They Mate for Life

In bed last night,


unable to sleep,

fearing the nightmare,

I began to cry.

Tears actually rolling down my face.

I cry a lot now. I am usually aware I am crying.

Not last night.

I had been thinking of my parents.

They fought. A lot.

They laughed  too.

They spent over a decade split up during the 45 years of their marriage,

but dated every weekend.

It worked for them; separate but together.

During those years my mother said,

“Your father is  one of the most intelligent men I have ever known.

He talks to me. We talk. We talk.”

My father said,

“Your mother was gorgeous, she still is but she is smart honey. Your mother is very smart.

We talk about everything.

We may not agree and she always cancels out my presidential vote,

but we talk.”

And they did.

They had some wild connection, a passion that was unique to them

perhaps born of their time and the place they came from.

Maybe it was just Love.

Neither of my  parents fit any mold.

They were both singular people,

readers, thinkers;

And fighters.

They could NEVER shake the other no matter how hard they tried.

And I am here to tell you;

they tried. They tried hard.

I saw geese flying South yesterday.

I was dropping off a high school application for my son;

my life moving forward,

when I saw them.

A flock flying with grace across the sky.

I watched them as I stood in the parking lot.

I watched them until they  were out of sight;

It was then that I saw Them:

Two geese following  far behind

or maybe not.

One flying up and the other racing to catch up

only to dive down,

forcing the other to follow.

They were graceful and playful and they reminded me of my parents.

Maybe they are gone.

Maybe they are not.

I swear I saw them yesterday oblivious of their peers

with grace and in synch;

Flying away South

Against the blue sky on a warm day

while life began and I was moving forward.

I saw my parents;

Diving up and teasing down

Flying away South.


They will return.

They can not shake it.

I turned the keys in my car. I drove North.

I am moving forward and perhaps,


they are not very far;

They will return.

They can’t shake me either.

Peace,   Jen

PS:   Funny. My mother was a bird watcher, a real for real bird watcher.

I just remembered her telling me once that Geese mate for life.

I looked it up;

It is true. Nothing said they were happy about it; but it is true.

 How about that.

~ by Step On a Crack on January 7, 2012.

18 Responses to “They Mate for Life”

  1. What a huge sense of loss you must be feeling, quite regularly, too. I shall pray for comfort and peace for you. Love, Kathy


  2. Jen, you have a gift for capturing ambivalent moments in words. I hope your words and your tears keep you moving forward beyond nightmares to peace and sleep.



  3. HI Jen I absolutley love ur writing. You have an amazing way with words.. Also I hope ur getting my responces to ur posts on my blog.. have an amazing day 🙂


    • thank you! your comment means the world to me. YOU well know how important being able to cobble thoughts together is a gift. I took it so for granted before my head injury NOW it is a GIFT! I am thrilled to be in touch! I am not on facebook and will ask my teen son to help. I NEED some Traumatic Brain Injury support and you are REMARKABLE!!!

      Peace, Jen


  4. I have often been taught, healed and nurtured by observing the birds. When I truly have my eyes open, God uses all creation to speak. He whispers comfort to you on wings of grace. I continue to lift you to His loving care.


    • ‘He whispers comfort to you on wings of grace.’

      HEIDI this is BEAUTIFUL and true. what a line and what a Woman.

      thank you so very much for all of your love support and prayers.



  5. Beautiful, touching and powerful. Always remember, love conquers all. Even temporary sorrow.
    Peace & grace,


  6. This is beautiful! You are such a wonderful, descriptive, narrative writer. I can see the birds. I can feel the tension running from your body as you watched the birds flying. The mom and dad bird! The dodging and coming back together: Mates for life.

    Your parents were OF COURSE brilliant. How would you have come to be? I remember their apt. in IC and i thought there was another place in IC on the other side of town as well.

    I remember how good you were with Andrea. I remember thinking Andrea would have loved to come with us when we were going out … and i knew you wanted to bring her along. Now i get it. How would we have kept her from drinking when that was our intent: Back then.

    Oh sweetie … it is so wonderful and CREATIVE the way you are sorting out the big time grief. I know Jan. 12 will be tough.

    I’m glad you’re coming back to your new blog sphere!!! There is a lot of support here. You are quite special. Never forget it!!! I’ll keep reminding you, ok?

    Love. Mel


    • My Dear Mel!

      I adore you first that is most important. Memories. shared memories are so important. I LOVE that you knew our young andrea! I DID end up taking her out years later BUT i had ‘the guys’ watching out for her. They may have been a bunch of drunken bufoons BUT they had good hearts and kept her safe. weird I know but there it is.

      thank you for commenting on my writing style! I LOVE to write and it serves my heart. This sharing blog thing is incredible and very different than workshopping a piece of writing in a group. I have gotten more constructive feedback and support here than I did at the U of I!

      I am reeling today; check out debbies post. I am barely here and totally here at the same time. weird. LOTS of tears today and that is a good thing. Hospice is ON me to deal with the delayed grief I carry for daddy and ‘Ace’ AND deal with Mommy too. shit.

      I have not felt so well hopeless in decades. It reminds me of those years; the bad years only I am not using or drinking JUST in MIGHTY pain. I want to make a list and cross shit off: daddy; grief,,, done. ‘Ace’; grief… done. Mommy; grief and anger;….done. but it does not work that way. damn

      OK I am gonna go cry again now. I am so happy we are HERE and HERE! bid deal huge one!

      Love Jen


      • I’m sobbing with you, and i invite you to join me in our grief together. We will not just Check stuff off, we don’t roll that way. Big heart: That’s you! Love, Mel


      • Mel you got that right: no checking stuff off. Big HEART That is YOU! Kiss Gracie for me, Love Jen


  7. What a beautiful post, Jen. It’s amazing what we see when we look beyond ourselves. You are looking upward, always the right place to look. I found such comfort in your words.


  8. i just love writing when things fall together on their own and the hidden meanings are revealed.

    When writing, i sometimes feel like a sculptor discovering the statue hiding inside the stone…

    Beautiful post, Jen!


    • Al, THAT IS IT! It seems that when I sit down with an idea and a plan, well, it bites. When I see the “paper” and just lift the ‘pen” it is a whole other beast. Zen writing and the paying attention of a poet during the day is far better, for me, than an outline or a plan.

      Thanks for stopping by, the support, your wit and wisdom.

      XXX J


  9. Gorgeous visual – I see the geese and the sky. I feel their connection. Poetic and beautiful as always, Jennifet.


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