family

One More Bedtime Story

Dad, tell me a story,
Please just one more.
Tell me a bedtime fable
Like you did before.

One more story son,
Before I say goodnight.
I will tell you a tale that
I wish I could rewrite.

It is the legend
Of the Chosen One,
How at the end of life
His journey’d just begun.

He was exceptional,
Young, strong, unique,
An extraordinary soul,
The sort the deities seek.

They called upon him
Abruptly one late night.
With eternal darkness closing in,
They were desperate for his light.

Of course he was the pillar
They knew that he would be.
He didn’t hesitate to ask,
What do you need from me?

We need you to come with us.
You’ll know what to do,
But there is time for only one
To bid farewell to you.

The war between good and evil
Comes with a great cost.
To the others you’ll be gone,
To them you will be lost.

Return me to my father,
The source of this great power.
It is him I want to see
In my final hour…

Wait Dad, tell me now
Is this legend true?
Have I been sent here
Just to bid adieu?

Yes, it is real.
Tonight we say goodbye.
You are the Chosen One.
You, my son, can fly.

I don’t want to go, Dad.
I don’t wish to leave!
Please don’t cry father.
I can’t stand to see you grieve.

It’s alright my boy.
You will visit again my dreams,
And together we will fly
Amidst the silver moonbeams.

When you can’t see me Dad,
Know I am still near.
I will watch over you and
All those I hold dear.

I know you will, son.
I am so very proud.
You are my hero now,
Go soar among the clouds.

 

Photo by Steven Northup-Smith

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Letter to My Future Grandchild (Letter Challenge #2)

Here is letter 2 of 10 in Jenny In Neverland‘s letter writing challenge. Technically I am taking liberties with this week’s topic. The subject is actually “Letter to your children or future children” (see Jenny’s sweet post here: Letter Challenge #2). I have children, 3 to be exact. They are all in the present and there will be no more in the future. Of my 3 children, 2 are adults. I could write them a letter, and I think they’d love it. However, I’ve been sharing my stories and wisdom (for what it’s worth) with them since they were born. It’s time to reach the next generation. Grandbaby #1 is due this November. This letter is for him/her.

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Hey Lil’ Thumper!

It’s your Gigi, aka “fun grandma”. So why is Gigi calling you “Thumper”? Well, because it’s better than “Nugget”. See, we won’t find out until this Friday, June 27, 2014 whether you are a boy or a girl. When I first learned that you were coming, rather than say “he/she”, I referred to you as Nugget. A few weeks ago, your Mom and Dad let me crash one of your doctor’s appointments. I got to hear your heartbeat. I decided you sounded more like a Thumper than a Nugget. Gigi is a little silly, but by the time you can read this, you will already know that.

Lucky for you, little one, I learned how to be a grandma from the best. Both my Minga and my Grandma, your great-great grandmas, were excellent role models. I will take my favorite things from childhood and pass them on to you. I was never much of a breakfast eater, unless I was at my Minga’s house. She always had the good stuff. Even better, she would make me anything I wanted. Yep, whatever I chose for breakfast, that’s what we would all eat. It wasn’t like at home where you have to eat whatever Mom & Dad put in front of you. She was really good at back rubs too. We watched Tigers Baseball and I would tell her “tickle my back”, then “scratch my back”, and finally, “rub my back”. There is a proper order to these things, not many people know that. Good thing I had Minga and you have me.

My Grandma was “crumby”. No, I’m not being mean. After a long day of making candy, Grandma and I would climb into bed with arms full of cookies and crackers to watch TV. She was just as messy an eater as I was. By the time we finished our snacks, the bed would be full of crumbs. Grandma would tease and say, “you’re such a crumby grandkid.” In turn I would tell her, “you’re a crumby grandma!” I can’t wait to watch movies in bed with MY crumby grandkid! I hope one day you have siblings and/or cousins that can join us for sleepovers too. Just like my sister and I did, we will lay in bed and take turns making up stories. Your great-aunt Carly always threw some storyline involving poop in there. Grandma was cool so she didn’t get in trouble. We would just laugh and laugh. I can’t wait to hear the sound of your laughter!

When I think of the fun and joy you will bring into my life one day soon, I get a little teary eyed. Don’t think much of it. It’s something grown-ups do, cry when we’re happy. I look forward to the day we all get to meet you. I want to count your 10 fingers, nibble your 10 toes, kiss your chubby cheeks, smell your baby smell, and savor tiny cuddles. I can’t wait to read you bedtime stories. I’m already working on writing you one too. Your Mom & Dad, uncles, grandmas and grandpas, great-grandparents, great-great grandparents, great aunts & great uncles, and all of the family in between are also giddy with excitement. You’re already loved and adored, and we don’t even know your name yet.

Prepare to be spoiled, kiddo.

I LOVE YOU!

Gigi

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If you missed my first post in this challenge: Letter to an Alien (Letter Challenge #1)

Image from http://www.grandmaandgrandpagifts.com/

Zoo

We have reached the end of SFoxWriting‘s Alphabet Challenge, the letter “Z”. What a fun ride. My topic choice for the letter “Z”, from day one, was always going to be the zoo. I adore animals. The zoo in my hometown is pretty small. That doesn’t stop me from visiting multiple times per year. My husband and kids are big zoo fans too. We traveled from Michigan to San Diego over spring break a few years ago specifically to go to the San Diego Zoo. That was an incredible trip, except for the earthquake. Within 2 hours of arriving at our resort on a sunny Easter Sunday, we got rocked by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Fortunately the rest of the trip went off without a hitch.

