Posted in Pictures

I’m Beautiful…

I’m Beautiful

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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.

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 Jeanne Marie

Growing Up When You’re Old

Don’t try to guide me, change me, or direct me because you will lose me.
I have been guided, directed and advised to the point of near death to my spirit and I need to find out who I am and what I want and I need to do it my way.
I need to learn to trust my own choices and my own decisions and to follow my own instincts and I have never demanded that freedom.
I need to go to the grocery store and not stand in front of the peanut butter for thirty minutes, trying to decide which brand or size I should pick up.
I got married at sixteen, straight from my mother’s house and my father’s control.
The only freedom to think for myself that I’ve known since then was the two years when I was on my own with three kids, and even then, I had an overpowering AA sponsor giving me my should’s and should not’s.
I am quirky. I am different. I do not fit in anybody’s box. I will color outside the lines. I will dance in the puddles. I will howl at the moon. I will talk to birds and clouds and puppies. I will wear pink wigs. I will place my bare feet on the earth and ground myself and I will push away anyone who wants to think for me.
I will listen to your opinion. I will take responsibility when I’m wrong. I will not take guilt.
I am not weak, helpless or incompetent. I am not wrong because I have emotions.
I am a butterfly and if you hold me too tight, my wings will break and I will no longer be able to fly.
I am sixty-five years old and I want to fly and I want to think for myself, right or wrong.
I believe I can do it with God’s direction and His is the only direction that I can handle.
When my life is over and I answer to my Maker, I alone will be responsible for my choices.
The choice to let someone else choose for me is over. I don’t want that anymore.
I will follow my heart where it leads because God is my guide and the only one I need to please.
I am your’s God. Where do you want me now?

Posted in Jeanne Marie

We are not Chip and Joanna. (Flip This House)

My husband and I tore up a rug in a small room that we wanted to turn into a bedroom.
There was a 100-year-old hardwood floor under the rug and we decided that we were definitely not going to sand it, but we thought about putting a finish on it, so we went to Lowe’s.
We were shopping in different paint aisles and when we met in the middle, we definitely disagreed on what to use on the floor.
I had picked out a porch floor stain and he picked out floor stain.
He said that we couldn’t use my outside porch floor stain because it would smell too bad in the house.
After going back and forth between his gallon and my gallon, I let him decide.
I did ask him to go check with the girl at the paint counter and make sure that it was the safest thing to be using in the house.
Being a man, he quickly scanned the label and decided it was definitely safe and it was the right product.
He even bought the correct brush sponge for applying stain, long handle and all.
We went home all excited and happy, looking forward to our new project.
He opened the can and as he poured the stain into the roller pan, the stain splashed up the side of the wall.
I ran for the bleach wipes and scrubbed most of the dark brown stain off the wallpaper. It left light brown blotches, but as I looked around at the rest of the room I realized it matched the blotches that were part of the pattern. How lucky could we get?
He read the first paragraph of instructions and started to spread the stain.
It smelled pretty bad, but we figured the over powering odor would fade when the stain dried. It didn’t.
By ten o’clock that night, we had matching migraines and he was reading the instructions.
“It’s advised to leave the house for at least a week after applying this product.”
When he read that sentence to me, I almost passed out on the floor; but then again, maybe it was the fumes.
So after a week (they were right) we were able to move our bed out of the dining room and into the little bedroom.
We are not Chip and Joanna.