Monday, November 17, 2008

Fun Questions!

Fun Questions

Welcome to the 2008 edition of getting to know your Friends.

1. What time did you get up? 6:45am
2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Bond Quantum of Solace
4. What is your favorite TV show? Chuck
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Grapefruit, banana and toast
6. What is your middle name? Marie
7. What food do you dislike? cooked carrots and bland food
8. What is your favorite CD at moment? I put my ipod on shuffle...favorite cd would probably be Remedy by David Crowder Band
9. What kind of car do you drive? Kia Sedona
10. Favorite sandwich? Too many to count. I love roast beef and oven roasted turkey
11. What characteristic do you despise? liars
12. Favorite item of clothing? my boots or my new cords
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Hawaii
14. Favorite brand of clothing? I don't really go for brands...whatever looks good. I got some GREAT shirts at Target the other day that I LOVE...
15. Where would you retire? Close to my grandkids...
16. What was your most recent memorable birthday? hmmm...there was the year I got surprised a month early...or the time we went to Moody Gardens for the day......
17. Favorite sport to watch? niete....although I will be enjoying watching Sierra play basketball!
18. Farthermost place you are sending this? Just blogging...not emailing this.
19. Person you expect to send it back first????? Anyone who wants to copy and redo on their blog.
20. When is your birthday? August 20th
21. Are you a morning person or a night person? Definitely morning...I am usually a dead head by night.
22. What is your shoe size? 7 1/2 - 8
23. Pets? I have a dog...she is pretty cool. Sierra just got a bunch of goldfish which is kinda fun to watch. They all come to the glass when Sierra comes to feed them.
24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? not really???
25. What did you want to be when you were little? An astronaut
26. How are you today? got a headache that is driving me crazy! I just took Excedrin Tension headache medicine in fast release gel caps...I think I feel it easing out!!
27. What is your favorite candy? Dark Chocolate anything...snickers...chocolate with nuts in it....mmmmmmm
28. What is your favorite flower? Tropical flowers...bright colors....multi colored...
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Saturday is Matt's birthday. We are going to go see Bolt (yes, it is a kid's movie, but it will be fun as a family) and than out for steak!! FUn!
30. What is your full name? Sandra Marie Kozlowski
31. What are you listening to right now? the menu screen on the Alias dvd and Daniel mumbling to himself.
32. What was the last thing you ate? See above for breakfast food....+ a mini 3 musketeers
33. Do you wish on stars? No...but I do admire them
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? blue
35. How is the weather right now? Chilly
36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today? Matt
37. Favorite soft drink? I love Dr. Pepper
38. Favorite restaurant? Toss up between Jason's Deli (I LOVE SANDWICHES) and Chuy's
39. Real hair color? Red...all natural
40. What was your favorite toy as a child? I had a couple dolls that I you could feed a bottle to and it would pee. It had a pretty dress and matching stroller. The other was a rag doll that was almost as big as me...I took her everywhere...her name was Isabelle!
41. Summer or winter? Both for different reasons. Fall is my fave, though
42. Hugs or kisses?, love, LOVE them!! Daniel gives the BEST!!
43. Chocolate or Vanilla? chocolate (duh!)
44. Coffee or tea? Tea, definitely. I HATE coffee!!
45. Do you want your friends to email you back? Only if need to, like I am waiting for a response.
46. When was the last time you cried? Intermittently over the last couple weeks...
47. What is under your bed? Lots of dog hair and probably odds and ends...I wish we had hardwood floors...
48. What did you do last night? Did some things on my computer....while the fam watched X2
49. What are you afraid of ? Snakes...bugs....rodents...something bad happening to my fam
50. Salty or sweet? PRefer sweet, but enjoy salty too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Father Heart of God

I got an email yesterday from a friend that gave me pause...a pause that has lasted since I received her email. Since my father's passing, I have received so many cards and emails...all lifting me up and holding me up. I really think I would have crumbled without them (not that I didn't crumble). Her email, though, gave me perspective and something to think about.

She said it was such a "joy" to be praying for us in this time. She said that it has been amazing to hear about my father (especially as one who does not have an "earthly father) as amazing as mine was. Well, let me just copy and paste what she wrote:

It has been truly such a joy to pray with you during
this time. As someone who does not have an earthly
father, your relationship with your dad has been such
an inspiration and testimony. So, thank you for
sharing in a time when it is hard to remember and
thank you for allowing us a glimpse into the Father
heart of God as displayed through your amazing Dad!

WOW! My father displayed the Father Heart of God?? You know, I have always said I have trouble grasping the true father heart of God BECAUSE of my father. While a great dad, he was not very affectionate, physically or emotionally. It's funny how you can see the negative and just sit on that...and not see the positive and sit on least not until a death (or something close to it). I had honestly not thought of him in that way until I received this email. Than it is a WHAM to the side of the head.

Yes, my dad did exhibit the Father Heart of God. He sacrificed himself (no, I am not trying to compare his sacrifice to that of the Ultimate Sacrifice) for me and my livlihood. He loved me unconditionally. He guided me while giving me freewill. He was always there for me. He grieved over me and he cheered for me. I am not eloquent as many of my counterpart bloggers are, but you get the idea.

