I Love You
I love you does not mean that I will accept
your unacceptable behavior.
I love you does not mean that I will allow
you to hurt me emotionally whenever you choose.
I love you does not mean that I will let
you crush my spirit and wound my soul.
I love you does not mean that I will let you tell me
who I am or control my decisions.
I love you does not mean that I will allow you to hurt people I love.
I love you does not mean that I will not walk away from you,
if you do those things.
I have learned through God’s grace, that I can live without you,
but I cannot live without me.
What is she running from?
Everything. Chaos, drama, hate, confusion, connections, clutter, obligations, memories, betrayals, lost love, bad love, good love, wasted dreams, pain, wrinkles and old age.
Is that all?
Probably not. She’s a writer. I’m sure she could add to my list.
I heard her tell her four-year-old granddaughter that she moves so much because she is a gypsy.
Well, that sounds better than she’s a runner. And she just might be a gypsy,
but I think she’s confused and looking for home.
Doesn’t she know home is where you make it?
No, she keeps making a home and leaving. This time she left 95% of her belongings behind.
Stuff she’s held onto for fifteen moves.
She swore she’d never buy another house or let another person manipulate her life.
She wants to have the choice to drive away at a moment’s notice.
I heard her tell her daughter that’s why she bought the tiny house on wheels.
Well, who owns fifteen houses in six states in thirty-eight years anyway?
An extremely tired gypsy?
No, a hurt little girl, looking for her happy ending.
Well, she’s alone now. Is that her happy ending?
Yes and no. She’s happy to be able to think for herself, to make her own choices,
to be free, but she wanted to be happy with him.
Well, he made that impossible.
Yes, he did.
Well then, I’m proud of her for fighting to break free.
Do you think she’ll be okay? Is she lonely? She looks so sad.
This has been a huge change for her, and I expected her to feel some sad,
but she’d rather be alone than allow anyone to hurt her again.
She realizes that her happy ending is in her own hands now, so yes. She’ll be okay.
I think you’re right. She’s recovering from emptying a ten-room house and watching
another chance she gave him go wrong. She’s resting, healing, physically and emotionally.
Yes, she got rid of everything, including her books. She let go of so many material things.
A little grief after such a purge is normal, but we’ll stay close to her
while she prays and figures out her next step.
Does she know we’re here with her?
Yes, I believe she does.
Who is there?
Pain. Can I come in?
I don’t want you anymore, Pain.
I know, but I’m lonely.
Remember when you loved me?
Yes, before I knew that you
Would destroy my mind.
You are too sensitive, too scattered.
Too weak. Too soft. You need me.
Pain, go away. I don’t need you.
I know, but I love you.
I won’t hurt you today
Just let me come in.
Pain, go away.
I have gifts, so I’ll just sit here
Outside your door.
I know, sooner or later
You will let me come in,
Because I’m familiar
Because I’m your’s.
I don’t want you anymore.
Pain, go away.
I’m just going to rest here
Outside your door.
I’ll be right here
If you change your mind.
I’ll be right here.
Pain, the door is locked.
You are not coming in.
I’ll be right here.
Playing in the waves for an hour, letting the beach rock me
lying on my back in the embryonic, turquoise water.
Practicing letting go and trusting God.
Floating in the ocean, trusting that even if the water gets rough,
He will keep me safe.
When I feel the stress melt away, I walk out of the ocean.
I spread the blanket and lay down and reach for a handful of sand.
As soon as I fill my hand, the grains slip through my fingers.
So, you know I had to try again and again to hold a handful of sand.
I hold handful after handful of pure white sand and
no matter how tightly I squeeze, it quickly slips away.
Nothing stays but a few tiny grains of the stunning white crystals.
Time and love are so similar to sand.
I could only hold the sand with my hand open.
I hold our love in my hands and I hold on tightly, trying not to let it slip away.
But always, I am left with nothing but a few lovely grains of what was once
a sandcastle full of hopes and dreams…and the memories of that which was us.
Time and love slip through my hands even faster than grains of sand.
Some things were never meant to be restrained.
They lose their luster if you try to own them.
Sand. Love. Time and me…
John has my Bobbsey Twins books.
