Her

I love her when she smiles.
When I see her smile
In her eyes.
I know she’s happy
When she smiles.
It shows in the way she walks.
The way she holds her shoulders.
The way her hips move.
How she shakes her head.
No matter how I feel.
No matter how bad my day.
When she smiles
Somehow.
Everything’s OK.

I hold her when she cries.
When tears fall from her eyes.
When she cries in silence,
From the things in life
That cause her heart to ache.
And I ask God above,
If he’s sure there’s not a way
My heart could ache
Instead of hers.

I kiss her cheek each night.
When I come to bed.
While she is asleep.
I hope with beautiful dreams
Inside her head.
“Good night, dear,”
Or perhaps
“Good night my love,”
I whisper in her ear.

Someone asked me once
If she was my soul mate.
I told them she was not.
I don’t believe
In that soul mate thing.

But there is something I know.
Of how I feel about her.
Of what she means to me.

She’s my Princess Bride
You see.
My one true love.

Isn’t that how love is?


It’s April 9th, the 8th day of the 2015 A to Z Challenge. This is the 8th of 26 pieces I’m writing in April. Today, the letter H. Tomorrow, the letter I? I have no idea what I’ll write.

I Close My Eyes

It is night.
I turn out the lights.
Pull the covers aside.
Climb into bed.
Lay down my head.

But no sleep comes.

A flood of thoughts
Won’t let me sleep.
Waves of my fears
Wash over me.
Haunting me.
Taunting me.

And no sleep comes.

I lie there
On the bed.
Wishing.
Wishing I could find a way
To ease the ache
Within my heart.
To dry the tears
My soul cries.

How can people live
In this world
They never made?

There was a time
Not long ago
When sleep would have
Eluded me
All night long.

But I’ve learned.
I’ve changed.
Now.
I know
What I have to do.
I know
How to care
For me.
To south the aching
Of my heart.
To dry the tears
My soul cries.

While I lie there
In my bed.
I close my eyes.
And then.

I breathe.
I breathe in slowly.
I breathe out slowly too.
And I remember.

Fear is just a feeling.
Nothing more.
Just like anger.
Just like joy.
And feelings come
And go.

And I decide
As I breathe in
To breathe in all my fears.
And then
As I breathe out,
I exhale tenderness.
Concern,
And caring.

And I decide
To remember
Fears are like the monsters
In the dark.

They’re not really there.

As I breathe,
With my eyes closed.
I extend my hand
To my side.
And there, I find
Her.
Sleeping next to me.

And I know.
I know.
I’m not alone.
And never will be.
So long as she’s alive.
She’s a part of me.

Then I remember
Each friend I have.
And as I breathe in
I inhale
The things I know hurt them.
The fears I know they have.

Then I exhale once again.
The caring.
The compassion,
The tenderness
That lies at the very heart
Of me.

I breathe.
And I remember.
Who I am.

And before long
Sleep comes to me
Again.

But before I close my eyes
And drift off to sleep
There’s always one last thing
For me to do.

I remember you,
My friends.
And the problems you have had.
The fears that you face.
And I breathe all of them in.
And then
I breathe out the truth
That you are not alone.
And even though
I may be far away from you.
So that I can’t hold you,
Or touch you.
Or show you
That I care.

I breathe out that same
Kindness.
Tenderness.
And compassion
That soothed the aching of my heart
And dried the tears
My soul cried.
And breathe them out
For you.

Good night
Wounded hearts and souls
Of so many people
That I know.

Oh how I wish
There was so much more
I could do
For you.

Finding My Wings : For Timony

Sometimes, I feel so helpless.
Tonight is one of those times.
When I feel helpless.
Useless.
Frustrated.
Angry with God.

I read the words
Written by a friend.
Someone I have never met
In person.
And likely never will.

I’ve read her words
Many times before
In the past few months.
And my heart has ached,
And my soul shed tears,
For I know,
And I understand,
Oh so very well,
The pain within her words.

So, tonight.
I’m taking the time
To respond to her.
To the last words
She wrote.

“3:28 am
I’m awake”

In my darkest days,
I was awake at 3:00 am
More times than I can remember.
I lost count of the times
I took a 5 or 6 mile walk
In the dark.
Before the dawn.
Even in the ice
And snow.

It’s all I had.
All I knew to do.
To cope
With the aching of my heart.

“Sleeping tablets suck”

Then don’t take them.
Some things can’t be treated
With another pill.
Another medication.
I’ve learned that.
Some things
Just take time to heal.
I also learned that as I healed,
Sleep returned.
All on it’s own.

It was in those days
That I finally learned
Naps are OK
When you need them.
Maybe naps can help you to?

“I really should keep my mouth shut”

Oh, my.
I’ve lost count of the years
I’ve thought that very thing.
Used those very words.
I still use them.
Even now.
I have a name
For that part of my soul.
That darkness.
That silences me.
I call it “Silenced”.
And I fight it daily.
For I know the truth.
Each time the silence wins.
Part of me dies.
And my heart aches.
And my soul cries.

