Posted in Jodie Lynne

Time and Distance

 

story

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.

Posted in Jodie Lynne

Happy Birthday, Jodie Lynne

0014

Happy Birthday, Jodie Lynne

April 18

10271574_241750292675565_1789409406433117288_n

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.

IMAG0793_1

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.

10685358_300877056762888_2448812934444883221_n

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

20131216_114230

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

KIMG0023~2_2

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

Posted in From My Newsletter

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
Snapshot_20100122_20
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
mom4
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)

Posted in Jodie Lynne

Unconquered Guilt by Jodie Lynne (1994)

DCP_2857
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

Posted in Jodie Lynne

Middle Child (Jodie Lynne)

221787_105568772863718_2183937_n
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