Holy Hot Mess, too!

The reason I don’t “borrow” books from the library or from friends.. words grab my attention and I begin writing in the margins and underlining paragraphs..
Years ago, Janet Mary Rozdil Moltzan , shared these wise words that actually gave me peace instead of anxiety, and taught me to let go “you’re not in control.. you never have been and you never will be”

That feels RIGHT… I’m only on this ride.. doing the best I can and letting go of the illusion that I’m in control or perfect

I’ve learned during my Covid journey just how imperfect I am and how messy life can be .., and you know what, I’m really glad I’m on this journey.. it’s not the road I would have chosen but this route sure has bought out the best and the worst in many ways.. It’s changed my views and made me stronger in many ways but not strong enough to resist the urge to write in brand new books!

Feeling With Both Hands. (sharing stories from another)

My friend, Anna Baker, had this on her wall .. and , as I read this, my heart knew I needed to share his story and tell parts of my own Mema story.

The day before my beloved Mema went to glory, she ordered -yes, ORDERED-me to go to Minyards and get groceries. I told her, ‘Momma, don’t you DARE die while I’m gone.” and she promised me she wouldn’t.
Like this guy in the story, I was in tears buying what I knew she wanted-cabbage, peppers, onions, dry beans and bacon,

I tried my best to avoid eye contact with anyone so I wouldn’t be engaged in talking and I rushed back to her house and started cooking.


The aroma of pinto beans, meatloaf, cabbage and cornbread filled the house as I wiped tears from my eyes and struggled to do what I had been raised to do.


” People are going to come to say ‘goodby’ to me, they gotta have food to eat.”


” Yes, Mema, I’ll make sure there is plenty of food to eat. “


Part of my heart was breaking and the other part was going through the motions.. doing what I knew she wanted.
” You did good, Jeanna’, the house smells good.. people can come now. “

Whatever else life has bought me, I remember her squeezing my hand and telling me that I had done good.

I’m a toucher just like her.. it is apparent to anyone that sees me, even complete strangers.. and I’ve been known to “pull a Mema” and reach out and hug someone, brush tears away, grasp the hands of a person because I can sense they are longing for a touch that says ‘you are good.. you are seen.. you matter”

When you’re out and about, be open and willing to look at the people near you, they just might be in your presence for a good reason-either to give or to recieve.

Be like my Mema… Feel with both hands!

“The day my father died, I was at the grocery store buying bananas.

I remember thinking to myself, “This is insane. Your dad just died. Why the hell are you buying bananas?”

But we needed bananas. We’d be waking up for breakfast tomorrow morning, and there wouldn’t be any bananas—so there I was.

And lots of other stuff still needed doing too, so over the coming days I would navigate parking lots, wait in restaurant lines, and sit on park benches; pushing back tears, fighting to stay upright, and in general always being seconds from a total, blubbering, room-clearing freak out.

I wanted to wear a sign that said: I JUST LOST MY DAD. PLEASE GO EASY.

Unless anyone passing by looked deeply into my bloodshot eyes or noticed the occasional break in my voice and thought enough to ask, it’s not like they’d have known what’s happening inside me or around me. They wouldn’t have had any idea of the gaping sinkhole that had just opened up and swallowed the normal life of the guy next to them in the produce section.

And while I didn’t want to physically wear my actual circumstances on my chest, it probably would have caused people around me to give me space or speak softer or move more carefully—and it might have made the impossible, almost bearable.

Everyone around you; the people you share the grocery store line with, pass in traffic, sit next to at work, encounter on social media, and see across the kitchen table—they’re all experiencing the collateral damage of living. They are all grieving someone, missing someone, worried about someone. Their marriages are crumbling or their mortgage payment is late or they’re waiting on their child’s test results, or they’re getting bananas five years after a death and still pushing back tears because the loss feels as real as it did that first day.

Every single human being you pass by today is fighting to find peace and to push back fear; to get through their daily tasks without breaking down in front of the bananas or in the carpool line or at the post office.

Maybe they aren’t mourning the sudden, tragic passing of a parent, but wounded, exhausted, pain-ravaged people are everywhere, everyday stumbling all around us—and yet most of the time we’re fairly oblivious to them:

Parents whose children are terminally ill.
Couples in the middle of divorce.
People grieving loss of loved ones and relationships.
Kids being bullied at school.
Teenagers who want to end their lives.
People marking the anniversary of a death.
Parents worried about their depressed teenager.
Spouses whose partners are deployed in combat.
Families with no idea how to keep the lights on.
Single parents with little help and little sleep.

Everyone is grieving and worried and fearful, and yet none of them wear the signs, none of them have labels, and none of them come with written warnings reading, I’M STRUGGLING. BE NICE TO ME.

