Monday, September 17, 2007

There's magic in that old umbrella....

She wouldn’t let me do it. Post it to her blog. Copy the words and share them on the pages of Hand-me-down Levi’s where she is the biggest contributor, and has only ever typed thank-you's and love you's in the comment boxes. Where the walls are painted with love. She only let me listen. And in the quiet Sunday morning after, I sighed and tried to take it all in, one big whoosh of love….tried to save it in my mind, freeze dry the words in a forever state of limbo….

Love letter to my oldest child from Kimbies…..
Shared moments before she sealed the envelope and sent it sailing, a paper kite…..

It won’t be the same here, because I’m not the author and the words were fairytale perfect, captured just as they happened, as they were felt, as they became magic in the making, but the story is so beautiful and if the world, for just a tiny second, could capture life in their hands, the way Kimbies does in her heart, we would all know……peace and love…..

Dear Sweetest Child,

How could I have ever known that day, in the sandy gritty parking lot, when you lugged that old umbrella, stuffed into it’s sack, and plopped it into the back of my mini van, the gifts it would bear? But you knew, didn’t you? Keys in your hand, checking out, counting heads, pulling away from the beach…..your babies faces smashed up against the windows blowing kisses as you drove away, you knew……

And there it lay, on the carpeted floor of my van, waiting….

Thank you , sweet child…..

For shelter from the sun I love so much, for the little tent we’ve camped under over and over again. Alana and I. Sandy peanut butter sandwiches squished between her fingers, sippy cups melting in the heat. Our toes buried under treasure sand. For the rooftop over our heads, Grand-C in her long sleeves, shadowed from the very light we love, protected. We drag the umbrella closer to the water’s edge. A squiggly trail of where we’ve been left in the wet sand. And dig to China. The ocean sees us there. And comes to greet us. Three generations of girls. She knows I can’t come to her and so she plays birthday party at our feet. Dropping trinkets, a thousand years old or older, just within Alana’s reach….And Alana names them all….. “Umbwella chells, buttafwy chells, fingahnail chells” and drops them in her tiny plastic bucket. “Twehsures”…… she chases the frothy bubbles of the mermaid’s breath at the oceans edge, catching them with her butterfly net…..and we splash, and laugh, and precious, precious memories are made…..

When it’s time to go, when the tide reminds us by climbing a little higher, talking a little louder, pushing us a little harder, we follow the squiggly trail of the umbrella’s footsteps, back to the car…..and turn around, amazed at the vastness, the bigness behind us.
Alana raises her little fingers to her lips and blows….softly, butterfly kisses to the sea…..

“Tank you, ocean, Tank you……”

I thank you sweet child, for the gift you’ve always been….

In April of 2006 Kimbies was diagnosed with breast cancer, Stage IV, and the last year and a half has changed all of our lives forever, the sun became taboo and the race to live began. We are celebrating remission now, in all it’s hugeness, but the treatments continue, the mountain climbing an always present task. Kimbies is going to the beach again. Hand in hand with her tiny grand~daughter and in the sand, right behind her, our Mom. Love grows.


eric1313 said...

Now this is a blessing. All the love you've bourne and the love the bore you to the world. Thank it, by that which you hold most holy, as I know you do everyday.

The mother ocean
bringing sweet life
and the foam of
"mermaid's breath";
teaches us all
that life may swoosh
back and fourth and
back again...

but it always finds
it's propper level
under pull of moon
and the closest
yellow star's
caress on familliar
love-worn skin.

Everything swimming
through the sky:
the waves, distant
sails--and clouds
to rest like crazy,
lazy angels high,
as you bring life
back, fourth, back
to mother ocean
waving to you--
all of you...
who see mermaids
in her most royal
blue reflection.

eric1313 said...

Call it: A Peace of the Tides

You and yours have become quite an inspiration to me. It wouldn't be so if not for your clear vision of what love really means.

Bless you and Kimbies and SLB and the whole clan.
peace, love, porch parties...
Many a fine clink!

singleton said...

she is a mermaid goddess
smiling from the rocks...
and the ocean
and the sun
and the sand
and periwinkles
kiss her
with mouths wide open
swallowing her whole
because she's more
than they ever

barefoot children,
knees crunched to the earth
dig for diamonds in
her shadows
and smile....

the ocean whispers
and we're ankle deep,
knee deep,
in the gift she's always been...

eric1313 said...

