn’t really get a choice. She’ll be there.

My brothers came over to talk, so I went over to lay with my Daddy and try my best to comfort him.  I finally cheered him up a  bit and got him to sit up and talk.  Once I got a smile out of him, I was content.

As the days went on, we learned how serious everything is.  It took everything out of my to get out of bed the net few days. It was just surreal, almost. Was it just a nightmare? No…

Donna Sanders is my mother.  She carried me for nine months.  The Lord knows I probably kicked her in the stomach one too many times.  She was having a dancer and I’m sure she knew it. If her tummy can survive me in there, it can definitely survive this, right?

She has always been and will always be my best friend. No matter who has come and gone, she’s has always stayed. No matter what.  She has given me way more than I will ever deserve. She has listened to me laugh, cry, complain…everything.  She has helped me through failed friendships, heartbreaks, failures in general, success..she is more than a mother, she is my very best friend.  I will never feel the same about anyone in the way I feel about my mother.

I know I have probably disappointed her at times, but she barely let me know it.  The only time she did was to put my butt in gear.  She has always supported me in anything and everything I have wanted to do.  Even now, when she can barely sit up on her own and is about to go through chemo, we are talking about job opportunities and she’s helping me with ideas for work.  She’s still being the same ole’ Momma she has been, she just has to do it from the bed.  I’m okay with that.  When Daddy isn’t here, I’m keeping his side of the bed warm.

Sure, I still have to go to work and school, but people are working with me to make being with my family possible.  I owe my life to them.

Rhett’s family is so supportive it makes me want to cry.  I love them as if they were blood and will always appreciate anything and everything they do for me.  Whether it is making me a bubble bath, taking me out for a night, dancing around the kitchen with Alexa, buying me Golden Crane, or sending me funny Harry Potter pictures, I am so grateful.  I don’t think they know how much they mean to me just yet.

My mom has always been my rock and always will be.  But now it’s my turn to be her’s.  There are so many things to say and so many stories to tell, but I can barely hold it together while writing this.. So I am going to end it there.

I love you, Momma.

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**Thank you for all of the continuous support.  We are starting a t-shirt fundraiser to help pay the expenses of Momma and Daddy’s treatments.  I am opening the shirts now and they will close THIS Saturday, 10/8/16.  Depending on the response we get, I may open them for another order soon. I made them long sleeve because it’s beginning to get cold (and also because I like long sleeve!). If you would rather have short, please inbox me and we will see about starting an order. Lavender is the color for every type of cancer awareness. Since Momma and Daddy are battling two different cancers, I decided to choose one to support all types, that way I didn’t have to choose.

https://www.booster.com/supportthesanders

 

Momma’s Turn

How I Feel About My Dad

Do you ever get asked a question that you just don’t know how to answer? I feel like everyone has at some point in their lives.  Recently, I’ve had the same question asked to me over and over again: “How is your dad?” This blog is for anyone who has ever asked me that question.  This is for the people I gave an awkward, uncomfortable answer.

I’m going to add a disclaimer for my scatter-brained-ness before you read any further. This topic is the hardest thing for me to talk about, so just try your best to follow along and hang in there with me.

Now, in any normal circumstance this seems like a normal question. However, in this particular time in my life, it means more to me than it leads on. My Daddy is sick. Very sick. He has cancer and for anyone that would be hard to handle.  My family is the most important thing to me, so to see one of them in so much pain hits me hard.  I am already emotional but this is on a whole other level.

When people ask me that question, sometimes I give them a little stare before I answer. This isn’t because I am mad, or shocked that they have asked.  Most of the time I am at work when someone brings the subject up, so I am just a little caught off guard when I hear it.  I normally give a really vague answer and probably act really awkward, but that’s how I handle my responses. That is how I keep myself from crying in public or at work.

Daddy has been sick for the better part of a year now, but until recently I didn’t really understand how sick he actually was.  It started off as a mass on his shoulder that was taken care of by radiation.  I honestly thought that was the end of it. Things started to get worse.  After a while, the doctor told us he had cancer.  A little while later, they revoked that statement and said it wasn’t.  A surgeon went in to remove the tumor he had sitting at the base of his skull but had to stop halfway through the surgery.  What they found was a mistake.  What they found was their original diagnosis.  The tumor was cancerous.  Not only was it cancer, but it had grown larger and spread.  They were able to remove some of it, but not the part that was causing the most damage.  I was devastated.

The first thought I had was that I was going to lose my Daddy.. I know that is negative, but his cancer is rare.  From what I understand, no one is 100% sure how to treat it. Result? Make him take both chemotherapy and radiation.  As if he wasn’t already feeling bad enough… I know Daddy often gets upset.  He thinks about what will happen if God takes him from us.  He’ll leave us here without him to protect us.  He won’t be able to see my nephew grow up.  He won’t be able to see Chad get married.  He won’t be able to walk me down the aisle.  These are all things my family thinks about too.  He is worried that his pain and suffering is taking a toll on us.  While it may be doing exactly that, we do everything we can to lift his spirits up and help him however we are able.

