❤melt : everything’s gonna be okay

Mail is late and we’ve already been locked in for the night.
A letter is kicked under the cell door.

“Just one today,” the officer ponders, “Maybe they all stopped loving you.”

I laugh, a low peal of chuckles– revealing as much about my comfortable relationship with him as my confidence in my world. His booming male-guffaw follows him down the hall.

I pick the letter up off the floor, noticing that my tiles are a little dusty. In a minute, I’ll take out a maxipad and wipe it down by hand. Tomorrow supplies will be restocked, so it should be okay to use one.

But for now, I tear open the seal of the letter with my thumb.
It’s a series of notes.

One from each member of the family.
My family.

Just one I haven’t really met yet.

= + = + = + = + = + =

It’s the funeral service and they’re waiting outside.

Deborah isn’t pregnant anymore, of course. The last time I saw her, the small human in her arms was inside her belly.

It’s been that long.

I want to say things to her. I want to tell her how meaningful it is to see swirly handwriting in a pink pen when everything around is tiled and grey. I want her to know how I know she knows what it is to love your life. And thus, what I must be feeling to have lost it all.

But he’s here.

His eyes are watching me even though he’s acting like he’s not. He watches me hug my sister and Matticus– and I see a thousand questions in his eyes, so I crouch down.

“Hey, you must be D.” I say, holding out my hand. He takes mine as if to shake it, but just holds it.

His parents don’t interfere in the way so many do. They don’t tell him what to say, or nudge him in a certain place. This is between me and my 5-year-old pen-pal, face to face for the first time, at my husband’s funeral.

“Thank you for writing me.” I tell him.

“It’s okay,” he says, and I get the feeling he’s reassuring himself, and the situation, and me.

It works.

For a moment,
it’s all okay.


= + = + = + = + = + =

We didn’t plan this out. All of us, walking together, through the city streets of Long Beach.

Some guy just shook money at Deborah.

D is running so fast and far that if a portal opened up in front of him, he’d be gone before we could blink.

I whisper to Little J, as he rides on Anthony’s back. “I think they’d get it, if I told them I was worrying about portals.”

He lets out a squeal of laughter and reaches out his sardine-covered hand to pet my hair. D runs into me at ramming speed and I tumble a few feet backwards.

“Oh my gosh,” Deborah exclaims, rushing over with an apologetic smile, “Rethinking this, yet?”

“Only the heels,” I rejoin, pressing a kiss to D’s little face. I am laughing, genuinely happy to feel so at home in a place I just met.

D asks me to run with him, and as we’re discussing the possibilities of that, we catch up to Anthony.

“Rethinking the shoes?” he asks.

“Of course not,” I say.

D looks at me knowingly. I look back and wiggle my eyebrows.
We giggle and race ahead.

I’d call this one, “Regrets: Runneth Over.”
Someone in this family would appreciate it.


= + = + = + = + = + =

The sofa is soft and sinks around me. We’re watching Farscape, and periodically children go racing by.

Two live here.
Two, or half a dozen– sometimes I lose track.

The dog sniffs my purse, and then me, and I move a stack of books over to the side.

“When I was in prison and got close to the gate– incarcerated-speak for when I was almost home– people loved to ask what I’d do when I got out. And I pretty much described this. Farscape. Sofa. Books. Pets. Children. Friends.” I look up and smile. “The only thing missing is pizza!”

We put down our technology and look away from the TV for a minute– basking in the humanity of the moment.

D walks in and asks, “Can I show Rara how I can burp in J’s face?”

I laugh.
Anthony covers his face.

“Oh my gosh.” Deborah moans.
One hour later, there is pizza.


= + = + = + = + = + =

We’re at the Aquarium of the Pacific, sitting on the bench, feeding the child.

“That’s how purpose is forged, Radhika. Raw material is held in the fire, then hammered and hammered– beaten and twisted– into whatever shape it needs to be. The shape of you changed. Of course it did. The purpose of you enhanced. Of course it did. That’s a scary thing, not a bad thing. But you are still you. Raw. Ra.”

I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m so lost. I can’t write the story people need to hear because it tears my heart and comes out twisted. I’m grieving in the wrong way. I’m too far behind and too far ahead.

I don’t know if I want to be a tool of purpose. The scrap pile looks pretty good to me.

I can survive, but I don’t know the point.
At the same time, I need to do this. I know I do.

I’m chewing on worries, and I don’t even remember which ones I spit up all over him.

 I’m worse than the little J.

Anthony looks at me and smiles, “I’m not worried about you at all. Not one little bit.”

Little J sees a man in a penguin suit and screams.

“It’s okay,” Anthony soothes, in the same voice he just used with me. “It’s okay.”

And, for a moment,
it is.

= + = + = + = + = + =

I came home to a whole new world. 

Some things have been easier than can be reasonably expected. Some things are incredibly, life-suckingly hard.

I have always carried with me a piggybank of “Everything is Going To be Okay”, but lately I take more out of that jar than I can replenish.

Meanwhile, this family has refueled me with faith and belief, love and laughter.
This family has welcomed me into their family.

They’ve driven me when I needed a ride, and walked with me when I needed to count my steps, and challenged me to run when fear of unknown portals held me still.

We take it moment by moment, not because they are catering to me, but because they live like this all the time.

Each moment is something they carefully design or devour, or both.
Each moment is something they celebrate.

And when something doesn’t go quite right–
when you’re terrified of people being something they’re not,
or when you’re burning in the process of being forged,
or when you have a big blank spot where words should be,

they’ll remind you:
It’s okay.

And, for a moment,
it is.

= + = + = + = + = + =

Deb, Anthony, D, & Little J — I love you.

