Friday, November 20, 2009


November 18th 2009, would have marked my grandfather's 91st birthday. Some of my best childhood memories are when I would spend weekends at Papa and Gonga's home. Papa was the name we called my grandfather and Gonga was the name we called my grandmother (Gonga came about when my cousin and I tried to say Grandma-somehow it came out as Gonga and it stuck) . They were my dad's parents. Sadly, Papa passed away on October 4, 1997 from Lung Cancer.

I am sure he was not always the perfect husband nor the perfect father, but I do know he was ALWAYS the perfect grandpa! He loved all of us grandkids more than life itself it seemed. I hope to carry on his grandparenting legacy of unconditional love and desire for quality time with my own grandchildren someday.
In honor of his birthday I wanted to tell you a few of my favorite memories or facts about my Papa, Gordon Silvy Tinsley.

1. He worked at US Pipe for 45 years. On an occasional Saturday, when he had to work or check on something, if my cousin and I were spending the weekend, he would take us with him. We loved going with him. He would always make it an fun adventure. US Pipe was on a very large piece of land and there were lots of empty space and wild critters around. He would drive around looking for things to point out. Our favorite was when he pointed to the Jack Rabbits as they would run from den to den as we drove around.

2. He was a hard worker, honest and fair in all areas of his life.

3. He was always friendly to everyone.

4. He loved when my cousins and I would race to greet him at as he got home from work. No matter how much stress was in his day, when he saw us, he left it all behind.

5. Whenever we spent the night we never brought PJ's because we ALWAYS slept in one of Papa's white tee shirts.

6. He always slept with the window open (he loved to hear the sound of the rain splatter against the aluminum patio cover and feel the coolness of the night).

7. He was always very affectionate. Hugs and kisses were freely given for all hello's and goodbye's

8. He loved when my cousin Stacey and I would comb his hair (the few he had) and shave him (with his electric razor).

9. He always took time to ask how you were doing.
10.He affectionately called each grandchild "stinker" or "Knucklehead" from time to time.

11. He loved to eat (and Gonga was a good cook),

12. He loved sweets and always had a drawer full of cookies and junk food "hidden" in the kitchen (every grandchild knew exactly where this drawer was).

13. He was generous. Christmas was one of his favorite holidays. He always made sure my grandmother bought LOTS of gifts for us to unwrap under the Christmas tree. He loved to see us unwrap each and every gift.

14. He liked to camp, fish, and garden.

15. He served in the US Navy.
16. He always made me feel safe and important.

17. He would laugh at all the right times even if what you said was not all that funny.

18. He loved to watch (and read) Old Westerns.

19. Family was important to him.

20. Before his death in 1997 he accepted Christ in his heart. I look forward to someday seeing him in Heaven, and if I know Papa, he is probably sitting down on his favorite heavenly couch (my grandmother is sitting on the other side of the couch and my dad is sitting on the love seat diagonally across) surrounded by lots of children and listening to them tell stories, laughing at their jokes, and letting them comb his hair. He probably has a stash of cookies in a drawer somewhere and a smile on his face as he looks down and sees his daughter, all his grandchildren, his great grandchildren and even his great great grandson born this summer! We love you and miss you Papa!

*the photos: me and Papa 12/68, Papa approx 95/96, my cousin Stacey, Papa, me 08/68*

Monday, November 16, 2009

Keep Moving Forward

As you know by now I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder along with panic/anxiety. I started therapy almost three years ago. I have made a lot of progress in many areas of my life. In fact the book I wrote deals with my PTSD and panic/anxiety issues-why I have them, what I know now, what my life is like since my diagnosis, how everything in my life ties into this, and more importantly where does God fit into all of this.

There are still a few areas that I have not been able to fully deal with head on yet. I am diligently working towards that. I say "fully deal with" because I have dealt with these issues to some degree but to another degree I have not. Part of this means facing a certain person. Not necessarily having a confrontation or finger pointing session but just simply facing this person. My concern is that there will be a day when I have to face this person. It will be at my daughters wedding. A day I am looking forward to and a day I want to truly enjoy with her. This will be her day. A day everyone will put aside everything from the past to see the future in Lauren and Stephen's life together.

Part of my "stress" in realizing the reality of seeing this person face to face after many years, is all that I have been through since our last conversation three and half years ago. I am not the same woman I was then. I am also not willing to follow in certain patterns or paths that we once did before for many years. I have worked very hard to get where I am emotionally and mentally. My faith is strong, stronger than its ever been and I trust in Gods timing and purpose. Without my faith I would be lost and hopeless.

Its interesting to me that I can talk a strong talk and mean it with all my heart and have control of my thoughts and emotions during the day, but then night time comes, and my subconscious mind almost taunts me and I have awoken this past weekend one night with a panic attack and last night with a very vivid and frightening dream. In God's perfect timing of this weekend I had a doctor appointment already set for today. After talking things over with my doctor she helped me see that my subconscious (brain) and my body (via the panic attack) where letting me know that yes, you are still dealing with certain issues, and my brain and body are doing what I need them to do in helping me reprocess (not erase but reprocess) memories, situations, and feelings from the past. She told me this is a good thing. You, see the trigger was that this person is here in town visiting and although I wont see this person at all its the fact of knowing this person is here that triggered my subconscious.

Knowing that my brain, body and heart are all working together to keep me on the path of healing and wholeness gives me such relief. Once again it shows me Gods hand is on me and His timing is perfect. I am trying to live out my quote...One day at a time. One moment at a time. There is hope!

I wanted to share this blog because I know there are many others who struggle with similar situations and I was almost feeling discouraged by my recent panic attack and dream. I felt like I must be going backwards but my doctor assured me that I am not. Its part of the healing process. Part of moving forward is sometimes having to look back, acknowledging and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Never give up hope! I also chose this photo of two friends walking forward together...because we are never alone! (I am technology challenged but here is a link of one of my favorite songs and a great reminder to me this day)