An Open Letter To My Father In Heaven As The Holidays Approach

An Open Letter To My Father In Heaven As The Holidays Approach

Hey Dad,

We're going on our second holiday season without you. For some reason, it really feels like the first, maybe because last year was such a blur, and we were able to go away for Christmas. It was nice to be able to escape for a bit. The last holiday season we spent with you was in the hospital two years ago right before you left us. I often feel angry that the last holidays we spent together weren't at home, but you were there with us, and that's what really matters, right?

Do you remember when you were in the hospital and I was so determined that you would be home for Christmas that I went out and got a tree and did all the decorations myself? It ended up falling down Christmas Day, but I made mom keep it because I wanted you to see it so badly.

I'm not sure I can do that this year Dad, no one knows how to pick out the perfectly "just too big" (according to mom) tree like you do. Besides, without you I couldn't even make it stay up anyway.

When you were in the hospital I made it a point to ask you where the outlets were outside, so I could hang up the lights. I never got myself to do it though Dad, Im sorry.

Because of you, I have always cherished and loved the holidays. You made our home feel as if it were magical every single time you walked in that door to hear those slow Christmas lullabies and feel the reflection of the huge colorful lightbulbs strung around your tree. At Thanksgiving you would be on the couch watching football, with cheers and screams so loud I could feel the vibrations in my room. And let's not forget the occasional kart wheel every now and then when your team scored. You would carve the turkey, but make sure to take a bite every couple of pieces and tease Jack with it as he sat at your feet begging mercilessly. You would get the important seat at the head of the table, even though you really had just sat around all day watching football, while Mom was the one "slaving away in the kitchen." But you were important Dad, you were the center of it all.

I'm not entirely sure what one does when that central piece is removed from the puzzle. Do you move on and act like nothing ever happened? Do you avoid those moments in time where that person was once a vital part of, and not partake in it? Or do you try to honor them by continuing what they loved?

I'm sure most people reading that started to nod their head at the third option. "Yeah, that sounds good. Honoring a loved one is good. Thats a good thing to do."

You couldn't be more right that that is a good thing to do. But until you have lost a puzzle piece as vital as this, you won't understand how that option is sometimes the most difficult of them all.

I don't want anyone getting a Christmas tree to put in our house. That's where yours is supposed to be, and it wouldn't be nearly the same.

I don't want anyone putting up the Christmas Village that you cursed at for days as you put it up each year. That was our special thing together. Besides, no one knows how to string the wires of the little street posts properly so that you can't see them from under the snow blanket.

I don't want to hear football playing on Thanksgiving Day, because their cheers just won't be the same. I want to hear your cheers Dad.

I don't want anyone touching the chair at the head of the table Dad, I want you to be sitting there, chewing with your mouth completely full and obnoxiously loud as you always did.

What people reading this letter probably don't realize, is that I absolutely love the holidays. And that is a hard concept to express to others. Loving the holidays, but feeling sad about them at the same time. I am excited to put up a little tree in my apartment, and host our secret santa party. Because that is separate from you. If I really let myself think about it, I do get sad. But that sadness doesn't compare to the pit in my stomach when I think of looking at a tree in our living room at home, and not seeing you sitting next to it. It is such a complex feeling to dread something and look forward to it at the same time. But I am not entirely sure that will ever go away.

I just want you here Dad. The thought of doing Christmas at home this year without you is incredibly scary. I want you here to slow dance with me on Christmas Eve, I want you here so I can buy you that globe that I still have saved on my Amazon Wishlist; I want you here so we can sit in silence together on the couch as we listen to Christmas Carols and admire the tree.

I hope that you've brought that holiday magic to heaven with you. I hope that you have access to so many Christmas lights and decorations that you don't even know what to do with it all. I hope you have endless Christmas cookies (particularly ginger snaps), stuffing and turkey. I hope you are sitting with Grandpa who recently joined you, your mother, Jack and mom's parents; and you're all around a campfire singing songs as Grandpa plays the guitar, all laughing uncontrollably loud that we could almost feel it here.

