The Blooms We Leave Behind

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As we are blooming bright, beautiful, young and strong, remember that young and strong will fade, and the real beauty is you and it comes from the inside out through the petals we show the world.
When we leave this world, we must leave behind memories of our strength and our beauty for our children.
Today as you water your blooms and trim your branches, remember, what you do today is what your children will remember tomorrow.
When you are gone, they will have nothing but memories so make each memory a beautiful one and as to the ones that are filled with pain, because we all have those too, try to heal them before you go.
Love does not conquer all but it is a wonderful balm to put on wounds.
Nothing, nothing is stronger than a mother’s love however screwed up and twisted she may be at times…she loves you with every inch of her being.
Your mother’s love for you is the beauty, even the faded, dried-out twisted blooms have beauty beyond compare and the dried-out blooms have value if only to remind you of her beauty when she was in full bloom…
As you bloom today, prepare for what you leave behind. tomorrow. What have you planted in your garden?
What needs to stay and what needs to go?
Don’t hold on to what has already died.
Nurture the living blooms while you have time, because to each flower, there is a season and to everything but love, there is an end.

Jeanne Marie, 2015

Cases of Marshmallows

 

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I think we all wonder what we could have done differently, at least once in a while.
Well, I did some intense wondering the other day.
If I had it to do over again, I would pack up my three babies and a trailer full of supplies and I would drive up into the mountains.
I would build us a home in the woods, a big log cabin.
I would add a huge screen room for us to play in when the weather was rainy or snowy.
When the weather was good, we would tramp through the woods and learn about plants and flowers and butterflies and birds.
I would teach my kids to respect nature.
We would grow our own vegetables and then we would can and preserve them.
We would make jellies and jams from the berries that grew wild and apple pies from the apples growing on our own trees.
I would be their teacher, not the radio or the television, not the gang on the corner. I would teach them about music and we would play vinyl records on our record player, which would be powered by our solar generator. No Satanic music in their ears, no lyrics demanding that they “kill the effing pigs” or screaming “I want your sex.”
I would teach them how to read and how to write.
I would teach them everything they needed to know to go out into the world, but the world would not have polluted them.
They would not have watched me fight to hold on to myself. There would not have been angry, controlling, critical men in our lives.
They would have never seen commercials that used sex to sell everything from shampoo to cars.
They would never have eaten at McDonald’s, getting hooked on disgusting hamburgers made with pink slime. They would have home-baked bread that they helped me cook and they would learn to cook and bake.
They would have squirrels, butterflies, rabbits and the birds in the trees as pets.
Our little home would be surrounded by trees, grass, flowers and vegetables.
My supplies would include books for all ages, finger paints and crayons, scissors and tape and glue, glitter and paper. I would encourage their artistic spirit because we are all born with a creative spirit but it is fragile and so many things can crush it. They would be encouraged, not held down by a limited, biased school agenda.
In the fall, we would twist branches into wreaths and decorate them with pine cones.
We would decorate our Christmas tree with homemade sugar cookies, popcorn and nuts and the flowers we dried in the summer.
We would sit under the stars and roast marshmallows. Oh yes, I would bring cases of marshmallows.
They would have a chance to grow up without negative influences and they would not spend hours watching other people live on the television set.
Angels would surround us as I tucked them into bed each night.
I think we all wonder what we could have done differently, at least once in a while.

Unconquered Guilt by Jodie Lynne (1994)

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UNCONQUERED GUILT
She wearily stumbles on past
Blinded as survival fogs her path.
Her broken soul aching to reach
Beyond this endless haze,
Desperate to free
What she can no longer see.
Burning with pain
Her aimless arms reaching,
Pulling together strength enough
For one last try.
Fear takes over, for at last
She has felt beyond her gaze,
Fallen into a piece of past.
Even as a small hand clings to her own
Ever so quickly fear becomes shame
As the soft little hand slips from her hold,
Letting smoke turn to roaring flame, and
Still, the shadowed room remains so cold.
As her worn body falls
With unexpected relief
She gives in to the memory
Lies down with the unconquered grief.
One last tear streaks her face
As a terrible blackness drags
Her broken soul to another time,
Another place. A woman-child,
An abusive man, three years dead
Who lives on in nightmares,
That dance through their heads
A little boy, his crying face,
Another time, another place.
Jodie Lynne, 1994

Codependency

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Codependency

Loved you until I was drained, empty
nothing left of the love as I recall,
refuse to lose my mind, so it is over
bruised brain won’t survive another fall.

Driven quite mad, aching for your touch
spirit crushed by your negative weight
splintering my weakened, damaged bones.
Set free? Set free? Shit, it is too late.

Too late to be an innocent little girl
too late to chase the passions of 17
too late to write that frigging book
but all my floors are sparkling clean.

My womb has left, cut from my body
so, too late to be a better mother
loved ones from my hands I dropped
always ran, hid beneath the covers.

Some other day, some other love
some other life, any but my own
thought I had time to find happy
old came first, please leave me alone.

Hopes shattered and then returned
laid to bleed in my hollow heart
the doors I had no will to open
never found the strength to depart.

Windows I painted closed, proud…
I held my ground…I took a stand
never seeing what would be forfeited
manipulations, I did not understand.

Never added up the sinister expense
of investing in a love already lost
relying on vows of a better tomorrow
never analyzed the enormous cost.

Driven by deceits, the knife sliced deep
guided by the sharp edges of yesterday
writing a check for the lies I believed
emptied the piggy bank, how will I pay?

