#family

A LIFE WITHOUT STORIES

“Have I ever told you the story?” I begin and immediately hear my family’s collective sigh…

“About the time I was accidentally shot by an arrow…

and it almost hit my eye?”

 

Before I finish this question my children and grandchildren collapse in frustration to the floor.

It seems they’ve heard me tell this story…

a million times before.

 

And as proof this is a story they have heard…

and heard…

and heard…

they finish the rest of the story with me…

complete with gestures…

word for word.

 

We have many stories like this one… 

stories where the present meets the past. 

stories that bind us as a family…

stories that will last…

and last…

and last…

 

Stories repeated over and over again…

so when any of us is gone

those left behind can sit and smile…

as that memory lives on.

 

For without these memories of friends and family…

life’s recollections large and small…

without these stories oft repeated…

 

there would be no life at all.


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FAMILY OF ONE

There is a ride we all are on…a journey we accept habitually

A ride inherent in our DNA…a journey called…family.

 

We’re strapped in when we’re born…there are no height and weight restrictions…

Along the way we search for truth…but we don’t mind a little fiction.

 

The journey can be a comfort…sometimes it can be an ordeal

as it takes us up and down and over and under…through every emotion we can feel.

 

We experience births and deaths..we weep, we laugh…as we travel around each bend…

We feel sorrow we hope will pass quickly…and joys we wish will never end.

 

We are elated and we worry…as each peak and valley we try to weather

and we take comfort knowing there is a bond of love the holds us all together.

 

We never know what emotions we’ll be feeling…as we take this ride day to day…

for this is family journey

This is the journey we’re on…

and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

And we pray for the day the world realizes…

this journey could be so much easier

so much more fun

If we choose to ride together…

 

together…

 

as a family of one.

 

 

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DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?

On the day his grandson was born, when they placed him in his arms

Grandpa instantly fell in love…immediately taken by his charms.

 

He walked over to the window…shielding his grandson from the winter chill…

“Do you believe in miracles?” He asked…”Someday…I hope you will.”

 

He was in his arms again his first Christmas when Grandpa smiled and paused….

“Do you believe in miracles?” he asked…then he spoke of Santa Claus…

 

About a man who but once a year to each house comes to call

bringing a message of love…of peace on Earth…and good will to us all.

 

On his first Easter Grandpa scooped him up…the day was bright and sunny

“Do you believe in miracles?” He asked, then he spoke of the Easter Bunny.

 

A giant but sweet bunny who hops over in a bonnet and blue jeans

to celebrate the end of winter and bring us jellybeans.

 

On the night he lost his first tooth, in the glow of his bedside light

Grandpa asked, “Do you believe in miracles?” 

then spoke of a fairy who comes at night.

 

To rescue that tooth from under his pillow, leaving a little money in a pile

She combines that tooth with others she’s gathered…

to help people who have lost their smile.

 

On his wedding day, Grandpa gave him a hug…then gently tousled his hair

“Do you believe miracles he asked, then he spoke of the love two people share.”

 

“That there even is this feeling called love”, he said taking his hand in his….

“and that two people can share it…if that’s not a miracle…what is?”

 

“Do you believe in miracles?” Grandpa asked 

it was his last day…he was old and ill.

“Grandpa!” his grandson whispered in his ear,

“Because of you…I always will.”

 

On the day his granddaughter was born, the grandson, now a Grandpa himself,

took his new granddaughter to the window sill

“Do you believe in miracles?” he asked…

 

”Someday…I hope you will.”


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BORN TODAY

 

Born today is a wonder… 

a life innocent, precious…and new

Born today is a miracle…

Born today…is you.

 

Born today is a mom and dad…

whose life will never be the same.

Born when they first saw you enter this world…

born when they said your name.

 

Yesterday they were two…

but today the count is three.

no longer just a couple…

born today is a family.

 

Born today are grandmas and grandpas, 

even great and great great ones too

Born today are aunts and uncles and cousins…

just to name a few.

 

Born today are smiles on many faces…

smiles…also innocent and new.

Born when they heard you finally arrived…

born because of you.

 

Born today are a lifetime of wishes…

carrying a host of different themes…

wishes for a wonderful life…

filled with love and hopes and dreams.

 

Born today is a new kind of happiness for your family

born the moment you came into view…

Born today is unconditional love…

born today…with you…

 

Born today are all these little miracles and more…

you see, that’s what miracles will do…

They tend to change the world…

all this….

 

because of you.


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LOOKLING UP

Our children come into the world looking up to us 

and immediately we smile

as we realize our life has changed…

and they’ll be with us for a while.

 

They look up to us from their crib, 

from their place on the floor where they crawl

and we smile and we wonder…

will they forever be this small?

 

They look up to us as they grow up, 

they look up to us in all we do…

and somewhere while they’re looking up to us…

we help shape their point of view.

 

As they continue to grow we smile…

at how time flies quickly by…

And before we know it we’re standing face to face…

and they look us in the eyes…

 

And then one day we sit back smiling proudly….

and from where does our smile stem?

