butterfly woman

butterfly woman…for Jodie Lynne

The Pond

THE POND,
By Jodie Lynne

Soft baby ringlets sweeping across her face
Glancing but once to make certain
he’s still in his place.
Her shining dark eyes smile from afar,
So confident, this angel who hasn’t her own fear,
For fear there’s no reason, her goal is quite clear.
Till the slip of a sneaker sucks her foot in the mud
And his arms reach around her,
As he sweeps her up in his hug.
He lets out a sigh, saved her from this fall.
She wiggles out of his tender embrace
Now more than ever she runs with such might,
Determined to catch the quacker
Who’s just taken flight.

Tortured Shades of Gray

TORTURED SHADES OF GRAY
By Jodie Lynne

Shades of gray blend as one
colors soon to fade
evening caresses his face
sadness closes in.
A tortured soul captured again.
Lost…wounds of yesterday
still seeping bitter blood
gurgling pits of fullness.
Suffocating pain held
against its will
never to escape
and deeper became
scars
the shades of gray.

For Jodie Lynne, my daughter…

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I am God’s flower.
I am petals swaying in the wind
soaking up the dew drops
while the sunshine kisses my skin.
I am God’s flower.
Do not pick me.
Do not crush me.
God created me just as I am.
I am His flower.

Time and Distance

 

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I remember the pain I felt the first time I realized that my mom had grown older.
My heart broke that day, as I realized how frail the strongest woman in my life had become just since our last visit.
Today, at a newly turned 63, I fly to see my middle child, Jodie Lynne and she hasn’t seen me for two years.
I look good from 1800 miles away with the perfect lighting and a smart phone pose, but up close…
It will be the first time that she will realize that her mother is older. Much.
Human, not a super woman who can save the day…
Well, usually, I just mess up whom ever I’m trying to save, so that might be a good thing, LOL.
But she’s not going to like her mom’s newly acquired wrinkles.
It’s almost like the stamp of an expiration date upon my face and neck.
Not now, the wrinkles whisper, yet their very existence shouts out the reality that time is more valuable, limited.
My baby sister swears that I still look 17, so maybe Jodie Lynne will be wearing the same love shield.
I hope so, because no woman should ever have to watch her mom grow old.

P.S. We had an incredible visit. She kept telling me that I was “so little” but that’s another story.

Happy Birthday, Jodie Lynne

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Happy Birthday, Jodie Lynne

April 18

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Today is my younger daughter’s fortieth birthday. Since we couldn’t be together, we created a substitute plan. We would celebrate over the phone.

When she called me, we only talked about things that made us happy. We talked about her silky-haired Chihuahua that I am raising, Maggie Mae, we talked about other dogs that we have loved through the years and we spoke of our happy dreams, instead of our nightmares.

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We talked about peanut butter and marshmallow fluff being her favorite birthday cake (today) and how grateful she was to have snacks in her locker so that she didn’t have to go to the cafeteria to eat on her birthday.

For me, as on this date every year; I am thinking about the morning that she came into my life. She made a grand entrance, all 5-pounds 6-ounces of her. Her daddy had ordered me to have a boy and he meant it, so when they told me I had a beautiful little girl, I started to cry.

It had been a rough birth, a planned C-section, but the spinal that didn’t work before they made the incision was not part of the plan, so I was a bit overwhelmed and the moment she was out, I was over-drugged to compensate for their mistake. Then, they brought her to me and the moment I saw her little face shaped like a pink heart, I fell in love with her. She was so tiny and so cute that she looked like a dolly, not like a real baby.

Everyone’s life is complicated, hindsight is an incredible tool to beat yourself with and you can do some real damage. I often find ways to blame myself for every unwise choice this beautiful woman has made, but I’m not going to do that today.

Today, I am going to celebrate her life, her birthday and the fact that when she is sober, she is full of Grace and Light. I will celebrate the day twenty years ago when she taught me to open myself to the spirit of our Universe, the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, the Stars, the Wind and the Rain. The day she taught me to stand barefoot outside and to raise my arms up to the sky so I that I could ground myself in the beauty and the strength of God’s love through the elements He created. I still try to remember to do this every morning and what my daughter taught me that day changed my life.

