Saturday, April 26, 2014

True Heroes A to Z: W stands for Friends

Quick heads up! Kristine was kind enough to review Moonless, and here's what she said!

True heroes are all around us, in our every day lives, but some people stand out. During this A-Z Challenge I hope to share several of my real life heroes, and invite you to share yours in the comments.

addell, Jodi. Every so often you meet someone who opens your eyes about what really matters in life. I met Jodi on church assignment. As part of that assignment, I would meet with her once a month (or more) and just talk, or I'd spend time running errands she couldn't because of health complications.

Jodi was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 7. When I met her, we were both in our twenties. She had married, but realized she would never have the opportunity to bring a child into the world, too many health complications. That didn't stop her from making gifts for my son, or many other people's. Her health kept her from doing things most of us enjoy--hiking, biking, running, sports, etc, and she often laughed off the doctor's strict advice about not cleaning under her own bed or shopping. Sometimes when I went to visit she was restricted to the couch with oxygen--at age 27.

The last time I saw Jodi was when we helped her and her husband clean up and load a moving van for the transition to their new house--the first one they'd purchased. We kept in touch, but when I moved to the east coast, I lost track of her. Thanks to facebook I was able to reconnect a few years ago, and last July, Jodi finally passed out of this world.

Story after story, she left a legacy of love. I look back at those visits with fondness and miss Jodi, but I'll never forget the time together. She was my friend.

What was it that really got me about Jodi? Her smile. Her laugh. She was always positive, even in when feeling her worst. Every visit was a joy, every opportunity to help, a blessing. 


Four more days to get MOONLESS at $1.99.

Jane Eyre meets Supernatural

An excerpt (about best friends): 

“Lexy!” Sarah leapt down the stairs four at a time, sliding to a halt before her near-sister and straightening up formally. She cleared her throat. “Welcome to my home.”
“You are older.” Alexia didn’t mean to be blunt.
“I am older? Look at you!” She scowled, nose crinkling. “You are not my baby sister. I cannot go to court with you for fear of being outshone!”
Some things about Sarah would never change. Alexia stuck out her tongue. Sarah mimicked her. They burst into laughter and embraced.
“Oh, Lexy, you have become a woman and I a widow. Is it not a strange world we live in?”
Alexia let her go. “Father sends his regards. He will arrive shortly.”
Sarah’s face straightened matter-of-factly. “So long as he does not miss his brother-in-law’s funeral, good riddance!”
Where had this sardonic Sarah come from?
“But you must be weary! We shall have so much time for reacquainting that I shan’t keep you from your bed. Come, enjoy all the hospitality my home may offer.” She hugged her near-sister again, shivering with delight. “No, I changed my mind. Come eat, talk to me—tell me everything! We will sleep tomorrow.”
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\*************************///////////////////
We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog reading to bring you a message from your local hacker…well technically it’s not hacking, because Crystal and I share just about everything including passwords and every so often a nasty flu bug.

I am doing this because I do not have a blog. Mostly because unlike my sweet wife, I am not a very good writer, unless you count writing code. But I’m sure that is not something you would find fascinating to read.

So I need to hijack her blog to share my True Hero.

is for, you guessed it Wife. Or at least my Wife!

You have to understand Crystal is probably the best, coolest, most beautiful (inside and out),amazing, perfect person I know. Her only questionable quality is her judgment, still not sure why she decided to marry me…but hey I’m not complaining.

I won’t bother you with all of her amazing attributes and things she does from music to writing to schooling my kids. I’m sure if you have read her blog at all you have gleaned most of that stuff anyway.

I will however tell you about one thing. Her ability to make me a better person. Honestly I do not know where I would be without her.  Just being around her makes me want to try harder, love more, and just generally do what is right. Something I am eternally grateful for.

So here is a shout out to you Crystal my love. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
More than you may ever know.

Okay I am done with my interruption. But Crystal’s Mom wanted me to post this below as well.

From Crystal’s Mom: 

"Ok. Here’s a hero of mine. Her name is Crystal Hicken Collier.  She is my daughter. From what she wrote on Day H and Day K of her True Heros A-Z, clearly she is someone who honors her mother and father. Crystal has always been a delight to me and her father as well as to her 7 brothers and sisters. She is the 5th child and the first girl so her name was chosen and saved until she came to the family. She is, as her name implies, a gem of rare find, a crystal. Because of her special gifts and talents, she has always added to our family an extra dimension which is needed. We, as a whole, are better because of her.
Crystal is very social and always has friends. On camping trips when she was young, we would be somewhere overnight and she would have a hard time leaving in the morning because she didn’t want to leave her new friends. 

