Sunday, July 21, 2013

1st Annual JD Clyatt BBQ Cookoff & Kickball

I'm off my antibiotics now, but I still have the cough as a remnant of that horrible summer cold/ear infection that I had last week.

I didn't let that stop me from having an amazing weekend though! I started my weekend off Thursday night by seeing The Conjuring with a friend on premiere night. I've come to realize that if you are going to the movies on the night of a premiere, Orlando is the place to go! Since it's such a big city, there are so many places you can go see the movies that one theatre is never really crowded. The movie started at 10:40 and we walked in at 10:39 and had NO issues finding a good seat. Way different than a smaller city with less theatres. Let me just say that the movie scared the crap out of me. I love a good scary movie, and this was definitely it. Scariest movie I have seen in a long time. Scary enough that I went and saw it again with friends from work just 2 nights later. (yes, I am crazy!)

Work group

Before the movie on Saturday night, I spent the day at the 1st annual JD Clyatt Memorial BBQ Cookoff and kickball event.

Let me give you a little background on this. One of my best friends lost her fiance, JD, at the hands of a drunk driver last September. Former LHS Athlete Killed in Car Accident on I-4

It was a tragic, unexpected loss, and JD not only left behind his fiance, but also two beautiful young children as well as many other loved ones. His life was taken way too soon, all the result of one young woman who decided to make the horrible decision to drink and drive that night. I won't be a hypocrite. I have driven before when I shouldn't have, and I know most of us have as well. We usually have that mentality of "it won't happen to me, or my loved ones." Well, guess what? When it does happen to someone close to you, it changes your view on everything. My heart aches for my friend and her family, as well as JD's family. I have tried my hardest to be the best friend possible as she goes through this season of her life. I've made it my point to leave random surprises in her mailbox for her and her daughter :) I've also made it a point to attend all of the court dates for the DUI case against the driver that killed JD. As a matter of fact, we have court tomorrow.

I admire the strength that everyone one of JD's loved ones has shown since that dreadful night. They have really pulled together and lifted each other up. Every few months there has been a get together hosted at JD's parents house in honor of JD. This simple act has helped keep many friends and family close at a time when many drift away after the passing of a person that was a connecting link to everyone. Every few months there has been a kickball tournament or cook out in which family and friends are invited to and the turnout is always good.

This past weekend the 1st annual JD Clyatt BBQ Cookoff and Kickball event was held. It was in honor of JD's birthday which was July 9th. JD's favorite event was a local event called Pigfest, a big BBQ competition, so it was only fit to host a BBQ Cookoff in which all of his friends competed against each other. The turnout was amazing and everyone had a lot of fun. Each time I go to one of these events on the Clyatt property I sit back in awe at all the love that surrounds me. While it's hard because no matter what, I feel that sense of emptiness that I know everyone is feeling because JD is missing, at the same time I see all of these people from different walks of life come together as one in a unity for a man they all loved.

Chacha Slide in honor of JD

Friends since High School <3 *yaya sisterhood*

Friends that become family, my Mexican family! <3
We are still kids at heart :)

As you can see from the pictures, JD was loved by many. With a heavy heart, I look forward to the next event we do in honor of JD. The 1 year anniversary of his death is quickly approaching, I know something will be done in September. A ton of us are participating in our local Walk like MADD walk on Saturday October 5th. I'd really appreciate it if you would consider sponsoring me in this walk. It's for a great cause. Here is the link to my fundraising site: Heather walks like MADD for JD.


  1. I had an ex boyfriend who killed himself drunk driving, though luckily didn't involve anyone else, and I still see it as such a selfish and awful thing to do. That sucks that you're friend had to be involved with a stranger's stupid choices! That's great that those who loved him are doing so many great things in his memory!