"she is a mermaid goddess"

That she is, you say and she lives it.

"kiss her
with mouths wide open
swallowing her whole
because she's more
than they ever

How visual and stunning, I'm floored and climbing the star dazzle painted walls. You create with the best.

singleton said...

And she was little once
auburn haired
and standing
on the mildewed
endless planks
that lined the Sylvan Dock
and waving at the birds
toddler chatter to
muddy fish in her
green polka dot dress
and we held our breath
her teetering there
leaning out over the water
and then she threw her head
indian braids
and laughed
barefeet dancing in a circle
and I'm sure
from where I stood
perched with a cigarette in
my "I just learned to smoke" mouth
I heard
minnows clapping......

singleton said...

And at five
she rescued hermit crabs
and soft blue shells
and shrimp with
googly eyes
and she saved them
from the frothy tides
and saltwater hunters
and their inevitable
Friday Night Special Fate
by bringing them home
and tucking them close
and tight
and nighty-night
next to her cheeks
her breaths
on the princess pillow
under the pink gingham canopy....
and we never had the heart to tell her....

eric1313 said...

...a tiny thunder
from out of the brine

It was not a miracle,
so much as a revelation;

life is what you make it
how you make it--
like love
like a drawing done
by hands shaking
with creative electricity

like love: life like

and the clouds blew out
to the Atlantic to
allow the sun to set
in it's own watery peace.

Auburn, red, gold
blue, azure and blackest
velvet speckled with
heaven's crown of jewels.

She was gone for the night
slipped under waves

and the waiting begins
for dawn's heralding
aether glow
to melt nighttime reality
into the finest morning
we will ever wish to know.

eric1313 said...

hey! Your too fast for me! I'm just a seal pup, and you're a Mermaid swimming with lightning's own quick and dazzle!

singleton said...

And she stands in line
at wallmart
flip flops on the dirty floor
and waits her turn
to tell the
"Whaddya want, Lady?" orange vested teen,
that he has to follow
her now
to scoop up the one eyed
missing his gills
barely floating
on the muddy floored aquarium
and place him carefully
in a plastic
And she pays the 39 cents happily...
and names him as he floats in
the dirty pouch propped up in her console....
on the long ride home
to life

And he lives a day, or a week,
or a month
or 7 years before
she finds him
bottoms up
floating on the
crystal blue surface....
in peace....

eric1313 said...

and nothing will be forgotten
not the one eye
floundering for the halibut

not the scales glimering
in flourecent light and
pink pebbles mixed with
green glass

and a month later
forgotten is this death
with one small oops

somebody bought fish food...

seems a sign

that life will live
one more time and forever
on display

on the floor

in the palms of a babe's
small hand

Isn't it love?

it is

Is it in peace?

it is

is it ours?


now sleep for one more night
letting sands drift down
on a tiny child's island
of love

a sleeping bag filled with
beaches and pearls and light

singleton said...

And the finest morning we'll ever wish to know
is barely light
and chilly still
beer bottles and empty bloody mary's line the seawall
leftover from the night before
the night that never ended
the night that
spite of itself
the morning after.....
and we didn't say a word
coffee cups
in the wind
and we tore off down
the ramp
her nightgown flowing
my yesterdays clothes baggy from 24 hours
of living
scrunched our toes in the
sleepy wet sand

eric1313 said...

small thankyous
are the sound of her breath

singleton said...

"a sleeping bag filled with
beaches and pearls and light"

The perfect slumber party....

eric1313 said...

An epic
not greek
not roman

not even Babe-a-lawn

but small words
lines growing to the sky
in a language
nothing will ever confound.

eric1313 said...

Ahh, Sing, this was perfect...

Shall I put them in order and mail to you what comes of this Odyssey?

singleton said...

thank you for letting me spill, for trying to say in small paragraphs the magic she has
always seen
if she only knew
how the thousand animals she has named
call her Mom
how the hundreds of souls she has
touched call her love
how many times I have
called her in need....
and for all of us,
she is always there,
bending down
with the butterfly
wading through the tides....

singleton said...

Eric....scoop 'em up.....
sort 'em out on the windowsill....
butterfly shells and umbrella shells
and string 'em
into wind chimes.
It's raining here
and I can almost
hear them
telling stories...

eric1313 said...

waiting for the perfect breeze
on which to whisper
"I love you"

Can you hear the echo?

