Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers 6/24/22

1. Air conditioning! What a blessing.

Yesterday here in Savannah

2. Enjoying Pride month in our humble abode.

3. The ability to read and write.

4. Daughter Emily giving me this old picture she found at a yard sale. It’s special because we had the same one hanging above our fireplace while she was growing up.

5. Having eyes which can embrace truth. Even difficult truth.

May your eyes see a joyful weekend ahead.

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers 6/9/22

1. HR coming down some stairs at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston.

2. Always having enough food to eat.

3. Grandson Daniel on closing night of a three-week run as Joseph in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” here in Savannah. Robert and I gave him a poster listing all the colors in his coat (from lyrics in one of the songs)

4. Excitement about the wonderful possibility of very soon here in Georgia having the nation’s first black female governor. But more important than that incredible first, having the indisputable best candidate win back Georgia for the good of our state.

[A not-so-happy sidenote: Yesterday someone keyed the side of our car near the Abrams’ decal. The battle for Georgia’s soul is not pretty.]

5. The joyful beauty of looking up.

Gibbes Museum of Art

Hope you see a beautiful weekend ahead.

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers 5/27/22

Last night, in the midst of some uninvited anxiety (Hello, Truffles!), I told Robert that I was thinking about not doing my weekly Five Friday Happy Bringers today. That there’s just too much Sadness and Horror in the world to post about Happiness. After giving me a lengthy and incredulous stare … something like this …

… HR helped me see that my rationale made NO sense. “Everything is not negative. And doesn’t positive help to counteract negative?”

He’s right. Happiness continues to come our way, if we see and embrace it.

1. Curly haired courage. Florida high school class president Zander Moricz, speaking at his graduation, brilliantly referencing his being gay (and Florida’s new restrictive anti-gay laws) without ever using the word (as he was told not to do so).

cnn

If you haven’t read about or seen videos of Zander’s speech, here are a few excerpts.

“I must discuss a very public part of my identity…As you know, I have curly hair,” he continued while taking off his graduation cap.

He went on to discuss the challenges faced by curly-haired people. “While having curly hair in Florida is difficult — due to the humidity — I decided to be proud of who I was and started coming to school as my authentic self,” after unsuccessful attempts at straightening, he said. And he found support from teachers who discussed the topic and discovered others with curly hair.

“It’s because of the love I’d drawn from this community that I came out to my family,” he said. “Now I’m happy. Now I’m happy. And that is what is at stake. There are going to be so many kids with curly hair who need a community like Pine View, and they won’t have one. They too will try to straighten that part of themselves.” (The Advocate)

Malay Mail

2. HR prepping for his spectacular Baked Ziti Thursday night.

4. Grandson Gabriel receiving a year-long honor roll award at his school’s ceremony.

With his big brother Daniel and his cousins, twins Matthew and Madison.

4. The classic simplicity of lettuce and tomato.

5. Life. LIFE!

Have a lovely last weekend of May.

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers 4/15/22

1. An incredible lunch: Chicken pot pie at Pie Society, Ellis Square, Historic District Savannah. With HR and ex-wife Donna.

See the little chicks on the crust?

2. A washing machine. And a dryer! Do you have that incredible pair? If so, I invite you to pause, take a moment and thank God (or whoever/whatever) for such a Glorious Blessing. What would your life be like without them?

Ours is small, stacked, not top of the line, but what a blessing!

3. My husband HR …

… who gets on my LAST nerve sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

4. Ridiculous jokes I share with grandchildren.

5. Hope.

I HOPE your weekend is peaceful.

Posted in Uncategorized

Neal’s Post from the Past: “The Viewing & The Circle of Life”

Here’s a post from a decade ago dealing with the death of my father-in-law and my young grandson Daniel’s struggle to understand.

************

My father-in-law passed away earlier this week. Death, of course, is difficult for anyone to cope with, but perhaps especially so for young children. Because they are still so close to birth, little beings of the morning, and because their life experience has been with newness and fresh discovery, with joy and giggles, death must seem unfathomable, foreign, outside of understanding.

