A New Christmas

Endings that are new to me
this Christmas.
Beginnings that are new to me, too.
I miss Moz. I grin as I watch Sparky
the new kitty scamper around
the Christmas tree, chasing
his big sister, Clara – experiencing
his first Christmas. I decide
to make cookies, open up my recipe
book, find the recipe for boiled
cookies and see it written in Moz’s
handwriting. I’d forgotten
she’d given me that recipe.
Moz never got to meet Sparky.
He never got to meet Moz.
But they both celebrate Christmas
in this house  – one in the past,
one in the present.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Sparky's First Christmas

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A Tourist Going Through Life

The oldest son asked, “Mom, do you feel like a tourist going through life?” I thought about it for a second – and the idea of it made me smile. I told him yeah, I do. And then I asked him why he’d asked. He said because I always seem to be so happy wherever I am – taking pictures and exploring and checking things out. I think this is one of the nicest things anybody has ever said to me.

 

 

Drives with Dad (10-11-17)

Over the past year or so I’ve been chronicling the drives I take with my dad (now 99). This morning I thought I’d share the most recent adventure with my WordPress friends –

“I’m Running for President”
October 11, 2017

Picked Dad up for a drive to Urgent Care this morning.
As we’re getting him down the stairs and to the car –
Dad: I’m running for President.
Karen: (involuntary grin – Dad appears to be in fine form this morning) I’d vote for you!
Dad: Do you really think I’d make a good President?
Karen: I think you’d be great!
(As we situate him in the car.)
Dad: I don’t want to bring my walker. I don’t think you can be President if you have a walker.
Karen: Roosevelt had polio. He used a brace.
Dad: (nodding his head) That’s true. But he had a lot of people backing him. (An old receipt starts to work its way out of my car as Dad moves his feet in – I pick up the receipt and shove it back into the car.)
Dad: I don’t think anyone would vote for a President with a messy car.
(I start laughing.)
Dad: I wonder how many other old men in this nation are trying to get into a car right now.

As we drive to Urgent Care Dad talks more about his campaign for Presidency.
Dad: I think you should run for President. You’re a teacher. What more do you need to be? (Thinking.) I wonder how many other daughters are driving their fathers around right now?

I help Dad out of the car and into the waiting room at Urgent Care.
Dad: Do Peter and David  know about your attempt to make me President?
(I shake my head no. I don’t really know how to respond to that one.)
Dad: How do we know when the joke’s gone far enough? When do they eliminate me?
Karen: (I assume Dad’s talking about being eliminated from the presidential race – but he’s talking really loud and everyone can hear him, and I don’t want there to be any misunderstandings.) Daddy, no one’s going to eliminate you.

We have a wait. Other people who arrived after us have now been called to the back rooms. I ask the receptionist if maybe Dad’s been forgotten. She goes to check for me and discovers his chart is missing, and there was some miscommunication somewhere – one nurse thought the other nurse was looking at Dad, and the other nurse thought the first nurse was looking at Dad. Everyone’s very apologetic and Dad is quickly brought into the triage room. Soon he’s been diagnosed and given a prescription and we are on our way. I stop at Dairy Queen to buy him a root beer float – he has earned it, for sure. He focuses on his float. He’s no longer talking about his bid for the Presidency.

I drive him back to his home, and we unload him. I bring a package in with me that his nephew, Brad, sent him and read to Dad the enclosed note from Brad. Brad has sent him a screen dealy that is loaded with a memory card of thousands of pictures taken by Dad. Dad is smiling – really grateful for this gift. I tell him I need to get back to school now.

Dad: Thank you for driving me around this morning.
Karen: I love you, Daddy.
Dad: I love you, too.

 

 

 

A Box With My Name on It

“In Science, individual good derived from God, the infinite All-in-all, may flow from the departed to mortals…”
– Mary Baker Eddy

The last two years – as Dad and Moz downsized from the three-story homestead to the apartment to the assisted living place – and now to Dad’s new residence – my brothers and I have been storing what we can in our own domiciles. I don’t think any of us have really had much time to go through the things we’ve brought into our own homes. Today I tried to sort through a few more things. I came upon an old wooden sewing kit of Moz’s and opened it up to see what she had in there before I decided what to do with it. And sitting on the top of one compartment was a little box with my name written on it in Moz’s handwriting – she’d drawn a heart next to my name. Just seeing her handwriting – seeing she’d set aside something for me – oh man. That really touched me and I started tearing up. I opened up the little box and there were all these pieces of jewelry – nothing terribly expensive, but things that were very sweet – butterfly earrings and cat earrings and a ring with the birthstones of my brothers and me. I started sobbing. Over cheap jewelry. And a box with my name on it. And I felt a rush of love all around me, and I thanked Moz for thinking of me.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

box from Moz

Driving Back from Our Hike

Driving back from our hike –
son is sitting in the seat next to me
his head nods forward
and he is asleep.
And I have a flashback
from 22 years ago –
same son, but a toddler then,
strapped in his car seat
behind me. I glance in the rear
view mirror and see his baby
head nod forward in slumber.
Same peaceful expression.
Same comforting white sound
from the moving car.
Same feeling of love filling
our moving bubble.
And I feel Moz join us –
I feel her love with me,
with her grandson.
There is no separation in time
or space or death.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Enclosed in a Bubble of Love

I feel enclosed in a bubble of love:
Dad’s sitting to the right of me,
quietly working on his painting;
Scott’s sitting to the left of me,
quietly working on his photos;
Clara Kitty is sitting on my shoulder,
purring.
The feeling of love is so deep and powerful,
I feel myself tearing up.
I can feel Moz in the room with us.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Universal Love