Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day...And Thank You

You might be tiring of my recent fascination with writing about my loved ones using the prompting perspective of "He (or she) is from..." My apologies if this tactic is not speaking to you. But I find it a very inspiring method to pull out the characteristics of a person and display them in an honorary way. I hope you can take one more...and this is one is for my mom.

She is from exotic places in my childhood mind.
Baton Rouge, Waco, Memphis, Webster Groves, Frankfurt.
Places where proper ladies wear proper outfits,
say and do proper things.
She is from her mother, my Oma, both cut from fine lady cloth.
She is from decorum and tradition.

She settled in the ordinary life of wife and mother.
Where she is from, they make extra- out of the ordinary.
She is Clara Barton at Boy Scout Camp.
She is Jackie Kennedy at the PTA helm.
She is Oprah substitute teaching your class.
She is Barbara Streisand singing in the church choir.
She is a Carol Burnett, Erma Bombeck, Lily Tomlin mash-up.
She is Julia Child whipping up fried chicken and Angel Pie.
She is Martha Stewart planning your party.
She is Mother Teresa championing your cause.

She is from the safest places in my childhood, from laughter and happy tears.
She is from Christmas morning and Barbie Doll birthday cakes.
She is from sewing on patches, hemming it up and ironing it again.
She is from Better Homes & Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal.

She is from you can do it, even if she didn't.
She is from holding you up before she has her own footing.
She is from a place where personal joy is found in giving to others.
She is from let me help, I'll do it, it will be okay.
She is from a place where she will gladly carry all your burdens so you won't have to.

I am from a place where embellishments and praise grow
from deep rooted seeds of truth.
I am from where you don't fully appreciate your mother
Until you wear her apron, pearls and high heels.
Where I come from, you thank your mother for all the work, love and sacrifice
She put into helping you arrive at where you are and continue on to where you are going.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Friday, May 10, 2013


Today is the day for Friday Fragments and I have a few.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

First let me say, I love Mrs. 4444's new button for Friday Fragments. It may not be that new as I haven't been fraggin' in quite some time and the button could have been around awhile. But it's new to me today and it made me smile.

Next on the fragging agenda is that Bo Weevil's latest album, "Holding Hands with Grace," which was just released on Tuesday, May 8th, is now available on iTunes for all you Apple product nuts out there. You can read all the lyrics and liner notes by visiting the Bo Weevil website (for all you people who know what liner notes are and remember what it was like to hold an album in your hands.)

The entire album is dedicated to Bo's late mother, Pat and our late niece, Anna. The title track is in honor of Anna. Proceeds from the download of the title track will be donated to the Anna Daley Fighting Saint Scholarship Fund created this year in her memory. Read my post here for a bit more on the scholarship.

This is Bo's finest album yet with wonderfully clever lyrics and haunting guitar melodies. It is heartfelt and true and you will be effected by his songs. I promise.

Continuing to frag on, this week was the highly anticipated 4th grade field trip to Annapolis. You might remember a certain mother going on that field trip with her other 4th grader some years ago. My current 4th grader has been waiting for his turn on this trip since that day back in 2010. And that certain mother has been waiting for her second turn since then too. It was not to be however. We spent our day not learning about John Paul Jones' crypt at the Naval Academy or crossing the blustery Chesapeake Bay Bridge in a noisy school bus. Our day was spent quietly snuggled under blankets with small wastebaskets within arm's reach.

There were a few tears of disappointment shed about missing the trip. And the real 4th grader was a bit sad too. But I got to spend a quiet day with both my boys and that is a gift, even if there was vomiting involved. As someone said, "you get what you get and you don't get upset".

And the final frag, I couldn't leave that last line alone. I had to know who said that. I like quotes and I like to know the source. And now after Googling, I am a bit embarrassed to say that I just quoted from the literary classic "Pinkalicious" by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann.

I am sure that this is a fine piece of elementary literature. Being a mother of boys, I do not know for sure. And I typically avoid concocted words that end in "-alicious." Although I am not usually a fan of pink, I must say that Pepto-Bismol a few days ago could have been classified as pinkalicious.

Next time, I will just frag on rather than digging deeper.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Holding Hands with Grace, One Year Later

Today marks a full year since we lost our Anna. I have asked many times in the past year, how do we go on? The answer to my question every time has been the same as it is today...we just do with strength and will and with as much grace as we can muster.

My husband wrote a particular song, "Holding Hands with Grace," during Anna's illness. He had lost his own mother, Pat, to cancer just two weeks before Anna's diagnosis and was grieving her loss. Anna's diagnosis set the world further upside down for us. With Anna's struggle and strength in mind, writing the song was my husband's way of working out the sometimes incomprehensible things in life and laying down that need to understand.

