1,001 Words

*this post was originally conceived as a ‘father/daughter’ post with two different interpretations of the same picture.
Jenna (the bride) posted this pic on IG last Father’s Day and it hit that writing nerve in me resulting in this post.
Putting your thoughts on paper and ultimately sharing them online is a dicey thing.
So, this post may be updated at the appropriate time.

She was a special one, this one, and I’d known it all my life. She was so much me, so much mine way back when. A simple walk down the aisle would ultimately change all that from my perspective but was I ready to just give her away? Guess it’s a yes and no kind of thing., a ying and a yang, a blue sky versus a bruised and cloudy one. (That day was grey but not totally foreboding)
Already did the ‘giving away a daughter’ thing once before so I should be used to it by now, right? 

But I wasn’t.

It’s hard to give up a daughter. She’ll now be be taken care of by someone other than me. I didn’t feel great about it the first time (Jonathan changed my mind on that one) but once again I sure as hell wasn’t feeling great about it now.
It’s a Dad thing really because no one will ever be good enough for your daughter.

In my heart, I knew Aaron was all that.

He was much like me in many ways; he loved to cook, loved music, smoked a pipe and cigars, and asked me personally for her hand in marriage. And I knew he loved her and would protect her. That worked for me and she was truly happy, pretty much the bottom line.

Several hours prior to the wedding, my presence was requested at my oldest daughters house where some pictures were being taken. Caught me off-guard because I’d been told to meet everyone at the church before the wedding.

I arrived at the house and was ushered to a bay window in the kitchen that looked out over the backyard.
I was instructed to look out and not turn around until told to do so.
I assumed the bride was still being gussied up with make up and flowers and accoutrements I could never dream up.

The moment to turn around eventually came for me and there she was, my daughter, my Jenna.

My eyes filled with tears as I saw her standing there holding hands with my granddaughter, Meryl (the flower girl).
Jenna was everything that I thought she would be, her soft brown eyes were smiling and her face was radiant.
She was happy and palpably over the moon about her amazing day ahead.
I hugged her for a moment before croaking out, “You look beautiful,” into her ear.
And she looked so beautiful.

We waited in the back of the church for what seemed like an eternity before the processional song started.

She took my arm in hers and said, “Are you ready? Cause here we go.”
Yes, here we go, I thought.

Lazy and sultry summer days and  cold snowy winter nights swsept through my mind when she used to be safely under my roof.
Those days were coming to an abrupt end with every single step we took.

I had to accept the fact that this is how life works.
You have to let go of something you love sometimes to ultimately get what you want.
For her, I wanted happiness and someone to fill her days with wonderful things.

In that small, silent moment, I understood and accepted that she’d found that someone.
And my heart smiled as I kept on walking down the aisle.

 

M

Me and you

I see me and you sitting on a park bench somewhere.
Might be in New Hampshire, Vermont or Maine.
Maybe even on the West Dennis Beach.
We’re just sitting. Me and you covered in a flannel grey world; our lives now gone silver.
I’m still in love with you and you with me because that’s what we signed up for. And we’re still signed up.
We’ll talk about the many days gone by and people we love that are no longer here and you’ll cry. And I’ll cry.
But they’re happy tears of the stuff that we got right, the things we always agreed on and as a ‘Mom and Dad’.
Time has a way of making you look at things from a different perspective.
And God only knows that we have perspective these days.
While we sit, I lean over and smell your hair in a flirty and funny way and say ‘gee, your hair smells terrific‘ because it does.
And I know that deep down you like that I notice anything about you at this point in our lives.
Truth is, I still do.
In my mind, it’s fall and the leaves are raining down in sheets of tangerine orange, copper brown, apple reds and
‘Hannah-Banana’ yellows.
You mention that we have some raking to do and I nod in agreement.
It’s in that moment that I feel something in my heart, a bittersweet knowing about our life story and the enormity of all things we’ve shared and endured.
It’s also in that moment that I realize that there’s no one else in my life that I could ever love more than you.
And I also realize how much I hate raking leaves.

~m

ps. wrote this about a year ago. Just found it tonight.

pps. this post was inspired by my daughter, Sarah

 

 

by your side

Pamela,

I’ve sewn you into my heart, painted you on my soul and tucked the mere thought of you safely away in a corner of my mind where you will always be surrounded by the places and people you love.