“Saying things out loud won’t change anything”

Then write.
Dream.
Tell stories.
Imagine.
But never let the silence win.
And if talking doesn’t change a thing.
The perhaps action will.
Maybe there’s something
You can do.
Like become the tail
That wags the dog.
Or taking walks
Like I did.
And a camera
In a flower garden
Is a way I’ve always found
My smile
Again.

“I want to hate something but it appears this whole being an emotional wreck and constantly crying is about all I can manage”

Hate is just a feeling,
Don’t you know.
And it’s OK to feel.
I’ve learned.
Evolving.
Growing.
Changing.
Can be painful.
But it’s no body’s fault.
Not yours.
Not theirs.

Have patience.
I know it’s hard.
God, how I know.
But that’s the only way
To see what grows
From the hurt
And pain
I know you’re in.

I cannot forget the words
My doctor spoke with me
Many months ago.
“Mark,
You’re like a butterfly
That’s just broke out
Of it’s cocoon.
And everything
Is new.”

Perhaps that’s becoming true
For you?

“I need a hug”

If I were there.
I’d give you all the hugs
You wanted.
For I know
Sometimes a person.
With a heart.
With a soul.
Just needs to know.
They are not alone.

“And I’m crying again”

If I were there,
I’d hand to you
My very own box
Of tissues.
You know that.
But I’m not.
I’m far away.
So I can only say
What I’d do.

“This is the important one: I’m going away. I’m not sure where, or for how long. But I won’t be posting here, Facebook, Google etc – I’ll still be working on the book, and I’ll probably let you know when it’s ready for purchase. But apart from that I shan’t be around.”

I understand.
I really do.
You take all the time you need.
To find you.
To learn the priceless gift
That your life is.
That you can feel
So many things.
To see that magic
In your eyes.
When you look into the mirror.
To hear the music
In your own laughter.
To see the beauty
Of your priceless smile.
A smile no one else
Can ever make.
Because it’s yours.

And know this too.

If you should some day wish
To share words once again.

Your friends,
And I
Will be here.
And we will always welcome you.

Everyone Remembers

She asked me last night,
“Do you think you’ll ever get around
To making my WEB site?”

I knew that someday,
She’d ask that question.
And someday,
I’d have to give her
An honest answer.

Last night,
I finally did.
“I don’t know.”

But I went beyond that.
“I don’t know
If I’ll ever touch
Any of the things
That I once did.
I don’t know
If I ever can.”

I know this means
I still remember
Everything.
Everything that happened.
Every drop of blood
That my heart bled.
Every single tear
That my soul cried.

That I still remember
All the pain.
Walking to escape.
Walking ‘till my toes
And heals.
Blistered.
And bled.

I lost three toenails
In those months.
My right ankle,
Knee
And hip.
They ache.
Every single day.

I’ve learned so much since then.
About how people are.
The way they behave.
And I find
I am loath to return
To that world
I never made.

So, her I am.
Nearly 30 years of skills.
System Administration,
System Security,
System Software,
And all the rest.

And I find
Every time I even think
About using those skills.
I remember.

Pain.

I’ve been told,
“You have to forget it all.
You have to let it go.
Or it will eat you alive.”

But no one seems
To understand.
I can’t.
No matter how I try.

And I’m not alone in that.

I have so many friends
That have wounded hearts.
And scarred souls.
And pretend they have moved on.
Forgotten everything.

And I find myself wondering,
“If you’ve forgotten everything,
Why does what happened
Still control you
Every now and then?”

Like the nasty divorce people.
Heavens.
I know so many of them
That can never love anyone.
Ever again.

And every time someone
Gets close to them.
Or even tries.
They turn and walk away.
They run.

Yet they claim
They are OK.
“I’ve moved on”
They say.

I know so many people
That never do a thing
That they want to.
Unless they are
Alone.

If there’s anyone with them,
Even their best friends,
They hide.
Behind an image.
Carefully crafted.
Taking into account
How each person will react
To everything they do.
Everything they say.

And they never step
Outside that box of rules.

It seems to me
They are afraid
Of what their friends
Will think of them
If they knew the truth
Of who they are.
And what they feel.

So they lock that away.
And hide.
So they never have to be
Alone.

Yet they’re alone
Every day.

Have I moved on?
In my way.
I’ve forgiven.
What happened
Was just one of those things.
And because of it,
My whole life changed.

And I keep running into
Fragments of my past.
Where people I know
Ask me to use the skills
I used in those days.

And every time I try.
I remember.
Everything.

I told my doctor
Many times.
I can’t forget.
That’s not my way.
Instead.
I have to learn
To live with
All the memories.
Of what happened.

I do believe
Someday I will pick up
Everything I did back then
Once again.

Someday I’ll dust off
All those skills.
And clean up all the rust.
And tune them up.

But that day isn’t here.
At least not yet.
Not while my soul
Still sheds tears.
Every time I remember
What happened then.