Things I've learned from those who have showed me love:
My Parents: My parents had to have known they had their hands full, when their nine-year old started writing local restaurants about the condition of their American flags. Through my life they have supported my athletics, my hobbies, and my obscure adventures. They have taught me that sometimes the way to show someone you love them is through support. I've been blessed to always have what I needed and usually what I wanted, but they had their boundaries and know(present tense!) how to say no.
My Sisters: Steph was my first best friend, bully, and protector. When I'm in trouble(regardless who with), she is typically the first one I call. We were raised like twins, fought like brothers, and closer than most. Even though Shelby and I don't look related, we have a connection through our passive aggresiveness. We think the same, and I see a lot of little me in her, but A TON of Stephanie. Shelby is the definition of what it means to be facinated and love the earth around us.
Grandparents: Every morning in grade school my great grand father would ask,"If you get sick at school, and your mom refuses to let you come home or she doesn't answer..what is my number?" A smile always escaped as I'd recite his phone number, give him a kiss on the cheek, and happily trot to class. I've been blessed to have been alive to meet 8 of my grandparents(3 of which are "greats"). They all lived in the same houses all of my life, with the same phone number, and typically the same daily schedule the past 21+years. All have taught me lots of lessons, both good and not so good, but all gave me the gift of security. As a child, I was blessed with love and wisdom from not only my parents, but generations of help! Each and everyone of them are a phone call away, and I feel even those who have gone on to heaven, are watching over me and only a prayer away.
Pop Ford & Grandma Pat: Supposedly, "Blood runs thicker than water," but you two prove that's not always true. It's amazing that I had the opportunity to call both of you my grandparents, even though we aren't blood relation. Pop Ford would've "technically" been considered my step-grandfather, but when I was over at his house he talked to me and was as concerned about me as he was the others. He always wanted to be updated on what was going on in my life and seem concerned about me driving and living in Evansville. He always gave me safety tips before I left:)
Grandma Pat seemed to always walk around with an aura of grace, class, and beauty. When she was around, she made me want to sit up taller, take care of myself, and never left her presence without smiling. She always made me feel like her granddaughter. Both of you are terribly missed!! Thank you for all that you gave me, even though you didn't have to.
Jordan: You amaze me EVERY single day. When we first started talking, I thought you were crazy. How could someone care so much about MY well being? Why did he care? I don't think I will ever be able to comprehend what seemed appealing about lost and broken little me, but I'm so blessed to call you mine! You are the most compassionate person I've ever met, and I know that you would do anything for anyone who is hurting, even if it's to your disadvantage. You proved that LOVE can grow out of care and compassion.
Friends: I'm blessed to have the largest diversity of friends on this planet, like different flavors of ice cream. You have all taught me that there are different ways to love through friendship, and I'm a student to all of the ways that you show it to me! Some of you are quiet but honest, outspoken and blunt, and sometimes you are all four and more! A gambit can be learned just from having a diverse group of friends:)
Jesus Christ: Where do I begin. I was blessed to have a family that took me to Gods house, and I gave my life to Christ as a little girl. As time passed I lost my way, and found myself broken and lost in my sins. He took me back in, regardless of how much I had betrayed him, and he made me new and clean again. Through thick and thin, I know that YOUR love is the only unconditional love. You're the only one who stretched out on a cross, from one scared hand to another, to show me and others how much you love me.