I searched my hometown for a trace of me…but not a whisper remained.
I searched my hometown for a trace of me…but not a whisper remained.
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…
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.
Link above will take you to the complete list of She Saga posts.
The breeze in my face is sweet
and it tastes like the ocean in my lungs
although it’s not.
Then again, it really is because
that’s what it tastes like to me.
Freedom is a wildflower growing
where ever the wind blows her seeds,
in a garden or in an empty field.
Freedom tastes like the ocean
and looks like wildflowers
and freedom…she dances
with the confidence of seventeen.
Jeanne Marie, 2019
I am completely content and happy in this moment, playing Legos with my grandson, Jonas, and my granddaughter, Mile Mae, on the playroom floor.
I’m feeling proud of Jonas for sharing half of his Legos with me and Mile, we just aren’t allowed to have weapons or figures, only blocks. (We all have our quirks.)
Later, I am watching them play in their little pool on my porch and squirting each other with squirt guns and blowing rainbow bubbles. Their laughter is so soothing, and the sounds stop time and erase my anxiety.
We go in, and I have to rescue Mile from the pink toy bucket she gets stuck in and I’m laughing so hard, I can barely pull her up.
As the sun goes down, I am watching her hanging upside down on the lawn chair, her long brown curls flowing to the floor. She is so pleased with herself and she makes me laugh inside and out. I would give anything to live in moments like these, every minute of everyday, but they are just that, moments.
At least I know how to absorb and treasure these moments now.
The only sad part for me is packing up her toys that she is taking home and she doesn’t know it’s sad, so that’s OK.
Mile is only four, and right now, she’s simply happy all her toys are going to her house
She really doesn’t understand about Grammy selling her house and moving to a house on wheels and going to live on the road.
Rolling is what they call it. I have a new language to learn.
And she won’t understand, not until she says, “Daddy, I wanna go to Grammy’s house,” and he says, “Grammy doesn’t live in her house anymore.”
It was already a hard choice, deciding whether to stay or to move on, getting rid of furniture and stuff, so much stuff, way too much stuff. Books, clothes, boots, sheets and bedspreads. Towels, dolls and pictures. CD’s, DVD’s, TV’s and furniture.
With all these awesome grandkids, it’s a triple hard choice. And Jodie Lynne…my sunshine, my daughter, my friend, I’ll miss you most of all.
After fifteen houses and six states, I just have a strong urge to leave the clutter behind, wander on my own and to see what I see each day, and to do whatever I want to do in the moment. Stop, go, eat, write, don’t stop, inhale sunshine, go to the beach, whatever.
I also never want to pack up another house and I can’t even promise myself that I’ll stay still, so a house on wheels is my solution.
I want days without people telling me I better do this, or I should do that…weeks where I only interact with my dog, Maggie Mae and God. And rest stops and sweet nights when I can indulge my creative streak.
Maybe I’ll last a month, maybe I’ll last ten years out there on my own.
I just don’t know, but I’ll never know if I don’t try.
If I’m supposed to hold still Lord, you need to show me that because I really have the urge to move on, but I’m not always right, that’s for sure.
Lord, I know I’m stubborn and hardheaded, but show me gently please, I’m already broken.
I have sold the house and I am downsizing to a travel RV.
Now, I know how much ya’ll loved Miss Peggy-Sue and I don’t want you fighting over this picture, so I have a plan.
First, we all know that this picture is priceless, mostly because Auntie Jean painted it, may she RIP.
Second, because we all know what a sweetheart MPS was and how much joy she gave our family for 24 years. (She really didn’t bite that hard.)
So, whomever wants to give me $500.00 a month for the rest of my life, you will be awarded permanent ownership of this awesome reminder of your little sister. (Hint-hint on possible bidders.) Payments can be made through PayPal, as I will be rolling full-time.
You could also split the fee four ways, and each have this sugar pie in your home, staring down at you for three months of the year.
I offered it for free to two of my four children and they turned the offer down passionately. I think they were just overcome by the memories of our sweet and crazy little girl.
In retrospect, I realized that if I don’t ask for money, they might not realize the value of Miss Peggy-Sue’s portrait.
It was going to be their inheritance, but I have decided to leave one of my kids my painting I did when I was turning 60 years old. One will get an autographed copy of my new book, SHE, not yet written or published, so hopefully I’ll live long enough to finish the book, or someone gets nothing. (I have finished the cover!)
