Gift of Words

Double haiku (acrostic no less!) from my husband for my birthday, 2018:

My wife, my whole life,
Always caring and serving,
Redeems me through grace.

Talented artist
Heals hearts with wisdom and prose;
Ageless beauty, she.


Poem for my birthday from my husband, 2017:

Today is her birthday.

She didn’t ask for much –

just some flowers and nice words.

She never asks for much –

just the hardest things for me give:

patience

kindness

compassion

tenderness…

simple gifts that cost nothing

but my ego and pride

which I, shamefully,

have treasured more than gold.

For forty and four sun-cycles

she has lived;

I’ve known her for nineteen of them

and lived with her

longer than any other –

even my own family.

She is

a writer, poet, teacher, and mother

my closest family and confidant.

She has

loved, honored, and stayed with me

even when I have not been

loving, honorable, or companionable.

Today is her birthday.

She doesn’t ask for much

just some flowers

and nice words

and the hardest gift for me to find:

to be a better man.

She deserves the best.


Thank you, honey. You know words are my favorite gift. :* Thank you,

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Present to Myself

Last year, for my birthday, I decided that I wanted to upgrade my WordPress blog. It’s a gift to myself because this blog, and writing in general, has been the single most beneficial thing to my mental health that I have ever done.

It’s cheaper than a therapist.

I’m reaching out in a community of thoughtful people and plumbing the depths of honesty and reality. Exploring my creativity and ability to learn anything over 40. I’m a self-taught writer and in love with words. Mine and other people’s. I never knew that until here. This.

I always hated reading. I loved certain books, but reading was difficult for me. I would usually lose my place when I read, start thinking of other things (Did I just read an entire paragraph and think about dogs at the same time? What did I just read? I just read this same paragraph 5 times and I still didn’t retain it.) and never finish the 3 chapters of History that are due tomorrow.

But I love seeing the insides of people’s brains here on WordPress. Some of you are flat-out word Picassos. Thank you. Wish I had more time to read now.

So now, every year around my birthday, I’m reminded of the gift I gave myself when I renew my subscription. A lifetime of thoughts and memories written down like a book of love. Realizations that I have forgotten with day-to-day living. Measurement of how far I’ve come. And a reminder that I have a group of people who care what the inside of my brain looks like. ❤

Happy early birthday to me. 🙂

Happy Bday, Baby

Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday. Happy birthday, Honey! 🙂

Guy isn’t the best husband I’ve ever met or known. But I don’t see what everyone’s husband is like at home. So, I sit and write, corrected. He may be the best. Maybe. But, for sure, he’s the best husband I’ve ever had. (I’ve only had the one.)

Guy is very caring. Listens more than most. Can be very understanding. Is emotional. Sentimental. Loving. Sexy. Affectionate! Flawed.

Temperamental! Demanding, at times. Sometimes selfish.

Guy is still the funniest person I personally know. Perhaps just as funny as most celebrities. And just as creative and talented, given the chance.

He’s brilliant, in his way. Sensitive to the world. And darn handsome IMO.

He puts up with my issues/PTSD/abuse history. He also accepts our meager living due to my artistic passions and multiple difficulties with physical and mental health.

And. Guy is striving toward a relationship with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. This is his most wonderful and inspiring trait right now. I see him trying. Struggling. Holding a light of inspection over his life to see how to make it better. For me, for Lilli and for himself. But most of all, to serve God.

I see this desire. I see his yearning. I pray for him every day that it will grow and that he will change. Not for me, but for himself and for God.

I love you, Honey. I’m so glad you were born. That you survived. That you’re here with me, that we created Lilli, and that we have this place, together. I know I’m not perfect. Neither of us are. But we have each other and that’s a lot. I’m so glad your parents loved each other, created your life, and that you are here against all odds. They would be proud. And I know my mom loves you, like you were her own. So many people do love you. You have done good in the world and I praise you for that. HBD, Guy.

You saved me from a life of loneliness, isolation and destruction. Thank you.

5th-Grade Death Race

Slumber party. 5th grade. Cray-cray.

I was not popular. I was on the fringes of popular. And that’s okay.

My best friend in 5th grade was invited to a sleepover. Quite a few of the 5th-grade girls were invited to the birthday party, but I was not. I felt left out and disappointed. But as I look back, it shouldn’t have been such a big deal, I wasn’t good friends with the birthday girl anyhow. But FoMO. Am I rite??

