Day #141: A Love Poem

His strength secures me,
His sexiness thrills me,
His intelligence stimulates me,
His love overwhelms me,
But it is his gentleness that sustains me.
It is like a hand at the small of the back–quiet, unassuming, but always supporting.
I love the gentle kindness that illuminates crystal blue eyes,
That hugs away the stress,
That seeks to share, and at times, shoulder my burden for me.
I love the way he gently uses words
To teach,
To soothe,
To exalt.
But never to harm.
There is so very, very much to love about him.
But it is his gentleness that anchors this heart to him.
Any my heart is his forever…

Day #107: The Time You Enjoy Wasting, Is Not Wasted Time

Friday… that is such an amazing word… it always fills my heart with the joy of freedom and the hope of sleeping in!

And after an intense few days of caring for the mostly-better little love, it was a slight relief to drop her at her father’s house. They had extra-special things planned this weekend so I knew she would be happy and exhausted come Sunday when she came home.

My Love and I went to the gym and ran our five miles, we took a dip in the therapy pool (warm temps feel amazing on sore muscles), we went to dinner with his parents, we came home and snuggled and read and just relaxed. It was nothing and it was amazing all rolled into one…

As we were talking to his parents about future plans… at one point his mom quietly stated, “Don’t wait till retirement to do what you love.” And I realized, while there are, of course, goals and experiences we long for, these lazy nights are perfect. Holding hands, his scent in my nose, good conversations, tangled up as we read… no matter where life takes us… us is enough… and that is both rare and amazing.

Day #104: Some Days are Way Too Much

I am having an introverted day and even the thought of sharing my thoughts and feelings here feels like too much energy.

 
I ran another 5 miles today. Struggled through some, soared through a little. Mostly I hated the loud music in my ears but needed the tempo to keep me going. The lights in the gym were so bright and people were everywhere. It was taxing in more ways than one…

 
My little love came home from her dad’s house and said so many words in the first five minutes I thought I might completely lose it. But managed to successfully navigate her to bed without sticking socks in my ears… or her mouth

 
Another load of laundry… another dishwasher full of dishes… now to put away the laundry and take a shower…

 
Then into my blissfully dark and silent bed with my Love in his solid weight and warmth against me… and that will by far be my favorite part of this “way too much” day…

 
Good night my gentle readers…

Days #98-101: The Struggle is Real

I have developed a catch in my back that seems to refuse to go away. It is bothering the nerves in my right leg so that when I try to exercise my entire leg goes numb.

I have also caught a nasty cold that has the pressure in my head so intense that I feel like it will surely explode and that would be preferable to how I feel.

The snow has been beautiful but plentiful on Monday, Tuesday, and now Friday and Saturday encouraging my hermit-like existence this week.

To top it all off, I took my Love to get a simple medical procedure done yesterday morning. His doctor wanted a endoscopy to see if there was a reason for his chronic acid reflux. As they were placing his second attempt at an IV, he had a vasovagal response and passed out. He fell back on the bed, his heart rate dropped, his breathing slowed, and began to jerk in a seizure-like way. We went from one nurse to five in about ten seconds and they started different things to get him stable and going again. The whole experience only lasted about a minute. Then he was awake again and they had him hooked up on oxygen and saline. But it was the longest moment of my life, thus far. I knew rationally that no one dies from passing out over a needle. But I wasn’t exactly rational in that extended moment of panic and my brain (why do brains do this?) automatically went to worse-case scenario, “What if I lose him?”

Let me be really honest about myself for a moment. I am a wanderer, a dreamer, a doer, a be-er, but I’m not a great lover. I tend to focus too much on the tasks, the to-do list, the future, the adventure, and I have learned through nature or nurture to not get too attached to anything in my life. I have moved several times in my adult life, I have changed jobs often, I have watched too many friends and lovers become strangers. Therefore, some where along the way I decided it is better just not to put too much stock in any relationship because they all seem to falter or fail. I enjoy friends and family but mostly on a pretty superficial level and I’m completely okay with how things are.

But when my Love came along, he demanded differently. He helped me go into the deepest parts of me. He gently teased out my thoughts and opinions on things. He created such an environment of safety for us that I was able to finally let my guard down completely. I love him from the best of me with all of me because I trust there will never be a day he won’t see that in me. What we have is rare and vulnerable and frighteningly everything. Our souls are intertwined as they dance through this life completely individual but always as one. I never knew the completeness of love until him.

So as my mind went to what life would be without him, I could not possibly fathom it. As I sat beside him for the next hour, his face pale, his body trembling, his voice unsure, I saw it in his eyes too.

He looked at me, tears threatening to spill over, squeezing my hand, and whispered, “You are the best person I know.”

And I whispered back, “Thank you for really knowing me.”

Day #78: Marriage, Love, and Abiding Joy

We drove and drove and drove today. We went from Arkansas to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We sang and danced. We played games. We jammed to music. We ate. We listened to TED Talks. We answered “love questions.” We talked about everything and nothing. We sat quietly holding hands.

We laughed and we loved and we never once grew tired of each other. The thing is… we never do.

And twelve hours later, I was in New Mexico getting ready to embark on a new adventure with my best friend. And I couldn’t be happier…

Day #72

My Love and I have a “game” we play. It’s called “Remember that time…

We’ll think of fun time, silly time, or really big time…

“Remember that time we went to Kansas City for your birthday and got tattoos?”

“Remember that time we went to New York for Christmas and it snowed while we watched the light show?”

“Remember that time we went to Yellowstone and hiked all day so then we got tipsy off one glass of wine?”

