If You Love Me


Say it to my soul, if you really mean it. Don’t just let the words carelessly pass over your lips. Let those words bubble up, and flow, and cascade, like water over the falls. Don’t hold back…

Source: If You Love Me


I give you my heart willingly.

Once you accept it,

You own it.

Take it.

Keep it.

Care for it like it’s your own.

Don’t break it.

Don’t abandon it.

Don’t forget its value.

Don’t forget to keep it alive.

Protect it.

Give me yours, willingly,

And I will do the same.

I won’t break it.

I’ll cherish it,

Carry it with me wherever I go.

I won’t let anyone steal it.

I won’t forget it

And replace it with another.

I’ll own it

And care for it like it’s my own,

Because once you entrust it to me, it is.

Man and Woman

Photo credit: Leslie Jane Moran

I Wish I’d Thought of That!

Every now and then, I find myself in awe of what someone else has written and say to myself, “I wish I’d thought of that!” This usually happens when I’m listening to a song.

Three songs in particular come to mind:

  • Let My Love Adorn You by Miguel
  • More Than Words by Extreme (NOTHING beats that original version!)
  • Break Even (Falling to Pieces) by The Script

With Miguel’s song, the spiritual concept of covering (protecting)/dressing someone in your love. Think about it. How beautiful you must be if you are covered in pure love. This is my favorite verse from the song:

Baby, these fists will always protect ya, lady

This mind, oh, will never neglect you, yeah baby, oh baby

And they stay trying to break us down,  but don’t let that affect us, no, baby

You just gotta let my love

Let my love adorn you


SIGN. ME. UP. FOR. THAT!!! How intense is that? This guy and pretty much begging to be the girl’s knight in shining armor! I wish I’d thought of it!

Now, I’m telling my age, but More than Words was a HUGE song when I was in high school. It’s a simple song that says, “Don’t just tell me, show me how much you love me.” No heavy band in the background, just the guitar and voice, which adds more impact to the what the song is saying. The words are perfect:

I could have written the lyrics to Break Even by The Script, but I didn’t. That line at the end of the verse, “‘Cause when a heart breaks, no it don’t break even.” Those are the truest words ever written and I wish I’d thought of it first. The entire song goes through everything she gains in the break-up (none of them tangible items) and he loses. One person is usually a little bit more accepting of the end than the other. That’s the one that moves on with his or her life a little faster. It sums up the pain of heartbreak perfectly.

One television show has this affect on me, and keeps me coming back for more because it stirs up all of my emotions. They don’t have dramatic plot twists like Scandal or How to Get Away with Murder (two of my other favorite shows). No, this is what I call, “Gentle Drama.” This show is like an onion. It has layers and it will make you cry. Every week. I’m not exaggerating. The show, This is Us, is a story about a family. That’s it. Do you really need more drama than that? The three main characters are siblings, all born on the same day. The story follows their lives from the moment they were conceived, into their adulthood. What’s awesome is that they flashback to the early years often, so you get the back story and insight into what shaped each character. But they do it in such a way, that it doesn’t feel like information overload. Everything they show you is important. I can’t say that I wish I wrote this particular story, but I want to write with this much detail and thoughtfulness! I want to tell this type of story! I want people bawling and completely wrapped up in their feeling every time they read some thing I write, the same way this show has me all in the feels week after week!! (I really want to be a fly on the wall of their writing sessions for this show! I can’t even imagine how many boxes of tissue they run through in one sitting!)


The Situation

“So, what are you going to do?”



“Why do I need to do anything?”

“But…well, don’t you love him?”

“I don’t know.”

“How could you not know that? Either you do or you don’t.”

“I don’t know. I never really thought about it that deeply.”

“But you kissed him!”


” You don’t just kiss people you don’t love!”

“I kiss you.”

“That’s different. I’m your sister. It’s not even the same kind of kiss.”

“I give you kisses, but I don’t always love you.”



“Don’t try to change the subject. The man asked you a question and I’m sure he’s expecting an answer.”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know what?”


“Let’s try this from a different angle. What do you know?”

