Rooms Full of Faith
As you walk down the halls,
and look into the rooms;
You are greeted by faces,
who must face their dooms.
Some lie in warm beds,
while others in chairs;
all hooked to bottles,
filled with promise and airs.
Many wear scarves,
to hide their shining tops;
while others have shed theirs,
to reveal new, baby fine crops.
All ages, sizes and colors,
all genders, they come:
looking for a cure, a prayer,
a road to head home.
Rooms full of faith,
hearts full of gold;
the nurses they care,
their love ner' grows old.
No harsh words are spoken,
only those to encourage;
words spoken in numbers,
understood by the mirage.
But, tomorrow, come again tomorrow,
one more time, one more bottle;
one more cure, one more promise,
once more, come, one more battle.
Rooms full of faith,
eyes full of hope;
tears have long past,
and with patience they grope.
For, one more day,
one more cure;
one more hope,
one more test that shows - pure.
Four Minutes in Time
She sits with her back to the speaker's podium and listens as it is announced that next there will be a song from the man whom she has admired from afar for what seems an eternity. At the sound of his name being mentioned, chills run up and down her arms as she conveys the spoken words to her small group of Deaf people with her hands flowing in their language of sign.
As she watches him walk up to the front of the chapel, her heart starts to beat so fast she is afraid she may fall over from the excitement of having him stand so close to her. He is tall and a middle age sort of man. Time is graying his dark hair and she notices wire bifocals now replace the traditional black frame glasses he has worn for the many years she has known him.
She catches a whiff of his after shave as he passes by her and she savors the scent trying to match it with a name. Old Spice, or perhaps Wild Country? Whatever the name, the masculine aroma of it stays in her mind. His dark gray suit fits nicely on him and makes him look ever so handsome. She swallows hard and tries not to show her emotions in her facial expressions, but it is difficult.
He announces the title of his selection and tender emotions fill her thoughts, for this is the song he sang the day she fell in love with him. How will she ever get through the next four minutes without tears of humbleness streaming down her flushed cheeks?
The piano starts to play the introduction and she patiently waits for his strong, tender, masculine voice to bring forth the words she has memorized in her head and carries in the depths of her heart as "their" song, unbeknownst to him. For to him, she is only another member of this small congregation. She continually prays that time will change that, but for now she patiently waits and admires him from a distance, while sharing her tender feelings with only her most intimate friends and her God, who has conveyed to her through His spirit to be patient and keep her house in order. So, she waits and when her patience wears thin, she humbly kneels in fervent prayers and receives another dose of faith to carry her for another season.
The words that come from his strong, mellow voice express with emotion the love he has for the Savior. As she listens with anticipation, her hands gracefully flow in harmony with his smooth, strong voice. A voice one could compare to a small trickling brook, as it flows ever so gracefully through a forest with shimmers of light trailing downward through it's tall, graceful trees, as they stretch up to the sky to grasp at the Heavens.
She marvels at the control he has over his own emotions. Unlike that of the mesmerized people whose teary eyed faces she studies, as she conveys with her hands the message he brings out in his voice, which sings as a bird who testifies with his morning song, that all is well.
Soon the piano warns of the end to come and the final words come from his smooth, awesome voice like the way rich, caramel sauce flows from a silver ladle, onto a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Slow, calm and sedate, flowing ever so gently to the world beyond and into the souls of all who experience with delight and satisfaction:
"Never let His light go,
Never let His love grow dim."
Old Pots and Pans
Recently I have decided to replace some of my old
cookware, as it is showing signs of age with
rusting, dents and warping. I was saying that
cookware is something that we don't replace
often, sometimes keeping it for a lifetime. Kind
of like silverware, dishes and bed linens.
I have pans I had when my children were smaller
and now they are all grown up and gone. When they
were babies they would pull them out of the
cupboards and string them all over the floor.
When my grandchildren came along and would come
to visit I would let them do the same thing. They
could sure make a racket and one could only
imagine what was going on in their minds. Now,
it's pretty quiet here, with only the ticking of
the clock on the wall behind me.
As I was changing my bed sheets I noticed how
they were starting to show wear and becoming thin
in the most used spots like the center. I am
reminded of how they have been used on everyone's
beds around here for many years past. Many small
and big heads have dreamed dreams on the
pillowcases and warmth has come from the sheets
being snuggled tight to their chins. I leave the
unused beds bare now except for a blanket to
cover the bare mattress and only make mine, until
company comes. Then, I bring the bed linens out
of storage and freshen the unused quiet rooms
that soon will feel life again.
