When an older couple was asked: What’s the happiest part or raising a family?

This was their reply:

The happiest part of raising a family is watching how they grow and change as time goes by.


Then they looked at one another, smiled and happily exclaimed:

And If you want to know the saddest part of raising a family…

our answer is the same.




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Simply put she is my baby

and my baby she always will be

I’ve known that from the moment

she grew inside of me


But life has a way of moving

how quickly the changing zephyrs whirl

where once crawled my little baby

now stands my little girl.


“She’s your little girl!”, says my mind

As it tries desperately this knowledge to impart..

But I’m not always listening

“She’s still your baby!”, says my heart.


And at every stage in her life

my mind and heart shall disagree…

Young woman, woman, mother

She’s still my baby to me.


And I imagine this is to be my destiny

the way it always will be…

that she will remain my baby


even when she’s 93.

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After we’d finished dinner at Grandma’s table one night

she looked about to cry

but a smile slowly crossed her face as a tear dropped from her eye…


You’ve grown up much too fast she said as she gave the top of our heads a kiss…

I know that’s the way it’s supposed to be….but there are some things that I miss….


I miss being able to hold you on my lap

It used to bring me joy

I miss cleaning the crumbs off your dinner plates

I miss picking up your toys…


I miss how every moment between us

was exciting, surprising…and new

I miss how tired your grandpa and I were

when our time with you was through.


I’m glad to see how you’ve grown up

our moments together have been unsurpassed

I’m happy for the all times we have…

just sad they’re over so fast.


Since that conversation with Grandma,

every time we leave her door.

we make sure there are some extra crumbs upon our plates

and a few toys upon the floor.


And Mom and Dad are never angry….

when they notice toys in Grandmas hands…

because one look at the smile on her face

and they seem to understand.




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I’m not sure what you were at first…

you never went away.

you made all kind of noises

and you laid around all day…


Mom and Dad seemed to like you

and when you smiled…that was fun

but with you in the house I had to share

I was no longer number one.


Then you started following me 

and soon enough I found

I didn’t mind sharing them with you

in fact I liked having you around.


We have a unique opportunity  

you, little brother, and me…

we get to practice on each other

the people we will be.


You will come to me when you need help

and right off the bat I want it known…

although I won’t solve all your problems

you won’t have to face them alone.


I wasn’t so sure about you at first

but now my feelings are quite strong…

I kind of like when you follow me…

I’m glad you came along


And I will do my best to encourage 

to love and to comfort you

for I am your big sister


and that’s what big sisters do

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Why do grandchildren love visits from their grandparents?

It’s not just the cookies or the presents they might bring.

It’s how the love they share brings comfort to their souls

and allows their hearts to sing…


And why do grandparents love visiting their grandchildren?

Because their souls, too, are comforted…

their love songs, too, are sung…

and because

even though they may feel older…


their grandchildren keep them young. 


I took this family portrait yesterday as we walked along the beach…

our entire family could not make it…

some were sleeping…

others out of reach…


But I noticed through the camera lens as in the sand I knelt

even the family members who were absent…

their presence could be felt.


I don’t know how it happens 

but when I take a picture of my family…

I swear

I see the people in the picture frame…

and the ones who are not there.


Which makes every family photo…

a reason to give thanks…

as my eyes look at the picture 

while my heart fills in the blanks…


So once again I smiled as I snapped this picture…

suddenly filled with but one thought

how my entire family is always with me…

whether they’re with me…


or they’re not.

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He was moving out to be on his own. 

She was filled with happiness…and dread

“Drive safe…don’t forget to call me when you get there…

and remember…I love you…she said.


“Mom!” he said rolling his eyes, then smiling facetiously, 

“I wonder in all the years I’ve lived here…

how many times have you said I love you to me.”


Which immediately started her thinking as her heart was beginning to bleed

“How many times have I said I love you?” she whispered.

“How many times indeed.”


“How many times have I held you in my arms?

How many times have I seen you laugh, seen you cry?

How many times have I read you a story or sang you a lullaby?”


“How many sandwiches have I made for you?

How many cookies or pies or ice cream?

How many lunches have I packed you over the years

How many times have I watched as you dream?”


“How many times have I worried about you?

How many solutions to your problems did I seek?

How many times have I bandaged your knees?

How many tears have I wiped from your cheeks?”


“In all of the times I’ve hugged you hello,”

She said as a tear fell from her eye,

“I never dreamed this day would come

the first time I’d be hugging goodbye.”


“So no matter how many times we say goodbye

each time for me is going to be rough

and no matter how many times I’ve told you I love you


one more time is never enough.”


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She often wondered why her grandma stopped so often on their walks


looked all around…

then smiled

Why her face would suddenly brighten 

with the innocence of a child.


Why she would close her eyes for a moment

for a moment without talking

and when she opened them again she’d smile


and continue walking.


One day she found the courage to ask her

ask her why she acted this way

her answer is the reason

she walks like her grandma did 



“Time moves by so quickly,” she told her

“moments moving swiftly in front of me…

so occasionally I like to take time out 


and capture a memory.”

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He writes of love…

of friends…

of family…

and he is the first one to concede…

not because they are all he has


but because they are all he needs.

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