A Perfect Day

Clean haircut
Refreshing
Especially after
More than a week
Of laying in
A hospital bed
Pleasant drive
Past the lake
And back
Sweetheart
By his side
Drive-thru
Grilled
Chicken
Salad
Unsweet tea
Sweetly
Predictable
Quiet evening
At home
Thankful
To be there
Watching
Grand Ole Opry
On the T.V.
One of his
Favorites
Stayed awake
Past ten o’clock
Sweetly
Unusual
A perfect
Last day
This side
Of heaven
For a quiet
Man of faith
Who could not
Possibly know
The far reaches
Of his influence

I thought I heard his voice yesterday. Keep waiting for him to walk down the hallway or see him standing in the kitchen. Wishing he was sitting in his chair instead of me. I know he’s no longer here, but my heart won’t let me stop looking.

My dad worked hard his whole life. His rough hands offered proof. Health issues these past few years forced him to slow down. No more hammers, nails, lumber, or ladders. I know it was hard for him at times. But he rarely complained. Even when reminded to use his cane for balance, to wear his hearing aids, or asked where his glasses were.

There is so much to remember. So much to share. But today, I am thinking about the last day. It was a good one. ❤️

When I Grow Up

The question
We always ask
Our children
What do you
Want to be
When you
Grow up?

It’s funny
I seem to be
Answering
That question
For myself
These days-
When I grow up
I want to hold
Your tiny hand
Watch your breath
Rise and fall
In the smallest
Of motions
Hear your cries
Comfort your fears
Feel the complete joy
Only found
In the heaviness
Of rocking
Back and forth
In our favorite chair
Reading our favorite stories
Singing our favorite songs
My heart younger
As yours grows stronger

Hello Stranger

I saw you
Ten years
From now
Or maybe
It was fifteen
My perception
Of time seems
To be changing
With its passing
In any case
It certainly could
Have been you
Or at least
The future you
I sometimes imagine…
Faded jeans
Plaid shirt
White hair
Just a little
On the sides
Perhaps a little shorter
We do eventually
Start shrinking

Purposefully walking
Into a local
Coffee shop
I smiled but refrained
From saying hello
Wonder if he’s picking up a London Fog just for me?

Missing the Quiet

Morning whispers
From a cool
Breeze as it
Wakens the trees
Mid-day melodies
Sweetly strung
Across the sky
Celebrating blue
Evening laughter
From familiar voices
Around the table
Listening…no need to speak
Middle-of-the-night
Soft breaths
From the rise
And fall of
A newborn’s chest
Resting against mine
As we gently rock-
I can still hear them
As I crawl back into bed
Place my hand on your chest
And wait for sleep to come

Take My Advice

Don’t blink
You might miss
Something

I suppose
The helpfulness
Of that advice
Depends on the
Something
Today, for me
It was a tree
First spotted last week
Soaking in the rain
Its leaves shining
Ruby red in the
Autumn breeze
Awake and alive
Capturing the attention
Of all who passed by-
One week later
The color has faded
Leaves have fallen
And yet, the tree
Remains strong
Standing beautiful
Another unseen ring
Added to its heart
So glad I didn’t blink

About Wrinkles

I am choosing
To view wrinkles
In a new light
Especially after
Noticing them
On my eyelids
How does that even happen?
The eyeliner applied resembling
A jagged Jack-O-Lantern smile
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating
But it did introduce
A new line of questioning
What caused the lines framing my mouth?
Smiling countless smiles
Lines drawn from the corners of my eyes?
Squinting from the brightness of a warm sun
Lines gracing my forehead?
A bit of worry over the ones I love-
All these answers are signs
Traces of living
A life not ready
To be erased
Or to be forgotten

As We Should

Tightly held
Protected
Until time for
The unfurling of
Curved edges
Soft and smooth
Pattern of veins
Barely visible
Vibrant color
Most notable
New and fresh
Like the soft
Smooth skin
Of a newborn
Not yet marked
By time or
Weather
Though change
Begins immediately
Tossed by winds
Dampened by rain
Warmed by the sun
The steps
Incremental
Texture and color
Slowly transforming
The lovely oak leaf
Light to dark
Greens, then
Red or yellow
Finally brown
Each stage
Its own beauty
And purpose
Aging, as it should
As we should
Growing
Changing
Transformed

And Older…

-For persons
Fifty years
And older-

It took hearing
This message
Multiple times
From the same
Advertisement
Over several days
Until I realized
It was speaking to me-
Wait…what was it they were selling?
No idea!
Certainly, nothing I need
Yet, it did leave me
With a question
How did I become
Part of a group
Described as
Fifty and older?
Again-no idea!
Interestingly
The words
“And older”
Provided
A glimmer of hope
For the countless
Inches of ground
I have left to cover

I wrote this poem during a recent poetry circle with Ali Grimshaw. http://flashlightbatteries.blog/ I love this process and the people with whom I’ve been privileged to write and share. Hoping for many more opportunities! ❤️

Simply Sunday

Ok, well…maybe not so simple this Sunday. 😉 This Thanksgiving was not what I had planned or expected. It did, however, remind me of what is truly important. And it reminded me to be thankful for time with those I love, no matter the amount. So many reasons to be thankful. ❤️

Already in Motion

A child
Growing
In love
Protected
Encouraged
Carried when
Stretches of
Road turn
Curvy and steep
By those
Refusing
To give up

A parent
Fluctuating
Between
Carrying
And being
Carried
Discovering
A profound truth-
Once a child
Always a child
Once a parent
Always a parent

Each role
Evolving
As the years
Slip by
Until a choice
Becomes
Necessary-
Whether
To embrace
Or ignore
Shifts already
In motion

Although
Avoiding
May seem
Easier
Embracing
Offers
Promise-
A heart
Filled to
Overflowing
Even when
It is broken

Leg Lifts

I am in the middle of a six-week physical therapy program for my back. It is both necessary and helpful. And it is also kicking my butt while reminding me of my age. My actual age, not the one I imagine.

You are as young as you feel. A common phrase. The truth is our bodies eventually wear out. We can eat right and exercise. Buy products advertising prolonged youth. All the while knowing it is impossible to reverse time.

Instead of fighting to stay young, I’d like to work at aging gracefully. But when my hip begins to cramp in the middle of leg lifts, two sets of fifteen-well, graceful is not the word I would choose.

Powering through those leg lifts did provide a feeling of accomplishment. Accomplished…maybe I need to combine goals. Strive to be gracefully accomplished. I think that sounds better. Even if it means continuing those leg lifts until the cramps in my hip are no more. 😉