It was fun to be the mother as Crystal grew up. She was involved in many activities. She is very creative and liked organizing parties. In addition to the parties she helped her siblings organized for the family, we hosted many high school club parties at our house. She performed in plays and choral groups. She has a very beautiful voice. I love to hear her sing but my favorite is when she sings to her 3 children as she puts them to bed. When she was in elementary school, she discovered that she really like to write stories. She is now the newly published author of “Moonless”.

Crystal is the queen of multitasking – homeschooling her 3 children, pursuing her writing career, maintaining her house and home, balanced with serving well in her church in a very responsible position, and is a supportive wife at the same time. She adores her husband and he adores her.  She is content to live on a dime which is something that many women cannot do. And, she is the best guide to Disney and surrounding theme parks in Florida. 

I have learned many great lessons from Crystal. One was when she was in high school. She had so many things going. She would have an assignment to sing. There was just no time to ask someone to accompany her. I would be worrying that she would run out of time and there would be no one in place. She was always calm about it and assured me that it would all work out. And it always did. That taught me to trust a little more. Another – She is a fierce defender of truth and right. In this day and age, that quality is much needed in our society. Yet another – she (as well as each of her brothers and sisters) has a very tender feeling toward people with special needs. This, because of her brother, Randy. In her adult life, she has found joy in serving other children with special needs. 

Someone recently told me she wished she had known while she was raising her children, that they would become her best friends. This is how it is for this mother. My Crystal is one of my very best friends. I love you Crystal. You are the best!

Love,
Mom”

I know it was a bit long, thank you for reading. Now if you have not done it go buy Crystals book. Do it, do it now!!!

We now resume your regularly scheduled blog reading…
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\*************************/////////////////////
Have you known anyone with health complications that inspired you? What would you most miss if you were limited physically by your health? Have you had a friend you lost track of and were able to reconnect with? 

104 comments:

  1. Sweetest hacker I ever saw in action. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's the best hacker ever. What a lucky woman you are, Crystal! In so many ways :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a very good friend who has a rare immune deficiency, and she has to shoot herself up with a medication every other day. She doesn't let that stop her at all. She's one of the best writers I know!

    ReplyDelete
  4. W is for WOW! After reading this, I am tearing up. I miss my mother. I had a sister with special needs. She inspired me. I have Type 1 diabetes, fortunately for me I got it at the age of 49. It is called adult onset Type 1. I have struggled to keep it controlled for 24 years and only now are the complication setting in. At my age, I have learned to adjust and I don't mind the limitations. I am so lucky to have traveled so much, done so many things while I was young that I don't miss just being here, very happy to live here in peace and quiet. I hope we will be blogger friends after the A to Z is over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My grandmother in law passed from diabetes while in her 70's and I used to clean house for her. I'm wishing you many, many more years and the very best health you can have, despite the complications. Oh, and we will absolutely be blogger friends LONG after the A to Z Challenge. Once a cheeser, always a cheeser! =)

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. I know, right? (And I hardly did any work at all.) ;)

      Delete
  6. Rest in peace Jodi. Rock on wonderful wife and daughter, Crystal. Cheese it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. Thanks, Nana. *taking a bite of cheddar*

      Delete
  7. The best people leave fingerprints on our lives that shape who we are; it sounds as though Jodi was one of those people. Thank you for giving testimony to her. And how wonderful to have your praises sung by some of the people who love you most in the world. You must be floating!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow:) What a great hubby and mom to post about YOU!! I saved up my "girl" name for my daughter for a LONG time. I thank God I was able to finally use it four years ago. Nothing as sweet as a little girl. Let's not talk about her teenage years just yet;-D Bought your book. Now, please pass me some time to read it:) Hopefully soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girls are so sweet. You bought my book? Yippee!! Hold on, let me get my time stopper and hop in the teleportation device... Oh wait, it's still busted to keep the scientists from escaping my basement. Ug.

      Delete
  9. What a wonderful spirit! So sorry she is gone now.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a lovely tribute to such a special woman. It brought a tear to my eye. She is in a much happier place now, where she can do whatever she wants...

