I seldom think of those lonely times when there were holes in my heart and longing on my mind.

Today those holes are filled with the faces of these beautiful children and the hearts that I carry in mine.

They did not come to me in the usual way but it was to me they came.

My blood is not in their veins but my heart beats in time with theirs, to protect them my blood I.would gladly spill.

It was my church that baptized them and my faith that they embrace and they are my hands that wipe away tears when life’s lessons are to rough.

They are my future.

They bear my name.

They share my home.

They share my table.

They carry my heart with them and I carry their hearts with me.

My ballerina girl.

My horseback rider.

My baseball player.

My daughters,  my son.

This has been a journey of faith, asking God to show real love, what it is and how to give it back, to help me paint its portrait into my vision in a real and meaningful way.

He made me wait for fifteen long and lonely years,

through the darkest nights and very selfish times,

tested and refined,

like good in a furnace,

when ready, shining, shaped, only then did he answer my prayer.

Then he led me to a new place, this place, here and now.

All the past behind me.

Exactly what I asked for, beautiful children, not blood of my blood or flesh of my flesh but heart of my heart and all perfect answered prayers.

I have handed them my heart and they have run away with it.

I have never asked for it back and in return they gave me theirs with their little perfect hands and big trusting eyes!

I traded self for others and in that trade we became a perfect family!

2. Generational

I.am weary, tired and out of breath, a restless night and a gloomy dawn, greeted by a hazy sun, the drive over the bridge was obscured by fog and a light wind that pushed it into the windshield like a covering blanket.

I shake the sleep from my eyes but it doesn’t work and someone asked if I had been crying? 

I had not but I noticed her concern and it grew around my heart like fingers from lost loved ones who spoke to me through her words.

It was then that I remembered.

I remembered all those Christmas dinners, the warmth of that house and then how it all changed, only to be retold as nostalgic stories and funny remembrances that get told and retold, not sad stories, just echoes of the ghost of a Christmas past.

The house was quiet this morning and still the dog was quietly sleeping and as if in a spirit of peace she was ignoring the cat who carefully prowls this morning, there are whispers in the silence and if you listen to their frequency they speak of joy and the King from David’s line who arrives this day.

Then of children who will soon be awake and ready to go to work.at play.and make memories that will form a mental bridge to New Jersey mornings and the smell of his pantry and cloves to mark the Christmas ham and the back and forth will construct the visit of Christmas present.

And then the Advent evening rolls around and the light fades from the window inviting sleepy eyes to bed and the dreams of this night are looking forward to.future times, to others not yet known, Christmas days, children growing and then a new generation coming to knock on doors from another world.

3. Three Children 

Little girl with long blond hair.

She climbs into my bed and steal.the covers.

Beautiful face,

Heart of grace,

Love filled place,

A silhouetted trace.

Another little girl,

Who lines her dolls along the wall,

making up stories and happy endings,

Curly hair,

Dolls in chair,

Big brown eyes,

Expanding skies.

Little boy full of baseball dreams,

Swinging for the fence,

Then waiting for his pitch,

Grass stained pants,

Baseball chants,

Sweat stained face,

Happy place.

4. Girl Before the Mirror

Girl before the mirror,

combing her long blonde hair,

tired look on her face,

now next to me on the ride to school,

quiet, brooding, beautiful all the same.

She likes to pretend she can’t see me,

hiding behind that adolescent curtain.

She wears her heart on her sleeve but denies it just the same,

sometimes for my sake and sometimes for her own.

She doesn’t think I know that those silent spaces in between leave room for us to grow together.

She listens to her radio and plays her favorite songs,

short mental escapes to better, calmer times.

(back to times she misses)

Like the smile of a good friend or her mare on a sunny afternoon, riding as if it is her secret and she will never tell.

In those sleepy eyes are daydreams carried over from her sleep,

replayed in her mind and carried over to my line of vision.

(as she combs her hair, long and blond, full and beautiful)

She shuts down and doesn’t talk,

she is all adolescence,

and turbulence and awakening,

she is all at once – eternity,

she is all girl becoming woman.

She is slowly walking away from me,

she is growing up,

she is not wanting constant guidance but still unable to grow alone.

I am all remembering when she was a baby,

promising to protect her at all times,

(to be her guide)

never really knowing it would get so hard,

the finish line much closer and still so far away.

Hers is a crisis of confidence,

all born out of the swirling storms in her veins and her eyes that stare back as she comes her long blonde hair.

5. All these rivers of suggestion

Nothing fills the blackness that has run into my chest.

I can’t find you anywhere and I am.so lost without you.

And even now I choose you out of all the rest.

You dont know how far I would go to look for you.

You are much to busy trying to hide away from me.

If needed I would give my blood and all else that was due.

Just come to me again,

not a question of right or wrong

just come 5 me again 

alone is weak – together is strong.

I will wait outside your door,

all night long until you wake,

heart poured out up in the floor.

I see you in the morning sun,

eyes downcast with tears,

shoulders shrugged from stranded nightmarish tales long spun.

I will wait for you in the corners

of my mind filled with sadness,

the two of us like stranded loners.

I long for you to speak,

of things that weigh you down,

to strive again and overcome the highest pointing peak.

Just come to me again,

like the old pictures that I have,

just come to me again, 

like the distant echoes you have.

I am reminded of this song:

 “Did you never call?

I waited for your call,

These.rivers of suggestion are driving me away….”

 From “South Central Rain” written and performed by R.E.M. 

6. You and I 

I feel as though she is lost to me. 

Riding on her own led obstacles unseen,

she wants to break free.

She feels as though she is lost to me,

that I am aloof and no longer care for her.

She just let’s me be.

Precious girl.

Ornamental pearl.

Beauty queen,

could grace a magazine.

She keeps.to herself on morning rides.

Listening to music she sings to herself. 

Somewhere in those she hides.

I.drive through the morning,

not a lot of conversation,

wishing there was still connection,

a feeling of mourning.

Speaking with a borrowed face,

an unassuming grace,

rejected love,

precious dove.

Father – daughter,

thicker than water,

answered prayer, 

love to share.