SBP sporadically gets a volunteer who I now like to think of as the SBP town crier. Carl P Lewis is his name and he comes from Boulder Colorado. He is an adult who has high functioning Asperger's Syndrome. He worked with me for the past 2 weeks doing any task I asked of him. His fixation with his disability is transportation...boy does he know his stuff. He told me that he has visited Boston before on a stop coming from Maine, with a layover in Atlanta that took him to Denver DIA airport on an American Airways flight. I had him doing tasks with me all week that had me working closely with him and I really got to know Carl pretty well. He loves holding hands and getting to know others, too. Carl reminded me how much I love people and how much I love getting to know the stories of people. I can't wait for him to come back and visit my sites because as he calls me, "Christy, my friend," will be waiting for his return!
Last week was "Nuns Build." This particular week was amazing for me. My house I work at was sent 22 Nuns from all over the country, most were Sisters of Charity. We were on the Drywall stage of construction so these nuns, ages 26-81 were lifting 12ft sheets of drywall upstairs, holding it high on ceilings, walls, and using drills to screw the pieces into walls. They were amazing. One of the nuns, Sister Theresa, was from Dorchester. She was a little spitfire, no taller than 5'2. She had the "Medfa" accent and worked in my BAAAA-thrum all week. She gave me the most sarcastic remarks to my teachings and anything I had to say. All of the sisters as a whole were literally unreal. Before this week with my volunteers, I was feeling very unconfident in my knowledge and skill set. After a week with these amazing women, I knew I was doing okay. I would explain an idea or a skill to them and I would get an standing ovation at the end of my demonstration, now that gave me some hope. On Friday, their last day, to start the morning they had Lauren, my co-worker, and I go in the front of the house. They took some drywall home with them the night before. They gave each of us a piece of it with the square of drywall outlined in beads from Bourbon Street (yes they can drink and go out, AND they DID). This piece of drywall had their picture on it with the saying "Nun as Fun as Nuns build 2013." As they were giving it to us they were singing an Latin Hymn and honestly I lost it in the front yard. Having had a great 2 weeks with carl and then these fantastic ladies hit me hard and made me realize how happy and thankful I am to be doing the work I am doing.
|The nuns+ Carl|
My family and our traditions...lately I have been talking to my friends here and other people about traditions. The traditions we started as young kids with our parents are something I am so happy we have and I can talk about. Not coming home for Thanksgiving this year made me really think about traditions we have. One of the best- the bread on the table. This is the first major holiday I am missing ever so I have put some thought into our traditions. I am lucky to be raised in a family surrounded by deep tradition. That stems from our solid upbringing, which makes me thankful for my parents. They have taught the 5 of us that true love exists and can last, that family always comes first, and that if you want something, work hard and you will get it. I am lucky to have the C parents allowing me to blaze my own trail. They always put their 5 children first and make sure we all know they care, even from 1,500 miles away. I am always thankful for Momma and Daddy-z Conceison.
My siblings...all 4 of my siblings are different in their own way. Bobby is the silent (sometimes) leader of us all. He leads by example and paves the way for us all to do good. (yes good, not well) MaryKathryn is our fun, spirited teacher. She teaches all of us about everything. She makes me laugh constantly and is the ideal older sister role model. Paul is the fearless Axel. He does his own thing and is very independent. He has goals that I admire and is a great older sibling for Bridget. Then there is Bridgie, the life of the party. She can light up a room with her smile, she is curious, and most of all she is caring. Bridget cares about people in a way that most 11 year olds cant even comprehend. She is our rock and always will be. I don't think she knows how important she is to so many people, especially me. I am thankful for my siblings everyday...especially when they send me a little extra love $$
Casey Joseph Walsh Conceison...the cutest, most lovable Godson on the planet. Almost daily I get a picture sent to me of Casey from Kara and everyday he gets more adorable. What Casey doesn't know that his little face sometimes is the best part of my day. The day he was born I felt a sense of responsibility for this little guy and I am more than happy to be his Godmother. Coming home in October was a priority to meet this little stud and be able to be at his Christening. I hope he knows i will be at his important events, just like his mother was right there front row at all of mine (minus one). I am really thankful for this little guy and to see him again at Christmas!
Rachel and Margaret...It is safe to say that without these 2, I would be pretty lost. The three of us talked last year as our NCCC term was coming to a close about moving to New Orleans together. The 2 of them made it a reality, and honestly, my case of FOMO was out of control. I found myself a job and now we are happily living together in a great place (maybe) where we laugh, cry, snuggle, eat (a lot), and do just about everything together. There aren't any2 other friends who have made an immediate impact on my life and there aren't any 2 people who understand the ups and downs of the life we are living quite like they do. I am so lucky to have them in my life. They bring me happiness, make bad days good, support my every move even when they know they shouldn't, a reeses fastbreak when we go grocery shopping, and some of the best memories of this city I have had so far. I am more than thankful to have 2 best friends in this city with me.
New friends...starting a job in August brought on a whole group of new friends. AmeriCorps is a beautiful program in that way. There were 6 of us that trained on a house that we built together from start to finish. I learned so much about these people and it is safe to say they are some of my best friends in this city. I have never laughed so hard as I did for the 6 weeks we were all together working as hard as we did on our house. These people in a short time have changed me for the better and I am really thankful for them this thanksgiving.
Second chances at things in life that are worth it...distance makes the heart grow fonder, right? I am more than thankful for the fact that two people can remain happy with one another after realizing what is really important in a relationship. I am happy to have such a solid rock, maybe too far away, but still there enough with a caring loving attitude. Hey, if Joe can put up with my crazy as much as he has, something is going well.
My life...it may seem weird to say, but I am so thankful for the life I am living. Turning 25 for me was a little shocking. I didn't really know what to make of it. I was reading an article online one day and it kind of hit me. At 25 I've done more than I thought I would have ever done, I am the happiest I have ever been, and I am at a place in my life where I know I am supposed to be. My age is just an age and I am happy I am where I am. I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for everything I am thankful for this year. I am volunteering for some of the most incredible home owners, I have traveled the country more than I ever thought I could, and I am living independently in an unbelievable city. I feel very lucky this year on a holiday I love. My turkey feather would be out of control!
This Thanksgiving is going to be different for me, but I am starting new traditions on my own. I will be with awesome friends eating great food. It wont be 10 Thomas, but it will be close as I am bringing cranberry sauce and squash, thanks to Dad. I wont forget to put the cranberry sauce out, at least one Conceison has to remember. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving wherever you are. Save me a seat at the kitchen table, in front of the onion dip, and a piece of chocolate cream pie for dessert! Ill be thinking of my family on Thursday hopefully winning the football game and enjoying Elf after dinner. Little tradition to uphold even though I'm not home :) Love you all! Gobble Gobble