January 9, 2013

Guest Post: Time Out for Mom

My mother-in-law and niece arrive today. When I asked for guest posts to help fill up the six days they'll be here, I didn't mean that I was asking for someone to tell the world what they love about me.

But my friend Leslie, aka RoryBore, at Time Out for Mom is exactly the kind of sweetheart who would. I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. I'm surprised, flattered and touched.

Even more, I am so happy to know that what I have in my heart, and what I pour out here in so many of my posts, is SEEN and FELT. Thank you, Les!

I am so happy to be a guest at Just Jennifer today!

First of all, she is funny, sweet, kind, and bare-bones truth.Totally dig that about her.

Also, best Tweeter I think!

She sent me a pretty darn nice Christmas card.  My husband didn’t even get me a Christmas card this year.

But mostly, it’s because she is kind of a hero of mine, and everyone should have the chance to be up close and personal with their hero: just once in life. Don’tCha think?

If you are wondering why someone who refers to themselves as “Just Jennifer”  could possibly be a hero, well –  I am glad you dropped by. Sit awhile; I’ll tell you a tale....

Once upon a time, a self-professed simple girl wrote a blog post.

Within that blog post was the following:
Because that is pure bullshit. No one should go through life not grabbing onto the things they want, their heart's desires, for fear of the maybes and what-ifs.
That is not a life well lived.
Elsewhere in Bloggydom, another simple girl living a fairly simple life was so emotionally raw after reading this post, that she didn’t even leave a comment. Although, she may have stood up and cheered, “She gets me. She really gets me!”

You see Jen and this other girl -- okay fine, it’s me -- have something in common. It’s an odd kind of thing to have in common, and yet, there it is.

We both fear for our husbands’ lives. Daily.

In her case, it’s a health issue that might steal away the love of her life and the father of her children.

Whereas, my love goes off to work each day and dives right into danger. And one day the violence he tries to keep from suffocating this world, may win……and he won’t come home.

It’s not that I don’t think about the danger my husband might face each time he walks out our door and steps into his cruiser. I worked in a prison – I am very much aware of the evil that is out there.   That it’s his job to stop. I just can’t let that realization overwhelm me.  Otherwise, this home would become a prison of its own kind. And all I strive towards would be rent asunder: a house of fear instead of a home built of love.

Despite these differences, we two will still be the ones left behind on that fateful day. To tell our children. To face all of our tomorrows alone. To find the means for life to carry on.

How does one achieve a “life well lived” under such a constant threat?

Because in our hearts:  he will linger.

As will all the moments that came before. The trick, and this is truly the hardest part, is that we can choose how those moments will play out. We can live with the shadow of fear hovering over us. Or, we can grab onto all the joy and beauty of this world and hold on tight. Let it surround and fill us.

And maybe, just maybe…if we can do that, it will spill over onto everything and everyone around us. That is where Jen excels. That is why she’s kind of my hero. It’s not because she doesn’t have bad days or struggle with the realities of her life. It’s because she does all that with honesty, and grace and somehow always seeing the positive. Her expressions of gratitude overwhelm me. And all that good energy spills out from this, her “simple” blog home, and unto us. That is the light she shines into this world.

Life will always be a roller coaster. Rain will always fall.  Some will give up. And who could blame them?

But that’s the easy way. The strongest, like my friend Jen, will choose to hold on tighter in those moments. To not run away, or hide, but face the storm with all the strength that is within them.

And sometimes; we may simply choose to dance in the rain….just because we can.


I shall leave you with the following quote (which I have no idea if Les knows is one of my favorites):

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