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It's my heart... it feels unlike anything I've ever felt before. My body is a shell and as I go on living day in and day out, smiling, laughing, keeping myself busy, there it sits... kinda on a shelf right now. Waiting for me to acknowledge it like a big pink elephant sitting in the corner. Most days I pay it no mind.

How can I? My husband is in a masters program, I am a teacher, I have students counting on me, I have three kids who need their mom to be strong and fierce and willing to put aside everything to read three bedtime stories, get two drinks of water, and give infinite hugs and kisses. One of those children is a teenager and he needs to yell and roll his eyes and dream big and talk about all he is doing right now and because tomorrow is so far away and yesterday is gone but today, today he will be anything and everything soon as he gets past that F in math.

My mother... I'm not even sure I can talk about her. Running a business and breaking also. How can I acknowledge my pain when it's her son, her school work is lagging, her business is demanding, she needs help. She needs to go see him. She needs to sleep. She may just need a drink. She needs to hold his hand.

My other brother so far away, so far removed, dealing with his own set of issues...

And so I stuff it all in that jar,, my pain, my brothers issues, my mothers exhaustion, along with my heart. My broken, aching, heart that is bleeding profusely for the brother who is hurting. The one who is in pain, the one who can't talk right now because he can barely hold his head up.

Leukemia, that was manageable, chemo, well chemo is a bitch and she is taking over his household wearing them all down one nauseating moment after another.

Chemo is one bad mother.

I relish in the fact that he has a son who is to young, he won't remember these hard days. He has a wife who I am sure is feeling more broken than I can imagine yet holds her head high and rubs his back as the porcelain goddess claims another glass of water... Funny to think that just a few years ago she was claiming bottles of beer and shots of whiskey... Now broken he is giving her everything in him and then some... unwillingly to say the least.


t's easier to not deal with it... I am approximately 1,419 miles away from the issue and so it is not mine and yet I am broken because there is absolutely nothing... not one God Damn thing, I can do about it.


I can't hold his hand, or rub his back. I can't watch my nephew. I can't make a dinner that would go uneaten anyway. I can't talk to him about my stupid book or his beer crafting. I can't share a recipe or pictures of our farm to table dinner. I can't talk about Rey's crazy new idea about a food truck or my dreams to open a school. I can't help his wife, not even a little from this far away. I can't do dishes, or mop his floor, or vacuum.

I can't. Just. Hug. Him.

I can't even get through writing this without bursting into tears, my husband running in here to ask me what is wrong and my three year old sneaking out of bed to give me "just one more hug and kiss mommy" because my sobbing is keeping him awake.

When I am done I will shower, I will go to bed, and I will wake up tomorrow, my life seemingly unchanged but I will think about my brother and I will ache for him and I will place that ache into my jar and go about my day.

Still smiling, still busy, still broken.


I love you Jared. I'm sad you are the one who has to go through this and I am grateful you have Marissa to help you. Thank you Marissa, for loving my brother, for being strong, for taking care of everyone in the face of chaos. I'm pretty sure you have a jar also... I hope it doesn't have to sit on the shelf for very long. Love you both and my sweet Colton also.

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