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Today, I will celebrate the precious gift that her aliveness gives me, no matter where she has to rest her head on her birthday.

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As my daughter falls asleep tonight, in the gritty gloom of Eddie Warrior’s Correctional Center in Oklahoma, I will fall asleep in sun-drenched Florida. But we will be together in spirit. I will hold her tight in my heart, I will keep her ever constant in my prayers and if I am blessed, tonight she will stop in for a visit as I dream.

Happy Birthday, Jodie Lynne

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Special thanks to Michelle Marie for the awesome family picture above.

Daughter, Mother and Grandmother…

From the newsletter, Women who Think Too Much, 2000

DAUGHTER, MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER. ALL WROTE ABOUT AGING, WITHOUT DISCUSSING IT WITH EACH OTHER.
A COINCIDENCE OR THE TWILIGHT ZONE?
jodie
THINGS I LEARNED THE HARD WAY
1. Johnson’s Stretch Mark Cream doesn’t really prevent or remove the one million stretch marks motherhood is bound to deliver, although it does keep each and every stretch mark incredibly soft!
2. When the man in your young life tells you that you’re much too pretty to wear make up, he’s really saying, “Go scrub your face or someone may actually take a second look at you!”
3. Never call your mother for a ride home, from the 24 hour Wal-Mart, because you locked your keys in the car. Not unless you want a lecture about shopping alone after midnight!
4. Don’t call your mother when she’s writing in Computerville; she won’t even remember the phone call!
5. If your mother is a writer, choose your words very carefully, because if she’s like my mother, she’ll hear a story in every syllable!
6. Never tell her she’s too old to have a life!
LOVE YA MOM, JODIE
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TIME
An old woman
Sits by herself
Staring at her past
Arranged on a shelf.
Time is money
Or so they say
Time stands still
Then slips away.
A baby is born
His first sound
An angry cry,
A rose in bloom
is ready to die.
Time waits for no one
Then just marches on,
It goes by too fast
Then it takes too long.
by Jeanne Marie
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THOUGHTS ON GROWING OLDER
With a smile on my face I meet the dawn
Tomorrow’s not here and yesterday’s gone.
I have just today to live my life
So I’ll try my best to keep out strife.
I’ll count my blessings, one at a time
And the first, and the best, is that
today is mine.
My youth has gone into the night
And old age is no longer a fright,
I face the mirror with eyes away
And don’t see the wrinkles or the hair
that’s gone gray.
I only see the life within
Greeting this old face with a grin,
I say “Old girl, you’ve tried your best,
so relax, and let God handle the rest.”
by Grace (my Mom)

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

Middle Child (Jodie Lynne)

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Middle child, where do you fit in?
You fought for my attention
but did you ever win?
You surely have it now
although painfully gained.
You capture me with crisis
then, I shake loose again.
Middle child, I know you well,
you speak to me of your dreams
your fears and your babies lost.
People judge you harshly
but once you lived beneath
my heartbeat…
so, together we pay the cost.
I can’t catch you when you fall
but I’ll bandage up your knees
just like when you were five
and asphalt tore through your jeans.
“Don’t run,” I’d holler out the door
as off to play you’d tear.
You never heeded my warnings
took on the world without a fear.
Twenty-two this month and still…
my warnings fly into the wind
blowing every which way
following you aimlessly around.
Perhaps you’d stop to listen
if you knew that my heart bleeds
each time your knees hit the ground.
My daughter, my middle child
I loved you when you didn’t know
when my hands were full with others
or when my feelings didn’t show.
We’ve had our ups and downs
but I’ll never let you go.
Middle child, where do you fit in?
My quintessence has a
special niche for you
tucked beneath my ribs
right where you’ve always been.
by Jeanne Marie, 1997

