path to immortality — a father’s day tribute

babydad

My dad with his dad, 1956.

We start out mere mortals,
’til “Father” turns son.
It’s then our potential
“forever” is won.

We live through our children,
and they on through theirs.
So what will we show them?
How say, “Daddy cares”?

..

pool

Dad’s love for the water started early. (Dad, right, with his brother Verlin in their backyard in Riverside, late 1950s.)

Lub-dub. Lub-dub. Two kids in a tub.

..

It’s here I’m no expert,
but look to the best.
And he to his own dad—
they both passed the test!

With love and compassion,
through fire and through ice,
they gave with devotion,
and never thought twice: Continue reading

mom’s got the gun

82214615_Power_Of_Symbol_HeroShe was gangly. I was early. While I waited, sipping my cappuccino in a corner, I watched her. Except for one scraggly strand at her temple, her thin yellow hair was pulled tightly to a bun on the top of her head. The loose strand was hot pink. Piercings filled with metal ran up and down her ears. Her jeans fit like tights.

She went outside to smoke a cigarette; icy air blasted the store as she went. I shivered and shook my head: she was all of about sixteen.

My friends arrived, and, for the moment, she was forgotten. Lost in conversation and the catching up of years, I failed to notice her reenter the store or the way she was camped out, vacant, on a sofa in the corner.

That is, until the text. Continue reading

just like mommy

girlsShe took the room by surprise. Or maybe it was just me. I noticed her as soon as I walked in.

She had on hot pink shorts two sizes too small, and a bikini top over breasts two sizes too big. Across her back and on her arms and legs were tattoos; her ample girth jiggled as she walked. Even more interesting was her hair. Pixie length and bleach-blonde, her “locks” were pulled into pigtails that looked like sprouts coming out of the sides of her head. Earrings glistened from her ears.

Most noticeable, though, were her eyes. They were dark and masked by makeup and . . . bruises?

She was toting a three-year-old. Continue reading

grandparents aren’t supposed to die

My Nana died tonight. I didn’t cry. I have, and I will. But I didn’t when I heard the news. Some things take a while to settle in.

grampa2

Grandparents are the best!

It occurred to me recently that, in the span of six months, I have gone from having three living grandparents to, now, only one. It is something that was never supposed to happen, really. Grandparents aren’t supposed to die. They’re the ones who tickle you and tell you stories and sneak you treats when Mom and Dad aren’t looking. They’re the ones with gray hair and wrinkles and sparkly eyes and easy smiles. They’re the ones who age but don’t get old, who tire but are never too tired for you.

They are, and always have been, for eternity.

Until tonight. Continue reading

little birdie

54_SPARROWS ON WINDOWLittle birdie out my window,
Chirping, calling, “Come and play!”
Can’t you see I want to join you—
Work, I must, this day away!

But when I’m through, I promise you:
Nothing here could make me stay.
I will find you through and through,
We will play the day away!

Image: Pinterest

thank you

beachSomething I didn’t expect when I started this blog was . . . Well, two things actually.

One, that anyone (besides my dad—thanks, Dad!) would ever actually read what I wrote, and . . .

Two, that I would begin to feel a sense of community with the people I never expected would read my blog who actually did.

Creating this blog has allowed me to express my thoughts—thoughts which previously bounced endlessly around in the recesses of my mind—with an unknown world. In return, the unknown world has, for once, been kind: You have made me feel less alone. Continue reading

just like you

01_hells_angels_harley_51314

October 1999

My sophomore year of high school, about six months before I got my driver’s license. My then boyfriend (a wise-beyond-his-years 17-year-old) was driving my little brother and I home from school. School let out early on Fridays. It was a beautiful day—a perfect day for ice cream.

“Mmm, that looks good. What kind is that?”

“Gold medal ribbonduhhh!” grinned 13-year-old Derek. Chocolate ice cream was dripping from his cone all over his hand.

“I should have guessed,” I laughed.

“What kind did you get?” my boyfriend asked, grabbing a chair in the sun. He had a strawberry cone.

“Peach.” I winked.

“Mmmm.”

hells angels

Image: Jason Hunt (Pinterest)

Suddenly, we were distracted. A large group of motorcyclists had just roared into the parking lot. They were dismounting their bikes and walking heavily—clunk, clunk, clunk—towards our pleasant spot in the sun. Apparently they thought it was a good day for ice cream, too.

As they approached, I saw black leather and shiny boots. Their bronzed skin boasted jagged skulls and barbed wire and other fading tattoos. Their vests said “Hell’s Angels.” They smelled funny.

I wrinkled my nose.

“Don’t be rude, Jess!” hissed my boyfriend after the men had tromped into the store.

“I’m not!” I protested, but he cut me off. Continue reading