Maybe Today

For My Daughter Caroline

Maybe today I can just sit here
And let the soiled slacks sag on the hook;
Leave the drawers dangling despite discomfort;
Let the dust bunnies burrow underneath the bed.
Maybe I can just sit here staring at you.

Maybe today I can just sit here
And leave the stack of Shakespeare unshelved,
The walls bare and lime green,
The sink stuffed with suds and spoons.
May I can just sit here with your snore.

Maybe today I can just sit here
And leave the pile of paperwork untouched,
The receipts unrecorded and unreconciled,
The to-dos to still be done.
Maybe I can just sit here and soothe you.

Maybe today I can just sit here
And not notice all of the noticeable things,
Not tidy all of the untidiness,
Not order and reorder the disorderly.
Maybe I can just sit here and teach you to smile.

Maybe today I can just sit here
And leave the doing for another day,
Relearn how to be and how to rest,
How to simply be a wife, a friend, a woman, a child, a human.
Maybe today I can just sit here and be your mother.

Frayed Flip Flops

It’s July 3rd, and still no news on the Gabriel front. We’re trying to wait patiently, knowing that there are many circumstances outside of our control. If you’re praying for us, would you please pray that we’d have news soon that we’ve passed the court, so we can move on to the next step in the process of becoming Gabriel’s parents? In the meantime, I wrote this little poem after seeing the most recent photos of our little guy.

frayed-flip-flops

Baggy blue overalls,
A physical cord that vanishes the miles,
Chosen by us, worn by him.

A toy yellow motorcycle,
Clutched in one-year-old paws,
A secret delight to the mind of a miniature adventurer.

Flip flops,
Frayed in the Congolese dirt,
Early steps of a future world traveler.

Eyes that smile,
Once worn in tears,
And a hundred sadnesses only he may ever know.

Arms outstretched,
Beckoning us,
A preview of a thousand embraces yet to be ours.

And Then God

(In the midst of our waiting for a referral, we have been reminded that we are not the first people in the universe to wait for something. In fact, we are preceded by a long line of folks who waited much longer, much harder, some more patiently, perhaps some less patiently then us. This is something I composed in tribute to them, and as a reminder to us that God has not forgotten the waiters.)

simeon2

Abraham and Sarah
Waited for a child until
Age had claimed them;
Skin loosened, hands gnarled
Beyond the clasping of a prayer for an honest heir.

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Sixty-three Years

Photo courtesy of Tyler and Amy Jones

Two months ago, my grandfather turned 90. A day later, his health began to decline. Since that time, my family has been preparing to say goodbye. Although my grandfather is still alive and doing fairly well, the reality of the shortness of life and the significance of living that life well has sprung into focus for all of us. In an unsuspecting moment between my grandfather and grandmother, one of my cousins snapped this photo. This is a tribute to what it represents.

Two hands, wrinkled by time and love. Interwoven trust. Aged tenderness. White hair brushes against a weathered gold band.

Sixty-three years.

Knots and callouses of a romance built by faithfulness, little touches of twenty thousand days. An extra cup of coffee. A touch of the hand. A look of admiration.

Sixty-three years.

They traveled the world, one inch at a time. Hot air balloons over the Sahara. Cups of tea in China. Children and grandchildren in Australia.

Sixty-three years.

The moments they made by simply showing up. Piano recitals. Graduations. Weddings.

Sixty-three years.

The places they seemed to make the center of the world. The Root Beer Stand. Skyline Chili. The swimming pool.

Sixty-three years.

And in no small way, everyone leaves feeling like a best friend. A farmer boy who got to sit on Mr. Jones’ tractor. A drop-out who was reminded that he was a person. A waitress who dug into her own pocket to bring chili every week, all because she couldn’t imagine a Tuesday without them.

Unnumbered people who have witnessed a marriage that has lasted.

Sixty-three years . . . at least.