Category Archives: Love Story

The Peace that Blooms

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The Peace that Blooms

 

 

 

 

The scent of roses hovers near
Chasing the pain away
Bringing us closer to the things we fear
Drawing them into the light of day.

And once we uncover the truth inside
The petals peel away into a flower
To open our hearts that wanted to hide
Unveiling the depth of our inner power.

No longer does the bud exist
It’s grown beyond its former bounds
Despite its death, it still persists
In the form that it has newly found.

Patience is all that is required
That, and, of course, an open heart
Of the souls that seek their fate’s desire
From which true love will never part.

On this journey wide and far
That starts from such a simple seed
We find that no matter where we are
We will always have all that we need.

Can I Love You Less?

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“It’s a love like no other.”

baby-lovedAt least that’s what I’ve been told. I’ve also heard, “It’s the purest unconditional love” and “Like nothing else on Earth.” Maybe for you it is. But that’s not me.

You see, I recently became a grandparent, and all my grandparent friends congratulated me with sentiments like these. But I don’t get it. And it makes me feel like maybe I’m missing something.

Did I not love my children? Wasn’t that unconditional love? I cried when my babies were handed to me. I was overjoyed as I counted their fingers and toes. I saw my own hands in my son’s long fingers. Can anything compare to that?

Did I not love my husband? There were times it felt that our hearts melted together and we knew that in that moment we were both the same.

Do I not love my siblings? For certain, I love them and my friends unconditionally. They are who they are, and I accept that. We’ve shared joys and sorrows, fun and laughter. And even though I don’t speak to some of them very often, I still feel the same. Our history is still shared. Our memories are interwoven.

I loved my parents my whole life, and even though they’re both gone, I love them still.

I love my sons, both of them, equally. They are totally different and each has talents and characteristics that make him unique. I love that about them. And it doesn’t matter whether they become rich or successful or live as a struggling artist. I will always love them with all my heart.

And don’t all parents feel that way? So how is it that people freely say they love their grandchildren like never before? Do some people actually dole out less love to their children than they did to their parents? Or worse, do some people share less love with their aging – perhaps dying – parents than they do with this little person only months old?

Evidently, they do. They hold back their hearts. I don’t understand it because we are the ones who lose out. When we hold love back because of hurt. Or when we hold it back out of fear that it won’t be returned. Or when we hold it back out of anger or because we think others aren’t worthy. Or worse, when we believe we aren’t worthy.

The way I see it, love is not something that is dependent on who the recipient is…whether your parent, spouse, child or neighbor. Love is a result of the giver. You either give love or you don’t.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you felt the same love for your father, despite his dementia and constant need for attention, that you do for the infant with her inability to communicate and total dependence?

And of course you can. Because it’s your decision how much you love.

It doesn’t matter that you have a history with someone or not. It’s the same with this little baby girl who hasn’t yet spoken my name – or should I say the name she will eventually call me. Does it matter that I don’t have to put her to bed every night? Does it matter that she looks equally like her other side of the family as she does mine? Not at all. But then, it never mattered with my sons either. It didn’t matter how they did in school. Or whether they excelled at sports. I love them fully. I don’t think I could love anyone more. Or less.

Because love doesn’t vary with the way others behave. It’s not love that changes. Love only varies when we decide not to give it.

It’s just a choice we make to feel or not feel it. And like every other decision, we can change it. We can give our hearts the freedom to love everyone. Equally. Because it’s our heart to give, it’s our choice how “in love” we feel. And once we open up our hearts and treat everyone with the love they probably don’t “deserve” but need just the same, the whole world changes. People know when they’re being treated with love. And they return it the same way it was given.

So do yourself a favor. If you want to be loved unconditionally, you must love others the same way. And without fail, they will love you back. All of them. Every time. They won’t be able to help themselves.

And believe me when I say it’s possible. Because I couldn’t love you less.

Long Distance

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It was just a little whisper, taken by surprise

A sleepy, easy morning, with dreams still in your eyes.

What I heard was a peaceful, breathless kind of “Hi”

Stretching under blankets, as you let the day go by.

Then our conversation – cut short by company,

Turned to a lovely moment, where neither of us could be.

But in my imagination, it all became quite clear

Despite the miles between us, each phone call brings us near.

And in that one small word, without giving any warning,

My soul was called back home on that easy Sunday morning.

And, as each tomorrow slowly whittles away today

I’m comforted by that word that now sounds so far away.

