Posted in Gracie's Glimmer, Poetry From A Woman Who Thinks Too Much

Deadly Friend

A young girl picks up a drink
Her fear and pain melts away,
She found a magic cure
She found a best friend today.
She takes that friend with her
Where ever she has to be,
The friend gets her through,
But she’s no longer free.
Hiding her new friend from the rest
It’s true, somehow she always knows,
That this friend is dangerous
But caution, to the wind it goes.
Years slip by, and some begin to see
That she prefers this friend,
People criticize her drinking
And other friendships end.
The bottle becomes her center
It directs her every move,
But what once brought her relief
No longer seems to soothe.
The friend who helped her through
Now cripples, and blinds her sight,
Alone she drinks and she cries
Dreading tomorrow, hating tonight.
She gave up all her friends
To keep the brown liquid close,
Now she has lost them all
Betrayed by what she trusted most.
She reaches out to God
During a desperately lonely hour,
He sends her back His love
He fills her with His power.
She ends the deadly friendship
Stands strong and free again,
The black fog begins to lift, and
Sobriety is one fight, she does win.

Jeanne Marie, 1979

 

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Posted in Notes TO Women Who Think Too Much

A Good Wife


I am my own wife now and I’m finding out just how good I’m going to treat myself.
Am I going to be a good wife or a bad wife?
I didn’t start out very good. I almost starved to death.
I forgot to eat because there was no one to cook for and I didn’t have anybody asking me, what’s to eat, what’s for lunch, what’s for supper, do you want to go out to eat, do you want me to go get something?
I was in a food vacuum, food just didn’t exist.
What I noticed was my deodorant wasn’t working, so I changed brands several times and when that didn’t help, I started to do some research on Google to find out what’s strange illness I might have that was causing an odor deodorant couldn’t manage.
I found out that I wasn’t putting enough food into my body and that my body was burning muscle to survive. The odor was from being in a state of starvation. I was shocked. I knew I had to eat to live, but I didn’t know I could die from not eating enough.
I had been wasting away and I hadn’t even noticed.
I took off my clothes to take a look at my body and it wasn’t good. Skin and bones.
I couldn’t remember the last time I had been hungry. I had already lost too much weight before my husband and I separated and the scale reported that I’d dropped ten more pounds and I hadn’t even noticed.
I had been eating yogurt and an egg once or twice a week, a couple of spoonful’s of peanut butter every day, but my body was not happy and it wanted some real food.
I learned that once you are in the starvation mode, it gets dangerous. I had to start to eat slowly because starvation damages the heart and I could actually have a heart attack if I started to eat too quickly.
I went to the store and I bought more than just peanut butter, coffee, milk and dog food.
I searched for food that I used to like, so I could tempt myself to eat. I stood there crying because I could barely remember what I liked.
Just shopping for groceries was traumatic. I hadn’t shopped for groceries since my husband retired. We used to joke that he was the wife now and he said I could just write while he took care of cooking, shopping and helped with laundry.
It wasn’t really funny. I stopped shopping a few months after he retired because whatever I brought home wasn’t right, wrong brand, wrong price, wrong flavor. I stopped cooking because he would disagree with the what, the how, the why and the end result. I wasn’t even able to feed the dogs the way he wanted, and if I made my own coffee he would ask why I didn’t have him make it for me.
To some, it looked like I was a pampered princess, but I was actually removed from my kitchen. His at home-ness led to my retirement as a wife. He took over the bills, the kitchen, the shopping and the dogs and I allowed it. I gave up.
So I am my own wife now. It’s been five months, and I am treating myself much better, but it takes awareness and effort. I spoiled my husband and my kids forever, so I know how to do it, I just have to turn that love towards myself.
I started eating slowly. I started cooking for myself for the first time in years. Actual meals. My daughter and grandson come over for supper at least twice a week now and that motivates me to cook. I’ve only gained a pound, but I’m back to my favorite deodorant and it works.
The dogs are happy and well fed, so it turns out that I do know how to feed them. I haven’t cried at the grocery store lately, so I believe I am learning to be a good wife. To myself.

Posted in Gracie's Glimmer, Poetry From A Woman Who Thinks Too Much

Till the Water Runs Cold


Running naked in a field of tall grass
Lying alone on the beach with the sun aglow.
Watching my babies while they sleep
Searching for life’s meaning wherever I go.
In the bath, water like silk caresses my skin
A physical pleasure that’s unsurpassed.
Heaven on earth, you can touch your soul
Escaping the ordinary till the water runs cold.