“I hate you.”

“Why? Because I’m making you examine your innermost feelings?”


“Well, suck it up buttercup! Answer the question. What do you know?”

“I know I like the way he looks, and talks and smells. Oh my GOSH, that man smells wonderful!! And he’s hella sexy.”

“Yes he is, Pumpkin. But, how does he make you feel?”

“Like I’m the only woman he’s ever loved.”

“What does that mean to you?”

“It means if I say ‘yes,’ I need to be damn well sure about it!”

“Why aren’t you sure?”

“Because I’m not”

“That’s not an answer.”

“It is, too!”

“Stop being a two year old.”
“OK, here’s the thing: What if I do love him, but he doesn’t love me as much? Or what if he loves me now, then realizes what I’m like on my worst days and changes his mind? What If I realize what he’s like on his worst days and regret saying ‘yes’? I think I do love him, but his isn’t a light decision.”

“That’s deep, little sis. So, what are you going to do?”

“I think I’m going to tell him, ‘Not yet.’ We still have a lot to learn about each other.”

“And what are you going to do if he says, ‘Marriage or nothing.’ Then what?”

“I’ll come to your house and cry on your shoulder. Stock up on ice cream and wine, just in case. OK?”

“I got your back kiddo. So, are you going to call him and tell him?”

“Now? No way! I need to do this in person! I mean, he proposed to me in person. I at least owe him that.”

“When are you going to make that happen?”

“Why are you so pushy?! Tomorrow! OK? Are you happy?!”

“I need you to give me word for word deets on the situation.”
“You’re nosey, too!”

“That’s what sisters are for!”

“If I give you deets, you need to provide snacks.”

“I’m already buying ice cream and wine! What more do you need, Fatty McMatterson?”

“Pie. Apple pie.”

“You’re lucky I love you.”

“I sure am!”

Broken Hearted

Faded hope,

Broken fantasies,

Distant memories,

Repressed emotions,

Getting comfortable with emptiness,

Acceptance of loneliness,

Denial of possibilities,

Focus on reality,

Looking for evidence in actions,

Symbols are meaningless,

Destiny is a vocabulary word,

The darkest end of the tunnel is ahead,

Floating in a sea of teardrops,

Analyzing every approach,

Doubting every advance,

Seeing nothing but takers everywhere ,

Because givers don’t exist,

Eros is a myth,

“The One” is a lie,

Wearing a smile,

Saying “I’m fine,”

When a part of you died

After the love of your life

Has gone away.

But life goes on

Until the pain goes away

And “Alone” becomes the new normal.

The Last Time I Said, I Love You

I thought things were going well. We were having a good time. You treated me to dinner and a movie and afterwards we sat in the car and talked for an hour. We didn’t realize how much time had passed, the conversation was so good. That’s how we’d been for a year. We clicked. It felt natural, normal. So when you came to me a week ago and said you think we needed a break, that you had to think some things over, I was confused. I asked all the typical questions: Was it something I said? Was it something I did? Is it another woman? Because, if it is just say so, because I can handle it! Baby, can’t we work this out? What can I do to make it better? And you assured me that I wasn’t the problem, but you didn’t want to talk about it. You said I was wonderful and beautiful and that I deserved the best. You just weren’t sure you were the best, so you needed time to think. You said I should do some thinking, too. Then you kissed me. You kissed me like I meant something to you, but not like you had any intention on coming back. When your lips parted you said, “Be good.” Then you walked away. That’s when I said it. I said, “I love you!” And I meant it. You didn’t turn around, or glance back or acknowledge my words in any way. You had somewhere else to be.

