The world seems to be doing back flips, almost walking upside down. Things that even ten years ago were deemed unacceptable, that would be appalling to think about, are now the norm. Without blinking an eye, we listen to the overnight news of one shooting here, another one over there. People’s lives are lost for no reason, and while on the outside, we hardly flinch, inside, I think a little of us dies right along with them when they do. Worn-out and harried with a “why even bother’ heart, we throw our helpless hands in the air, shrug our emotional shoulders and walk away in hushed defeat. Continue reading
When I was in the second grade there was a girl, pink-faced and pugged-nosed, with permed, tight, blonde curls who chewed up a ring a little boy had given me. The story—my daddy wouldn’t let me keep the gift from the young man because he thought I was much too young to receive such a present. But when I returned it, my sweet suitor, crushed with disappointment, gave it to the first person he saw. I’ll never forget her standing in front of me chewing on that ring. It broke my heart. To this day, I can’t think of her without that horrific picture in my mind. And when it came time to name my daughter, that little girl’s name was certainly not on my list.
When I saw her post on Facebook, it made me smile. Showing love, respect, and a closeness filled with admiration, it was one of the sweetest Father’s Day tributes I had ever read. Along with a photo of her dad grinning at her and she at him, were these words, “…I love that we have the same laugh wrinkles and I promise to never Botox them away.”*
Lingering in my mind and my heart ever since, I’ve often thought on these words, because, while I loved my dad and knew he loved me—we would often laugh and joke with each other over a late night bowl of Cheerios—he had a hard time showing any type of affection, of telling me he cared. Maybe it was because he never learned from his dad—a sharecropper during the Great Depression, spent with the burden of caring for a family of eight—how to show outward signs of tenderness. Or maybe, as a 5-foot, 5-inch short Master Sergeant in the Air Force, he put on a forced gruffness in commanding his men, that he often forgot to take off when he came home. Perhaps though, he was just worn out from running two separate businesses so that he could, “put a roof over our heads and food in our mouths”—what I thought was his true love language, at least, until recently.
I don’t often remember my dreams, but this past Tuesday morning when coming back to consciousness, for I do sleep hard and deep, I had one of those split-second strange ones—the kind that seems to almost jolt you from drowsiness into fully-throttled awake.
In my dream, my left hand was holding a pen as if ready to write, but what followed, what caused me to gasp in my sleep, was I watched the pen being lifted from my hand. My first thought upon awakening, “Oh no, Lord. Please don’t take writing away from me. Yes, I grouse, whine, and get stressed when a deadline is ahead, but please don’t take it away.”