Saturday, December 22, 2012
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I am the EGG MAN!
Dana's folding laundry in the bedroom. From the den comes this sound:
Tap tap tap... crack! followed by Jackson, "Hee hee hee hee!"
He's cracking eggs on the couch. Sofa omelet, anyone?
UPDATE: Also, just today, Jackson brought in the backyard trashcan and started emptying it on the living room floor. Must've had a shopvac demonstration planned.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Jackson's turning 4! Can you believe it?
We get to hold a living breathing miracle every day.
My heart of silk
is filled with lights,
with lost bells,
with lilies and bees,
I will go far,
farther than those hills,
farther than the seas,
close to the stars,
to beg Christ the Lord
to give back the soul I had
of old, when I was a child,
ripened with legends,
with a feathered cap
and a wooden sword.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Proud Moments in Parenting (episode 528)
"'How does a word change when you put un in front of it?' Like it says here, write a sentence with each word... button... un-button?"
She writes button and unbutton into sentences. Next word: able.
"Able. 'I am... able... to drive a car.'"
"'I am unable to... fart my ABC's.'"
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Fear in the Morning (unrated)
In the bedrooms, MOM is up, too, getting hangers with clothes from her closet. She heads up the hallway then hears a low rumbling growl. The sound is like something from the AMITYVILLE HORROR, or an EXORCIST sequel. She freezes, looks overhead toward the attic door; her eyes widen; pulse quickens. Then, from DAUGHTER'S room, the growl stops, and a demonic voice says:
"TELL DAD TO STOP MESSIN' WITH THE DISHES....!"
Monday, June 15, 2009
Keep your eyes open for the moment when hope arrives.
That's what the Preacher said. Even with eyes wide open, it's sometimes difficult to discern.
But I'm of the opinion it's all in your perspective. Insert joke about those goofy ATTITUDE posters here. It's true, though. My attitude improves in direct proportion to my vegetable planting.
Jackson's third birthday, can you believe it…?
It's been no bed of roses – well, wait, actually, it has. Lovely to look at, heavenly smell, but messy and chaotic at times, and, if you ain't careful, you can get badly scratched. Develop a tough skin; keep first aid stuff handy; look before you leap; and use general common sense. Other than that, leave it in God's hands. Focus on doing what you must, not overwhelming yourself, and remembering to savor it all.
Miracle Boy gets attention everywhere he goes. It's the hair. And the way he goes and goes and goes.
Three years have gone by in frequent information overload. Some highlights and milestones:
2006, Christmas: Jackson at home, the best Christmas present ever. His Great-grandma Kay comes from FL and holds him every minute she can.
2007: Many doctor visits; synagis shots at $2300 a pop. Jackson's eyes and brain are checking out fine.
Tommy went to magnet school; Harrison and Chandler go to Holy Cross.
Dana's doing everything for everyone. She has a dream that her Dad rises out of Jackson's head in his crib and then is standing next to our bed. He puts his hand on her head and tells her everything is going to be okay.
Jeff goes for Masters degree at Troy, knowing that career ambition is a beast with sharp teeth which are liable to bite in any direction.
2008: Jackson with the speech therapist:
"Bath. Jackson: say bath." Jackson runs in the bathroom and takes off his shirt.
Later, "…snack. Jackson, snack…?" He runs in the pantry and brings her a bag of chips.
Dana nearly loses her mind with a houseful of kids all summer. Jeff nearly loses his mind, but finishes degree (so far, that and $4 will get you a tall mocha java).
2009: Jackson runs and runs some more. He loves outside. He's prone to yank all his clothes off from time to time. He loves water, but spends more time at the pool running from place to place. I don't take a camera to the pool, but will remember till my last breath the sight of him in the fountain, splashing, spraying diamonds into the clear blue sky.
Dana starts back teaching preschool, relieved to go to work.
Writing's been hard, and as many times as I've wanted to, I'm too sleepy; too angry; too depressed to do it justice. It's felt like my best efforts and energy were sucked out of me, or I gave it obsessively, for work work and more work. And why? The pay's just the same.
"…maybe you couldn't enjoy your life and put it into the bank, too." Neighbor Rosicky, Willa Cather
The workplace has frequently been a funhouse run by madmen with no sense of humor; oh, the stories I could tell… but if the Feds want more, they know where to find me.
I've had the easy part; Dana's the one with the real burden.
If only. Everyone says that sometime in life. There are moments when you literally hate your life, and wonder what if. We do the best we can with what we know at the moment. But we don't cut ourselves any slack at these low moments that come further on up the road.
Only 2 things you can do with the past: live with it, and learn from it. I think grief is like a boulder, and sometimes we can only stand there waiting, watching, willing it to wear down from the elements. It does seem to take forever and ever for it to change even the slightest amount, while events rocket past, around, over and through us.
Dana was a single widow with Harrison, and Chandler on the way, in summer 2001. Her dad and mom offered to help her move back home, numerous times. Once a sweet little old lady at church talked with her and said, "God picks these flowers for a reason." She stayed in Montgomery. Chandler was born 5 weeks premature, and came home 9/10/01, the day before "the day that changed everything."
Dana's dad, Rev. Marcus Jackson Chandler, was one of the best men God ever put on this earth. On top of that, he was Dana's daddy and her foundation for everything that was good and true and righteous in this world. Everyone who came to comfort him, while he was bedridden for 4 years, came away comforted.
He was hospitalized in 2003. His lungs were filling up; he couldn't talk. Trying to comfort him, one of his siblings tried to help him, telling him to relax, and he didn't have to fight so hard, and Marcus pointed at Dana. He was holding on for her.
He married us, from his bed at home, in 2004. I promised him I would take as much care of her as she would let me.
The last time he fell ill, January 2005, everyone feared this was the last time, at last. It was.
I never heard Marcus speak again. I heard that he did have moments of alertness when he tried to speak, and that he actually did see his brother Edward (who's also a pastor), look right at him, and say just one word: "Pray."
If you were laboring to breathe, knowing any one might very well be your last breath, what one word would you say…?
We get to see a miracle, living and breathing and playing, every day.
The great African guitarist, Ali Farka Touré, once said the spirits must have love for a person to send him the music, and that he was as transported as the listener, completely content; and that "one cannot always feel that way, but wait just a little while, and one will get that feeling back."
For everyone who's supported, encouraged, prayed for, fed, or generally taken an interest in us, bless you and thank you. I hope this little update reflects some of that love back to you.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Not thongs, Speedos. She and Harrison started swim practice this week. Funny stuff.
Hurricane season is upon us. Glad they're not predicting a nice quiet storm season; maybe we'll make it through without another onslaught. Cool tool here.
More fun with maps here.
Bradley Byrne has run off to run for Gov. Some of us in the 2 year college orbit considered starting a pool on departure date, I coulda won some money. Roy Moore wants the spotlight back, too. Wonder if they'll have another Ten Commandments Rolling Thunder Circus outside the Supreme Court...?
Should be interesting times in the next 12 months.