Come on Down!!!

Well…I’m sure most of you have worked really hard this week trying to remove and forget the searing image of my “being naked” from last week’s post…but I bet you laughed! In fact, I have heard from quite a few of you saying that you were “on the floor” and laughing out loud. How wonderful is that???

Monday will be my sisters’ birthday. That’s right, I said “sisters’ birthday.” There are two, and they share the same birthday because they are twins. Gay is ten minutes older than Beth. They are both older than me, but we won’t say too much about that…

There are not too many people, other than your parents, that you can say that you’ve known ALL of your life. I can say that about my sisters. They have “been there,” present in my life, from the moment that I took my first breath.

We were raised on a little farm in Sandy Hook, MS. The farm was named “Double Trouble,” and we had all kinds of farm animals, including a very large bull. We were told so many times, “stay away from the bull,” “don’t agitate the bull,” “leave the bull alone.” So you already know that we could NOT possibly leave that bull alone. We would have our little red jeans on, go out in the barn, dance and giggle until the bull was all worked up and ready to charge. We knew right down to the second when he would do this. At the very last moment, we would scream, run over to the ladder that went to the loft, climb up, and then look down at the bull…We would then break into hysterical laughter! When I look back at that now, I wonder, “what would have happened if just one of us had slipped….” It is a wonder that we are all still alive, but we had a wonderful childhood!!

I have so many good memories of these sisters…and us together…Gay dancing ALL the time. If there was music…she was moving! Beth (who did NOT ever take medicine) took a antihistamine for a cold. It made her so “loopy” that she took out the back corner of the house with her boyfriend’s car when she came home from work. (He later became her husband, so I guess he forgave her for the car being messed up…) While playing hide and seek one day, I remember distinctly how we discovered all of our “Santa” gifts in the quilt box…how crushed we were to learn that there was no Santa…and how we made a pact to hide the fact that we knew on Christmas morning.

As I grew up, they were the “go to” people for all of my questions. They taught me how to shave my legs…how to shampoo and “fix” my hair…what to do when “the curse” arrived…I could ask them anything.

My sisters grew up to be smart, sassy, “steel magnolias.” I am so proud of them! Gay moved back home to live with my parents a number of years ago, and assisted them in the daily operations of their personal care home for the mentally challenged. After her children were grown, Beth went back to college and received her degree. As my Mother’s illness (Alzheimer’s Disease) progressed, Beth became the Administrator of the personal care home, and she and Gay worked together to make certain that Mama and Daddy continued to have an income. Their religious faith and strength just continues to grow. They are prayer WARRIORS!!!

So you are probably wondering by now, where is all this headed? Where’s the story? Here we go…

During the summer, Mama and Daddy would take us to a little creek, and let us swim and play with other kids and families doing the same thing. It was such a sweet, simple, and uncomplicated time. The bridge that went over the creek would certainly not pass any of today’s criteria for being safe. It did not have any rails on either side, and pretty much looked like an open train trestle. The distance from the bridge, down to the water, was probably about 30 feet, give or take a little.

On this particular day, we arrived at the creek, and Daddy parked the car to the side of the road. We could not wait to get down to the water and play. As we were walking over the bridge, one of Gay’s friends hollered up to her and said, “Come on down!!” Gay did not hesitate…she jumped straight from the bridge down to the water. Now this would not have been a big deal, except for these two very important facts….1. It was about a 30 foot drop for her, and…2. She did NOT know how to swim! My father and mother were scrambling down the banks to get to her as quickly as they could. As soon as her head popped out of the water, gasping for air, my daddy had her in his arms. She was not hurt in any way…she simply wanted to get to her friends, and did not even think about the possible consequences of that jump.

Everyday I hear people say,”One day, I would like to….” (finish the sentence any way you like…), or “I would be too afraid to do…(finish the sentence any way you like…). What would you do if you were not afraid to try? What would you change in your life? What would you do differently? This week I am going to do things that are outside of my “comfort zone.” I am going to be daring, adventurous, and try something that I’ve never done before. I am going to “jump off the bridge…” Won’t you join me? Just for this week….

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