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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Fathers hands...

       I wanted you to know that you were beside me today, Dad. Right there beside me with your hands in the bike.
     Today was bike day at Husky club and as the cast of wild things rode, I noticed that one of the older boys was sitting with his head hung. His bike was on the ground. I walked over. 
     "What up buddy?", I asked him.
     He looked at his bike and then at me. Pointed. The chain had come off. It was hanging loose on one side and stuck on the other. 
     "Yeah," I said, tugging on it. "It's stuck
pretty good." Then I tugged it again. 
      "Don't bother," He said as he kicked the tire in frustration, "I've been messin' with it for 10 minutes. It's useless."
      I looked down at the two freshly polished fingers that I used to tug on the chain.They were black. Then I saw your hands, Dad. I'd watched put the chains back on our bikes so many times that I could see you do it in my mind.   
     "You know," I told him, "I have two sisters and a brother and I saw my Dad fix this kind of stuff alot'," I knelt down beside him, "So is it okay if I try?"
     The boy shook his head resigned and I moved in. I angled the bike against my leg the way you always did, Dad, and then I began to move the pedal back and forth and back and forth and guided the greasy chain back onto the teeth. I had to tug hard on it hard a couple of times, but I fixed it.
     I stood up holding my hands in front of me. They were covered with oily black bike chain goop.
     But the smile on the boy's face as he jumped on his bike made my hands look beautiful. "Thanks, Miss Pam!"
      Thank you, Dad, I thought smiling as I walked inside to wash up. I had never put a chain back on a bike until today. But today my hands became yours. Efficient, dirty, and working in love.
     I watched you and I learned something I didn't even know I'd learned.  Thanks for always fixing our stuff, Dad. And know that I really loved having you at work with me today.
     There's nothing like a Father's hands

Sunday, October 9, 2016

It's time...

     On the night of this second political debate, with only weeks until the United States of America picks a new President to lead our country, I am at a loss.
     Confession... I've never been political. In fact, if you asked me how I felt about politics,  I would tell you that I think it is currupt. I would then say that I had a very real dream about my 22 year-old nephew becoming a Senator in Texas and that I'm waiting for him to change the world.
     But all my life, as I think back over the passionate talks my mother and father had. I remember the great debates of my husband, first born daughter, and my son, and I've  often wondered what's wrong with me. Why aren't I passionate? Why don't I care?
     My mother and father raised four children. My brother Ron is 11 months older. He was my best childhood buddy and we were born in the same calendar year.  I'm the second oldest. The oldest of three girls born after.
     Whether this is relevant to my birth order or not, know that I listened to every conversation my parents ever had that I could get close enough to hear. We were Catholic, from both sides,  and I remember passionate and emotional discussions about the Kennedys, and birth control, and the way the world was turning. My mother and father became Democrats because of the Kennedy campaign. They had a genuine and integral belief that he was going to change the world.
     The day he was killed, the principle of our school arrived at the door of my Kindergardern class. He had tears in his eyes as he whispered into the ear of my teacher,  Mrs. Young. I knew something was very wrong as I watched tears form in her eyes also. After a moment, she told us that the President had been shot, and we were all going home.
      I don't really remember going home, but I assume my brother Ron and I walked  home together. What I do remember is walking in the door and finding Mom on her knees in front of the television weeping.
     I was 5. But I loved John F. Kennedy because my mother loved him.  She made beautiful clothes that looked like the clothes Jackie Kennedy wore. We all  believedin them. All of us.
     As children, we watch, listen and learn.
     It was many years later when the truth about JFK was revealed. His blatant infidelities, the politics of hiding it all, the scandal. I think that was the moment for me.  I was a young Mom. I think it was then that I gave up and no longer believed.
     I was a child in the sixties and it was a crazy time in the world. The Vietnam War.  Woodstock. Martin Luther King. The Klu Klux Clan. Revolution and mayhem was happening everywhere.  I was a child, but a young woman was forming inside me too. I began thinking for myself, questioning,  wondering.
      And so now here I am, more than 50 years later reminiscing on the night of this 2016 political debate.
     I sit on my back porch writing this as Paul pops his head out. "Honey, it's getting pretty ugly. I just texted Uncle Todd and..."
     And so now,  I'm hoping to make you laugh a little, but this is the truth.
     Confession number 2... I watch a show called, "Toddlers and Tiaras." It's a crazy show about a crazy world of little beauty queens. And it's often, much more about the Mothers than it is about the precious darlings in the pageant. I cant, however, stop watching it. The reason? In a different life, I could have been one of these Moms. Thankfully,  God knew this and saved ReAnnon and I both. But know first-born daughter was a stunning little girl. She was a beauty,  and in Oklahoma, beauty queens are pretty big deal.
      I'm closing with this, because in the last few episodes of the show these little girls rag on Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, based on their family's political views. They state as fact what they hear at home and it makes me smile but also reminds me of a little girl who listened to conversations just like these.
     My parents talked with passion, and hope. There were wanting conversations about goodnees, and  righteous and change.
     So to end this, I just find myself thankful.  Thankful that God is greater than Donald or Hillary and all that is ugly in the world.  He saved me from becoming a "Toddlers and Tiaras" Mom, and He will save us through this election. I know His Sovergnicy goes beyond this moment in time.
     But as I study Heaven, it sure looks good. Some days more than others.
   But until then, may God bless America and help us all!