On the solemn walls there are pictures they drew
when they were small, posters of movie and rock
stars, treasures from girl's camp and momentos
from various other activities. In the closets, I
try to sort through boxes that have sat quiet and
untouched for the five years we have lived in
this house. Old letters, toys, homemade cards,
term papers, notes to and from friends in school,
small clothes and tapes, CD's and videos give one
a sense of values and traditions.
It's often hard to replace the past with new and
vibrant because the past is irreplaceable. But,
if we are to grow and move on, then we must do
so, but we can do so with honor and love.
Someday, tomorrow will be yesterday and we will
remember the memories we have gathered with a
fondness in our hearts. And someday, the new pots
and pans we replaced today, will become someone's
thrift store treasure tomorrow.
5 Oct 2003
I am reminded of the age I am, which is 52 and the era I was born in, which was 1950. Ah, the good old days. Things have sure changed since then. In thinking back amongst the cobwebs I remember things like: Mountain Dew in a green glass bottle and calling it "Kick-a-poo Joy Juice". Playing with my black hair "bubble cut" Barbie while my sister played with her blond one. My sister and I sharing the same bed for years. Mom being a "stay-at-home" mom and not minding it. My brothers had newspapers routes to earn money. All of us kids would collect pop bottles (glass ones) and haul them in our wagon into town from the military base where we lived for the two cents deposit. We would then go to the local Ben Franklin and/or Base Exchange to spend our precious money on things like a quarter pound of spanish peanuts for a dime. Sometimes we would even comb the local dumpsters for bottles and find other treasures. (Shh... don't tell mom and dad!) Having to wear skirts or dresses to school and if it was a certain temperature we could wear pants under them, but had to take them off when we got to school. Piling us four kids into the back seat of our "Old Gray Dodge" and going to the drive-in with our fresh popcorn in a brown grocery sack. Our younger brother would sit up front with our parents. Dad and mom got the first pick of the chicken (one chicken) and we got to choose our's by age. I would opt for the back and neck. Our first TV was a black and white and dad would mark the TV Guide as to what we were watching, if they were to be out for the evening. I remember watching Ed Sullivan, Elvis, the Beatles and other's who have since passed. Mickey Mouse and Howdy Doody were favorites after school, if our chores were done. We wore hand-me-down clothes and lived a very humble military family lifestyle. And, funny, we lived to tell about it.
Pine Cleaner and Teenagers by PA
7 July 2003
You would think that I was THE most awful mother
in the world when I require my teenagers to clean
their rooms. When it gets to the point where
apple cores have sprung new leaves, as they have
embedded themselves into a stinky, mud filled
sneaker or perhaps a gray stench feels the air of
some concoction you can't quite decipher, I put
down my foot; but ever so carefully, and use my
voice of motherly authority to make the roof
"Enough," I scream, of this awful mess! "I can't
even walk in here without a map that outlines the
landmines that are buried under mounds of
rumpled, stained and stinky clothes and moldy and
crusted dishes. The enemy couldn't even survive
in here if they were searching for a place to
"Isn't there is dresser somewhere on that wall
and where is the cat? Is he too lost in this
mirage of ambiguous clutter and vast breeding
ground for multi-legged creatures? Is that your
expensive prom dress you are using for curtains
and isn't that my foot soaker with pungent, slimy
water the color of a spring frog?"
"When I said use pine cleaner to clean the
bathroom, I did not mean pour the whole quart
bottle all over the bathtub! Please! Open the
window and turn on the exhaust fan before I gag!
By the way, that brush in the caddy that has
stood dormant in the corner, that is to scrub the
toilet with; not for chasing your brother around
the house because he snuck a peek at your coveted
"There's the laptop under your pillow and why is
it online, and who is "badboy01" and "stud09"?
What happened to the cute screensaver of the
angora kitten? Who is that guy and where are his
When they were born, there was no instruction
book. I had to learn by trial and error as to how
I should tend to their mountainous whims and
wants. The parental advice that fell on my deaf
ears, would not suffice for this era of chat
rooms and "R" rated movies. Even Disney isn't
safe anymore and how do those people know how old
you are or where you live if you haven't told
them? And, why are you getting "pre-approved"
credit card mail?
What is that forbidden language I see on your
away message and what do you mean "For a good
time ring me up?"
It looks like it's time for me to lower the boom
that is in swift competition with the sonic one
we hear so much about. But first, I think I need
two aspirin and my gas mask, which I have stored
away for times like this.
Where is the duct tape and plastic sheeting? I'm
taping them in and bolting the windows shut!
Uh... Er... Gag a maggot... When was the last time you
changed the litter box?
Please, tell me this is a test and it's almost
Beam me up, Scotty! There's no decent life here
Women of Promise by Paula A
As we watch you grow,
from babe to mature woman.
