Tag Archives: dreams

It’s My Birthday Too!

It’s My Birthday Too!

Dear Softy,

You’ve been gone for 13 years now… and I still think of you every single day. But especially on our day. On our day, I sing the Beatles and miss you like crazy.

I’m afraid I don’t sing it quite the same way, but hey, I sing it to you!

Most years I cry. But the tears aren’t as awful as they used to be. The hole is still deep in my heart, but I’ve learned to smile when I miss you.

I wish I had more pictures of us together. I wish I had more pictures of you. There are never enough memories when you cross my mind.

Last year was probably the worst year of my life. I hope nothing ever tops it. I was scared most days. I thought any moment everything was going to implode. I worried about my daughters. I worried about my sons. I worried about my marriage. And I worried about the strain our troubles were taking on the entire family. I could feel the sorrow every time I talked with my mom or my dad and it just made my heart ache.

So many times I thought about you. I just know you would of had the perfect words of wisdom to get me through the rock bottom of my existence.

There were days when I tried to channel your voice and give myself a pep talk.

The other night I had this dream. You will still here. My step-dad too. And I was talking to both of you. And I was listening to you tell me you’d been here each day. You were telling me all about the things I’d been through, just to prove you were never far away. I woke up feeling your presence. In fact, I was calling your name out loud.

Sometimes I get those dreams and I see you and I don’t even want to get out of bed because I don’t want to lose that moment. But I have to get up. These kids will knock the walls down if I’m not watching carefully.

You know 40 started off rough, but it sure did turn around. I’m finally finishing college. I know, it took me a few decades. That’s ok. The more amazing thing is that I’m a writer. A real bonafide cash-the-check writer!

And my kids are doing amazing things. Blondie got married and her dreams are slowly coming true. My Dyl Pickle is graduating. And the rest of the crew is moving right along. Tucker is going to high school. I always wish you had seen him just once. I still think of you in the hospital that last night I saw you. You said “wee Willy Tucker, that silly little f—–fellow.” He was born 41 days after you passed on. I’m not sure how my dad came up with the exact same sentence, but he did. Isn’t that ironic?

Trenton is headed to Junior High which will make the twins the rulers of intermediate school- big fifth graders! And KK is only one step behind, but you know all this, because you’re still here. I know you’re here.

When I feel like breaking down, I say to myself “Girl get yourself together. Softy is gonna see you fall apart” and that’s how I pick myself up when the days are overwhelming.

41 is going to be amazing, I just know it is. Whether I’m conquering the world wide web or tucking my grandbaby into bed, I know you’re part of me and I never let that go.

Birthday Buddies

My grandfather and I at our last birthday dinner

And now when I think of our birthday, I smile more than I cry. You were the greatest gift the good Lord ever gave me. Grandfathers have a way of making the world magical, and you did exactly that.

So Happy Birthday Softy. I still miss you, but today I’m gonna try not to cry, because it’s my birthday too!

Love always,
Tiffany XoXoX


No Toast Today!


So life has gotten pretty busy here in the zoo. Sometimes I fall asleep writing a blog in my mind. IF I actually got all my ideas to my computer, I think the founder of WordPress himself would call me up and tell me “no more bandwidth for you!” Sadly, I don’t actually write all of the things that pop into my head. But I do text myself some of my ideas, just in case the illusive “spare time” creeps up on me!

Summers are manic for me. The kids are all home all day, which means they eat a lot more. I have to run to the store more because we’re forever running out of milk and cereal, and then they spill that cereal on their pants and her we go! I’m doing another load of laundry. I saw this picture on Facebook today, and I thought to myself, in this house, the choice is ALWAYS “RUN”!


Oh what I would give for my laundry room to look like that!! I’m on the search for a commercial sized triple load washer and dryer. I go to bed dreaming that if I could somehow upgrade to that, my life would become exponentially more enjoyable. What happened to my dreams of making out with “Zach” on Saved by the Bell? Now, I dream of appliances. I never knew my life would head in that direction! Read the rest of this entry

Meanwhile, back at the Zoo…


While Blondie is in the middle of chasing her big dreams, finding a spot to sing and carving out a new life, things in the zoo are changing too. It is a bitter sweet experience to pack your child’s things into boxes, and prepare to send all their stuff out of the house. Sure, we could use the room to spread out the other kids a little more, but there’s something so quiet about the emptiness of her absence.

