Sunday, June 14, 2009


Part of the process of going into the Army was being fingerprinted. As my hands were being blackened and blotted, the printer was checked out my fingerprints, and said, "You've done alot of dishes, haven't you?" I was shocked! I couldn't believe he could see that in the inky marks left by my fingers. He showed the prints to me and pointed out lines and abnormalities in my fingerprints and said that those showed that I had washed alot of dishes in my life and it had left a permanent mark on my finger tips. Actually, he was absolutely right. I have washed tons of dishes over the years. Ever since I was six and had to push a kitchen chair up to the sink, I have been washing and/or drying dishes. My grandma used to tell me, "Nicki, you've washed more dishes in your life than I have and I've been married 40 years!"

My footprints tell a story also. Mine would tell on me that I've traded comfort for pointy toe stilettos! I'll tolerate an inordinate amount of pain if I think the shoe makes my foot look pretty. My footprints would speak of my love of dance, my lack of grace, and my indecisiveness as you could see tracks going back over themselves several times before finally heading off into a certain direction.

I think each of us has a heartprint as well. Our hearts travel, they experience, they grow, they break and they mend; and as they do these things they are marked and those marks tell a story. The print my heart leaves from the way I love tells the story of a girl who wanted to belong and have someone belong to her; and who grew into a woman fiercely protective of her kids, her family and those she loves. Someone could read the lines of my heart and see my fondness for what I call a "mafia mentality". I mean that loyalty, that diehard connection to someone you love that tells everyone else, "Don't mess with those I call mine. They may not be perfect, and they may be wrong sometimes, but I'll go the matt for those I love. I'll crawl through broken glass to take care of mine. No one messes with my family" (Said with Marlon Brando's strained constipated tone)

I see heartprints in so many people I meet. Heartprints that show great sorrow, joy, love, trauma, tragedy and success. Heartprints speak of stories and experiences. They remind us that the people that we see around us everyday have lived lives. They've loved, they've hurt, they've failed, they've feared, they've joyed, they've fought, they've won, they have run the gamut of emotions and life has left an imprint and continues to leave imprints on their hearts.

Our hearts are such amazing things, both tangible and intangible at the same time. They are more than just the organ that feeds our body it's steady blood supply. Our hearts are HUGE and the more used, the more they expand and the stronger they get. Amazing things, these hearts of ours, they expose themselves to hurt only to mend themselves and reach out in faith again....hoping and believing for a happier outcome. They drive heroes to die for people they don't even know. They hurt for others often more than they hurt for themselves. They ache with longing and in moments of self preservation they temporarily shut down only to be resucitated by a familiar fragrance or song. They fight for lost causes. They suspect the worst but believe the best. Sometimes, in such tragic cases, broken and hurting hearts break and hurt other hearts. Our hearts are treasure chests of our greatest desires and our deepest fears. They contain our life stories and how we tell those stories to ourselves. They are a deep chasm that can hardly begin to be explored and yet they are ever so delicate as to wilt at the slightest unkind remark. My heart, like all others hearts before and that will come after me leaves a mark on my world. A heartprint that remains long after we're gone.

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