Our Hearts Use Code


The anniversary of Ace’s suicide came and went. Sounds so easy. Slides off the tongue, right? We made it through, this time, 8 years later, we honored the day with a trip to the Land; the Family Farm where all of those decades of memories were built and where it all came tumbling down.

We did not go alone. Our nephew by Love and his Fiancée were with us. My son skied with his dad. We all of us laughed and argued and the fire raged. My son drove the car around and around the long drive. He built every fire and kept them stoked.

Playing a game one night my nephew by Love said during the heat of battle,
“We are a Family! This is NOT a team!’

My nephew. I met him when he was 5 months old. He was the ring bearer at our wedding and is now my sons mentor in all things. He is a Good Man. His partner is Wicked Smart and her Heart is Power. They are a Power Couple and he was right;

we are family not a team.

Family. We adult children of alcoholics often grow our own. We find Tribe and we hold on. My Mel is more Family than Friend.

Family is an organic breathing gift. It has deep unseen roots and the flowers turn toward the sun.

Family not team. I got it. It means that it is not always easy but we are stuck with each other. Teams go home. Family IS Home.

I have roots, somewhere. I have long memory of family that has drifted and wandered: Gone. I think a lot of us have experienced the loss of those roots. Many of us for countless reasons have lost touch with members of our blood family.

Thing is, you lose touch, you let go and come to accept a leave taking, but it does not mean that those roots are forgotten. No. Never.

We are Family. My Family is built of some blood and DNA but mostly of Love and Time and, well, NOT walking away. Staying even when it is hard.

Team goes home.
Family Stays.

I am grateful for both the root and the flower. Both have helped me become who I am today. Both hold memory.

A day can pass. Night can fall. You can call it done but here is the deal:

Even those of us estranged from our root remember those special days, those formative years, we remember the Root.

Today is NOT just any day. It is a special day. I can’t shake the longing, the memory, the sadness that comes with acceptance.

Blood. DNA. Memory.

Happy Birthday I sing out to the night sky. Happy Birthday.

Make sense? Maybe not. Sometime our Hearts use code. Sometimes that is the only way to walk the pain.



~ by Step On a Crack on February 23, 2013.

12 Responses to “Our Hearts Use Code”

  1. My thoughts exactly. Well not quite exactly. You are the poet. I am just the sister.
    “Blood. DNA. Memory.
    Happy Birthday I sing out to the night sky. Happy Birthday.
    Make sense? Maybe not. Sometime our Hearts use code. Sometimes that is the only way to walk the pain.”
    Just the singing of Happy Birthday to…
    broken bridges….but do broken bridges hear? Or do broken bridges care. I do not know. The Bee and Baby and I will sing Happy Birthday today when we eat the chocolate cake we made yesterday.
    That I can do.
    Well I’ll be loving you, your boyman , your/ my Nephew by Love. And thinking of chocolate Birthday cakes.


  2. There you are across the Pond with Two Beautiful Babies and a Husband I adore. We have weathered some kick ass storms. We have. Your children will know my child. They will know Family is Large and has been Re-defined in so many instances. Carrie, Phil and the Kids. Jack, my god, Jack is Back. P and C and on and on. We will ALL eat cake and Dance when it is time to Dance and Cry together when it is time to cry. Like now, cake and tears. Acceptance is not easily won but won it must be.
    Cake. Tomorrow.
    The Kid and I will be attending a dance for mothers and sons at school with his buddies and their moms. During the Day P and C will come down and the men will head to the range and C and I will talk and talk and talk

    I wish you were here but… there you are



  3. With a tender thought of admiration for Ace, i congratulate you on your Family Day! Thank you for this gift of your words, my friends.


  4. “Hearts use code.”

    How wonderfully and beautifully put!

    I’m so glad you have Family. Even ones who qualify as what my friend, really my sister of the heart, call a “Lilo and Stitch” family (after the kid movie that shows family is also what you make).

    Huge hugs to you.


  5. The kids are so neat when they grow into adults. Your nephew by love had it so right. What a great comment and way to frame up the day.

    Who was Ace? Sorry if I missed that. One of your children?



  6. Beautiful, Jen, absolutely beautiful. Yes, teams go home but family stays. All the way. xo


  7. This is awesome:
    “Team goes home.
    Family Stays.”


  8. This writing is so beautiful and so true. “Beauty is truth and truth, beauty. That is all ye know in life and all ye need to know.”. — Keats

    On 2/24/13, Step On A Crack…Or Break Your Mother’s Back


  9. Just. Touched. Speechless. Unbelievable. Love, MEL

    Walking with family. Staying. That’s the ticket. Must. Do. XO


  10. “Teams go home, family IS home.” perfection.


  11. Beautiful Jen!


  12. Lovely. Comforting. And true.


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