A zebra haiku:
Stripes like fingerprints
Exclusive identity
No two are alike

Here are some of my favorite shots from the San Diego Zoo:

IMG_2417IMG_2402 (2)IMG_2415 (2)IMG_2428 (2)IMG_2372 (2)IMG_2435 (2)

Sons

SFoxWriting’s Alphabet Challenge ~ “S”

This challenge has given me the unique opportunity to introduce everyone to my awesome family. Today I focus all of my attention on my sons, my oldest child, Steven and my youngest, Brandon. The age difference between my boys is nearly 10 years, still they are close. Brandon stays over at Steven’s apartment. They eat pizza and play video and board games like brothers should. I see a lot of Steven in Brandon. The featured image is evidence of that. Those pictures were taken years apart in completely different states. They have the same freckles, the same eyes, the same mannerisms, the same sense of humor. However, for all of their similarities, they have just as many differences.

Steven is extremely driven. He is a biopsychology major in his 3rd year of college. His focus is cognitive psychology and he hopes to obtain a PhD. Steven receives scholarship money and keeps a job as a barista to pay most of his college expenses. He is also a captain on his school’s Ultimate team. He loves music. I lost count of how many instruments he can play. Despite his busy schedule, Steven is well balanced. He has many friends and enjoys the full college experience. Perhaps most importantly, he is an incredible big brother.

SonsStevenMusic

Brandon is the most laid back individual I have ever known. He is quiet, a little shy, very sweet, and loves a good lazy Sunday. His technology skills are impressive for a kid his age. At 2 years old he would belly up to the computer, manipulate the mouse, get on the internet, find the right bookmark, and navigate to his favorite game, completely unassisted. Brandon loves to help in the kitchen. It’s the only thing he likes more than screen time. He has taken several cooking classes at a local bistro.

SonsBoChef

Brothers
Two boys so alike
The reflection in their eyes
Echos of one another

Two boys bound by blood
Distinctive aspirations
Minds and spirits all their own

 SonsBaseball

Raw & Real

SFoxWriting’s Alphabet Challenge ~ “R”

First and foremost, Happy International Day of Poetry! Also, happy 96th birthday to my Minga! She is my paternal grandmother. I couldn’t say “Grandma” when I was little; it came out “Minga”. My kids and I still call her that to this day. She is a remarkable woman.

While there is much to celebrate, it is bittersweet. Today is also the anniversary of my maternal grandfather’s passing. He was younger than my mother is now when he left this world. It was a life-changing event for many.

Days like today are exactly why I write. I’m jubilant. I want to celebrate. Not everyone my age still has a living grandmother. I have two, both of whom celebrate birthdays this month. They bring great happiness into this world. I am so fortunate. At the same time, I’m melancholy and filled with regret. While I have my grandmas, I don’t have my grandpas. I wasn’t as close to my maternal grandfather as I should have been. There are all sorts of reasons why, none of which are important to me now. I should have known him better. I should have visited more. Conversely, I was very close to my paternal grandfather. He was a character larger than life. He too would also have celebrated a birthday this month. My eyes well with tears as I type. I miss them both. Words, be they stories or poetry or simple ramblings, are therapeutic. It’s an incredible mechanism for dealing with such extreme conflicts of emotion.

On the day my grandfather passed 25 years ago, the words that helped me cope came in the form of poetry:
Dear Grandpa,
Just where do I start?
There are so many
Things in my heart.

I loved you so much,
I now miss you the same.
You had a special touch.
When I needed it, you came.

Why did I wait ‘til now –
Until it was too late,
To tell you how I feel,
To say “Grandpa, you’re great!”?

I am so sorry!
It just isn’t fair.
There was no warning
No time to tell you “I care”.

Everyone tells me,
“Be strong for your Mom”,
But who’s being strong for me
Now that you’re gone?

I loved you too.
I know I wasn’t the greatest,
But the words I say are true.

Grandpa, I miss you,
And I will always, always love you.

I know, it’s not exactly a masterpiece painted of words. However, it’s raw. It’s real. It’s a 15 year old kid figuring out how to deal with death for the first time. It’s something I last read years ago. It stirs up some powerful stuff even after all of this time. Mom, I’m sorry. I know this post will be tough for you.

On an unrelated note, but while I’m being real, there is one more quick thing… Yesterday I blogged my 50th post. It was a thrilling milestone. I don’t know if it was my excitement, if I rushed, if I was careless or lazy or what, but after my post had been published for several hours, I found a typo. I was mortified. Immediately I scrambled to correct it, but could only think of those who had already seen it. It gets better. Several more hours passed before another typo was brought to my attention – complete, total, utter humiliation (combined with extreme gratitude for the friend who pointed it out so I could fix it). I realize that everybody who read yesterday’s post, my 50th no less, saw my errors. I couldn’t just let that go. I had to say something. My readers, I apologize. I am sincerely sorry.

“You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” ~Jodi Picoult