I Love You

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.

Thankful for the things that I have left behind…

This might sound strange, but the things that I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving are the things that I have left behind.
This past year for me has been a year of change, letting go and personal growth.
I have let go of so much more than material objects, although I filled my porch with boxes and bags for the trash or the yard sale when I emptied and sold a
ten-room house.
I let go of three closets and three bureaus filled with clothes.
I let go of trying to earn love. Love is only valuable when it is freely given.
I let go of expecting people to be someone they are not, rejecting the unacceptable behavior and accepting the good. Yes, I let go of my happy-ever-after fantasies, so that I could enjoy today.
I let go of worry about my future and while I still plan, I am only living in today.
I let go of my old habit of saying yes, when I wanted to say no, and I don’t do things I don’t want to do anymore.
I let go of the guilt and the shame and the anger I have always carried over my mistakes and other’s mistakes because I have carried that negativity long enough. Those emotions were so heavy.
I let go of shopping to fill a void.
I let go of cooking unless the mood hits me.
I let go of thousands of books, and I never dreamed that I could get rid of my books.
I let go of owning my own flower garden. Now, I enjoy other people’s flowers.
I am even learning to let go of trying to hold back time.
So, I am thankful for the feelings and possessions I no longer carry and the huge house I no longer have to clean. This feels like freedom to me.
My five-year-old granddaughter explained to her dad, “Grammy wears a disguise because she is not really a Grammy, she is a kid. She plays like me.”
What more could I ask for, than to be told that I have the spirit of a child?
So, the things that I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving are the things that I have left behind.

Breaking Up With Time

I do not trust you anymore.
You are not nice.
I don’t care how good we used to be together. You are sly and you are sneaky, and you are hurting me.
I go to sleep and you do horrible, cruel things to my body.
The damage you have inflicted on my body, especially over the past year is unbelievable.
Your actions are silent, so I didn’t even realize what you have been up to lately, not until I went into the bathroom to take a shower. I catch a glimpse of myself naked in the new full-length mirror. My first reaction is shock. My second reaction is grief. Tears join the shock and the grief.
When I see what you have done to my backside, I begin gasping for air. My cute little behind is gone, just totally gone. Two empty sacks have replaced the flesh I had considered mine. The backs of my legs resemble cottage cheese that has gone bad. Real bad.
Yes, I lost too much weight, but did you have to twist and punch everything I have left?
The only body parts you haven’t dominated yet are from below my knees to my ankles. (I just checked to make sure you didn’t re-sculpt them while I was writing.)
My hair, my feet, my legs, my breasts, my arms, my neck, my face, my ears, every day I find new damage.
I would like to say I am above pride in my physical appearance, but that would be a lie. I’ve never been a beauty, cute I’m always told, but cute and undamaged was good enough for me.
I trusted you for so long. You were mostly kind to me. You treated me with respect, and you were gentle with my body, for over sixty years.
I was aware that you had a bit of a mean streak, but I trusted you anyway.
Yes, there were many red flags, but I ignored them.
I was only thirty-six when I told you, “I like the grey streaks you painted in my hair. My mom had the same streaks, so I wear them with pleasure.”
You smirked, and I should have left you in the dust right then, but I didn’t.
When you pulled my hair out a few years later, I adjusted. It was never abundant anyway and as it thinned out, I just pinned it up. I asked you to stop and you just smirked, again.
You kicked the heck out of my spine long ago, so I knew you could be extremely cruel, but I thought we had leveled out, reached an agreement to be kind to each other.
When my breasts deflated, almost overnight, I said, “Oh well. I can live without plump breasts and long, flowing hair,” and then, I threw my stupid bras away.
Last summer my young grandson said to me, “Grammy, your arms are wrinkled and soft like Jell-O.” He poked one to show me.
I looked down and sure enough, it was true. Why hadn’t I noticed?
Not done yet, you had redesigned my arms.
I explained to him that it was nicer to tell a woman what was right about her, instead of what was wrong. I told him I was getting older. We agreed to close the subject of my jiggledy arms, and he gave me a hug. I was even proud of myself for handling the discovery so well.
However, my backside is the last straw and now, pulling my hair out isn’t even enough for you.
My hairdresser told me last week that my fake blonde hair is breaking off by the handfuls, no more blonding it. Blonde has been my disguise for thirty years, you jerk.
As I have slept, you’ve ravaged me. You’ve reworked one body part at a time, and I was blissfully unaware that you were indulging your freakish addiction to playing sculptor with my body.
You have gone too far, my old friend.
I’m breaking up with you at once, while I can still walk and still have clothes that fit.
TIME, you can go play your ruthless games somewhere else.
P.S. I placed the mirror on the other side of the bathroom door too. Just in case TIME doesn’t honor the break-up. I have a feeling that I’m going to need a restraining order.