I’m like a dandelion in the wind. I’m blowing every which way.
I don’t know what I want or where I’m going or where I belong.
That’s where you come in, Lord.
Please direct me, show me, give me a sign.
Do I hold still, do I move on,
do I keep floating like a wish in the wind?
Do I continue to let the gusts propel me?
Do I let serendipity decide what to do with me,
do I let luck choose where I will land?
I don’t want that anymore.
Lord, I want you to guide me. Guide me, direct me, show me.
Please, give me a sign I can’t ignore.
You may have noticed sweet Jesus, I don’t have a plan.
What is your plan for me, Lord?
She used to climb apple trees
with fearless abandon
never worried how she’d get down.
She used to run in fields of grass
without a care in the world.
She used to hide in the flowers
inhaling the nectar
never fearing a sting.
I’d like to invite that girl
to come out to play.
I’d like to reclaim her
travel the path back
to that courageous girl
she who once lived free.
A young girl picks up a drink
Her fear and pain melts away,
She found a magic cure
She found a best friend today.
She takes that friend with her
Where ever she has to be,
The friend gets her through,
But she’s no longer free.
Hiding her new friend from the rest
It’s true, somehow she always knows,
That this friend is dangerous
But caution, to the wind it goes.
Years slip by, and some begin to see
That she prefers this friend,
People criticize her drinking
And other friendships end.
The bottle becomes her center
It directs her every move,
But what once brought her relief
No longer seems to soothe.
The friend who helped her through
Now cripples, and blinds her sight,
Alone she drinks and she cries
Dreading tomorrow, hating tonight.
She gave up all her friends
To keep the brown liquid close,
Now she has lost them all
Betrayed by what she trusted most.
She reaches out to God
During a desperately lonely hour,
He sends her back His love
He fills her with His power.
She ends the deadly friendship
Stands strong and free again,
The black fog begins to lift, and
Sobriety is one fight, she does win.
Jeanne Marie, 1979
I am my own wife now and I’m finding out just how good I’m going to treat myself.
Am I going to be a good wife or a bad wife?
I didn’t start out very good. I almost starved to death.
I forgot to eat because there was no one to cook for and I didn’t have anybody asking me, what’s to eat, what’s for lunch, what’s for supper, do you want to go out to eat, do you want me to go get something?
I was in a food vacuum, food just didn’t exist.
What I noticed was my deodorant wasn’t working, so I changed brands several times and when that didn’t help, I started to do some research on Google to find out what’s strange illness I might have that was causing an odor deodorant couldn’t manage.
I found out that I wasn’t putting enough food into my body and that my body was burning muscle to survive. The odor was from being in a state of starvation. I was shocked. I knew I had to eat to live, but I didn’t know I could die from not eating enough.
I had been wasting away and I hadn’t even noticed.
I took off my clothes to take a look at my body and it wasn’t good. Skin and bones.
I couldn’t remember the last time I had been hungry. I had already lost too much weight before my husband and I separated and the scale reported that I’d dropped ten more pounds and I hadn’t even noticed.
I had been eating yogurt and an egg once or twice a week, a couple of spoonful’s of peanut butter every day, but my body was not happy and it wanted some real food.
I learned that once you are in the starvation mode, it gets dangerous. I had to start to eat slowly because starvation damages the heart and I could actually have a heart attack if I started to eat too quickly.
I went to the store and I bought more than just peanut butter, coffee, milk and dog food.
I searched for food that I used to like, so I could tempt myself to eat. I stood there crying because I could barely remember what I liked.
Just shopping for groceries was traumatic. I hadn’t shopped for groceries since my husband retired. We used to joke that he was the wife now and he said I could just write while he took care of cooking, shopping and helped with laundry.
It wasn’t really funny. I stopped shopping a few months after he retired because whatever I brought home wasn’t right, wrong brand, wrong price, wrong flavor. I stopped cooking because he would disagree with the what, the how, the why and the end result. I wasn’t even able to feed the dogs the way he wanted, and if I made my own coffee he would ask why I didn’t have him make it for me.
To some, it looked like I was a pampered princess, but I was actually removed from my kitchen. His at home-ness led to my retirement as a wife. He took over the bills, the kitchen, the shopping and the dogs and I allowed it. I gave up.
So I am my own wife now. It’s been five months, and I am treating myself much better, but it takes awareness and effort. I spoiled my husband and my kids forever, so I know how to do it, I just have to turn that love towards myself.
I started eating slowly. I started cooking for myself for the first time in years. Actual meals. My daughter and grandson come over for supper at least twice a week now and that motivates me to cook. I’ve only gained a pound, but I’m back to my favorite deodorant and it works.
The dogs are happy and well fed, so it turns out that I do know how to feed them. I haven’t cried at the grocery store lately, so I believe I am learning to be a good wife. To myself.
I’m laying our marriage down
putting it to sleep
a mercy killing that for us is best
laying till death do we part promises to rest.
I’m unplugging the life support
so maybe I can revive my heart
because there is more pain than love left.
a bed where passion died a horrible death
a living room where loyalty was beat
a kitchen you drove me out of
because I couldn’t do it right.
I wish I could cremate us
instead of dismantling us piece by piece
but I suppose that’s exactly what we’ve done
burnt our bridges until two now exist as ones.
Jeanne Marie, 1978