Showing posts from September, 2011

For Better or Worse

Her greatest challenge lies ahead of her still.The cancer, the divorce, the tumors, the death of spouses, the trauma of a daughter – those pains, while tearing at the very fabric of her existence still had a degree of control running in the background.Now, nearly immobilized in an assisted care facility with limited function to the point of not being able to even ask for help, even the idea of control has been taken from her.
Her constant in all those trials has always been her faith in Jesus, her greatest weapon of reason – little more than a relationship with the God of creation.That relationship bore fruit, much fruit.She has a direct line with Christ, they talk, and He listens.He talks, and she hears.Today however, that relationship seems to have gone cold.The visible evidence of a loving communication path is not so evident and I have to believe it is still there, running at a frequency that I’m not privileged to; not in this life anyway.
What appears to me as a lonely existence he…

Screen and the Gift of Apathy

I replaced the screen in the back door for the 20th time today.  It seems big fun for Bethany to occasionally take a good swing at it – send her fist through it or at least get it to tear a bit.  She’s learned that if she can’t get through it in one punch, several follow-up visits usually does the trick.
She seems to love hearing me say, “dammit, knock it off”, must be music to her ears because she keeps doing it.  If not the back door, then its the screen in her bedroom.  She’ll leave it intact just long enough for you to think your safe, and then around midnight you hear this terrible crashing noise followed by a deep, sinister laugh.  Once she manages to rip it out of the window casing, she tosses it over the top of her half-height, bedroom door and down the stairs.  Again, the deep laugh.
I’ve gotten pretty good at repairing them, stitching tears, smoothing bulges, grafting new skin on old screens.  The door itself is over 20 years old and has been carefully patched, not unlike the …

I Built a Bicycle

I built a bicycle.
Not just any bike, but one modeled after a Dutch “bakfiet” which in the Netherlands is kinda like the station wagon of bicycles.Its about eight feet long and has a large wooden cradle in front of the person doing the pedaling.The bike was built so that I could take Bethany for bike rides with her sitting ahead of me rather than behind, stuffed into a Burley that had a weight limit we’d surpassed about two years ago.Her fascination with spinning things, like bicycle tires, made for a dangerous ride for both of us.
The bike is quite an oddity; long and low with the steering located mid-ship.The proportions, nearly as bizarre as those of a camel and in many ways, not at all unlike the people riding her.We get two kinds of reaction: big smiles and waves or absolute blank stares, devoid of emotion, context or comprehension.Bethany’s favorite thing to do while riding is to simply, loudly, scream.Blood-curdling yet happy, her screams are heard long in advance of our approach…

The Wind Passes Over It, And Its Gone

A quiet repose A moment in time that the wind blows through my heart The memory of time gone by, soothing my tired mind Warm grasses, blown in sweeping patterns across the fields swirl in patterns like water Like a thousand years before me and thousands after It continues its dance, in spite of me

Dancing in the Kitchen; A Size 14 Sock

I was dancing with my daughter this morning, lurching left and right with my arms around her waist and her hands on my forearms.  I hummed the tune to an old “Sesame Street” song that she always seems to find delight in:
“La, la, la, lamppost,   La, la, la, la, lullaby,   La, la, la, la light bulb,   La, la, la, la, lumps in my oatmeal”…
She closes her eyes and squeals with delight as I hammer out the tune and swirl her around in circles across the kitchen.  These few moments seemed wonderful as we wait for the bus to come rumbling down our driveway.
I imagine that for any father of a 15 year old, dancing with his daughter is a special occasion to be cherished for a lifetime.  For me it’s more of a blessed respite.  The last few weeks have been some of the most trying days in our lives and we’ve been stretched to the point where returning to what we were, is physically impossible.  We’re size 9 socks with size 14 feet shoved into them; we’ll never be size 9 again.  To dance happily with my…