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Displaced


There she was, thirteen years later, standing in the empty room of the small apartment she'd just rented.  She'd left the farm behind, along with the beautiful home they'd bought in the beginning - left him the furniture, food in the fridge, and clean towels on the rack - taking only a small bed, her clothing and personal belongings, and a few mementos of the past. It was just easier that way, her choice.  Here she was, now in her fifties, starting over again with nothing, just like she'd done once before. 

The words of a familiar song from her youth kept replaying in her brain... "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"... and there was nothing left, nothing of the love and laughter she knew in the beginning.  Now it was all about escaping the fear and craziness that life had become, escaping while she still could, before things went too far.

Part of her longed to go home, back to the familiar no matter how bad it was, back to the only home that had ever truly belonged to her; back to a place where she could be with her beloved cats -  none were allowed here, not anyplace in town.  Leaving them with her daughter broke her heart; it was far harder than leaving him.  She would never forget the look in Smokey's eyes as she hugged him goodbye. She knew he was in good loving hands and would be well cared for, but he knew she was leaving him, he knew.

Displaced, alone, abandoned by love and seemingly by life itself, she sat forlorn in the corner of the yet empty room, numb with sadness and exhaustion.  She knew that being free wasn't going to be fun, no picnic as one might expect, but still so much better than being where you weren't valued. Sometimes having nothing is better than having something that has gone bad.

A feeling deep inside told her that life wouldn't be like this for long, a year or so at most and she'd be moving on... she had no idea how, or where, or what it would entail, just that God was faithful and life would go on.  Little did she know at that moment of complete desolation, that the best and happiest years of her life were just up ahead.

Home is not about where you are or what you have in the way of material possessions, it's about what you have in your heart.
 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Linking up with Brenda at Pondering With A Purpose 
where this week's prompt is "devastation or displacement"

20 comments:

  1. I love it, Josie ~~ This is life, the way it is lived. We make the best of what we get and enjoy our pleasant memories when the what we get isn't good enough.

    Those Janis Joplin songs are forever in my head. I have them on old LP records when cut and now on CD. I had a crush on her until she died. I literlly grew up with her. Now Willie Nelson tries to take her place.
    ..

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    1. You are so right, Jim. We learn to pick up the pieces in life and make the best of what we have. Happiness is to be found if we're open to it. Janis Joplin is forever etched in my head too, a classic and in so many ways an icon of that generation. I loved the rawness of her reality, no prettied up music or ways. :-) Willie Nelson, fun to listen to, but he will never overtake the music we grew up with! :-)

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  2. What a wonderful post .... I can so relate to it... one of my favorite things to say is I've never been so lonely as when I was with him.

    I would much rather be alone than lonely.....

    Thanks for pondering with me!

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    1. That statement is so very true Brenda, one can feel more isolated and alone while living with someone than they would when being on their own. Living alone can also be lonely at times, but with it comes freedom from hurt and fear, and the opportunity to rediscover ourselves and find new ways and people that will bring us joy. I would choose to live alone every remaining day of my life rather than return to the destructive environment I once lived in!

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  3. Loved your post Josie & our pets have no idea how healing they are to us :]

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    1. Thanks Janice! That is so true. One of the happiest "wins" of my life with John is being able to have cats again, that he loves them as much as I do, and that I was able to bring Stormy home for some wonderful final years together where he lived like a furry king!

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  4. So true Josie -- and a beautiful way of saying it.

    Love that last line.

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    1. Thank you Louise! The last line is by fy the most important one in the story. We can lose everything material, and even our daily life and routines as we know them, and we can still create a new home for ourselves, a place where we feel safe, warm, and loved.

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  5. I loved this...I am falling short these days in making rounds to check out others' posts, but am 'allowing' myself that 'luxury' right now because it truly is what I enjoy.

    Do I recognize a bit of autobiography here?

    I love the last line too.

    I hope over the holidays to connect back into your Two Shoes Tuesday.

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    1. I often run behind on making the rounds too Carrie, but is my favorite Saturday activity... catching up a bit with reading and undisturbed writing! It may be a luxury, but also a necessity to give meaning to life!

      Yes, of course this is yet another page from the story of my life. Things are so much simpler now! :-)

      I'll be glad to see you back at TST when/if you have time, Carrie, but I'll be most glad just to see you have some needed down time to regroup and recharge! :-)

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  6. So now Josie my friend you are crawling into my mind and heart and all that emotional baggage I thought I had dealt with is coming forth but that is a good thing :) this story could be mine except I was 31 not 50. As for Janis, I stood in line in the rain four hours to buy two tickets for myself and my best friend, we enjoyed her so much and two months later she was gone. there will never be another Janis that is for sure I still play her music as well.

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    1. I did a similar version of this story in my thirties too, Len. Only then the move came with two children and being a single mom. It was tough, but we made it ok!

      I would have loved to attend that concert, well worth waiting in the rain. Little did you know how fortunate you were to do it then, while it was still possible. No, there will never be another like her.. an amazing talent and also a product of the place and time. Haunting.

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  7. Loved this story, I have been in this place before & while freeing it is also scary & lonely. This was great!

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    1. Thank you Lynda. I was so worn out and emotionally devastated by that time that the fear and lonliness didn't really hit me for awhile, but they came.... the "what if this is how it will always be" and "how will I pay for another rent increase or a medical bill", "what if my car breaks down" "what if no one ever loves me", and on and on. But we heal and we grow stronger, learning to find ourselves and our way again, and one day we look back and realize we are ok, whether on our own or together with someone new.

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  8. I love this. Not only do I get a little more glimpse into what makes Josie Josie, but I can also pull a little from it and relate it to myself. There were times I was so alone, I reached for anyone and anything to fill my emptiness. As I've become older and finding myself in another WRONG place, I can see that there are worse things than spending my time alone. Being in situations that don't "fit" you can be more draining and leave you feeling more alone and empty than ever before. Trying to MAKE IT FIT can be tiresome.
    I am so glad that you found love and a place of peace and happiness.

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    1. For much of my previous marriage, before it turned violent, Robin, I was in much the same situation... it a way it never really was the right place for me, though I thought it was at the beginning because I was so lonely and he was so mellow and kind (read that as a chemically altered state). As time went on I grew in my awareness of life, and no longer fit in his world at all, nor did I care to be a part of it. That was indeed incredibly lonely. I had a house, but it wasn't a home, the connection wasn't there, just two people living under the same roof, sharing meals and a bed. He could have cared less about my life and could have told you very little about it or who I even was. He was far too wrapped up in himself and his bandmates. As I have often said, I may have been his wife, but music was his mistress. For a long time I believed that hanging in there and trying to make it work was the right thing to do, and I loved him. In our final years together things became much worse as scarier drugs took over his life. At that point I wanted to leave, but couldn't see a way out financially, and I reached the point where I didn't care if I lived or died. It nearly got to that, and I will forever be grateful that I escaped that world and life an entirely different life today. It wasn't easy, the first year on my own was very hard, but oh was it worth it! :-)

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  9. Rather than "nothing left to lose" I prefer "everything to gain."

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    1. That's a wonderful way to look at the situation, Monkey, it's a thought I'm going to remember and pass on... when you have nothing left to lose you do indeed have everything to gain, and I can testify that it's possible for that to happen! Thanks for another piece of wisdom from the mind of the Monkey!

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  10. Great post, Josie. This is what I love about you. You are genuine. Hugs.

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    1. Thank you McGuffy Ann, I am all about being real. I am what I am, and that's the story I try to share here.

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)