And since they don’t, it’s up to you and me to look more closely and more deeply at everyone around us: at work or at the gas station or in the produce section, and to never assume they aren’t all just hanging by a thread. Because most people are hanging by a thread—and our simple kindness can be that thread.

We need to remind ourselves just how hard the hidden stories around us might be, and to approach each person as a delicate, breakable, invaluable treasure—and to handle them with care.

As you make your way through the world today, people won’t be wearing signs to announce their mourning or to alert you to the attrition or to broadcast how terrified they are—but if you look with the right eyes, you’ll see the signs.

There are grieving people all around you.

Go easy.

  • John Pavlovitz

Time to Tell The Rest Of The Story

Two years ago I wrote a poem, Torn, Tattered Hearts, and now it’s time to tell about it.

I was the kid that didn’t have any friends, the one that ate alone, that was bullied and shunned, and made fun of at every chance.

My hearing impairment made me easy pickings and my glasses earned me the name, “Four Eyes”.

Kids would gang up on me and grab my glasses and toss them back and forth while I would try to catch them. I never could.

Both lunch and recess were like a living nightmare that I dreaded with every fiber of my being.

I finally learned a way to escape… When the bell rang for lunch and all the other kids got in line for lunch, I would slip out the back door, walk as fast as I could outside and climb up the tree which allowed me to watch everyone when they finished eating and came outside to play.

I would perch my sack lunch on the branches and eat as quickly as possible, drinking the colas that Mema always wrapped in foil. I was safe in the trees and when the bell rang for classes to resume, I would scurry down and go in the back door and beat my classmates back to our room.

I was always on guard, yet a part of me was still hopeful that I would some day have friends.

Then one day, I was asked by my teacher to take the attendance cards to the office.

While I was gone, the 6th grade teacher told the class to stop being mean to me because I ‘couldn’t “help” being hard of “hearing , and that they should “feel sorry” for me and be nicer. She also told them to be sure to include me in the upcoming Valentine card exchange, because it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t get any cards.

When I returned, I noticed the vibe in the class seemed different and it made me nervous.

When the bell rang for lunch, one of the popular girls came up to me and asked me to sit at her table with her and her friends. I said, “No,” and started to walk towards the back door when my teacher stopped me and told me that I couldn’t go out that way and to give the girls a chance because they all wanted to get to know me.

Something just didn’t feel right, but I went ahead and followed them to the table.

It was a few days before Valentine’s and the girls were talking about which boys they thought were cute, and which boys liked who… Some girls were “going steady” and they nudged me and said, “maybe a boy would like you if you didn’t wear glasses…. or if you could hear”

After a couple of days of having lunch with everyone, I began to think I finally had broke through and made some friends, so I was excited to tell my Mema that I wanted to buy Valentine cards and candy for all my new friends in my 6th grade class.

We went to the drug store and bought candy bars and cards and I carefully wrote the names of each classmate and taped the candy to the cards, signing my name with a flourish.

Valentine’s day came and the class party was to take the place of the last period.

There was cupcakes and colas for everyone on the table in front of the classroom. Each desk had a shoe box that we had decorated with construction paper and stickers during art class.

The teacher had everyone stand in a line and walk by each desk, placing cards into the slot in the boxes. I was so tickled when I saw that almost every one of my classmates stopped by my desk and placed cards in there. They were smiling and laughing and glancing at me and I felt a rush of emotions overwhelming me.

I had FRIENDS! I was getting Valentine’s cards! I was part of the group!

Finally, all the cards were passed out and we each sat at our desk and the teacher told us that we could open our shoe boxes and read the cards and eat our candy and cupcakes.

I could feel everyone’s eyes on me as I took the lid off my box.

I smiled at them and opened it, happily grabbing a card out of the pile.

My heart sank as I read the words, tears filled my eyes and I bit down hard on the inside of my mouth to keep from sobbing.

On each and every card, in black Mark-So-Lot markers, my classmates had scrawled hurtful, ugly words.

“NOBODY LIKES YOU!”

“YOU’RE SO UGLY!”

“NO ONE WANTS YOU HERE!”

“I HATE YOU! ”

“DEAF AND DUMB! ”

” YOU’RE SO STUPID! ”

Every candy bar was broken, the candy hearts were crushed into crumbs in the box, the lollipops were smashed.

In just seconds that felt like forever, I realized what had happened. I had been played the fool the whole time.

I quickly put the lid back on the box, slide it underneath my desk, and got out a notebook and begin writing. I kept my eyes on my paper, trying with all my might to control the tears that threatened to roll down my cheeks.

I held myself together, determined that they would not win this battle, too. I vowed that I would never again trust anyone, never again let down my guard and never again allow myself to be a victim.

When the bell rang, everyone rushed out and I saw one of the boys mouth to me,”I’m sorry, Jeanna,I had to do it.”

