Monthly Archives: November 2015

Forgotten thank yous

I`m thinking of the way his nose is crooked and beautiful and the birthmark that stains one of his amazing blue eyes. I`m thinking of his calloused hands and how his hangnails assault my soft, small hands when he pulls me closer. These small details are often overlooked by the world, by  millions of lovers everywhere. These imperfections are often forgotten in the wake of things that are more pleasurable, more symmetrical, more engaging. But I`m engaged. My goodness, am I engaged by life’s little details, the moments we often forget to thank, the pain that doesn’t always lead to happier times, but that leads to the epiphanies we need to grow.

I can’t find my name on the sign in sheet at the gatehouse on my way out. I am flipping through the pages, unfocused. I am panicked because I want to sign out and leave. People are looking at me. I am tired. I wait an hour to see him in all of his blue jean and facial hair glory. I hear a million voices around us that buzz like flies and I am frustrated and I want quiet. I say I want easy. I say I want different. I forgot to thank my hands that shake but write the date. I forgot that feeling panicked means I am alive. I forgot that people looking at me and me being aware means I`m doing something that scares the shit out of me for someone I love. I forgot to thank slow moving moments for patience. I forgot that I am frustrated because I  care and my heart is beating and I am in the presence of heaven and hell all at once when I am at the prison.

There are so many forgotten thank yous in my life right now. I am uprooting, leaving another place to be closer to another place made of steel doors, barbed wires, gun towers and I`m scared, devastated, not ready. I forgot to thank that fear for driving my decisions, my quest for staying loyal and in love. I am worried and I am thankful because it’s  that worry keeps me breathing, moving, focused.I forgot to thank not being ready because who ever is for greatness? I forgot to thank devastation because feeling too much is better than not feeling at all.

It’s Thanksgiving and while I want to say that I am thankful for all the wonderful, random, amazing, supportive people in my life, I also want to say that I am thankful for every difficulty that leads me to a place of grace and healing. I am thankful for the ugly, the painful, the harsh lessons, the distant light that is far but there.  I am thankful for prison, this road,and the scars that make a life worth living.

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Ride or Die

There is a one of those internet memes with an illustrated woman and the caption says  “I am not a ride or die chick. I have questions. Where we riding to? Why I gotta die? Can we stop and get food?”.

Cracks me up. Every.Single.Time.

The first time someone referred to me as a “ride or die” and called me “rare”, I was seriously puzzled. You just called me a what huh? After that, I felt like I heard that term in lyrics, saw it on internet memes, and just all around started to get what it meant, or didn`t mean. Sometimes I laugh about the way we refer to loyalty in our society, what constitutes as loyalty(apparently just saying it) and sometimes I laugh at what people mistake loyalty and endurance for. But I digress.

Ride or Die. Or something. I need a snack first. This whole marriage I have needed to stop and get a snack before said “riding or dying” and whatever comes in between. What is it? What is not? I guess it means different things to different people.

I married my husband, my jailbird, my non jailbird, my soulmate, my other half, my “ride or die”, my best friend ever forever, 6 years ago. 6 years ago I was 24, scared shitless, yet not scared at all. I got married in a prison visiting room with no family to witness, no fancy dress, no music, no reception, not even my purse because it wasn’t allowed in the prison. I married this man who had asked me to marry him dozens of times before I said yes finally. “At least I`ll get more tax money” I confessed to him. We laughed.

I thought 6 years ago was a pivotal point in our relationship, after having known each other for many years before. Those years before I got married…they were easy. They were a piece of cake, a piece of pie. The entire concept of “riding or dying” didn`t even begin until I got married and I had no idea where we were riding to. When you start on a path, you’re never quite sure where it’ll take you, but you go, you travel down that path if your heart is so inclined. If you’re brave enough and stupid enough and completely out of your mind set on doing something. You go. You know that later you will pay, and you do, but you go. If it’s important, you go, and if it isn`t, you don`t. Simple.

In life, I seek out the people who might not know the silly term “ride or die”, but those who embody it, embrace it, live it. Those people are rare. Those who are true to themselves, their friendships, and what their heart desires. I have found this in my husband, in family, in a few friendships, and in myself.

Ride or die. Ride and stop for a snack and maybe not die but endure, be free, stay true to those who are true to you, and know who has your back and isn`t afraid to say so.

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