Lilah Deep Braveheart

She’s in the tub now and all is well with my soul as I hear her chattering away and making splashes.  My crazy writer’s mind writes millions of words and phrases dangle as a little writer’s voice in my head narrates the moments as they happened in real time.

She runs down a brambly path in front of me….her long hair bumping from side to side as each foot lands in her funny flowered galoshes. This child, who is my adventure, called to me as soon as she arrived today. “Grandma Sara! Let’s go! Come on the enchanted forest awaits us!”

I’m ashamed to say, I told her to go get her homework finished. She obliged quickly and jumped up with a “Now, come one Grandma Sara, let’s go!”

Again, I muttered, “But you don’t have a jacket!” Her reply, “I don’t need one! I’m tough!”

And again, ” You can’t go in flip flops!” and again “Grandma Sara, don’t you remember, I left my boots here so we can go on adventures!”

Okay. She had me. This tired old woman was all out of excuses! I told myself one quick walk, after all this was her Grandma Wednesday. Our special evening to spend together and bond. This inquisitive little city girl, daughter of my son’s love, and our special day so that we learn about each other and make up for the years we missed together before she came into my life.  I changed into jeans and slipped on my Muck shoes and scooted out the door.

And  as soon as we came to edge of our enchanted forest, I was hooked again. I was her audience, her companion her conspirator. She ran ahead, calling out the whole entire way. Her: “I’m the leader, cause I’m brave!” Me: “That you are!” Her: “My middle name is Deep! Me: “I’ll call you Lilah Deep!” [Because she did not fear the deep (well knee deep) water in the creek!] Her: “I’m an explorer and a pioneer girl. Don’t fear Grandma Sara I’ll keep you safe cause I’m young and tough!” Me: “I know you are and I trust you completely!”

This funny little girl who isn’t my blood but who is fast becoming my souls adventure mate, led me deeper and deeper into our enchanted forest with words tumbling from her mouth that would make any feminist dance on the rooftop and burn her bra! I huffed and puffed and groaned as I bent and squat walked beneath logs across our path. She has never known me as a young woman when I could have done this all without missing a breath. So my labors go unnoticed because Grandma Sara always huffs and puffs and sweats when we go on walks, it’s just how it is!

She chases down nature up every hill, around every bend and all across the woods. And I, I am her follower. I follow her and thrill in her new adventures and teach her things that come to me along the way. She leads me back to my youth and I chase her further then I ever expect to go. Because how can I stop this child of so much energy and imagination.

What right does my tired old bones have to complain and beg her to stop. Later at home as I sit beside her and type my blog while she sleeps on my couch, then my bones can rest and weep. Cause right now her childhood plays out before me and it is a most magnificent event.

I am humbled and grateful that fate has bound us together. Here’s to you Lilah Deep Braveheart!  I love you.

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Sweet Viola Jane

1460246_10153466057230037_41362425_nViola Jane. Two sweet names that play on my lips. Their syllables ring bells and its melody releases a cool smooth mist to my brain. Some undisturbed ancestral bond begins to awaken. I love her deeply for she is flesh of my flesh. I see the old repeating in her. I see eyes of my aunties and toes of my uncles. I hear ancient wisdom whispered in her voice. I see the new too. Her daddy’s nose and her mama’s cowlick. The first time I felt the weight of  her warm little body wrapped up so tight  some primal call stirred deep in my soul. She fills my arms like the firm, quick click of a jagged missing piece to this crazy puzzle called life . Her eyes are bright blue like a new morning sky, the shape of fresh raindrops falling soft on their sides. She peers innocently from their delicious depths. Her tiny dimpled hands reach for my face and the feel of her kisses mangles my heart. That desolate empty room I kept locked up so tight,  bursts right open and reaches full occupancy now this cheeky little chamber maid 539058_10153401686690037_1965378635_nfills it so well. Her  plump little nose, upturned so perfectly, perches uniquely above her fresh white, gap tooth, smile.  A face full of secrets, a face of innocence,  her future wide open, her future not told. I ruffle the baby hair that tickles my nose and I nuzzle her neck and I kiss that lone lock of hair that adorns her forehead. This wonder filled child smells of mysterious wisdom of some other  life I dare not peek. She brings me her humor jingling from her rose perfect lips. Her simple  giggles and quick teases radiate from those eyes, those bright blue eyes. She works her perfect sweet magic and pulls me into her little girl world. She commandeers this adoring audience, as she observes the world in her quick quiet way.   With a blink of her eye and a bat of her lashes, she chirps out words on musical notes. Her pure sweet beauty squeezes my old lady chest and it’s  all I can do to breath in her love. Then she gives me a hug and she blows me a kiss. I rock my love and her sleepy small voice calls out,  a melancholy reverb bouncing through my bones and my mind and my soul.   “Mee Maw, Mee Maw!” She calls to her granny. My arms are content, my heart is complete. I hear a distant ancestral sigh as she closes her eyes. Then sweet baby girl, sweet grand daughter of mine, whispers so quietly, “I wuv you Mee Maw!   1536637_10153669797970037_1329461930_n   1174716_10153297237495037_225709610_n1381533_10153324165365037_1585145596_n934079_10152821677955037_73441664_n

Oh Daughter of My Daughter

Oh daughter of my daughter

Oh granddaughter of mine

Beautiful of most beautiful that God can create

Your tiny soul peered up at me

Our age-old destiny set

As our eyes met

Your heart took mine

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You smiled at me

Like old soul mates  do.

