Tag Archives: Family

Always Remembered


I salute all those who served our country today. I am grateful for their sacrifice. I hope that as we celebrate today we remember that there are many others who sacrifice daily to keep us safe. God Bless America!

I remember our adventures

when we crossed the river

and slipped on the moss covered rocks

we laughed because one of us would always loose our shoe.

I remember how we loved to go to the Saturday matinee

and watch three movies for fifty cents – our whole allowance.

I was only two years older than you

yet I was your aunt as chance would have it.

But you called me sis.

I remember your love for nature.

I remember how you always picked buttercups and made a small bouquet

and bring it back to surprise your mom.

I remember how happy it made you to play your guitar.

I remember your contagious smile and fabulous chuckle.

I remember the day you decided to join the army;

your mom and I were terrified.

I remember listening to radio that dreadful day;

It was Memorial Day morning.

TAPS was played and then America the Beautiful.

My heart stopped beating for a second as it always did when I feared

something horrible would happen to you.

I tried switching the fear gears in my brain.

Two days later we got the news.

You had passed.

Forty-three years ago I could not believe what had happened

and it is still hard for me to believe it is true.

It was not supposed to happen;

I prayed so much.

Now I pray I never forget your face.

I wonder how it would have been if you were here.

All I know is that somehow I can still hear

your hearty chuckle

and see your beautiful smile.

Rest in Peace my dear Nephew.

You are always remembered

even when it is not Memorial Day!

BREATHE!


Today, tomorrow and for as long as we will need to deal with the Corona Virus crisis, I plan to do some mindful breathing. Every morning before I get out of bed I breathe deeply, purposefully and with a positive mind.

Panic and worry begets more worry and more tension. This affects our entire system. We need to stop paying too much attention to the increments in the numbers of newly discovered cases and pay more attention to our breathing. We need to take deep cleansing breaths and use meditation as a tool to help us relax through it all.

I am what you may call a natural worry wart but lately I have been focusing more on my breathing and talking myself into calmness. High levels of anxiety can cause our autoimmune system to collapse at a time when we need our immunity to be at its peak performance levels.

I am not saying it is an easy task. I am not a medical professional to tell you this is a cure. I can only tell you that practicing mindfulness and taking charge of my anxious thoughts has worked for me.

I have been painting more and writing more. I have called friends I have not spoken too in a while to help them cope with the craziness. I listen to my collection of oldies but goodies.

My granddaughters are now forced to be at home because schools have closed. We have been told not to visit for now which breaks my heart. So, I have been using Skype and Facetime to communicate with them. I have recorded myself reading stories and send them via email or text. This keeps me busy and it is a way to connect to the girls. I believe that we can always find something good within a difficult situation. This is a time to catch up with family; make the phone call, write a letter or video tape a message. Family should come first.

Oh, and did I tell you I “breeeaaattthhhe” So my friends on WordPress and fellow bloggers I hope you are all well and healthy. I urge you to follow the stipulated guidelines and common sense practices to keep healthy but every time you get a chance please BREATHE! Happy breathing!

Thoughts About Memory


I wrote this poem after speaking with my aunt who suffered from the dreadful disease of Alzheimer’s.

Sweet memories of my life

I pray you come back to me today

They are not any different from yesterday

but I know I will not be sure

about remembering tomorrow.

I just want to remember today;

right now without having

to slap myself in the face,

to help me see the me I forgot

the image of the me

I see so much in the photo albums

She tells me

I used to love to look at.

Help her understand;

Yesterday is gone.

Tomorrow

Well, I may not be here tomorrow.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Grandparents Day –


Today is National Grandparents Day. It is a day to remember perhaps the eldest family member. It is an opportunity to remember those who have passed as well. I met only one grandparent. My maternal grandmother was an extraordinary lady. She was widowed young and raised four daughters on her own. I remember her stories most of all. I spent most of the summer vacations with her so I was always asking for her to tell me about my grandfather and other family members I had not met.

Here is my poem in honor of my late Grandmother:

We called you mother

sometimes I wondered why

But as I grew older I understood

the importance of your legacy

You taught me about love

You taught me about patience

You taught me by setting the example

You taught me to love nature

You used language eloquently

your voice calmed

your gentle touch soothed

My mother reminded me of you

You taught her how to love me

and for that I am grateful.

