71

Born on this day 71 years ago.

A decade passed since the last celebrated with him.

His favorite pie, steak’s on the grill, a side of dry rub wings while we sat on the patio watching the deer dance down the hill. Daisy dog by his side.

Looking at the well-worn hands, holding the beer, you wouldn’t have guessed him a preacher.

Years spent weaving words together for his “day job” yet true joy came from moments spent in his yard on that hill or at his beach house, the constant battle with the encroaching prickly bushes.

Two days before he passed, as we stood around him, I rubbed his thumb.  The low hum of the medical devices keeping him alive became the background music as I stared at those hands, flooded with a lifetime of memories.

He and I on our knees inspecting my work done with hand shears trimming the lawn. Gentle correction to cut the grass shorter next time.

His hands on the steering wheel, another road trip adventure to some far-flung battlefield. His baritone belting out You are My Sunshine.

His hands a reflection of his message, of how he choose to live his life;

battle-scarred, worn rough from working and loving hard.

One day these words will fade but I hope its my hands the girls will remember, may they resemble his.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heartache

 

6ff5ac2ad5f90a1bd41924f82b2194b7The pain began in November of 2014, an aching in my chest at odd hours during the day.

A family history of Arrhythmia’s encouraged the doctors to explore more thoroughly the reasons.

An echocardiogram and a month with a monitor strapped to my chest showed a healthy heart.

The clinching in my chest was coming from external factors, a sensitivity to caffeine that didn’t exist previously.

I abandoned my coffee obsession cold turkey, slept more and drank less

The fear I felt alone in those moments in my physicians office led me to make the changes.

As the year went on, I slipped. First with the coffee, one cup then two a day.

I began to sleep less.

I made excuses for the pressure building in my body.

As often happens in life, just as I felt a season of calm ahead,  the storm rolled in and knocked me off kilter.

There I stood on Monday, hand clenched over my heart, not comprehending that the pain was of my own making.

I thought I was managing the load when in fact I was not.

Choices I made had brought me to this moment.

So all that is left now is to continue forward with the knowledge that I need to do a better job.

I will forgive my own failings,

put away the cups of coffee, embrace my yogi tea.

I will sleep more and worry less.

I will dance down the path in front of me, knowing that heartache always returns.

I will carry the load, aware that it is not the weight but the distribution of it that matters most.