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Posts Tagged ‘Words’

Hey Auntie,
How are you? How’s heaven?

Boy, I sure do miss you. A lot has happened since you left, and I can’t tell you how many times I wish I could just call and talk to you. Or come over to your house so we could play Monopoly and eat potato bread with butter. I’d even be willing to sleep on that old cot next to your bed again. Just to be next to you. Hold your hand till I fall asleep, like I used to when I was little. Have you draw on my back and say, “It’s something that runs across the road…”

Sometimes, if I listen hard enough, I can almost hear you say, “Hey, Kar.” Almost.

I hate that we don’t get to hang out. It’s been almost 10 years and sometimes it still feels like yesterday. Grief is a tricky thing, you know? Life goes on, but at the same time, we’ve all lost something. You were a huge piece of my puzzle, and most days, I can see the whole picture. But some days, the hole is so big I don’t know how to fill it.

Today is one of those days.

There is so much I want to tell you! I’m engaged. His name is Cody, and he came along when I least expected it. Guess that’s what love does, right? Shows up when you think you’ve sworn it off forever — becomes more than you’ve ever hoped for. I know you’d really like him. I think that’s what really gets me, you know? That you’ll never meet him. That he’ll never get to meet you. I have these moments, and he holds me. And all I can think is, this sucks. Two of my favorite people in the whole wide world and they don’t get to meet? How fair is that?

I want you to be at the wedding. I want you to be there when we have kids. I want you to be there to make cut-out cookies with your great nieces and nephews. (Okay, maybe not plurals but you never know! Verdict is still out on that one.) I want you to be here so we can have a glass of wine and really chat about life. I want to go for a walk with you, the way you and my mom used to. I want to take a drive in the hills. Or make a big bowl of popcorn and watch a cheesy Hallmark movie together. I want you to be here so I can hear your voice again – really. And give you a great big hug.

I want you to be here.

God, I wish you were.

It’s hard for me to watch or read anything associated with cancer. Sometimes I cry — at times just a little, other times a lot. It makes me so sad to see that kind of suffering, to be reminded that’s why you’re gone.

But I’m glad you’re with your best friend. I’m sure you guys are up there having a grand old time. And while I have some things I’d still like to do down here (more like a lot) I find comfort in knowing we’ll be together again someday. For God is not a God of destruction — but of hope and of love. He loved us enough to give us that gift, and He loved me enough to give me you.

I feel like I was so young when you died. Of course, at the time I thought I could conquer the world. Graduating high school? I was an adult for sure. But, the truth was, I didn’t know what that all entailed. I had a lot to experience. Places to go. People to meet. Heartaches to have. Growing up to do. Hard lessons to learn. I am far from the girl I was when you were here. But, I have held onto the important parts. Parts like you.

You were the mom I needed, when I didn’t like my own. Which is easy to do when you’re a teenager. You’ll be happy to know my mom is my best friend now. And we miss you together. I wish you and I had the chance to have the same kind of mature, honest, relationship now. But I want you to know you changed my life. And you will forever be that person. My role model. My crying shoulder. My hideaway. You let me be myself, and you were always there for me no matter what. You loved me unconditionally. You loved me like a daughter. You took me places. You made me feel valued. You made me feel special. You helped me believe in myself. You showed me that God should always come first — to have love in order to give love.

I’ll always remember you and Danny’s Bibles sitting open on the kitchen table. You planted seeds in my life, just by being you.

I want to thank you for loving me. For being my Aunt. For being the kind-hearted, caring, person you were. For laughing. For farting. For playing Christmas Trivia in the car. Pretty sure we knew every answer to Carols and Songs. For playing Scrabble with me. For making cut-out cookies with me, even when you were leaving for Christmas. For spending Thanksgivings with us. For your homemade pumpkin pies. For giving me a home away from home. For coming to my piano recitals, choir concerts, soccer games, and track meets. For seeing me off to prom my junior year. For taking me places — calling me on a whim and asking if I wanted to go shopping in Loveland for the weekend or ride with you to Sioux Falls. For playing cards with me. For being that cool Aunt who wanted to hang out with me. No matter how young or uncool I probably was. For taking me to church. For singing me songs. For rubbing my back. For listening. For laughing. For filling my life with happy memories I will never forget.