33 Years ago we were both getting ready to set out on a journey that has led us to this moment.
Each year, I think of many things on our anniversary and today is no different.

Memories of long walks when we didn’t worry about our daily Fitbit goal, our minds uncluttered by things we didn’t know were coming, some wonderful and awesome, some sad and bittersweet, some seemingly sent from the heavens above.
We’re growing old together and for that I thank the good Lord above.
He knew we were cut out for the long haul and I mean that in the sweetest way possible.
I think about the first night I saw you, really saw you. And I remember the staggering feeling of simply knowing; knowing that someday ‘you and me‘ would ultimately turn into ‘us‘. It was a magical feeling and one that still lives and breathes inside this old heart of mine.

We have been blessed with a life that’s been good, maybe different than what we expected but it’s been quite the wonderful ride.
There’s the love/hate relationship we have with the house we’ve lived in for 32 years, the autumn leaves that always seem to find their way back into the driveway, 33 years of birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, food, friends, laughter and tears, hellos and goodbyes, songs from the heart, midnight ‘I love you’s and obviously 33 years of cats.
And a healthy dose of our ‘family’ in Australia for good measure.
And then there’s three of the most wonderful daughters that we ever could have hoped for.
Raising them has been such an incredible and fulfilling journey and one that continues.
And then there’s our precious little granddaughter, Meryl. [Insert *sigh* HERE]

I can’t imagine any part of my life without you by my side.
And I wouldn’t change a single thing.
But if I could, I wish I would have found you sooner.

Happy Anniversary to the gentlest heart, most beautiful soul and my very best friend.
I am with you always . . .

~m

Letter to My Dad

Dad

Hi Dad,

Yes, I’m thinking about you tonight because tomorrow is Father’s Day.
I do this every year but this year it’s somehow different.
I’m slowly beginning to forget the subtle things about you, small and insignificant as they may seem it bothers me because I want to remember all of you; the sound of your voice calling my name in the middle of a Little League baseball game, the touch of your hand on my shoulder when I was the losing pitcher, your infectious laugh, your bad singing (not so insignificant, according to Mom), your funny stories, the aroma of your homemade western omelets and the always present bowls of Quaker Oatmeal that you made on the stove on Saturday mornings, the feeling of your hand in mine.
I miss you dearly and pray that I’ve made you proud.
I like to think I’ve been a pretty good Dad myself.
And that’s because of you.
You rocked it, Dad.
And I thank you.
Hope you’re still watching over me.

Michael

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there.
Anyone can be a father but it takes someone very special to earn the coveted title of ‘Dad‘.

ps. I’m the one in the red bow tie (thanks, Mom). My cousin Tim was visiting another planet. Don’t worry. He made it back safe. 😉

M

Grandfather, still Dad

This is the first post I’ve done since Christ was a baby (seems like that anyway).
I’ve left my self posted blog and have gone back to where I first discovered blogging and the wonderful interaction with people that happens when you do it religiously.
Life happens, things change, people die, babies are born, the sun shines and the rain continues to fall and here in New England there’s the Gaad-damned snow.

For the two people that may still possibly follow my RSS feeds, much has happened since I slid off the blogging grid years ago.
After losing two parents to Alzheimer’s over the course of 15+ years, my ass was kicked, wrapped and sent to Timbuktu for inspection.
It just came back today and I am happy to tell you that while my ass was a bit wrinkled in the process, they tell me that it shouldn’t affect my writing.
Thank God for life’s small favors.
I’ve realized on my distant sojourn from the blog that I miss writing about these small snippets of my life that I can share with the world.
They seem to make more sense to me when someone else weighs in on them.
Whether I agree or not is a moot point.
It’s the human connection/interaction that makes all the difference. [or not]

I’m a grandfather now but I don’t feel that I look like one. Yet.
I’m not old and withered as many Google images would portray me to be.
I’m grey, okay?
Just deal.
I’ve earned every single damned grey hair. And then some.
My granddaughter is Meryl, a 5+month old bundle of wonder.
I love this little lamb and look forward to writing about her wanderings here at my old/new place.
She is for me a chance to share my love, my thoughts, my music, my strange sense of humor and one day my all consuming love for cooking.
I still love smoking cigars. And my pipe.
And I just got a new iPhone 6s. (you rock it, Grampa)
Stick around, this might get funny.

