Sleeping on a toilet paper bed

"You don't have to be tough all the time," my mother snapped at me after I responded sarcastically and seemingly unemotional to something she had shared with me. Thus ensued her usual monologue about how I would never find a husband, or have a real relationship, if I didn't develop more sensitivity and vulnerability and put that on rampant display. She sometimes struggled to understand me, even though I was her identical life twin. Our resemblance physically and emotionally is still sometimes too much to handle. Usually I glossed over her roller coaster emotions because they were fleeting, but this time I stopped and decided to remind her of what she already knew. I explained to her that life was hard and it didn't do anyone (specifically US) any good to be all tender and mushy. Life was not, and is not kind to the weak, and I felt pretty assured this steely exterior was strength personified. She stared blankly at me, her endlessly creative, colorful, word-picture-loving mind completely unsatiated by my bleak sentence answer. I sighed, and after a pause spoke to her in a way she would remember. "Mom, I'm super sensitive," I began. I repeated how growing up she often told me I loved too hard and too quickly and I definitely had the scars to tell that truth again and again. I went on to remind her that I was HER daughter and reassured her I was still all gentle and squishy on the inside, in my heart. I just learned to hide that soft, fleshy part safely inside a hard case.  I don't remember how the conversation continued, but Im betting it all that we quickly changed the subject and laughed about something to keep it moving.

A few weeks later I received a package in the mail. It had no return address but the unacceptable amount of tape and big capital lettering told me immediately that it was from my mother. Inside the package was a small wooden box with a metal heart on the top and a tiny clasp on the front. I opened it to find a single red gummy bear nestled safely inside on a bed of ripped up toilet paper. This was potentially the most heartfelt gesture Ive ever been extended. It's also the most accurate way I can describe myself. 

At least 15 years, and my mother, have passed since that package came in the mail.... and I still have the wooden box with the metal heart containing the now hard, stale red gummy bear sleeping on his toilet paper bed.

I can't count the number of people that have told me over the past 3ish years that I should blog; That I have many stories to tell and should share them. The loudest and most constant(ly annoying) voice belongs to my husband, bless his heart (see? Im southern now). My former blog had a following that resulted in meeting many of the friends that I now call family across the country. That blog had also resulted in one of the most formative job changes in my life thus far.  Im excited to see what God has in store for this one, even if only Dave Clark and my husband read it. My mind works too fast for anyone's good and I've lived a crazy-yet-grace-filled and abundantly comical and tragic life and Im all the much closer to the Lord for it. Ill unload parts of my weary heart here, and work out my faith with trembling, questioning sarcasm while weaving in a heavy racial awareness and sociological analysis of my world. Giddyup. 

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