Like a lyric in my mind that lingers on all day

I stop and have to wonder

What else is there to say?

It’s Midnight

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Well, I came to the city… I was running from the past

My heart was bleeding… And it hurt my bones to laugh

A month in ICU. Yes, a month. That’s a long time for someone to need state-of-the-art life support. If you’re the one in and out of the coma, that time might pass unnoticed. But if you’re the one standing bedside, eternity passes between flashes of a blinking light on a machine. When it’s your partner of 35 years, your life together flashes before your eyes.

So I asked my friend if she wanted to come hang out with me for a little… just to get some relief from fluorescent lighting. She said she did need to get out of the hospital, and didn’t want to be home alone if they called. She said that once they got through shift change, and he was stable for the night, she would come. That was 6:30 pm. She arrived just after 11:00.

Stayed in the city…No exception to the rules, to the rule

He was born to love me… I was raised to be his fool, his fool

With old friends, no matter how much time has lapsed between visits, there’s no need to catch up. We know who we are. We are there for each other in that moment. We listen when the other needs to decompress.

She described her month – surgical procedures that went on for days, the barrage of “survival odds” given as a regular update, the staff telling her how worried they were for him, and how, in delirium, he had cried out for her for hours one night when she wasn’t there.  And, after 36 days, how thankful she was to be still describing him in the present tense.

Walk that line, torn apart. Spend your whole life trying.

Ride that train, free your heart. It’s midnight up in Harlem.

I was glad she came. But exhausted the next day when she left. We had spent hours talking… questioning… hoping… praying. As we held hands and closed our eyes to say Good-bye, I felt all of the love I have for her and her family, and all of the light of my being move through us together as we asked for a miracle.

Afterward, I felt so drained from being so fully present for her that I needed to sleep. When I awoke, I went out for a walk around the pond. As I sat on the grass and kicked off my flip flops, I checked Facebook on my phone. Posted by a friend was a song – Midnight in Harlem. His suggestion was to let it “blend with you.”

I came to the river… And I took a look around

There were old man’s shoes. There were needles on the ground.

No more mysteries, baby. No more secrets, no more clues.

I took a deep breath and exhaled as the guitar started to twang and the audience cheered. The cymbals shivered as the railroad rhythm unfolded. My toe involuntarily started to keep the beat. As my shoulders rolled down and began to sway, I could feel the chords move me as the singer’s sultry voice reached out. I became aware of the grass under my feet and was transported to that summer concert amphitheater when the back-up singers stepped forward cooing.

The stars are out there.  You can almost see the moon.

The streets are windy and the subway’s closing down.

Gonna carry this dream to the other side of town.

The warm summer breeze moved the grasses and the tall cattails in the marsh – in harmony to the rifts in the song. I could smell the muddy earth mixing with the sweet honeysuckle nearby. Red-wing blackbirds whistled and sparrows flitted, dipped and dived over the shallow water. I closed my eyes and breathed in the music just as I breathed in the air around me. A shiver ran up my spine as I totally absorbed all of the energy from the beauty of this moment… nature, music, poetry…knowing that the art of life is in the living of it and that the spirit is infinite and will bring you back from the edge of sadness to again feel the joy.

Walk that line, torn apart

Spend your whole life trying

Ride that train, free your heart

It’s midnight up in Harlem.

Many thanks to the artists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ubH7dLJJiE&list=FLv4ash5ErtR2eZM3Lu8PFxQ

The Ex marks the spot

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fire and water

A clenching fist of words reached within

And tore the fibers that bound your life to mine

Alone I am ready to begin

To fill the future’s unending depth of time.

The breath that once spoke from heart to heart

Fueling flames raging in a canyon of years

Scorched the earth and drove our love apart

Escaping on a river of Memory’s tears.

But distance now has changed the view of pain

From leaving me to waste and fear and cry

To knowing that it passes as All again.

Faith renews and Love will not deny.

Carnival of Love

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The other day, an online friend shared a piece of beautiful writing. It was about how nice it would be if we could have – as adults – the innocent joy of teenage love.  I’m sure that even if you didn’t personally experience the starry-eyed, giddy school kid crush, Hollywood certainly provides plenty of reference material for you to understand the “share-a-soda-at-the-roller-rink” kind of relationship. And while little whispers and dreamy romance certainly seem to be love. It’s not. That’s the cotton candy of life – light and sweet, but dissolves too quickly to provide any serious sustenance.

It’s like they say in the song… “I found that love is more… than just holding hands.”

