1971 – with all my sibs and cousins – 8 of us
2021 – 2 gone too soon – missed by 6 of us
“a cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.”
-marion c. garrety
were allowed to go into their room alone for 30 minutes
during that time we could take
whatever we imagined we might need
to teach school — for the rest of the year.
walking into my building, it was silent
i saw the ‘welcome back to the sun’ and ‘happy spring’ artwork
my class had created for the hall
expecting to be back soon after our spring break
walking into my classroom
it was sad
left as it was back in mid-march
memories, things undone, things i wish i could still do with my class
cards, and art, and notes, and pictures, and colors, and books
30 minutes to decide what to take
i filled my bags with toys and books and art and puppets
anything i thought might make my kinder feel a sense of comfort
as i teach them from afar and show them familiar things
it was hard to close the door on the year
knowing i will stay connected to each of them
but also knowing
something will be lost
in not spending my school days
sharing a room with them.
“time flies over us,
but leaves its shadow behind. “
a sympathy card in the mail
signed by every person in my vet’s office
after helping my pet to pass on peacefully
on my last trip there.
“the whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness
of the interdependence of all these living beings,
which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.”
glenn frey the cat has returned for a very unexpected encore.
his doctor gave him a last minute reprieve
offered him another chance
with new protocols and fingers crossed.
it may not last long
he’s not in pain
and is purring again
so we’ll take it one encore at a time.
he and i were both equally surprised
olive took it all in stride.
glenn still has no idea how big he really is
the lumbering giant
thinks he’s a kitten
knocking over everything in his way
he’s lived at least 3 lives since i’ve known him
that means 6ish still to go
and he’s still not ready to leave the stage for good, just yet.
“the encore is the short piece after the program has finished,
where the performer brings out something the audience doesn’t expect.”
we spent our last day together
glenn frey the cat, not the rocker
olive the cat, not the oil
glenn has taken a turn for the worse
and is quickly slowing down
resting in his favorite place
with olive refusing to leave his side
the three of us
sit in the quiet
looking out at the signs
of the seasons changing
taking in the breezes.
i think back to his multiple rescues
his funny, crazy ways
his very loud voice
how i often spelled his name wrong
how he acted tough at first
but was really such a gentle giant
how he tried to camouflage himself in the vines and flowers
how he welcomed another rescue, tiny olive
into our little family.
in the morning
there will be
just two of us left
when we return to this room
as we say farewell
to our sweet friend, glenn frey.
even the flowers are sad.
Solving Kids’ Cancer’s Junior Ambassadors are a group of 6-16 year olds whose philanthropic efforts help create new and more effective treatments for children with the most challenging childhood cancers. They deserve to be in the spotlight for their commitments and passions to bring change to the childhood cancer community. Throughout the month of April, we are proud to introduce you all to this inspirational group of future leaders.
Meet Jr. Ambassador, Finn Kennedy. (My niece, who never had the chance to meet her brother/my nephew, Hazen, who passed away from pediatric cancer before she was born.)
What do you want to do when you grow up?
” I want to be a lawyer because the world needs good lawyers.”
Why did you decide to become a Jr. Ambassador for Solving Kids’ Cancer?
“Because I feel like everyone should have a chance to be a kid, have fun and change the world and I want to help sick kids to have that.”
What do you want your efforts to do?
” I want this money to go to researchers who try to invent medicines using expensive technology.”
What do you think we can all do for children that are fighting cancer?
” We can encourage them to stay happy. We should work hard and do our best to let people know that there are children who really need help.”
“the measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.”
-corrie ten boom
today our kinders
learned a beautiful lesson
about a lovely tradition
honoring those who we have loved and lost
and now continue to remember
on this very special holiday each year
“the core belief of the Day of the Dead is so poetic and simple: as long as we remember those who have passed away, as long as we tell their stories, sing their songs, tell their jokes, cook their favorite meals, then they are with us, around us, and in our hearts.
-jorge r. guiterrez
The Art of the Book of Life, Introduction
(Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead)
this post is dedicated to little hazen
who left us on this day
lost much too soon
and always remembered.
‘bad things do happen in the world,
like war, natural disasters, disease.
but out of those situations always arise
stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.’
for all who suffer as a result of the disasters
for all who arise to do extraordinary things to help.
image credit: REUTERS/Adrees Latif- East Texas
what a lovely coincidence
that on this day
as i continue on my city parks journey
and drive through a neighborhood
i am lost
i come to the intersection of
pamela and patricia
the names of
my two sisters
one still with us
one gone forever
and today –
i look ahead to find
they’ve led me
to the beautiful park right in front of me.
“don’t forget to leave your handprints on the ones you love
and your footprints around the neighborhood.”
― lisa c. miller