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Quiet Is The Morning

On little kitten paws
Tomorrow becomes today
We groan and turn
Holding on to dreams

And today nudges
As reality teases
Still we fight
The dawn

Quiet is the morning
Holding all it’s possibilities
Gentle is the sun
Before it decides how the day must be

                                                                  ~Sara Jane~

Mama’s Bible

Mom w/Andy and Dad w/me on laps. Evening with one of our priests. Becky and Peggy in the background.

We had a small family gathering this weekend. My sister, Amy, brought our mother’s bible and we all got a chance to look through it. This well-loved book was like an old familiar friend as Amy pulled it out. It had apparently lost its cover some time ago. The pages were heavily noted with her handwritings scrawled in the columns and passages underlined and sometimes triple underlined.  I came across three or four dried four leaf clovers pressed into the pages and had visions of her children and grandchildren bringing her piece of nature. How thrilled she would be as she would ceremoniously help that child find a book to press them in.

My sister, Peggy, and I took turns with mom’s bible. As we skimmed through, reading a noted passage here and there, we tried to understand what she may have been dealing with at that particular time. We were grasping to eek any little bit of knowledge from the writings. We wanted desperately for her to reach out from that old bible and give us some wisdom.  Just some little something that would bring a little piece of her back to us.

I can still see my sweet mother reading to us from that bible. After supper we were not excused from the table until we were all finished and she read us a passage. I remember the boys fidgeting but giving her respect and staying seated. I remember the girls with their heads bowed, resigned to giving an extra ten minutes before starting with the dirty dishes. I would follow along as much I could and try to discern what lesson she wanted us to receive. Somehow, my young mind would manage to drift but I was always secure in the knowledge that mom definitely had our spiritual back.

I remember her sitting in the living room when I came home from being with my friends at night.  With only one lamp lighting the big old house, she would be there, reading it again as she awaited her teens to make curfew and be safely home. The nights that I would miss curfew, she still would be waiting up. I would be scolded. “I know what you’ve been up to!” she would say. I knew just to hang my head and take my tongue lashing as I sat on that cold fireplace hearth.  I never really knew what she was talking about, which sin to confess too. Because truth be known, I was probably guilty of whatever she thought I was up to, that and more.  So I would just sit there quietly until she would tell me to go to bed. I would slink upstairs and stay below the radar the next day, cleaning the house and doing what I could to get back into good graces with her and be forgiven.

Sometimes she didn’t need the bible to be open. She knew it’s passages by heart. Dad always took us on two week vacations in the summer. What a great time we would have. Dad wouldn’t shave for two weeks, he would relax and even joke and tease with us a little. This was something to us. Dad was a man of many responsibilities. With twelve children and two full time jobs he didn’t have much time to relax. Plus, he had to shave daily for his job as a State Trooper and we rarely saw him with whiskers. Vacations were a very exciting time for us.  But before we would venture out in our old station wagon, laden with luggage on top and packed with kids of all ages, pulling the Starcraft camper, mom would gather us in a circle. There in the living room she would quote from the bible as she prayed for our safety and probably her sanity on this adventure. I knew she would have her bible along and would sit beside dad in the front seat and pass the time with her two old friends.

That old book was the map to her whole life. She used it to help herself and her family along on our journey. She used it to keep her children safe as they played and grew all around her and again as they gained their wings and flew away. She used it when she was hurting, when she needed clarity and guidance. She turned to it in her happiness and successes. It was an everyday study for her. It brought her comfort and peace. Her old bible was her friend, her teacher, her confidante, her love, her peace of mind.

Words Of His Heart

As my love sits beside me
Playing his guitar
Singing and humming
My heart fills and I smile.

This gentle giant 
Stumbled upon me
And offered his shelter

As I was drowning one day.

Kissing my forehead
He took my hand
And oh so gently
Pulled me back to myself.

Words of his heart
Rained  from his mouth
Softly falling all around me
He anchored my life.

We road my storms out
He and me
He held me up
And I just held on.

My smiles are for him now
As my sun shines daily
And his lovely words
Have turned to song.

~Sara Jane~



 

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