I love you so very much. And as much as I wish you were here, now and in the future, I am forever grateful for all the time we got to spend together. You made an ever-lasting impact on my life. Who I was, who I became, who I am, and who I have yet to be. I won’t ever forget you. I hope I’m half the woman you were “when I grow up.”

Now you are among the angels, and forever one in my heart.

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I long to reach across the air and touch you with every word you don’t believe and every promise you long to hear. To hold you in my arms and tell you this.

You are enough.

You are a warm hug at the end of a terrible day. In the same fashion, embrace the ones who treat your words like harmonies. Hold onto those who treasure your heart like their own. Envelop the friends who remember your stories and protect them with both hands. Be who you are, who you want to be, regardless of all the times you’ve been hurt before. Reach out to life and live it. Without fear. Those people who care about what you’ve done and have yet to do don’t matter. You are an individual with initiative. You are a person of promise. You are a laugh full of life. You are a smile rich with sentiment. Be who you are deep inside, beneath the regrets and lost loves and anger. Allow yourself to feel innocent again. Take hold of every opportunity like a child, complete with curiosity and lack of caution. The world will continue to disappoint you, but don’t disappoint yourself before you get a chance to try.

You are enough.

I promise not every girl you meet is a slut, out to conquer any man she can get her hands on. I promise not every girl is manipulative, making you feel vulnerable only to tear you down. I promise not every girl is selfish, concerned with her own emotions while never taking yours into consideration. I guarantee there are girls out there who long to treat you with respect. Who pride themselves in speaking with honesty. Who care to remain faithful with or without a titled commitment.

I promise not every guy you meet is a player, out to talk to as many girls as he can without getting caught. I promise not every guy is a liar, saying all the things you want to hear without meaning a single word. I promise not every guy is insensitive, bothered by your emotions and your need to talk things out. I guarantee there are guys who want to treat you like a princess. Who want to spend time with you and only you. Who will be your best friend.

You are enough.

You deserve the best. Don’t let your past mistakes dictate your future. Don’t settle for less or talk yourself down. You should never punish yourself about something you can no longer change. Let your mistakes teach you something. Let them make you a better person. Stand up for yourself even when you feel like giving up, giving in. Think of all the times you wished for a better conversation with someone you cared about, and have the decency to have those conversations with others. No matter how hard they may be, the truth really does set you free. You don’t have to live in a mess of the could haves and should haves. You can live in the present of who you really are and what you really want. Because it matters. You matter.

You are enough.

Stop believing the worst parts of yourself. Stop second guessing everything anyone tells you because of how many times you’ve been hurt before. Believe someone when they say they care. Maybe they’ll let you down someday. Maybe they don’t care as much as they should. But if you allow skepticism to rule your life you’ll never feel anything. And that’s worse than feeling something, no matter how painful it may be. Allow yourself to have the very best, no matter how much you feel like you don’t deserve it. Let people into your heart no matter how scared you are. I promise you it’ll be worth it. Because, at the end of the day, if your heart breaks after you gave it your all, at least you can walk away knowing you tried. Don’t make yourself feel so small in order to expect nothing. Because then you end up missing out on everything.

You are enough.

I wish I could make you believe that with every part of my being. The same way I strive to believe it about myself. I am often criticized for giving too much of myself and my heart. I give people second chance after second chance after second chance. And, sometimes, it bites me in the butt. I have spent many nights crying over situations I should have seen coming from the get go. But that doesn’t define me. Those moments don’t take away value from how I feel and who I am. I won’t apologize for letting it all out. I will continue to give the people I meet my whole heart, greeting them with opens arms of trust and respect. If that’s not enough, then the relationship probably wasn’t meant to be. And, yes, maybe I will be hurt by the loss. Maybe I will carry the broken relationship with me for the rest of my life. But, at least, I will be able to say this: I gave them all I could give.