Maggie Mae and her purse…

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I was getting ready to leave for the airport this morning and realized that Maggie Mae was planning on coming with me. I didn’t get out today and rearranged to leave Saturday, so she eased up on her packing. She didn’t realize that she wasn’t going with me and I’m not gonna tell her until I hug her goodbye on Saturday.
She loves her new sister and her new Daddy so she will be fine, but I’m already missing her. If you haven’t been following my saga, “Jodie’s Journey” I adopted Maggie Mae when her Momma, my daughter Jodie, went to prison April 7.
I’m going to Oklahoma to meet my third great grand baby, Violet Dawn, just a little over two weeks old! Met Carter, my second great grand baby last month. He is just over two months old and I met Ricky, my first great grand baby at the same time. Ricky is a handsome one-year-old. Grand baby number 14, courtesy of my son Rick and his angel Jessica, is due in December. It is The Year of the Babies for us.

Blessed with a day of love before my daughter goes to prison…thank you for all your prayers. I feel your love.

 

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Doing Time…

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I publish tons of personal stuff on my blog, but I wasn’t going to write about my thirty-nine year-old daughter going to prison, not because I’m ashamed of her, but because the hurt is so enormous.
I have made mistakes. Some that will haunt me until the day I die. Everyone makes mistakes. We all pay for our mistakes too, whether it’s through Karma, prison, divorce, broken hearts, family members who never speak to us again or whatever. You don’t have to wait for an official Judgment Day.
I believe that every day on Earth is Karma’s Judgment Day.
My heart has been sliced, diced and pureed, but much of it I can blame on myself and my bad decisions, decisions made from fear and insecurity.
And just when I think that I have bottomed out on heartbreaks, my middle child, who has also made bad choices, gets herself in enough small trouble with the law to end up with a very big sentence.
Twenty-years, three in and seventeen-years of probation. If she sneezes, she will do twenty-years. And she is a sneezer. She received that sentence for non-violent, minor crimes.
Meanwhile, rapists, child molesters and murderers do less time. They get out and do it again. Sometimes within a week. The man who killed my daughter’s first husband had six convictions for drunk driving, no license and his blood tested positive for alcohol and drugs at 8:a.m.
He went through a red light taking down my son-in-law’s motorcycle that was stopped at the red light.
I had to call in the news before he was even charged. He did fifteen months in prison.
I am not excusing my daughter’s crimes, but doesn’t rehab make more sense for an addict who hasn’t found sobriety?
The worst part is that we couldn’t afford a lawyer and justice is for people who can afford a lawyer. Take my word for it, because that is one theory you don’t want to test.
And I get to fly 2000 miles on Monday and then drive three hours to deliver her to the prison. There isn’t a big enough box of tissues for this one, but I am grateful for the opportunity because I want to stand by her and I want her to see her mama’s face loving her as she walks into prison.
I keep giving her to God and He has saved her life so many times and I am grateful. She has thrown away a hundred chances to turn her life around, so maybe prison is the only way to save her life again. He sees the whole picture and I trust Him, but it’s an extremely painful solution.
Seriously. I have no clue how I am going to make it through that day or the days that follow, because she won’t be the only one doing time. We are connected and she holds my heart, so we are both doing time.

