Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Monday, October 21, 2013

7-23-13 RMB Something Great

7-23-13 RMB Something Great 

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

Today the scale tells me I have lost 60 pounds and I tell it that I must lose another 46. One friend looks at me and starts to say I don’t need to lose anymore. But she knows I really do. Still, it is a compliment that I look that much better than I did, she ends up telling me to lose just a little more, not that much.

I won’t settle for less this time. I have settled for less too much in my life, as many do. It is time for wishes to become realities. It is time for the books to be written, for me to get into shape and more, but that is all I can handle in the moments of these days. 

Well, that along with making sure boys do their homework on the nights they are with me, that sister gets wherever she needs to go, that another friend stays motivated to get a job she sorely needs, that my bills are paid and another friend’s home doesn’t go into foreclosure…no matter what it is that I have to do…or give up…to make that happen, time, energy, savings. 

“All you give comes back tenfold” Reverend Millie’s word have rung true in my life. I give friends and family time, support and encouragement. And, when I need those same elements, I find them, sometimes directly returned, sometimes from another source.

I wonder about the limits. How much is too much? I try to make wise choices. I try not to risk my own security to support others, but I know I overstep a line. In the end, I feel I would rather have given too much than not enough. I fear I don’t know my own limits.

I once gave too much of my heart, tore it to pieces, shattered it, trying to heal wounds that were not mine to heal. A thought has haunted me all my days, that there is a certain nummber of tears tied to every pain, if enough were shed, the pain would be gone, washed away. I shed too many tears and the pain remained. You can’t shed tears for another to heal their pain and maybe there is no relationship at all between the two, the number of tears and the healing.

Tears have subsided, new walls are firmly constructed around my heart, holding it together, the pieces patched up as best I could. Something was lost, shards too small to gather, but as important as any, like the air we breathe, too small to hold, but critical to life. Somewhere in these letters, I am finding part of what was lost. A connection, strength, power, voice, progress, all of the above?

In your books, the characters are alive in ways that show subtle cracks in their exterior. What trials have you endured to paint such pictures of life? As we read we learn what you have learned.

I watch people, those interesting creatures, and see none are whole. None are without cracks, but all hold something great, unique, special, every single one of them. I wish we could be born with such knowing. But, for some reason, humankind must struggle to appreciate what we’ve gained, including insight.



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