I was leafing through my mom’s old bible that’s sat on our shelf since she died

when two pieces of paper floated out and landed by my side


Two old photos I hadn’t seen before…photos I never knew she had…

Photos of two soldiers…one my mom and one my dad.


On the back of the two photos…five words in faded grey

written in each other’s hand…’you take my breath away”


Photos they must have given each other before war tore them apart

Photos that, while in their youth, showed the essence of their hearts. 


I imagine they kept these photos with them…to help see them through the war

I imagine they kept them near their hearts…like so many soldiers had before.


And when they returned home again…safe, secure…unharmed…

the pictures were not needed for they had each others arms…


So they found a final resting place- their job was now complete..

in a page in Mom’s old bible…until they landed at my feet…


Two photos from a time I didi not know them…when their love was new and strong

Two photos that…after reading them…I tucked back where they belong.


Perhaps it’s a bit egotistical of me…and certainly it’s wrong

but I never thought much about my parents lives before I came along…


But reading the back of those two photos…

from another time…

another day…

made me smile for a moment 

as they took my breath away.

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When he was but a child his parents often smiled

when he wanted them to read him Peter Pan.

And when they read, “the end." he’d say, “Please, read it all again.”

“This time a little slower if you can.”


So they’d read it all again…and again and again and again

for that is what mothers and fathers do

because if it is loved by their son…and he is having fun

they find…they love it too.


When she was a but child her parents often smiled

when she wanted to climb their tallest tree.

She would climb up and down and then… say, “I want to climb again

there is still so much up there I want to see”.


So they’d watch her climb again…and again and again and again

for that is what mothers and fathers do

because if it is loved by their daughter…when they stand under that tree and spot her

they find…they love it too.


But sons and daughters grow…as all parents know

for life is nothing if not fleet.

The woman and the man move on from climbing trees and Peter Pan

and keeping up with what they love’s no easy feat.


So they watch and often worry as life seems to scurry

trying to love what they love too.

Their children may no longer heed them 

but they will be there if they need them

for that is what loving parents do.


And though they’re sad life moves so fast…from the present to the past

there is one thing that keeps parents happy too…

As they ride life’s ebb and flow…they are overjoyed to know

the things their children love may change

but not the who.


And there will come a day…when they are old and grey…

(for this is exactly what parents do)

A day they’ll look back when they can…

and remember climbing trees and Peter Pan


and they’ll remember how they loved them too…

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Why is it parents love to stand

quietly…without making a peep

if only for a moment

and watch their children sleep?


Could it be they love to see

in that moment soft and mild

the beauty of pure innocence

the angel in the child?


Could it be in that moment

with no reason to worry, to fret, to call them 

they are praying for their children’s happiness

and that no harm shall befall them?


That they just want their children to know

as they float on slumber’s stream

they will be there in the day to protect their hopes


and at night…to guard their dreams.

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Do your parents ever talk to you…even when they’re not here…or they’re dead?

Do you sometimes, when you least expect it, hear their voices in your head?


When you need a soothing smile…when you’re feeling sad or blue

When you close your eyes can you see them…standing next to you?


When you have a difficult decision…a complicated choice

Do you hear their words of wisdom…or a sympathetic voice?


When something wonderful has happened…do you suddenly become aware

If only for an instant…they are smiling…standing there?


Do you wonder if it’s just your imagination…or could this fact be true

that your parents…even when they’re gone, are still a part of you.


Which means throughout your life…even times you’re on your own

when you stop and think about it…you will never be alone..


Because you’re parents even when their not around are acting in your stead

and you’ll be blessed throughout your life to hear their voices in your head…


So the next time you hear your parents…hear those old familiar sounds

Smile…knowing they are close by…even when they’re not around.


And if it’s any consolation…long after you are dead

your children, when they least expect it…


will hear your voices in their heads.

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When our first child is born

we celebrate the day

at that moment we don’t care

if they are bi or straight or gay


We only care they are alive…

have all their body parts...

that they are breathing on their own…

and come with healthy hearts.


And each time we are blessed with a child

we celebrate that day

still not caring at that moment

if they are bi

or straight

or gay.


We only care that they are close to us…

that in their lives we play a part

that they all have gentleness in their souls…

and kindness in their hearts


And so parents of the world I ask this question: 

As we think back to our initial vow…

If we didn’t care when they were born…


Why should we care now?

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That smart girl

That smart girl in front of the class

Hand always raised.

It seems like it`s all so easy for her.

And to the sky she is praised

That smart girl goes home

Sit down and study for 8 hours straight

Wanting to be great

For each failure cuts her to the bone.


People not understanding why she`s to erratic

Calling her dramatic, fanatic, and problematic.

Frustrated to the point of crying
She acts like she`s dying

People don’t understand the meaning of that low grade
But her mind goes on a self-crusade, feeling betrayed.

She does her best and still it`s not enough

Because this stuff

Is just too rough

And she can´t bluff

So, home she scuffs

Here she has to discuss

If in her, her parents put to much of their trust.

Being ready to combust

She is hushed.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

this is simply for fun and people should be free to make their own interpretations.


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Our parents passed away long ago yet we’ve never felt bereft

Because…when we look around our home…our life…

it’s like they never left.


The other day I glanced in the mirror and in there who did I see?

For a moment…just a moment…my dad looking out at me.


I stopped to take a closer look…and much to my surprise

In the mirror…staring back at me…were those my mother’s eyes?


Deborah has had similar experiences…I suppose she has no choice…

Sometimes when she’s speaking…she hears her mother’s voice.


I sometimes laugh just like my mom…Deborah, like her dad, is kind.

It seems our house…our lives…

are filled with many things our parents left behind.


A picture of Deborah’s parents looking happy…alive…serene

A pen and ink drawing my Dad completed when he was just a teen.


A hat worn by Deborah’s dad…my mom’s Hummels on a stand

Deborah has a cookbook…all the recipes written by her mom’s hand.


But not everything they left behind has the ability to enthrall….

Like my intolerance for lactose…and my high cholesterol.


And I imagine their genes had something to do with my vision…or lack thereof…

But in retrospect the most important thing our parents left us… 

was their legacy of love…


It can be felt in the walls, the floors, the ceilings…on the ground and in the air…

The love we felt when they were here…is floating everywhere…

So the next time we see or hear them…

It will remind us how we’re intertwined…

And we’ll take a moment to thank them…

for all the things they left behind.



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Their advice to me was simple:

If you want to be happy…

If you want to keep yourself on track:

Fill your life with people you love…

who, you know, love you back.


You won’t have time to think about

all the things you lack:

If you fill your life with people you love…

who, you know, love you back.


And they were right…my mom an dad!

I am happy…

and I’ve kept myself on track…

by remembering the words of the first two people I loved…

who, I knew, loved me back.


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