M

 

Still on Walkabout

I feel like a bad contestant on American Idol; I got nothing fresh to bring to the table.
My mind is so far away from the blog lately and I do apologize.
There’s some creative stuff swimming around my head but too many damn obstacles in the way.
I plan on getting out the heavy machinery to remove at least some of the cerebral gunk that’s currently clogging my blogging jones.
Have no fear, the psychobabble will be eradicated.
Soon.

I did want to mention a somewhat surprising award I received “From the Back Nine”.
My blog was labeled “excellent” by Linda, a relatively new reader and wonderful addition to my blogroll.

Supposedly, I must pass this award along to another blogger that I consider “worthy”.
Though I have many blog “loves” (and you know who you are), I felt the need to pass the torch to a new blog that I read often and enjoy immensely.
He’s not unlike me in the many sentimental ways he writes in terms of family, kids and life.
I wish more people would visit him because I believe he has so much to say.
And he’s funny as a bastard.
Yeah, it’s Grimm.
Please pay the guy a visit and at least tell him congrats on the award.
That would be pretty funny.
While you’re there, check out a few posts.
What I like most about Grimm is that when I visit, I feel comfortable, like I’m wearing a great pair of old sneakers that my wife still wants badly to throw away (at the very least, wash really good)
Please stop by and say hi.

I want to once again thank all of you for your wonderful comments.
I’ve read every single one so please accept my invisible but leviathan gratitude.
You guys have no idea how much your words have given me a sense of great solace and peace.
The honesty, love and support comes through loud and clear and I had to post tonight if only to offer a heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you.
I promise to dust off the front-loader by the weekend and be back up visiting and leaving ~m’s all over your blogs (and your comments, dear readers).
Until then, much peace, my friends . . .
Be well.

~m

Imagine

Walking to South Station tonight, I noticed the elaborate and somewhat intricate weaving of people on the streets of Boston.
Sometimes my walk seems perfectly timed as I pass pedestrians in an orchestrated sort of dance, just missing bumping into someone while neon pedestrian lights go white and I walk across the streets unscathed.

Chance?

Maybe . . .

Something happened last night that I have no reasonable explanation for.
It’s quite simple but it went something like this:

I began thinking about this particular song and went to YouTube to see if I could at least find the video, which I did.
As I listened, I thought of one special person that I had to send this song to.
There was a reason for this intense feeling but it’s a long story, and not for tonight.
I thought about opening my ITunes and buying the song and sending it on but decided it was too damn late to start futzing around with my Nano.
But I did check my Gmail and was surprised to see an an email from a dear friend of mine and in the title it said, “Here you go ~m”.
Curious, I opened the email to find the song I’d just been listening to attached to the email in an ITunes format.
Goosebumps, blessed goosebumps.
There was no logical reason for me to receive this email but there it was. Go figure.
It was an ultra-heavy dose of serendipity, possibly chance but I smiled as I dragged the tune into my ITunes folder.
The story gets more interesting though.
I sent the song sailing over the waves of the internet to a soul that I knew it would appreciate it.
Turns out the song was desperately needed and right on time.
The chain of events that made this happen made me realize that many stories have already been written.
And I felt so blessed and happy to be included in this one.
For Lent (yes, it’s Lent for us Catlicks), I have given up nothing but I have vowed to get on my knees on a nightly basis and pray.
My prayers tonight go out for my friend Gerry and his nephew, Brandon.
Have a serene weekend, folks . . .
See all of you next week.

~m

ps. the candle in the post is for Brandon.
Today
was his birthday. Sleep in sweet peace, young man
and to the special lady that has sees the Southern Cross at night

the Frozen Man

His soul sleeps,
buried far beneath a long forgotten vertical landscape,
yearning for home . . .
it dreams of places remembered; warm places, complete and innocently raw

The perpetual journey through a cobwebbed labyrinth remains a stygian quest at best,
an unanswered prayer, a dimly lit votive, a quiet cry in the dark
the clouds thicken, the earth cools and a winter of the mind settles in

Rolling waves of emotion yield snowflakes of blue
that fall like sleet, slicing the spirit into oh, so many unrecognizable pieces of what used to be a life; where nothing fits or belongs but must somehow remain

still . . .

Who knows when, this sadly shattered thing will end
Only God knows when it started,
But it’s wearing pretty thin, as the winter settles in, covering the frozen man . . .

~m