Not Forgotten


I don’t share this a lot. “I” who talk about everything … It is one of those things that not a lot of people want to talk about. It makes them uncomfortable. But it is not something that will ever go away. I am reminded of it when I am made to  mark the box about pregnancies when filling out my medical history. And after all of these years it may not be something I think about everyday now, but it is there often enough, that place in my heart reserved for the two babies I never knew.

The first one, was before I had any children. I could speculate until the cows came home what caused either one of them, but I feel the first one was caused by me. I’d spent the whole weekend in a jacuzzi partying with friends up the street from where my husband and I lived. I was barely 21 and not living the way I should, especially if I wanted to have kids. I was only three months along and though my doctor assured me that many first pregnancies end in miscarriage and he was sure it was just “one of those things”, I blamed myself and turned my life around that day.

Of course I saw every new baby for months and months after that. Until I became pregnant with my son, I feared that I could not have babies. But I did, I had two beautiful healthy ones. A boy and then seven years later,  a girl. The perfect family. Until it wasn’t perfect anymore. I divorced when my daughter was 4 and soon after that, met my husband now. The second baby I lost was his. We’d been married for about a year and didn’t waste any time trying because I was past 35 which doctors deemed risky  back then.

We were so happy when we found out that we were pregnant. I planned in my head and my heart all the things a mother plans. I was sure I felt it kick. And proudly wore maternity clothes and then when I was a little over 4 months, I lost it. Just like “that” it was over. I tried to be so healthy and barely took aspirin. It just wasn’t fair. And it was traumatic. I almost died. My husband went to work and came home right away even though I told him not to. It was good he did, because he saved my life.

It seemed after that, people didn’t know what to say, so they just didn’t. Or they said the wrong thing, like “At least you have two beautiful healthy kids.” Well, I knew that. I knew that I was blessed. But I really wanted that baby too. I don’t think I ever really got a chance to grieve. I still think how old that baby would have been to this day. I wonder why it happened. And it still makes me sad. But I did still have two kids. I just wanted my husband to have one of his own. But he did. He has been an amazing father.  Blood wouldn’t have made it different for him. Someone did say something that I will always remember… when I was talking about how I wished I’d given him one of his own. They said… “He will just have another one  up in heaven too.” That was good to remember. I liked that.

All I know is that in heaven it will all be different. I will have four kids there someday.

You Have Not Been Forgotten

Shadows fall around me,

I don’t allow my heart to even skim my thoughts

or it would break for it’s lost dreams

It’s been over two decades since I lost you

though it seems like a hundred years in-between.

I think of you more than just when I’m filling out medical forms:

4 pregnancies… two births…

But then, my mind travels back to my first baby,

and I’m surprised it still hurts.

Who would you have been?

You who came before all the others,

the first one ever, to make me a mother

It’s been almost 3 decades since I lost you

My stomach was much flatter then.

You have not been forgotten…

You, the two that might have been.

Diane Reed

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“It’s Okay Sir, There’s No One In That Car”


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Anyone who has followed my blog knows this story… but sometimes I just need to remind myself of all my blessings. So please bear with me as I remember.

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I was feeling a little sorry for myself, having recently been laid off, but still trying to finish out my “time” when it dawned on me what anniversary it was, and how thirteen years ago today, I was bustling around our little store, turning on the Christmas music and the fireplace. Making hot apple cider and setting out cookies.

My daughter and I had just pulled up in front of our little gift store, Rose In The Woods, to “open” as we waited for our employee Caroline to relieve  us long enough to go Christmas shopping.

All month long I’d hear our customers say… “This is my last gift I have to buy!” and I’d panic, because I hadn’t bought anything yet, besides the gold watch I’d ordered for my husband and just picked up from Pan Jewelers, a local merchant in our building , a few days earlier.

As we pulled up, my daughter Brooke asked to wait in the car but I coaxed her into helping me open, promising that with her help, we’d get out of there sooner to go shop! Just as the Fed Ex guy showed up with a back order of quilts, Caroline, our employee walked in the door as Brooke implored,”No mom pleeease don’t open that box!”  knowing that normally, I took the time to open each quilt and hang them on a fat dowel to display. I decided to compromise saying that she could just price them in their zippered plastic packages and was about to find a basket to put them in when the phone rang and my husband was calling from across the street where he’d recently moved his printing business in order for us both to have more room. Asking if Brooke could run over and  pick up a mug for a customer who was scheduled to pick it up that morning.

