Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Box of Visions (Tom Russell)

At Star Maker Machine this week, the theme is babies and childbirth (ah, the Circle of Life after last week's In Memoriam topic), which has me thinking of my own amazing family - the photo above (click on it to see larger and sharper) was taken the week before we left on our trip, blown up to 5 x 7 size (cropped and with red-eye removed) and framed as gifts for those we were visiting...

I adore my spouse and kids and attempt never to take them for granted - after experiencing a week in the car together, not to mention cramped accommodations (motel rooms as well as lodging at various relatives homes), we lived to tell about it. Sure, there were flare-ups... but there was closeness too - I believe we all gained a renewed appreciation and respect for each other. It's been good to get home, stretch out and retain the sense of wonder that permeated the holidays - my three babies have turned into young adults right before my eyes... and I am so proud...

~ Daughter S, 27, has a great job at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, planning events and taking on major responsibility with grace, style and enthusiasm - she's an asset to anything she's involved in...

~ Son R, 24, has taken on more cooking duties in the household - he definitely has a flair for creativity as well as good taste, and we're always delightfully surprised by each new concoction...

~ Son E, 20, whose 6' 2" frame encloses a heart of gold - prime example: I asked him to go to the grocery store for me the other evening (I wanted grapefruit)... and it took him longer than it should. He finally walked through the front door, telling about an older man who had tripped on the curb and fallen - as people walked all around, ignoring the situation, E stopped to help, gather his groceries and walk him to his car. I told him later I thought my late-night craving was a manifestation from the Universe - E was meant to be there at that time and place to care for the elderly gentleman...

~ Husband R, 56, who loves me when I'm completely unlovable, is the primary breadwinner of the family and rarely has an unkind word to say about anyone - this past September we celebrated 32 years together, and I can't imagine going through life with anyone else...

~ Dog Rocky, almost 14, whose hearing and sight are almost gone... but who reverts to puppy status as soon as he sees me don my New Balances, confident that I will walk him as soon as I have taken my own 3-mile trek around the neighborhood - it's a good cooldown for me, as his insistence on peeing on every tree gives me the opportunity to take long, rehydrating sips from my water bottle...

P.S. My SMM contributions so far are here and here...

P.P.S. Just got word that Vic Heyman passed, after being in hospice the last two weeks - my heart goes out to his beloved wife Reba, their four children and the extensive folk family they've nurtured and supported for so many years...

surprising as unplanned kisses, all you haven't deserved
of days and solitude, your body's immoderate good health
that lets you work in many kinds of weather. Praise

talk with just about anyone. And quiet intervals, books
that are your food and your hunger; nightfall and walks
before sleep. Praising these for practice, perhaps

you will come at last to praise grief and the wrongs
you never intended. At the end there may be no answers
and only a few very simple questions: did I love,

finish my task in the world? Learn at least one
of the many names of God? At the intersections,
the boundaries where one life began and another

ended, the jumping-off places between fear and
possibility, at the ragged edges of pain,
did I catch the smallest glimpse of the holy?

QUOTE: “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” ~ Jane Howard


  1. I hope that I can have a family someday that's half as awesome as yours. (=

  2. Hey, Amy ~

    You will, you will... I'm sure of it - in the meantime, I have no doubt your mom speaks of you in as glowing terms as I do my own daughter.

    You are loved, kiddo - and not just by your blood relatives... <3

  3. Hey, Catherine ~

    Thanks! - we make each other crazy... but we also know we can always count on each other... <3

  4. Hey, Danielle ~

    You are so very welcome - I'm enjoying your new venture... :-)

  5. Susan, what a beautiful family, inside and out. I'm honored to consider all of you dear friends.

  6. Hey, M ~

    Thanks for the sweet words - it meant a lot to us to have a family photo this year, to give to my mom, R's stepmom, and our brothers/sisters. Ditto, my friend - your family is special to us as well... <3