It was something his father always told him

a truth he wanted known

He’d say, son, together we are greater

than either one of us is alone


He’d say, If we want to make our world a better place…

we must blend together every seed of knowledge ever sown..

for together we are greater than any one of us is alone…


We must turn our disparities into strengths, he’d say 

and not let our differences be overblown

for together we are greater than any one of us is alone…


We must realize how we need one another

and understand something the Earth has always known

that together we are greater than any one of us is alone…


He died…but his message has stayed with his son

and now that he’s on his own

He is stronger knowing his father’s with him…


than he could ever be alone.

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He asked his young son what he does in the garden…

how can he play out there for hours…

His son smiled and said, “it’s simple, Dad. 

I have questions for the flowers.


“I ask them where their colors come from, 

sometimes I get down on my knees

and I whisper into their petals…

do you dream about the bees.”


“I ask them how they breathe, 

and if they ever have the chance

to laugh or play with one another…

and if they sing…or dance.”


“I ask them if they have a heart,

if they have a soul…a brain.

I ask them which one they like more

the sunshine or the rain.”


“I ask them how they know to bloom in Springtime

and I ask them where they go

where do they vacation 

in the Winter cold and snow?” 


“That’s why I spend so much time with them…

why I can play out there for hours…

because there always seem to be more questions

I want to ask the flowers.


“And do the flowers answer?” Dad asked

“Do they talk back to you?”

The little boy’s eyes widened…then he smiled…

“Oh Dad…of course they do.”


And many times after they talked that day

the little boy didn’t go to the garden alone….

He walked hand in hand with his father…


who had some questions of his own.

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It was a good dam photo- taken on a dam…30 years ago

The path their lives would take them…neither one could know.


His son’s life…barely beginning for he…just 10 years alive

with him…a strong, handsome and virile young father…who was only 35.


(With the glowing description of the young father…you all might not agree

allow him some poetic license…you see…that man…was me.)


A son and a father arm in arm…in the camera we were staring…

and as I look back on that photo I wonder…what in the hell were we wearing?


But this photo also makes me think how, in these past 30 years,

we’ve been there to help each other…to share our hopes and dreams and fears…


And when I look at the second picture…as in the camera we once again stare

I’m glad our fashion sense has improved…and now I wonder…where’s our hair?


But I also feel blessed to be standing there…free from troubles…free from harm…

standing as we once did…together…arm in arm…


Yes, we took two good dam photos…that soothes the soul and stirs the heart.

taken on an old dam…30 years apart


And I happily await the next good dam photo…

without any reservations…

without any fears

to be taken on that same old dam…

in another 30 years.




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I was fishing with my dad one day…sitting on the shore…

I can’t remember…was it the fishing…or the sitting I liked more?


When Dad handed me a little stone and said, “Give this rock a throw.”

“Toss it in the lake…and let’s see where the ripples go.”


When it broke the surface the water immediately began to shake

and before I knew it those ripples had spread out across the lake.


“Kindness is like that pebble”, he said, “for every act of kindness that you throw

will ripple out in all directions…you never know how far they’ll go.”


“And as you watch the ripples spread out…this is also true

Some of those ripples from that kindness…will ripple back to you”


We both went back to fishing…sitting on the shore

Now I remember…it wasn't the fishing…


It was always the sitting I liked more.

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It was his last chance to see his dad…to look him in the eye…

to thank him for all he’d done for him…last chance to say goodbye.


On his way he had time to wonder…as his dad’s life was about to dim

what his life will be like without him and how much he’s meant to him.


He was a quiet, gentle man, always loving, fair and kind…

So many memories they shared…now streaming through his mind…


Playing hide and seek in the backyard, reading in his rocking chair…

as far back as he can remember when he looked up…his dad was there.


Having a catch, doing homework, playing games like Monopoly and Clue,

flying kites, going to ball parks, eating ice cream at the zoo…


Watching him when he was a winner…and when he failed, too

Smiling his encouragement no matter what he’d do.


How does he thank him for all he gave him…all his love and help and care….

and thank him for the simple gift of always being there? 


When it came time to say goodbye…he held his hand tenderly…


“I’ll be right here, Dad.” He said with a smile,…“Like you were there for me.”

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Yesterday Bryan took me parasailing…it was a belated birthday gift.

Parasailing: That’s where they pull you behind a speeding boat…and up like a kite you drift.


I remember thinking as they strapped me in 

to that parachute attached to a thong…

and the boat began to speed away…

’What could possibly go wrong?”


But my fears were quickly forgotten…and it’s hard to put into words

how it felt to fly above the water…and soar among the birds…


To feel the salt wind upon my face…as I floated up with ease…

To see the world from up above…as I drifted on the breeze.


There is a peacefulness that overtakes you as you ascend above the crowds

a calm kind of tranquility as you mingle with the clouds…


And for a moment time seemed to stand still as we sailed in the sun

and there was no-one else upon the Earth…

save a father and his son.


I’ve never had a bucket list…a list of adventures from which to pull

because I’ve always felt so blessed in life…

my bucket’s already full…


But when Bryan said, “I’m thinking of running with the bulls next year, Dad…do you want to come along?”

I remember thinking…hmmm running with bulls…


what could possibly go wrong?

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