In a Perfect Moment

I spent years searching for those perfect moments
and then in a perfect moment it became perfectly clear
that each and every moment I am closer than near
to Love and Truth
and Life
right now
right here
every moment is perfect
There is never a separation between all that’s good
and me.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

(Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)

Heron at Sunset. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

The Last Visit with Daddy

“Karen”
January 18, 2020

Dad is in bed. His eyes are closed. He’s very still, but I see his chest moving. He’s still with us. I lean over and kiss his forehead and say into his ear, “Hi Daddy. It’s Karen.”
(There’s no response at first. Then his eyes open and he looks at me.)
Dad: (Weakly.) Karen.
Karen: I love you, Daddy.
Dad: (I can feel the effort he’s making to mumble the words.) Ah uv you.
Karen: (Smiling at Dad – my heart filled with tenderness.) You old mountain goat. (That’s what Mom had always called Dad – and it comes to me – out of the blue – to call him that. Dad smiles at me. And now I find myself singing to him – that old Jeannette McDonald-Nelson Eddy song that he and Mom used to sing to each other…) When I’m calling you-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh… (I see Dad perk up a little. I get this sense that Mom is calling to him.)

We don’t say much after this. I stay for a while, stroking Dad’s forehead, and watching “Maverick” on Dad’s television. Every now and then Dad opens his eyes and checks to see if I’m still there. Eventually he falls back to sleep. I leave to go home and fetch my husband and son for a return visit. When I arrive home and describe Dad’s condition, the husband and son immediately let me know they’re with me and we go back to Dad’s house.

We enter Dad’s room and approach the bed. He’s sleeping. We pull up three chairs and watch him for a while. His foot is moving back and forth. I approach Dad’s bed.
Karen: Hi, Daddy. It’s Karen. And Andrew is here. And Scotty.
(Dad opens his eyes and looks at me.)
Karen: I love you, Daddy.
(Dad’s eyes are locked on mine and he nods his head at me once, twice. An affirmation. I nod back at him. He reaches up and holds my arm and squeezes it gently. I hold his hand and squeeze. He squeezes my hand back.)
Karen: Here’s Andrew, Daddy.
(Andrew sits close to his grampa. This is his time with Grampa. Love is exchanged. This time belongs to them and it’s not mine to share in words.)
Karen: And here’s Scotty.
(Scott grips Dad’s hand and receives a strong grip in return. They both grin at each other. Male bonding.) We all feel when it’s time to leave and let Dad get back to the business of sleeping. I get up and kiss Dad’s forehead and tell him I love him. Scott says his good byes. Andrew is the last to leave – he gets a strong good bye handshake from his grandfather before he leaves him to sleep.

(Excerpted from The Second Hundred Years: Further Adventures with Dad.)

A Year and a Day

On the nineteenth of January my father died
And so began the roller coaster ride
that was 2020 and 20 days –
a year we struggled to find our way.

At first there were empty streets and quiet weeks
of smogless skies and distant peaks
I found peace in the stillness – peace in the calm
That time alone was a much-needed balm.

But after – a montage of images flashes
now through my mind –
much of it dark, some of it kind –
exploding up, crashing down,
fire and rage all around
Our nation boils and seethes
and a Black man gasps, “I can’t breathe”

Veterans protect fathers with leaf blowers
who protect the mothers who protect our Black sons
and daughters from tasers and guns.
Ahmaud, Breonna, and George  – say their names
Black Lives Matter – our nation sits in shame
as bigots and bullies scramble to shift the blame –
and settle on “Karen” (which is really lame).

And a just woman with a doily collar
and a selfish man who keeps  up the holler
and lie of “Stop the steal”
and refuses to let the nation heal –
our neighbors reel and keel in their zeal –
fed rumors and news that are not real.

Dye runs down a lawyer’s face
a narcissist screams, “Show your strength!”
NAZI and Civil War flags fly in our streets
D.C. police pummeled and beat.
Racism and bullying and bigotry and hate,
caskets of COVID victims, rioters climb gates
Long lines for vaccinations, as people wait.

In the end the heroes win – as heroes always do –
they wear masks to protect each other – me and you –
they step up and vote and stop the coup –
they stand up for Breonna and Ahmoud and George –
and in the fiery fire a stronger land is forged.

