Grandpa

Grandpa worked hard
His entire life
Married young
Raised nine kids
In the country
Strong and stubborn
But loved to laugh
Mellowed over time
Without a doubt
Dealt with struggles
That I never knew
I see him in overalls
After a long day-
Promising to dance
At my wedding-
Liked to argue
Loved his family
Was always ready to
Welcome them home
Looking forward to
Family gathering later
That very day-
But early in the morning
While everyone slept
After waking early
Making the coffee
He sat in his favorite chair
At the young age of 67
Grandpa died on
The Fourth of July

Freedom in Forgiveness

Forgiveness may seem a surprising subject for the Fourth of July. But somehow, this year, it seems more appropriate than ever before.

Yesterday, I watched the film version of the musical Hamilton. My daughter and I saw the traveling production last year in Tulsa. I was overwhelmed by its brilliance. Not only in the music creativity but also the messages it so powerfully portrayed.

It tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers. A life filled with tragedy I cannot begin to imagine. A past he worked to overcome. A desire to leave behind a world better than the one in which he lived.

The film version was no less powerful. I was barely able to contain my emotions through the entire production. And just as with the live show, my thoughts quickly turned to another musical, Les Miserables.

Though many similarities may be drawn between Hamilton and Les Miserables, one speaks above the rest-forgiveness. These moments in each story provide a beautiful reminder of how great the need for each of us.

There is much more to be discovered in this story-in both of these stories. But on this July 4, 2020, forgiveness seems to be the place to start. For both receiving it and giving it bring freedom.

If you have not yet seen Hamilton, it would be a perfect way to celebrate!

It's Quiet Uptown

Written by
Lin-Manuel Miranda

Alexander by Eliza’s side
She takes his hand
It’s quiet uptown
Forgiveness.
Can you imagine?

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12

Making Lists

There are many reasons for making lists. Dreams, goals, to-dos, groceries…that last one is the only list I write consistently. For me, going to the store without one is a mistake. The trip turns into one long, rambling adventure with little to show.

But what about life lists? The ones that show accomplishment when I scratch off an item. I rarely make those lists. When it comes to making lists, my brain seems to work in reverse. What do I mean by that? Here is an example.

Right now, most days are spent at home. I meander through the hours, often with no set plan-only vague ideas of what I might do or what needs to be done. At the end of the day, there’s a little pang of guilt. A question-what did you do all day? In my head, I answer by making a list.

  1. I managed to clean the kitchen.
  2. I sorted the laundry.
  3. I did one load of laundry.
  4. I washed my hair.
  5. I spent time writing.
  6. I took a nap.

You get the picture. In society’s eyes, this might not be considered a productive day. For me, it leads to a list of questions.  

  1. Did I actually dry and put away the laundry? 
  2. Unload the dishwasher?
  3. Talking to a friend count?
  4. Playing piano for fifteen minutes? 
  5. What about sitting outside and watching the birds? 
  6. And really-a nap?

My conversation with myself will not likely change what I do with tomorrow. But it might change where I place value. Or I might just add those other, less finite activities, to my after-the-fact list. 

Those are the things I cling to right now. Those things keep me steady and ease feelings of anxiety. Those things remind me there is beauty in the middle of the storm.

I suppose an argument could be made for making a list ahead of time. But the truth is, that’s just not me. Maybe I should quit making lists altogether. Except for those grocery ones, of course. 😉

Pieces —

Excited to have another poem shared on The Drabble today!