She calls
and through the grass
through the sand

are trails
where we pass

mouthing the names
of everything


has given life's breath to
she knows...
we know...

an love with every twitch
of our hearts
in life
with love.

Forget not this song of
distant whales

the ocean will carry it
around the world.

singleton said...

"And the finest morning we'll ever wish to know" is yet to come...

eric1313 said...

I'm on it.

Hand-written or fancy fonts?

eric1313 said...

How's your night, other than the rain?

The young ones home with you?

Tired yet?

singleton said...

honestly, I'm exhausted, from nothing, and that has been day after day after day lately. It can't be this damned concrete block, I've lugged a lot heavier, I'm just tired, and my second wind is hiding....and I don't know why....I've gone from 4 hours sleep to I just can never get enough.... and that's a first....

singleton said...

and you?
treehouses and trains and everything in between?

eric1313 said...

wow. I can go a month on four hours a night, but the next month I have to get eight hours a night, or my brain falls apart.

Turning in soon? I wouldn't blame you.

This has been one really great porch party.


eric1313 said...

Busy, but not today. I'm looking for a job--hardly, but I am.

eric1313 said...

There's a night time job around the corner, but my best work comes at night. Heck, when I work all the time, I don't create as often or as well as I should.

That's why I need to be a proffessor!

singleton said...

LOL! "hardly, but I am"! i love it!

k, I'm going to drift, to pretend I'm floating, the rain is hard and soft at the same time, and loud and quiet, but steady,like drums way way off in the distance, and the house is breathing those deep sleep breaths.....

peace~love my friend

singleton said...

pssst.....don't get a night job, you'll lose it after they find you scribblin' in the corner.....the moon loves you!

eric1313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric1313 said...

".....the moon loves you!"

She sure does, you know...

The Moon Loves You, Baby

Just looked outside my window,
at Luna swinging so very low,
over the horizon and treetops
looming as big as the houses
only inches beneath
her gold harvest glow.

I'll walk to her; watch me,
the distance closed
to a conspiratorial wink.

I leap to the tree tops
and flip-spin ninja quick
to her silver, still land.

Watch me:
I'll take that old moonmobile
that the spacemen double parked,
keys dangling in the ignition
for a joyride; circles, spirals
victory turns, round forever,
dust kicking up in clouds
made of pure-silver lining.

Luna and me laughing in love--
rolling in ticklish maddness,
while the aliens of the earth
make wild ghost story guesses
as to why she glows so gilded
in this cool breeze autumn night.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Dear Kimbies & her beautiful letters ... sent or unsent, her love & appreciation for those things in life that truly matter is always there. Her contagious gift is in recognizing those things. While so many others go hungry... blindly looking for fine bone china, she serves up delicious edibles in solo cups & paper plates...for all of us to sop up.

karma lennon said...

Now this is a blessing, not only to read what Kimbies wrote but then to read the back forth between you and Eric. Very cool. Totally made a difference in my morning. Thanks, guys. :)

SpongyBones said...

Speechless .... wonderful umbrella of love here!

kj said...

honest to god, reading this is like watching your dog give birth to her puppies.

i hope that makes sense. i mean it with awe!

justacoolcat said...

What a sweet tribute. Cheers to the umbrellas that protect us.

Sandy Kessler said...

just keep walking in the sand . My birthday is tomoorw 6 years uphill cancer struggle and positive power is the key , along with probiotics and lovely organic veggies especailly juices. I so believe....

JustRun said...

Aww, I love this. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

singleton said...

"I see the moon and
the moon sees you....."
even in the late night rain,
the quiet so loud,
I knew you were typing.....Clink!
And a good one!

SLB...."for us all to sop up" couldn't have put it better....everywhere she goes, everyone she meets, everyone and everything she touches.....
and without even knowing what happened...
She has the gift and gives it freely! ILYBSVVM, sister~love

karma....because her gifts are so widespread, and contagious, and liquid.....I'm so glad you too, could feel the magic....may the circle be unbroken!

peace and love
may it shine

singleton said...

spongy....we can feel it! Muaahhh! always make sense to me! Feel the grows!

Cat.....Alana calls them "wainbwellas".....and this ole one, we're gonna cheer! and clink! and tink! til it's frayed!

sandy...I think about you often, mountain climbing and picking daisies all along the way....Clink! to incredible spirits, incredible fight, incredible strength, incredible women....WE BELIEVE!