= + = + = + = + = + =

You know the drill. Take this bucketful of RawrLove that these kind folk have kept full for me– and spread it like glitter-confetti-silly-string back their way, all over their blogs:

Happy Monday, Best Beloveds. How is your day going?

40 thoughts on “❤melt : everything’s gonna be okay

  1. My day is going fabulously my friend. It’s good to have friends like you do, they believe in you enough for you to believe in you a little less sometimes. ❤


  2. My day is RAwking 🙂 The picture of both of your feet is so darn cute! You and He, all that’s woven together here is precious glue. The line that struck me for some reason, “I don’t know if I want to be a tool of purpose. The scrap pile looks pretty good to me.” I love when that feeling passes…
    The way you wrote about it was a bull’s eye view.
    Here’s to more family and people who believe in you ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is very lovely. I have to say that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Nor is there an appropriate amount of time. It is what it is, and it takes what it takes. I am glad this family is near and that they have embraced you. They are wonderful people. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Re: the “wonderful people” bit? So are you and yours. My heart was warmed getting to spend time talking to you, and seeing N with J. Such sweetness. ♥

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Dear Rara, I can’t read your blog without getting a lump in my throat and a squeezing in my heart. I’m writing this with tears flowing. It’s times like this that I wish the world wasn’t so big–that teleporting was real. Sending you Roaring love and hugs xx


  5. “but lately I take more out of that jar than I can replenish.”

    Which is why you put so much in before. And there will come a time when you will put more in again. For now, it is right to take more.

    For example, I’m moving. I am taking more out of savings than I am putting in. I’ve spent three years building that savings (since I left my ex), and now I’m just spending it. I’m taking out more than I can replenish. I am doing this to do the best thing for me for now and in the future. It’s not easy. I’m constantly like, ohmygoshwhatamIdoing! I freak out because I can’t make up what I am taking. I can’t, but I will put new in, in good time, and sometime, because the future will do that, I will pull from what I’ve put in again, and it will be there for me.

    I talked too much and probably didn’t even say anything. You saved before, and you take now, and soon enough you will be saving again.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I got goosebumps reading this. I had to reread it, to see if I’d have a better idea what to say on reread.


    So I’ll just say a little of what comes to mind:

    We take it moment by moment, not because they are catering to me, but because they live like this all the time.

    This is the first time I’ve seen this put in a positive light, versus: “For the love of Pete, can’t you guys get it together?!”

    (But this is our together, and it works! Maybe not for everyone, everywhere, but here in this cluttered space we call “ours,” an ours I see you know includes you. Always.)

    I think, instead of rambling to find just the right words, I’ll say:

    I love you. I love you when you’re gloomy, giddy, grumpy, gregarious, introspective, making the boys (and me) laugh with your openness and shenanigans (a word and idea I love, because it means alive-ness; the openness to this moment being okay whatever and however it is), when you’re full of words, when you’re not. I love that you see this chaotic life of ours as a positive. It’s the only one we have, and there’s too little to spend too much time organizing and planning.

    And the boys–big and little–love you, too. Even before D spent more time with you, he kissed each letter you sent after he finished reading it.

    He’d stop just short of running into a portal, you know. He wouldn’t want to miss another minute with you.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Reblogged this on The Monster in Your Closet and commented:
    I was just a week or two away from delivering my younger son, Littler J, when I met Ra in person.

    I’d read–and savored–a few of her blogs before I met her. I knew I liked her, but I was pregnant and distracted. I didn’t really know how much I liked her until I met her.

    I met her and loved her simultaneous clarity/strength and vulnerability, a rare combination.

    And then I delivered Littler J, and lost track of where she was, though I distantly knew she was in prison.

    I came back on track far later than I’d have wished …

    … and yet: What was, was. What is, is. The past is past when driving with Ra, when I am struck–though never so heartily as reading this blog about me and my guys!–by her rare appreciation for the good in a little chaos, and an ability to adapt (fairly) swiftly to whatever challenges the moment casts.

    Farscape, Ra, kid chaos, burps/farts and lots of snuggles: These are all things that make my household what it is. And I’m glad for it all, even if I don’t know for sure what to make of The Great Big Everything ahead. I suppose I’ll deal with “ahead” then.

    Now is now, and there is so much loveliness in it.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I haven’t known Deb and company long, but it did not take long to see the beauty of this family and their hearts. Of course, it is the perfect complement to the light you bring wherever you go (whether you intend to shine or not, you just do) ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 5 people

  9. If you ever feel like your jar of Everything is Going To be Okay is running low, don’t worry -we’ve got plenty for you.
    I’m glad you’re surrounded by good people.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Deb and her boys are awesome. Can’t wait to get to spend more time with them. And you. And D and N. Ka. And that Bill Friday guy too. (last, because of his celebrity status)
    And, as Melanie said – it’s okay that it is your time to take from the jar.
    And, as Jaded said – you are strong.
    And, as I’ve said – you are amazing. Know that. Trust that. Believe in the love coming your direction from across the blogosphere. It is real.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Oh, my, I simply love this so much. You have captured so perfectly what a little spark of brightness can bring to a darkened world. I love this not only because you have so perfectly captured the loveliness of my sister, her hubby and their two littles, but because it is simply beautiful. To follow the words and mind of someone who can so beautifully find the light in the darkness, the love and hope the lives in between the breaths, to see the day-to-day beauty in the simplicity of being, just being… Simply beautiful. I hope more people can find their way to your blog. And someday, the whole thing should be collected up and made into a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “I can survive, but I don’t know the point.

    At the same time, I need to do this. I know I do.

” And you will. 🙂 The point is to do the best you can with this gift of life, to realize your true human nature which is divine.

    Liked by 1 person


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