Remember that time… it’s a favorite of mine…


In my efforts to live presently I most often berate myself for living too much in the future. As I’ve mentioned before, my Love and I are dreamers and always planning our next move in life. But this game as helped me see I live in the past, at times, too…

And I’m beginning to wonder…

If the balance isn’t the place in-between. Where intentional daily living produces a life you love so much you don’t mind reliving it in memory. That my today is a beautiful yesterday leading me to my brightest tomorrows.

Today we cross-trained, Wednesday we rested, tomorrow we run. It is what must happen to create the race experience we desire. Maybe the same is true in life… maybe we have to dabble in yesterday to create today in order to embrace tomorrow

…maybe the balance is there in that in-between.

A blonde girl with a blue bow peering of into the distance while her food sits in front of her.
Waiting anxiously for the first sight of the best friend.

Day #71

It was an ordinary run in the park. It was chilly so not a lot of people were there. I ran my 3 miles steadily, slowly, and with little pizzazz. But I ran it all and I finished.

Then my Love and I went back to Adalie’s dance class and waited. We did dinner, bath, homework, bed. I did my homework … Love worked on his computer. We went to bed, we kissed good night, we drifted into dream worlds.

It was nothing special of a day by the markers of extraordinary days. But it was mine and I loved it.

Every grateful breath of it.

Shiny balls of candy-coated chocolate atop ice cream in a clear bowl.

Day #63

Today my Love woke up sick. Back to the doctor and another round of antibiotics. More infection and more depleted energy.

We were supposed to run 5 miles today. But I chose to nourish with food instead of exercise today.

And what do we cook for the ill? Soup, of course! My Love is allergic to a good deal of foods so no chicken noodle here. I made carrot ginger soup instead.

A stock pot with soup ingredients in it. I giggled to myself as I placed leek, garlic, ginger and then broth, 2 lbs of carrots, and salt with a small dash of cinnamon. I giggled because of everyone who give outcry that healthy food is too expensive. My simple little soup was so cheap but rich in nutrients and vitamins and love.

I mindfully prepared this meal for my sick Love. I peeled the carrots and thought of them deep in dirt somewhere growing in the sun soaking up the water. I imagined the leeks being pulled from the ground and rinsed on their journey to my kitchen. As I stirred it all up, I focused on the energy and health that was present in that pot.

There is life and death in the power of food, my gentle readers.

An hour later, we sat down to eat.

He’s grinning at my homemade delight, “It looks like a gourmet soup.” And after tasting it, raves about how good it tastes.

Now I’m grinning ear to ear. The nurturer is being nurtured because there is health and harm in the power of words as well.

And there is love all around …

 

Day #62

I had work and class tonight (2 more after tonight) so no time to walk today. But I got to share in others’ enlightenment and that was just as good as anything I could have come up with … so here is what I learned today:

1. Having sex with your husband at least 1x a week can cure 70% of your marriage problems given the right circumstances.

2. When a child is able to go to sleep at a reasonable time and stay asleep, they are much more agreeable during the day.

3. When a child is actually getting the nutrients they need from food by avoiding foods they are allergic to, they have fewer stomachaches and less irritability which leads to fewer fits.

4. When we take time to practice mindful gratitude, we are less likely to feel depressed.

5. We all worry that we are screwing up our own offspring.

6. The power of knowledge can give us the strength to let go of unhealthy habits and relationships. It can empower us to advocate for ourselves.

7. A good husband is rare, a romantic one is rarer, one that seems to have an endless supply of love for you is worth climbing mountains for… I would climb that mountain every day for the rest of my life as long as I got to keep my Love.

A synthetic, red rose lying upon a chair.

Venison with a Side of Exhaustion

The Mrs. wrote a short post today about relief. You can read it here, if you didn’t get here through those means.

Relief can come in different ways at times. Sometimes, it’s a relief to have fears confirmed, because at least there is closure. Other times, it’s a relief to find out there is nothing to worry about. I took a walk today, for the Mrs, and as I walked I considered the leaves under my feet, the scents in the air, and I observed the random thoughts that flooded my mind when I let down my guard.

I walked to the Mrs.’s mother’s house to fetch an armload of venison that was to be prepared for when she got home from her very long day of counseling, teaching, and foster-care interviewing. I considered the warm welcome I got when walking into “Mimi’s” home. Two smiling faces, welcoming me with cheer. Two happy dogs eager to receive my affection. Oh, and an arm-full of assorted venison.

As I departed, my heart was full with this thought: Home is a beautiful thing. It knows no geographical location, nor is it limited by any physical constraints. Home is where they love you.

The walk home was filled with thoughts of all that needed to be done. Anxieties were fully felt, and I allowed them to pass by. Again I focused on yellow tree leaves under my feet, the smell of burning wood in fireplaces, and the bite of the cold on my lips.

I acknowledged the perfection in nature.

I appreciated the work those trees did in producing that leaf that now lies dead up the blacktop. I appreciated the scent of smoke from the trees that now serve a different purpose. In those few moments, I chose also to appreciate myself and those around me.

Why? Because I’m actually alive. And in choosing to appreciate, I’m choosing to acknowledge the incredible work that goes into even one element of order in this world. One successful relationship, one completed project, one well-deserved evening of exhaustion.

And as the Mrs. and I ate our venison and veggies, we appreciated the light cast from our Christmas tree. We appreciated the savory flavors and aromas from our meal. And most of all, we appreciated the presence of a fellow world-worn sojourner.

We found life in our shared experience… of exhaustion.