Friends ‘Til The End..
Do You Have One Like This?

As you know I like to kick off the week with our Monday Morning Motivation. I wasn’t able to do it because I had just been released from the ER in Hickory, North Carolina.

Intrigued now, aren’t ya? Hang with me a minute.

I was taping Sweet Retreats in Asheville North Carolina this past weekend, a fact that those of you following along on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Instagram, already knew. I traveled on Thursday and made it, but not without a few, minor issues thanks to some crappy weather. I was fine when I landed but I think the stress got the better  of me and when I awoke the next morning, my neck was more than a little stiff.

I went to work, taping the first day, then rushed to the drug store for Icy Hot. It didn’t help and the following day, my neck, back and left arm felt terrible.

But wait, it gets better. I mean, worse.

On the final day of the shoot, I had arranged to meet up with my girlfriend, Crystal Thornton, who lives in North Carolina, so I jumped in the car and drove an hour and a half east to meet her.

By this time (Sunday) my arm and neck were in constant spasms. I tried to immobilize them as much as I could but to no avail. By the time I arrived at the restaurant, I was nearly incapacitated.

We ate, caught up a bit but by the end of the night I was in tears. Knowing I had to fly home the following day, I begged Crystal to take me to the emergency room.

What followed was a bit of a blur. Crystal and me trying to  find an ER, checking into said ER, having to wait in the overflow area, listening to two women play the ever-popular game of, “My-symptoms-are-worse-than-yours”, being called back to a room, then waiting another hour to be seen.

After I was discharged, well past midnight, heading back to Asheville was out of the question; rainy, dark, cold and medicated are a bad combination for a long drive; instead we swung by a 24-hour drugstore, got toothbrushes, swimsuit cover-ups that would double as nightgowns and most importantly, my prescription from the nice pharmacist who recognized me from TV (side note, how come no one ever does that when I look great?).

I snapped a few pictures of our adventure but what I really wanted to say is this:

Thank you my friend.

See Crystal and I haven’t seen one another in years. We were both local news anchors back in Dallas, many moons ago and when were together, it was as if no time has passed. She was there for me then just as she was years before. Even though I told her I could handle it and to go home to her family, Crystal refused to leave me. She massaged my knotted-up shoulder until her own arm was ready to fall off, yet she never complained. And after a four hour nap (it could hardly have been considered restful sleep), she drove me back to my car that we’d left in the restaurant parking lot.

We said good-bye in the parking lot and honestly, who knows when we’ll see each other again but this I know; in Crystal I have a friend’til the end.

Do you have a friend like that? What’s his/her name and what did they do for you? And the bigger question is ARE YOU a friend like that?



Here’s Crystal trying to cheer me up in the ER. Of course this was before I made her rub my shoulder for 15 straight minutes. Bless her as it was the most relief I’d had in days.

Read more: Friends ‘Til The End: 3 Things You Can Always Count On




What? You didn’t think I’d let a little think like a severe shoulder strain stop me from snapping photos, did you? Come on now..

Read more: Mediocre Mom Manual: Clubbing at 21 vs. Clubbing at 40… 4 BIG Differences..



Crystal looking for Band-Aids because by now, the sassy sandals that went perfectly with her outfit, were kicking her in her behind.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Things To Do With (And For) Your Teenager



Okay not The Bates Motel.. just seemed like it. I think it’s pretty obvious the pain medication was kicking in.

Read more: Single Mom Slice Of Life: What To Do.. In My Own Skin


Do you have a Crystal in your life? What has he or she done for you and did you return the favor?

More from GEM:

Our Story Begins: Of Tampons And Trust

Ask Rene: HELP! I Have A Bad Reputation!

5 Conversations You MUST Have With Your Kid… Including THIS ONE! (VIDEO)