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Showing posts from 2017
be(for)e you
I didn't think my heart would ever find a home outside of itself
again.
be(for)e you
I didn't know if my roots would grow again

you just take the coffee and mix it with the cream and it
it swirls
it melts

we all just want to belong to somebody
and it, it is strange to be loved
to be desired and wanted

to be looked at like you look at me
to be held like you hold me

when your heart has been stitched back together
painful stitch after painful stitch
you embrace when it swells past those stitches

with love
with hope
with the tentative promise that the future holds

all of a sudden (all of a sudden)
all.of.a.sudden
there's the dawn.

(tired of tired)

who said this was easy again?
who promised you the world would fold itself in and you could tuck it into your palm?
who said you could harness the wind, the rains, the floods?
(WHOlied.toyou.)

living is not for the faint of heart.  life seems to be a never ending struggle of getting close to knocked out, only to pick yourself back up again.
life is admitting not everything is for you.
life is sometimes knowing when to bow out.
life is knowing you are meant for more but feeling stuck, feeling stagnant.

i've grown up always feeling different.  physically i was awkward, as a child and a teen, mostly limbs, skinny, curly blonde hair.  my friend from high school that i reconnected with said the thing he remembered most about me is that i would be hunched over physically and it reminded him of me being hunched in on myself emotionally as well.

there is a hilary duff movie called raise your voice (alayne you are getting a major shoutout right now) that alayne and i were obsessed with bac…
i feel mad, i feel abandoned.  why did you bring me into the desert to leave me now?  why sustain me only to crush me underfoot.  there are a million questions and the answers come slowly (if at all)
it's like lightning (everything illuminated) and then l i g h t s o u t

oh i (don't) see.  oh i (don't) understand.  oh i, i, i.
it's not about i
its about you.
i see the flowers, i know i am worth more.
i see the birds, i know i am held closer


the lord is my shepherd, i shall not want
he makes me lie down in green pastures
he leads me besides quiet waters
he restores my soul
he leads me down paths of righteousness for his names sake
even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death
i will fear no evil
for you are with me
your rod and your staff comfort me
you prepare a table before me
you annoying my head with oil
my cup runneth over
goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life

to my mom.

hi momma,

this morning when i woke up (too early as always) i just really really wished you were here holding me.  i wish i could hear your laugh and see your smile.  i wish i could see how we have the same mannerisms and hear how we have the same laugh.  i wish my memories of you weren't fought for through thick cobwebs.

mommy, sometimes i get so tired.  it's so hard doing this on my own.  sometimes i'm just tired of being tired.  every day is a fight, sometimes every minute is a fight, to not get overwhelmed, to keep going, to stay strong, to be brave.  sometimes i feel just as fragile as i did in the weeks after everything.

my faith gets so weak and it seems like it swings on a pendulum.  i wish we had assurance.  i wish i knew for sure.  i wish you could sit me down for a half hour and say "don't worry, it's all true and i have elly and i met jim and he makes me laugh."  i wish i didn't have to hear addy cry for her dad.

why do bad things happen?…

life goes on

whenever you encounter a profound tragedy, there are moments, when you seem to stand still while life goes on around you. and you look at these people, incredulous:
how do they move? (you think) for you are frozen how do they smile? for you are sure your lips will never curve again how does a laugh escape their throat so easily?  only guttural cries are heard from yours


it is a strange time, you are separate, held apart from society either in your own mind or in the minds of those around you.  since my story blew up so profoundly and was pretty present on social media, i remember feeling like a small celebrity, my friends would get asked "do you KNOW her?  how is she holding up??" i had strangers introduce themselves to me... 
and that's part of why i left ohio i think, just to breath, to be in a place where i felt like my tragedy didn't define me, it had nothing to do with the people in ohio and everything to do with me and how i was processing.  
and now, now is c…
this is kind of a different post, stay with me.

i feel compelled to share my story.  in the beginning it was to alleviate the pain, i was filled to the brim with hurt and there had to be overflow.  now it is the realization that this will always leave me different, the realization of how brief our time is on this earth, the realization that what we do with our time matters very much.

and so i write this to you my reader,

if you are sitting there, wondering, does what i do matter? would people miss me if i was gone? do i need to spend my days locked in a cage?

if you are sitting there thinking, i am too fat, i am too stupid, i am not educated enough, i have a disability, i can't succeed because my face, legs, stomach, brain, speech impediment, the color of my skin

if the doubt circles around your head like bats, swooping in as night falls

if the pain feels too much to bear alone

if you are stuck

to you i say, stay brave.  to you i say, lift your head.  to you i say, stand strong.  …
I wanna talk about my days as a youth to you
Exposing you to all my demons and the reasons I'm this way
I would like to paint a picture, but it'll take more than a day
It would take more than some years to get all over all my fears
Preventing me from letting you see all of me perfectly clear
The same wall that's stopping me from letting go and shedding tears
From the lack of having father, and the passing of my peers
While I'm too scared to expose myself
It turns out, you know me better than I know myself

