It was their 50th wedding anniversary

A truly memorable milepost

when, near the end of the evening,

the husband stood up to deliver a toast…


I was recently asked when was the first time I fell in love with my wife, he began

and I have to admit…that’s difficult to say…

the answer’s not as simple as you might expect

as there are many first times…every day


The first time I see her in the morning, 

The first time she utters my name

The first time I see her smile

I always feel the same.


I don’t understand how it happens

but from the first time that we met

and every first time after

It’s a feeling I’ll never forget. 


The first time we touch, the first kiss of the day

The first time she looks into my eyes

The first time she speaks, the first time she sings

The first time she laughs…or she cries.


Love is a magical feeling

It is subjective and difficult to explain

but I feel it every first time I see her

In my heart,

In my soul

In my brain.


I’m sure I loved her from the first time we met…he said raising his glass

by the way my legs went numb

so here’s to that very first time


and all the first times to come

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There I was at work surrounded by a thousand stories of drama, love and surprise

when one of the greatest love stories I could imagine unfolded before my eyes:



They came into the bookstore…a couple old and grand

wearing smiles across their faces…walking hand in hand.


I noticed as they walked the store…their gait was deliberate and slow

and they continued holding each other’s hands…never letting go.


They came in to browse, get out of the heat…look for a story or two

Before they left they stopped to talk to me…as customers often do.


It was at this moment when we spoke that I quickly came to know

why he held her hand so tight…why he would not let her go.


As he and I talked about the store…(he mentioned it’s a beautiful place)

she held his hand, stared at me…and the smile never left her face.


When she did enter our conversation…gesturing with her other hand

she laughed and giggled and mumbled…but she was hard to understand.


I imagine it was Alzheimers…that was interfering with her style

but it hadn’t yet stolen her desire…or her ability to smile.


I conversed with her as best I could…not understanding most of what she said

which meant a lot of looking into her eyes, smiling and nodding my head.


Before they left…her husband shook my hand and thanked me joyously

“For giving her the same attention,” he said, “that you have given me.”


She waved as they were leaving…her other hand he never dropped

and as they left the store I heard him say…”We’re heading to the ice cream shop.”


She seemed to quiver with excitement…the excitement of a child

then gave one last glance in my direction, waved again…and smiled.


I wonder how much longer they have together…

before Alzheimers makes it’s final stand…

But I like to think whatever happens…


they’ll be forever holding hands…

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A funny thing happened…it made our hearts skip

as we sat and reviewed pictures from our latest camping trip. 


We smiled at each nature picture remembering how we communed

but when one particular photo popped up…the two of us immediately swooned….


It wasn’t the photo of the sun peeking through the trees

or that little deer print we found in the dirt?

No…the one photo that elicited the biggest response

was that brownie we had for dessert.


To be fair that brownie was warm and chewy and delicious

It’s the best one we’ve ever had….north or south

You could smell the warmth of the chocolate as you raised up your fork

and it, literally, melted right in your mouth.


And I wondered what would create such a reaction?

Why would this one brownie cause such a fuss?

Could it be when it came to our latest adventure…

it was more than a brownie to us.


We ate that brownie together…

though at the moment it went undeclared

Perhaps seeing it later symbolized in our hearts 

everything about our trip that we shared.


In that brownie was a taste of the sunrise, the feel of the water so wet,

a hint of the deer peeking out of the grass, a mouthful of a lovely sunset…


That brownie was proof that what the ancients say is true

and not merely an illusion…or myth

That all things in life are more beautiful 

when you have someone to share them all with…


Perhaps you are thinking I’ve lost my mind

that attaching so much emotion to a desert is bad form…

Sure, it’s possible a desert is just a desert…

but…did I mention


that brownie…was warm.

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“Why are you always holding Grandma’s hand?” she asked.

Grandpa smiled…as was his way.

“The reason we hold hands,” he answered

“goes back to that first day.”


“That first day she told me she loved me…

‘Hold my hand’ is all I could think to say

because I knew if she wasn’t holding my hand

I would have easily floated away.”


“But you’ve been married 40 years!” the young boy said.

“I guess I don’t understand.

Why, after all this time…

Why do you still hold her hand?


Grandpa looked across the room at Grandma

the wrinkles in his face turned red…

then he smiled…as was his way


“Same reason.” was all he said.

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The young boy said, “I don’t believe in magic…

I’ve never felt the thrill.”

The old man smiled as he squeezed his wife’s hand…


“One day, son, you will.”

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One day as we visited Grandpa and saw him sitting there

we thought it was probably the right time to buy him a new chair.


He’s sat in that one forever…when he moves around…it creaks

the cushions are uneven…and one arm rest is weak.


The stitching barely holds together…not much if it remains

and where Grandpa loves to lay his head…is permanently stained.


It’s time for a new one, we all thought, and we were so excited

knowing Grandpa was going to love it…knowing he would be delighted.


But it didn’t go quite as we expected…I guess our thinking was a little out of whack

because when he presented it to Grandpa…he said, “Thanks…but take it back.”


Then Grandpa smiled at the lot of us…and after letting out a sigh

sat back in his old chair and explained his reasons why.


This is the chair I was sitting in when you all first came to visit me.

This is where I held each one of you…where I bounced you on my knee.


This is where we watched TV together…where I put you on my lap

where after a day of playing whatever game you wanted…we’d sit down and take a nap.


This is where I’ve sat each Christmas watching the magic taking place

From here I’ve watched you all grow up…with a smile on my face 


From here I’ve smiled at your grandma…and wondered how she found a way

as we have both grown older…to look more beautiful every day…


Grandpa went on for a long time…(as Grandpa often would)

and well before he finished…we all understood.


So the next day we sat his new chair by the road with gentleness and care…

FREE, the note read, 

with one condition…


it must become a Grandpa chair.

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My farther




                                    『 志心聡明 』






Author's Notes/Comments: 

In China and Japan, probably in other asian countries, (Sorry I am not familier to it so much )

There is a saying to express things in just 4 words. It is much shorter than Haiku nor poem.

I create this words to my father. I tried to express exactly what he was as a man I respect.

To me it is much easier to describe what he was in sentences but I wanted to try this way.

So many memories about him and so many words he said, so many smiles he showed us....but all in 4 words.

I love him and miss him so much. Rest in peace, I love you so much.


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While writing the story of his life

when he reached the part where his heart needed mending

how could he have ever known 

she would come along

and write his happy ending.


That she would create his joy

his comfort

would compose his music 

and his laughter

and the rest of the story would write itself



happily ever after.


He once lived an uninspired life

his palette a muted black and white….

until she came and filled his world

with color…



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