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Wake Up Dead

One day I received a text reply from my friend and it said, very simply, “Take care of yourself or you’re going to wake up dead.”

Wake up dead.

I laughed it off at first but then I started to reflect on those words and what it meant.

Wake up dead.

Just imagine that you wake up dead..Just like that..and all the things left behind, left unsaid,left undone….

There’s a Paulo Coelho quote that I love that says,

“One day you will wake up and there will be no more time to do any of the things you wanted to do…do them NOW!”

And yet…I’m so guilty of not doing the very thing I’m always telling others to do.

I have a long list of things I want to do and places I want to go.

I have words to write and words to say.

I have things to give and things I want to receive.

I have people that I need to spend more time with and people that I need to have a heart-to-heart talk with.

If I was to wake up dead, there would be so much left unsaid and unfinished. There would be chaos and clutter for anyone that tried to make head or tails of all my drawers and closets,my books and papers, and the way I’ve done things but…..

That’s the way I am.

However..I don’t want to wake up dead that way..I just don’t.

While I know good and well that no one is promised tomorrow and only God knows when number of our days, I know something else,too.

Life is precious. Life is beautiful. Life is meant to be lived fully, lived extravagantly and intentionally, lived with love and generosity.

Because one day, just like my friend said, we will wake up dead.

Gone to glory.

Dancing with Jesus.

Standing at the pearly gates.

Passed away.

And just like that, it’ll be over and done with.

With this in mind, I decided to go through my drawers, my closets, my attic. Organizing all the stuff that I’ve accumulated over my lifetime…letters and cards, drawings from my children, handwritten recipes from my beloved Mema and Mom, books I’ve highlighted and written in, journals and notebooks filled with my poems and prayers, my painful memories and my beautiful reflections, blessings and curses that comes from the living life on ragged edge.

I want to make sure that when that time comes and I wake up dead that there isn’t anyone left wondering how I felt, how much I loved, what mattered to me.

That’s right.

I’m going to say what I think and what I feel.

I’m going to apologize when I should. Raise Cain and Abel when I get riled up. Sprinkle kindness like confetti all over creation. I’m going to whisper “I love you” and shout it,too. Dress up fancy for no good reason. Drink chocolate milk from wine glasses and wine from plastic tumblers. I’m going to dance with strangers and those that I love. I’m going to say “YES!” when I want to and declare “NO!” when I don’t.

I’m going to make time for what matters to my body,my spirit,my mind. I’m going to make plans and not excuses. Find reasons and ways instead of obstacles and barriers.

Because one of the days I might wake up dead and I damn straight want to be sure that I lived.

I want to give people something to talk about when that day comes,too.

I want them to say things like this.

She sure did love with her whole heart.

She felt with both hands.

You never had to wonder what she thought about things. She spoke her mind with truth and grace.

She was a damn good listener even though she was half deaf.

She gave as much as she received.

She loved surprising people and getting surprises.

Lawd have mercy, she loved to dance.

She couldn’t carry a tune to save her life,but she sang anyways.

She was strong as a bull and stubborn as a mule.

She didn’t always have the best but she made the best of what she had.

She never gave up on people,no matter what.

She loved cowboy boots,faded jeans and pretty lace underwear and worn them from the day she lived till the day she died.

She was smart. She was kind. She was beautiful in her own way.

Yeah, that’s what I want people to say about me when I wake up dead.

But I also want them to say it right now while I’m living and I want to make sure I say it,too.

I don’t want to hear that someone I know and care about woke up dead and I hadn’t made time to talk to them.

I don’t want to gather at a funeral home wishing I had another chance.

I don’t want to have a long list of regrets;of cancelled invitations, turned down dates, missed opportunities, unspoken words,unwritten letters,untold stories and untaken pictures.

That’s not my style,not my desire, not my choice.

So here it goes….this year is winding down and a new one is about to begin and I’m making a list,checking it twice, kind of like Santa Claus, of all the things I want to do,all the people I want to love on and the places I want to see and the dreams I want to come true so that I can start checking them off, doing it all, living my life with passion and love, giving and receiving beautiful things.

From now on.

Just because.

As long as I can.

Until the day comes.

When I wake up dead.