One will receive the painting I did when I turned 63, admittedly not my best work, but it was a very rough year. One will receive my potpourri collection, flower petals from every garden I’ve grown since 2007. It also includes petals from all my flowers that ya’ll gave me as presents, so it’s a return on your original investment; although, I might have to put a price on the potpourri, just so you know how special it is to me.
This portrait deal is a limited time offer and is open first to my four children. After July 15th, any member of my family is welcome to make a generous offer.
Let’s all take a moment to comment on what we loved best about Miss Peggy-Sue, although she was an alien from the planet Unknown, she never did us any long-lasting harm and the bites did heal.
No foul language, please.
Love, MUM aka Jeanne Marie
She won’t leave me alone.
We talk and we talk for hours, going in circles. I explain to her why she can’t have what she wants. I think she understands, and I tell her that I am done, that we are done talking about it.
She sniffles and she walks away.
Not five minutes later, she’s back and she wants to talk about it again. She makes me want to bang my head into a wall until I can’t hear her anymore.
I don’t know what to do with her, how to silence her.
Sometimes, she won’t listen at all. She cries, she screams, she yells, and she demands her own way.
She wants what she wants and nothing I say will make her give up on it.
It’s not possible, I explain. We have tried your way. Over and over with the same pain filled results.
When she doesn’t convince me with her words, she sits there silently, tears pouring down her face.
I hate it when she cries, it breaks my heart.
But if I give her what she wants, it will kill me, I swear.
I don’t want to hurt her, I want to protect her, keep her safe, but she is so immature. Sometimes she acts like she’s two.
When she cries herself to sleep, I feel guilty, but I am also so relieved.
If she sleeps too long though, I get nervous. I make her a peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich and I wake her up. Big mistake, but I’m a slow learner.
We start all over again, going through the thousands of reasons why she can’t have what she wants.
I sit down and take a deep breath and try to understand her point of view.
I know she has valid reasons to not trust me. I have let her down so many times, times when I told her everything would be okay if we stuck to my plan.
All the times when I promised that I would take care of her and then I then I threw the plan away and ran back home, all the months when she suffered for nothing.
How can I convince her that this time is different when I’m following so many familiar patterns?
I feel the weariness in my soul. I’m so tired of fighting. Being strong isn’t easy.
She is a little girl in a woman’s body, and although I know her so well, I don’t know how to make her feel loved and safe.
Our boundaries overlap and I struggle to resist soothing her by giving in to her demands. I hurt when she hurts and it’s tough.
I’m always fighting her pain and her fears, while I’m struggling to be the grown-up.
I give her facts. She wants to live blindly. Screw the consequences. I give her reality. She wants the elusive happy ending. No matter the cost.
Yes. She’s spoiled and bratty. So very insecure. I haven’t done much to change that situation.
No matter how hard I try to resist, I always give in to her. Her anxiety is overwhelming, and it breaks through my barriers.
I can’t give in to her this time. I can’t do that roller coaster again. My feet are on the ground now and you couldn’t pay me to get back on that ride.
I’ve even tried locking her away so that I can think without hearing her voice, but my locks do not hold her for long.
I turn around from locking the door and there she stands.
I don’t know when she became so strong. Maybe, she was always stronger than me.
I don’t know how to make her understand that only one of us can make important decisions and that I’m the grown-up.
What’s sad is that she often makes a good point and I become confused.
“I love him, and he loves me! He takes care of me! He loves you too, but you keep pushing him away. You’re ruining everything!”
How much do I need to spend on therapy before she learns?
I end up screaming at her. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.
I want to slap her right across the face. She frustrates the h*** out of me. I should have left her behind along time ago, but how do you let your little girl go? Especially when she is so helpless and needy. She won’t survive out there.
Some days, like today, she totally runs me ragged, and I sit, and I cry. Just like she does.
I lay on my bed, wanting more than anything to shut down and go to sleep.
No. I can’t do this.
As I get up, my arms are clenched around my body like a straight jacket, trying to hold the pain inside.
I go outside without my phone because I’m afraid I’ll call him and tell him how she feels.
The angels in the wind whisper to me, “You’re going to be okay, just let go, raise your hands to the Father. He will hold your hurt if you let him.”
Slowly, I release the grip I have on my ribs, and I lift my arms to Jesus. I give it all to him.
He is my only hope; I would be lost without him. He reaches down and he takes the little girl from my hands. I hope he sits her on my mother’s lap.
Thank you, angels, for reminding me, he can, and he will, but only if I let go.