But like most kids, my four-year-old grandson Daniel likes to understand: “Abu, why can’t I sit on top of your car? I could see a whole lot better.” “Abu, my teacher won’t let me bring my sword to school and fight like the blue Power Ranger. Why not?” “Why can’t I say potty words?” “Why do we have to wear clothes when it’s hot?” “Why?” “Why?” “Why?”

When his parents arrived at the funeral home north of Atlanta the other evening, they told me that Daniel had, as usual, been plying them with questions about the current subject which went beyond his grasp–his great-grandfather’s death. “But if Papa is in heaven, why will everyone be sad?” “Where IS Papa?”

I played with Daniel and his little brother Gabriel in the large kitchen area of the funeral home, where friends had brought mounds of food. Their mom and dad, Amy and Orte, walked through large white windowed doors and down a narrow hall that eventually led to a sitting room where the family received guests who came to pay their respect and offer condolences. Papa looked pre-cancerous in a striking gray suit, snow-white shirt, and brown and gray tie patterned with tiny crosses. He had been a Methodist minister in the North Georgia Conference. A large United States flag, achingly resplendent in red, white and blue liveliness, lay across the unopened lower half of the coffin. Papa was retired Air Force.

Every few minutes, Daniel ran over to tiptoe and peer through the windows of the white doors, gazing down that long hallway which twisted and turned but allowed no view of Papa. “Where are Mama and Daddy? I want to go too.” A few minutes later: “Why can’t I go in?” “Is Papa in there? Where?” “Let’s go in there, Abu.”

A while later, when we were eating lasagna in the kitchen, Daniel was still asking, asking. I made a decision, a decision you may not have made. I asked Daniel’s mom and dad if I could take him in to see Papa. They agreed, mainly (I think) because they trust me, and they know how much I love D.

I picked Daniel up and asked him if he knew what had happened to Papa. “He died,” came the quick answer. I told him that yes Papa had died. “And he’s in heaven,” Daniel added. His confusion centered on who or what was down that hall that everyone kept traversing. He wanted understanding, answers. He wanted to walk down that hall.

So we did.

The kitchen had been noisy with visitors loudly talking, eating, reminiscing, and occasionally laughing at the past. Its tiled floor amplified the clicks of my boot heels as we walked, Daniel in my arms, toward those doors, dividing doors which in my grandson’s mind led to answers. As we passed through them, my heels, like everything and everyone on that other side, grew quieter on the deep carpet.

We entered the viewing room, and walked past adults talking in hushed tones. Daniel kissed his Nana (Donna is the oldest of the four daughters of Papa), then his Great-Grandma, who sat regally next to the coffin. But his eyes were looking, searching.

Not expecting Papa to be lying down (why didn’t I think to tell him that detail?), Daniel finally found his great-grandfather.

He looked for a while, and finally asked quietly (Daniel doesn’t usually do “quiet” very well), “Is Papa sleeping?”

“No, not really sleeping. He died, remember?”

We stood there for about a minute, Daniel growing heavy in my arms.

“Are you ready to go, baby?”

“No.”

Other folks waited patiently for their turn behind us. Daniel started to lean over toward the coffin, paused and looked at me for permission (and like “quiet,” D doesn’t always do “permission” well). I nodded, and Daniel touched the white satin edges of the liner and then Papa’s right arm.

Giggling just a bit, Daniel said, “It tickles.” I smiled.

“You ready now?”

“Yes.”

We walked back through the hall, toward the kitchen. When we got to the doors, I saw through the windows my daughter Amy and Orte, waiting. I put Daniel down, and he pushed open the door. His dad asked him, “Are you okay, Daniel?”

But he was already off, running on the noisy tile, chasing his little brother. Doing “loud” once again.

***************

With Daniel back in 2012
And now. (Seriously?)
Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers 4/8/22

1. Breakfast fruit.

No, really, the actual fruit, not HR.

Okay, well maybe Robert too.

2. Our “garden.” We have an apartment in historic district Savannah. No actual yard space, so we do what we can do.

Three Happy Herbs in a pot

3. The ability to make choices.

4. Easter approaching.

5. Appreciating beauty, even aging, post-prime and broken beauty.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend!