Monday, December 31, 2012

From basement to ceiling

"But in my head
    there's some shelves that need cleaning
          from basement to ceiling -

I believe in fresh starts. Clean slates. Clear consciences. Of course these are not limited to any calendar day or to specific moments in time. But today, I choose again to leave the filth behind.

In 2013, I'm going to find that girl I left back in 2010. But the pieces of myself that I left in your arms, the ones in your hands, and especially the ones at your feet... keep them. I have not yet forgiven you, but on most days I can forgive myself. And for that, I am grateful.

To take each day as it comes.
To continue healing.
To live in grace.
To breathe.
To love.

Happy new year.

"Understand.. that God wrapped you like a bow."

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


December 25, 2012
11:54 PM

We lay in bed, facing each other. He exhales.

Just very happy.

With the pale, silvery street light filtered through the curtains, I can see the contours of his cheek. I touch my hand to his face.

He is smiling.

I want to capture this moment. I want to seal it in a Mason jar and hide it away because I am afraid that he will forget what it feels like to love me.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Like spoons in a drawer.

His arm is heavy at my waist. His chest is pressed against my back. He is not snoring, but the warmth of his breath on my neck is steady.

It is freezing outside. He keeps me warm. He wants me here.

It's not often that I feel small, but he wraps me up like a child. He keeps me safe.

And still I am unsure.

He loves me. He loves me not.
Is this for real?
I don't want to stay in this place. It's too cold.
I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Would you erase me?

She liked to start random conversations about the mature, the macabre, and the unconventional. It was no holds barred, as if she had never heard of age-appropriate parenting.

When I was eight years old, my mother informed me that the holidays are the worst time of year.

"For some people," she explained, "the season stirs up old memories they'd much rather forget." She then told me that many people contemplate suicide at Christmastime.

I sat in the truck next to her, staring out the passenger window while I pondered. It had never crossed my mind that forgetting something might be of benefit. Were there things I wished I could forget? Looking back, there are certainly events I wish had never happened at all. There were grotesque and disturbing things that no child should ever endure.

          But now the damage is done.
          So would forgetting really be a good thing?
          I don't think so.

Time heals all wounds, but memories of how the we sustained them make us stronger. The memory, the knowing, the scar... These protect us from repeated abuse.

To this day I cannot say if my mother just hoped for conversation or if she was leaking the truth. Or perhaps she was purposefully preparing me for the real world.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dirty Water

In reality, the first snow is not pretty. It is not plush or white, but thin and grey. Immediately transforming into slush, the first snow disappears into dirty water beneath my feet. It veils high branches and fallen leaves and it waits until the evening to freeze into black ice.

The first snow is not trustworthy.

The ground is too warm but my hands are always cold. The miserable sky gives me shivers, even indoors. My skin feels tight and I take too many bubble baths.

Winter snow on television is false advertising.

I will drink hot tea to keep from eating too much as I relish the day free of distraction.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Reading genuinely inspires me. 
     To think. 
          To write. 
               To listen. 

Reading can put the world at your fingertips and opportunity in your reach. 
I wish I could encourage Jack's son to read more. He is all video games, cartoons and basketball. 
The attention span of a 


He is demanding and spoiled. He gets what he wants with barely a whisper of gratitude. It's not his own fault, of course. He has learned that his behavior is acceptable. I watch from the sidelines, wide-eyed. 

These are delicate waters to tread. I offer subtle suggestions only as they relate to me. 
May I help him write thank you notes for his birthday gifts this year?
Perhaps you could let him know that I appreciate an answer when I speak to him, even if the TV is on?
What might I get him for Christmas besides electronics or sports gear?

I am nobody to give parenting advice. 

Do I actually resent having nothing in common with an eleven year old boy?

Saturday, December 1, 2012


The job was fun. The money was decent.
Life was exciting. This was our time.

After a busy night of emergency duty, I would leave the hospital just after eight. It was all I could do to stay awake on the drive home in notoriously tedious rush hour traffic. He usually left before I got home in the morning. I would be gone before he came home after five. My fourteen hour night shifts and his average daytime schedule meant that we sometimes missed each other for days. But I was a night owl and the best part of a graveyard shift was working only three days a week.

The apartment was quiet. Blackout curtains in the bedroom were drawn closed and the warm, orange glow of the hurricane lamp pooled on my pillow. He had turned down the bed for me before he left. Mellow, barely audible music spread across the room from the tiny radio on the dresser. Even at nine o'clock in the morning, climbing into bed was irresistible. He did this for me.

These days, I try not to dwell on the good parts. They double-cross me. That he could be so attentive and charming through all of the mistakes...
It all becomes my fault.