Simply Sunday

Happy Father’s Day!

The past two years brought health challenges for my dad. Open-heart surgery and heart failure were encapsulated by complications from diabetes. I am grateful he is still with us. And he is thriving.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

He and my mom have coped well with the struggles of health combined with pandemic living. I know it has not been easy, and I am proud of them.

On this Father’s Day, I miss my father-in-law, Bob. I often wonder what he would think about the current state of the world. The political divide in our country? He would be disappointed. The challenges of living through a pandemic…not sure how he would have fared. Isolation from family and friends would have been difficult. He lived for his family and was quick to whip us into shape. 😉❤️

But, oh, what good things have happened. Grandchildren graduated from high school and college. Several are now married. And three new great-grandchildren have joined our family.

Anytime we are together as a family, I know he is smiling. He is smiling, and we are remembering.

Hold Hands…Follow Me

Walking through an airport can be a tad overwhelming. Where is my next gate? The restroom? Starbucks? Ok, so maybe not Starbucks. But the level of activity and the sheer number of other people…can feel a bit frantic.

Today while walking through Chicago O’Hare airport, I heard the sweetest phrase.

Hold hands and follow me.

When I glanced across the walkway, I saw a mom standing with a baby on her hip and two other littles standing close by. The words I heard were her message to the kids. They listened, grabbed each other’s hands, and followed her.

What a precious picture. Yes, mom looked travel-worn. Her responsibilities were many. I don’t know where they were headed, but they were going together.

This scene caused me to question. Is that how God talks to me? Does he say, Look! Here are your family and friends. Just grab a hand and follow me.

Or perhaps, if unable to reach out, pick me up. Carries me like the baby on the mom’s hip. Leaving the hand-holding and following part to family and friends. Either way, I am never alone.

Side note: I really was traveling today. 😊 Spending a few days in beautiful Vermont. More to come…

Pause and Wonder

In the shapes
Of clouds
In the leaves
Of trees
In the feathers
Of backyard birds
It is everywhere
But do we recognize it?
They say…
It is the spice of life.
Maybe there is more to it than that?
In the colors
Of our skin
In the traditions
Of our cultures
In the songs
Of our hearts
Variety draws us in
Gives us cause
To pause
And wonder
Encourages us
To embrace
Our differences
Before showing us
How very much
We are the same

Hydrangea blooms. All from the same plant.

The Whole Story

I wish I knew the whole story. How your life began. The circumstances surrounding your birth. How your big sister played with you. What you were like as a toddler.

When we first met, you were bossy and tall for your age. But you had a big smile and beautiful long, dark hair. You loved flying high on the playground swings. I’m glad for those moments of joy in your life.

Schoolwork did not come easy. You worked so hard. No matter what we tried, letters and numbers couldn’t find their way into your memory banks. Not long-term, anyway.

You enjoyed listening to stories and spending time playing pretend with your friends. Somehow, unphased by the lack of remembering academic details.

Traveling between Mexico and Oklahoma seemed to be the pattern. You, your mother, and your older sister. That must have been stressful and scary. Not knowing how long you would stay in one place or where you belonged.

I wish I knew the whole story. Why the older you grew, the less care you seemed to receive. Understanding there must have been challenges in raising a child with disabilities. But still, you deserved to be cared for and loved.

What love there was somehow faded with the birth of a new baby. Slowly turning to neglect and abuse. My heart breaks over what I do know.

You are unable to tell me your whole story. Only bits and pieces. Maybe I shouldn’t wish to know it. One thing I do know is you will always wear the scars. Yet, you still manage to smile. You give and receive love. And just maybe, that is the whole story. ❤️

Our sweet friend, Marie. So glad she is part of our lives.

