Bubblegum and Steel


With each barb thrown
She grew stronger
Her gentle façade
Camouflaged a core of steel
That was tempered
With life’s hurts and heartaches

As they slashed and poked
She bent and folded
Standing her ground without seeming to
Springing back to form as they turned away
Unaware of her endurance

Through Life’s onslaught
Her bubblegum laugh would sing out
Not loud or brassy
But consistent and true

For she was one of those rare few
Designed not to conquer or be conquered
Rather she brightened and buoyed
Refreshing all those lucky enough
To be touched by her

— Gail, you will be so very missed —


They Come and Go


Friends appear and disappear

Kindred spirits randomly met
Float into my life
Then disappear

Sometimes they gently fade over time
Like your favorite tapestry
Forgotten – hung in a corner
The colors begin to drift away
No longer vibrant, unable to catch your attention

But other times, friends are wrenched away
Through illness and accident
Surprisingly – shockingly

One who you kept
Securely in your back pocket
Who had always been there
Always had your back
Is suddenly gone

And you’re left regretting
The call you didn’t make
The card you didn’t send
To the one you assumed
Would always be there
Who was your friend

And all that’s left is the glow of sweet memories

The Steps In-Between

first steps

At this moment, somewhere in the world, someone is taking their first step…

They may wobble a bit, even end up on their butte a few times, but eventually they release that hand that’s steadying them, and take those first tentative steps.

At this moment, somewhere in the world, someone is taking their final step…

Will they look back on all the steps between the first and last, and marvel at the path and destination they discovered with those steps, or will they regret many of the steps they took as they traveled through life?

Each step, between that first and last, is a choice. Choose your steps carefully, so there are no regrets, only pride in accomplishments and joy in the destination.

Who Do You See?

When he’s holding the one he loves, who does he see?

Does he see the young girl he met…the one with the sparkling eyes and curly hair, who caught his attention and held it all his life?

Does he see the beautiful bride, walking down the aisle, committed to tying her fate to his, ‘for better or for worse’?

Does he see the anxious but excited woman, ponderous but glowing as she gives birth to miracles – his beautiful children?

Does he see his life partner, the one who questions, weighs, supports or challenges at the intersections of his life?

Does he see the joyous grandmother, as she celebrates her children’s next chapter and extends her love to the next generation?

Does he see the wise, mature woman who helps him navigate the turbulent waters of the final scene in a lifelong career?

Does he see a noble but graying woman, struggling to overcome illness while maintaining her dignity?

He knows that she is all of this, and none of this…he knows that she is so much more than can be expressed…

Who do you see, when you hold the one you love and she breaths her last breath?