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Those that read this blog (am I fooling myself that people actually read this??) know my style is a self-deprecation humor style.  Or so I have been told.  This post is not that kind.  So if you are in the mood for some sort of serious stuff, read on.  Especially if you are in the mood to read more about what someone else thinks of ME.

If asked to describe myself (I will pretend you asked) I would say I am a so-so mother, an almost so-so wife, a sometimes great friend, a sometimes horrible friend.

I asked my cousin to help with the blog the other day.  Mainly because her whole life she grew up writing and I know she LOVES it.  Then she sends me her first post this morning.  And she says, ‘Well here goes.  By the way, it is about YOU’.

Well shit.

I read it.  She gives me way too much credit, and I almost don’t want to post it for fear of sounding errr…I am not sure how to describe it…  But there are a few pointed truths in this.  I do care sometimes too much of what others think.  I have gotten better at it.  And someday’s if the sun rises quicker than usual, I don’t really give a f&$*, but then there are days when I want to hide away and pretend I don’t care….

Panther-chameleonI am a chameleon.  I even wrote about it, and her telling me.

Anyhooo, here you go.  For your pleasure reading, or scanning, or deleting, or whatever.  Next time I am gonna get her to write and include her amazing HUMOROUS side cause the girl can make me laugh till I piss my pants.  Just sayin’.

PS- Love you cousin.  Even though I am piss poor at showing it.

Cheers!

Guest Post from Maria Decker

When my wonderful cousin whom I hardly have 2 conversations with a year asked me to write for www.grapesgripesandgratitude.com  of course I was thrilled! I have ALWAYS loved to write. It flatters me that she would even trust me to write on her blog (you don’t know me like she does). But what the heck was I going to write??!!!…

I have read the articles she has written. They are so well versed and although writing used to be a huge part of my life growing up I have fallen away from my dream of becoming the next Stephen King. But that is OK.  After careful thought and consideration I came to the conclusion that I should write about what I know or what I used to know anyway. So here it goes…

Growing up Shannon and I were very close. We had early life experiences that both of us had in common. We were the first born grandchildren; our mothers were sisters who married young, both divorced not long after marriage and both left their husbands in California to come to Ohio. That is where the line was drawn. Unfortunately my father was not allowed to know where I was. Shannon continued to see her father and did the back and forth thing going between the 2 states yearly, or so I think. Although I think what Shannon meant to me differed from what I meant to her. I had several friends but in those days she was my family, my best friend and the only one I felt truly ‘got’ me. I learned how it felt to miss someone. When she would leave on the plane to go back to her dad’s I would cry for days. It was like a piece of me was missing. My best friend was gone. But the knowledge that she would come back would always bring me back. Of course we were really young back then.

As the years progressed we branched off in 2 very different directions. She seemed to be in California longer and I seemed to use writing as my ‘out’- my new best friend. I was the class clown always making jokes out of anything and everything. Making someone laugh meant I had accomplished my goal of the day. This allowed me to make a lot of friends and my circle was not closed to anyone. I seemed to be accepted in whatever click I chose. I was always sympathetic to my peers who were bullied, or looked sad and displaced. We are all important and have value we just need someone to bring out that fire inside us that makes us want to be at our best. I didn’t understand why no one would stick up for them. Growing up is difficult no matter where you come from. So if I could make them smile then I made the world a better place even if only for a second.

Shannon seemed to care more about what others thought of her than I did. But her personality attracted people as well; she had a strength that I didn’t have. I had once told her she was a chameleon she could change depending on who she was with. I couldn’t. I didn’t know how. I wasn’t saying this out of jealousy or to be spiteful or negative in anyway I was saying it because that was the only way I knew how to describe her abilities in one word. She had been privileged to live 2 lives simultaneously. Her life with her mother differed greatly from her life when she was with her father. While with her father she was the over achiever, she aimed to be the best and she was the envy of most of her peers. With her mother she seemed to turn into the risk taker. Doing things I believe she never would have even tried if she was with her father. But some of those risks were the best she had ever taken. They shaped her to be self sufficient and go after what she wanted, to know that there was more to life and to have that insight to know what she needed to do to obtain those goals.

As adults we see and speak less often than we would like. We continue to live separated by a number of states between us and different responsibilities, marriage, children, etc. But overall we are family. Shannon continues to be my family, my best friend and the only one that ever truly ‘got’ me. When we get together the years of separation melt away. We are those 2 youthful girls, laughing and finding more ways for her to get us into trouble, lol…

So in ending, Shannon this is to you, it is not complete, there is not enough time to put in words the impact you have had on my life growing up. I am proud of all you have accomplished. Never stop being you, never give up your true beliefs and never gain weight you would be an ugly fat person… lol… See, I went through the whole thing and this was my first joke, I did good, right? Seriously though whoever reads this I am not prejudice against fat people. Some of my best friends are fat (no, not you Shannon)… 😉