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hope

hope Perseverance

Things

A life well lived.

Things aren’t just things.

They carry with them a weight and a flavor. In my life, more often heavy and bitter than light and sweet; but memorable nonetheless. And I cannot touch things without remembering the feelings associated with them.

The soft satin trim on a baby blanket as I tuck a childhood poem into a box for Grad School. The pang of panic as I stroke the edge of the rocking horse that added that scar to a forehead. That one I move into the pile to sell. The grit of dirt permanently ground into a softball jersey and the mix of melancholy and pride I felt as I watched young fingers wrap themselves around the last trophy with this sport. Beatrix Potter books with bindings not yet broken and the wonder I feel as I contemplate if I will still be alive to see my children read them to their children.

I run my fingers across the grooves on the otherwise smooth surface of the tea table I once coveted. I cared that it was marred by flying blocks and Legos. I no longer do. I can no longer even conceive of a single reason that I would. And I wonder who I was back then.

Bankers boxes full of papers a decade old labeled TAXES and MAYO CLINIC and DIVORCE. It takes all my physical weight to shove them to the back of the niche under the stairs and all of my emotional weight to bolt lock these particular memories into Pandora’s box again. It can be done regardless of the fact that they feel endless and heavy.

There are a few that slide easily into donation bags; like tile samples for the big house I would someday have or Yankees T-shirts. They are about the only things that already feel empty.

Snow pants that no longer fit anybody are still folded neatly in the bottom of the Rubbermaid box by the basement walk out atop tiny muddy boots and beneath a homemade scarf in red and blue hometown colors. They haven’t been touched in years but are still burgeoning with laughter from the small hill in the back yard where the kids used to sled for hours every day.

But, most of all, the keys and the ring on which they hang because they feel like independence. I once lived a life where even the keys themselves were locked away and I was not allowed to touch them. But now they are all mine – to the side door, and the back door, and the front door and the safe. To the hope chest. Most of all, to Hope itself.

And as I prepare this warm and beautiful home which I will soon lock with those keys for the very last time, I finally taste more sweet than bitter. And as I stroke the cool, rugged edges I feel pride in my perseverance; and Freedom.

Finally.

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hope priorities

Unburdened

I’m a 48 year old woman who hasn’t yet experienced true partnership. And I don’t just want true partnership; my entire being aches for it. Like a pregnant body or a heart with nowhere to send its cargo, things…

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courage healing hope

Gentle Men

Gentle men are like unicorns. Elusive. Solitary. Almost impossible to find. A gentle man listens carefully but has an opinion of his own. He nudges the status quo and encourages his partner to do the same. He is considerate…

Feet
courage hope perspective

Walking With No Feet

While sitting with some wonderful people and talking about relationships a beautiful young woman next to me tearfully wailed “how am I supposed to walk if I have no feet?” This powerful statement was in reference to the gaps…

Southern Oregon University
courage family hope thriving

The Beauty of Ashland

I do not know how to describe this place to honor it properly. Or how to ever repay it for the kindness and healing it has shown me. But, I will do my best with my simple words so…

embrace
courage hope strength

De facto

de facto – adverb, adjective.  actually existing, especially when without lawful authority I am this; the de facto expert that I never wanted to be.  Last week, three women sought my help.   I’m not really sure why.  I don’t…

Hudson River
courage healing hope letting go

The Last Train Out

I spent the weekend revisiting the City that I tried to make my 2nd Home. This time I visited it alone. Yes, my flip flops were in the corner of his apartment on Dorchester in Brooklyn, and my satin…

Blue Sky
courage healing hope

Too Ugly to Heal

After posting a series of stories about Domestic Violence survivors last year, I was approached by several people to compile them into a book.  I was hesitant because my personal experience is that we, as survivors, don’t really matter. …