The proof is in the pictures…

FB_IMG_1489336904450My pictures are a memory I can hold in my hand. My kids always said, “No more pictures Mom,” but I snapped away. As they have grown older, they too snap up every moment with their cell phones. I like to think that I taught them to capture moments. Today is slipping by fast, the hour glass never rests. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow…just a hope, but my pictures are forever and they will exist long after I’m gone. Every picture in this collection has a story. Collecting them for this post has inspired me to make each of my kids a scrapbook instead of leaving behind hundreds of discs. I thought the only thing that I would leave them was my writing. These pictures reminded me that my life has been full of joy and laughter, tears and traumas, but most of all love. That is what I shall leave them. Love. The proof is in the pictures.
Here is an article my son Rick, wrote for me about pictures. I love this.
https://womenwhothinktoomuch.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/jeanne-marie-tagged-a-photo-of-you-today-600-am-by-last-ditch-effort/
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My Pictures0019

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Post inspired by Michelle Marie.

When The Kids Grow Up

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I began writing at fourteen but when I started my family at nineteen, I think that the sterilizer vaporized my creativity. I figured that it had boiled away with the germs on the baby’s bottles. Occasionally, I’d have a poetic burst, but by the time I was twenty-six, I had three children screaming for my attention and my writing ceased.

I told everyone that I was a writer, but my kids kept me too busy to write. “When the kids grow up,” I’d say. When the kids finally went off to school, “prove it” anxiety set in. I thought about having another baby, but that seemed rather desperate. I had to face facts. It was time to write. I began slowly, but regained my confidence as the words poured from me. Poems began to accumulate and I’d read them to friends and family.

In 1988 I bought an electric typewriter and started to organize my work. I also took my first college class. I enrolled full time, but the schedule overwhelmed me. After one week, I’d dropped all the classes except for one, Country Song Writing.

Many of the students were my age, which was encouraging. I continued to write, even bought a computer, but I often let kids, grand-babies and housework come before my writing. Then in 1994, a drunk driver killed my son-in-law, Donnie. He kissed his wife and his tiny son good-bye that morning and less than ten minutes later, he was dead. His sudden death caused me to reevaluate my life and to focus on what mattered most. I found out that it wasn’t clean sheets or dustless floors, not even baking delicious desserts or cooking big meals. Again, I enrolled full-time in college. This time I stuck to the plan. My husband was supportive and he took over some of the household chores. Some, I just ignored.

I decided to treat college like the ocean. The only way to go in the icy cold waves is to close your eyes and to run into the surf as fast as you can. Once you make it past the undertow, the waves are breaking in front of you, not sneaking up from behind and the water feels warmer as your body temperature adjusts. The gentle swell rocks you as you swim and the blue-green horizon stretches out as far as you can see.

I enjoyed learning in spite of the tremendous workload. I usually stayed up past midnight doing homework for Comp. I, memorizing outdated laws for Criminal Justice, (don’t even ask me how I landed there) or cramming my head with strange definitions for Biological Psychology and then I’d get up at 5:00 a.m. to study for a test or to finish an essay.

I got past the undertow and I finished the semester on the Dean’s list. (My mom wanted a bumper sticker.) When younger classmates asked me how I was able to do so well, I’d smile and say, “Underneath this bleached blonde hair is a smart brunette.”

The changes in my priorities did upset my fifteen-year-old son (my youngest child) especially since I’d stopped cleaning his room and I’d begun to consider heating a frozen pizza cooking supper. One night, he told me that I was too old to go to college. I laughed at him. He asked why I couldn’t wait to go to college, at least until he was grown-up.

I said, “I’ve already wasted twenty years cleaning closets and vacuuming under the furniture. By the way, you need to do a load of laundry if you want clean jeans for school tomorrow.” As he shook his head and walked away, I smiled.

After five years of working as a sports journalist/photographer, I decided to leave that job and I reevaluated my writing goals.

I’m not afraid because I know I’ll find another niche where my words fit and I know that the answer for me is to just sit down and let the creativity I’ve been blessed with guide me. It also helps to know that the only way I can lose my status as a writer is if I stop writing.

P.S. My kids did grow up, faster than I ever dreamed possible and I now have fifteen grand-kids, ages 28 to 3. I have also been blessed with five great grand-babies. The grand-kids are growing up even faster than the kids.

The picture above is grand-baby #13, Jonas,  playing with me at the beach.

Excerpt From Women Who Think Too Much, The Newsletter

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I Will Be Busy Today

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Today I will get up out of bed and
I will tuck my pain inside a pretty box.
I will close the cover and I will leave my pain there.
Today I will thank God that I can move and that I can walk.
Today I will exercise my body and I will feed my soul.
Today I will enjoy the flowers in my delightful garden.
Today I will give thanks for all that I have gained and
I will send into the clouds the pain for all that I have lost.
Today I will give a piece of my time to someone else.
Today I will not say any negative
words to myself or to anyone else.
Today I will not acknowledge or take into my heart any
negative words that are spoken to me.
Today I will feel the earth beneath my feet, I will let the sun
warm my soul and I will connect with the spirit of life.
Today I will open my mind, my heart
and my soul to all that I can create.
Today I will ask God to touch and surround
both my loved ones, and my enemies,
with angels as they walk their own path.
Today; if I dare forget to be grateful,
I will take out the memories of each
of my children’s and my grandchildren’s hugs and
I will let the memory of their precious faces surround me.
I will be busy today.

Jeanne Marie