You are enough.

So give all you can give. To someone. To anyone. To everyone. Don’t let the ugliness of the world hide the beauty that is inside of you. Instead, let the world see you for all your worth. Let life happen. Believe though there is no reason. Trust when the road has no end in sight. Love in spite of the possibility of getting hurt. I promise you it’ll be worth it. I promise someone will hear your song.

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A Moment.

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Dear Anyone,
If you’re reading this, I hope you are as in awe of this secret spot as I am. How amazing to reach out and share stories with people you will most likely never meet. I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. I don’t know your dreams, your story, your struggles, your past.
All I know is this moment.
Life is good. Even when it breaks you apart. Allow yourself to become stronger, rebuild. Fight for the relationships that matter. Even when those people hurt you, give them a second chance. Life’s too short to hold a grudge. It’s also too short to waste your time on people who don’t value who you are — who you really are. You’re beautiful. You matter. Never stop believing that. You have to be okay with yourself. No one can make you feel insignificant unless you let them.
Take risks, friend. Travel. Love. Breathe. Jump. Find what you desire and go after it. Don’t let anyone stand in your way. Be your biggest fan. Love life and all it has to offer. I promise if you do it will love you back.
Tell your story. Someone may need to hear it. God didn’t make us to be alone, so surround yourself with people and places that make you feel alive. Forgive. Forget. Feel. And never apologize for how you feel. Every emotion means something. So it let it teach you.
May your present be beautiful — as you are. May your future give hope.
Sincerely, Kari

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Every day we wake up and wish for something more. We wake up wishing for something extraordinary, something normal, something meaningful to happen to us. All the while we’re simply trying to make sense of what life is and who we are. But it’s impossible to do. Life is like a thunderstorm that’s rainy and sunny all at once. It will never make sense. But we’re so caught up in the facade of what we should understand or who we should be that we miss what we already are — human.

We make mistakes, and we hurt people. We ignore text messages and phone calls and cancel plans, all because we’re too busy caught up in our own bullshit. We destroy relationships and get in fights over things that don’t really matter. We let the things that do really matter tear us apart, until we’re alone trying to figure out how we got there. We’re petty and selfish and mean. We expect people to treat us with respect when we’re not willing to treat them the same. We sacrifice what we believe for what we want. We give up what we want to find out who we are. We compromise who we are for people who never cared. We all believe we are the victims, but we also want to be the heroes. That is how we become fighters — ignorant and brave all at once.

And, we are lovers — full of passion and naivety. We are all searching for life to be more than ourselves. We want to know we’re not alone in this. That someone believes in us, and we believe in them. We hold onto relationships that will break our hearts, if only to risk feeling something genuine. To find a connection that rocks us to our core, shatters what we thought we knew and changes our futures. We love without expecting anything in return, because it gives us something to hope for. Someday, someone may do the same for us. We hold onto people with our hearts, wrapping around them with all that we are.

We thrive on conversation — the sharing of intellect, the debating of viewpoints, the revealing of our most treasured memories and darkest secrets. We construct words the way we construct our lives, with plenty of care and recklessness. Sometimes we think before, and other times we just do. Either way, we sit up all hours of the night thinking of what’s been said and thought, because maybe we missed something. Or, maybe, we wish to relive it all again. The exchange of a moment when we felt alive.

We’re searching to find something — a career, a place, a home, an adventure, a change — that makes us feel as if we have arrived. This is what we were made for. This is the moment when life really begins. Because, if we’re honest, we are all still waiting for more. We want to do more than live life; we want to be filled with it. To be someone — a traveler, a parent, a lover, an inventor, a dreamer, a doer, a person who makes a difference. We want to be more than we are, in hopes that the world will notice us.

We want to share life with others. We let people in to see all the mistakes we’ve made, invite them to watch us make more, and love us because of it. We let people in to help us find ourselves. We fight for and destroy the relationships we have, while we look for more. We make our life puzzle more intricate, yet we also make it more significant. To explain the parts of us we don’t understand, to add perspective, to share in a life we are all trying to create something from.