Jodie Lynne, I Will Stand By You…

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I publish tons of personal stuff on my blog, but I wasn’t going to write about my thirty-nine year-old daughter going to prison, not because I’m ashamed of her, but because the hurt is so enormous.
I have made mistakes. Some that will haunt me until the day I die. Everyone makes mistakes. We all pay for our mistakes too, whether it’s through Karma, prison, divorce, broken hearts, family members who never speak to you again or whatever. You don’t have to wait for an official Judgment Day.
I believe that every day on Earth is Karma’s Judgment Day.
My heart has been sliced, diced and pureed, but much of it I can blame on myself and my bad decisions, decisions made from fear and insecurity.
And just when I think that I have bottomed out on heartbreaks, my middle child, who has also made bad choices, gets herself in enough small trouble with the law to end up with a very big sentence.
Twenty-years, three in and seventeen-years of probation. If she sneezes, she will do twenty-years. And she is a sneezer. She received that sentence for non-violent, minor crimes.
Meanwhile, rapists, child molesters and murderers do less time. They get out and do it again. Sometimes within a week. The man who killed my daughter’s first husband had six convictions for drunk driving, no license and his blood tested positive for alcohol and drugs at 8:a.m.
He went through a red light taking down my son-in-law’s motorcycle that was stopped at the red light.
I had to call in the news before he was even charged. He did fifteen months in prison.
I am not excusing my daughter’s crimes, but doesn’t rehab make more sense for an addict who hasn’t found sobriety?
The worst part is that we couldn’t afford a lawyer and justice is for people who can afford a lawyer. Take my word for it, because that is one theory you don’t want to test.
And I get to fly 2000 miles on Monday and then drive three hours to deliver her to the prison. There isn’t a big enough box of tissues for this one, but I am grateful for the opportunity because I want to stand by her and I want her to see her mama’s face loving her as she walks into prison.
I keep giving her to God and He has saved her life so many times and I am grateful. She has thrown away a hundred chances to turn her life around, so maybe prison is the only way to save her life again. He sees the whole picture and I trust Him, but it’s an extremely painful solution.
Seriously. I have no clue how I am going to make it through that day or the days that follow, because she won’t be the only one doing time. We are connected and she holds my heart, so we are both doing time.

I Will Love You…

I Will Love You
for Jodie Lynne

Forever and ever
past this lifetime
to the moon
and back
I will love you.
Your heart and
my heart began
and continue
to beat as one.
So always
my daughter…
I will love you.
I can’t enjoy the sunshine
or the taste of coffee
when you are locked away.
I can’t breathe
when you are not free.
I hope I have shown you
how much I love you
in these past months
of your sobriety…
How much it
meant because
we were together
laughing and playing
buying clothes,
drinking Starbucks
driving to Walmart
you in your
silly pajamas
me with my silly hair.
Normal things
mothers and
daughters do…
So precious
to us because
every second,
we knew…
Our time had
been borrowed.
I will love you
Forever and ever
past this lifetime
to the moon
and back
I will love you.
I will love you.

Jeanne Marie, 2014
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Change Is Forever Constant by Jodie Lynne

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The woman I am, shall not be the woman I will be or the woman I once was.
The morning always brings another beginning, thank God.
And I, always becoming, am not allowed to go back to the once was… that woman is no longer there.
Older. Wiser. I have learned to live and let live.
I, after years, have acquired perspective which lends me sanity, sanity where once there was none.
The pains that once overwhelmed and undermined the nurturing, developing woman that I was, helped to shape the woman that I am now becoming.
If only mastering and accepting these lessons, if only I could blindly trust, there is a gift, the gift of change that accompanies each pain.
I am becoming and with becoming comes peace. I can see and sense this for I know where I was yesterday.

by Jodie Lynne

His Honor

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We leave
the house
at 6:00 a.m.
Drive to the
courthouse,
once again.
Baby girl
a woman
grown.
Will I
leave
this
building
with her?
Will I
leave
this
building
alone?
Sitting
behind
her as
she
stands
before
his Honor.
Heart
refuses
to keep
beating
no, no, no
not one
second
longer.
Baby girl
stands
alone,
waiting
for
freedom
to fall.
Yes,
mistakes
were made.
Her crimes
to me
unknown.
She is my
baby girl
no matter
how much
grown,
no matter
how many
second
chances
blown.
His Honor
speaks.
The world
stops
turning.
The day
turns
black.
He sets a
date.
We will
be coming
back.
by Jeanne Marie, 2014

Eating Dollar General

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Eating
Dollar General
food and my time
passes slow.
I put myself
in these mountains
yes, that’s true,
I know.
Just enough
food and coffee
to stay afloat.
Just enough staples
to give me tiny
glimmers of hope.
Used to love bologna
before this…
For my mama’s
arrival
I wish and I wish.
Isolated except for
my dog, so it’s
Maggie Mae
and me.
She is my angel
my saving grace.
That makes two
unless I count the
Dollar Store lady
and then…
we are three.
Eating
Dollar General
food and my time
passes slow.

By Jeanne Marie for Jodie Lynne