Mom

Today’s her day, what to say? She poured herself out in a particular way.

Salt of the earth, that’s part of her core, foundation of family right down to the core.

She gave herself to us until we were grown, then shifted to pour herself into other work, ever caring for others.

She and Abe Lincoln share the day, what traits might they share along the way?

Patient, straight-forward, committed to right, believing and living that path as best she could; until she couldn’t in the same way.

Not cut down by bullet, ‘twas’ a stroke instead, the bullet a clot, into her head. And so struck down, but not out, she’s lived a third of her life a survivor; a stroke survivor; struggling to move and speak, but no shortage of love and belief in what’s right.

Would that I could be as stalwart as she, would that I could be as certain, and let that manifest as love for my children, as she has for us.

Still showing us the way somehow; still showing us enthusiasm, contentment when together, a simple belief in together, family first and together.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Lyrics Post: “Volcano”

Way back when, another one turned me upside down with glee, a little ditty by Jimmy Buffett.

And maybe my favorite memory of this song is dancing and singing to it with my mom at cousin’s wedding decades ago, the joy still easily remembered.

So FUN.

Volcano”

Now, I don’t know, I don’t know where I’m a gonna go
when the volcano blow.
Let me say it now,
I don’t know, I don’t know where I’m a gonna go
when the volcano blow.

Ground, she movin’ under me.
Tidal waves out on the sea.
Sulphur smoke up in the sky.
Pretty soon we learn to fly

[Chorus:]
Let me hear you, now
I don’t know, I don’t know where I’m a gonna go
when the volcano blow.
Let me hear you now.
I don’t know, I don’t know where I’m a gonna go
when the volcano blow.

My girl quickly say to me,
“Mon you better watch your feet.”
Lava come down soft and hot.
“You better lava me now or lava me not.

[Chorus]

No time to count what I’m worth,
cause I just left the planet Earth.
Where I go I hope there’s rum.
Not to worry mon soon come.

[Chorus]

But I don’t want to land in New York City,
I don’t want to land in Mexico.
I don’t want to land on no Three Mile Island;
I don’t want to see my skin a-glow.

Don’t want to land in Comanche Sky Park,
or in Nashville, Tennessee.
I don’t want to land in no San Juan airport or
the Yukon Territory.

Don’t want to land no San Diego.
Don’t want to land in no Buzzards Bay.
I don’t want to land on no Ayatolla.
I got nothin’ more to say.

[Chorus]

Writer(s): J. Buffett, K. Sykes, H. Dailey

Me & Dad

Back to back tribute, Howie Lud.

Three years gone, though his memory lives on,

On in what he thought, what he taught, what he was,

Was so much, to so many, still that today,

Filled up, love, gotta say,

The math and the sport, the way, and music too, not afraid, come what may,

he remains alive, memories of his fatherhood, trying to carry it on with my daughters, son,

He was Gramps too, four times on,

And his wisdom, patience, love, live on.

Much love, much love, Dad, and too must say,

Thanks, Howie, every, every day.

Remembering Howie, Thanking Vitas

My dad died three years ago this week. Super Bowl Sunday morning, 2018. Remembering him a lot lately; when even I need patience, he comes to mind. Steadfast? Yep, that too.

This year I’m also remembering the great care he got, we all got, through Vitas Healthcare. They provided solid hospice care to him; they also took good care of us as a family. Made it easy all the way through. They even sewed “memory bears” from my dad’s clothes for the grandkids, and my mom, after dad passed.

Remembering my dad helps me carry on through the struggles life presents. Remembering the care Vitas provided, makes me want to help others all the more.

Thanks, Vitas; Love you, Dad.

Lunch With ALL, School Days, COVID

The daily spin. Mid-day, mid-week just now, but over the last year. I have to remind myself, “you’re so lucky to have this time.” Whew.

Plates of food here and there, small bowls of cut fruit too. All amongst papers and books, pencils and pens. Quite a sense of immediate disarray.

Sometimes the banter is considerable.

I feel a bit frayed. Until I imagine that I’m sitting at a long table on an elementary school playground.

Then it all feels normal. Of course they are this way. Of course I’m so lucky.

To know these kids, to be their dad, to have this time.

So damn lucky.

On Bended Knee

I’m on bended knee, looking at the weekend…

Two days like any other, yet expectations so high…

Hoping for a break, a little rest, a different pace…

Somewhat so, somewhat so, some otherwise more the same, by choice really…

Same pressures, same pause, same joy, all really there,

if only we make room…in our minds, hearts, both, tied up and twisted and searching for calm, understanding, inspiration, something more…

On bended knee, on bended knee.

Sitting With Lu

Sitting one evening at the table, talking to my younger daughter. She’s in her pajamas; me too. She’s playing with her dolls. I’m listening, face in my hands. Nodding off, I gently drift.

“Dad, you’re falling asleep…!”, she mocks me. And then she goes back to her story, recounting a “Full House” episode.

I’m focusing on her word selection. I love it. Love listening to her; love listening to them, their stories. So very thankful. This one, and the other two. Love them to pieces.

And that listening to them? Mostly a joy; 99.99%; a little less so when it’s time for bed.

Yawn.

Night night.

How Far? MLK Jr.

This is a day to remember many things.

Where we started.

Where we’ve been.

How far we have to go.

And of course, this man, Martin Luther King Junior, his words, his work, his inspiration.

Especially after these recent years, and all the divides, I think I’m most hopeful that King’s words only gain more credence, more salience, with time.

I’m also hopeful because my children know King’s stories, they know his leadership, his vision. So very VERY grateful for that.

“He was a hero, a leader, a speaker, a man of great courage, and a very wise man, a counselor, a believer, a pacifist, a preacher. And all people were the same to him.”

Yes, there is reason to hope. There is much MUCH work to do, be we should do it being hopeful. We CAN make it better. Let it be so.

Change Up

A little like a pitcher to a catcher, right by the batter, WIFF!

My older daughter applied that sorta magic earlier today, when my son was going sideways. It was super to watch, super thankful was I for the magic.

I had run up against it, unable to sway his mood, still looking at a couple hours of work from home, a co-worker waiting for my call.

A change-up, tone, topic, tempo, and he was out of his rut and following her down the hall.

So SO thankful.

On the mound and certainly in life, sometimes the situation you’re in calls for a change-up.

Soaked In Joy

So many little things filled the day, many little steps, along the way.

Planned on a little work, set aside for life, after life, after in stride, fit in the work, later.

And so it was,

Pancakes,

A walk with kids and dogs,

Laundry times three,

A little football,

Kids playing in the front until the sun went down as dinner came together,

Pulled pork tacos,

Another baby tooth gone, wrap up Saturday, done.

I think for me it’s clear, there’s always more to do, super important to make time to balance, balance the time, find the joy, realize it’s there, you might even realize, you’re soaked in it.

#halffullallgood #gratitude #dadslife #dadlife