This Morning, With Her, Having Coffee

10 Nov


When asked his idea of paradise Johnny Cash said:

This morning, with her, having coffee.

It’s a bit of a tumblr (and blog) sensation, this response.  You can buy prints and mugs and see tattoos of that simple sentence.


PARADISE was this morning with her, having coffee.

I recently asked Luke his idea of heaven.  I didn’t prompt him or give him any context to the question.  I truly wanted to see how he would respond on his own. He said:

 Eating a bacon cheeseburger with you on the beach at sunset.

It’s a little more high maintenance, his response, and not nearly as tattoo-able as Mr. Cash’s, but I’ll take it.

I’ll take the beach and the bacon cheeseburger.

I’ll take him.

I dated a boy for a long time, and more than dated this boy I gave this boy everything I had.  I gave him my heart and my life and my dignity.  I gave and gave and gave thinking that one day, if I gave enough, perhaps I would get what I needed in return.

I never believed this boy when he told me he couldn’t give me what I needed.

He just wasn’t trying hard enough.  He COULD give me what I wanted if he really wanted to.  I knew he had it in him.  Hell, I had seen with my own eyes the times he had it in him.

And one day, my friend Elisa said, “Believe him Jill.  Believe him when he says he can’t give you what you need.”

I think about that a lot.  Believe him.

This boy withheld his affection.  He said it made the times when he was loving “more special.”  “Isn’t it more special when I tell you I love you only once a year?  Doesn’t it make it more meaningful?”

“No,” I said.

“No, it’s not OK,” I sobbed.

But I stayed.

I stayed because I knew he was better than that.

I stayed because I didn’t believe him.

But mainly I stayed because I loved him.

And in this process, in accepting a person who consistently could not (or would not) give me what I needed, I developed something of an emotional disorder.  I was starved for attention and love, and when he threw any little crumb my way I gobbled it up so quick I was left wanting more, needing more always.  I was a junkie, a person dying of thirst in the desert.

I was out of control.

When someone shows you how little you mean to them and you keep coming back for more, before you know it you start to mean less to yourself.  You are not made up of compartments!  You are one whole person!  What gets said to you gets said to all of you, ditto what gets done.  Being treated like shit is not an amusing game or a transgressive intellectual experiment.  It’s something you accept, condone, and learn to believe you deserve.  This is so simple.  But I tried so hard to make it complicated. – Lena Dunham

Believe him when he tells you.


My mother is sure Luke is an answer to prayers.  An answer to prayers she had for years and years.  I can imagine it’s hard for a mother to watch her daughter hurt and cry.  To watch her daughter become the worst version of herself in pursuit of something and someone who will never make her happy.

And so she prayed.

My mother is an expert at prayer.  It’s one of the things I admire most about her.

My mother prayed and prayed and prayed and then one day, Luke was in my life.  I was ready to give a Luke in my life a chance.  A boy I would have never dated years ago.  Because I didn’t value what he had to offer.

Kindness, stability, devotion

These things can never be underestimated.

Luke wrapped my birthday present this year in homemade paper.  He printed off a picture from our first date and made it into wrapping paper and when I got my present there it was.

Heaven is a bacon cheeseburger and a beach and me.

Paradise is kindness and stability and devotion.

This I believe.

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One Response to “This Morning, With Her, Having Coffee”

  1. Rebekah November 10, 2014 at 3:31 am #

    I love this. It definitely is hard to believe people sometimes – when they say they can’t love you or when they say they do

Leave a Reply to Rebekah