We both rolled our eyes as if to say “we are never going to get out of here” as Brooke ran across the street. And another customer walked in. I’d just found a basket for the quilts when we heard a loud bang and all of a sudden our painted wooden floor began to buckle and roll as the room began to shake for what seemed like several minutes. I can’t say why, but I directed everybody to get in the back of the store and as they did, the roof caved in, right where my baby would have been placing that basket filled with quilts.

Not knowing, that when our roof caved in, it had also slid off of the building onto the cars below, including our car that Brooke had asked to wait in! I ran outside to find my baby still holding the mug, crying in her Dad’s arms as they surveyed the crunched building that used to hold Rose In The Woods. Not yet knowing about the two women killed right next door, I ran to them. As we stood huddled in the middle of Park Street that day, we watched as heroes began pulling the bricks from things.  I  suddenly noticed as they started removing bricks from my car. So I ran over, and choking back a sob I tapped on the shoulder of one of the firefighters and said…”It’s okay sir, there’s no one in that car.”

If You Closed Your Eyes


cruiseliner at dusk

All of our lives we try to fill that place inside

 where we go to find our joy.

 We go on trips and take vacations and make memories…

airline tickets2 airplaine wing sunrise bridge golden gate hotel dinnerwine toasting tub in candle light    beach house boat being pulled by suv sailing1 beach campfire

I’ve found a place inside of me where I can finally go,

where my heart has caught up with my head

and learned  things that it should know

I’ve finally filled the holes inside

with things I’ve learned will stick

not the obviously fancy things

that make me feel full quick

If you took all the pictures

away from the words I write

If you closed your eyes…

Could you

 really see the light?

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Diane Reed 2015© 


 

The Way We Write.


coffee and computer

When my daughter was in High School, she was one of the Drama Kids. They are a special group all of their own. Some mom’s pick their kids up after soccer practice, I picked mine up after rehearsals. It felt like she belonged to a little family that understood each other and it was comforting knowing she had them. I kind of feel like that about the friends I have made here. It is as if we are a family. It is funny, I’ve noticed that the same people who I follow seem to follow one another. All in a little circle of our own. We have found each other and it is comforting. It is as if we all go to the same church, love the same things, like artists or dancers or actors or musicians who hang out with one another because they have that connection with each other that no one else really “GETS”.

dancers

Sometimes I read a line somewhere or wake up in the middle of the night inspired and have to run to my laptop so I won’t lose it.

desk empty

I like clicking on my blog and knowing that I am entering a little neighborhood, where my friends, my family of writers exist. The ones that inspire and nudge, the ones that are my soft place to fall. Many who I have learned to call friend and  and have genuinely grown to love. The ones who I pray for and who pray for me. The ones who advise and mentor the ones who critique and suggest. We are like a writer’s club all having coffee at a cozy little shop that allows us all to gather and read our ramblings.  I love to hear about your writing and what inspires you, imagine where you write and what time.

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The writer’s studio in my head is a lot like the one I tucked into my last book. It is on the third floor of my imaginary three-story house. The study is warm and cozy with an A framed shaped ceiling, with wall to ceiling built-in bookcases lining both sides. A little gas fireplace sits in the corner of the opposite side of the room next to a window seat  my desk is a heavy wooden, well oiled, antique with a banker’s lamp and a lap top and plenty of drawers. It over looks the tree tops and a little brook below. I usually have a mug of coffee with a splash of cream sitting nearby. And you can find me there every morning before sunrise and sometimes in the middle of the night when my mind forces me up to write.

attic office

In reality, I live in a one story house in a small lakeside community. My house is a little less than 3 miles away. When I am motivated I walk there occasionally and write. My window overlooks the road by the gate where all of the cars come and go, since we live on the corner of the first street inside of the entrance. It gets a little noisey, especially during the summer. I don’t mind though, I find the traffic comforting. One day I sat there writing for so long that I saw an empty moving van drive in and then drive out full. When I get inspired, I “have” to write.

I’d love to hear about your routines. Do you wake up in the middle of the night with an idea so strong that it gets you out of bed? Do you write in a special place? At a special time? What does your “place” look like? I want to go there. Bring me there now with your words. If you please.

