Posted in Jeanne Marie

The Wedding Heels

I’m trying to de-clutter my life and unravel my mind.
Yesterday, I threw my thirty-five-year-old, size five wedding heels in the trash. I tried on a lot of shoes before I found the perfect heels. They were important. My future mother-in-law bought them for me. She wasn’t impressed by her son marrying a woman with three kids, so they were a peace-offering.
The heels have stuck around. They made the cut every time I packed. They have been with us to fifteen houses and a dozen apartments.
I had hoped to wear them again, maybe on an anniversary, but that’s not going to happen.
My feet are no longer small and petite, and my husband and I have separated.
I looked at the shoes laying there in the trash, taunting me, reminding me of my wedding day, and I pushed them in deeper. I instantly panicked, but I took deep breaths and I walked away.
Later, I carried the bag outside to the trash can.
Today, I was out front tearing open the trash bags. Coffee grounds, dog’s pee papers, egg shells and dirty paper plates, I found.
No shoes.
I gave up easy, compared to my norm.
I’m not a quitter. I held on to those heels for thirty-five years.
I stopped because I knew it was hopeless.
I could save the heels. But I can’t save us.
I’m strong and I’m weak. I’m resisting the urge to go back out there now.
I just want the trash truck to come and take the heels away before I give in to my compulsion to bring them back into the house.
If I can leave the heels in the trash, maybe I’ll make it through this after all.
P.S. The trash men came and the shoes have gone to their final resting place.

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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.

 

 

Posted in Jeanne Marie

It’s December

It’s December.
We start out searching for the perfect presents for our kids and we spend our lives trying to find them something they will love, so that we can hand it to them and watch their little faces light up.
Like the Cabbage Patch doll that was impossible to get,  but we got one and the Transformer that was not to be found, but we found one.
Presents that just for a minute, light up their eyes.
It’s December and there is not much time left to find the perfect presents.
I have so many presents, but they are spread all over my house and all tangled up in my mind, and they are not wrapped pretty.
I don’t know if I’ll have time to put on the ribbons and the bows before I leave.
I want to leave them self-confidence and emotional  security.
I want them to know that they were loved unconditionally by their mama.
I want them to be strong, without me.
I want them to keep all the good that I have given them in their hearts.
I want them to know that I was a person too…not just their mother.
I want them to forgive me…I know I made mistakes and I take responsibility for those mistakes.
I want them to forgive their own mistakes and not regret them every night, as I have done.
I want to leave them my boxes and boxes of  writing, all neatly edited and put together, but I don’t think that will ever happen because I write too much.
December has come so quickly.
I don’t know where the other 11 months went. One day I was 17 and now I’m 65.
One day, I had no wrinkles and suddenly they have appeared all over my face and neck, and I as look in the mirror, I say, “Wow, you are old, young lady. You may be young on the inside, but your body shows the time.”
My presents are not wrapped, but I will wrap what I can before I go, and I pray that it is enough to light up their faces when they remember me.
It’s December.
Posted in Gracie's Glimmer, Poetry From A Woman Who Thinks Too Much

Love Can Be

Love can be twisted, love can be cruel.
Love can tear you to pieces and turn you into a fool.
Love can grow wings and fly you to the moon
then it can take you to hell and whoops!
Here you go! A flight to the stars,
crashing back down, way too soon!
Love will take you everywhere
oh that silly love, it will take you so far!
Love will take you to places
where you don’t even remember who you are!
What drew you together, you might never know
were you just like his mother
or was it your smile that once
sparkled like sun, your glitter and bows?
You grabbed each other’s hands
and you said Yes! Yes! I do and I do!
Love codependent was playing a game
turning your smarts inside out, flipping
your brain to mush, all sticky, icky and goo.
Up, up and up, oh so high you did go!
Then in snuck the Oh no’s! How could you’s?
The you could a’s, The I would a’s, The I don’t know if I should a’s.
The same ‘ol I’m sorry’s, I’m not’s, I love you’s and I dont’s!
When you try to end it, all you can see is the good’s.
You cry too much and you scream, I won’t give up…
Oh NO, I wont! Wait! Maybe I should?
Love comes down, right down to the floor
to memories of passion
that don’t live ’round here anymore.
Alive only in your silly, girly head
and all of a sudden you’re not speaking
even though you still snuggle in bed.
Too many years you each play the games,
you play and you play till you’re half insane.
It comes to this is yours and this is mine time
don’t worry baby, my mama don’t hate you,
I will always love you’s and you will be fine’s.
Dr Seuss taught me about Green Eggs and Ham,
he never once, no, not ever, did he warn me
I’d have to let go of my love’s hand.
Love can be twisted, love can be cruel
Love can tear you to pieces and turn you into a fool.