Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Next Thing On My List

Maybe you started to think of Toby Keith when you read the title of this post...but this is actually the first of 2 books I've been reading this month for the book club I've recently joined. The Next Thing On My List is a book written by Jill Smolinski. It's a quick read and if you've read any other "Chic Lit" it reads very much like Shopaholic Series, but it's based in Southern California so you don't have to worry about any London references'.

Before Ruth Ann was born I was always reading a good book, but since her arrival I haven't always found the time to read like I would like. After a little bit of discussiong, I joined a book club with my friend and co-worker, Laura, so I would have some accountability to sit down and read a little more often. I enjoyed this book so much that I decided to make it my Friday Favorite.

I've never been a member of book club before( and if you knew me in college you know I always like to be prepared for a test) so I went ahead and read some of the book club questions in the back of the book. What I'm going to say next doesn't spoil the book in anyway since most of it is on the back cover of the book anyway. The main character of the book, June, is the driver in a car accident where a virtual stranger, Marissa, June is giving a ride to is killed in said car accident. After the accident June finds in Marissa's belongings a list of things to do before she turns 25 and the whole book is about June accomplishing these tasks in Marissa's place. After reading the first few chapters I knew that discussing this book was going to be hard for me because all I kept thinking about was a life cut very short and that always makes me think of my little brother...Adam.

One of the questions they asked (and I'm glad I read ahead so I was prepared to not burst into tears) was that if you knew someone whose life was cut short, what do you think they would have put on their list...

This little girl is one of the two things that kept coming to my mind


When I think of Adam's List of things he would want to have done with his life I know these would have been things he would have included...

1) Teach Ada to fish
2) Teach Ada to hunt
3) Teach Ada to take care of live stock
4) Teach Ada to love the outdoors
5) Teach Ada to love her family

My brother and I were exact opposites in a lot of ways, so where he was a lover of the "out doors" (hunting, camping, fishing) I am a lover of the "in-doors" (blogging, shopping, sewing)...this will make items 1-4 a little difficult for me, but I'm always up for a challenge!

Throughout this book June is trying to cross off items from Marissa's list...on Adam's list I include a love for family because of the following...

I didn't begin labor water didn't break, I begged my doctor to induce me at 39 weeks following several long weeks of contractions and one over night stay in the hospital. I'm a bit of a planner (and if you know my in real life this is no surprise) so my doctor scheduled my induction for 12-01-08. At the time my brother was a stay-at-home dad so he planned to make the drive from the Upstate of SC to Columbia on the day Ruth Ann was born because he felt it was important for him to be there...who would have known how quickly Ruth Ann was going to arrive once things got start, but shortly after she was born Adam was there with Ada to meet his niece. As they were moving me from labor & delivery to recovery he said to me I was starting the greatest adventure of my life... and with that, those would be some of the last words he ever say to me because this would be one of the last time I would see him before we meet again in Heaven.


Looking at this picture gives me hope that I can tell Adam one day that Ada has had deep love for her family...can you see the sweet grin on her face in this picture? I've seen live and in person how much Ada loves Ruth Ann and one day when I see my little brother again I'll be able to tell him that even though I was never able to teach her how to cast a fly rod appropriately (by the way, I'll pay someone good money to teach her lesson's 1-4), he can rest assure that Ada loved her cousin Ruth Ann as much as she could have loved any sibling and this last picture is proof positive.

The anniversary of the day we said a temporary goodbye to Adam was in March. I don't want to commemorate that day in any way, but I do want to thank friends and family for their thoughts and prayers during this last year. I use to believe that the first year after a death was the hardest, but with the death of a young family member I've come to believe that there will be life time of events where you will continue to mourn their passing. I ask that you continue to keep my parents, my sweet sister-in-law and my niece in your thoughts and prayers...with every passing birthday and holiday my family is constantly aware of one person's absence and are also thankful for the promise that we will all be together again one day.

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Janna said...

Oh! I can't imagine. It must be so hard to see his little girl grow up and know he isn't able to be there with her. It has got to be heart wrenching.

Hillary @ The Other Mama said...

I am so glad you are able to see the good things about this tragic situation. I'm sure that hasn't come easily, by any stretch, but knowing that your neice is loved and taken care of by so much family would surely make your brother proud. Thanks for your sharing your story.

hpcoker said...

Tara - What a wonderful and moving post. Of course I cried. Please let us know when you teach Ada these things, especially fishing, since I know Hollis and Adam did many of those things together. Ya'll are constantly in our thoughts and prayers.

The Hicklins said...

Thanks for sharing. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

Melissa @ The Littlest Lobo said...

What a heartfelt post. That is definitely true that you continue to mourn their passing with each event. My husband's younger brother died almost 7 years ago and we still miss & mourn him with each new life event.

So, did you like the book? I've been thinking about reading that one for quite awhile.

Rachel @ CrazyTown said...

It's always amazing to me the thoughts and emotions books can bring out. Thank you for the heart felt post.

LizzieV. said...

Thank you for sharing. I can see that the girls adore each other (and could be sisters, they look so much alike.) I know they'll be as close as you & your brother were, 'cause they have family that loves them so.

Auralee said...

Adam is smiling down from heaven thanking you for being such a great sister and Aunt.

mama said...

thank you sweetie

Sal said...

Sweet post. I think and pray for you and your family often. Ada is such a beautiful child. I know her daddy is proud of what a great aunt you are to her!