Friday, June 24, 2011

Are You in Touch?

Over the past several years we’ve been urged to rediscover and embrace our ‘inner child’ – have we not?   So I ask you, when were you last in touch with yours?



Would you sing a song loudly, blow bubbles, dance the jig and twirl if a friend asked you to? Have you done anything spontaneous in the past week?




I don’t even need to take the quiz to find out if I’m in touch with my inner child.  (But I may need to take one to find out if I’m in touch with my adult).

“You can discover more about a person
in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”
~ Plato

Yesterday I found myself really ‘into’ a game of Chutes and Ladders.   That exciting up and down board game for little people…that game with simple rules and instructions (just my speed)… the game where, if you land on ladders you can race ahead.

But watch out that you don’t chute back.   You only have to go down the slide if you’ve done something stupid.   Like eating ten out of twelve chocolate chip cookies… like pretending to read your history book when you’re actually reading a comic… like skating on thin ice.      

So yesterday I’m watching to see that Seth (age 6) is not cheating on me.   When he realizes that, if the spinner lands on a certain number, he’ll end up on a chute, he tries to discreetly sneak the arrow over to the next number.  Hoping I don’t notice. 

And I say with righteous indignation, “Hey, I saw that.  If you don’t stop cheating I’m quitting right now and I mean it!”

Then he starts stalking me.   And if I happen to land on a chute and fail to slide my pawn down and play by the rules, he nonchalantly reaches over and does it for me.     

How did you get in touch with your inner kid this week?

If you don’t know whether you’re in touch you can take this quiz.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Parting Gifts

On a hot June day when wildflowers spread their brightness across the countryside in Eastern North Carolina, when daylilies are in full bloom along every rural ditch bank, when butterflies swim through muggy air in slow motion, my father lies at death’s door. 

Thin as a skeleton – his flesh gnawed away by cancer. 

I stop en route to the hospital and pick daylilies by the dozen, carry them to his room and fill every plastic cup by the sink with water and wildflowers, hoping to brighten the place a bit with those wide-awake blossoms.  

But when darkness falls the lilies close like hands in prayer and my evening vigil begins.

The doctor had told me earlier that the last thing to go when one is in a coma is the hearing, so I utilize the lonely time with my unresponsive father to sing his favorite songs: Old Dan Tucker, When the Roll is Called up Yonder, and a hundred others.     

With one particular song he bolts upright in bed and moves his lips in effort to speak.  With every ounce of strength his frail body can muster he struggles to communicate with me. 

Next day my father is taken from sight and within days he’s laid to rest in the lonely family cemetery.   After his going I write this song of him.        

A dirt road weaves through fields and pines

And leaves a world of life behind

It leads on down past weeds of green

Where granite stones on graves are seen

Faces of the ones we knew

Have vanished like the morning dew

Voices that we long to hear

Like fleeting birds have disappeared

Weeping may endure for a night

But joy comes in the morning

All our darkness turns to light

When joy comes in the morning

My father tilled his land with love

In blazing sun the man would toil

And when his maker tolled the bell

We laid him in his native soil

But when that final morning breaks

And heaven and earth are made brand new

Our deepest sorrows he’ll erase

God is faithful and he’s true

All our tears like pouring rain

Will vanish when he appears again

No more nightfall we will see

He’ll be our light eternally

Weeping may endure for a night

But joy comes in the morning

God will be our endless light

When joy comes in the morning.

How would you describe your father?   What is/was he like?  Feel free to share your memory of him in the comments below.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Staying Awake

Under what circumstances have you been forced to stay awake?    Or willingly stayed awake?

Yapping neighbor dogs disrupting sleep and beckoning every canine in town to join the ruckus…

Sitting with a sick child or dying parents (as I did with both of mine)…Working the night shift…

Reading a thriller you can’t put down… Tossing and turning with ceaseless insomnia…  

Watching a red-eye movie, spellbound until the final credits run across the screen…

Waking from a nightmare you can’t shake… 

Quite recently my daughter wakes me up in the middle of the night.  She stands there crying in pain and fear.  I drag myself out of bed and return to her room with her.
Where I pray relentlessly, plead and intercede on her behalf.   At intervals I ask if we need to go to the emergency room.  Between sighs and tears she says no.

When tomorrow comes – if it ever comes – she is going straight to Immediate Care, I promise her.   But this night, dark as a tomb, won’t end.   No sleep or rest in sight.   
At last she tells me I’m doing no good sitting there.  And so I go into another room, park myself in a chair, and weep.  Feeling as helpless and microscopic as one of the unheard inhabitants of Whoville.    
Then a clear out-of-the-blue vision of Mary appears before my eyes.   She comes to me, not speaking words of wisdom as in the Beatles’ song, “Let It Be,” but in silence.
This is the face I see, the same one who portrayed the mother of Jesus in Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of the Christ.      

Her expression is one of knowing – just knowing how it feels to watch your child suffer.   And I simply cry out to her in desperation, “Help us.”
 All I know is that both my daughter and I fall fast asleep soon thereafter and rest peacefully. 

But not until after the first gray light of dawn has crept through windows and birds begin to sing their morning-has-broken arias, joyful songs erupting from every tree.

                                             When did you endure a sleepless night? 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...