She has a bracelet filled with charms…

Charms to remind her of what, where, when and who

In fact she has so many charms

She has not one bracelet…but two.


You see each charm has it’s own significance, 

it’s own meaning only she can see.

Each one has it’s own story, 

Ii’s own intimate memory.


Some of the charms were her grandmother’s

passed down and granddaughter approved…

like the woman from Hawaii

wearing a hula skirt that moves.


But most of the charms are hers.

There’s a shell, a peace sign, a musical note

Her sister’s name is on one…her grandchildren on another.

there’s even an elephant, and a boat


Each one symbolizing a moment in her life

a memory she has spun

and if you have the time 

she’ll gladly tell you the story of each one.


I’ve heard their stories many times

often I stop and stare

as she tells tales from a time before I knew her

and others we have shared.


Yes, she has two bracelets filled with charms

and would you be alarmed 

if I told you it’s not her bracelets 

but her life that has been charmed.


She is 66 years young

with a host of memories yet to be…

And I wonder if it’s time to start


on bracelet number three.

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One day as we visited Grandpa and saw him sitting there

we thought it was probably the right time to buy him a new chair.


He’s sat in that one forever…when he moves around…it creaks

the cushions are uneven…and one arm rest is weak.


The stitching barely holds together…not much if it remains

and where Grandpa loves to lay his head…is permanently stained.


It’s time for a new one, we all thought, and we were so excited

knowing Grandpa was going to love it…knowing he would be delighted.


But it didn’t go quite as we expected…I guess our thinking was a little out of whack

because when he presented it to Grandpa…he said, “Thanks…but take it back.”


Then Grandpa smiled at the lot of us…and after letting out a sigh

sat back in his old chair and explained his reasons why.


This is the chair I was sitting in when you all first came to visit me.

This is where I held each one of you…where I bounced you on my knee.


This is where we watched TV together…where I put you on my lap

where after a day of playing whatever game you wanted…we’d sit down and take a nap.


This is where I’ve sat each Christmas watching the magic taking place

From here I’ve watched you all grow up…with a smile on my face 


From here I’ve smiled at your grandma…and wondered how she found a way

as we have both grown older…to look more beautiful every day…


Grandpa went on for a long time…(as Grandpa often would)

and well before he finished…we all understood.


So the next day we sat his new chair by the road with gentleness and care…

FREE, the note read, 

with one condition…


it must become a Grandpa chair.

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I saw her as we were driving…she was rusty, dented…out of place

But even with weeds growing all around her I saw pride upon her face.


I wondered how she ended up here…what paths…what roads she took…

so we turned off of the highway to have a closer look.


The years had altered her appearance still I couldn’t help but stare

because even though a little weathered…there was still much beauty there.


Where have you been old girl I wondered as I gave her hood a feel.

What kind of adventures have you had?

Who once sat behind your wheel?


Perhaps you were some young boy or girl’s first car…when they were but a teen.

Oh, the fun you must have had…Oh, the places you have seen.


Perhaps you took a couple on their first date…in the winter cold or summer heat…

Perhaps they fell in love right here as they sat upon your seat.


I wonder did you drive them to their wedding?

Was it a beautiful day in May?

Were you cleaned and polished and shiny?

Did they decorate you that day?


Did you drive them to the hospital…ignoring stop lights in the early morn

the days they needed you most…the days their babies were all born.


Did their children play upon your seats?

On long trips did they sleep upon your seams?

Did you ever see them gazing out your windows and wonder what they dream?


Of course she did not answer me…but after helping her reminisce a while

I’m pretty sure as we walked away 

when I turned back…


she smiled.

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Some people profess to have the ability to look into the future they call it ESP.

Most people however don’t, I fear, most people are like me.


But who needs to predict the future…it’s already coming much too fast

when we are blessed with the ability to see into the past.


Take last week for instance…it happened in a whirl.

We camped at a place where Deborah camped when she was just a girl.


It was on the banks of the Suwannee River and as we watched the river flow

she shared with me her memories from 60 years ago.


She stopped to pause a moment…and thought…how long it’s been

since she walked along this boardwalk…(it didn’t have rails then).


She remembers sand along the shore…wearing bathing suits all day.

She remembers canoeing on this river…and friends and family at play.


And as she told each story…my own ability I began to understand

for I could see her walking on this boardwalk…or playing in the sand.


