I Love You Because I Do Not Understand You

you are the mystery

of my older years

I sought

a companion, a pal, a solace

I have a stranger

melting in and out

A shadow unknown

A piece of the puzzle of life unexplored

Just an old man to go to dinner with

maybe, cuddle up before the fire

watch the stars

instead

war, unceasing war and battles, horrible battles,

and displacements, thousands of people

you are in the middle of it all

and I

am enticed by life again.

You are So Easy to Love

Two of you like peas in a pod.  Similar and different and I love you so much.

Faces round and brown, legs stout from mountain climbing, bike riding and throwing footballs up, up in the air.

So late in life you came to me and just at the very right time.

You captured my heart.  You love me just because.  We play and laugh.  You tease me and I tease you.  I ask myself:  what is it like to be three and nine years of age and male and growing so very fast in this fast changing world?  As their adopted grandmother, I know they will be famous some day as they are already so smart, funny and playful with me.  One may be an architect and the other might stand with a fist and lead his people, our people into another world of peace and prosperity for all.

I ask myself how can this be?  I want my own flesh and blood; they reject me because I will not fit their mold and here are these two and their mother and I am so crazy in love.  What good fortune.

The force be with you and also with you.

 

You are my Secret Love

So many people in my life

and you are the One

my only.

My breath is your breath

your sobs echo through my heart chambers.

I kept you alive

you keep me alive.

You run from me, laughing.

Already, you know

soon will be the time

when I cannot catch you.

I need words, hugs and kisses

to tie you, bind you forever

like a yoyo

I will be your string

you will come back to me.

Words fail

words fall

panic ensues

life so precious

each year passing

and then you came.

At the end of my sorrows

you came, my joy.

I Love You, Dear Daughter: Love Amidst Fear

you are the one

I carried

while I stood

at the edge of a grave

I went a little crazy

you went along for the ride

you did not have a choice

years later, I saw your round face looking at mine;

Mommy, “be spontaneous” you beckoned me

back to life.

you are the one

who screamed to me over thousands of miles

at eight months’ pregnancy

and I heard you and your baby and your daughters

call my name and I came

and I stayed and stayed and today I stay.

You are the world to me.

Without you, there would be no life for me.

Please

be careful with

yourself and your children

if you are not safe

it will be the end of me.

I love your long hair hanging down your back

as I scratch you to help you relax

I loved you from the first day

you stirred within me and I felt the flutter of

your quickening.

I have stood by you

at your wedding

at your daughters’ births

with your family

and you stood by me through my darkest days

and today.

You are the love of my life; I move away from you

because your mate must be number one

to help your rear your brood; I stand aside.  I become older,

less physically able; perhaps, a tad wiser and with more laughter deep

in my tummy as I love touch you and yours.

I will love you

until the day I die.  My love for you will live after me

if you choose

my hope is your focus

will be on your self

and your family.

I Love You Even Though to Me You are a “Horse of a Different Color”

I am not sure what the writer

of the Wizard of Oz meant when he used this phrase:  horse of a different color.

What I mean:  in-laws remain strange and different to me even after decades of interaction and good will.

Becoming family, we push and pull each other.

I want my traditions.  You want your holidays celebrated with a pudding your mother made.  I want a vacation at the beach.  You want to go to the mountains.

Two families have united.

Now, there are children.

We are called upon to be civilized.  To try our best to understand each other.  We may spend half of our holidays with these people.  We may sleep in their houses, share their toothpaste and eat many dinners together.  We may sit through long, tiring graduations, attend wedding parties and eat lots of cubed cheese and we may share the death and dying of beloved members and sob on each others’ shoulders.

Still, this people are strange.  They have hobbies I do not understand.  They like Nascar and golf and spend every fall watching days and days of tennis as a holiday activity.  The men watch lots of television and the women do not shop where I shop, she is vegetarian and I love pork chops and he likes blueberries on his ice cream.  I usually focus on the differences, the odd behaviors and the things that do not mesh.  I feel irked.  I am anxious.  I am confused.

And then, a disaster strikes.  A baby I love is sick.  My van needs to be serviced and I need a ride to the dealership.  Who do I call?  I call one of the horses in the “polka-dot stables” and ask please will you help me?  If they are able, they always say yes.  Some times, I do not even have to ask.  A warm cup of coffee with lots of milk and cinnamon awaits me.  I step outdoors at the airport and I have a car and driver waiting.   I look around at the hospital and there is a face I know and he asks if I want a mint and I feel like I can make it for ten more minutes.

I am glad I can love different and strange to me horses.

I Loved You Even Though You were Unlovable

When we marry as young twenty somethings

we marry a stranger

even if we have known him a year

have met his family

see his assets and vulnerabilities

his successes are viewed

as part of him

because I was green

and new

to life

you were my first receiver

I loved you so very much

I allowed you to enter my body

and the next year

we became parents

and then

you began to show me

how unloving you were.

You would not take care of our baby

yes, she had multiple birth defects

yes, your mother would have been upset

maybe, she would have cut off your allowance

and then

your unlovingness

just grew and grew

if you rode your bike

and worked hard;

you wanted a massage for your back

and never gave me one; not once.

And, I stayed with you

and made two more children.

The candles shining in my darkness

and they are daughters

with very little of you in them.

By nature and nurture, they belong to themselves.

