Monday, November 24, 2008


Since work is slow (thankfully), I thought I'd put together a little list of what I'm thankful for right now, at this precise moment:

1. I'm thankful for my son's ability to make me laugh. His giggle is contagious and it never fails to shake me out of a funk.

2. I'm thankful for my daughter's love of reading. She reads to herself, and she reads to others, including her brother. The times that I read to her are the most peaceful moments between the two of us, and I treasure that time together.

3. I'm thankful for my husband's even-balanced nature and willingness to be a partner in our relationship.

4. I'm thankful for Pandora, for keeping me company on long, boring work days.

5. I'm thankful that gas is hovering around $2/gallon, meaning our trip back to Cincinnati won't break the bank.

6. I'm thankful that I have more than enough to eat, and that my legs work and take me outside to run off the excess that I consume on a regular basis.

7. I'm thankful that I have a job in this economy.

8. I'm thankful that my friends have remained my friends even though we don't share a zipcode anymore.

9. I'm thankful for the relative peace in my world--both inner and outer. I know there are many, many places on earth that are not peaceful right now, and I know I am lucky to have the peace that I do. I hope that those who are not as fortunate as me have peace soon.

10. I'm thankful that members of my extended family want to see me and my immediate family over the holidays. In lots of families, that isn't the case at all.

Happy Thanksgiving to my three or four readers. I wish you a full table, a comfortable belly, and a peaceful day with as much (or as little) football as you care to watch!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I shall give you roses

Phantom fragrances tickle my nose
Ghost-like fingers send icy shocks up my spine.
The powdered floral scent—
Always yours—
mixed with perspiration and undertones of high school angst
rubbed off on you when embracing your graduates, your alumni
who came to visit
like homeless pigeons
back to the sanctity of the nest,
the safe haven of the wooden floor, painted black
dim lights
orange couches
stuck-on chewing gum
and years of whispered secrets couched between the folded, cushioned chairs.

Your pale blue eyes
devoid of life
are closed now,
entombed in the pasty white of your stony face.
The chance meeting over oranges or potatoes is firmly in the past,
where you always wanted the past to stay,
but the ring of
“Hi Sweetie! Hi Cutie!”
still peals in my ears.

The last time I saw you—who knew it would be the last?—your clear eyes were tired,
the lines on your face more deeply-carved.
Your hug was still as warm,
but the bald head hidden under a black baseball cap,
the tell-tale one-sided sag of your sweatshirt told me.

I’d said my good-byes
when you had bid farewell to the life you’d once known
destined to go on with someone else at the helm.
And yet,
here I sit—it feels like a lifetime later—
as images from my history flicker by on a screen
reminding me how far I’ve come
and how much further I’ve yet to go.

The bubbled-up catch in my throat,
chokes my breath.
I swallow it down once more
and turn back to the task at hand,
mindful only until the next time the faded powdered roses float by,
plunging me back into memory
of you
of all that came before.

17 nov 08

Sunday, November 16, 2008

i agree, i agree, amen

From Carolyn Parkhurst's novel, Lost and Found:

No one ever loves you the way your children do when they're young. No one else will ever cry when you leave the room. I try not to spend too much time thinking about those days, because I know they're perfect only in memory, and I know I need to focus on the girl I've got in front of me right now. But sometimes I can't help but give in to it, to live inside the warm hues I've colored those moments with. To remember what it was like, back when she smiled just to see me, when she needed my help to move a spoon to her mouth or to walk down a flight of steps. Back when she had to reach up to hold my hand. Back when she thought I could turn on the sky.

Some days, I miss my babies.

Not every day, but some days.