“Cherish is the word I use….”

by Elouise

Cherish image, happy_married_couple

I, Elouise, take you, D….
To love, honor and cherish….

Cherish is the word I use
To complain as in
You don’t have a clue
How to cherish me

Not to his face but
Behind his back
As though I have
Something to hide
Keep under control
Lest it run free
Down dark alleys

I lurk in the shadows
Ache to be cherished
Scream silently
Slam a door
Lest it seem I’m fine
I am neither fine nor happy

God forbid I should be happy
I have this weight to carry
Called uncherished goods
Don’t you see it?


I know how to keep myself neat and clean, brush my teeth and wash my hair, prepare and eat healthy food that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, clean up a kitchen, get Christmas Eve candlewax off my clothes, clean my eyeglasses every day, do the laundry and fold all the clothes (mine, that is).

This is exhausting. It takes at least 24 hours a day. I take breaks. But the (sometimes breathtakingly brief) breaks are the exception that proves my point: I don’t know how to cherish myself.

I long to be cherished. Not because someone named D is letting me down or isn’t cherishing me enough. No. This is about me.

Too much cherishing would be bad for my spiritual, emotional or even physical health! Turn me into a softy. Limp and unproductive! Besides, don’t you know someone has to make sure the universe doesn’t tip into chaos?

Since my mostly internal blowup a few days ago, I’ve been practicing “cherish.” It’s a strange thing, cherish.

Small doses are never enough. Large doses are downright scary. I want to hide. I don’t deserve this. I’m too old to be cherished. What do I do if I get dependent on you? Who will cherish me when you’re gone?

Indeed. Who will?

Good morning, Elouise.

How about a bowl full of ‘cherish’? The kind that takes your beautiful self seriously. Maybe you’ve forgotten that a man named Jesus cares enough to follow you into the hidden recesses of your heart and mind for one purpose only: to cherish you! All he asks in return is that you love, honor and cherish God, yourself as God’s beloved daughter-child, and your neighbors. 

Here, have a second serving! I have more than enough to go around.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 6 January 2016
Image from martynballestero.com