Category Archives: A Glimpse of the 8th Child

“I’m ready,” she said as she struggled with the buttons on her coat. I wasn’t sure of her intended meaning. Did she mean for her upcoming appointment? Or a more permanent departure? Her heavy sigh revealed her fatigue but little more. I didn’t press the issue.

She livened up when we hit the road. The winter sky was too beautiful to ignore with its wispy white clouds sweeping across a field of blue, the sun too brilliant for her not to comment. We make our way now beneath this paler sky, but it is still beautiful and engaging. Eyes forward, we drive on to a new year and new adventures. Whatever comes, we’ll do our best to be ready.

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A down side

Body hugging, slim fit, tear-away sides… my browser history looked like I was researching sexy lingerie, especially when I got to the strap–ons. If only that were the case. Not so lucky, I was on the hunt for the best incontinence products available. That’s when I realized, we’ve crested the hill. We’ve been pedaling diligently up a long, slow grade and now we’re on the downside.  But we’ll enjoy the ride as long as we can, even if we’re just coasting along. Now, where can I order some tassels for those handlebars?

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My daddy’s holiday

My mother likes to explain that, when her brood was young (long before Monday holidays rearranged our calendars), many of us thought that Washington’s birthday was a holiday only because is was my father’s birthday–and therefore a holiday just for him. If it were up to me, we’d still be celebrating my father’s birthday every year as a national holiday. As a matter of fact, we’d celebrate in grand style. There would be pageantry: dancing girls and horses with plumes, in the way  he once requested. He’d get quite a kick out of it, I know. Particularly those dancing girls.

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A bridge between

A Bridge Between
(Original verse written 1967 October 22 by Carlo A. Pola.   Notations by the 8th child.)

A word, a laugh, a tear
In those final hours, we gathered and chatted and smiled and  cried.

A way back when
He was there for us, always,

A helping hand now and then
and as he’d cared for us, so did we for him.

An attentive ear to youth’s hopes and fear
I spoke softly to him, stroked his hair and held his hand.

A father’s yes to a child’s request
No questions left to answer, God’s will alone would rule.

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Our bridge between

That we would grow up to be unique individuals: that  is what my parents always wished for their nine children. And now, in the last hours–or possibly days, should the bull moose refuse to relinquish his already tentative hold on life–we react as unique individuals to my father’s expected passing. Some question, others accept. One communicates, another withdraws. Some plan ahead, others reminisce. How different we all are.  What we have in common is that he made us who we are.

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