Our house has always been loud and rambunctious and spunky! Our house has been the battle ground for karaoke wars and the place where all the neighborhood kids eat up the fruit snacks and help build forts in the back yard with my new blankets. But Daddy is getting older and we all know Daddy’s get grumpier with age, and Blondie is definitely the only one who could say “Dad, chill…”

So, now that she’s in Nashville, the house seems to be taking on a different vibe. Everyone seems to notice she’s gone. Her dog is sleeping under her bed, whining at the door, and wagging her tail in a fury whenever we mention the name “Hannah”. I knew the dog would miss her, but the little kids, well I thought they’d be too busy fighting over her room to notice she was gone.

Sissy Sings

Sissy Sings

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And so she goes…


I always knew one day our little song bird would fly away. I always knew one day her journey would become something magical in nature. I always knew she’d never take no for an answer. But I never knew it would happen quite the way it did… Read the rest of this entry

In my dreams…


My grandpa always promised that he would visit me in my dreams when he died, so I can’t help but think every time I dream of him that he’s here for a little visit. I find it strangely comforting. It doesn’t happen as often as I wish it would, but the other morning I was feeling bad and after I took the kids to school I laid back down in my bed and pulled my down comforter up over my head. Before long, he was standing there.

This dream was pretty strange though, because I had two grandpa’s growing up. I guess most people have two grandpa’s, but usually it’s Mom’s dad and Dad’s dad. I had my mom’s dad and my step-mom’s dad because my dad lost his parents when he was really young. So I was lucky that I got an extra grandpa in there somewhere. Both of them were very charismatic people, well-loved by all who knew them. I was really close to my mom’s dad. I named him “Softy” when I was 8-years-old and that turned into the name everyone called him, and I was born on his birthday, which was really special. My other grandpa, Grandpa Smith, owned the Salado Dairy Queen and he spoiled us with ice cream all the time. They both died within about a year of one another, so I haven’t had a grandpa in a long time. In this dream, my mom wanted a drink from Salado Dairy Queen, but she didn’t want to get out of her car, so I went in to get it and when I came back out, I told my mom “we can get a free drink, this is still my grandpa’s Dairy Queen”. The mention of that grandpa reminded me how much I missed Softy, and then all of a sudden he was there, but here’s the strange part. He was holding a brochure. In it the question was asked “How much are you still here?” Read the rest of this entry

Forever Young


Sometimes I think the reason I get so hung up on the fact that my Blondie is a senior in high school is that I can’t believe I’m not a senior in high school. It doesn’t seem like nearly 20 years have passed since I was sitting on that side of the desk, picking out exactly who I thought was “Most Likely to Succeed” and voting our class song.

Forever Young, that’s the choice I picked. Now to be fair, I wasn’t sure if we were voting for the Alphaville or Rod Stewart, but I figured what the heck, either way I was hoping to spend eternity wrinkle free, so Forever Young sounded good to me. Back then I never pictured myself as the mother of seven children teetering on the verge of gray hair! It was so long ago, and yet, it was yesterday, and now today, I’m watching my babies in that same place! It’s surreal to say the least. The craziest part is their generation stole all of our songs, so no wonder I feel stuck on replay. Read the rest of this entry

Leave the Light On


As we are nearing the adoption finish line, I got this crazy idea in my head that we should take a family vacation. I thought it would be awesome to reward my kids for the many sacrifices they made. I wanted to show the little ones that they are part of this madness, forever! There’s no turning back now, and even though I get a whole lot of “omg, really?” out of my teenagers, I was thinking this is truly a cause for celebration! We’ve been down a long road, and finally, the light at the end of the tunnel is shining through. I know what you’re wondering… “WHAT were you thinking?  A road trip, with 7 kids??”

I’m not really scared of spending days in the car with lots of people. That I can do. I know how to pack crayons and PSP’s, zip-lock bags full of Chex Mix and M&M’s. And I’ve got my 50 states license plate game ready to go! What’s starting to scare me is that I think I’m over budget and we haven’t even packed our bags yet. Is it way too tacky to put up a sign that says “Prestridge Zoo Now Accepting Vacation Donations?!”