We want so to protect you from,
all the negatives of man.
Coats keep out the cold,
umbrellas block the rain.
Kind words ease the hurt,
but won't keep out the pain.
Hold your head up high,
don't cause yourself to blame.
Never feel alone,
sing praises to His name.
Let Him ease your heart,
and take away the sorrow.
Gentle hands upon your brow,
to assure a better tomorrow.
The Lord is my Shepherd,
He is my Guide, my Friend, my All;
I am nothing.
I shall not want,
I do not need, for through Him;
I have all I need,
Living Water and Bread to sustain me.
He maketh me to lie down,
His lap is my pillow;
Through His eyes I see,
As He strokes my hair with love.
In green pastures,
I can see all the colors;
Of a rainbow meant for me,
I know and I understand.
He leadeth me,
Through the rock and the tureen;
He holds my hand and guides,
Through the dark and hollowed land.
Beside the still waters,
See the fish swim, the water trickle;
Feel the warmth of the Son,
His love abounds over me.
He restoreth my soul,
I am new once again;
As a newborn babe,
I lie, listening, near my mother’s heart.
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness,
To do what is right;
Always loving one another,
Choosing to return with honor.
For His name’s sake,
The Father, Elohim;
The Son, Jehovah,
Separate, but one in purpose.
Yea, though I walk through the valley,
Not knowing where I am going;
Knowing only what has been,
Having faith He will guide me.
Of the shadow of death,
The unknown path;
What tomorrow will bring,
The darkness covers me.
I will fear no evil,
Thou art my shelter;
To guide and protect me,
No one can touch me.
For thou art with me,
Never to leave me;
You have kept Your word,
To always be near, be still.
Thy rod and thy staff,
Thy Gospel in my life;
The answers I seek,
All come from Thee.
They comfort me,
I have solace;
I am whole and complete,
No more do I worry.
Thou preparest a table before me,
All I need is before my eyes;
Food to nourish my body,
My soul and my mind.
In the presence of mine enemies,
Thou is always been there for me;
Only a prayer away,
When others have mocked me.
Thou anointest my head with oil,
The consecrate of the best;
Poured out upon me,
To call me to teach.
My cup runneth over,
With humility I live;
As I see Your love,
In all that I see and experience.
Surely goodness and mercy
I live for Your greatness and worth;
To walk by your side,
To feel your warmth.
Shall follow me,
Stand by me always;
Loving me forever,
Never giving up on me.
All the days of my life,
Until my body is cold;
And the last breath is gone,
When my spirit and body are two.
And I will dwell in the house,
Safe and serene,
From the world I have left behind.
Of the LORD for ever,
I give all the praise;
I give all the glory,
Unto Thee my Lord, forever.
I Like the Way by "PA"
I like the way
my hand seems to fit
inside of your's.
I like the way
your eyes light up
walk into a room.
I like the way
you talk in words
can understand and feel.
I like the way
a dull and dreary day.
I like the way
you accept me
with all my baggage
and never judge me or mine.
I love the way
you are my friend
my lover, my one and only
through thick, thin and forever.
A Wintery Welcome Home by "PA"-1979
As I leisurely sit, buckled into my seemingly
small seat, I gaze out the small airplane window
to the familiar world beyond.
For as far as the eyes can see, there are endless
miles of beautiful white snow. It seems like an
eternity, since Ive been back home to the
cornfields and the muddy Mississippi. This is so
far and different from the Southern California
life I have left behind.
I gaze at my two children, soundly slumbering in
the uncomfortable seats next to me. We are
starting over again, for behind we have left
friends, joys and tears. The cost of living is so
high out west. Its time to come home.
Home to moms apple pie and dads old stories.
Home to make new friends and get reacquainted
with the old ones. Its time for a sense of
I awaken the children and we prepare to meet the
hard, cold outside world. Nothing like the 70
degrees we have left behind.
,p> As we descend from the big, silver bird that has
sheltered us for hundreds of miles, we are met by
brisk, cold winds in our faces. The snow is
blowing across the runway as if a powerful
suction is pulling it to "Never-Never Land".
Approaching the gates, I see the most beautiful
sight. With arms wailing, silvered hair blowing
and familiar voices calling our names, we are
greeted by my wonderful parents.
I lovingly hug my mom, as she plants motherly
kisses on my now cold cheeks. My father smothers
me with his large protective frame, as my
nostrils are filled with the familiar scent of
his Old Spice cologne.