One week, two weeks, three weeks came and went. I didn’t see you or hear from you. I called, but you didn’t answer. I thought about that last kiss for the thousandth time since it happened. I realized that you hadn’t kissed me like I meant something to you, but that I kissed you to let you know I’d wait forever for you. I realized that you didn’t need to look back because you knew that I would be in that same spot waiting for you. That thought brought me to tears. You knew you could walk away and come back to me when ever you felt like it because you meant more to me than I ever meant to you. How did that happen? When did I get that lost in you? What kind of roots had you worked on me and how did I break the spell? I went to the bathroom and splashed cool water on my face and considered how to break the enchantment. Another kiss wouldn’t do it. I didn’t know any fairy godmothers or conjurors, either. And then it dawned on me. I knew the words to break the spell, to break the hold you had on my heart! I knew the words all along. So I looked in the mirror and took the time to examine myself, inside and out. I told myself that I was the best thing that ever happened to me. I told myself that I mattered and was important. I told myself that I didn’t need a man to make me feel my worth. Fresh tears fell with those words, but I didn’t wipe them away. I took a deep breath, and looked my reflection in the eye, leaned forward and spoke the most important words my ears would ever hear, and my spirit would ever feel. I said, “I love you.” And I meant it.


Photo credit: Peter Klashorst – originally posted to Flickr as Wild hair, CC BY 2.0 https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/inde.php?curid=4907581


The Painting

Today’s blog post is in response to the one word prompt posted by The Daily Post. The prompt was the word: Paint. I hope you enjoy it!

Nude Girl tumblr
Artist Unknown, Image found on Tumblr

My day at The Ebony Oliphant started at 7 a.m. The restaurant was located at the end of a shopping center, frequented by tourists. Once I lifted the security doors and opened the shutters at the front, the place had a very open feel like a veranda. Our menu was made up of various Caribbean dishes, beverages and desserts. We served lunch and dinner during the week, and brunch and dinner during the weekends. We usually had a live band, and dancing on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It was a great spot to do business and I met a lot of interesting people.

For the last month, a gentleman, a street vendor, set up his “shop” in front of one of neighboring business. His name is Charles. He showed up one day with a stool, three easels, a card table, canvases, paint and drawing supplies. He sat in that spot and drew caricatures for visitors to the businesses in the courtyard. On a slow day, he would paint sceneries or anything else that sparked his imagination. On rainy days, he didn’t show up at all. He’d start his day by coming in to get a cup of coffee and fruit salad. Sometimes, he would mix it up and order a grilled cheese with his coffee. He was a handsome man. His skin was as dark as the black coffee he ordered, his voice was deep and as smooth as the honey he added to his drink. He was slim, but I caught a glimpse of his well maintained pectorals through his shirt that was never buttoned all the way up. His dreadlocks were neatly pulled back into a thick ponytail that reached the middle of his back. He was starting to get flecks of gray in his perfectly trimmed goatee. Yes, I thought he was hot! But I didn’t let him know that. I maintained my professional demeanor and kept the small talk to the topics of weather, traffic and menu items. He did the same, but I could tell that he was also studying me as I fixed his meal. There was nothing disrespectful in the way he looked at me. He was a people watcher. I usually had a chance to look in his direction sometimes, between the lunch crowd thinning out and the dinner rush. He seemed looked at most passers-by the same way.

He showed up this Sunday as the band was setting up for the Jazz Brunch. He set up his station in his usual spot outside with the back of the canvas facing the front of the restaurant. This was the position he took when he intended to paint scenery. He came in and spent some time chatting with this week’s band. Based on the banter and laughing I heard, they all seemed to know each other. He made his way to the bar to order his breakfast.

“Let me guess,” I greeted him, “Today you will have a tall black coffee with two honey packets, scrambled eggs and sautéed spinach. Right?”

“You know me well, Shannon! I’m going to sit here at the bar, today.”

“No problem. Your food will be right up!”

He usually took his plate to a table or back to his station outside. But today he decided to hang out at the bar to eat. There was still roughly an hour before we officially opened, so some of the guys from the band came to the bar and ordered warm beverages or other quick breakfast items before the doors opened and the brunch crowd filed in. Charles talked to them and watched me as he ate. Once the crowd came in, my staff and I were busy until closing time. We were short handed at the bar, so I filled in, mixing drinks and taking orders. By the time we closed and cleaned up it was 11:30 p.m. The band was gone and the courtyard in front of the restaurant was empty. I closed the shutters, pulled down the security gate and headed toward my car. It was then I noticed that Charles was still there.

