The Good Ones.

My definition of a good partner is one who will take the stinky trash out at the end of the night.  He’ll be shimmying into his shoes so good.  Doing the dirty work for his family.  Even in our apartment complex where he has to walk it all the way to the dumpster.

See that is honor to me.  And the willingness to take on that honor?

That, my love, is grace.

But a good one will also help you carry the heavy.  And I mean more than just the groceries and the luggage and the moving boxes.  I mean the heavy on days when your heart has sunk and you are exhausted from the weight of living.  When it feels like you are trapped under a thick, wet blanket and you are trying to breathe through a straw.  Once you start looking, it is easy to understand why we all are so drained; this world is riddled with mean and sad. While too many sad say goodbye, there is no good that comes of mean, only sad or more mean.

I believe this is why my heart would only settle for the most kind.  It had seen enough sad, and enough mean, to know when it had finally seen the good.  The happy, the peaceful, the kind.  He is truly the kindest man I know, aside from my father. And that means everything to me.

He also takes out the trash.

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March 21, 2016.

I find comfort in knowing you are a safe place to land.

I never plan to crash, but these things are rarely planned.

Time Just Happens.

I have always been in a hurry to grow up.

To get to the next thing via checks on a list.

To get through the next semester, the next month, week,

and today, well even just the day.

Sometimes time flew by so fast I felt cheated, but sometimes it dragged on until I begged it to stop completely.

And I, in between it all, forgot how to look at the present.

I was so worried about what time was wasted and what time was waiting.

I forgot that that time just happens.

and still, I am simultaneously overwhelmed by how much time I have lost

and how much time I have left.

 

My brothers and I.

When looking back at old childhood photos, what I love most is our facial expressions.

The smiles are big for a reason.

We are each looking at,

no,

smiling at, and being loved by,

our father. And our father makes us laugh.

I am here.

Love is continuing to call even when you get sent to voicemail.

Today, yesterday, last week.

It is so easy to stop reaching out when you feel there are no hands reaching out in return.

You may be busy, overwhelmed, or avoiding life.

But I will keep calling until you have the time for me.

I don’t expect a call back, yet I hope that you will.

For now, I will keep calling until you are ready to face life together.

Today, tomorrow, next week.

This love looks different than the rest.

Love is driving your partner to work during a snow storm.

Love is feeding your partner when they are too exhausted to cook

Love is bringing your partner a glass of water

especially in the middle of night.

Love is taking care of each other.

Love is support.

But love is also accountability.

Love is calling each other out on bad habits, while encouraging good ones.

Love is lifting each other up, especially when there is need for an extra push.

Farmer’s Market.

Corn on the cob, husked by my not-yet-husband as I tend to the tomatoes.

Accidental vegetarians, farmers.

Fresh cut watermelon made the air taste sweet.

Followed by the smell of blueberry peach muffins, the essence of summer.

Hand-folded batter, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and love.

Windows open, crickets singing over your voice,

“Mmm those muffins are smelling real good, Babe.”

Tonight, I will sleep with a full belly, full heart.

 

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Garden Fingers

We have hereditary green thumbs on my father’s side of the family.

My grandmother bloomed roses straight from her finger tips.

My father nurtured his vegetables with gloved hands and a wooden stool.

Even my mother’s side of the family knew something of agriculture.

Aunt Terri was the color of leather from her days in the sun.

My grandfather’s onions sprung up every year, even after he was gone.

My horticulturist brothers have seemed to carry on the tradition.

Succulents, Tomatoes, Apple Trees, and Herbs.

 

But not my mother.

No, my mother has a black thumb and a forgetful mind.

She was much better at growing children.

 

And as I try to grow these greens as well,

I feel like I’m trying to prove that I belong in this family.

My hands covered in dirt from the Earth where I buried another failure.

It’s as if I don’t deserve even hose water to wash clean.

So I keep my hands dirty to disguise these black thumbs of mine.

And I think,

Maybe I would be better off growing children.

Playback.

Rereading the words I had written, I whisper them into my coffee cup.

The recap is soft, intimate.

Like hearing someone else’s secret that’s been folded up in a note and forgotten in a box on the highest shelf of your closet.

I remember the pain, but somehow it doesn’t feel like my own.

I pause for a moment, wondering if this is even my story to tell.

 

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