How could I have missed this?? Thank you, DB, for showing me this...even though you had no idea of the personal turmoil I had put on myself. Though it is with my dad's death that I have come to appreciate the man who was my father, I see now with clearer eyes. With this comes a greater understanding of so many things...and a new perspective.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Dad, My Hero

As you may have read in my last post, my father passed away close to a week ago. You can read the below post to find out the details of his passing, but I am here to tell you about the man who was my hero.

You see, I came along in my father's life when he should be looking forward to his grandchildren. My father was 57 years old when I was born....I was a late surprise in his life. I do not think my dad would trade my birth for anything, but he would have changed the circumstances that was my beginning and certainly the woman who was my mother.

Shortly after my birth, my father realized he could not have me be raised in the environment I was in. My mother was not a fit mother. She had several other children from several other men...all of whom carried loads of issues with drugs, stealing, and a slew of other problems. My dad decided the best course of action was to divorce my mom and sue for custody of me.

The intersting thing about this process is that this was in the mid is rare for a father to gain custody of his children today, much less 30 years ago. But, he fought the battle and won. He gained full custody of me and my mother moved to California...only visiting me 2 times, to my memory (she visited a few more times before he gained custody).

My dad didn't speak of this time very much. I was constantly let down by my mohter. She would rarely call me and when she did she would almost always lie to me. I, of course, always believed each word she told me. I remember being on the phone with her and her voice would be so soft and gentle and I would wonder why I was seperated from this woman who called me "ladybug" and would tell me how much she loved me.

She visited me for the last time right around when I was 8 or 9. She was not allowed to visit me without supervision, so I remember my stepmother sat in a car the whole time making sure nothing happened while I sat in my mother's motel room. As a young girl, I wondered why I could not see my mom more and began to blame my father for keeping us apart. I cannot remember what my mother and I talked about, but I remember coming away from this visit with anger towards my dad.

My stepmother must have relayed some of this to my father. My father, after my mother had left for California, went to the store and purchased a small box with a lock and key for me to keep my special things in. He sat me down and told me about my mother and told me about his fight for my custody and the reason why he had to do what he did. I did not fully understand everything he said, but he was my dad and I took what he told me as truth.

Over the years, my dad has told me a little about his fight for custody and about my mother. My sister Vivian was a young adult when this battle was going on and she was by my dad's side and helping him fight the battle (even as she cared for her own young child...just one year younger than me). She has given me many details of this time in our lives and I have felt fortunate to have had a father fight as hard as he fought to, honestly, save my life. The conditions in which my mother lived would have surely killed either me physically or my spirit. I always considered him a hero for dedicating himself to raising me.

He always told me when I was older, I could ask to see the documentation he had on my custody. I asked him for the papers just a couple years ago and he said he wasn't sure where they were. Upon his passing, I was helping Gloria clean out some paperwork when I came across the papers I had so wanted to see. I did not have time to read them then, but I did read them upon arriving back home from the memorial. My dad kept all his records and all his notes from this period and it was a facinating read. He did not type, so all his notes are freehand. I came across this one document he wrote that just slid it home. My dad was a very special takes a very special man to do what he did. I was so lucky to have him fora father. I wanted to share his words about his little daughter, me...written in his words. I will cherish this handwritten note more than I will cherish anything else.

My Statement About Sandra

Sandra is a very secure, happy, and loving little girl. Even with the circumstances of our marriage, she has been in a home that belongs to her. Sandra is well adjusted little who loves her home, her yard to play in, her visits to her grandfather, her room with all her belongings, sunday school class, our fishing trips and all her friends she has learned to love. Sandra is a little girl that needs love and security. With Vivian's (my daughter) help, I have given her that since she was born. Being a teacher, I have spent a lot of time with Sandra because of my working hours and vacations. Most of my recreation has always been built around my children. What time I am not with her I see she is well taken with care of.

I plan on getting married, in the near future, to a wonderful person whom has known Sandra for almost two years. Sandra knows her and is looking forward to her coming back from the state of Virginia. She has no children living with her and is willing to help me anyway she can in building Sandra's future. I believe this will insure Sandra's security and create a home like atmosphere.

Sandra doesn't really know her mother. She doesn't even talk to her on the telephone. Sandra talks freely to people she knows. Mary never spent much time with Sandra when we were married. Mary went to work at about 6:30 a.m. and got home around 6:30 p.m. This meant Vivian or I took care of the kids. She went to a lot of meetings at night and even worked some weekends. I have raised Sandra in the three and one half years of her life.

Since Mary has moved to California (a year and a half ago) she has seen her very few times and very short meetings. Mary has not visited Sandra in the last five months.

Sandra loves it here - she loves her daddy. To move her out of these securities would kill this little girl's spirit and break her heart.

I have so many other documents that were also handwritten by my dad further stating his case. It is an amazing story about an amazing dad that would do whatever it took to ensure the health and safety of his daughter...even in those years when only grandchildren would seem to be in your future. He stated in one letter that he had thought of just bailing out on the whole thing, but he could not stand the thought of his little girl being raised that way. My sister, Vivian, can attest to all the things that occured at this time. It was a long and expensive battle, and my dad never quit.

My dad is my hero. There is no telling where I would be without him. I will miss him, but I will remember him and cherish these glimpses into the man he was. He was not about telling everyone about all that he did. All he knew was that I was safe...I was secure...I was cared for.

My Dad, My Hero