“Charles? I thought you were gone a while ago! What are you still doing here?”

“Uh, I’m…uh…waiting for you.”

He sounded nervous. He wasn’t a loud person, but I’d never heard him speak so quietly before.
“Is everything ok? Did your car break down? Do you need a ride?”

“Oh! No! Nothing is wrong. I just…I don’t even know where to begin. Um….Shannon, I think you’re beautiful and want to get to know you better. I own The Cleric’s Inn on Water Street. One of the visitors told me about your place. I came to check it out and saw you. I had to meet you, but didn’t know how to go about it. So, I had my brother, Ian, take over at the Inn. Jerry owns the gift shop next door, and told me he didn’t mind me setting up in front of his shop and painting.  I came up here to figure out how to ask you out on a date. Awkward. I know.”

“It took you a month to work up the nerve,” I inquired with a smirk.

“Hey! It’s not easy for a guy to do this! You might say, ‘no,'” he said with a nervous laugh. I noticed then, that he was holding a canvas in front of him. “I made a painting of you the first day I came here. I’d like you to have it, but please don’t think badly of me! You’re such a beautiful woman, and I’m a man,” he said this while gesturing to indicate from my head to my toes, “And there is this way that you turn around and look over your shoulder when you are working at the bar that is just…wow…”
I became concerned about what he painted on that canvas thirty days ago, until he turned it around and showed it to me. My jaw dropped. It was beautiful and tasteful, simple and pure.

“Charles, it’s beautiful! I’m not going to say, no. What are you doing on Tuesday?”

A relieved smile spread across his face.

Pregnant with Hope

A good name is better than fine perfume and the day of death better than the day of birth.
Ecclesiastes 7:1, NIV

©2009 Thomas van Ardenne

Dear Baby,

You’ll be here soon, in just a few weeks. I can’t wait to meet you and discover who you will become. Your dad and I decided not to find out if you are a boy or a girl before you were born. We want to be surprised. I’m in awe that I’ve been chosen to shape who you will be. I’m a little scared, too! I don’t always feel like I have it all together. I mess up often! But here I am, about to be responsible for another life. I don’t want to fail you.

Your great-grandma pointed something out to me. She said that in the bible it says that the day a person dies is better than the day they were born. She said to me, “You could be giving birth to hell on wheels! You don’t know who that baby is! He or she is a blank slate, so make sure you put some good stuff in that child, even before they breath outside of your womb.” I’m going to give you my best. I don’t want to think about your death. That’s a long way off. But I’m going to make sure that everyday between your first breath and your last is good…better than good.

I love you and look forward to meeting you,


Flashback Friday: Eating Alone

Warning: You may need a Kleenex while reading this piece. It’s a bit of a tear-jerker.

Today’s piece was written a couple of years ago. My writing challenge was to write a story about eating alone. I read this piece today and can think of several more things to add (which would mean you’d need more tissue), but I’m going to let the original post stand as is. I’ll jot down my ideas and play around with this story in my spare time. 🙂

So, I present to you, Eating Alone. (I’ve added some music below to set the mood.)


Kintsukuroi – “To repair with gold.” The art of reparing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.


The Potter formed me in his hands,

Gently pressing and pulling me into shape.

He adorned me beautifully,

And placed me in the fire

To strengthen and finish me.

From plain and without form,

Disorganized and without purpose,

To new and useful,

And designed with a specific purpose in mind.

I was used,

On purpose,

And misused

With intention.

I looked like what I’d been through,

Cracked and broken,

With missing pieces

That never again fit back in place.

I was pushed aside,

Deemed unfit and useless,

Until I was discovered by one

Who saw beyond the broken fragments

And recognized The Potter’s design.

He took the shattered pieces,

And figured out where they belonged.

He saw the gaps and ragged edges,

Mended them with gold,

And covered me with a protective shield.

When he was finished,

He stepped back to examine his work.

Gone were the broken pieces.

His tender touch and ministration

Restored purpose,

And made me beautiful, again.