Posted in Last Ditch Effort

The Most Beautiful Girl

I saved a Valentine’s Day rose from my son for twenty-odd years.
Then, when it fell apart, I still saved the petals with the card which read, “To the most beautiful girl I know, my mom.”
He was sixteen that day when he brought me a rose at work, handsome and a foot taller than me.
And very smart, because while my tears were still messing with my make-up, he hit me up for a loan to buy his girlfriend a dozen roses and I gave it to him with a smile and a hug…
I kinda knew I had been played, but his technique was awesome. He played it so smooth, almost a man.
He is forty now and I know I’m not the most beautiful girl in his world…two other awesome ladies were destined to share that spot and I love them.
Still, every time I come across the faded card, the sweet words and the dried-out petals…I smile.
I close my eyes and for just a moment, I soak in the memory of his surprise visit, back to the moment when to my son, I was the most beautiful girl he knew…

Posted in Gracie's Glimmers

Thank You

Have I ever thanked you for all the nights
you sat on your cold bathroom floor
talking me into staying alive,
for praying me sober when I was lost in the swamp,
for holding me close when my heart was broken,
for standing by my side when everyone else
walked away because I was wrong?
Have I ever thanked you for never judging me,
for never giving up on me,
for seeing my beauty
when all I could see was my ugly,
for being my sister, my best friend,
my go-to person for every pain and every joy?
Have I ever thanked you for introducing me to Jesus,
for your powerful prayers
when my daughter was dead in the water,
for your face that she saw as she came up, alive?
God places angels in our lives, and you are mine.
I am me because you loved me through.
For embracing me, for accepting the mission
with all of your heart, my sister, I thank you.

Posted in Gracie's Glimmers

Another Christmas for Grace

My dad was an alcoholic and Christmas was his favorite time of the year to tear up the house, a futile attempt to destroy my mother’s Christmas spirit.
He never succeeded with her, but he made me dread Christmas.
When I was a young mother, I didn’t really celebrate Christmas, not until the kids were toddlers and even then, I just went through the motions for them.
When I was twenty-seven, I got remarried to a man who made a big deal of Christmas.
Until our first Christmas together, I had never put up more than a 2′ ceramic tree, and only because my mom had special ordered it for me.
Our first year together, we put up a 6′ tree with all the trimmings and we surrounded it with presents.
The kids were so excited on Christmas morning and it was contagious.
From that point on, I grew to love Christmas and all that it meant to the kids.
My mom was so proud of me for overcoming my childhood Christmas phobias and soon, I had enough homemade decorations from my mother to cover an entire tree.
I used to love to send her pictures of the tree decorated with her ornaments.
I put up big trees until my youngest moved out, and then I still put up trees, just not as large.
As my kids had kids of their own, I split Mom’s decorations between them and I bought new decorations for me.
Every year, I would do a different theme, bouncing between girly and guy.
All miniature dolls and fairies one year and all Harley-Davidson decorations another year. Pink trees, white trees, purple trees, gold and green. Even a Palm tree one year.
Then, my mom, Grace, died in 2009.
I had a hard time again, but my sister, Cherie, talked me into putting up a tree just for my mom and she sent me butterflies and fairies to decorate it.
That was my first Christmas for Grace.
The next year, it. became a tradition, one tree for Mom, one for me.
Three years ago, my husband and I split up and although I put up a small tree for Mom, I didn’t really celebrate Christmas.
We got back together after seven months and we had two more nice Christmases together, but we separated again this fall, and now here I am, my second Christmas without him in thirty-eight years.
I really didn’t know how I was going to get through it.
I decided the first thing I needed to do was to buy a Christmas tree in a color I had never had before.
I resisted the urge to buy blue for a Blue Christmas, and before I could change my mind, I ordered a turquoise colored Christmas tree. That was in October.
It sat in the box for about a month, while I thought about it.
What would I put on it?
That’s when my sweet friend, Michelle Marie, came to the rescue. She called and offered me enough decorations to do my whole tree. When she brought them to me on Thanksgiving weekend, I was thrilled. They were so beautiful and unlike anything I had ever used before.
My kids came with their kids for Thanksgiving weekend and I asked the three youngest ones to decorate the tree.
Four-year old Mile Mae, got on her daddy’s shoulders to put the star on, and while the entire tree leans, including the star, it’s perfectly imperfect. It’s rather Grinch like, and that was my mom’s favorite movie.
After they were all gone, I brought out some of my little fairies, my mom’s butterflies and a few special ornaments. I added them to the tree. The tree lights are pink and at night, it changes the tree’s color and the walls around it glow.
So, although it is a sad Christmas for me in many ways, I have kept my Christmas spirit going, partly in honor of my mother who refused to let an insane alcoholic destroy her Christmas spirit and partly in honor of myself, because I deserve a happy and blessed Christmas, and yes, I am blessed.
I have fifteen grandkids and five great-grandchildren, a beautiful, warm home, food and everything I need.
I firmly believe Jesus is the reason for the season, but when your grandkids are small, it’s also about glitz and glitter and shiny presents and stockings filled to the brim, hugs and love, Oreo’s and milk, all waiting for them at Grammy’s house.
So this tree is for them, and for my mom, the woman who taught me that your Christmas will become whatever you choose to make it, and for my sister, who wouldn’t let me quit Christmas after my mom died.
Special thanks to Michelle Marie for the perfectly timed decorations and thank you Jesus, for another Christmas and another chance to make memories with my family and friends.