Monday, November 14, 2011


So here I am, sitting on my couch in silence.  Silence.  That is not something that I get to experience very often.  In a house full of kids and dogs and husbands (well, just one of those), silence is hard to come by.  And I forget how relaxing it is. 

I am not a big fan of tv.  If I had my way, we probably wouldn't even have one at all.  It's not that I have a moral opposition to it, I just think that for the most part it is a huge waist of time.  And it distracts us from eachother (which I recognize that sometimes can be a good thing!)

I love declaring a "tv free night" like I did tonight (well, except that Nick & Vinny already had plans to watch the Vikings/Packers game with some buddies, so I allowed that...downstairs.  But it didn't last long because last I heard the Vikes were gettin annihilated so they apparantly lost interest and came upstairs).  Usually as soon as the tv goes off, the kids start talking.  I LOVE it!  They break out the games, and get creative.  They tell us about what happened at school (more than the "not much" that I got earlier) and they demonstrate the sweet dance moves that they are learning in phy-ed, as Napoleon - er, I mean Nick is doing now.  (Shhh, don't tell him I told you that.)

Sure tv can be entertaining, and there is a place for that.  It can even be a great time of family bonding.  But the large majority of the time the tv is just on to be on.  That's when the extraneous noise starts to get on my nerves and if my husband doesn't veto me, then I declare a "tv free night!"  The kids might whine and complain at first, but it always ends up being a good time. 

Or they start fighting and get sent to their rooms.  Either way, there's silence and I win.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Woman Behind the Stone

The snow, soft and moist like the kind a child would make snowballs with, frames the cold cement. 
We can see it's reflection as we approach. 
Hear the crunch beneath our footsteps.
Feel the sun shining, and the cool breeze lightly kissing the cheeks of the children
who shouldn't have to be here.

Her hands, bigger than they had been last time she approached, yet still so small, clutch the stem of the sign that she would soon push into the earth next to the stone.  The sign, and it's twin...the identical sign that she would bring home with her to keep...represent the things that were most important to each of them.

His hands, the strong hands of a boy who is emerging as a young man now, gently and securely wrapped around a bouquet of for each of them who should not have to come here...that he would soon push into the earth next to the stone.  He remembers more, but speaks less.  Holds on tightly to the flowers, and to her in his heart, pretending to understand. 

I have already been crying for miles.  Anticipating the scene that I am witnessing now.  Thinking of all that the woman behind the stone is missing out on.  A little girl, half of her life has passed since the last time their eyes met, the last time she felt her embrace.  Is mine any comfort?  Some, but not enough to dry the tears that I see streaming down her cheeks now.

A young man, standing here where he shouldn't have to stand, holding back his own tears.  Holding back, yet the look on his face speaks volumes.  It speaks of the yearning, the longing, the acceptance, the determination that she would be proud of. 

Time stands still for a moment.  They feel closer to her, as they run their hands over the roses, the cross, and the words of love engraved in the stone.  Yet strangely it makes the distance seem farther.  The emptiness deeper.  The wound in their souls that hides during the living of life that continues on, comes fresh to the surface now. 

We never met,
the woman behind the stone and I,
yet we are connected.

Through those I stand with now, whose reflections I see
in the stone framed with snow.

Through the love of a mother's heart.

Through the life I see
in their eyes,
and in their laughter
as they share their stories and their memories
of their mother.