I don't typically ask for this type of thing, but I hope that maybe you could just keep an eye out this season. Give me some hope that I can do this, and that you are still here with me. Give me a little help in not tearing up in the department store dressing room when they start playing your favorite Christmas songs. And, maybe if I do end up getting a tree you could ask the big man if he wouldn't mind making it stay up this year?

Mom keeps asking me what I want for Christmas, and besides the answer of a puppy, I really have had no response for her. The only thing in the world that I want Dad, is you. I want that today, I wanted it yesterday, and I will want it every day of this beautiful life you blessed me with.

Happy Thanksgiving, and Merry Christmas Daddy.

Love from every inch of my heart and soul,

Your Little Girl

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5 Unexplained Mysteries That Will Intrigue Anyone

Sit down with a bucket of popcorn, a soda, and become engrossed in these unexplained mysteries.

Recently, I have become obsessed with mysteries. I started watching BuzzFeed's new series, "BuzzFeed Unsolved", and it kept my eyes glued to the screen until I finished every single episode. Since then, I have been surfing the internet for more creepy mysteries to read, and have discovered some pretty mysterious ones. If you're one to get engrossed in a good mystery story, this article is for you! Here are five of my personal favorite ones.

1. The Sodder Children Disappearance

On the night of Christmas Eve of 1945 in Fayetteville, West Virginia, the Sodder family's house caught fire. George and Jennie Sodder had nine children, five of whom never made it out of the fire. It was claimed that the fire was due to an electrical failure, but as the house was burning down, the lights were still on, and the phone was working. George Sodder tried to start his truck, but it wouldn't start. He also ran to his water barrel, but the water was frozen solid. It took the fire department seven hours to get to the scene, and the fire was burned out by the time they arrived. The fire department claimed five of the children perished in the fire, but no remains have been found. The Sodders believed the fire was set in order to kidnap the children, and many people have claimed to see the children in other states since then.

2. The Green Children of Woolpit

Sometime during the 12th century, two children appeared in the village of Woolpit. What was unusual about them was that their skin was tinted green. They spoke in an unknown language, and would only eat certain foods such as beans, refusing all other foods. As time went on, they ate other foods, and their skin faded to a normal color. The boy eventually became sick and passed. The girl lived to explain that she and her brother have arrived from a place called St. Martin's Land, which consisted of all green people, and lacked sunlight. She claimed that the pair heard a loud bell while herding their father's cattle. Soon, they found themselves by a pit, where they were then found. It is unknown if this story is real. Many people believe it is a warped version of a fairy tale.

3. The Boy In the Box

On February 25th, 1957, a young boy was found dead in a box. He had patches of hair missing and was covered in bruises. It was thought that he was in the box for up to three weeks. It was determined that he was malnourished, and he was killed from several blows to his skull. His hands and feet were wrinkled, which meant he was submerged in water before his death. No one in the area reported a missing child. His photo was posted throughout the area, but no one ever recognized him. He was even looked up in hospital records, but was never identified, and still doesn't have an identity to this day.

4. The Dancing Plague of 1518

In 1518, the town of Strasbourg, France experienced something extremely unusual. It all started when a woman by the name of Frau Troffea began dancing uncontrollably in the streets. She danced nonstop for four to six days. A week passed, and 34 more people joined in. After a month passed, there were around 400 people uncontrollably dancing. Many suddenly died from exhaustion, starvation, and strokes. Doctors were called to try to diagnose this strange occurrence. It was then concluded that the only way to cease this epidemic was to keep encouraging the dancing. It was believed the town would recover if they continued dancing nonstop. Many theories have arisen, from food poisoning to a mass hysteria. There were a few other cases of this occurrence in the Middle Ages, but none of them have been solved to this day.

5. The Death of Elisa Lam

A more recent mystery, the body of a college student by the name of Elisa Lam was found submerged in a water tank on the roof of the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles on February 19th, 2013. She was reported missing in early February. The last time she was seen was on a security camera inside an elevator. Many have reported her strange actions inside the elevator. She was seen talking to an invisible presence. Many believe she was communicating with a ghost. Others thought it was the actions due to her being bipolar. She then went missing. Five days later, after a search, her body was found inside a water tank. She was naked and her clothes were found floating around the body. Mysteriously, there was no sign of injuries or trauma. Her death was deemed an accident. To this day, it is till a mystery on how her body ended up in a water tank, with the lid being extremely heavy for a human to lift themselves.

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The Top Female Directors In The Business

Here are my top five female directors in Hollywood.

Women are on the up and up in Hollywood, and we are finally breaking new ground. While female directors in Hollywood are hard to find, they are there, and they ROCK. So I picked out five of my favorite female directors in Hollywood.

1. Dee Rees

Dee Rees is a female director recently cast into the spotlight for her part in the new Netflix adaptation of the novel "Mudbound." The film has gotten a lot of recognition since it premiered on Netflix in late November. "Mudbound" is based on a novel by the same name, about families living in rural Mississippi in the aftermath of World War II. Another one of her successful movies is her short film turned full-length movie, "Pariah." Rees earned a lot of praise for this film about a teenager struggling to balance her conflicting identities and her sexuality. "Pariah" premiered in 2007 as a short film and was turned into a full-length movie in 2011, earning it numerous nominations and wins at film festivals around the nation. Publications such as the New York Times have praised her, saying she has, “an attentiveness to quiet moments and unstated emotions that animates her films.”

2. Katheryn Bigelow

Katheryn Bigelow is one of the most talked about female directors in the business because she is the only woman to ever win an Academy Award for Best Director. She has directed several popular films, including "Zero Dark Thirty" and her Academy Award winner, "The Hurt Locker." "The Hurt Locker," by far her most well-received film, tells the story of a man assigned to an army bomb squad during the Iraq War. Time Magazine called it, “a near perfect movie.” The New York Times also said that, “Katheryn Bigelow turns the discipline of action filmmaking into a kind of visceral visual poetry.” Her other blockbuster, "Zero Dark Thirty" was similarly praised by critics and audiences alike. "Zero Dark Thirty" is the story of a decade-long hunt for terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks. Her most recent film, "Detroit" released in August of last year and is another fact-based film about the 1967 Detroit riots.

3. Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay is a very prominent female director in Hollywood, and has made history along the way. DuVernay became the first African-American woman to win Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012 for her second feature film, "Middle of Nowhere." She was also the first African-American female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe for her work in "Selma." Also with her film "Selma", she was the first black women to have her film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Her next film, "A Wrinkle In Time", premiering this year, has a budget of over $100 million, making her the first black woman to direct a live-action film of that size. "Middle of Nowhere", her first critically acclaimed film, was about a woman dropping out of medical school to help her husband who has just been sentenced to eight years in prison. In 2016, her documentary "13th" began the New York Film Festival. "13th" was named after the Thirteenth Amendment, and focuses on race in the US criminal justice system.

4. Mary Harron

Mary Harron is known for directing such films as "I Shot Andy Warhol", "The Moth Diaries", and one of my favorite films, "American Psycho." Her first film, "I Shot Andy Warhol", is a partially imagined story of the assassination attempt on Andy Warhol by Valerie Solanas. It was nominated for several popular festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival. Her arguably biggest film was "American Psycho" released in 2000 and starring Christian Bale. Before the movie even premiered, it was surrounded by controversy. Throughout filming the crew went through problems of protests against the film. The Feminist Majority Foundation condemned the film as misogynist, and the Canadians Concerned About Violence in Entertainment tried to convince restaurant owners to not let Harron shoot in their establishment. Despite all of the controversy, the film gained a major cult following in the years after its release. Most people praised Harron for the film and it’s satirical dark humor.

5. Lynne Ramsay

Lynne Ramsay is one of my favorite female directors, known for dark films like "Morvern Caller", "Ratcatcher" and (my favorite of hers) "We Need To Talk About Kevin." Her 1999 film, "Ratcatcher" followed the story of a young poor boy in 1973 Glasgow, and won several awards in the UK and the US. Three years later she released her next film, "Morvern Caller" which told the tale of a grieving woman running away with her best friend after the death of her husband. Her most critically acclaimed film was "We Need To Talk About Kevin" starring Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller, a film about a mother struggling to love her incredibly peculiar and terrifying son. Time Out gave the film 5 stars, other critics referred to it as “stunning” and “earth-shattering.” Ramsay received much praise for this terrifying thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

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