The song is a comfort to us and our family. My husband was even able to sing it at Anna's family memorial service in Tennessee in June 2012.

On this anniversary, Bo Weevil (my husband, Anna's uncle) is releasing his latest album titled "Holding Hands with Grace". The album is dedicated to Anna and Pat and the wonderful memories shared with them in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

The full album and as well as individual tracks are available for download by clicking here or on the image above. The full web address to access is

Since HHWG is so strongly connected to Anna, proceeds from the download of the single HHWG will be donated to:

Anna Daley Fighting Saint Scholarship
Saint Charles East High School
St. Charles, Illinois

This scholarship was established by Anna's parents, Sean and Lisa, to award graduating seniors who exhibit high academic achievement as well as personal qualities of integrity, leadership, community service, spirituality and, in true Anna Daley Fighting Spirit, the ability to transcend life's challenges and to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

While the 2013 scholarships have already been funded, Anna's mom, Lisa has set forth a challenge to get the 2014 scholarships started with as many downloads today as we can.  Let's see how far it goes!

And to readdress the question, how do we go on? We remember Anna:

"living a life of love, a joyful look upon your face. 'Cause you're Holding Hands with Grace."
 - Bo Weevil

Monday, May 6, 2013

He is from....His Own Land

And into the Land of First was born another.
This new One was not to be Second, for Second would mean another of the same.
Or another lesser than the First.

This new One would be Second in chronology only.
This One would be a sort of his own, a First in his own way.
And he would take us along on his surefooted trek through the Land of Second to None.

He arrived and jumped right in lock step to the flow that had begun before him.
He marched a few steps along with us and then showed us another way to move.
Easy, relaxed, hopeful, joyous.

He is from Blanket and Guess How Much I Love You.
He comes from a place where babies sleep through the night, smile more than cry and
give good kisses.
He is from the moon and back.

He is from Mama, I can do it myself.
He is from creativity and look what I made!
Where he comes from they ask what if we did this?
And, want to play the game I made up?

Where he is from, you go first, I can wait.
I don't mind, sure I'll share.
But he does not come from I don't matter.
He is from a place where giving in is not giving up.

He is from the endangered and recessive: a natural redhead.
He is from his Mama's line of gingers,
his Daddy's line of Scottish eyes of blue.
He stands out here.

He is from his Daddy's musical heart.
He is from melody and tone and rhythm.
He is from singing along and dancing around.
Where he comes from they play it by ear.
He is from harmony.

He is from the place where things come easily
But he understands when to work hard.
He is from keep your eye on the ball and wait for the right pitch.
He is from good sport, good game, good game, good game, good game....

He is from books and more books and words and stories.
He is from read to me, let me read to you.
And let's read it again.

He is from comic genius, word play and quick wit.
Where he comes from laughter spills all over everything and smiles are free.

He is from a place I want to go.
He is from ease and peace
He takes you there when you need reminding
That is the place where you come from too.

Happy Birthday, King of Second to None!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

He is from...the Land of First

He is from a place that holds no memories for him.
But we remember that place. Our first house, first yard, first baby.
His first foods, first words, first steps, first birthday.

He is from a place of new experiences, leading the way, pulling us along with him. 
He is wide-eyed but ours are wider as we follow his confident lead through the Land of First.

He is from collections of collections.
Bugs, rocks, youth's objets d'art.
He is from Blue Boy and Goodnight Moon.

He is from sentimentality and let's pack it away for later.
He is from this could come in handy sometime.

He is from his Daddy's mold.
Blue, analytical eyes seeking the proof.
He is from how does it work?
He is from taking it all apart and putting it back together.
He is from I can make it work better.

He is from devices, gadgets, contraptions and gizmos.
Where he is from, he fixes my computer, my phone, my digital everything.
He is from invention and high technology, physics and electronics,
hydro-this and quantum-that.
He is from the place where my head spins.

He is from his Mama's mood.
Where he is from, thoughts run deep and feelings run deeper.

He is from loving, hugging, sharing.
He is from keeping it all in sometimes.
He is from iron will and gotta be right.

He is from growing up quick with an old soul's grace.
He is from a long line of those who cry in the driveway.
Where he is from, big brothers show the little one the ropes.

He settled in the land of good Scout, good friend, good brother, good family.
He is from the place where a boy needs a dog whether he knows it or not.

He is from the Georgia heat, the Tennessee hills, the Maryland suburbs.
He is from worlds I don't understand,
dubstep, texture packs, white lists, post-apocalyptic story lines.

He is our first teenager. Our eyes grow even wider at the thought.
Increasingly, he will belong to his worlds more than he will belong to ours.

But he will always be welcome in our world.

Happy Birthday, King of First!