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

 

 

 

 

A Poem a Day _ #1


Carl Sandburg is one of my favorite poets. In honor of National Poetry Month I would like to share one of his poems. The title is what we all seek in life.

HAPPINESS

I asked my professors who teach the meaning of life to tell

me what happiness is.

And I went to famous executives who boss the work of

thousands of men.

They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though

I was trying to fool with them.

And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along

the Des Plaines River.

And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with

their women and children and a keg of beer and

an accordion.

Carl Sandburg

 

Carl August Sandburg was an American poet, writer, and editor. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. Wikipedia

What is happiness to you? This is what it is to me. Write a Poem. 

My mother taught me about happiness one day.

She did not know I was watching her.

She spoke to the Daisies in her garden

and praised them. They began to dance.

Mom was never one to smile a lot

but that day she smiled the day away.

I too delight at the sight of daisies.

They put a smile on my face because

I will never forget

what happiness looks like.

Melba Christie

 

Hello Again


I have been away from the writing board for a few weeks now. Sadly my beloved father-in-law passed away and we had to go and help with so much that is required after a death.

My father-in-law was my father. I lost my dad many years ago and he began to fill in that gap slowly but surely with much love as my father would have done. I relied on him for advice, his mentoring and a fatherly hug when I needed one. He will be missed.

My son delivered a very emotional eulogy depicting his grandfather as a noble family man. As I listened to him I heard my husband’s, my dad’s and my father-in-law’s voices all in one. My son had learned well their collective teachings. He never met my father but I had shared so many of his stories that my son got to know him well. I was so proud of him.

I learned a lot about life these past few years as I watched and listened to my father-in-law deal with his illness. I have learned to appreciate so many things more now. The little things especially. It is amazing how many of the mourners remembered precisely the short  encounters with my father-in-law. Many close friends characterized their memorable experiences as seeming insignificant to anyone else but themselves. They emphasized how some of these events (mostly acts of kindness) had changed their lives.  But now more than ever the family swelled with pride to know how he made a difference in so many people’s lives.

His legacy will carry on through my son and daughter and hopefully my grandchildren. We are what we do. A life is the sum of the great things we do for others. This was the best lesson of all. He served during World War II, he loved his country with great passion and cherished his wife of 70 years and his entire family. Rest in peace Don Will, you did well.

 

Visit From An Ancestor


 

Grandmother was a young girl

when an ancestor visited her.

A gentle man from her third heritage

with a wooden flute in hand

played a pleasing tune

a soothing sound

to which she gently swayed.

She asked him where he’d come from,

and how he found his way,

He said a butterfly mapped the route

and he followed the nightingale’s song

but most of all it was the love

that still lived in our home.

 

His voice faded slowly away

and he suddenly disappeared

as mysteriously as he came.

 

The sun shone through

and she awoke

and nothing was ever the same.

Grandmother always said she’d hear

the flute in the distance every now and then.

Some days she’d secretly hoped he visit her again.

 

The day she passed I heard the flute

and a songbird sing softly in my ear.

I knew then everything would be fine.

Because love is what it is

and it lives right here with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Wishes for 2016


I wish I did not have to wish for anything at all

I wish things were perfect like in some fairy tales

But if you don’t wish then you’ll never know if they come true.

So here it goes,

my list of wishes for the New Year 2016:

 

I wish for humankind to understand

that love is what will save us.

I wish for peace, of course,

but moreover, I wish that all of us would want it

so bad that we would not accept anything else.

I wish that the elderly were appreciated more.

I wish I could have longer and more fascinating

conversations with my children so that they

get it, get life  I mean, and finally get me.

I wish we did not have to listen to crazy

politicians two years before an actual election.

I wish cancer especially in young children could be abolished.

I wish that real and productive research is devoted to all diseases.

I wish I could live in three places at the same time.

I wish for no more natural disasters.

I wish guns would disappear from the face of the earth.

I wish for privacy in my own hands.

I wish for an equitable pay for women.

I wish for maturity for those who lack it;

youthful thoughts for those who getting older

and people to be at peace and feeling well.

I wish for brotherly love, authentic acts of kindness,

and the concept of passing it forward to intensify.