If my best friend was going to an overnight slumber party, would she still be my best friend??! Also, looking back, my best friend? She was close friends with everyone. BECAUSE! she was so great. I was just clingy. I mean, she was funny and cool and comforting. The person you can’t live without because they entertain you. The person who draws fake boobs on everything. The person who shares your first fart joke. The person who finds your eyes when something’s funny. The person who can make you feel like you’re the only person in the room. Everyone wants that.

“So don’t go without me!” is what I was screaming. In my mind.

My friend could tell I was tormented, so she begged Birthday Girl to invite me. I’m in! Who’s birthday is it now? lol (I loathe my childhood self. Needy, demanding and oh-so tragic brat. I’m better now.) 🙂

We all arrive that Friday evening to BG’s house. She lived in the country and had a house with a downstairs rec room (split-level ranch). I was always fascinated by basements because our house did not have one. Basements were the first whiff of independence. Parents directed minors to the partially-finished basements of their homes, never to check on their welfare again. It was a laissez-faire lounge of anything goes. What happens in the rec room, stays in the rec room.

Most rec rooms were designed for active children. You usually couldn’t break anything, even if you tried. There was usually an old TV and stereo. Outdated pieces of furniture, matted and discolored carpets, junk-food snacks and unheard-of board games. A pleasure-dome palace of epic proportions for preteen parties. Perfect.

When most of us had grown bored of board games and bedlam, in the strained hours before pretending to go to sleep, someone suggested Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board. A new “board” game?

“What is it?”

Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board is stupid. That’s what it is. A girl is supposed to lie down in the middle of a circle. Each circle member puts two fingers (index and middle) from both hands under the body of the immobile girl in the middle. Everyone’s supposed to concentrate and quietly chant, “Light as a feather, stiff as a board.” (At a 5th grade slumber party? Fat chance!) And then the girl should rise effortlessly off the ground and levitate.

LOL

It could happen. In 5th grade, anything was possible.

So, we turned out all the lights in the already-dim basement and made a skinny girl (better chance of lifting her) lie down in our covenly circle. I was serious, but most were not. There were titters and giggles from every participant at one point or another. It was hard to tell who was breaking, but from the sounds, it was practically all.

After minutes of trying, I got frustrated. Not so much at the gigglers, but having all the lights out. I didn’t like being in the dark. In my previous story, I explained. I just hated being completely blind. I had a terrible fear of someone sneaking up on and grabbing me, attacking me, biting my toes, killing me, whatever. Irrational and overwhelming. I had to have all of my body parts under a blanket at night or I freaked out. Even if it was dead of summer and I was sweating bullets. I slept with a night light until the age of…last night. I know, it’s stupid. But I just accept it. Everyone hates it, but it’s just who I am. You’re welcome, for not stubbing your toes at night when you patter off to the bathroom.

So, after several minutes of quite seriously trying to lift a girl off the floor in the complete black of BG’s basement, I freaked out and went to the top of the stairs and flipped on the light. Phew.

Then all hell broke loose. It sounded like hell anyway. All I could hear were girls voices whisper-screaming at each other to:

Try again.
Calm down.
Turn that light off.
What’s going on??
Lay down!
Use your fingers.
Stop laughing.
*Gasp* Did she move?
Who farted??

LOL

I also heard shuffling, scurrying, stifled sighs and laughter. After a few minutes, some of my more concerned friends (or other dark-fearers) softly approached me on the stairs.

“You okay?”

I nodded.

“Coming back down? Come back down!”

I vigorously shook my head no. And they stayed for a while, attempting to comfort me.

Inevitably, some noise would draw them back down at a chance for fun or fright. But I stayed at the top until they eventually tired and turned on a light. If this was a horror movie, I would have been the survivor.

I don’t think the game, or anyone, got off the ground. A few people claimed that so-and-so moved slightly, but that was a stretch. Others denied it. Others were confused. “No one will ever know if it worked or not.”

Yes. We will. It didn’t. Pretty sure! LOL


This story was mainly to show the ridiculous nature of preteen girls and the power of suggestion. Most primary-school slumber parties ended with a horror movie and/or dabbling in the occult. We watched Death Race 2000 with Sylvester Stallone and David Carradine. A Friday Fright Night TV airing of a cross-country automobile race where the drivers try to hit people and kill them with their cars. For points! We also listened to a spooky radio show on the stereo while trying to drift off to sleep. Stupid! Not going to sleep! Ever.

Some people just like to be scared. I’d rather have another slice of pizza, please.