I shook my head and carried my Valentine’s box close to my chest, walked over to the trashcan and smashed it down, underneath the coke cans and cupcake wrappers and papers.

My teacher was busy picking up the decorations and didn’t notice what I had just done, but she smiled at me and said,”See, Jeanna’, you got Valentine’s just like everyone else… Happy Valentine’s day!”

I ducked out of the room and started to run to my Mema’s car.

Mema! My heart just sank … How could I tell her?! Mema had been so excited for me, buying full size candy bars for my new friends. She was smiling at me as I walked to the car and I just couldn’t bring myself to tell her what happened.

“Did you get Valentine’s?”

“Where is your box? ”

“What kind of candy did your friends give you?”

The mask came on, I am answered her, with a smile pasted on my face.

“I ate it in the classroom, it was so good… Lots of chocolate Hershey bars!”

“I was having so much fun that I spilled my coke on the box, but that’s okay because I had already read all the cards!”

” It was the best Valentine’s ever, Mema!”

As soon as we got home, I pretended to have an upset stomach from eating too much candy.

I went into my room, turned on my record player, put the earphones on and laid down on my bed and cried my heart out.

That Valentine’s was the one that left deep scars across my heart. It was one more deep, dark secret to keep, one more reason to wear a mask, another thing to be ashamed of, and one more reason to pretend I was not who I really was.

That’s the rest of the story of the torn and tattered hearts.

It’s taken me decades to finally become friends with anyone. It takes a very long time for me to let my guard down and to trust anyone, especially women.

But, once I do, once I feel known and loved, I will guard that friendship with all my heart. I know full well-too damn well-how much it means to have a real friend and to be one.

It means that you can finally take off the mask, and stop pretending. It means you don’t have to bite your lips to keep from letting your emotions show, it means sitting at a table together and feeling safe.

Torn and tattered hearts can be patched up and made beautiful again, it just takes time.

A lot of time.

I still wrestle with Valentine’s. It’s a day to work, to do for other people as a massage therapist,a friend,a mom, and a Jamma. I run around buying gifts, writing cards, getting candy and everything I need.

But, every now and then, I catch myself and the tears swell up in my eyes and I fight to erase the words that were scrawled across my heart in 6th grade.

♥️ Jeanna’ Mead

1.29.21…7 53 a.m

Torn,Tattered Hearts 

Yesterday… February 11.2021 I recieved a Valentine’s card from a long-time family friend, Cindy Kay. I used the card for the updated picture on the story. She has no idea how much her handmade cards mean to me. ❤️

Show More Love

Can we just
Somehow or another
Show more love
It can’t be all that hard
Isn’t it quite possible
For us to find
Some kind of way
To show more love
Wouldn’t it be so nice
Stop and visit for awhile
Step outside of our comfort zone
Drop the judgment
Become curious
Discover the many ways
To show more love
I think I’ll begin
Right here and now
Giving what I feel
Talking it all in stride
And finding even more ways
That I can show
Mute love

👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead
10 19 p.m 1 23.21

jeannasoul #writingmyheartout #myownwords.

Sex and Coffee

One afternoon
Sitting outside
Drinking coffee
They looked at each other
Half joking
Half serious

“All we have in common
Is sex and coffee.”

It was true

She wanted deep conversation
He liked to keep it light

They talked about the weather, the bills, the house, the dogs and the kids

That was about all

Skimming the surfaces

Riding the waves

Just keeping it simple

Like sex and coffee

He knew how she took her coffee

Strong and dark with a little stevia and cream

He liked his made with honey instead

And that was about it

She wanted more

That he did

A little romance

Surprises and all that jazz

Date nights

Dressed up and taken out

Lingerie and lace

He thought that was too much trouble

Rather get it done and over

So it never took all that long

Just long enough to mess things up

About as long as it took

To brew another pot of coffee

Make one more cup

One for him to take away and one for her to sip

While she’s standing at the bathroom counter

Straight out of the shower

Soaking wet
Feet on the towel

Letting her body drip dry

Taking her own sweet time

Putting on her makeup

While he rushed right by

On to the next thing on his list

After sex and coffee

That was then
And this is now

He’s gone most all the time

Home only every forty nights

She’s gotten used to doing without

Half of what she had

Now she makes her own pot of coffee

Sleeps on her side of the bed
Doesn’t even mess up the rest

She reads books and writes stories

To fill up the void

She drinks cup after cup

While standing in the mirror

Putting on her makeup

They talk almost every day

About the same things

The weather, the bills, the house, the dogs and the kids

And yesterday she said,

“All we had in common was coffee and sex so I couldn’t help myself.”

And even that seemed too long to him

He liked to keep it short and simple

Like sex and coffee.


