Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Essence

Crazy Train (of thought)

While at the book convention I met two people: one, a Holocaust survivor, the other, a man who says he and his siblings don’t speak to one another. The first man picked up my book Brothers and Sisters and began to cry as he stood there reading it. He lost his brothers and sisters, his mom and dad, aunts and uncles, and grandparents, too. He was nine years old living in the shadows scavenging for food and trying to evade capture. He grew up alone, until he met his wife and later had children. He is focused on making sure his children understand what they have in each other, for he knows what it is like to lose it. Sometime later the second man picked up the same book and scanned it quickly, then put it down saying his relationship with his siblings is broken and it is too late to fix it. I wish he could have met the first gentleman.

On a lighter note, when walking the sidewalks in DC I was approached by three lovely if not somewhat psychedelic young women. Here we go, I thought, hookers or panhandlers. Neither, it turns out; entrepreneurs instead. They were selling cool silk-screened tee-shirts to raise funds to support their artists’ commune. I bought two, thinking my girls back home would enjoy them. When I said “keep the change,” one of these entrepreneurs kissed my check and said “Thanks, you are helping us in our quest toward world domination!”

Marital Bliss

Last night was a reminder of how much I love my wife. I told you of my sweet and romantic reunion with Jill when I returned home Saturday night. Sunday night was more of the same. But last night was different; it was a typical married life night. We went to bed later than planned, tired and eager to go to sleep. A kiss, a few words, then off to la-la land. Except I had my hand on her hip, and she draped her leg over my leg. Throughout the night, no matter who turned, the other followed, and one never left the other’s touch. This morning there we were, still embraced. That’s bliss.

Kid-bytes

I’m sure you, like me, pray all the time for the health and safety of your children. Then you probably go through your day trouble and carefree, thinking you and your child will live nearly forever. Not so, as we can see from the story above told to me by the Holocaust survivor. Perhaps because that story was so profound to me, meeting that man and sharing in a moment of his pain that is still with him 60+ years later, the news that Meagan has a medical issue to deal with was a hard blow. Nothing serious, but an aspirin and a band-aid won’t help this. We got the news together. I asked the doctor lots of questions, Meagan and I talked about it twice afterward, we went over the options and thought of how it might impact summer plans, and then she went to her room to study for finals. She’s strong. Daddy is saying that prayer again, this time with lots of thanks that the situation is no worse than it is. I am sure that for all practical purposes, Meagan and Linley will outlive me, nevertheless I am now more determined than ever to make the most of every minute I have with my beloved family - Jill, Meagan and Linley.

Book Report

I’m beginning a new series of books about parent-child relationships, and I plan to include stories submitted by people who want to tell me about significant moments in their lives when they felt the real power and depth of their mother or father’s love, or when as a parent they first experienced the moment when they knew they would give their life for their child. The book will be a collection of these recalled moments, compiled and combined with other things I will write about mom-daughter, mom-son, dad-daughter, and dad-son relationships. If you would like to submit such a story, please contact me via the email link on the right margin of my blog, just under my photo. I hope to hear from you.

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