I don’t know John very well. I met him when he bought eleven boxes of books from me.
I like any man that buys eleven boxes of books. He must be good, right?
When I called him a few days later and asked him if he would like to own my Bobbsey Twins, free of charge, he said yes.
He came back with all the books he had bought in his van, because he hadn’t found room for them in the house yet, that’s how I know he loves books.
He took the Bobbsey Twins, but he told me, “If you ever want them back, you call me.”
I thought that was an awesome thing to say.
He said that he would keep them safe and treasure them.
I love that, John, but I will never call you for those books. I let them go and I let them go into hands that will give them love and respect.
I knew I could not throw those books away or sell them at a yard sale.
Some had been sent to me by fans of my story, “The Bobbsey Twins, Dad and Me.”
Many were gifts from my husband, who was thrilled each time he found one for me.
There were about forty of them, dating from the first book, and I loved them all.
I saved one, “The Bobbsey Twins at Snow Lodge,” but there was no room for the box full of Twins in my new, tiny house on wheels.
The memories, yes. The books, no.
I feel numb and She is hiding. I know she’s furious with me and she didn’t believe that I would go through with my plan to get rid of everything that I didn’t absolutely need or want…before we moved into our tiny home on wheels.
I guess it was my turn to pitch a fit. It happened when I was decluttering tonight, when I was down to facing the boxes that I hadn’t unpacked in over ten years.
She objected over every piece I tossed. She cried. She screamed.
She was so upset that she had me walking in circles, holding things to my chest, paralyzed by grief and indecision. After about an hour of circles, I snapped.
“Stop! Stop, leave me the f… alone,” I screamed as I dumped another pile of boxes in the middle of the room. When the pile was gigantic, I sat down beside it with a kitchen trash can beside me.
She left and the silence was eerie.
I quickly filled that kitchen bag, so I went downstairs for the green yard bags and I kept going.
I dragged at least six green bags full of papers, memories, CD’s and tapes down the stairs tonight and out onto the front porch for trash day. Plus, containers and boxes full of stuff.
My wedding dress got special treatment. It was 3:00 a.m. and I walked outside and hung it on a tree beside the yard sale.
My neighbor was still outside because she was getting ready to have a yard sale with me, and she said, “You have to take a picture,” and of course, I did.
As I took pictures, trying to capture my emotional whirlpool in a snapshot of a dress, I remembered the day I went shopping for it with my mum and how proud she was that I was marrying such a good man, a man who worked and took care of me and my three kids financially.
I remembered how happy she was to buy the dress for me, and in 1983, $27.00 was a lot of money.
The dress draped my tiny hips like it was designed just for me, and it made Mum smile because back then, I seldom wore dresses.
She special ordered artificial roses for my corsage and for the wedding, because I was allergic to flowers and I remember how the florist thoughtlessly sprayed them with rose perfume and I sneezed all day.
Our mind is like a computer and it captures every little thing we have ever done, seen or felt.
I threw the still rosy corsage away tonight too, along with a box of wedding day souvenirs. We never dreamed thirty-eight years ago it would end this way, my wedding dress hung in a tree for a yard sale, all alone in the dark. Big ouch.
Couldn’t hold on till morning. Needed to let it go, let it go.
He was here helping me finish up the packing and for the closing, and I couldn’t afford to show any weaknesses in front of him. It was a real test.
His heart was hurting as he saw me throw away our memories.
The picture Mum bought me because she thought it looked like us, my IHRA umbrella and dozens of presents he had bought me.
I think it hit him hardest when he saw my books start to go. Fifteen houses and thirty-eight years, through it all, he’d been complaining about moving my books. I always found ways to resist his demands to get rid of the damn books, because I loved my books. I had learned that if I carried the boxes in and out of the moving trucks, it wasn’t as bad, but even then, the “weight” it added bothered him.
I usually soothe him when he’s hurting, even if he’s sad because he hurt me, but not anymore. (Codependency, which I’m recovering from, one day at a time…amen.)
I probably went too far tonight, when I shoved She away with all my strength.
She left, but I know she will be back, so I’m going to enjoy this time without her.
It’s the first time in forever that she hasn’t been challenging me, quietly or violently.
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