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Home Is Where The Heart Is

That old adage, cheesy as it is, has been bouncing back and forth, ricocheting off the insides of my head all day (which is probably a bad thing because it means I don’t have any brains to get in its way….oh well). 

I flew into Dallas this morning (all six of you loyal followers must have an idea how much I loved THAT) and went straight to Medical City of Dallas. I hate that hospital so much. I hate knowing my family has such an extensive history there. Every time I have to come home and go back to the dreaded sixth floor it’s like I can feel myself decaying. I think it’s all in the smell. Obviously different scents bring with them different memories, but somehow the smell of that hospital has too many memories associated with it. It makes me exhausted just walking down the halls, thinking about all the times I’ve walked down them and how many times I’ll have to walk down them again.

Olivia is so medicated on Methadone, she’s unable to do much except react to things…slightly. I’ll get the occasional eyebrow raise from her, maybe a wink. Our relationship is such a goofy one, because I’ve always been able to connect with her best on a level of humor. I think she may have taught me every funny thing I know. At one point she got to be the most animated I had seen her all day when she was talking, all excited, about the new Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios, explaining to me (on Methadone, remember) all about the new Ollivander’s Wand Shop they were opening there. She repeats herself a lot when she’s so doped up, and gets really frustrated when she can’t get her point across to people. I try to sidestep those situations altogether by switching the subject, making a Gilly face at her or saying, “Don’t make me sing…”

Olivia’s best friend Morgan came with her mom today to sit with Liv for a while. They walked in and practically brought Christmas with them; Morgan’s soccer team, full of 11 and 12 year old girls who had never even met Olivia, had assembled several gift baskets full of presents, pictures, pillows, jewelry, a brand new iTouch(?!). And she sat there, high as a kite, smiling at her best friend and her gestures of kindness. The thing that really got me, though, was a big beautiful quilt that each girl had taken the time to make a square for, with different messages of encouragement for Olivia. It was so incredibly beautiful and one of the sweetest things I had ever seen. That’s the first time I lost it today.

When I think of how many people Olivia has touched, often without even meeting them personally, I can’t stop myself from being moved to tears. The responses she has received, words of encouragement, financial donations, from so many people have been, to me, the truest testament to what an incredible girl she really is. People are compelled to show her love because it’s the way she has spent her incredible life—spreading love around, inspiring others, reminding me how many reasons there are each day to smile. How much love there is in the world and in other people (whether it’s hiding or not), and the love these strangers give back so freely, keeps me going every day. I hope you can call your mom and dad and your sisters and your brothers and remind them how much you love them, because it’s such a waste to not be vocal about it. I need to stop writing these things because I get really sappy when I’m exhausted, BUT….

I love YOU!


  1. koreyalexandra said: thank you for sharing this. you’re a wonderful person and i am praying for you and your family.
  2. tylermacjones posted this