The bonds between siblings remain throughout the years. Whether we speak often, or have long periods of time when life keeps us busy, I know my siblings are there for me – always! My siblings multiply my joys and share my burdens so they become lighter. We grew up in rural Newfoundland in a little house on a hill that looked out over the bay. As I travel back in time, I am filled with nostalgia for those happy days playing in the fields that surrounded the house or in the woods behind the “back forty”. I was one of nine children – number seven of the bunch. I am so grateful to be part of this family. The eldest took such good care of the younger members. I always felt secure knowing they stood between me and anything that threatened harm. Growing up in a large family can have its challenges, but the blessings far outweighed these. My heart is overflowing with gratitude for each and every one of my sisters and brothers. They have taught me, guided me, stood by me, and always, always loved me. And I thank God for the blessings of growing up with such caring and compassionate people. Life can wound us, but if we are fortunate enough to have a sibling that truly loves us and supports us we will find healing. So, this is my thank you to each of my brothers and sisters who enrich my life, lift me up, and support me. I am so very glad we have each other.
He had an axe to grind
And he sharpened it with gusto
Putting into his labour much hate and unforgiveness
And when the blade was sharp and gleaming
He took it out to do damage to those he seen as “enemy”
Assumptions percolated and bubbled in his hardened heart
And coming out onto the field he spied those he cursed tremendously
And threw the axe with all his strength into the group
Wounding all indiscriminately
And as they lay writhing in the pain he had inflicted
He walked away seemingly unscathed
But the axe he threw with wild abandon
Ricocheted back again
To cut wide swathes into his heart
And he too lay in agony
What matters now that all are wounded,
Bleeding and broken upon the grounds
Was the “sin” committed against him
Worth his hate and ire?
For, you see, we all are finished
When we have an ax to grind
Tiny fingers intertwine with mine
Wet kisses, sweet hugs
Trusting eyes that look back into mine
Smiles so innocent and bright
Child, sweet, sweet child.
You are my delight, my hope
My reason for living
Joys are renewed
Through your eyes
Filled with wonder
And life is blessed
You gaze on those
Who lay dying
In the gutters
People cast off
You lift them up In loving arms
and wipe away tears most bitter
Fill empty hearts
With hope once again
You speak words of truth
and profound simplicity
I see you waiting to be heard
May you be heard,
may you be heard
My parents were an example that has been a challenge to follow. So many times, as one of their children, I witnessed love in action. Valentine’s Day was a lot of fun, mostly because of the little red and pink hearts we decorated to give to our classmates, to be honest. Mom and Dad never made a fuss over this particular day. If Mom received flowers it was likely to be wild flowers picked in a field. I do remember a few years when chocolates were part of the scene, however. One of my favourite memories is going for a ride in the car with Dad and my younger sister and brother. I think it was more likely to have been their anniversary than Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter which it was. I remember Dad buying nylons and a pretty china cup and saucer to give Mom. It was such a wonderful thing to be included in the surprise. She was so pleased when we got home and gave her these trinkets.
Yet, it wasn’t special occasions that helped us know that our parents truly loved one another. It was more the day to day examples such as Mom cooking Dad’s favourite foods. It was the tenderness in their eyes when they looked at one another. It was the forgiveness given after an argument or disagreement. It was the way they care for one another like Dad’s old black tin lunch pail, always ready when he was leaving for work and the kiss they shared just before he left. It was the pride they took in one another’s accomplishments. It was the trust they had for one another; the sacrifices they made for the other’s happiness; it was consideration of one another’s feelings, preferences, and such. Yes, they were an example of what marriage can be, should be, a commitment and caring that gave us children a strong foundation to grow on. No, they were not perfect, but they loved generously. Isn’t that what Valentine’s Day should be about?
“This expression alludes to a person awakened by a neighbor who loudly dropped one shoe on the floor and is waiting for the second shoe to be dropped. (Early 1900s)” – Dictionary.com
We have been waiting for it to happen; for the other shoe to drop. It was inevitable. We knew it. He would end up back on dialysis. It was merely a matter of time. Diabetes had ravaged his kidneys to such an extent that they were failing. Diabetes sucks. It really, truly does. So, here we are. So what? Life goes on and we will deal. You know I lie, right? I am endlessly the optimist and at the very same time a pragmatic realist. Mixed in there as well is the wisher and dreamer. The one with her head stuck in the sand. I swear I do have ostrich DNA in the mixture of my gene pool. I want to wave a magic wand and make it all go away even as the realist in me puts up sound arguments for acceptance. Even as I mourn the news we got yesterday.
However, like most things in life there was an up side. A spot had opened up here in town so there will be no lengthy stay in the big city. I am trying hard not to dwell on the downside of it all. Somebody died in order for hubby to have that spot. Why did the doctor have to tell us that? Why? I really could have done without that added bit of information. Aw, but there it is. I am truly grateful he will have a spot. Yet, I am saddened knowing a family somewhere here in town is grieving their loved one. That bit of information also put horrendous expectations in place again. Kidney disease – dialysis can only do so much. It cannot clean all toxins from the blood and so there will come a day when the other shoe will drop again. But until that time, I pray we will use the time given wisely and thankfully. Life truly is a gift. Please, Divine One, help me not dwell on morbid expectations and maudlin thoughts. Help me give thanks for this reprieve once again.
Hovering in the air
Smacking me between the eyes
As they’re wont to do
I think I will just catch them all
And put them in a net
To fling them all high into the skies
then watch them bounce away