Spring Protection

“Spring cleaning”,

“juice cleanse”

these “phrases” have been churning around my brain–

if/when to actually sort the accumulation of junk

if/when I actually want to start a juice cleanse.

“Ugh. Why would you ever want to do another cleanse?,” the Red Knight asks

It’s not the actual cleanse I want to do-

its the idea of ridding myself of all that is stagnant.

I just know that I want to feel a little lighter

less weighed down

like I can actually view the gleaming light at the end of my tunnel

instead of being bogged down by clutter.

So I start to sort through everything, place things into bags, make lists so that I know what needs to be done-

but the feeling of lightness is fleeting. . . .

And the one area that I know truly needs to be cleaned out

is the area that I am most reluctant to examine . .

the area that often causes the most heartache in life-

relationships.

Not every relationship needs to be cleaned out

some need to be repaired, patched, reinforced.

Others though-others need to be let go-completely done away with.

Just the realization is difficult-

hard to swallow-

causes indigestion.

I’ve never been good at letting go of relationships.

I’ve held onto some that cause more harm than joy.

Spring cleaning is seizing me and I know that I must act-

set limits and boundaries-

say “no” when I truly cannot accommodate,

eliminate noise-

add positivity to my world—

actively strive to protect my heart.

Spring cleaning is about protection-

ridding ourselves of physical clutter and the emotional suitcases that we have been lugging around for far too long.

Ultimately you cannot protect what you cannot even reach-

be it the closet with your favorite dress-

the organs that continually sustain you-

your heart.

Spring cleaning is exhausting, tiring, at times painful but at the end-

lighter hearts prevail

and we can pack our suitcases with positivity and optimism as bright as the newness of a Spring day.

With this perspective I eye my lists as I begin my spring cleaning reminding myself that at the end of this journey

the feeling of lightness will ultimately be achieved through protection-

because this spring I choose to protect my heart.

What are you protecting this spring?

For the Women in My Life

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We’re both standing in the ashes of our dreams-

empty fields for different reasons.

She who inspires me-

who lifts me when I  feel too feeble

when my brain is too foggy,

my heart too heavy.

She who can easily be described as a warrior

one who perseveres

who defies the odds-

whose laughter and love are contagious

is falling.

“This is all so terrifying,” she says.

I’m listening to every word,

hanging onto her words as though they are life.

When the roles are changed she always knows what to say,

knows how to ease my troubles.

All of the words I can think to say to her seem hollow-

seem like lies, insult to injury.

So all I can do is listen, listen and nod-

and when I we say our goodbyes I cry-

and pray and ask, “Why?”

 

I’m sure you weren’t expecting it when you came over

It was just supposed to be a conversation-

about organization

Not one wherein my feelings spew forth-

where I admitted that I once again feel as though I am drowning-

spinning on my hamster wheel of continuity.

So I was relieved when you said you know exactly how I’m feeling-

because every day you feel the same way-

every day treading water.

Did you see me look away because I felt the tears coming on?

I wanted to hug you and cry-

my comrade in the trenches.

“Say no,” you said, “Get rid of the noise.”

Just like that you’ve pulled me from the brink of isolation-

from my go to means of survival.

 

We haven’t been friends for that long-

a few months at best.

In this moment though, you’re crying-

hot tears that mirror the rage inside of me-

because someone didn’t treat me kindly-

didn’t do what they should have done-

we have become sisters.

I can always count on you -

no questions asked.

Who doesn’t ask questions?

I’m wondering how it all happened-

what I did to warrant your friendship

and loyalty-

don’t you need to know more about me?

I’m racking my brain and discover no answer-

whatever it was-

I’m glad I did it.

 

My sister who I rarely see-

who lovingly and truthfully calls my daughter baby Tamar-

is putting into words what I have so vividly felt.

Somehow she’s able to reach into my soul-

help me understand why certain things are hurting me so.

If she could only see me on the other side of the phone

see the tears forming as she soothes my soul.

I’m continually dumbfounded by her grace

and beauty,

her heart, her love.

 

You pack your kids in the car

with a pan of rolls and hesitatingly show up at my front door.

Just because.

You tell me to eat as you start to clean.

All I can do is stare as I look at you in awe-

because I’m wondering if you know how many times you’ve saved me;

How many times you’ve come to my rescue.

I know I’ll never be able to completely repay you-

to say thank you enough-

so some how I must show you-

show you how much I love you.

 

If I close my eyes I can see all of you

lined up in front of me.

Friends, daughters,

Sisters

Fighters, healers

Women.

Each one of you uniquely you-

uniquely crafted to navigate the circumstances you’ve been given

somehow forged to withstand the many tears from your eyes.

I am humbled by your presence-

enriched by your intellect-

inspired by your breath-

dazzled by your

existence.

Words are inadequate to describe the fulness of my heart-

the color of my life-

you.

How do you describe something that is already-

perfect?

Ruins of Hatred

I went to a party last night.

I love parties.

Well, I used to love parties.

I love celebrating people,

I love being with people I love.

I used to sit for a few moments observing,

figuring out my place.

Now I sit quietly because the moment I walk in,

the moment I feel everyone’s energy-

I start feeling like I’m buzzing.

A few moments into the party last night and I knew-

yet I hoped-

hoped that last night of all nights it wouldn’t be the case.

We ate, I chatted,

I thought maybe I could stay longer-

and then-

then the amazingly talented band started playing.

The throbbing in the back of my neck increased,

my head started pounding.

I reminded myself to breathe,

I even walked away from the band.

Suddenly I knew I had to go,

my damaged brain overstimulated,

the gallant Red Knight scoped up E and away we went.

We walked into the rain

I took a few steps-

and the shaking commenced.

I stood slumped in the rain while

the Red Knight and an unhappy E retrieved the car.

I got in the car and sat the short drive to our home,

seconds from the driveway I burst into tears.

I hate my stroke.

I hate it.

I couldn’t even stay at a family party.

Couldn’t listen to the family band play.

The stroke has ruined my whole cussing life.

I was sobbing as I gingerly came into the house.

I eventually made it to my bed-

where I sobbed-

and sobbed-

and sobbed.

The tears on my cheeks were hot

almost as hot as the anger inside of me.

The anger that has been building for the last 3 1/2 years.

My stroke didn’t just change my life, it changed the Red Knight’s life,

it changed E’s life-

all she’ll ever know is a Mom who shakes, whose head hurts-

a Mom who she so lovingly lays on the bed next to-

wrapping her arms around my neck and says,

“It’s ok Mommy.  I’m gonna fix your shakes.”

Oh-

It didn’t ruin everything.

Love prevails-

pushing out the hatred

the agony, the carnage and destruction of my stroke.

In this moment I may feel defeated-

angry, alone, and confused-

but I will not allow it win-

because to give in,

to truly hate it

is to allow it to win.