☕👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead
924a.m. 6.7.20

Another Women’s Words

I am not old….she said
I am rare

I am the standing ovation
At the end of the play

I am the retrospective
Of my life as Art

I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense

I am the fullness
Of existing

You think I am waiting to die
But I am waiting to be found

I am a treasure
I am a map

And these wrinkles are
Imprints of my journey

Ask me anything

Samantha Reynolds, poet..

I read these words and I cried at the beauty and the simplicity and the truth.

I thought of the women I know that have stories I would like to know

I wonder if they wish to be asked… To be found.. to be seen… To be known

As more than just “the old lady that sits on the far left pew”

Or the one that whispers to herself as she plants seeds of flowers

I wonder if those ladies I know wish I would ask them anything

I wonder if they would answer

Would I be surprised? Would they?

What about me? Would I tell stories and answer questions

If I was asked anything?

Or would I gaze away and say,

“you shouldn’t ask questions like that”

While thinking to myself of what I know

And who I am

Underneath it all

I am not getting old, not really

I am becoming my self

My body caresses my soul

My soul caresses my body

I find the treasures in the moments and the questions and the words of another woman

Jeanna’ Mead, poet, too

Beautiful picture.

Presents

Sunday was Mother’s day. It was also my birthday.

When I was born on Mother’s day, my mom and my Mema declared that I was their “mother’s day present” and from that day forward, no other gift I could give them mattered as much because I made them who they wanted to be- a mom and a Mema.

I used to think it was silly the way they would write on my birthday cards, “to our Mother’s day present” and how they would tell everyone I was “extra special delivery” because I was born on such an important day.

I was spoiled rotten by both of them. I knew it and they knew it, too.

I really do get it now.

I understand how they felt about me in ways I couldn’t understand when I was younger.

I am who they were…now.

I am a mom and a Jamma. My “presents” don’t come in packages tied with bows anymore.

My favorite gifts have names and they call me names.

They made me who I am and who I want to be.

Sunday afternoon, I stood on my porch as my little blonde Charli ran as fast as she could and jumped into my arms, both of us squeezing tight after 3 months apart due to the Covid 19 outbreak and the issuing Shelter In Place.

That’s the best present. That’s the gift I was born for

I was born on Mother’s day to become a daughter that was known and loved unconditionally so I could become a mom and Jamma that knows and loves unconditionally, too, just like I was taught to do.

There’s a quote by Anne LaMont that came to mind as I was surrounded by my children and grandchildren.

“I think this is how we are supposed to be… Present and in awe.”

I was present and in awe as I watched my sons discuss politics.

I was present and in awe as I picked out yellow lantana, red salvia and purple verbana with my husband.

I was present and in awe as I read the words on the shirt my daughter picked for me.

I was present and in awe of every bite of my shortcake covered with berries and cream.

I was present and in awe of the laughter I heard coming from everyone gathered in my home.

I was present and in awe of the people that reached out to me with messages and cards and gifts that showed I was known and loved.

I was present and in awe of how much I’m becoming like the women that raised me.

Mother’s day falls on my birthday,or maybe it’s the other way around, every four years, and every time I realize more and more what a gift it is to be present and in awe of what I receive and what I give.

👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead

May 18 2020. 8 49 a.m

http://www.jeannasoul.com

Life.

It’s a rare thing

To get lucky enough

To have a someone

That you can lean on

Trust with your life

When it’s unraveling

Lead you back

When you find yourself

Standing on the ragged edge

Knows the words to say

To make you believe

When you begin to doubt your place

It’s hard to let anyone know

The in-and- out of your livihood

Mistakes you’ve made

The bottom line that collapsed

The sleepless nights when the struggle was real

The kind of someone that can pull things together

See real clear

Words and design that can stand the test of time

Pull together what is needed

Just in the nick of time

There’s something about someone

That can cut straight to the heart of the matter

Cover your bases

Help you get keep up appearance

With a single look in the eye

Understands your feelings

Backs up your lies

When you feel the need yo pretend for others sake

That knows your truth

And speaks it back to you

It’s quite extraordinary to have anything that can last

In times like this when so much changes

It’s a different kind of love

A kind of friendship that evolves

Lasts a lifetime

No matter what

Life, livihoods, lies, luck and love change

👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead

12 31 pm. May 3 2020.

Sleepless Nights

Here’s another one

Sleepless nights

She can’t get warm

She’s feeling cold

In piles of blankets

Covered head to toe

Wearing black lace and a white tank

Mango oil on worn out legs

She should be sleeping

But she isn’t

Those that know her

Understand she’s fighting

Demons from the past

With all the strength she has

She dreams of a fight she lost long ago

But this time

She whispers

Though no one can hear

“I will win”

“I will win”

“I will win”

Until finally

In her dream

She stands

Wide awake

Covered with everything

But shame

And she knows

She did whatever it took

So she could win

Jeanna’ Mead

7 35 a.m. 4.30.20

http://www.rockwallbodyandsoulmassage.com