Simply Sunday

Optics

From a distance
The distance
Between them
Seemed
Unremarkable
A series of
Ups and downs
Over rolling hills
Around sharp curves
Always maintaining
The appearance
Of connection
Perhaps it was
The alternating
Each taking a turn
In the lead
Until rest
Was required
And a graceful
Exchange
Occurred
One-hand
Reaching forward
The other back
No need for even a glance-
I suppose distance was
Never really a factor
As their hearts
Always seemed
To precede
Their hands

Quick to Dismiss

You and I have
A difference
Of opinion
As far as
Differences
Of opinion go
Since an opinion
Is quite often
Not completely
Based on facts
Perhaps we could
Put this one aside
Yes, it seems
Important now
Emotions heightened
With every discussion
But is it worth dismissing each other?
Flesh and blood
Heart and soul
Isn’t it worth attempting a connection?
If our hands could
Briefly touch
Surely our hearts
Would follow

President Biden spoke last evening concerning the epidemic of gun violence in our country. His words expressed sadness, compassion, and anger. His call to action was passionate as well as logical.

So many lives were lost. Families destroyed. Are we so stuck and stubborn in our thoughts and opinions? Is there no room left for compromise? I refuse to believe that is true.

Simply Sunday

Light and Shadow

I sat with
The heaviness
All-day
My heart wrapped
In a blanket of grief
The day wrapped
In weeping clouds

A peak of the sun
Broke my stillness
Only a glance
Out the window
Surely I should not soak it in
How could I?
Amid so much suffering

That sweet sunshine
Not to be ignored
Determined to draw me out
Shone a little brighter
Bravely displaying light
And shadow
Simultaneously

I couldn’t keep from smiling
Even as my heart
Continued to cry

End of the trail. Keystone Ancient Forest. Sand Springs, OK

I participated in a writing circle yesterday facilitated by Ali Grimshaw fashlightbatteries. Time writing and sharing with this group of women was just what my heart needed. ❤️

Today, my husband and I went on a three-mile hike. It was a bit more challenging than I care to admit. 😉But the time spent with him, walking through the forest with no outside distractions, was also much-needed. I am so glad he encouraged me to keep going.

Simply Sunday

Forever

Such a strange
Thought
Forever
I’m not sure it’s
Understandable
But certainly
Beautiful
I haven’t seen you in forever!
Spoken with joy
Spoken with regret
Both can fill
The same space
Other times
The word seals
Every hole
In the heart
Despite lack of
Understanding
Will you marry me?
And this is forever…

Received with security
Received with doubts
Both can fill
The same space
Twenty-nine years
Of forever, so far
And I still don’t
Fully understand
But I am grateful
That forever
Continues
To grow


Happy Anniversary To Us! ❤️

Outside In

Felt like a stranger
Looking in
A window
Confused by
The actions
Witnessed
Tones detected
Perceiving
A cycle
Of frustration
Embarrassment
Tears and
Exhaustion
Asking questions
Inside my head
What is wrong?
Why so upset?


Felt like a stranger
Looking in
A window
But I was not
A stranger
And I was not
Looking in
A window
It was a mirror
My reflection
In the panes-
A realization
That left me
Wondering
Whether to take
A step back
Or lean in closer

Admitting feelings of anxiety and depression is not always easy. And even harder to explain. This poem is an attempt to describe that feeling of being outside myself. Knowing my actions and feelings don’t make sense, but having difficulty controlling them.

I share because someone reading may need to know they are not alone. And simply put, it helps me accept my reflection with a bit more grace and understanding. ❤️

Connecting the Dots

What if
I created
A map
Dotted with
Colorful pins
And string
Wrapped
Around
Each pin
Connecting
The dots one
To another
And each color
Holding an
Individual
Meaning
Blue? Content
Orange? Unsure
Green? Happy
Gray? Sad
Except that
Those pins
Would not
Mark places
I’ve traveled
Though many
Were beautiful
Memorable
No, this map
Would be
An outline
Of my heart
Veins
Arteris
Valves
Dotted by
The breath
Of hearts
Intersecting
Each change
Of direction