By Kelley Morris Broken bodies Broken glass Broken hearts So many pieces to pick up Although they may not be my own They clearly lay in front of me Scattered across the landscape Of my city Of my state Of my country Yet, love has not disappeared It continues to weave In and out of […]

Pieces —

Out of Reach

Some days the
Weight of worry
Presses me down
And I am left crawling
Among the shadows
Hands and knees
Scraping the ground
Head low, feeling
Afraid and alone
Standing up
On my own
Is impossible-Yet,
A flicker of hope
Reminds me that
I am not alone
Like a child reaching
For their parent
I glance up as
His hands reach down
Lifting me out
Of the shadows
Gently placing me
Among the light
Of the stars
A time to rest
Preparation for
The day when
I will once again
Be found crawling
Among the shadows-
This is the journey
To be traveled with
One lasting truth-
Wherever the road leads
I will never be
Out of reach

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

James 1:17 NIV

Two Poem Tuesday

Passing Storm

Once again
A storm is raging
Emotions swirling
Like a tornado
In my head
The beginning
Indistinguishable
From the ending
Questions flood
My thoughts-
Why this?
Why now?
Why me?
But I must push
Past the questions
And just be-
Waiting-holding on
Until a tiny
Break appears
In the clouds
A split second
Ray of sunshine
Piercing the dark
Clearing my thoughts
Lighting my path
Just enough to
Observe the dust
Beginning to settle
Assurance the storm is passing

Lost and Found

Where are you?
I sense you are close
But my eyes can’t see
 
I reach out my hands
Fumbling in the dark
Wishing the clouds away
 
Where are you?
I ask out loud this time
A little further-just listen
 
My feet move slowly
Toward the sound of your voice
It grows louder with each step
 
Suddenly, my hands touch yours
No longer lost, I stand with you
Under the light of the stars

Blue Sky Eyes

Something about a
Bright blue sky
The color first
Catches my eye
Reminds me of
My Dad’s eyes
Bright and true
Even a cloud
Drifting by
Cannot eclipse
Their honesty
Instead, the cloud
Brings clarity
Simply by contrast
Looking up
Toward the sky
I breathe in
The fresh air
It fills my lungs
Clears my head
Looking up
At my Dad
I feel safe
And loved
Thanks to the
Light in his
Blue sky eyes

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
Blue Skies-Irving Berlin

Blue skies smilin’ at me
Nothin’ but blue skies do I see
Bluebirds singin’ a song
Nothin’ but blue skies from now on


I never saw the sun shinin’ so bright
Never saw things goin’ so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you’re in love, my how they fly


Blue skies smilin’ at me
Nothin’ but blue skies do I see
Blue days all of them gone
Nothin’ but blue skies from now on

Biggest Smile

The last few times I’ve handed out summer meals, (see Ripple Effect) it has been at my school. And even though the cars go through fairly quickly, I always look for familiar faces. There have been a few smiles and waves from students, but yesterday’s smile was extra special.

The dad rolled down his truck window, I asked for the number of children and went to collect the bags. As I walked back to the truck, I saw a sweet face, sitting in the passenger’s seat. I yelled, “Hi!” As if greeting a long-lost friend.

The dad and boy looked surprised, maybe even a little confused. But then I stepped back and took off my face mask. I said, “I just love your son! I’m Grandma, Abuelita, his music teacher.” (see A New Nickname) My student smiled the biggest smile.

His dad proceeded to brag on him. Telling me how much he had been studying, improving his English during this time away from school. And how he would be so much better prepared for school this next year. I said how glad I was to see him, then they drove away.

The whole experience lasted only a few short minutes, but it made my day. Actually, it made my week. And the truth is, I was the one left smiling the biggest smile. ❤ 🙂

Wasted Time

Shh-be quiet
Listen closely to
The falling rain
Some might say
It’s wasted time
But that rain has
A story to tell
A fantastic tale
Of drops filling
Fluffy white clouds
Until no matter how
Hard it tries,
That fluff can no
Longer hold the weight
The clouds give up
And the raindrops
Begin their free-fall
At first, racing
To the ground
But then landing
In perfect rhythm
Life-giving music
Serenading as it
Waters the earth
Providing a drink
For the flower
Sending relief
For the dry ground
Shh-be quiet
Listen closely to
The falling rain
It’s not wasted time
By the time
It can be heard
Its story is just beginning

Rhythm of the Falling RainThe Cascades

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
Telling me just what a fool I’ve been
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain
And let me be alone again
Oh, listen to the falling rain
Pitter patter, pitter patter
Oh, oh, oh, listen to the falling rain
Pitter patter, pitter patter