    Wonderful tribute to you as well, Crystal.. you are a very talented and special person!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Jodi sounds like she was a wonderful woman. I bet she is smiling down at you right now.

    I love your hackers' messages. That is the sweetest thing ever. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Tough to lose those loved ones who made such a difference in our lives, but it's touch to lose anyone so soon. Jodi was way too young to lose her life. So sorry to hear that. She sounds like a truly beautiful spirit.

    You have an awesome mom and husband for sharing their thoughts with us as well! Have a wonderful weekend, Crystal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see this glaring typo I made and my OCD has kicked in because I can't figure out how to fix it. LOL

      Oh well [insert audio voice in my head, "leave it, just leave it!"]

      Delete
    2. LOL! I don't blame you. I always want to fix my typos too. ;)

      Delete
  13. Lovely post! I have known a couple of people who, despite their physical limitations, outdid many healthy people I know.

    Touching tributes from your hubby & mom, too! :D

    ~Tui Snider~ Dropping by from the A to Z challenge! :D
    @TuiSnider on Twitter
    My blog: Tui Snider's Offbeat & Overlooked Travel
    I am also part of the #StoryDam team, a friendly writing community!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love those people who overcome the obstacles and inspire us to reach!

      Delete
  14. Jodi sounds great. I love that she's left an impact on your life. ^_^
    Love the hackers! A tribute to the tributer. *waves to hackers* It really is amazing how you find time to do all the things you do and still sleep. I know you sleep. Because people can't function without sleep. (I've tried.) ^_^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What? Sleep? Don't you know I'm an insomniac? No seriously. I've grown accustomed to operating on 2 to 4 hours of sleep occasionally. It's amazing how well you can function on so little. ;)

      Delete
    2. I don't sleep much either! I like to get 6 hours of sleep though when I can.

      Delete
  15. I take good health for granted. May Jodi feel strong and free in Heaven.

    What a sweet hijacking. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lol, hijacked. :) I have a friend who was diagnosed with diabetes from a young age. She lives in the UK, so it's hard to keep up with her from the US sometimes, but she's expecting this year. It's unfortunate that your friend was unable to have children due to her own fight with diabetes, but it's wonderful that she was able to be connected to children through loving and charity. :)

    The Immarcescible Word

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome! Now there's a way to find fulfillment, regardless. Amazing.

      Delete
  17. What a lovely tribute to Jodi!

    Crystal's hubby and mom, you guys rock! Very sweet and touching hijack!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is the my favorite blog post ever. I loved hearing about your friend and what a wonderful person she was. And I loved hearing from your husband and mom about how wonderful you are but of course, I already knew that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michelle, you're too sweet. I thought it was amazing too.

      Delete
  19. Beautiful tribute to your friend and also enjoyed reading how wonderful you are to your mom and husband.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I never gave that much thought to diabetes you open my eyes.

    Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can definitely be a very serious condition.

      Delete
  21. Jodi's story was very touching. You're right to include her in your hero posts. I enjoyed reading your husband's and Mom's posts. What great cheerleaders they are!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And everyone needs cheerleaders, whether we can see them or they're cheering us from the other side, eh?

      Delete
  22. Ugh. That is so sad and so unfair. I shall never moan again.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh wow. I don't think I realized diabetes could take someone so young--I thought you merely had to follow diet restrictions and you'd be able to live a full life. She sounds like an amazing woman.

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a really lovely post about your friend Crystal... :)

    I wanted to let you know that I will be taking a blog/media break for awhile, I will miss your beautiful comments, I will catch up when I get back :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man! Well good for you. I hope you have an amazing time away!

      Delete
  25. Diabetes is terrible, I'm sorry about your loss. Nice to meet and follow through atoz http://aimingforapublishingdeal.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  26. Looks like your post was hijacked. Oops ;)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Crystal, I'm very sorry to hear about your friend Jodi. She does sound like a true hero and I'm sure she was fortunate to have you in her life.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wonderful post, and wow I should be hacked like that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! The best part is, it was totally unexpected.

      Delete
  29. Three fantastic tributes!! :)

    I lost a friend (whom I taught with for years) to ALS. I'm still reeling from that loss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The loss never goes away, but it does get easier to face. Condolences.

      Delete
  30. That's a beautiful tribute to your friend Jodi.

    You, your husband, and your mom are all adorable!

