Category Archives: Family

67 Days 16 hours 10 minutes – Let me be clear


Let me be clear

there is nothing more dear

than the privilege of voting

I for one am hoping

the days go by even faster.

The fear of more of the same is a disaster.

We will not really know

how many of us will show

for the Corona Virus may still be alive

killing us at a high rate

who knows how many of us will survive.

Then, we need to beware

of those who do not care

and contribute to our collective despair.

 

Right now, as I write

so many are in a fight

with a monster hurricane

I pray for their well-being

but the devastation will be difficult to sustain.

Then, we continue to face

the unrest about race

The violence is a disgrace.

I have said this before

We need to get together

stronger and more united than ever

We need to open our eyes wide

see the truth and the need

for our leaders to truly lead

and focus on resolving problems

stop the ridiculous rhetoric

and start dealing with

the challenges ahead.

Miracles are real, But we can’t wait

There is an old saying,

We also need to help ourselves.

Only 67 days remain,

I will continue singing that old refrain,

“Come together right now!”

Our democracy needs us to come together.

God bless the suffering right now.

God bless the United States of America!

Seventy-seven days – On a Significant Anniversary


One years ago the 19th amendment empowered women with the right to vote. 2020 so far been a memorable year; it will definitely be remembered for many negatives but there are some positives we need to embrace.

My grandmother was barely 22 years old when the 19th came about. The incumbent president at the time was Woodrow Wilson, a leader of the Progressive Movement; he was the 28th President of the United States (1913-1921).

Warren G. Harding, a Republican, who won by a landslide victory in 1920, taking every state outside the South and dominating the popular vote. He became the 29th president.

I wish she were here to tell me who she voted for at the time and if she actually did get to vote. My great-grandmother was never able to vote. She had passed by the time the 19th had been enforced.

Today, we the women of this great country do have the right to vote and it is so important that we do so on November 3, 2020. We must do everything in our power to get out there and exercise our right to vote and not be fearful. Our vote will count and will be counted fairly. We must believe that our elections will not be tampered with. Our doubts began with the knowledge that foreign entities may try to sway people one way or another via social media. Reliable security sources have made clear interference of that kind will not happen again. So we cannot allow fear, and misinformation to come from any source.

Of course, I may be a tad bias but I believe women are intelligent, forceful and determined to make the world right for their offspring and loved ones in general. You could not intimidate my mother or grandmother. They kept informed. They read fervently and spoke up when they knew something was dramatically wrong. I know that many women are made of the same stuff.

I watched Michelle Obama speak at the National Democratic (unconventional) Convention which was done virtually because of the pandemic we are all struggling with these days. She was eloquent as usual but also spoke from her non-political heart. I heard the sincerity of a mother and patriot who loves her country. It was a love like this that fueled the Suffrage Movement. As my grandmother would say they had “fuego” (fire) in their hearts and clarity in their minds.

https://www.thecut.com/2020/08/michelle-obamas-dnc-speech-watch-video-and-read-highlights.html

We must honor those women by doing what needs to be done. I know I will honor my great grandmother and all those before her who could not voice their opinion or check off a ballot box.

There is too much at stake. There is too much to accomplish. We have come a long way but so much more needs to be done to get the job done better. It is up to us. Who else can do three jobs at once? Who else has the know how to read people and know what is best for their children? The answer is We the Women of these United States of America. God bless America!

President Harding and His wife.

 

It is our turn to make a

difference!

 

Eighty-four Days – What we are up against?


As a retired educator, I feel the obligation to stress the need to help our children and young people right now. Parents and families need support as schools open within the next few weeks. School districts and their respective boards and local authorities are planning and trying to make ends meet with regard to supplies to keep their schools clean, safe and how to implement spacial distancing.

Many schools continue to advocate for distance learning  or remote learning via Zoom and other Internet platforms. Some districts have opted for a hybrid system alternating days for face to face learning and on-line learning. There is no doubt that these decisions will be protested and opposed by parents, teachers and even our national leaders. There is no one size fits all. There are too many factors to consider.

There is no equity. But then again education has never really been equitable in our country. We even label some school districts poor or rich. This is just a fact. Some cities and towns are funded by property taxes and supplemented by some state and federal entitlements. However, the buildings and technological infrastructure is either excellent and state of the art or very old and in some cases obsolete or non existent. I am not going to point fingers or blame anyone at this point for our failures in education but the truth is not all schools are created nor maintained equally.

Right this minute, parents are trying to figure out how to get their children suitable devices, update their Wifi speeds or even get Internet service, and how to afford remote learning. Teachers typically use their own dollars to buy materials and supplies during the school year. The difference this year is that they cannot buy all their students tablets or computers. So who can help to provide these devices if we should have to go back to stay at home kind of learning? Make a list if you will.