Life is like a thunderstorm that’s rainy and sunny all at once. It doesn’t make sense. And that’s what makes it beautiful.

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We fall asleep holding onto things people have said. We lose ourselves in a distant memory of when. Time is merely a game we play. Always giving ourselves to a present we don’t understand and a past we can’t forget. Perhaps, we can’t let go because we’re missing something now. Love. Belonging. Adventure. Mystery. Honesty. Purpose. Once upon a time, we had a it all. Or, at least, we thought we did. So we spend our dreams trying to remember when really we’re forgetting to live.

It’s never too late to have it. Whatever it is. Who you are. What you desire. Where you wish to be. Who you want to love. How you want to live. The world is waiting for you to come alive. To embrace what your heart screams for, even if it terrifies you. To take a risk, even if it means you’ll get hurt. To speak the truth, even if it isn’t received well. Life is too short to play it safe. So do it for you. Do it to be remembered in such a way that people will know you truly lived with your whole being. Do it to know you can walk away from any situation, relationship, or opportunity without any regret. Do it because you owe it to yourself to be the best possible version of you. Do it because you owe it to others.

We’re all in this together. And we’re all human. We all have fears and insecurities. None of us are perfect and we’re afraid to let people see that. We fear being hurt, rejected, taken for granted. We fear not living up to other people’s expectations, but most of all, we fear not living up to our own. So we hide pieces of ourselves when really those are the most important pieces of all. Those are the pieces other people need uncovered. Those are the pieces that will set you free. None of us want to feel alone. Sharing those secret pieces lets people into our lives, into our hearts, into our souls. Allows us breathe again. Lifts a weight off our shoulders. Opens up the possibility of deep and lasting connections.

The greatest relationships are the messy ones. The ones where people’s selves are cut open and spilled on the concrete. Sharing in the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Telling the truth even when it hurts. Exposing things that we don’t even want to admit to ourselves. Literally crying on shoulders and laughing until you can barely breathe. Allowing vulnerability to be center stage until one day it becomes natural. The people you can call in the middle of the night. The people you can share your biggest regrets and darkest secrets with. Allowing yourself to be so vulnerable that you pave the way for unbelievable trust.

And isn’t that what we all want? Someone we can trust with our lives. People we can share our hearts with and know they won’t get trampled on. Someone who takes who we are and guards it with their own self. If only we could all live with intentionality and courage. Live here and now with every good intention to be the best version of ourselves and share that with others. To make an impact on the closest of friends and the most random of strangers. To be different and to make a difference. Making the choice to take a risk. The chance to stop letting fear dictate our lives and open ourselves up to the possibility of life — full of beauty, chaos, pain, and surprise.¬† To take off the layers and show our secret selves to the public world.

Do it. Because you’re beautiful and worth it. Because the world deserves to see your true colors. More than that, they need them. You are enough. And your story means something. Let the way you live showcase that. Stop living in the past. Stop wishing for things. Make today happen the way you’ve always dreamed it would. Be you. Be messy. Be real. Let yourself live a life you’re proud of. A life to be remembered.

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We accept the love we think we deserve.

It’s true isn’t it? One of the most profound statements in literature strikes a chord in all of us. Love. It is what drives us, haunts us, inspires us, ruins us. It is the back drop to some of our deepest regrets and fondest memories. Someone, one day, made us believe something about love. Maybe it was more. Maybe it was less. But, we have never been the same since. And, every person from that moment on, impacted our ability to love — each other and ourselves.

Maybe, it was the first middle school party you ever attended. You were that awkward kid in the corner who didn’t really belong. Or, perhaps one of the most popular. The story plays out the same. Everyone is playing Spin the Bottle, and all you want is to fit in. You don’t know what it means. You don’t even really like the person you land on. But, you do it anyone. Because everyone else is. It’s harmless and fun. Your first kiss dies in an adolescent charade, bringing any hope of a perfect love story down with it.

