Evan graduates HS

The last one to leave the nest.  He has made it through & forcibly I might add.  This young man has pushed every single button I could possibly have along the way to graduation.  Evan finished his  SR year with classes online.   It was absolutely one of the most exhausting things this teenager has put me through.  Many disagreements, many days of us butting heads, sleepless nights, hurt feelings, and shear threats with the help of his MOTHER and her friends, he graduated.  I am forever; thankful for the friends I have whom treat my children like one of their own.  Evan was even sent to GA with my friend, Teresa whom is a Professor to escape what was going on here and she assisted in forcing him to do homework.

He received his diploma however; he did not walk across the stage.  He could have walked but, he had to ask permission.  He told me that he didn’t want me to ask, so I didn’t.  I wanted him to walk across the stage.  He deserved to be there, he needed his moment to shine & hold his head up high.  Truth is, I wanted my moment as a Mother too.  Now that it has come and gone, I honestly get it.  I get why he didn’t want to be there and I’m content with it.   Evan has always been a passionate, sensitive and caring person.  Truth is he was hurt & he didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of him having to ask for permission.  I can’t quite put it into words but, if you knew my son, you would understand.  When Evan is hurt, he retreats and he shuts down & becomes self destructive.  Evan is definitely his mothers son.  He is so much fun yet he is stubborn and head strong and likes a good fight.

7-20-02bdaypartyEvan        20131204_111355        IMG_0203 

How can I even begin to describe Evan?  He’s a challenge in every single way.  He is unique and spectacular.  I am fine with Evan not being like everyone else and not following the path laid down before him, it’s who he is.  He needs to make a new path no one has ever traveled.  He is a daredevil who believes he is invincible.  He would absolutely try anything once.  He is the life of the party and you can’t help but smile when he is around.  He loves EVERYONE until they do something to him or someone he loves.  He is loyal.  Evan will cuddle a baby, play with little kids, bond with anyone less fortunate than he, lead anyone with limitations for he knows we are all equal, hang with people his own age, visit those older & help the elderly cross the Street.  He is a young man who does not recognize AGE.  Evan is gifted with that ability.  Evan loves being in the water and on the beach.  He is naturally good at everything & I mean everything.  I love to hear him sing but, my joy is watching him dance.  He is loud in everything he does (he gets that from me too).  He has the heart and courage of a lion.  Who knew my second child would be the light the world needed, the light I needed?

When Evan was little, he was into everything.  He was always on the go and always wanted to do everything.  He would actually go until he just fell asleep in all sorts of positions.  This kid talked in his sleep and he also sleep walked.  I believe he never had an OFF button.  As a child he was obsessed with power rangers, being outside and just having fun.  He played many sports over the years.  Tennis, basketball, swim, baseball, football, wrestling and was even the mascot.  He loved going to camp and being around animals.  If he could bring them all home he would have.  He had an interest in plays at the Youth Civic Theater at the Library and continued doing this throughout HS and participated in HS plays.  I truly believe this is where he belongs.  Evan is naturally athletic and most things come with ease to him.  There is something about him being on stage that just has me in awe.  He has this charm about him and it just sets him apart from others.

IMG_2212547604006342012 9-17 Evan #65 special wave to mom

At the end of the day, I have to step back and let him find his way.  That’s what I do … I step back and let Evan be Evan.  He is the baby, he is the last one I get to experience things with.  I won’t see another child graduate, he completed the circle.  My son has received his diploma and I am so very proud of him for staying the course!  Son you are my second born, while you weren’t the first to make me a mother, you made me a better one.

Evan and I have a wonderful relationship & I am blessed because of it.  I have much advice to give; but, no one has that kind of time.   Instead I leave you with this.  You are special, you aren’t suppose to be like everyone else & I encourage you to be you!  Continue with your amazing qualities while growing.  In growing remember age is just a number & things are just that, things.  Eventually, you have to find something to focus on, put all your heart and soul into and use everything you were taught to use to make it work.  Dedication and determination while being a good human being is all you need son.  Take care of your body you only have one.

 

“Forever Young” by Greg Dwyer

Its ambiguous as to whether he’s a figment of the boys imagination, or the boys a figment of his, but in truth they’re the same person at different ages.” – Greg Dwyer

I know the video is long but, I made this for his graduation.  Enjoy if you have time.  It’s 18 years of many wonderful events, and memories with Evan.  I can honestly say that it is wonderful to watch it and remember the bonds of his youth.  It is also tough to see the change in people, including those who are no longer with us today.  The only guarantee in life is change.