👣💗Jeanna’ Mead

8 59 a.m 12.6.18

Www.jeannasoul.com

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Travel Bug

Oh, how she wished

for the time to come

that she could go

instead of dream

pack her bags

and fly off

to see and be

part of an adventure

taste and touch

treasure hunt

dive headfirst

into the blue-green surf

find a cabin in the neck of the woods

spend the morning hiking

and the evening writing

stories and poems

She would sit

talk to strangers

dance with whoever asked

eat all kinds of fruit

and desserts,too

She would leave kindness

sprinkled like confetti

along the way

Drop in and give 

tight embraces

exchange massages

with people she’s been

wanting to meet for so long

She would ride horses

climb rocks

paddle a canoe up a stream

ride the biggest zip line

from tree to tree

she would kick back

lay low

cool down

chill out

Look for love

in all the places

and too many faces

and find it too

oh, she was bitten

bitten good and hard

by the travel bug

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 Dazzled and Reflective


I read a poem

the other day

sent to me by a far away friend

and the words etched themselves

into my heart

let me be dazzled, absolutely dazzled and then reflective

by the beauty of the things I see

the tiny fireflies lighting up my sky

the big brown eyes that twinkle

with sheer delight

even the blackberry thorns

that catch me by surprise

dazzle my ears

with the sweet sound of laughter

the rich voice of a man

that sings just for me to hear

the melody of the birds

way up in the trees

and the whispers I can feel

against my cheek

dazzle my heart

with the goodness I keep finding

scattered in the most unlikely places

love that crosses miles and reaches across boundaries

dazzle me with the way

things taste

chocolates melting on my tongue

the Americano in my cup

a well cooked meal

margaritas and wine

dazzle my senses

the calloused hand in mine

vibrations on an old wood floor

soft as silk baby skin

hugs so tight I almost can’t breathe

by the music’s rhythm

 that makes me move in unison

and the way I feel

when my hands glide down

someone else

finally be held

feel myself exhale 

at long last

let me be dazzled

and then reflective

just like the poem

that my far away friend sent

❤Jeanna’ Mead

7 03 a.m.  1-29-18

http://www.jeannasoul.com

For Joshua and Bubbie 💗👣

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Margaritas And Music

Here I am, sitting in a chair

A woman is putting color in my hair

just like Mema always did

I’m carrying on the tradition

ain’t no gray gonna give me away

I already had my coffee

dipped a cookie in the cup
 listened this morning

to all the greats

those deep. rugged voices of the men she loved so much

Got me a little Conway, Tom T and Marty

“Elvira” by those Oak Ridge Boys

I’m going to do a little shopping

buy something bright and sparkly

I won’t know until I see it

and it calls me by my name

Then when I’m good and ready

all dolled up and looking pretty

I’m going to sit at a table

with others that knew and loved

 her just as much as me

drink a frozen cmargarita

eat a bunch of sopapillas

covered in honey

tell a few good stories

flirt up a storm with the waiter

sweet talk to everyone

just exactly like my Mema

would want me to do

celebrating her birthday

just like she would do

carrying on traditions

like I was raised to do

.
Jeanna’ Mead

12 04 p.m. 1-25-17

http://www.jeannasoul.com

Happy Birthday, Mema

I love your bones!❤❤

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PAUSE

​He asked me
why

I paused 

holding him

breathing a whisper

in his ear

to relax

I met his eyes

and said

“There is purpose

in the pause

meaning in the rest

a sacred space 

between this move

 and that”

He shut his eyes

and let out a breath

I felt him 

finally

give in and relax

We moved in unison

this man and I

a dance of our own

a pause in time

and we parted ways

far better than we came

all because we touched

and we paused.

Jeanna’ Mead

11-26-17.  11:23 a.m

http://www.jeannasoul.com

👣I read a post on DEEP MASSAGE written by David Lauterstein and the door was left open for my words to come in .

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Bites and Pieces

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Trick And Treat

👣💗 Inspired by Paulo Coelho: “It is easy to be a hater. Go for the difficult task: be a lover.”

There’s a trick

she’s still learning 

the hard way

But years ago, she wrote

a simple prayer in a poem

” Let my heart be broken

torn into pieces

bring me to my knees

Let my heart be open”

And now she sees 

quite clearly

that she wouldn’t do it

any other way

she’ll still choose to love

when it’ll be easier to turn away

she’ll still treat others

as if she’ll be treated the same

she’ll still hold open

the doors and the invitation

although it’s been closed on her

many times before

She’ll still choose

to let her heart be broken

than to regret the chance

She’ll still go forward

though others hold back

It’s a trick

she’s learning

 the hard way

But she can’t be any different

since she had asked.after all.

to let her heart be broken

torn into pieces

and filled up

patched well

etched and engraved

with love.

..
Jeanna’ Mead

11 01. 10/31/17

http://www.jeannasoul.com

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She Wrote

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Really,She Did

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LISTEN

Please

Listen

Don’t just hear

Be in awe

Of the sounds

Laughter

A shout of glee 

The lyrics to a song 

Playing on the radio

A whisper

Thunderclaps

Rain coming down

The cry of an infant

A coyote’showl 

The ambulance

Police sirens

A cat’s meow

The dogs growl
Listen 

To the voices 

You recognize 

And the strangers

In the grocery line

To the friendly greeting 

From the sales clerk

And the deep sound

Of the preacher man

A choir singing

Gospel melodies

The teenage barista 

The weary nurse

Trying to her best

To sound hopeful

As the end draws near
Listen

To the birds chirping

Lawnmower running

Old man playing guitar

While his lady sings

The blues
Listen

To everything

That I can’t hear

And be filled

Overflowing

With gratitude 

For what you have
And I’ll listen 

My own way

With my eyes

And my heart

I’ll hear more

Than most of you

Ever will 

Because

I really do

Listen
Jeanna’ Mead

July 25 2016