Or, perhaps, it was your first best friend of the opposite sex. You talk about everything together. Music. Religion. Sex. Politics. Life. Relationships. You spend so much time together, people swear you’re dating. You cuddle during movies because it’s just the way it is. You laugh and joke about the way you are together. But, somewhere along the way you fall. Hard. You compare every person you date to your best friend. Whoever they date is never good enough. But, turns out, you weren’t either. You spill your heart. It gets broken. And, suddenly, the one person you would entrust with your life has destroyed the reality you believed in.

Maybe, it’s the broken family you grew up. Divorced parents. Siblings set aside as outcasts. Extended members you’ve never even met. It’s in the uncertainty of relationships meant to be guaranteed. You find out nothing can be counted upon. No one is worth trusting. Your family members love other people and other things more than they will ever love you. You are constantly trying to prove yourself — to be better, to be worthy, to be enough. But, nothing ever is. You are just someone, devoid of the love you so desperately desire.

Maybe, though, it’s something much worse. One of those unspeakable cruelties of the world. The kind that sneaks in your bedroom late at night. The kind that finds you in a strange place. One day someone takes something from you that you never wanted to give. Someone tears pasts your boundaries and compromises any belief that respect exists. Let alone love. You are now just another sob story, a victim of nights gone wrong. The kind of the thing that leaves people speechless. You are left with secrets and doubt. Who will love you now?

Or, perhaps you spend so much of your life compromising for other people that one day you wake up and realize you don’t really know if you believe in “better.” You’ve let go of your happiness for so long, you no longer know what makes you feel alive. It exists for others, but for you it is just a story. A fairytale. And, none of those come true. You lost faith years ago. Love is a game, and you’re sitting on the bench. That’s the way it’s going to go — one shitty relationship after the next until you decide you’re sick of sitting and settle for as good as it gets.

But, maybe, you keep one small flame burning — Hope.

That no matter how lonely it gets, or how many times you’ve been pushed around and screwed over, you choose to believe there is more. More love for you to find. The kind you’ve deserved from the start.

You pursue the fairytale. Not the make-believe kind with glass slippers and magic carpet rides. The real kind. Where love is enough. Where someone fights for who you are, not what you’ll do or compromise on. Someone who loves you even when you don’t deserve it. Because, that’s the kind of love we all deserve. The unexplainable, unconditional, happy, selfless kind. The kind of love that makes all the bullshit worth it. The kind that makes you believe again. The kind of love that rises above your past to prove it was worth waiting for.

So, this Valentines Day, I hope you believe in love. If you’re in relationship, I hope it’s one that makes you better. One that makes you believe in yourself and the world around you. I hope that person makes you feel like the only one in the room. May they never take you for granted. If you’re single, I hope you don’t feel alone but rest in the truth that love is out there. It’s in your friends and family. It’s in your faith. It’s in your dreams. It’s in someone you have yet to meet. Keep your flame burning bright. You never know who may need to see it.

For all of you, I hope you believe you deserve the best. You are special and worthy of love. The kind you want, not just the kind you may be given. Never settle for less. Accept the love made for a fairytale — the one meant to be written just for you.

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There’s a collection of mix CD’s cataloging the years I knew you.
The most cliché kind. To you. From me. I love you.

It’s been almost a year since we said goodbye.

I put each one in, to listen again. I hear your voice whisper amidst choruses once loved. This song will make you cry. This song will make you smile. This song makes me think of you.

The familiar sounds move me to tears, or, maybe the remembering is what breaks my heart.

Every song forces me to feel you again. All I’ve never felt with anyone else. Each melody echoes what we’ve lost. The lyrics create ghosts of conversations I barely remember. I am suffocating inside a concert I once loved to replay.

I’ve left searching for songs the way I’ve stopped searching for you.

Our love is now a memory documented by mixed CD’s and handwritten letters, thrown alongside a few mediocre photographs. The most beautiful pieces remain like one of our favorite songs.

For no matter how long it’s been, I will always be able to sing it by heart.

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