Flash Dance

I saw her again. That girl I used to be. She was having lunch with her college roomies. She was having a beer with an old friend.
She’s so tempting to me. I want to flirt with her, dance with her again, but it’s too dangerous. How can I come back to this girl if I linger too long at that girl’s side?
Because I have to come back.
People are counting on this girl.

My mind keeps dragging out moments from 2 summers ago. And the summer before that.
I hit them back like a piñata and they swing back at me,
again and again,
until it busts open. All the pieces of my life scattered across the lawn. It can’t be put back together, so you grab what you can in your hands and go on home.

But home doesn’t feel good either. The walls are covered with pictures of that girl’s life. And the cute boy she married. Those people our children will never remember. The ones I want to dance with.
The people we were before.

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21 Responses to Flash Dance

  1. Aunt SuSu says:

    Those people are still there, they just have layers that have been put on them. We see the layers and we know what’s under, buried but not forgotten. We love you and all your layers. Good ones and bad ones. We feel the pain of the bad ones but always know that the sweet lovely layers are hidden there waiting to be whole again.

    We love you,
    Aunt SuSu and Uncle Jim

  2. Tamara says:

    Your words…they cut to my heart. They are alive with your pain, with your longing to find the innocence you once had. Before that tremendous loss. When your heart and arms were overflowing with life.

    I remember that butterfly dress you wore to Tuesday’s service. It said so much about your personality to me. I could picture you looking at your closet and saying eff it, I’m not wearing black. That dress was shiny and colorful and the butterflies danced as you walked.

    When my dad passed away I wrote a poem about how we are all caterpillars waiting for our wings. Writhing, squirming, somewhat blindly through it all.

    I don’t know you. But I feel like I do through your powerful words here. Before all of this, I bet the girl you used to be radiated beauty and freedom. Colorful, vibrant and full of life. I am sure your smile lit up any room.

    Butterflies have to find shelter in the rain. Their wings can get tattered during the toughest of storms. Though it may not seem possible, one day the rays will shine on you again and you will find a way to spread your tattered wings and fly.

    In the meantime I pray for you and your lovely family.


  3. Casey says:

    Keep trying. Just keep going…..

  4. Bre says:

    Dance Jess.
    Flirt with that beautiful girl.
    Have a beer or two and dance as if no one is looking.
    Give yourself these moments, JK.
    You are allowed.
    You can still come back. You can still be the one those count on.
    And even though pinatas seem to fly in your direction…..you can choose whether to take your turn at swinging back. Just remember….when that dang papier mache and cardboard give in to your strength…..sweetness escapes, triumph reigns, and moments of smiles and happiness can be felt.

    I love you and I wish I could dance by your side.


  5. Mamie says:

    This is not a path or place I can walk with you because I am not babylost…but what my heart is wanting to say to you is that these two girls are encompassed in the one woman you are…it maybe fractured right now and the bones that knit together will always have the traces of fissures and cracks but you are so strong and deep and special, Jess. I want you to know that. You are strong and deep and special and there are always prayers of love and support winging your way for the times when you may not feel that way. Sending love. Amiee

  6. Susan says:

    Hi Jess. You don’t know me either but I have been reading your blog since right before sweet Tuesday was ill. I love what others have written to you thus far. Your pain is so clear. I think of your family often when I something here in Michigan reminds me of your sweet daughter. Keep writing. You have a beautiful family waiting patiently for you to dance again. You will!!! Just a little differently. Just know that so many cyper strangers care.

  7. Sharlene says:

    JK that girl is still there and its okay for her to come out whenever she wants. Its okay to laugh, smile, dance, have drinks, and be happy. There is no right or wrong so don’t ever feel like you have to be anything but you. I will love you and adore you no matter which form you take. PS- working on a CO trip this winter. I will see you before this year ends dangit!

  8. Jen says:

    You are that girl Jess. And Charley is still cute. None of our children ever know the people we were before them because we all change as we grow. Some of the changing is not good and the hurts we all experience in life bear down on us as we age. I’ll never be the happy girl I was in my old pictures either. You’ll break through some day to where that girl is not just a glimpse. You’ll see her in the mirror when you fix your hair or brush your teeth.

  9. debi9kids says:

    Jess… I could feel that tug yesterday when we were “talking”. So much so that I called Terri and cried with her. For all that you’ve lost and all that you hope to become. And all that holds you firmly where you are (yet somehow on shaky ground as well)

    I KNOW that girl is there. I see her when I see you.
    Everyone that knows and loves you can see her too and like Aunt SuSu said, we all know those layers are there.

    Don’t be afraid to let her out.
    Or glimpses of her.
    No one will judge you for laughing, dancing.
    loving life a little bit.

    If there is nothing else I learned from Tuesday, I learned that Tuesday loved to laugh.
    And smile.
    She loved life.
    Love life For Tuesday.
    Because of Tuesday.

    Love you Jess.

  10. Molly says:

    Dance, for yourself and your kids.
    Laugh, for yourself and your kids.
    You all deserve to enjoy this life, as it is today, and as it was before.

  11. Marnie says:

    I can’t possibly begin to know what you are feeling because, as Amiee said, I have not lost a child. But your most recent post reminded me of a few lines that always stuck in my head from a Eugene O’Neill play when I was deep in the throws of post partum depression:

    “But I suppose life has made him like that, and he can’t help it. None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.”

    Don’t lose yourself. You CAN be “that girl” and the woman you are now at the same time. I was able to catch myself and hold onto the girl that I used to be. The trick is to not lose sight of her and to force yourself to do the things that used to make her happy. And you don’t have to chose between being her or the woman you are now either. You can be a wonderful tapestry to both.


  12. Lynn Worley says:

    Psalms 121:5-8 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  13. Carrie says:

    I caught a fleeting glimpse of this girl the other night. Have you seen her since?

  14. Lynn Worley says:

    Continuing to lift up prayers!
    Psalm 31:5-8: Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth…but I trust in the LORD. I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  15. Lynn Worley says:

    Know that I’m still here praying!
    Psalm 31:19-21 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence…thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion…Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  16. Lynn Worley says:

    These are such amazing and comforting words of Scripture. Praying!
    Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  17. Lynn Worley says:

    Lifting up prayers!
    Psalms 142:5-7 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  18. Anna says:

    My cousin (now 45) lost his sister to cancer when she was 10 and he was 7. He says he wishes he knew what his mother was like before. My heart goes out to you… Hugs.

  19. Julie says:

    I am one of those anonymous readers who reads your blog and prays for you.

    Anything I type here would pale in comparison to the beauty you wrote…please know that your words touched me deeply and my heart aches with you. I pray you find ways to bring this girl and that girl together in harmony and peace.

    In His Grip,

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