Justrun....Thank you sweetie, she is a love!

shine on and on and on......

Mavin said...

I love this line,

"Our toes buried under treasure sand."

I imagined the sand being diamonds, pearls, and jewels of all sorts when that came to mind.

This was great, thanks for sharing.

Take care, Mavin. :D

savannah said...

sweet love...thank you, sugar ..hold fast to the ties that bind ever so are in my thoughts, darlin

eric1313 said...

Sweet Singer in blue...

hope the moon smiles at you too!

paddy said...

Likewise in your comments box: love you's
Y;-) Paddy

drips of paint said...

I see inspiration flying at every direction here and thought I was late for it but Bammmm! one just hit me in my face....

live on well Kimbies, singleton, Eric and all here

take care

eric1313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric1313 said...

Clink! Clink!

Justgivemepeace is up at my site for a sweet exhibition.

And the poem I put with her is excellent. You'll love it!

Everyone's invited!



Orhan Kahn said...


Aw, snap.

So sweet.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Can your energy be bottled and sold as essential oils?

singleton said...

mavin.....And it was! and is! And each trip there again, they dig their toes deeper and deeper into the the treasure chest!

savannah....thank you sweetie, the ties that bind us are great. Brigtly colored heartstrings.

Eric....And it did. In the late night rainy hours, I found myself parked indian style on the leopard skin rug, face to face, in rare conversation, deep passings back and forth with my son. Opening up and sharing comes at unexpected times. And yes, the moon was shining, and the rain a distance drummer.... soon I'll tell you a story......

drips.....see? Getting bopped in the head is contagious around here! Thank you for the wonderful wishes sweetie and take that inspiration and run with it!

orhan....snap! If we could capture it all, freeze frame the magic!

energy....Ha! :)What would we call it?

Peace~love to all, feel the healing, feel the magic, feel the love....

eric1313 said...

...I feel it all. All of it.

And thank you for the lady--and the bottle caps! I put her up in a diploma frame, and maybe I'll glue the bottle caps to the glass at each corner. Maybe. What do you think?

Boot Hill Revisited

Boot Hill--
lone graveyard for
all dead cowboys
with forgotten

Resurection day
and went...

And now they
arise high up.

Life is a dream.

And that dream
flies farther
than the finest
eyes can see.

Above the din,
Boot Hill
a lonely memory,
far below their
soles and spurs.

Cowboys shaking
the gravedust off
their white or
black hats,
and reach for
the sky.

all names
are remembered,
and forever more.

eric1313 said...

There you go, Singleton.

One more for the trail song singers to strum their guitars to around the cracklin' mesquite fire and the joshua tress.

singleton said...

all names
are remembered,
and forever more."

Hat's off to that one!

I'll send you a bundle a caps, I collect 'em all year and then color them for pass-the-trash Christmas.....So just hang can just frame her in cowboy hats!

It's still crazy raining here~wish we had a cracklin' fire, and
hickory sticks
strung with oooooey goooey marshmellows
or just
an old tin of jiffy pop
spark the flames!

eric1313 said...

Shish kabobs sounds awesome! Man am I hungry!

Glad you liked the poem. I thought it would go well with the other poems--like 365.

eric1313 said...

ha! you clinked at 8:15
and I at 8:51

eric1313 said...



Maithri said...

Brings tears to my eyes, As if grace itself were speaking.

Sending health, healing light and love to all,


singleton said...

Eric...okay, so I ended up skipping dinner! No shishkabobs at Singletons! Pondering mac and cheese tonight! Gotta river going down in the backyard, the lazy round river popped! And 3280 gallons of water now being syphoned past my almost flooded laundrey room and Ronnies castle in the backyard.....Peace, my friend, and shishkabob dreams! I'll take mine with taters, vidalya onions, tomatoes, shrimp, and a little ribeye, please!

maithri....She is grace herself. The world dances in her eyes, her smile, her visions....
And trust me, every ounce of healing light sent is well used... she is a magic mirror....sharing it always....freely....spreading it, planting it away! Peace and love my friend

Maithri said...

I read this to my dear Dad today, and he was crying,

Thank you all once again,

With love, M

singleton said...

maithri....thank you for sharing with your Father, not just the words, but the moment for Dad and Son. Cherish those. They too, are the gifts of time.....
peace~love my friend