(when j. cole hits it better than you could)



to bria at 22,

hey girl- whew i am glad you don't know what's coming your way.  girl, you'd be running.  i wish life held different cards for you.  you are a bit of a lot of a little in a way.  your going to have a meltdown because jim won't try your first christmas dish because he hates cauliflower and you made him cauliflower mashed potatoes.  you two have a lot of learning to do about each other.  actually, you prob…
"how will she open the presents we get her if she is in heaven?"
-when you encounter death at four





i sit here.  in sweats, hair pulled back, open bud light leftover from when jill visited me next to me.  memories have been coming more frequently.  today i had to take a break from work and pen a quick letter to jim because i missed him so much i couldn't concentrate.

life is so fluid, my life felt so concrete before.  i fought the most difficult battle of my life and the honest truth is, i'm still struggling in so many ways.  i don't know what i am doing, i know what i feel meant in my heart to do.  i don't have room to take much into account other than my immediate needs and the needs of my children.

i wish she had lived.  i wish i would have died instead.  i wish tough times guaranteed a smooth path. i wish i could hold her one more time.  i wish i would have gotten her that morning.  i wish her eyes could lock with mine again.  i wish she could open her p…

fool me once.

we all judge stereotypes
until we live them.

i am tired (you are too)
i used to have your best hours
now i have tired ones
your eyes are questioning

you scream most of the time
i am home
you ask for your babysitter
(don't you want me?)

am i still your mom?
do i still count if there is
always someone else feeding you
hugging you
kissing your wounds

now i seem to only cause them
i used to bandage
now i am worn to the bone
what is my role?
why does it feel like a
reunion when i finally get to see you

my heart is torn.
my dears (know that i tried)
know i did what was necessary
my dears, my dears
(i wish i was kissing your wounds)
my dears, my dears

i trust that the stars hold the secret
to our union, to our ever lasting union
and i know (because of elly of course)
i know that we are not limited by physical
space and time

your mom is always with you
when we sit on the couch in the morning
i focus on melding our energies together
(as much as possible)
i mentally focus on the atoms swirl…

to elly

the ocean still kisses the shore no matter how many times it is pushed away
(paraphrased from sarah kay, no matter the wreckage)


personally i've never understood those people that say they aren't "beach people."  i get it, i get that sand sticks to you and the wind gets in your hair and lifts it up and puts tangles in it, i get that there is a quiet discomfort in being surrounded on all sides with a force that is much greater than you.  i think that's why i'm so attracted to it.

the waves are unrelenting.  never ceasing, they sometimes seem to reach their goal, enveloping the sand.  at other times, they seem so far away, leaving yards and yards of beaches for creature use.  the waves endure storms and at other times are as smooth as glass.

sometimes, i'll be sitting and a wave comes.  it will be innocent enough, out with friends, waiting for a counseling appt.  and the wave comes and i'm lost, lost in my thoughts, lost in my grief, lost in the ocean…
there is this defining moment that is found in deep struggle.  i think there is a reason that so many successful people have had difficult backgrounds.  when you encounter great pain there is this mental decision that is made and one either succeeds farther than they ever imagined or one fails, and either direction one goes, it's usually in a big way.

when everything first happened, i remember feeling mad that i still had two kids to take care of.  like my life would have been easier if i didn't have any members of my family around and i could have just sold everything and become a hermit in the mountains for a while or something.

(also a disclaimer on feelings.  can we as a society, please stop being afraid of how we feel and acknowledge that they are not logical or good or bad, they are just there.  i have had very very dark feelings in this at times, but when i allow myself to feel them fully without judgment, they are more easily dissipated and seen for what feelings are,…
to lane,

hey bubba.  i don't know if you know how much i love you, it's a crazy lot.  we are funny- you and i, you have these moments of absolute independence and not giving a shit whether i'm around and then these moments where it's just obsession.  most of the time, it's just chill between us.  but when you go- boy, you give me hell.  today you were screaming because i couldn't figure out that you wanted to eat COLD BUTTERNUT SQUASH for breakfast.  seriously who does that, i don't even do that.  i warmed it up and you threw the bowl and said "NO! NO!" all the while screaming.

with you my fears are different, i don't worry about you so much.  you seem natural at life, in a way that most people in their forties still aren't.  when you were born it was as if you looked around and said "oh this again?"  you take everything in stride, thumb in your mouth, eyes open.  i remember when you were born, your little half whine - you didn&…

it still comes.

you know how when you get a really deep wound, they tell you to apply pressure so you don't bleed out.