Don’t get me wrong. It’s important to keep romance alive in a long-term partnership. Loving couples do giggle at silly stuff, and keeping fun and play is important in everyone’s life, not just in relationships. So what is it then? True love?

Like the other song says… “I looked at love from both sides now.”  So here’s what I’ve found.  Unlike cotton candy, beneath the sweet surface, there’s got to be substance.

Love IS innocent. When you ask “Do I look fat in this?” Love says “You couldn’t possibly.”

Love IS a giddy laugh. When you screw up Thanksgiving dinner, Love says “Really, I had enough to snack on earlier. Turkey just puts me to sleep anyway.”

Love IS that dreamy look. Even when you’re sitting in bed with the flu and a box of tissues, Love says “Do you want me to make tea? or soup?”

Love IS riding around with your head on his shoulder. When the worst call comes and your knees buckle at the news, Love says “You’re not driving. I’ll get the car.”

And Yes, Love DOES hold hands. Especially when you hear the word “diagnosis.” Love says “Ok, we’ll do what we have to do.”

As wonderful as puppy love is, and despite the fondness I have for those days cruising the summer streets with the music loud, and his arm around me as we strolled the fairgrounds, I’ll pass on the cotton candy. True Love is a caramel apple… sweet enough on the surface, but underneath all that yummy gooeyness is something good you can really sink your teeth into.

Love Misunderstood

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I stood looking, hands hanging down

Not knowing how to overcome the animosity within.

Passion so deep – made of pure pain – rises to be heard, but is mute.

Voice is useless, baseless noise and the broken sounds fall on defensive guilt.

The wounded heart retreats.

Again.

Again.

Again.

But the light still streaks through crevices of the mind,

Streaming into the little places of insight.

Are the shadows too large for the tiny spark?

Give me something to burn and I will lift the veil.

Show me the keystone and I will tumble the tower.

Silence

Answered me

No,

The destruction cannot be won.

Collapse will begin when the conspiracy fails.

All truth becomes experience.

Surrender.

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Just Another Day

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Today used to be my wedding anniversary. What once was a significant date with happy memories attached is now just another number on the calendar. It was a gradual erosion. A long time ago, there were celebrations and gifts…then cards and flowers…then dinners and pleasantries. Now there is silence.

As the day began, I realized it would have been 16 years. But it isn’t. It’s no longer a marker of anything special.

Like a sand castle, time was spent building, constructing a place… with towers and spires… and bridges. A little more here, a little smoothed-over there. With each addition, it grew to something recognizable.  A moat was dug for protection from the encroaching sea. The sun shone on the glistening grains and it was good. Not Cinderella’s castle, but a fortress with flags flying nonetheless.

Then the tide turned.  At first, just small damage was done to the perimeter. Then wave after wave assaulted the structure. The intrusion ate at the foundation until the crumbling began. One wall at a time, it slipped away. Eventually, as always, the big breaker came.  Crashing too close, it overwhelmed the turrets and the last defenses. When the water receded, the castle was gone. No one walking past would ever know what had been.

I thought I would be sentimental about it all. But I’m not. It was created, it stood tall, it washed away.  Maybe it’s because it was a slow decline. Maybe it’s because a part of me knew all along it was temporary… like all things.  And now, surveying the landscape, I’m just a witness. I don’t regret the effort I put in. It was time well spent while the sun was warm. I don’t curse the forces of nature that swept it away. It’s inevitable. Things change. People change.

What remains… or what has been re-created…is the beauty of a pristine beach as far as the eye can see.

Left Unsaid

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Only in dreams

Am I saying

The truth I knew

From the start

Not what it seems

Is it lying

To keep secret

What dwells in one’s heart

The silence

Never innocent

Hid the honesty

Awaiting time

For the right opportunity

But tyrannical fear

Overwhelmed what seemed clear

Until hope vanished

Amidst petty jealousy

And all that was planned

Is now ashes

From fires untended

And cooled

What once was a passion

Has ended

In the eyes of my love

Ever fooled

Each Other

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When I was afraid

You held my hand

And told me not to worry

You taught me trust

You led me and followed me

Saying I will go with you

I will be there

When I was afraid

Of what the future held

You knew it would be fine

You are all brave things

It’s time now

When you are afraid

Of what will come

In the darkness or the light

I will hold your hand

When you are afraid

I can say today is good

We will trust

In what the future holds

But you cannot stay

And I cannot go

Yet you will not be alone

When what will come, comes

It will be fine

You are all brave things