Category Archives: love

An Inconspicuous Smile

A group of parents and kids were sitting around five or six tables strung together at a seafood restaurant.  They’d been at a sports tournament and the kids had on various versions of their team paraphernalia.

Most of the adults sat at one end of the long chain of tables. The kids instantly gravitated to the other, with the boys in the middle and girls on end.

As is usually the case, the girls were quietly enjoying themselves, but the boys, they were loud, excited and boisterous.

Whether by conscious decision or not, a mother was sitting in the middle between the adults and kids.  She was actively involved in the conversations on the adult side, but at the same time, completely aware of the actions and antics of the eleven to twelve year old boys at the table with her. Continue reading An Inconspicuous Smile

The Best Love Letter Ever!

Seriously, it was the best love letter!

I was in high school.  The summer before my sophomore year, I lived with and worked for my uncle in another town about an hour away. Through their church, I met two sisters, one also about to be a sophomore and one a junior. 

I was pretty naïve then, like Forest Gump at a dogfight naïve.

Continue reading The Best Love Letter Ever!

Like a Verdict

My wife, Janet, had surgery two weeks ago to remove a kidney tumor. The doctor said it’s an 85% chance of being malignant.

The last two weeks have been fast, and slow, lightening quick, yet forever.

Yesterday was the surgery follow up appointment, complete with the pathology report. It was also Janet’s birthday.

Strange, really. You find out about continued life, one way or the other, on a day designated to celebrate life.

The doctor came in quickly, and asked Janet how she was doing.  He sat down.  I asked to record the doctor on my phone so we could listen and rehash as much as we needed to later.

He agreed. I pushed the record button. He asked if I was ready, and took a deep breath…

Continue reading Like a Verdict

Sadie

If an animal can have a kind soul, it’s Sadie. She just has a sensitive spirit!

She’s a Porky, half Pomeranian, half Yorky.  Even as an adult dog, she’s permanent puppy size.  If she’s ever weighed more than 4 pounds, it’s only because her hair was wet!

Her little fox face and big, dark eyes give her the appearance of a harmless, nocturnal creature.

She quickly picks up on feelings, and well knows the regulars to our house.  She also knows children love to hold her like a baby doll, so she’s developed an adept ability to hide.

Yet when someone new comes over, she studies them a while before jumping in the chair beside them just to make the acquaintance. After a time or two of visiting though, she’s content to just sit on her blanket and watch from a distance.

Sadie’s 15 years old now, and it may sound strange to say, but when she was 6 years old she was traumatized.  My wife, Janet, let Sadie and her sister out early one morning.  A minute later, Janet heard an odd, chilling scream, one that sounded like a woman screaming, just outside her back door.

Janet ran outside. On the other side of the driveway, a black panther was running away toward the woods with Sadie’s sister in its mouth. Continue reading Sadie

Rainy Days

It’s going to rain all day.  Some say how great that is. Others say it’s horrible.  It’s the same place, same day, almost the same people.

They know each other well, yet their perspectives differ vastly.  It’s not that one’s right, or one’s wrong.  It’s just, different.

For some, rainy days are sad, depressing, maybe even frightening when the wind roars and thunder rolls.

Maybe it’s a psychological reminder of rainy days and storms gone by, yet consequences of those days resonate in the soul.  There were things to do, places to go, plans made, and now, it’s all scrapped onto a rubbish pile while the clouds cry.

Maybe it’s figurative. Maybe the sun is just being lazy, sleeping in and resting in bed all day, occasionally dozing off under the dark, cloudy covers of the sky. Continue reading Rainy Days

Valentine’s Day Quandry

I stopped in the grocery store on the way home two nights ago.  Inside was a mini-madhouse of people planning to rush in to run out, but the checkout aisles were clogged.

I grabbed my items and stopped to look at candy on the Valentine’s Day aisle.  A high school boy, no more than 16 years old, stood wide mouthed staring.

He was obviously self-conscience and felt out of place, rubbing his thumbs in the palms of his hands.  I’m guessing his palms were moist, but his mouth was dry.  Nonetheless, he stood there gawking at the candy, cards and stuffed animals.

The fact that the young man was shopping three days ahead of time for a Valentine’s gift was a little surprising. Good for him!

So after I had looked up and down the aisle, the young fellow was still standing there shell shocked.  I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I asked if he was buying for his girlfriend.  He looked surprised, like I was a mind reader! Everyone in the store who cared to notice him instantly knew the same thing.

He quickly nodded. “Yes sir! There’s a lot of stuff here!” Continue reading Valentine’s Day Quandry

    Déjà Vu

She was out of place at the convenience store Subway.  I saw her sit down at a tall bar stool table inside.

She wasn’t eating, but had a small Styrofoam cup of coffee that she wasn’t drinking.

Her silver blue hair was perfect, in every way, and she was wearing her Sunday best dress complete with a little pearl necklace and old fashioned black, block heel dress shoes.

She was tall and slender, and her glasses seemed to be part of her face, like they’d been there for years. Continue reading     Déjà Vu

You Come From Good Stock

Three months ago. Saturday. 8:04 AM. Work rings. Never good. Answer phone.

“Dee’s mom called. His wife is a nurse and woke up and heard him gurgling. She called 9-1-1 and started CPR. They don’t know how long he was without oxygen. He’s at the ER now, but non-responsive.”

My heart sunk. We’d worked together 23 years. Dee’s a quality guy. I knew then I’d never see him again, not the same.  At minimal, brain damage from oxygen deprivation would forever change him.

~~Something awakened Dee’s wife, Alanda, at 6:15 AM.  She heard Dee gurgling from fluid filling his lungs. She flipped on the light, called 9-1-1 and started CPR.

Alanda saved Dee’s life. He’d crossed death’s doorway, but at the threshold, Alanda grabbed the tip of his little toe toenail and began pulling him back.

Five minutes later paramedics arrived. They took over CPR and used an AED.

One electrical shock to the heart. Two. Continue reading You Come From Good Stock

Brahm’s Lullaby

In college I worked one summer at a funeral home.  Morbid? Maybe, but I wanted to be around the death process to understand, not fear it.

Sometimes though things, places, events — they change you, change the way you think, change the way you see and feel life.   That summer changed me, one night in particular.

I had two jobs that college summer.  As soon as I finished my maintenance job, I’d shower, put on my suit and rush to the 2nd job at the funeral home.

It was a visitation that night, just one body, with few visitors expected.  The funeral home owner told me he and his family were leaving town for a short trip, threw me the keys and told me to lock up after everyone left that night.

No one was there, so I went into the state room and was shocked to see the tiny casket.  Inside was a beautiful, eight month old baby girl.  Continue reading Brahm’s Lullaby

Help One

He walked in front of me.  He was on a mission.  So was I.

Shopping in a grocery store is easy. Little list. Grab it. Go.

He was quick too, except his handful of items needed a shopping cart.

Two 5-gallon containers of peanut oil, five boxes of fish seasoning, eggs and four bags of cornmeal.

His clean overalls said he had already cleaned a ton of catfish from either trot lines or baited holes.  And now he was about to have a party, a fish fry, and he was fidgeting to get the fryer started.

There was still one thing in his basket that didn’t make any sense to me.  He handed the little deli bag to the cashier who asked if he had two, or three, fried chicken tenders. Continue reading Help One