I wish all my followers, and the blogger community

that all your wishes are fulfilled

and I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sunday Memories of A Baby Boomer


Sunday Morning

A day of rituals

started with church

at St. Luke’s

where forgiven sins

remained for the rest of the week.

 

Then a big breakfast:

pancakes, scrambled eggs,

sizzling bacon and home fries

we ate until we almost died.

 

Then off to some adventure

dad would plan it out as a surprise

no matter how he tried to disguised it

It was usually a day at the theater

or at Palisades Amusement Park

in the summer a trip on the D train to Coney Island Beach

 

But first we’d all sit and read

the New York Journal American

Ivan grabbed the funnies or comic strips

he loved Buz Sawyer and Flash Gordon

 

I had dibs on the magazine that featured

a celebrity on its cover

and every week I underlined

the million dollar movie titles I wanted to watch

mom would do the weekly puzzle

cut out a recipe or two

and peeped at the fashion sections

for tips and how to’s

Dad loved the broadway quips

boxing, sports and politics

 

Sunday night we could not miss

the Ed Sullivan Show.

I loved Topo Gigio,

and the first time he presented the Beatles.

The show introduced us to Carmen Miranda, Jerry Lewis

and almost Bob Dylan,

who walked off the set on day in 63′.

 

Reality was the best it could be

all of us together building memories.

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/music/fab-trivia-4-little-known-facts-about-beatles-ed-sullivan-n24886

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Empty Nest is Emptier Today


My empty nest is emptier today

after all of my children and grandchildren

all came home for a very brief stay

They spoiled me like a little kid

with gorgeous smiles,

spontaneous hugs

and kisses,

and comments

prefaced with

remember mom when this and that or this other

referencing the good times she had with her only brother

 

sometimes I wonder if their memories

are fiction or actually fact

They will never know how much

they are missed by their father and mother

 

I tour the house after they all leave

for fainted hints of their perfumes and colognes

and objects they have left behind

that constantly remind

me of the things they did and said

like: my son’s hearty chuckle

my daughter’s pumpkin bread

my grandson Nicholas and his

little dance to Elmo’s Alphabet Song,

and Isaiah’s curious questions about

nature and dinosaurs.

It soothes me to look at

all the pictures I have of them

all around the house.

 

All is so very quiet;

Not a single rouse,

My empty house is emptier

than it ever was before

But it is what it is

Can anyone ever blame me

for wanting to see them more.

 

I scan the empty spaces

as tears run down my face

my eyes are a little blurry

yet focus on something small

sitting on Grandma’s favorite chair

just one lonely small sock abandoned

my dear Nicholas is there.

I gently place it

by his perfect picture

hugging his favorite teddy bear

I pray the next time I see them

will be just a little quicker.

 

In the meantime my empty nest

is emptier than it ever was before

All I know is

as days go by

my love

for all my children grows

more and more and more.

 

Melba Christie (C) 2014

 

 

 

I See Them Mostly in Photos Lately


Twitter Screen tap to download

 

 

I see them mostly in photos lately

I see them mostly in photos lately
I am grateful for the opportunity though
Occasionally a short video
will pop up
with a clip of a loved one saying hello.
Text messages are more likely to show
up on my cell and not an actual phone call.

I wonder what my mother would say
about Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?
It is really not all the glitter or hype
people make it out to be.
I wish for the days of meeting personally.

She’d probably say,
“Give me my family closer to me any day
to hug and kiss and to sit around
the dining table to pray
for every meal.”
How much I miss the days
of Sunday visits and making family time a big deal,
where nothing was virtual, only real.

Forget the messages
Limited to 140 characters (letters) in a single tweet
Not too many words for me to fully say
How much I miss them so

Do not get me wrong;
Social media tools are and will be going strong
(For a long time to come)
to keep us all connected.
I just miss the intimacy
I hate to live in the fantasy,
technology seems to promote,
everyday more and more.
It does not matter how far or remote
We may be from all our love ones,
Skype or Google Hangouts will save the day.

So it will suffice for me to say
Keep streaming the videos on YouTube,
God only knows what else will be
I suppose His Grace provided  the intelligence
For us to interface.

We have to wait and see.

By Melba Christie 2014

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