Transformations

I’ve never given deep thought to the life cycle of a butterfly. Besides children’s books and craft projects, that is. A tiny egg, a growing caterpillar, and a beautiful butterfly. It sounds simple, especially when mapped out with cotton balls, popsicle sticks, and coffee filters.

But none of those descriptions mention the chrysalis or what happens inside. The transformation is anything but simple. It is hard and sometimes painful. Near-perfect conditions are required for the butterfly to be released.

This week, saying goodbye to my dad, I was reminded of the shell left behind. It held so much life. Protected the spirit and soul of its occupant. And when the time came, allowed its release.

Death is part of life. I know that. And my dad lived his to the fullest, good times and bad. Health conditions over the past few years caused him to slow down. Challenging for someone who spent their life building things.

Instead of swinging a hammer, he would cook dinner for kids at church. Instead of traveling on mission trips, he would encourage friends thru phone calls. He did not complain. And most of all, he enjoyed his life with my mom. Picnics by the lake, coffee, cookies in the evenings, doctor appointments…life.

His sweet soul is no longer with us. It has been released. My faith tells me he is with God. And though that brings comfort, I selfishly wish he was still with us. The missing is hard. I suppose it is a part of my transformation…

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. ❤️

Simply Sunday

Grief

A black cloud
Moved across
The gray
Morning sky
Circling, swirling
Changing shape
Separating
Coming back
Together
Its fluctuations
Matching
My grief-
Moving closer
I could see
It was not
A cloud
But a flock
Of birds-
They landed
On the branches
Of barren trees
Perched up high
Unwavering
Their feathers
A brief replacement
For recently
Fallen leaves
Their stillness
Giving my heart
A moment to rest
Catch my breath
Though tears
Continued to flow

My sweet dad passed away early this morning. My heart is broken. I am forever grateful that he was my dad. He had a gentle strength about him. There is so much I want to remember and reflect over. But for now, this is all I can share.

Simply Sunday

Let Me Out

Plan in place
Appointment
Scheduled
Released
Set free
Headed
Home
Freedom
Sleep
In your
Own bed
Happy
Relieved
Thankful
One day
At a time

After more than a week in the hospital, my sweet dad was released this afternoon. They let me out! He called me from the car. Told me exactly what road they were on. Said they would be home after a quick stop at the pharmacy.

His case is complicated. So many factors. But today, we are grateful for a plan that allowed him to go home. I hope to visit very soon. ❤️

Simply Sunday

Choosing Thankful

So many things I take for granted.
Today, I am embracing the simple.
Thankful that the sun is shining.
Thankful that the breeze is crisp.
Thankful for the ability to talk on the phone.
Hearing my dad, You will always be my little girl.
Hearing my mom, I am ok. We will trust God to take care of us.
Dad is in the hospital in Arkansas.
Mom is there with him.
I am at home in Oklahoma.
Such is this life. And that is ok.

Do You Remember?

Thinking in terms
Of my life story
At this moment
Feels a bit
Daunting
Contemplating
What I know
And wish I knew
About my own
Grandmothers
Naturally shifts
My perspective
So much more
They could have
Would have said
Given more time
Asked more questions-
Motivation to
Open the book
Begin writing
One word
One sentence
One memory
One song
At a time

Row Your Boat, arrangement The Piano Guys, Kelley Morris, piano
All Good, The Piano Guys, Kelley Morris, piano

Christmas Gifts

Another year
To celebrate
Family
Friends
Goodwill
And cheer
Mercy
Grace
Forgiveness
And hope
A precious gift
Tiny baby born
Lying in a manger
Sleeping among
The animals
Listening to
The Lullaby
Of angels

When I consider Christmas past, some gifts stand out. The jewelry box from mom and dad that was also a music box! Dolls of the World from my Aunt Sharon. A voice print of my kids saying Mama from Gart. How my Granny Mahar always had a gift for each of her twenty-six grandchildren. ❤️

Great or small, each gift was given in love. And each giver holds a place in my heart.

I’ve been called sentimental more than once. There’s no denying it. But the older I get, the more my sentiments rest on people, not on things. Each memory is a gift held in the heart. Tied together by an unending ribbon of affection, six-inch curls in between. 😉

Silent Night, arranged by Phillip Everen Kelley Morris, piano

Christmas Time is Here by Vince Guaraldi Kelley Morris, piano

Merry Christmas!

Simply Sunday

Graduation Day!

Strength and Beauty
Were present
From the start
Kindness and
Consideration
Toward those
Different from her
Emerged early on
The intrinsic notion
That different
Does not translate
Into less than
That we all
Have a place
In this world
And sometimes
An advocate is needed
To help others
Realize their abilities-
Compassion
Turned to passion
Passion to action
Goals set
Challenges
Accepted-
A bright light
In my life since
The day she was born
And to countless others
Throughout her journey

Our sweet daughter, Rachel, graduated from KU today with her Master’s Degree! She is a high school special education teacher, specializing in transition services. We are so proud! ❤️

Collage

What makes a year?
Logic says
Seconds, minutes, hours
Days, weeks, months
Equally spaced
To help us keep track-
Of what, I’m not sure
Oh, there’s no denying
The answer when
My birth year
Is subtracted
From the current year
But the larger
That number grows
The less it represents
Anything equally spaced
What makes a year?
My heart says
The love of others
The beauty of nature
Grief, heartache, and loss
Faith, hope, and love
None of which
Fit into any calendar
All of which
Even the torn edges
Can be transformed
Into a much-cherished
Collage of memories

Simply Sunday

The Quiet

It’s too quiet
Something my mom
Used to say after
Our holiday visits
Well, actually
After any visit
Once their nest
Was empty
And although
Our nest is
Not quite empty
I’m beginning
To understand
The sentiment
A flurry of activity
The aroma of food
Being prepared
But mostly, the voices-
Once they return
To their own homes
The quiet leaves space
For melancholy
And missing
But mostly, the quiet
Leaves space
For memories
And a grateful heart