Silently, I pray, "Thank you God for bringing us
Author Paula is in the Center Front Row
Poignant Childhood Memories by "PA" July 2, 2003
I was looking up the word "poignant" for spelling and noticed one of the definitions refered to "profoundly moving; touching". It moved me to thinking about childhood memories and which ones I would call "poignant"? One that comes to mind is how my siblings and I witnessed the love between my father and mother in one way that we share often. When my father would want to speak to my mother in a hushed, private tone, he would kneel down beside her as she sat in her "Queen Anne" chair reading the paper and whisper in her listening ear of his desires or thoughts. It was a very private moment, but shared with us to learn that he thought of her as his queen and he was not beneath kneeling at her humble throne. Mother passed in 1988, and my father nursed by her bedside and continued to whisper to her waiting ears sweet, humble, poignant thoughts. He has since moved away from Nauvoo, IL where they had lived, but in a recent year, he came back to visit and went to the cemetery where she lay in rest. There, he once again, on older and weaker, bent knees, knelt at her grave and spoke to her in hushed tones that only the two of them could hear. And once again, we learned about the love that is eternal between a husband and a wife and not only until "death do us part".
30 August 2003
Do you ever have those days where you find yourself in tears and kind of numb? When there’s a taste of null and void in your mouth and to have one straight thought can’t be mastered?
My son in law lost his brother this past week in a work related accident and my family members find themselves reminded of how it was six years ago when we lost our son Michael in a car accident. I want to call his mother and give her my regards, but then I get teary and realize I would not be any good at this point. Just thinking about talking with her brings back the memories of our own experiences. My oldest daughter and I talk on the phone and our voices crack as we clear our throats, as the memories flood back and time is once again turned back.
There are little things that can set me off, as I find myself listening to the radio at a red light and the memorial song to Notorious Big "I'll Be Missing You" comes on. Him and Michael died the same year, 1997, along with Princess Diane. Michael's friends requested we play it for the service and we did, as we left the chapel. It was a perfect song for this setting and time.
Every step I take, every move I make
Every single day, every time I pray
I'll be missing you…
Thinking of the day, when you went away
What a life to take, what a bond to break
I'll be missing you...
When I run across my mother's handwriting whether it be on a letter I have saved, a recipe she wrote out or perhaps a card she sent to say "Happy Birthday", I find myself running my fingers across the dried up ink to see if I can still feel the pulse of her emotions as she wrote that message that I still treasure to this day. I remember her calmness and how she was the true matriarch of our family and cared for all us children and my father while he served in the Air Force. I have learned much from her example and each meal I prepare or task I do, reminds me of her and the way she taught me or at least tried to teach me the correct way. I, being my father’s daughter, on the other hand tend to be a little defiant at times and do things my own way. Usually, my results are not as good as her’s. And once again, a lesson is learned, even through the veil.
When I went to visit my family in North Carolina recently, my sister brought out photograph albums and old memories. She had safely tucked away the baby clothes, now aged yellow with time, that my mother has sacredly kept all these years of our moving and growing up. We compared pictures with clothes to decide what was whose. She lets me bring the coveted treasure home with promises to keep them safe and to clean them, as I am able.
As I look at my "good intention project pile" beside me, there lies these tiny, infant clothes placed on top of "Michael’s White Box". The box that holds the last mementos of my son which were given to me by the funeral home. Sympathy cards and funeral announcements fill the box that is only opened when I need to be assured that I still have that part of him left with me. His military dog tags and a beautiful guest registry with a peace dove adorning its’ blue covering quietly rest inside, along with important papers and a surplus of pictures I had duplicated for friends and family.
He is casually sitting in a seat at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, home of his beloved Cardinals. A beautiful smile fills his face and you can see the happiness that radiates this day as he is with Molly, the only girl he ever truly loved. I have wished him a lifetime of "Mollys" when I remember how happy he was at that time. And then, my vision is blurred by this sacred "trigger" as it brings on happier times when the world was calmer and life seemed to be perfect.
Families can be together forever Through Heavenly Father's plan.
I always want to be with my own family, And the Lord has shown me how I can.
The Lord has shown me how I can.
In the darkness of the night, I watch the shadows
of the towering trees through the darkened shades
blowing to and fro', as I feel your warm body
lying next to mine and your warm breath on the
back of my dampened neck.
The scent of your fresh cologne tickles my nose
and I find my senses straining to capture the
moment, as you place your warm, hand on my leg,
and I snuggle closer to you, as we lie quietly,
And then, as if lightening has struck the image
of the moment, I am awakened to the sound of the
alarm radio as it loudly squelches out the
morning news of soldiers in war apparel rushing
in to save a ravaged foreign country.
And, the scent, and the warmth and the closeness
are all gone, as I am brought back to the reality
of this time, that I am here, alone, and you are
there, running through the hot, desert sand in
rescue of those who fear for the reality of death.
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