Millstones and Milestones

Seventeen. My oldest daughter would have turned seventeen last week. Seventeen seems like such an unimportant birthday. You became legal to drive the year before, and it will be another year before you are an adult. Seventeen is just seventeen.

As I sit here at the park watching my boys and my little girl play at the park, I can’t help but think there is more to being seventeen. This year would be the last she would be a child. Responsibilities sh e will never have to face would be looming around the corner. Decisions about the future would need addressing. She does not have to worry about any of that, but I wish she did.

This morning might have opened with a big breakfast, if we could get her out of bed, and she would have gotten hugs and kisses until she told us to go away. We wouldn’t listen. A dinner of her choosing and a cake made by her mom (or maybe her brother since he loves to bake) would end the day. Would she go out with her friends, or would she stay home with her family? I don’t know, and I never will.

My wife asked me if it would ever stop hurting. I told her no. It will always hurt when those two lonely milestones come around.

For my part the grief for her, my Hailey, hangs about my heart like a millstone grinding away at the wheat of my soul with a slow persistence that I may never be rid of entirely.

Thankfully, I have my wife and children to keep me whole. They are the light that chases away the darkness that wants to feed the destructive urges that lurk beneath the surface. They may never know exactly how much I love them, but I try to show them and tell them every day.

Happy Mother’s Day 2014

Today I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to the three mother’s in my life.

Mother's Day
Tracy and Phyllis on our Wedding Day

To Phyllis, my Mother-In-Law, thank you so much for bringing my beautiful wife into this world and being the grandmother to my children. It is always nice when you come for a visit and we look forward to the next time you can make it here.

Mother's Day
My mom and I on my wedding day.

To Marianna, my mom, I miss you so much and getting to see you last fall was a great treat. You’ve always been there for me, even when I didn’t know I needed you, and though I don’t always remember to call or send a card, I am glad you’re my mom and I hope you have a wonderful day.

Tracy on our Wedding Day. Isn’t she beautiful?

To Tracy, my wife and mother of my kids, I love you more than words can say, but I am going to try anyway. Every day I count myself lucky to have met you and to have you in my life. If I had known how great a mother you would be I would have thought you were too good to be true. Our children are brilliant, friendly, and beautiful. I know they got most of the good stuff from you and I know that with your guidance our kids are destined for great things.


I love you all. Happy Mother’s day.

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And The Baby Elephant Walk Played On…

Eleven years ago today I became the luckiest man in the world.  The love of my life said, “I do,” before all of our friends and family and she has stuck with me for eleven years.

We Say I Do!

We are not that mythical perfect couple, nor do we have a perfect marriage.  We fight, we yell, we cry.  Most of all though we love.  There is no question that we love each other and would give anything for each other.   We have hit the lowest of lows and the highest of highs together.  We have survived times that may have shattered other marriages and we are still faced with challenges, but we manage to work our way through them just the same.

I look at her and smile and she wonders why, but all I can tell her is that I love her and it is the truth.  She is the sunlight that illuminates my dreary night and I can’t help but grin in the quiet moments of our life together.

Tracy has given me three beautiful children and she is a spectacular mother, caring for her boys in ways that I would never think about.

She is my partner and my future and I love her more than words can say.  As a writer I find this a little embarassing.  I should be able to extole her virtues in prose, but every attempt has left me feeling like I can do better.  She is beautiful and smart to the point where I wonder how I got so lucky and when will she wise up. She is funny and puts up with my bad jokes too. She is my everything and I would be so much less without her.

I love you Tracy.  Happy Anniversary.

Too Much Frosting

Having been married once I decided that I would never do it again.  Marriage changes thing, changes people.  Change is highly overrated and I figured I was never going to find someone who would be the same ten years from now, well then what was the point of marriage.  It makes more sense to just be monogamous until the two of you outgrow one another, then you part amicably and look for someone new.  It would be perfect.

I expressed this idea to my grandfather and he laughed, not in that gentle, knowing way grandparents on TV laugh, no his laugh was mocking and semi-hysterical.  “For someone who thinks he’s smart, you’re not too bright.”  The laughter continued for some time and every time I’d try to explain my reasoning the laughter would just get louder. Continue reading “Too Much Frosting”