Happy Birthday!

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I feel like today, as well as every other day, the world should celebrate because this man is around. He is caring, hard working, loving, and truly so much more. This man has put his life before others for longer than I’ve been around. When he was younger he dreamed of becoming a firefighter, and with hard work as well as dedication he made that dream a reality. In today’s world many would worry more about his/her own being, but not this man. This man is my father, Chief Corbett as many know him. My dad inspires others to follow in his footsteps as many have chosen to be a firefighter, my brother being one. When the sound of the pager goes off, I watch both run out the door to make sure everything is safe. A fireman always puts the needs of others before him/herself with no questions asked. A fireman is the first in to save someone and the last out and always sacrifices their lives for others.

I have officially known this man for 22 years and I wouldn’t trade a second of our time together. I do not know what I would do without this man! He has stood by my side since the beginning. We may not always get along and he may refuse to take my blood for blood work, however, I know he is always there. Dad has shown me through example of living my mom what true love is, and I hope to one day find that. He is more than just my father.

I know you’re a shy person but I hope you have the best day ever. Happy Birthday Daddy, I love you!

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What if Christmas, Perhaps, Means a Little More?

16594_726296977394717_1139137757_nAs Christmas approaches, people rush 1620669_726297250728023_91737345_nstore to store in fear of not getting enough presents for their loved ones.  Many individuals place focus on gifts, however, Christmas is about so much more.  Decorations, food, traditions, memories, music, religion are after all the reason for the season. 155855_174613919229695_685159_n

There are numerous recorded events that show that the tradition of giving and receiving gifts date back to at least the 4th century; a Christian Bishop, St. Nicholas, was known for giving to all children as well as those less fortunate than he.  This generosity of giving gifts quickly spread all over the world.  There are st-nicholasvarious stories about St. Nicholas, however, the most known story is the one about the hanging of stockings: “A recently widowed man and father of three girls were having a tough time making ends meet.  Even though his daughters were beautiful, he was worried that their impoverished status would make it impossible for them to marry.  St. Nicholas was wandering through the town where the man lived and heard villagers discussing that family’s plight.  He wanted to help but knew the man would refuse any kind of charity directly.  Instead, one night he slid down the chimney of the family’s house and filled the girls’ recently laundered stockings, which happened to be drying by the fire, with gold coins and then he disappeared.  The girls awoke in the morning, overjoyed upon discovering the bounty.  Because of St. Nick’s generosity, the daughters were now eligible to wed and their father could rest easy that they wouldn’t fall into lonely despair.”  The tradition of hanging a stockings and gift giving has continued through today.

As time went on, the main focus of the season became the gifts.  Many people sit and stress over what to get others for Christmas, but gifts are not the reason for the season.  People need to stop and think about what Christmas really is about.  In the book, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Suess wrote, “What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store?  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little more?”  Christmas is the time for giving, but why is the giving always gifts that are bought from a store?  Don’t spend your Christmas stressing over presents, instead remember why we celebrate such a wonderful holiday.  Give a little of your time and your heart and you can still have a wonderful holiday. christmas-carolers-1wtnat.2RMS_MIA123-outdoor-Christmas-lights-decorations_s4x3_lgbeautiful-christmas-tree-ideas

Sources

http://www.answers.com/Q/Where_and_when_did_the_tradition_of_exchanging_Christmas_gifts_start
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-legend-of-the-christmas-stocking-160854441/?no-ist
thecapnsquarters.com/Young_and_old/Dr.%20Seuss%20%20How%20the%20Grinch%20Stole%20Christmas!.pdf

True Hero

Who do you consider a hero?  Have you ever personally known a hero?  Anyone can make an impact on lives, but it takes a person being a hero to be a role model and someone to whom you can admire.  Heroes can be measured in many ways.  I have been fortunate to have many people in my life I admire. I consider a hero to be someone who sacrifices themselves for others, such as a firefighter. I have been fortunate to grow up with two heroes in my home, my dad and big brother. Due to their involvement with the fire department, I am familiar with the sacrifices they face in the line of duty.

My dad has been a firefighter since he was 16 years old.  After graduating from EKU, he moved to Gatlinburg, Tenn., and made a living helping others in need.  Dad wasn’t just away from where he grew up; he was also away from his wife and his first-born child as well.  I will never understand how my parents made this living arrangement work. Once they were expecting another child, my dad decided he needed to change careers to better support the family.  He started working full-time at the hospital still helping others, and being a volunteer fireman in the City of Jenkins. Sacrifices come in many ways; my dad’s sacrifice was one of giving up a career and love for his family.  How many people are selfless to give up something such as this for their family?  Don’t get me wrong; he loves his family, but how many do you know are willing to go back to school and re-train for a new career because that is what is best for his/her family?226337_425547067497410_606239329_n531471_417104088341708_2066471237_n

My dad still serves as a volunteer fireman in Jenkins and is also the fire chief.  He has been instrumental in updating the fire department and works tirelessly to support our community; it seems like his work is never done.  The station went from two fire trucks to a complete fleet, the insurance rates have dropped, and many people depend on him for things in our city.Picture3 Picture1 Picture2 10411327_822503407774073_1158059178469226011_n

My dad inspires others to follow in his footsteps as many have chosen to be a firefighter, my brother being one. When the sound of the pager goes off, I watch both run out the door to make sure everything is safe. A fireman always puts the needs of others before him/herself with no questions asked. A fireman is the first in to save someone and the last out and always sacrifices their lives for others.jvfd

Happy Birthday!

