I write often about fear, and with good reason.  By 29 I had lost both my parents, had grown up with no grandparents, and now my husband, who promised me the moon in a twelve page letter asking me to marry him, has left me with two teenagers to raise alone.  

When I was in college I wrote out a quote by Machiavelli that stated, “Do not allow your heart to be hardened by the harsh practices of men,” and I took this statement completely to heart.  And no matter what happened throughout my life, I would not let it change me. I didn’t want my innocence stolen. I didn’t want to lose my sweetness, and at times retaining my innocence was a very rebellious act.  

My mother would tell me to toughen up. I had no intention of toughening up, and now I quite consciously remove myself from the company of those where being tough or thick skinned is a requirement. 

It has been my personal defiance in this aspect of my life that has allowed me to remain patient and kind in the face of so much adversity.  Although, I can be fierce when necessary, I absolutely will not allow anything or anyone to take from me my hopeful view of the world.

Sitting in mass at Santa Maria on Sunday morning, the priest talked about the intentions of our heart, he said it’s not what we do, but the intention we hold in our heart that matters most. And he talked about swearing, and as my close friends know, I love to swear. 

So, I am giving that up now, because I wish to be tender. I would like for my words to reflect my intentions, and that is of tenderness.

1 thought on “Tenderness

  1. It would be offensive almost to say I admire you because how do I know what you have endured and what strengths you had to find within yourself? But I do. I am a stranger to you but reading your story I admire you. I could not be as strong as you had to be, but maybe you had to be, so you were even if it was impossible. Something made you survive, I am glad you have two children because you have lost too much – I have always found it hard understanding why some people lose so much through no fault of their own – how this happens? I conclude that many times horrible people live easy happy lives and really good people struggle. I don’t know why, but I know most of the best people I have ever known had really hard lives. You are a beautiful inside and out woman who will I hope, be a really strong role model for your children and all of us who are fortunate enough to be touched by your spirit.


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