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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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Whiskey and Wine

Many years have gone by

From one place to another

Small talk every once in a while

Bits and pieces shared here and there

Skimming along the surface

That ragged edge

Where lines cross

And friendship begins

Over whiskey and wine

Takes a long time

Sweet time

For trust to build

From one place to another

Over many years

Time comes to be at a different kind of table

Pouring whiskey and wine

Sharing bits and pieces

Diving below the surface

And seeing that it’ll be alright

To cross that ragged edge

And pour another

Whiskey and wine.

💙👣Jeanna’ Mead

10.18.18. 7:22 a.m

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Carrying On

fb_img_15321781892331729917040.jpgShe said to me

so long ago

“Don’t you go bawling,

squalling, and carrying on

after I’m gone”

I’ve kept that promise

that I made

over and over

Twinkling blue eyes

looking straight through

my own tear-filled brown ones

She would say

over and over

“You love me too much

I don’t know what you’ll do

but promise me

you won’t go

bawling,squalling and carrying on”

So here I am

keeping that promise

best as I can

brown eyes still fill with tears

but I don’t go

bawling and squalling

I just keep

carrying on

Days when I feel all alone

and I long to hear her voice

Times when I feel

like dancing

and Elvira comes on

and I just can’t help

but sing along

When I pass by a cart

piled high

Orange Crush, Big Red and Pepsi Cola

or see all those Little Debbie cakes in the aisle

I find myself smiling

shaking my head

wondering how in tarnation

we ever ate that

When I feel that hunger

for a pot of stew and skillet cornbread

hot as fire prune cake

straight from the oven

and that call she used to make

“Come on over and fix you a plate”

I just keep carrying on

Nights when I can’t sleep

and my body aches

I try all the old remedies

that she taught me

and I just keep

carrying on

I touch base

keep track

stay in touch

best I can

her words echoing in my head

“We ain’t got much family

so love on what we got”

I dig in the dirt

plant anything with a root

Stop and at least

get out and look

at any roadside sale

and I don’t go

bawling and squalling

I just keep carrying on

Sometimes it don’t make

too much sense

but I find myself

thinking of what she would be saying

whenever I’m facing

another predicament

and there’s no-one that understands

It keeps me from

bawling and squalling

and keeps me

carrying on

best I can
👣❤ Jeanna’ Mead

8 00 a.m 7-21-18

http://www.jeannasoul.com

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Pirate ….door left open

He is a pirate
down in his soul
born two hundred years
too late

doesn’t matter
all that much
since he still lives
in wonder
anyways

He looks for treasures
in all kinds of places
flirts with women
of all ages and races
falls in love
despite his best intentions

It’s not such a deep
dark secret
how much he loves
the ocean
scotch, vodka and wine
a good rum
and a circle of friends

He walks with a swagger
of a man that knows
full well
he’s being watched
and he doesn’t care

he’s a pirate
down in his soul
born just in time
to make you wonder

what he would do
if he was given
half a chance
to set sail
again.

🍷😉Jeanna’ Mead
5 37 a.m. 12-11-17

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As If

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Set Me Apart

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Another Day

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NO REGRETS

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SO FAR

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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