All the medical experts I have listened to have said that children can be infected and can get seriously ill from COVID 19 . Yes, they have better immune systems but what about the immunity of their teachers and the parents and grandparents they go back home to possibly spread the disease.

So, to attend school or not to go back to school is the critical question for all of us. Let us remember that it takes a village. This is just not a cliche anymore. We spend our energy worrying about what sports teams are doing to play and keep their members safe. Many of the players, may I add are millionaires. I support sports just like everyone else; but should not our focus be our education system? Sports fulfill a large part of our cultural needs and help us to relax in many ways. Just like the NFL, NBA and national baseball teams, our educational system needs sensible and professional leadership, good coaching by knowledgeable educators and fitness experts to support students and teachers.

I am calling for action for all of us to do our part. Check out the needs of your school district. If you can donate a tablet or computer. If you know someone who can afford it ask them to donate. Rich companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Samsung, LG, Walmart, Amazon, to name a few, and how about the richer members of the stock exchange to donate computers and devices to communities where children and their families simply cannot afford to get a suitable device. A parent should not have to give their child a cell phone to use during remote learning. Some parents work from home as well. How do they share the time to get on-line? We have always been a very generous country and people. Let us put our money in the right place.

Last, our politicians should work out a viable bipartisan plan to continue to help our most vulnerable populations. We need people to feel safe and empowered again. No one wants to stay home and never leave it. I do not know anyone who loves to be on food stamps or depend on others to survive. Many folks want and need to get back to work.

However we need to help slow down this deadly virus and to keep each other safe. Love thy neighbor! Follow the guidelines to keep yourself and others safe until we find a cure, a safe vaccine and effective treatments. 163,533 souls suffered so much pain and lost their worst life’s battle. Let us not loose the war. It is not appropriate or acceptable to say that “It is what it is”. 

We need to keep up the fight, call out those leaders who are not doing their jobs, vote for those who are capable of getting the job done. This is how we will honor the memory of those who have fallen.

Let us pay attention to our local public officials. Check out what they are voting for to keep our country safe. Write letters, make the phone calls.

Please stay safe my friends.

Sewing Machine


Never thought I would ever touch that old machine;

it was responsible for creating many attire.

My mom sat behind it for hours to confect

the dresses that would turn heads at church.

This after she came home from the factory

where she made uniforms all day.

Never thought twice that she was too tired to continue sewing.

The old Singer sewing machine spoke to me this morning.

It reminded of the stories my mother told me

about how the machine saved her during the depression

of how her seamstress skills served the country twice.

Tears flowed down my face.

I hoped they would drown my pain, my fears about what is happening today.

Then I heard the anchor on the morning news say,

flags would be lowered at half mast to honor the victims of COVID 19.

It is all like a bad dream.

The machine spoke to me again;

it asked me what my mother would have done.

I never touched the Singer before,

mostly because it reminded me so much of her.

For me it was a shrine.

I sat quickly sat and turned the wheel to hear

the familiar sound of hard work and dedication.

YouTube provided me with some quick hacks

on how to make masks.

Would I dare make one?

Well I did.

Made some for my family.

Wish I could make more in bulk.

I felt my mom looking over my shoulder the whole time

I missed a straight stitch here and there

but who cares.

I learned once again

the power of love,

the value of family,

the lessons that mom embedded in my heart.

The one that resounds is always to give and do your part.

I pray for all those who have been affected by the Corona Virus.

Please stay home if you can. Follow the guidelines to stay safe and healthy.

Do your part to help bring sanity to our nation.

God bless America!

Image by Christelle Olivier from Pixabay

Remembering Mother


To My Beloved Mother

                 By Melba Christie

Today I remember you in deep thought

with gratitude for all you taught me

I remember the few times you laughed with gusto;

which was often when you played with your grandchildren;

or they gave you an unexpected kiss.

I remember your beautiful hands;

And the way you brushed my hair 100 times to make it shine.

I remember how you talked to your plants to make them grow

And all the dreams you helped me to sow

I remember the love you had for my dad;

Even when he passed,

The love never left your heart.

I remember your old sayings

which I often find myself repeating.

I remember your courage and strength;

I remember you would go any length

to help your family and friends

I remember how brave you were to the very end.

Today I miss you more than ever

And hope you how much I loved you.

In Remembrance of My Father-in-Law


You became a father to me;

I needed someone to look up to and make proud once again.

You counseled me during hard times.

You protected me when you thought I was not looking.

You taught me that marriage is a heavenly partnership.

I watched how much you loved your children

and then the grandchildren we gave you.

You were so proud when you met your great grandchildren.