My Momma is such a blessing. She’s the best woman I know. She has always gone above and beyond to give us everything we want/need.  Her and Daddy both have.  Now, her focus has to be on Daddy.  That’s what he needs and that’s what we want.  He is the love of her life and she will do anything and everything she can for him.  He worries about her constantly, but we take care of her.  Though he is physically battling this sickness, he always worries about others before himself.

He apologizes a lot. It makes me so mad. He apologizes for not being able to go out and do things.  He apologizes for feeling sick.  During chemo, he had to throw up, so naturally he went to the bathroom and did. When he came back out he said, “I’m sorry y’all had to see that.” Even though he’s at his worst he is still concerned for everyone else. It only makes me mad because I don’t think he understands just how much we care about him. We owe our lives to him and Momma and this is our chance to repay them, to show them. That’s how I see it.

The other day Momma was telling us about this little girl who is battling cancer as well.  Pictures of her are all over Facebook with updates and asking for prayers.  She was reading an update to Daddy and you could just see the sorrow in his eyes. His response? “If I could take it all from her I would.” I had to do everything I could not to cry in front of him. This man, this 52 year old man battling his own sickness, would take on even more pain and suffering just so a child he doesn’t even know wouldn’t have to.  That’s my Daddy and I’m damn sure proud of it.

Getting married is my biggest dream.  It is something I have always wanted.  I don’t want just any marriage, I want one like my parents. They have been married for 32 years and I have never seen them fight. They have done nothing but work together to take care of us and make each other happy. We went to the beach for labor day weekend and Daddy toughed it out.  He went out on the beach and even went to his favorite seafood place with us.  Afterwards, we walked around the marina to look at boats, one of his favorite things.  He’s a fisherman so of course being near boats and the water is almost second nature.  The boys went to pull the cars around so daddy didn’t have to walk all the way back to where we started. While we were waiting he had to sit down and rest because his back hurt.  I began to rub his back for him and said, “I know you hurt but at least we’re around your favorite things; boats and water.”

He responded, “Baby, my favorite thing is being with your momma.”

I just looked away.  Daddy has never been a really big romantic.  I’ve seen them hug and kiss and dance around all silly in the kitchen.  However, I have never really heard him “talk sweet” to her.  Not often anyways.. I never had to hear him say anything because I could always see it.  Hearing him say it though, it made me realize it that much more.  It sent chills down my spine and made me want that kind of relationship that much more.

Thankfully, I am on the road to having a marriage like theirs. My boyfriend, Rhett, treats me how my Daddy treats my Momma.  His parents are the same way.  We both have great examples of marriage and I am thankful for that. Rhett has to help me through the nights that all of this really hits me. He holds me while I cry and calms me down when I am freaking out. Without him, I’m not sure how I would be handling all of this.

I have always known how much Daddy cared for my Momma.  Now that he is sick and scared to death of losing her, it has become even more apparent. I am thankful to have Steven Douglas Sanders as my Daddy and I will always be proud of the man that raised me, alongside my Momma.

So for those of you who may have felt uncomfortable due to the response I gave you when you asked how Daddy was doing, I’m sorry.  Hopefully you’ll understand how hard it hits my heart when his name is brought up.  There are several reasons I react the way I do when people ask for an update.  Most of the time it’s because I don’t want to cry, so I keep it short, technical, and simple.  I don’t talk about my feelings so I just talk like a robot.  It’s a story I’ve told several times so now it feels like reading from a book.  I feel like that’s okay.  I wish I could verbally explain how hard it is on us and how much I cry. But that isn’t what’s important.  Daddy is what is important.  So when you ask me, I close myself up. I draw a line and put up a wall.  I keep the feelings away and deal with them behind closed doors. I tell you what you need to know and spare you even more discomfort by shielding you from my tears.

Sometimes I am bitter because people I haven’t seen/spoken to come out of nowhere full of concern for my family.  I have to take a step back and remember that they don’t mean anything by it.  They genuinely care and are concerned about us.  I do the exact same thing when someone I know has misfortune thrown their way, no matter how long its been since we last spoke.  So when I get upset or mad about it, Mom or Rhett put me back in my place. They remind me that people do care and they are concerned.  I have always thought it was weird how people don’t care about you until something bad happens and it even made me mad…until my Daddy made a very good point. He said, “The more people that know, the more prayer we have… and we need all the prayer we can get.”

This is how you may see him…

 

 

 

This is how I see him, no matter how bad he gets. Strong, funny, loving, Daddy..

 

 

He thinks he is just a problem in our lives right now, but he isn’t.  We want to spend time with him. We want to take care of him like he has taken care of us all of our lives.  We want to take some of the stress off our Momma’s plate. He’s our Daddy and we are all proud of him and love him very much.  He has never been and will never be a problem. He is an inspiration, a great person, and overall…my hero.