You were the girl
with the untamable curls
exploding from your tiny head.
I first saw those curls bounce when you turned around
to copy my math answers in fourth grade.
I covered my paper and offered to help you.
The first time I came over your house
you called me upstairs
so I would walk past the wide-open bathroom door
while you were peeing.
You laughed maniacally
when I turned red and ran back downstairs.
You were as loud and brassy as those curls,
unless you were talking to your dogs
in your baby voice.
You loved all creatures
and dreamed of being a veterinarian
or marine biologist.
It was always fun at your house.
We ate what we wanted
swam in your pool,
Ran upstairs shouting, “Esta noche volamos!”
Ran downstairs shreiking, “To the batmobile!”
and were allowed to be girls.
I always apologized for you
when you argued.
You said you had no patience for lies.
You won every battle,
large and small,
then sharply instructed me not to apologize.
After high school we were planets away.
I heard you decided to become a lawyer.
You didn’t take shit from anyone.
I guess that’s why the coward felt he needed a gun.
You were found in a dumpster.
They identified you
by your hummingbird tattoo.
The man who helped discard you
was released from prison for good behavior.
You wouldn’t have let that happen
If you had the chance to finish your law degree.
Written in memory of Shannon Lee Meara, my childhood friend. This beautiful and smart young woman was seeking an education so she could help others when she was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. She was 24 years old.
Please consider donating to the Shannon Lee Meara Foundation. Funds raised support a dating and domestic violence program for high school students to promote healthy dating relationships, and an annual scholarship for a high school graduate who has had a positive impact on dating and domestic violence issues.
If you live in the Boston area, please consider participating in the 6th Annual Shannon’s Run, happening on Saturday, June 1, in Woburn, Massachusetts. More information can be found on the Shannon Lee Meara Foundation website.
I am not one to let news tragedies affect me and certainly not the ridiculous media coverage that accompanies them, but the Boston Marathon bombing really jarred me. I've never felt such hopelessness in humanity. I cried on and off the whole day. What you are about to read is a re-post from almost a year ago about my first experience with traveling out of the south as an adult.
I took this photo of the Boston Marathon finish line in April 2010.
I grew up in the Boston area and have always called the city home, even though I’ve lived in Kansas for the last seven years.
Words cannot do justice to my love for this beautiful city. That is why I was so saddened to hear about the tragedy near the Boston Marathon’s finish line yesterday.
I pray for all of the family and friends affected by this tragedy. I commend the heroes who immediately took action to save and preserve lives.
My husband and I are moving back to the Boston area this summer. We miss the city so much. We’ve given it plenty of thought, and decided that we can’t imagine spending our lives anywhere else.
Leaving the Boston area seven years ago only made me appreciate it more. I’ve become a tourist each time I’ve visited Boston since moving away. I realized that after 20 years of living in the Boston area, I never bothered to visit the U.S.S. Constitution, Old North Church, Paul Revere’s House, and other landmarks important to my nation’s history.
This summer, I plan to become a tourist again. I will revisit my old favorites, such as the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, The MFA (Museum of Fine Arts), Boston Common, Harvard Square, George’s Island, and The North End. Then I’ll check out things I haven’t seen yet, such as The Longfellow House in Cambridge (where George Washington stayed during the siege of Boston from July 1775-April 1776), Nantucket Island, and the cranberry harvest in the fall.
The thing that I love about Boston is that, each time I visit, it changes. Yet it remains the same. It is constantly moving forward: making strides in business, education, infrastructure, and culture. Yet it is ever faithful to its glorious past.
Boston is a wonderful place to visit and live. It is one of the cleanest metropolitan areas I’ve been in, is easily walk-able with a user-friendly public transportation system, and contains some of the most interesting people in the world. There are people from so many different walks of life who come to Boston to work, start a business, receive an education, and live. I feel blessed to have grown up in an area where I’ve had the opportunity to meet and learn from people of so many different cultures, religions, and lifestyles.
The Boston Marathon is a celebration of the multiculturalism Boston so warmly embraces. I can’t understand why anyone would want to smear that with hatred. But Boston, as always, continues to move forward.
While the tragic events of yesterday may change the city somewhat, it will always remain the same: embracing and reflecting the beautiful colors of so many people and nations.
Here is the real Little Blue Suitcase. It was waiting for me on my kitchen counter when I got home from work yesterday.