Eian graduates HS

I have been mentally preparing myself for this moment since my son became a teenager.  I have listened to others along the way say how difficult emotionally it was for them to realize their child was graduating.  That they would leave the home and go out into the world and do their own thing.  Over the years, I made sure I was there every step of the way, for each and every milestone.  Going into class with you and watching you learn and make friends and see how the Teachers loved you, is something irreplaceable.  You were very popular in school and always always had the girls chasing after you.  Some of the best memories I have are from your youngest years in school.  The bonds and friendships that you made with classmates, Teachers and other parents.  I truly felt that when this day came, I would not be able to contain myself or my tears.  I mean you are my first born child.  Eian, you taught me everything about being a mother.  Eian was actually an easy child, it was a smooth process until his teen years anyways.  It’s kind of funny too because Eian is the child that I almost died giving birth to.  Who would have thought?

Eian has always been my story teller.  The one who liked to pull pranks and scare people.  Trust me over the years he has pulled c2         some pranks that have not made me happy.  The kid has almost caused me to have a stroke many a times with these pranks.  As a child he always wanted another friend with him & he was always pretty private.  He has a giving heart but, he chooses not to let others know about it.  He has a taste for the finer things in life and yet he is simple.  He is a soft and genuine young man.  He is rational & gentle yet has the strength of a warrior.  He was not built for giving up on anything.  He has a dumb look that always makes me chuckle and he doesn’t even realize he is doing it.  His snicker is well just that a snicker, not a laugh and it’s cute.  He is quiet yet social.  He wanted to play and be a part of every sport possible.  You can’t play everything.  He played basketball, soccer, was a fantastic swimmer!!  He was a strong football & baseball player for both Frankfort & Clinton Prairie.  He is naturally skilled athletically.  Rest assured – I was his biggest fan!!!!  We had the rowdiest section in the stands – my friends and his friends made it LOUD & Eian never disappointed the crowd.

swim  2012 9-14 Eian #5 CP vs Delphi up close

One thing you may not know about Eian is his faithfulness.  Eian keeps his feelings to himself and sometimes he just likes to stir the pot for fun.  However; question his faith in God and you will see just how loyal in it he is.  He remembers me reading the bible to him and I am pleased to share our love of Lord together.

 

He has a very sick sense of humor and thinks it’s hilarious to talk about poop and farting.He likes to wear hats, go fishing, drink beer and play games on XBox, Playstation and or whatever it is he plays now.  Eian is naturally good at everything he does.  I remember the first time we went ice skating.  I could barely keep my balance & he and his brother both were skating backwards before I made it 1/4 of the way around the rink.  He was a fantastic swimmer in school and yet he doesn’t really like being in the water.  He loves listening to music and is a country boy at heart.  He didn’t always want to do his homework nor attend classes but, he managed to figure it out.  He also always says to me, “mom why didn’t you let me play hockey, I would have been great at hockey”?

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As a child he was obsessed with fire fighting and the Military.  When he was little he wore a fire uniform & road around on a fire truck power wheel, his Grandpa Bill even installed a pole in his garage that you could access from the loft just so they could slide down the pole.  He loved airplanes and talked about the air force non stopped.  When our family friend Tim Simpson joined the Army Eian began talking about the Army.  Our Bradford family friends whom we were very close with, moved from state to state due to different duty stations & I think that finalized his thoughts of where he wanted to be in the Military.  He goes to bootcamp soon after graduation to become a soldier.  He has been very patriotic and I have no doubt he will excel in whatever he chooses to do.2014 Open House Front Army Invitation

One of his favorite movies if the 5th Quarter.

Who would have thought my first born would be so perfect.  I got to experience motherhood for the first time with you.  You were my first in it all.  Eian and I have a special bond that can never be broken.  I have many words of advice but, no one has time for all that.  So, I’ll leave you with just a few.  Set your goals high, don’t allow anyone including yourself tell you there is anything you can’t do.  The only limitations you have are yourself.  Dedication and determination while being a good human being is all you need son.  Take care of your body you only have one.

Here is his graduation video.  If you have time to watch, enjoy.  It gives you an overview of his 18 years with myself and all his friends and family along the way.

 

 

I am a prisoner of his music

April 26, 2013 driving around Carmel shopping at Garage Sales with my friend Lorraine.  I don’t text & drive & I even try to ignore phone calls.  Today it was just going crazy.  When we got back into the car, I decided to check my phone.  I had numerous messages telling me that George Jones had passed away.  I barely finished reading the first message before the tears were filling my eyes.  George Jones has been a legendary icon in the Shelley family since before I was born.  I actually do remember being little & I remember hearing his music.  I remember watching our family members get together and sing his songs.  My Uncle Bob is the first person I think of when I think of George Jones.  Growing up, we heard George Jones & AC/DC.  I know what an odd combination but, it is the truth.

