July 16, 2003

In loving memory of Branden James Madaris (10/17/84-06/06/03)

My ex-boyfriend/best friend, Branden "BJ" Madaris pass away on June 6, 2003 in a fatal car accident. He touched the lives of many people. I was so happy to hear that after being out of school for a year (drop-out) he decided to go back and graduated this past year. He left behind many friends and family.

I just want everybody to know to never take things for granted. BJ and I didn't talk that much for the few months before his accident but I stopped by his house one day just in time to catch him coming home from school and gave him a big hug. I never thought that would've been the last time I saw him.

If I could take it back I would've told him how much he meant to me and how much of an impact he had on mine and many other's lives. BJ, I miss you and you will always be in my heart.
Sent in by Sabrina B.

July 16, 2003


In life we can be hit with rocks so big leaving us bruises and scars so deep that one can barely get up. With every hit one falls, but God always catches us. He pulls those rocks off us and helps us by walking with us hand in hand.

Life will be filled with tests and hardships. I call them storms; storms that can consume so much of our being, storms that leave us holding on with all our might, struggling to not let go, struggling to survive.

Some of us get tested harder than others. But the strong ones who live through these storms are the ones who come out blessed. The amazing feeling that comes with the victory of strength, perseverance, determination and most of all loyalty to our God.

With each fall... with each hit... a lesson is learned. With each lesson comes growth. With growth comes maturity. We learn not to regret the hardship, but to be thankful for it. Because of it we become better.

We must not look back at our past mistakes. We have to take those mistakes as part of our journey for a better future. We must embrace those experiences and allow them to mold us into the best we can be.

No one knows what life will bring. Each day will come with it's own challenges, but we must be strong. Believing that God will get us through.
Copyright 2003 Yanira Crespo

July 16, 2003

"Life is never the same, it will get better one day!"
Author Unknown
Submitted by Aneisha H., Age 15 --- Virginia

July 16, 2003

Jill Fiscus died January 2003 at the age of 17 from cancer and brain tumor. We Love you Jildo!

"I want to be a hero to someone. My goals are to overcome obstacles that stand in my way, try my hardest in everything I do, and achieve anything that I put my mind to."
Author Unknown
Submitted by J.P. --- Iowa

July 16, 2003

"Closing the door on a relationship you did not choose to end can be extremely painful as well as difficult. The heart does not want to let go, even if it should. The best way to let go of something you no longer have is to remember the good memories, and let go of the bad. Take the lessons you've learned, and apply them in the future."
Copyright 2003 Candace Crenshaw - Wood
I lost the love of my life due to fear grown out of proportion. In my youth and immaturity, I allowed my fear to be fed by others relationship difficulties. I have often regretted losing him and for years did not forgive myself. The only way I could break through the madness was to remember the good times; The Promise, The Christmas we shared, the card playing we did, the magical memories!!! Something no one can ever take away. When I think of the happy times, it brings a smile to my face. I can face another day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 16, 2003

"If God brings you to it.......he will bring you through it."
Author Unknown
Submitted by S. Vincent --- Tennessee
This was sent to me at a time I needed it the most. A time when the person I loved the most had betrayed me.

July 16, 2003


Be Good To Yourself.

Trust yourself.

You know what you want and need.

Put yourself first.
You can't be anything for anybody else unless you take care of yourself.

Let your feelings be known.
They are important.

Express your opinions.
It's good to hear yourself talk.

Value your thinking.
You do it well.

Take the time and space you need.
Even if other people are wanting something from you.

When you need something, don't talk yourself out of it.
Even if you can't have it, it's ok to need.

When you are scared, let someone know.
Isolating yourself when you're scared makes it worse.

When you feel like running away, let yourself feel the scare.
Think about what you fear will happen and decide what you need to do.

When you're angry, let yourself feel the anger.
Decide what you want to do; just feel it, express it, or take some action.

When you're sad, think about what would be comforting.
When you're hurt, tell the person who hurt you.
Keeping it inside makes it grow.

When you have work to do and you don't want to do it,
Decide what really needs to be done and what can wait.

When you want something from someone else, ask.
You'll be okay if they say no.
Asking is being true to yourself.

When you need help, ask.
Trust people to say no if they don't want to give.
When people turn you down,
It usually has to do with them, and not with you.
Ask someone else for what you need.

When you feel alone, know there are people who want to be with you.
Fantasize what it would be like to be with each of them.
Decide if you want to make that happen.

When you feel anxious, let yourself know that in your head.
You've moved into the future to something scary
And your body has gotten up the energy for it.

Come back to the present.

When you want to say something loving to someone, go ahead.
Expressing your feeling is not a commitment.

When someone yells at you, physically support yourself
By relaxing into your chair or putting your feet firmly on the floor.
Remember to breathe.
Think about the message they are trying to get across to you.

When you're harassing yourself, stop.
You do it when you need something.
Figure out what you need and get it.

When everything seems wrong,
You are overwhelmed and need some comforting.
Ask for it.
Afterwards, you can think about what you need to do.

When you want to talk to someone new and are scared, breathe.
Don't start rehearsing, just plunge in.
If it doesn't go well, you can stop.

If you're doing something you don't like to do,
(such as smoking or overeating), Stop.
Think about what you really want.

If you're stuck and can't think clearly, talk out loud to someone.

When you can't think straight,
Stop thinking. Feel.

When you're in need of love, reach out.
There are people who love you.

When you're confused, it's usually because you think you should
Do one thing and you want to do another.
Dialogue with yourself or present both sides to a friend.

When you feel harried, slow down.
Deliberately slow your breathing, your speech, and your movements.

When you have tears, cry.
When you feel like crying and it's not a safe place to cry,
Acknowledge your pain and promise yourself a good cry later.
Keep your promise.

When everything seems gray, look for color.

If one of these rules seems wrong for you, talk about it with someone.
Then, rewrite it so it fits you.

Remember, Be Good To Yourself!
Author Unknown

July 16, 2003

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity."
Gilda Radner

July 16, 2003

"We say that the hour of death cannot be forecast, but when we say this we imagine that hour as placed in an obscure and distant future. It never occurs to us that it has any connection with the day already begun or that death could arrive this same afternoon, this afternoon which is so certain and which has every hour filled in advance."
Marcel Proust

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