Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Jennifer!

Ten Things I love about my Sis 

10. Laughs abound when I am with you
9. Your animals are crazier than mine
8. Pedicures are way better with you than without
7. You're way brave and your ability to leap in faith amazes me
6. Tigger
5. You push me to be more
4. Resiliant beyond all logic
3. Chris
2. When there are no words, we don't need any
1. I will never love anyone the way I love you

Happy 26th chickadee!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

For my Daddy...

Life Lessons

You may have thought I didn't see,
Or that I hadn't heard,
Life lessons that you taught to me,
But I got every word.
Perhaps you thought I missed it all,
And that we'd grow apart,
But Dad, I picked up everything,
It's written on my heart.
Without you, Dad, I wouldn't be
The woman I am today;
You built a strong foundation
No one can take away.
I've grown up with your values,
And I'm very glad I did;
So here's to you, dear father,
From your forever grateful kid.
By Joanna Fuchs

How do you say all that your parents have meant in your life?  That is the question I ponder every time I sit to try to honor my parents on their special days.  There are simply too many moments, too many lessons to pick out the most significant or important ones...but then that is precisely the point isn't it?  Recently, I found a paper I wrote which captured some of those special moments with my father. Through my eyes and from my heart Daddy, this is for you...
Lullabies for a Lifetime
September 22, 1999
There are special times in all our lives that we will treasure forever.  We will remember with ease each word that was said or the music that was played.  We can remember exactly how everything looked, even down to the smallest, simplest detail.  My father's lullabies were simple things that have become some of my most precious memories.   
"  Bedtime, kiddos."   were the two words which signified the best of times, and the worst of times in my life as a small child.  As my sister and I were hurried through our bedtime preparations, anticipation hung thickly in the air, for we knew what a treat we would have when tucked safely into bed. Once our baths were taken, pajamas donned, and nightly prayers said, my father would appear at the doorway of our room.  He seemed so big looming in the doorway, but when he silently entered, in his hands was the most magical thing I had ever seen. The guitar was made of honey-colored wood; its strings were like beautiful tinsel strands varying in color from gold to bronze.  Without a word, he began to pluck at the strings, tuning each one to perfection.  Then this task was finished, he started to sing, in a voice that was quiet and soft, and yet so strong:

 "  Music makes pictures and often tells stories,
All of them magic and all of them true.
In all of the pictures and all of the stories, 
All of the magic, the music is you."

With these words I closed my eyes, picturing the gentle setting and close friends that the story in his next song told of:
"  Today while the blossom  still clings to the vine,
I'll taste your strawberries; I'll drink your sweet wine,
A million tomorrows shall all pass away,
Ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today."
As the music worked it's magic, I'd pause to watch the magician.  His strong face was relaxed and his eyes were downcast, watching his muscled hands and stout fingers, as they danced over the strings.  I could tell memories of his own father were flooding his mind and every once in a while, his voice would catch, as a memory of his loss overtook the present task. 
Sleep gently began to overtake us and as our eyes closed for the last time and  dreamland appeared, the last few words rang gently in our ears:

"  Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy,
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry,
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely,
Sunshine almost always makes me high."
When he sang, I could simply forget anything that had been troubling me and relax.  Safety surrounded me and all in the world seemed good.  When he sang, it was as if I held a tangible part of his love that I could wrap myself up in.  The time he spent with us showed me that we were truly important to him.  No matter how tired he was, or how long the day had been, that was our time and it was special.
Since we were small children we have been told of how our grandfather sang to his children.  Grandma often says how much my father and grandfather are alike.        " Look carefully at your father and you will see what your Grandpa was like.  It is not just their faces that reflect each other, but their hearts also."    As I have grown older, I have realized that the way I envision my grandfather comes from the times my father spent singing to us.  

It was only a simple nightly routine.  As a young child, I would listen complacently, never dreaming that those words would cement themselves so firmly in my mind.  Then as I grew older and began to softly sing along, without my notice or permission, the foundation for my musical ability was laid.  Strange though it might be, the warm-up song he used so long ago, now slips from my lips just before I perform, and the song of undying friendship is now sung to my baby brothers at night.
Our most precious of memories often spring from what seemed to be rather insignificant events in our lives.  Things we once took for granted have now become invaluable to us.  We realize that it is the simple things in our lives that have shaped our characters and molded us into the people we are.  When we search for what is important to us, we often find in the treasure chest of our memory, our "  lullabies for a lifetime."

Happy Father's Day, Dad.  I love you.