After all those years they looked up to us…

we now look up to them.


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BEFORE THE PAINT HAS DRIED

When families paint memories together…uniting from far and wide…

We realize something wonderful is happening…before the paint has dried…

 

We are born with paint and brush in hand and as we slowly find our way

we begin painting our own memories a little every day…

 

At first we’re painting on our own…then from our parents lap.

As we grow some paintings are ours and ours alone…sometimes they overlap

with people, other painters, we meet along the way 

and our colors become more vibrant…create a more beautiful array. 

 

We are happy to paint our portraits alone as we walk under the stars

and glad to add our paint to others and have them add their paint to ours…

 

Through the years we find with some people…that our colors blend so perfectly…

That what we paint together is so beautiful…

and we call them family.

 

Yesterday our family painted Christmas memories upon our canvas…

Some bright and distinctive…some more faint…

People laughing, running, playing, hugging…

brushes painting as fast as they could paint

 

And as we said goodbye to one another…

each treasuring our own memories

I thought how there is a wonder in Christmas that is shared by families.

 

We can’t wait for them to arrive at our door…

to look them in the eye,

we cherish the memories we’re painting…

and we don’t want to say goodbye.

 

And isn’t that how life should be…

painting fleeting moments together…side by side…

and looking forward to the next moment…

before the paint has dried.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FAMILY

There are many ways to think of family…

because there is no fixed design.

Family can be a legendary adventure 

where characters intertwine…

 

Family can come in any form, any color…

in different shapes and sizes… 

It’s a never ending melody 

that somehow harmonizes.

 

Family is always developing…ever-changing 

like the oceans and the skies.

It is one of natures masterpieces…

where the paint never quite dries.

 

I think that’s why every family 

has an inherent obligation

to be an example of love and peace and understanding 

for succeeding generations.

 

So with brush, and paints and canvas 

new members will forever be acquainted…

and they will see the beauty of a family 

lies in the coats already painted…

 

and when it comes their turn to guide the brush…

they will smile…feel blessed

and with love and peace and understanding…

 

add their new coat to the rest.





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IT'S APPARENT...YOU'RE A PARENT

 

 

Today our oldest son turns 40…instead of feeling old…I”m feeling pretty good

as I pause to reflect a moment…on love and parenthood….

 

I do wonder how this happened…when did he become a man?

Here my memory takes me back to where it all began…

 

There are no words to describe the feeling…how immediately you’re torn

as you stand inside the hospital room and watch your baby being born.

 

“Congratulations,” the doctor says, “It’s a girl or it’s a boy.”

And in that instant your heart is filled…with both ecstasy and joy…

 

but in the next instant your knees begin to buckle and you feel a little numb…

because you realize in that instant…a parent you’ve become.

 

And you’re frightened for a moment…as you say your baby’s name…

because it’s apparent you’re a parent and your life will never be the same.

 

You understand you can’t go back…this photo cannot be retouched…

How being a dad…was the easy part…being a parent…not so much.

 

Questions begin racing through your mind…whizzing by rapidly.

How strong or strict or compassionate or tender will you be?

 

How will you ever cope with all the trials and tribulations up ahead?

Can you even change a diaper…what if it ends up on her head?

 

How long should we let a baby cry…if too long will they think that we we are mean?

How many times a day should she eat…what happens if his poop is green?

 

Will she come to love your smile?  Will he come to know your touch?

How many wipes is too many?  Is it possible to cherish them too much?

 

Where is the safest place for our baby to ride in a car?  Will there ever be a time when…

We stop worrying, know what we’re doing…or get a full nights sleep again?

 

But you have no choice…you’re a parent…so you jump into the fray

hoping you don’t make too many mistakes as you slowly find your way.

 

Then you find if you give them love, compassion and consistency…

a loving family will evolve

You discover the answers to your questions…and all your problems are resolved.

 

Sure you make mistakes along the way…life doesn’t always go the way we planned…

But your heart is in the right place…and you do the best you can…

 

Because you also knew one day your child will grow up and move away…

And if you want to be in his life tomorrow…you must be in her life today…

 

And as the years go by you smile…every time you say your baby’s name

glad he or she came into your life…glad it has never been the same.

 

 

 

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WHEN YOU WANT TO SEE ME

“Your dad died many years ago.” I said. 

“Yet you never visit his grave.”

“Did you have a falling out?”

“Is there something you never forgave?”

 

She smiled.

“Dad took my hand when he was sick.”

“In a few moments...he would fade.”

“He said, there’s no substitute for the time we’ve had...

and the memories we’ve made.”

 

“Our future’s about to be taken...

and I know that doesn’t seem fair...

but whenever you want to see me...

visit your memories…I’ll be there.”

 

“I don’t need to visit his grave”, she said,

“and I know he wouldn’t mind

for I visit him whenever I want

 

in the memories he left behind.”


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