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Loss Brings Love

Loss
teaches me there is no separation
in Love
there is no space between
Good and me
Loss shakes old beliefs
shakes off what is untrue
and makes me look at everything new
What’s left is real
what’s left is true

Love brings loss
Loss brings Love
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

O make me glad for every scalding tear,
For hope deferred, ingratitude, disdain!
Wait, and love more for every hate, and fear
No ill, — since God is good, and loss is gain.”
-Mary Baker Eddy

April: Indian Memorial at Little Bighorn, MT



The World Is in Need of Your Courage and Kindness

My dear Humoristian hooligans –
The world is in need of all the love and courage you can shine on it today – the world is in need of your reflection of all that is good and decent. You are important – each and every beautiful one of you – in your expressions of kindness, honesty, and irrepressible, unstoppable, insurmountable joy. May the scared, misguided and misinformed be awakened by your unwavering wisdom and unshakable faith in Truth. May the bullies and belligerent bigots be transformed by your buoyant, unbreakable belief in the brotherhood and sisterhood and kinship of all creatures. May we all help our world find peace.
Amen.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist

34 ratings now and 4.7 stars for Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist! Whoo hoot!
VolP – Dragon User writes:OK, after reading the reviews, I thought this might make a nice Christmas present for a friend. When it arrived I decided to “peek” at a few pages, but couldn’t put it down. I finished reading it in one sitting. But how to review the book is a challenge. It leaves you with such a joyful uplifted feeling and one of appreciation and relevance. At first I found myself saying, “I want to know this woman” and after I finished the book I felt I did.Karen brings very positive reinforcement into the reader’s experience and the easy flowing style just melts in your mouth like comfort food. I found dozens of instances where I saw a parallel in my own life, that were entertaining and inspirational in a down to earth sort of way.I’m wearing a smile having read this and can’t think of a better way to pass an evening than this quick roller-coaster ride through another’s eyes of refreshing gratitude.It touched my heart and soul. Highly recommended.

Adventures with Dad

Are You Taking Me Home Now?: Adventures with Dad has 14 ratings now and 5 stars! Heidi writes:
This is a delightful book and Karen is a gifted writer. She lets us listen in to the conversations she and her 100 year old Dad have on their car trips, which had me laughing and crying. Interspersed are memories of earlier times. Having a relationship with an older person whose body and brain don’t work as well as it used to requires patience, humor and love. As someone else here said, “Karen shows us how to do it right.” I enjoyed reading this very much. I highly recommend this book and will be giving it out for gifts.

Are You Taking Me Home Now? Adventures with Dad

Twenty-Twenty

I feel like I’m not done with this one, yet, but I figured I’d post it here for now so I can get on with my day.

Twenty-Twenty

A-jumble, a-jabber, agog, and afeared
on the lookout for what might come next
a cacophony, a galumphing, a grinding of gears –
dragged us through it – Egads! What a year!

Everyone will have similes and metaphors galore
to express what this gem was for them:
Scorched earth; or icy slopes we slip-slided
down – not trusting each step that we took.  
Some of us bided; some of us chided;
Some forged ahead by hook or by crook;
Some froze in shock and waited to be guided;
Some held on as their whole world shook;
And some could write an entire book.

Our twenty-twenty was not all bad
It brought its share of good, too, lad –
It brought us bright rainbows
It brought us brave heroes,
It showed us who we are and all we had.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell



Solstice Rain Patter-Tapping

Wrapped up cozy in a downpour
on this winter solstice day
Rain patter-tapping on my
bumbershoot as I slosh along the way

I feel Love reaching out –
ever-here, ever-there, everywhere –
embracing me in Her gentle calm.
What choice do I have but to share?

Home to dry clothes and a fire
in the wood stove. Soon a pie
in the oven – filling our home
with baked blueberry smells – my
contribution to the solstice feast
of peace.
.-Karen Molenaar Terrell

The Christmas Tree’s Final Decoration

Like last year, this year I did not want to kill any trees. I just don’t have it in me anymore. So, like last year, Scott cut off an extra trunk growing on our redwood in the back field. Scott said we were actually saving the redwood by cutting off the extra trunk because if a wind came it would split that baby right down to the nubs. This tree has character. Or maybe… this tree IS a character… It fits right in with the family.

Hold on… I think I’ll go put some Groucho glasses on it…