Maybe I should take a picture of my kids at the end of the day, when their hair is all messy and their faces are dirty- they look pretty much homeless by 5:30pm most days! Then I could glue it to a few coffee cans and spread our vacation fund around town.

OR, maybe I could follow the kids around with the video camera until I catch them doing something goofy enough to go viral on YouTube. I hear that whole “Charlie bit me” video has already paid for some private school tuition and is still stashing the cash away. My kids bite. Heck, even the dogs are scared of them!

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Has Childhood Lost its Charm?


It really ticks me off that movies have taken the magic out of everything sacred in childhood- the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus… why does Hollywood insist of ruining everything that requires true imagination? I don’t think it is lying to children to pretend a bunny left boiled eggs all over the place, I think it’s more like inspiring them to dream the impossible dream, to imagine the unimaginable, to think the unthinkable, but no, some guy in a suit figures his version of the Tooth Fairy will bring in $14 billion so hey, money is always more important that dreams, right?

I don’t think anyone would disagree that the innocence of childhood is lost by 1st grade these days. Kids are smarter, it’s true! They are learning faster and faster, they master computer programs like pouring a bowl of cereal, and yet in all of that, they’ve lost some of the magic and joy of just being a kid.  Witty sarcasm is quickly replacing sparkly imagination, and catching fireflies is no longer what little boys sitting in their rooms waiting to do.

No, it’s all Xbox 360 and Playstation Network. And my kids are no exception. I’ll never forget the call I got in 2nd grade asking me if I could help Dylan understand that it’s not nice to smash a little girl’s dreams. She had proclaimed that she was building a tree house, and it was going to reach all the way to Heaven. Of course, being pragmatic as he is, Dylan set her straight. “The clouds are much higher than the trees, and Heaven is far above the clouds, so there’s no way for your tree house to reach Heaven.” Did I mention she planned to have tea parties with her dead grandma is this tree house to Heaven? Yeah, good job son!

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All She Wants to Do is Dance!


Rebels have been rebels since I don’t know when, but all she wants to do is dance! And sing, and play her guitar, and drive her Mustang, have sleep-overs constantly, play with her dog, and stay out past curfew on a Friday nights with boys, and complain every time I tell her to do the dishes, but hey, that’s what teenagers do, right?

I haven’t heard from Blondie since she pulled me out of bed at 5:30 Saturday morning! She was headed for officer camp. They were told to meet at the school at 6:30. They were encouraged to be there around 6:15 to be a little early. And of course Blondie’s car has a dead battery (somebody left their lights on and won’t admit it). So what does Blondie do? She makes me take her at 5:40. Even though the high school is a 4 minute drive, she was sure we needed to go ahead and go. I think she thought there would possibly be a line at McDonald’s for the Mocha Frappuccino she craves whenever she’s on the go before 6am, but this is a small town. There are only 3 other people up at this time of morning. The fact that they open McDonald’s just for them amazes me! By 5:46 we were in the parking lot, waiting!

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The last time…


You’re gone.
I still can’t believe
you ended it that way.
You warned me,
But I foolishly thought
I could save you
from the darkness
that became your fate.
I saw your smile
Again, today.
The same blue eyes,
Blond hair
Sun kissed freckles.
But I prayed
His heart does not carry
Those same burdens of pain
that took you away.
He looked at me,
And I remembered
The last time I saw you smile,
The last time I smiled back…

It’s not really my normal style of poetry. I like perfectly paired little verses with rhyme schemes and matching syncopation. But last week, I was working at the junior high (which isn’t my normal beat) and as I stood in the gym taking roll, I found myself face to face with the little brother of a boy I will never forget. I couldn’t choke back the words, I had to type them into my phone while I sat there thinking about him. I had seen him at school assemblies and field days many times, but the first time I really met Justin he was in junior high, patiently waiting for his Tiger spirit hoodie, and I was the PTO president delivering it to him, two weeks after everyone else already had theirs. A little mix-up on my part had caused the delay, so I fully expected to deal with an irritated pre-teen, but instead I got a boy full of smiles, thrilled to meet me after school, not a single complaint. I liked him instantly.

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