Whenever, I hear a song that the Possum sings, I am filled with any and every emotion you can possibly describe.  It reminds me of so many things.  I think of the old days, black & white, people sitting on their rocking chairs on the front porch & just enjoying life at an easy & peaceful pace.  I think of my own Uncle George.  He was a huge BLUEGRASS man & I don’t know how but, Mr. Jones was even able to reach that level for me.  I don’t have a lot of memories of my Grandma & Grandpa Shelley but, I sure remember their love for George Jones as well.  Grandpa & his medicine (his wine).  As I was kindly reminded by my loving Aunt Tonya.  To be exact it was “Wild Irish Rose Wine” & George has a song about it. Grandma with her stories of how her and Grandpa use to fight.  Our family of what I remember growing up had a massive indescribable bond.  When we were growing up, I remember us all living in the same neighborhood.  Our first cousins felt more like our brothers & sisters.  We always watched after one another & had the others back.  We were a force to be reckoned with.  If you messed with one of us, you got all of us.  At our family gatherings, if alcohol was involved you could guarantee there would be a fight with one of our Aunt/Uncle.  We as kids thought this was normal & how all families were.  Growing up, we were simple minded, music loving, strong, under educated people with a drive to defend & protect our own.  Those traits have changed but, the drive to defend & protect will never leave me.

shelleyGrandpa Ewell Shelley & Grandma Helen Shelley

I grew up with lots of hurt & anger as a child.  The people who were suppose to love/guide/protect me were the ones who hurt me.  I relied on music a lot of the time to keep my company & keep me sane.  When I was grounded (back then we were really grounded).  I remember putting in a cassette tape, taking a pen & a tablet.  As the song played, I wrote the lyrics out.  That is when I realized not only did music dig deep into my soul & touch something that no one else could.  But, I realized just how much of a healthy release it was for me to write.  I didn’t even have to write from my heart.  Just the feeling I got when my hand touched the pen while the ink gracefully flowed from the casing onto the paper.  I felt like there was no wrong in the world.  While writing the lyrics, I found myself drifting & dreaming of what life would be like when I grew up.  I thought about what I wanted out of life.  The only desire I ever had was to become a mother.  I had already found the person I loved & was willing to share my everything with him, and that would be creating life.  I remember writing lyrics to all sorts of music.  Air Supply, Journey, just nameless people & groups but, AC/DC & George Jones were the ones that meant something to the Shelley Family.

May 1, 2013 It is with honor that I decided to attend George Jones viewing services in Nashville TN.  I was lucky enough to have my cousin Jamie Shelley & my Aunt Tonya Shelley Heaton along with her husband, Mike Heaton attend.  We traveled to Nashville.  Stayed at the Fiddlers Inn & were able to enjoy some of the downtown Nashville Wednesday evening when we arrived.  Mike had worked a 12 hour night shift, left with no sleep.  So, they called it early that PM.  Jamie & I however; found ourselves looking for local entertainment.  We walked around the parking area and located  Music City.  This was a small country local bar.   We had an awesome time where we met many talented people whom actually have played with Lee Ann Womack, Merle Haggard, & LeAnn Rimes.   They were just down to earth people doing what they enjoy.  We finally called it a night, only 2 be awakened 2 hours later by Aunt Tonya cell phone.  She had planned on getting their early.  I disagreed with her, lying in bed moaning as I am not a morning person.  She said there would be people in line already.  I told her that they probably couldn’t even get in until 9 am when the doors opened.  Luckily, I got up and we all took off skipping breakfast.  We arrived at about 6:30am to find a line already.  We ended up being about 545 of those already waiting in line.  So, she was right & I was wrong.

We patiently waited in line watching others.  We saw many celebrities walking by.  Police came through advising us what to do when the doors open & advised us once again no camera or video was allowed & to take your cameras back to the vehicle.  If you were caught with them out you would be escorted off the premises.  We entered the Grand Ole Opry and found our seats.  Seeing that the bottom section was reserved for family & friends.  The stage was magnificently lit with flower arrangements on easels including butterflies of flowers from Dolly Parton.  Below the stage was his casket covered in flowers.  As his family & friends entered it was silent.  The performers came on and told stories, singing songs & sharing with all of us.  I felt myself that Brad Paisley spoke the best telling people of young age to learn about George Jones & know his music.  I felt that Travis Tritt had the best performance aside from Alan Jackson of course singing “He stopped loving her today”.  I knew it would be something to remember but, I had no idea that I would see that many performers under one roof celebrating the life of George Jones.  I am so thankful to his family & to the music industry for allowing us as fans to be a part of it.  As I write this, I can say that even Patty Loveless expressed her heart felt sympathy as the Shelley family did….he was a member of our family, or so we felt.  He was a country song, he lived it, wrote it, sang it, survived it, & shared it.  I have included my fb URL with the photos for you to view if you would like.

 

In my eyes, NO ONE will ever fill his shoes.

Below is MY favorite duet with George Jones & Lorrie Morgan

RIP George Jones