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I feel today, and every other day, people should shout a blessing because this woman is around. She is beautiful, hard working, caring, supportive, and so much more; she is truly everything I hope to be!  This woman is by far the best leader I have ever met; she is always there for others to help motivate towards pursuing a dream.  She is the guidance counselor of a high school and I have seen students from other schools come to her for help, and of course she helps in any way that she can.  I have known this woman for 21 years and I wouldn’t trade a second of our time together.  This woman is my mother, Mrs. Corbett, as many know her.  I do not know what I would do without my mom; she has been there for me from day one and I know she will continue to do so in the future.

When people ask who a role model is most reply with someone famous, I reply with a grin of pride and say it’s my mother! It brightens my day when someone shares a memory they have of my mom: whether it be her being the reason for a student receiving Saturday school, how she inspired a student to do something with his/her life, how she took a student under her wing, how you can hear her coming down the hall because of her heels, etc. these stories make me realize how blessed I am to be able and say “that’s my mom”.

While I know you don’t like attention on your birthday, I wanted to take a moment to wish you a very Happy Birthday anyway! Thank you for everything you have done for me over the years, I couldn’t have made it without you.  Just remember, the whole state celebrates your birthday as basketball can officially begin 😉

Memories, Traditions, Photographs Etched in the Heart

“A memory is a photograph taken by the heart to make a special moment last forever.”

Have you ever found yourself taken back in time because you heard that specific song, read that one line, or stumbled across a certain picture?   As the holidays approach, I have found myself reminiscing on the memories I have built with my family and friends.
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“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived 12 little girls in two straight lines. In two straight lines they broke their bread and brushed their teeth and went to bed. They left the house at half past nine in two straight lines in rain or shine-the smallest one was Madeline.”  My addiction to Madeline was unreal which left my Halloween costume in 2004 unquestionable, I was going to be my favorite little girl from Paris; little did I know then that it would be a Halloween I would remember for the rest of my life.  That Halloween I ended up getting strep throat which meant I wasn’t going to get to go trick-or-treating or even dress up.  Knowing I was so upset, my mom agreed to let me wear my costume down to MomMom and DaddyDick’s (my dad’s parents), and she would take my brother trick-or-treating.  On his own, my brother decided to take my bag to trick or treat for me and get me candy as well to make up for a terrible Halloween for his little sister.

Thanksgiving also tugs at my heartstrings.  Both of my grandmother’s watch the parades in the morning, if we are not together we call each other to talk about the balloons, the bands, the artists but my favorite is always Hello Kitty which my Gram (my mom’s mom) calls “Miss Kitty.”  Every year after Thanksgiving dinner, the grandchildren all get to make Christmas ornaments with Gram.  She is always so creative with the craft of the year.  My family also celebrates Advent;  for those that do not know, Advent is a period of preparation for Christmas that happens the four Sundays before as well as Christmas Eve.  Advent for us isn’t the traditional Advent, however.  Each week, we do light a candle (1 for week 1, 2 for week 2, and so forth leading to 5 on Christmas Eve), we listen to Christmas music (mainly Johnny Mathis) while ringing jingle bells, telling stories of different memories, ending each week with saying something we are thankful for (excluding friends and family), and end with Gram reading “A Cajun Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve in full Cajun dialect.  On Christmas morning, the children are not allowed to get out of bed until they hear the sound of the Christmas Bell, a tradition that has been carried for decades.  My great grandmother started this to keep the young children in bed until the adults were ready to start the day.  As years have passed, I have found myself cherishing these memories.

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I have learned over time that memories are what make your life worth living.  So, take lots of pictures, keep a journal, listen to music, do anything to make a memory!

My Guiding Star

This post is going to be one of the hardest I have written.  October 3, 2011 my life took a drastic change, a change that will play on repeat in my mind forever.

Like every day before, I called my mom on my way to basketball practice.  When mom finally answered she was whispering and being short.  I just assumed she was in a meeting and that was why she got off the phone quickly.  Without thinking another thing about it I went on to practice.

After practice, to my surprise I seen my mom and Gram (her mom) waiting for me. I drove my car back to the parking garage and got in the car with them so we could all go get some ice-cream.  When we reached the dorm parking lot we sat and talked about different things.  The mood completely changed however when mom said to me, “Sarah, I have something to tell you. DaddyDick (my dad’s dad) has passed away.”  I know she kept talking, but the rest is a blur.

We sat in the parking lot for what seems like forever in complete silence until we all went back into my dorm room.  That night was one of the longest nights I have had, it was filled with tears and flashbacks.  I started thinking about the times I would sit with him while Mommom (dad’s mom) would go grocery shopping, about him walking through town finding all the change on the ground that he could, him turning the volume on the television up loud because everyone in the house was too loud, and various different memories.  All I wanted was to be home with my family  but we all knew how he would have wanted me to finish out the week like nothing had happened, so that is exactly what I did.  I looked out of my bedroom window and there was only one star in the sky, the thought of him being that star brought me great comfort. “Perhaps those stars aren’t stars, they are the loved ones watching over us telling us they are happy up there, with God.♥ ” “is the granddaughter of the biggest and brightest star in the sky*♥*”

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As terrible as this memory is I am reminded daily of the love he had for his family.  It gives me comfort knowing he is my guiding star.  Remember to make each day and each moment count!