You lived a life full of commitment to what is truth and justice.

You were the ultimate patriot.

I may not have told you enough that

I loved you like a father.

I may not have thanked you enough for all the things you did for all of us.

Somehow I think you know now.

We miss you very much.

Rest in Peace!

Of All the Joys Under the Sun


Of All the Joys Under the Sun

 

Of all the joys under the sun

watching trees wave to me in the morning

or listening to the birds sing

their version of “close to you”

are my inspiration.

 

Of all the joys under the sun

the most joyous are

having a conversation with any of

my grand-kids.

Or getting a bear hug from a loved one.

 

Of all the joys under the sun

listening to Nessum Dorma by Pavorroti,

makes my day.

Finding the fluffiest cloud in the sky

or discovering my lilies have bloomed

inspire me every time.

 

Of all the joys under the sun

the greatest joy is

knowing my children, grandchildren,

and other loved ones are happy.

-Melba Christie

 

 

 

 

Remembering Dad


My dad would have been 106 years old today. I suppose it would be unrealistic to think that he would have lived that long. But he is eternally living in  my heart. I just saw a news clip about  Setty Cirillo who was born in Rome in 1913, celebrating her one hundred and sixth birthday. She was dancing and she looked fabulous. She says dancing lessons keep her active. God bless her. How lucky for her children and grand children to have her around and still so agile and strong.

Sometimes I picture my dad dancing a Tango by Carlos Gardel or singing his favorite aria from La Boehme as sung by Enrico Caruso. The smile on his face was worth a million.

I am so grateful I have these sweet memories. He also loved nature and the sounds of silence. I would sing Simon & Garfunkel’s songs and he loved it. He also loved when I sang “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother.” He cared about people and gave of himself in every way.

So today I remember my dad’s smile and love for humanity. I celebrate his life singing the songs he loved. Many of which still resonate so much today. I wonder what he would say. Thanks dad. Love you forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To My Late Father


To My Late Father

 

I have forgotten what your voice sounds like

But I remember the things you said to calm me and give me strength

I have forgotten what made you the happiest

But I remember your smile

When you looked at me from afar and thought I was not looking

I have forgotten the true color of your eyes

But I remember their gleam when all your children were around

I have forgotten how tall you were exactly

But I remember that you were a giant in my eyes

I have forgotten your gait or how you walked into a room

But I remember I wanted to follow in your footsteps

I have forgotten your favorite color

But I remember how much you loved autumn foliage

I have forgotten many of the little things about you.

But I remember how you cared so deeply for those less fortunate

I remember how hard you worked to make sure we had it all.

I remember your love for art and music.

I remember your generous heart.

I remember how you loved my mother.

I remember how you loved family.

 

Father, I may have forgotten some things about you

But I have never forgotten you.

Felicidad


This is the translation of a poem I posted a while ago, the title  of which is Happiness. I hope that you enjoy it and pass it on to your Spanish speaking friends. I had to take a break recently because of my brother’s passing. He was an artist and lover of poetry so I want to dedicate this first translation in  Spanish to him. I know that he is free of pain now and thus most likely happy.

 

 

La felicidad se acercó un día

Y comenzó a caminar junto a mi

No esperaba en aquelle momento tan preciso

que me alcansará para pedirme todas mis penas

y tantas lagrimas ya derramadas como un monte de arena

Tomó todo y lo pusó en una bolsa gigantesca.

 

Me recordó de todas las bendiciones

Que he tenido en mi vida

Como mis hijos queridos,

Mis dos nietos y nietecita bella

El gran amor de mi esposo

Todo lo que me ha traido gozo.

 

Me dijo que siempre escogiera ser feliz

Porque la alternative sería sólo mi decisión

Y por qué ser negativa cuando se puede ser más positiva?

De repente el sol parecía brillar más que nunca;

Y los parajitos cantaban tan espectacularmente.

Me fijé más cuidosamente en las sonrisas de la gente.

¡Y decidí escoger la felicidad como mi constante acompañante!

-Melba Christie 2016

 

Mandala 4

Daisy


*My dear sister Daisy passed away 14 years ago on the day after Christmas which was her favorite holiday. Although there are so many things that make me happy on this day, I cannot forget her spirit and deep love for her family. For me Christmas is really not the same anymore.

 

many memories of you visited me today

and in a dream I asked you to stay

 

Christmas was your favorite time of year

and your made sure to spread the cheer

 

on your watch no one was allowed to go without

love and giving to others was what you were about

 

and like the flower you were named after

you made our days all the brighter

 

Every time I see a Daisy

I see you smiling in my mind

 

there will be many daisies

but you my dear sister were only one of a kind.

 

Daisy on my front porch