sometimes that's how this feels.  like i've just stopped the pain but it's there, under my fingertips, pulsing, waiting for my grip to slip.  it's nights like these, where i've read my poetry and sipped my tea, where addy's breaths are beside me, where i've taken my xanax and one two three... still.awake.

i think about him, sometimes i think i hear my children crying.  i almost always think that if i stay awake.  my worst fears, confirmed, another child slipped through my fingers.  when elly died people told me "this is the worst you'll ever live through" and i felt this sense of foreboding when it was said.  everything in me wanted to knock on wood and throw my hands up like "i'm not the one testing fate over here!" and that's the reality isn't it? there is no threshold to suffering.  there is no quota to be filled…

you don't have power and i don't care about being private

they want us to change
they say look at this, look at that
fix it, fix yourself, fix you
youuu are (WRONG)

lift, tuck, primp, pout
you are a girl
(don't you get it?)
you can't play with us

the weaker sex
weak?
the weakness is letting them in your mind
the weakness if found in letting their opinions define you

it is your flaws that make you beautiful
beauty is not found in perfection
beauty is not a straight edge grid
laid out, end to end (NO END in sight)

you fight, but you don't fight them
you fight yourself?
"self, you don't do this correctly""self, stop doing that"
remember (remember)

no one can love you AS MUCH as
YOU have the potential to love yourself
to love you must know, to know you must accept
there is knowledge to be found (within yourself)

your words? they do not define me
the truth is found in my soul
your stares? they do not affect me
i walk by unperturbed

you, they, them
do not define me.
my worth is found within myself (in my light)

the following.

the following is from a journal entry a little over a month ago.  sometimes i look back over my own writing and the wisdom in it catches me by surprise.  that's not to blow my own horn, it's more to say, it is so easy to lose sight of knowledge we keep within ourselves.  remind yourself of who you are, bring yourself back to the roots.

you look to them to either prove security or to prove it cannot be- either way, that is not their role.  it's not about them.  security cannot be found.  it's about having something broken that shouldn't have been forged in the first place.  the crystal pieces of illusion crashing around you do not lend themselves to building you stronger.
(pull back, pull back, pull back)
for you do not know who you are (pull back)
(pull back) for you must find it before it can be given
do not allow others to give you their idea of yourself
you are frightened but you are ok.  you will not make the same mistake twice.  your lesson - so brutally learne…

to my mom.

hi mom,

it feels weird to write this, after almost 21 years of not having you here.  i don't know why i've never written.  it probably has to do with children just wanting to shut doors on trauma, and before jim and elly died, i wasn't really in the habit of writing letters to any dead people.  i hope some part of you gets this.

i miss you so much.  i've cried so much for you this weekend.  just thinking about a myriad of things really, who you were as a person, how jealous i am of people that knew you as an adult when we never got that time together, what you would tell me as a single mom, what it would feel like to have you here...  this was the first time in almost seven years that i've cried for you by myself.  it felt lonely, an ache increased by another ache.  i didn't even know that could happen.  i just had to lean against my wall and cry quietly less addy overhear me again.

mommy.  i miss you.  i wish you were here.  i hope you get to hold elly.  she…

the gap.

when you left (left me)
i had a gap
it was big (daunting)
like the grand canyon getting stuffed in
a sandwich bag

could i fill it?
of course,
i could and i tried
new.new.new

i tried (everything)
hair? clothes? shoes?
they all came pristine
in their boxes, unmarred by society

and every time they arrived
i seemed less dirty
less marred and scarred
here's your delivery ma'am

and i received them all as
third party as could be "oh is this for me?" i deserve (it) 's been a hard year
and then, the year passed. 2017- it entered, quietly.   slipping into my bed unannounced after hours like a lover
and more packages came and i i looked at them and said thank you for coming but i  i don't need you anymore
you see, there is no gap i am whole in my healing, i am whole and out the door they went
and i leaned into myself tapping into the energy that was always (always) available to be made  useful and complete
and i said thank you. thank you to the packages thank you to the…

vulnerability and being a writer.

i think most writers are probably introverts.  there is a certain level of self-awareness that must be present in order to articulate stories, especially if they are your own.  it is what makes writing so difficult for me at times.  i am, at my core, an introvert, yet i hit publish on some of the deepest, raw feelings.  in the beginning, it was a compulsion, i was in so much pain, pain that i could not have born alone.  so i shared, i hit publish.  now it has and continues to change, my pain is becoming more of mine to bear alone, my grief is becoming more and more inward.

once when we were dating, i wrote this essay, i guess you could call it, on jim and i.  just a random piece of my thoughts expressed in a certain fiction way.  i never showed it to him, i was too embarrassed, too afraid of what he would think.  i found it after he died and i was looking through my old posts, most of which are and continue to be drafts (thoughts for my head and not meant to be shared).  i showed it …