They love, they reach out to others and they are lovable to me.

You are dead

and sometimes, I am still sad.

at what we might have had.  We never got to sit

with our grandchildren around us; not once.

When you refused to love

when you could not or would not love

you shrank

and your life force was lessened

and you left us very early.  As I write this prose,

I realize I am no longer mad (like crazy) nor am I sad.

My tribute is my love regardless of whether it was returned.

 

I Love You, Adopted Son

No matter how long it is between conversations, I know you and you know me.

We were each other’s person when I did not even know what that phrase meant.

Standing together behind the huge recliner, we administered meds, checked tubing and made certain the port was cleared.

Later, we ate ice cream together and we laughed until we cried.

Then, much later, we really cried.  I cried so much I thought I would never stop.  I worked through my tears, I drove through my tears and I talked through my tears.  I cried every day.

Now I get to hold your sons and your wife in my heart too.  How wonderful is that?  I get to see  them grow and play and run.  According to what you said when we talked today, I will shortly be getting to see them fight as this is now the age and stage.

I gave you a little advice.  I just cannot help myself.  I gave you many kudos mostly on purpose; but, also to tell you how special your fatherhood is to me.  How very special your wife is to me and how truly wonderful it is that our relationship has stood the test of time.

It is so good to say “I love you” and know the other person knows and says it too and means it.

Thank you for being “like a son to me.”  I always remember and I will never forget.

 

I Love You, Baby Girl

The unexpected surprise

you were

almost the end

of my daughter’s life

and I was so scared.

I came

and I came to visit

and I stayed.

I am grateful money, time and resources were on our side.

I guss we made it happen; but, one never knows if just one twist of fate would have produced a different outcome?  To date, you have not been seriously ill, no returns to the hospital and only momentary lapses with your mother’s health issues and her surgery.

Did I mention how grateful I am?

How can I ever say how much I love you?

You and your Mom are wounds so tightly around my heart

it feels like the best of roses with the most thorns

so scary, I dare not say.

I cannot imagine life without you.

Having you has made me a believer again, given me reason to live and made laughter bubble inside a dark place where I thought the dead dwelled forever.

How to describe you?  At less than two years old, you are so  much your own person.  You know what you want and you will get it with a please, a frown or a screaming cry.  You love to dance, you like to inspect my house to see what is new and you are never very happy in the car.  You love ducks and dogs.  Your words are getting clearer and better and you will not eat something you do not want; will not try it; no way.

To my way of thinking, you are much like your mother; but, different.  I think she wanted or needed to please.  You really could care less.  Your main goal is getting outside and you will do it by hook or by crook.  Your chuckles fill your belly and your eyes light up when you see someone you love and you love back.  I know babes are supposed to be given safety and security and then they derive pleasure from having their drives satisfied.  That explanation just does not wash for you and me.  In your wonderful hand, I have known joy.  In naps with you, I have felt peace.  With you, I am the closest I will ever be to heaven and I am not afraid of dying because now I have truly lived.

 

 

 

My First True Love

You were my First.

Peach fuzz and mottled yellow

I did not know enough

to realize it was jaundice.

We merged

mother and baby

I still feel it sometimes

and it surprises me when I think you do not

and then, I remember.  What my memories are

are not yours.  I hope you have the soft girl baby

experience so I can be a part of it.

When he came

it seems he was squirmy, tough and wanted to get down

immediately.

You were always warm and looking around

observing

as your own poetry details.

He has the moves of a poet with swift feet, a Mercury

his last year before his first year.

I try to pry him away from your thoughts

and it is impossible

as impossible as prying you away from my thoughts.

Although we have not lived together under the same roof,

for many years

you are still like me.

I do not know if it pleases you

as you are also proud to be your own woman.

I think being your mother’s daughter

does not suit

and yet, you are.

To me, you will always be mine to love

and cherish

and be surprised at the differences and be glad

there are differences

and until and if your granddaughters are born

you will not know what I know.

There is nothing quite like having a daughter

who is middle aged, successful and coming into her own

as a parent of a fully fledged young man.

It is a great and good joy.  Thank you.

Happy Birthday, Dear Daughter

I thought I had the flu and I did.  I pulled into my shell and did not want to come out.  I thought it was the fever, aches and chills and that was only half of it.

It has taken a week for me to realize it is your birthday coming up.  My, how you loved them.  My, how I loved you and still do.  Every time I reach out to help someone, I love you.  When my feet get sluggish and I do not want to get up to start my day without you, my love for you propels me.  I know if I can keep going, life will get richer and fuller again and I will have your companionship along the highways and byways.

You would have made almost half a century.  Medicine made mistakes and took you too early.  The results are so much better now.  We have machines which are zappers and they take those tumors out and prevent their return.  Thirteen years you have been in the other realm, the Star Trek one.  It is the only explanation which makes sense to me even though I viewed your bones after the fire.  I know your spirit transcended all we know and you still linger around to give me hope, prevent decay and tell me to get my butt in gear.

I love you so very much and I have gone on living without you.  This is by far the greater task and it would be so easy to succumb.  The grandchildren depend on you to help me get through and you are still my Storm Trooper and re-appear just when I need you most.  Wherever your galaxies are today, my dear one, I pray I can point my feet in the right direction and hoof it up the trail you blazed.