I’m Fixin’ to Get That

Written By: Kim - Sep• 24•11

It’s amazing how quickly we slip in to our accent and vernacular. I was watching the University of Alabama game against the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. I was multitasking in the kitchen making a pear cake and dinner, when I slipped in to my southern roots. When I said, “I’m fixin’ to get that,” my children did a double take. They had never heard me talk like that. When my husband met me 21 years ago, I had only lived in Maryland for six months. I still had a slight southern accent that most people picked up on quickly. For my friends who have never visited or lived in the south, we call it southern.

I was a military brat who grew up in Georgia and Alabama. My Dad kept getting reassigned to Ft. Rucker, Alabama, so I consider Alabama “where I come from.” I finished high school there in a small town and graduated from college. It was a fabulous experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But as a publishing professional for two decades, my speaking and writing has changed drastically since growing up in Alabama. Ain’t is no longer in my vocabulary. Nothing ends in “in'” it’s “ing.” My family doesn’t “git” anything.

I  haven’t visited Alabama since 1993. My Mom had a stroke and I flew home. My parents moved to South Carolina about two years later. I have not ventured back for any Enterprise High School class reunions. How could I so quickly launch in to speaking southern?

What made me slip in to my vernacular? A Crimson Tide football game and Facebook posts with former classmates who completely understand what football means. In the south, football is king. There are no other sports. Sure, we have other sports, but none are really as important. In the late summer and early fall, it’s all about football and marching bands, whether it’s high school or college. We eat, sleep and breathe it and our party lines are drawn: You’re either rooting for our team or you’re not. You’re either wearing our team colors or you’re an outlaw — at least during the game.

I was rather late to the Facebook game. I was active with Twitter and LinkedIn. I didn’t need Facebook. But since I joined this summer, I have reconnected with high school friends. It’s almost like we all haven’t been separated for over two decades. We all have kids; some of which are engaged or getting married. Some of us have lost a parent. We’re all working or own businesses and trying to enjoy our lives. I sincerely hope that we are living some part of our dream, if not all of it.

We all seem to be enjoying ourselves.

And, we all love our football.

Go Wildcats!

Roll Tide Roll!

Mom: The Best Cheerleader Ever

Written By: Kim - May• 07•11

This weekend is Mother’s Day. It’s the ninth one that I have celebrated motherless. My first Mother’s Day without my Mom, I was a wreck. I was in a Hallmark story buying cards for both my mother-in-laws when the sales person asked if I was picking out a card for my Mom. I replied curtly, “My Mother is dead.”  I am not sure who was shocked more because saying it out loud was still kind of foreign to me. I could not hold it together long enough to get out of the mall without bursting in to tears. Nine years later, Mother’s Day still leaves me with void that only a Mom can fill.

The Wickline family 1968.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a home with two loving parents. I was the last of five and it was my Mom’s second marriage. She and my Dad were married five years before I came along. In between that time, she miscarried a baby boy. I was planned for and wanted. I always felt loved.

Dad was in the US Army and sometimes he was deployed elsewhere in the world. My one, true constant was my Mother. She was there through everything good or bad; glorious or tragic. Alone, she kept our family together while my Dad was deployed twice to Vietnam, once to Thailand and once to Korea.

Although I put my father on a pedestal like many daughters do, it was my Mother who was my rock. It was my Mother who provided me with the foundation for my faith. The one who practiced, as well as she could, what she preached. The one who cherished all of her children because she knew they were a gift from God. The one who always had a smile on her face for me and open arms when I needed a hug.

Don’t get me wrong: my relationship with my Mom was far from perfect. At times, she drove me nuts and we would argue. Constantly reminding me to buckle my seat belt when I was a teenager (smart move). Waiting up until I came home. Draping me in everything pastel or ruffles. There were discussions during wedding dress shopping (she caved), about my children’s names (we kept them) and that noise she used to make when cheering at high school football games. It’s a good thing my Mom was so well read because she knew that tribal women in other countries made this noise, but it was still embarrassing. Thank God I was huddled up with the band during high school football games. My Dad should get a medal for having to endure those embarrassing moments.

As a woman who had a high school education, Mom was extremely proud of me when I earned my college and graduate degrees. But she was also just as proud when I gave birth to two beautiful children. She always told me I could be anything I wanted. She believed in me so I could believe in myself. She instilled this message in me so I could pass it along to my kids.

Me and Mom; Mother's Day 1987.

Please hug your Mom one more time and tell her you love her for me and the children like me who no longer can say it to their Moms.