    ReplyDelete
  31. A beautiful tribute to your friend...and beautiful tributes from your husband and mom!

    ReplyDelete
  32. What a great post of love, all the way around.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Awwww this post is wonderful - inspiring, positive and lovely. Thank you for sharing Jodi's story here - she is much loved, missed and remembered forever. And lovely to read such gorgeous words from Mum and Husband of Crystal! Yay! take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you made it for this one! Cheese and happiness to you!

      Delete
  34. Thanks Crystal for sharing Jodi's story. What a beautiful tribute to your friend.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Jodi sounded like a great person! I'm sure you miss her!

    ReplyDelete
  36. So sorry for the loss of your friend. She was obviously a special person. As are you, which the hackers make clear! :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. What a sweet and lovely post, all the way through. I think you have the world's nicest, most loving hackers!

    ReplyDelete
  38. It sounds like Jodi was one of those people who truly made the world around her a more pleasant place to be - I'm sorry she passed away so young.

    And your hackers are the best! They just confirmed what has been so evident about you from reading your blog this month. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jocelyn, you're making me blush. Thank you for the kind words.

      Delete
  39. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful post! Loved every word! From you sweet words about you friend Jodi to your loving hackers...it was awesome!

    Your husband and your mother's words were so touching. You are so loved! And I already knew you were incredibly talented, and this just confirmed how talented you truly are! So glad I've gotten to "know" you these last few months. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad we've had the chance to become friends as well. Yay! I'm betting your family would rave just as much about you.

      Delete
  40. Beautiful young woman, beautiful post! There are those that touch our lives and we are richer for it. I'm thankful for people like this! :)

    Love your hackers, so very fitting within your theme :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely live a very rich life for all the people who have touched it. =)

      Delete
  41. Aww, the hijack is so sweet and touching!

    X is for X-Men Spinoff

    ReplyDelete
  42. A beautiful tribute for a beautiful spirit:) One of my teen writing students has terminal cancer and it breaks my heart to see someone so special and gifted, with such zeal for life, carry such a heavy burden. I'm doing my best to fulfill her Make-A-Wish of publishing this year. Your hubby's hijacking was truly touching, and your Mom's sweet words must warm your heart--I know you're feeling very loved.

    WriterlySam
    Echoes of Olympus
    A to Z #TeamDamyanti

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's wonderful--the Make-A-Wish publishing. If you'd like an extra editor for her work, I'd be happy to work with her too.

      Delete
  43. What a sweet post, from reading about your friend who passed--I'm so sorry--to reading about you from the people who love you.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Aw, you have the sweetest hackers ever! :)

    And so, so sorry about your friend Jodi. I have type-1 diabetes, but can't imagine dealing with the complications she had. Such a shame she had to experience any of that, but it's very admirable how positive she managed to be despite it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I love Jodi. The best gift she ever gave me was her wonderful smile. =)

      Delete
  45. This is a GREAT post. Very heart warming, inspiring, and humorous.
    Stopping by from the #atozchallenge !
    @JLenniDorner

    ReplyDelete
  46. Jodi sounds like an absolutely lovely person, so sorry she was taken too soon.
    I'm so glad your post got "hacked" such lovely hacks :).
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
    FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'll welcome that kind of hacking any day. =)

      Delete
  47. What a terrific balance you have created here. Friendship, sorrow, love, and other feelings can be found amongst the post. Great job Crystal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could take the credit. It was a total surprise to me.

      Delete
  48. She sounds like a wonderful person. A nice tribute to a fantastic person and friend.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Those are some excellent and loving hackers! This post plastered a grin on my face. And though Jodi is no longer with us, she sounds like she was a real inspiration to all those around her.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Aw Crystal you are so loved. What a great feeling! :)

    ReplyDelete
  51. Ok, you lost me on that one.. W stands for Freinds? No w's in the word friends, and the friend you wrote about is Jody, still no W. Diabetes still no W??? Scratching my head on this one for sure. She sounds like a wonderful person, so sad her life was short. Diabetes now days can generally be much better controlled then in years past; but it does put people at risk for other health issues. My condolences for your loss, how wonderful though you were able to again connect through facebook. I love the medium for that type of thing. Having connected with childhood friends I can relate a bit.
    Sandy at Traveling Suitcase

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. Jodi "W"adell. I know, it's a stretch. How dare I no spell it out.

      Delete

Hit me with your cheese!