Not today, not this person…not the Deborah I’ve come to know

but Deborah, that little girl, from 60 years ago.


I could see her, plain as day, standing next to me holding my hand 

and as a girl skipping along this boardwalk…or playing in the sand.


Standing next to me as an adult…and 60 years ago when she was small

and I had to smile at the majesty and wonder of it all


And as each memory Deborah shared…seemed move vivid than the last


I once again felt blessed with my ability…to see into the past

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When our granddaughter asked us to help her with a project…something about an egg

she didn’t need to ask us twice…she didn’t have to beg.


because we know that time is fleeting…and as our grandchildren grow

the more memories we can make the better…so never will we say no…


Her project: to design a contraption…a creation of her own making

that when dropped from a certain height…will protect an egg from breaking.


Her job: to draw up blueprints and ready a report…

Our job: to offer assistance, guidance and support.


We tried three different contraptions…(they could be no bigger than a soccer ball)

and to our amazement, once each was dropped, the egg didn’t break at all!


Three entirely different contraptions and not one egg did we abuse

and now it’s up to her to decide which one she will use.


The collaboration was fun for us…as we watched her give each egg a throw

and we thought how lucky we have been watch our grandchildren grow.


How we were glad to be of help…glad to have saved one egg from breaking…

and glad to add another memory to a lifetime we are making.


She thanked us for helping her with her egg…and as we headed out the door

we smiled knowing it wasn’t just about an egg…


it was about so much more.

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Some people think time is merciless…an unrelenting autocrat

but there are moments when I think…there’s more to her than that.


Have you ever had that perfect moment…when surrounded by family or friends

that moment when you wished to yourself…I hope this moment never ends?


That moment you stop to look around…knowing nothing can compare

for at that moment love is palpable…you can feel it in the air.


And you take a moment to thank time…for pausing…and you smile

as you savor this momentary respite…if only for a while.


And when this fleeting moment’s over and time again begins to drift

You realize by moving slowly…time has given you a gift.


Have you ever had that awful moment…perhaps with family or friends

that moment when you wished to yourself…I can’t wait for this moment to end.


That moment you stop to look around…a moment you cannot bare

for at that moment sorrow is palpable…and sadness fills the air.


And you take a moment to pray that time will not linger…will not stay

that she will gather up this moment and hurry it away.


And when that moment’s over and time again begins to drift

you realize by moving quickly…time has given you a gift.


Life is about collecting moments…moments such as these

moments collected over time which become our memories…


But by slowing down and speeding up…I think you’ll come to find


time is not always merciless…sometimes she’s benevolent…and kind.

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One wonderful trait about being human is the ability to reminisce…

to remember people, places, things and moments

that have happened…that we miss.


Take our house for instance

its floors and walls and ceiling are lined 

with a myriad of memories our children left behind.


Floating in the air…they wait…and we would be remiss

If we didn’t stop and catch a few….

If we didn’t reminisce.


It’s like dipping our hand in the water as we float along a stream…

catching handfuls of our memories

times we laughed and loved and dreamed…


Today as we were cleaning out a drawer

we found a bookmark, that had years ago been misplaced

It was yellow…made of felt

with a little smile for a face.


A little yellow bookmark

picked out of the river flow…

A little yellow bookmark

made by tiny hands so long ago…


A little yellow bookmark…spanning a time continuum so vast

A little yellow bookmark…linking our present to our past…


A little yellow bookmark…

reminding us of a moment in time we miss…

marking that moment forever


every time we reminisce.

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Over the weekend our two youngest grandchildren came to our house to stay

(the two older ones no longer live at home and their parents were away).


We laughed, we ate, we walked, we danced

they played on our computer in between

and we noticed, after we returned them home,

they’d left their fingerprints on its screen.


And when we saw their fingerprints we sighed

thinking how the moments they now stay with us are few…

how they’ve grown up so quickly…

Wasn’t it only yesterday when they were 2?


With the two older grandchildren off at college

and the the two youngest growing fast

we try our best, when we get together,

to make each moment last…


Their lives now take them in different directions 

to different places…new routines

and we wait patiently with net in hand…

to capture moments in between…


Which is why we have decided to preserve 

this latest moment in between…

to make it last a little longer…


and keep their fingerprints on our screen.



She asked why he was smiling…as they sat together by the lake


“I was just thinking,” he said, “about all the memories we’ve yet to make.”

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