With this note on it:
And these items inside:
The real Little Blue Suitcase is a vintage suitcase that was owned by my grandmother (Nana was such a hipster that she was vintage before vintage was vintage). I believe she used it during the 1970s, traveling post-retirement. I love it because it reminds me of her.
I’ve been on a diet, and have had to get really serious about eating right to make any progress. I ran out of healthy snacks yesterday, so my awesome husband decided to go to the store and get me the healthy snacks I enjoy. He also got me some “fun” snacks, like a Milky Way Midnight Dark Bar and Manischewitz Wine- because you need to indulge every once in a while!
How do you land an awesome guy like this?
1. Be a nice lady.
2. Have love for the geeks. There are some real gems out there who make fantastic husbands!
I love my husband. He is always surprising me in cool ways.
I’ve received a lot of new followers in the last week, and I would just like to say thank you and welcome to LittleBlueSuitcase! Whenever I get new followers, I try to check out their blogs as well. I haven’t had a chance to do that with all of my new followers yet, but I will when I have more time. I love connecting with talented writers!
I’m also thankful for the wonderful writers who already follow my blog. I so enjoy reading their blogs, and I’m flattered that they read my blog as well!
The poetry I’ve been sharing lately has gotten positive response, so I am planning to share some more. Yesterday I learned that April is National Poetry Writing Month. Some of you dedicated bloggers are writing 30 poems in 30 days for “NaPoWriMo.” I commend you and look forward to reading more of your work! I just started writing poetry again after a decade hiatus, and it can be a grueling, soul-sucking process. So I truly admire those who can write a poem a day.
In case you missed them, here are the two poems I shared recently:
Happy National Poetry Writing Month!
I’m 29, and I had a bad day yesterday. Sometimes on bad days, I want to off myself for silly reasons. Like:
1. I have to actually put in effort to care for my body.
I hit the metabolism lottery, okay? That all changed when I started taking a medicine that can make me gain a lot of weight if I’m not careful. So, oh my God, I actually have to hit the gym 6-7 days a week now, and feel anorexic until I get to my target weight. So essentially, I have to do what the majority of people I know have done for years. WAH.
2. Drinking is no longer fun.
Drinking used to be fun. Now it just makes me feel sick, depressed, and regretful. And since I’m watching my damn calories, that means no more Man-O-Manischewitz for moi.
3. I’m not having babies.
I don’t want babies. But you know, I’m getting to “that age” where “the clock is ticking,” so I’m constantly being asked about it, then am pitied by smug Moms who say having children was the best thing they ever did. I don’t care. I’m not creating a person just so I can find myself.
4. I can’t afford anything I “should” be able to afford by now.
I’m 29. Why can’t I afford a house? Why can’t I afford to travel to Ireland? Why can’t I afford to get my roots done? Why can’t I afford the hairspray I want, because my overgrown bangs keep getting in my face and my cowlick makes life freakin’ impossible? WHY. Because of debt. Stupid higher education. Who needs you?
5. Yesterday contained zero excitement, which is no different from most days.
This was my day yesterday:
Put on makeup.
Lamented my existence and the fact that no one reads my damn blog.
Went to the gym.
Hated every minute.
Read more of John Adams by David McCollough.
Wished I was as awesome as John and Abigail Adams were.
Told myself I was a pansy for only doing 20 minutes on the elliptical.
Watched a parody video of Taylor Swift’s “Feelin’ 22″ called “Feelin’ 32″ on BuzzFeed.
Felt somewhat better.
Checked the calories of Jameson Irish Whisky.
(Image Courtesy of re-Ver(sing) Verses)
I once was a defiled symphony
violin strings binding wrists
until my spotlight blew
and I saw the theater, empty.
I went searching for anyone
who would hear my show.
I found some who, deaf and dumb,
couldn’t say no.
I sucked their venom
and felt powerful, filled with pride,
until, unseen, I regurgitated black
spiteful, slow suicide.
Each time I ended in a waiting room, alone
with dull eyes, asking for cure.
Freely given, I was told
I wouldn’t feel the venom anymore.
But the poison had done its work.
It spread to my brain,
turned my soul to stone,
and I needed more, again and again.
The first time I listened to the quiet
I found You
calling to my sick spirit
then blessing it anew.
I exclaimed hallelujah,
then betrayed You in the same breath,
unable to admit that
I was the cause of my impending death.
I tried to bribe You several times.
For years I was unable to accept
that to make my soul white
only You could pay my debt.
The war inside continues
But, each day, becoming less and less.
Peace stands on the horizon
All I have to do is say, “Yes.”