The End


Just wanted to share with all of you who have follwed this project that I am finally letting you know that I think that I have finished my book!

keris journal

Keri felt as if the air was being siphened from her lungs as she swallowed, trying to breathe. Her head pounded as she tried to filter out the background noise. The pain was the kind  you feel that stings when something smacks you in the face. It was a surprise, so unexpected. She closed her eyes as she tuned out the voice booming somewhere in her head. There were no blows. Nothing physical about it, except for maybe when he yanked her arm. But that was not the pain she was feeling now. It was the humiliation and the shame. It happened more often now, and lasted longer and it exhausted her.

 couple fighting in car

They’d been driving. It was a beautiful morning. Their day began with passionate love making and Keri believed that today would be a good day. They’d just been laughing minutes before. And then like a ball in her face, things turned, Jack’s…

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in my own skin


baby in hands

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)” Those were words written by Walt Whitman. I read them in one of my literary magazines that I recieve monthly, and it really spoke to me. Recently, I have become more comfortable in my own skin. I may not have understood that sentence a decade ago, but now it sings to me. I am who I am and I am okay.

I think that I have always liked writing because I have a chance to backspace and delete. When I am out there on my own answering questions and making comments, I am not always as funny and as insightful. My words don’t run as smoothly as the ones I write and get to read and then decide if I want to keep them on paper or suck them back with the click of a key. You can’t do that once you “speak” the words that you say, they are just plain out there, no sucking back allowed.

In a weird way, I feel the writer part of me is the real me, like washing your face at the end of the day, the core me is beneath the layers that I rinse away, the words I speak are not always from my soul like the ones that rise up in me that cause me to stop and sit and share even after I’ve worked a 10 hour day and have to turn around and do it all again. It is that part of me that finds that being rich is in the million words still inside of my soul that are there for the taking or the giving.

“Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself.” It is all so simple and yet wildly powerful in the accepting of ourselves. In a way it is like being born again when you finally reach that place where you are comfortable in your own skin.

Clicking On Me


I couldn’t sleep the other night and so I went wandering around Facebook and tried to find some of my friends from the past and it made me realize one thing…. We all are old!!!!!  lol.

me viginia slim photo

Older faces staring back

hit me like a heart attack

everyone I used to know

where did you all seem to go?

I click on you and find your name

only your eyes look the same

 I click on photos titled:  “past”

I finally see “YOU” at last!

The one  I remembered then…

 An older version of my friend.

I wander through… browsing at the rest

 I smile and click “Friend Request”

Hoping that you’ll recognize

Who I am now from my eyes

That’s when I realize what you will see

when you find my name and click on “ME”.

Diane Reed

2013

old couple walking

Painting Hallways~


I think that I threw everything off kilter by my last blog.

I always try to be  reflective and have a redeeming message that pulls everything together  with a “moral” of the story, but I usually try to make it appear a little sooner than it did in that last one…

Though most of you still allowed me to vent and overlooked my bad mood… (and for that I thank you.)  I just wanted to remind you that our blogs are written for a ton of different reasons. Some use their’s as a journal inviting whoever wanders by to take a peek. Others, only share with their friends. Some of us are strengthening our writing muscles within our blogs, preparing for mightier projects and some of us are procrastinating moving toward those “projects” by staying stuck in our blogs instead of editing and rewriting or even starting the first page of that novel we know is inside of us! And others just are hoping that maybe in their struggles, they can share something that will help someone else feel they are not so alone in their own dark hole and that there is eventually light at the end of the tunnel.

I feel that there was one person that kind of took offence and took what I was saying far more personal than I’d intended. Perhaps they saw themselves in what I was joking about, or had just visited a spa recently but I definitely did not mean to offend. However, I’d like to point out that… Our blogs are like our diaries. Someday, I hope to look back and see how far I have come, what regrets, I have, if any and what lessons I have learned. But if I am not allowed to have some blips when I just need to vent on my own blog it is like someone kind of coming into my house and yelling at me for the color I decided to paint my hallway.

I need to be able to keep a record of my down days filled with frustration and my grateful days filled with praise and give myself the space to allow “me” to figure it out. Even if it takes a stack of journal like blogs to get there!

God allows us to have  both good and bad days to help us grow and hopefully others won’t take it so personally. I remember when I used to fly sail planes, The tow plane would pull me up and when it hit turbulence, I knew that a few seconds later, I would. Kind of like watching a car in front of you, hit a speed bump, if you kept going, you knew you would hit it too, so you slow down and proceed with caution. Looking back, doesn’t always allow you to see the upcoming turbulence, some days, you just got to hold on and fly through it.