Poetry Friday: Baby Words

Baby Words

I thought my heart had reached
its maximum capacity,
little one.
But when I saw you so tiny
in your black and white world,
I fell in love with a stranger.

I don’t know you but I can’t wait to.

I can’t wait for all the hats
I’m going to make you
that won’t fit.

I can’t wait to defend
your tiny body
from your overeager siblings.

I can’t wait hear you
snuffle and coo and cry
in your baby words.
I’ll whisper back
in my grown up words,
“I love you.”

Stories and a Shameless Plug

Happy December first! This was me on Thanksgiving morning:

I have three family parties in the next three days. Shoot me. Stuff me. Mount me.

However, they all went better than I expected. I think the trick is to set your expectations very low and be pleasantly surprised.

Right now in life I feel really vulnerable. Being suicidal really changed how I viewed myself and the world, and now that I’m rising out of the worst of the depression (through medication and counseling), it’s kind of like I’m having to relearn who I am. And of course this is multiplied by the fact that I am young and in college.

So with finals approaching and the promise of moving home in December, I’m caught between my head exploding with stress and anxiety and my heart exploding with excitement and gratitude. Oh, did I mention I’m transferring from Mormon Harvard to my old university in a few weeks?

Yes, well. I was going to share that tidbit of info eventually. One of these days I’ll explain why I’m leaving, but tonight I am just trying to recover from the socializing I have endured recently. So, courage, Readers. I will speak with you again soon.

P.S. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing on Twitter, but I tweet or RT almost daily and you could check out my site if you wanted to: maneysmilesback

Does it matter?

A few months back I did a lot of service for someone I care deeply for. I spent several hours helping him or her with tasks that were hard on me physically and emotionally, but I did it anyway because I love this person. Last week, however, when this person was talking about this trial and listing off people who had given great service, I wasn’t mentioned. I just half-smiled and shrugged and moved on, knowing that God remembers what I did and that I remember what I did, and that’s good enough for me.

It got me thinking, though: How many times have I given all of my heart or time or energy to someone because I love them, and I felt that they didn’t recognize my love and service? To be fair, I’m not a parent yet, so frankly I’m being a HUGE hypocrite right now, but still. How many hours of my work and suffering on behalf of beloved fellow humans have been forgotten?

This all reminded me of this awesome post I read the other day by Andrew Bevevino (www.endkwote.wordpress.com) called “What if There Isn’t.” Truly, it was so, so good, and it deserves a lot more analysis and attention than I am going to give it, but you should read it because it has made my life better.

He tells the story of a woman who lives her entire life doing good because she believes in God and wants to be like Him. When she dies she is frail and sickly because of all the service she gave, though everyone remembers her lovingly and gratefully. Her soul passes into a place of pure whiteness and she waits for God to come and claim His faithful servant, but He never comes. She waits in the whiteness for the rest of time, questioning her faith in God and whether her life had been spent correctly. I love love love the last few lines:

But after all those questions, and after all those answers, after convincing herself that God  isn’t real, then changing her mind, then changing back again, she arrived at one, final question.

Does it matter?

Dear Reader, I wonder if we should do good things because we are expecting some kind of reward in this life or the next, or if we should do good things just because they are good.

You can view the full post here:


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(P.S. Y’all know I’m Mormon, so if you’re interested, this is what I believe about our purpose in this life and what will happen in the life to come: http://www.mormon.org/beliefs/plan-of-salvation)

Concerning Love

Christmas is coming up and it makes me wonder what I want from Santa. People keep reminding me that Christmas is nine days away, eight days away, one week away… but for some reason, the actual day of opening presents doesn’t mean as much to me as it used to. A lot of my loved ones are far away this season, and I know that packages tied up with bows won’t fill the hole in my heart.

I recently talked to my counselor about caring for the people in my life. Our conversation made me think about how grateful I am to have people to love, despite the sadness and longing I feel when thinking of them. I’m so blessed to be able to love after everything I’ve been through. I have a freakish capacity to love–and it opens my heart to feel freakish amounts of pain. I can count on one hand the people I know who love as deeply as I do. It’s a gift and a curse. 

So although Santa can’t bring my friends and family home, this Christmas I love and am loved. That’s the best gift I could never ask for. I can be courageous, compassionate, and connected. I can live a wholehearted life–we all can. Even though it’s scary to open my heart, I won’t give up on love. Love makes us human; love makes us immortal. As Toulouse screams from the rafters, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”