dancing in a deluge
freezing wet arrows pierce your body
could go exploring in the rain
determined to the ends of the earth
driven to the bottom of the oceans
like a wide-eyed child
for a meaningful destiny
you don’t accept plain living
a grand enough purpose
even after the cold water
has cleared your vision
and washed the mud off your face
wide-eyed previously published
Long ago I promised myself I wouldn’t morph into a stereotypical mother. That mom wants to shove her big son’s, size 14 feet into toddler shoes again. That mom wants to place a puppy-patterned hat on her sixteen-year-old daughter’s head.
Single digit temperatures have forced me and the giant husband indoors. During yesterday’s mall-walk while following orange footprints affixed to tile, a scant tear pooled in the corner of my eye. A beautiful little dress with flowers bursting like a spring garden along its hemline had caught my attention. I imagined the delicate daughter, my Caroline twirling in it. Her toddler cheeks rosy pink and her giggling as pure as the precious white dress.
Then wouldn’t you know my other eye formed a tiny tear as we passed by the toddler shoes. I remembered the big son – my Max – running down our old, wood-lined driveway. Back then, his hair stuck straight up as if in perpetual shock and he loved wearing work boots. The work boots gave him a ‘thumpy’ gait and made his diapered rear end bounce from side to side. This beloved memory is forever velcroed to my heart.
Caroline and Max are no longer small. I’ve had the joy of watching their shoe sizes change. They’ve grown into warm-hearted and gracious teens. Still I pray, when they walk into adulthood they never forget the simple goodness of wearing little shoes.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve become a walking cliché. 🙂
Thank you. May you dream of following the footsteps of happiness.
Max and Caroline painted long ago with acrylic craft paint. I plan on redoing this painting someday. It needs more cool colors. I’m not too happy with it, but it worked for the post. Both photos taken yesterday morning at the Newburgh Mall. Sorry – I don’t know who designed the dress or the workboots.
Since I began building my little keystroke cabin in this charming corner of blogworld, I’ve met more than a few enlightening, whimsical and talented neighbors. To date, I’ve published 32 posts all written in a light, spontaneous style. I choose this approach for a very simple reason-life is not always light and spontaneous, in fact, it can be quite the opposite for many.
Yesterday I subbed in our local Middle School and there was an early morning assembly. My job was to escort the class to the auditorium then remain with them during the entire program. The assembly’s speaker was John Halligan, a man who’s dedicated his life to sharing a “powerful healing message of forgiveness and unconditional love.” On October 7, 2003, John Halligan’s thirteen-year-old son took his own life. There are many layers to Ryan Halligan’s story-a story of bullying, undiagnosed depression and missteps on all sides, along the way. During the ninety-minute assembly, John Halligan peeled away these layers one-by-one.
Ryan’s beautiful spirit, smiling and sometimes laughing floated by on a large screen behind his father as his sad story unfolded.
Listening to Ryan’s brave father speak on stage, at times choking up on words and images of his son, sent a powerful message. In his brief lifetime, Ryan wished for nothing more than unconditional love.The very thing that would have saved him. The very thing his father and mother gave and continue to give. In this world of excess and jargon, unconditional love remains free and honest. One of John Halligan’s closing remarks, “…if I’ve gotten through to just one student today, just one, this was worth it. Kids know you are loved, know you are loved, you are loved unconditionally…”
John Halligan ended Ryan’s Story with words he himself received from his high school art teacher, “…every inkblot can be turned into a butterfly…”
If you’d like to learn the details of Ryan’s Story: http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org/