A Mother’s Duties

What does a mother do when she realizes

that her child will never witness a golden sunset

or the glory of the sun peaking over mountains

to greet the new day, nor will he stand,

slack-jawed, as a jet leaves a smoke

trail across a deep blue sky, or point,

mesmerized as a yellow-stripped bumble bee

frolics from flower to flower?


She hugs her son close to her breast and tells

him how intensely he is loved as she opens

his senses to the world.


What can a mother do when she knows that

her son can barely pick out her smiling face

from the fuzzy world that fills his view,

or the brightly colored toys dangling seductively

overhead, nor the radiant smiles of his brother

and sisters as they greet him in the morning?


She uses words to describe the world, guides

his tiny fingers as he explores through touch,

those things that others experience with eyes,

and she tells him how intensely he is loved.


What should a mother do when her son is ready

to crawl, knowing that he will never see the

obstacles in his way until it is too late, or when

he takes that first tentative step and crashes right

into the pointed edge of the piano bench, or when

he wants to go outside and play like his siblings,

but the world is too dangerous?


She allows him to fall, just as she did the sighted

ones, for by stumbling he learns to conquer whatever

obstacles jump up to block his progress.


More than anything, a mother offers unbridled love.

That’s what a mother does.

One Million Reasons

One reason is all I needed to love you.

One simple reason to give my heart to you

And you gave it when you smiled,

Your blue eyes sparkling and a smile

Slowly expanding.

I fell for you like a rock off a cliff,

With no turning back.


One hundred reasons for staying in love,

One hundred reasons given over days, months, years

Without constraint, without conditions,

Never failing, never withheld.

Impossible to list, to quantify

But there nonetheless.


One thousand reasons to love you,

One thousand reasons reinforced daily, hourly,

By your kindness, your generosity,

Always encouraging me to move forward

Your unspoken but felt support,

Tangible when I need it most.


One million reasons to stand by you.

One million reasons to fall into your arms,

To cuddle against your chest,

To hear your words of love,

Never stales.

One million reasons.





The Story of Our Love


You appeared when I needed you most.

I was searching for someone to love me,

And there you were!

Standing in the office with a smile on your face,

Welcoming me, encouraging me, helping me

Transition to a new office, new rules, new expectations.


Your friendship turned into a workplace romance.

When I looked into your baby-blue eyes

I saw a kind heart, a caring individual

Looking back at me with love in his eyes.

Someone who would care for me like no one had ever done before.


Our engagement was a whirlwind, a time in which we loved

Deeper and deeper, no holds barred.

When you proposed, my world spun into crazy love

An incredible happiness beyond definition.

When the day finally came, I saw only you

As I walked down the aisle.


Since that day, 43 years ago, we have shared everything.

We raised three wonderfully talented children

Who have grown into amazing adults.

We stood as family through tough times

And laughed together when things were going great.

You were there for me when work disappointed

And I stood by you when work made you miserable.

We didn’t always agree, but we promised to never let anger simmer,

And we didn’t.


As time passed, our love morphed into a deeper relationship.

You are my best friend, my confidant, my encourager

Who props me up and keeps me going.

You give me freedom to explore my talents,

Even if it means straying far from home.

And are sad for me when my hopes are dashed.


Our story has had many climaxes, many challenges,

Many periods of joy and trouble,

But those bumps only served to enrich

What we have.

Our love is never-ending.

And for that, I am grateful.


Love Is:

Love is everlasting.

It does not flit about,

Landing here and there,

Staying just long enough

To make someone believe,

And then disappear, crushing hearts.


Love speaks volumes.

There are not sufficient words

In the world to express how

Wonderful love feels,

How comforting and refreshing

It is to be cherished.


Love is not ego-driven.

One doesn’t love in order to

Be loved in return.

Love stands on its own,

Not needing props or

Constant adulation in order

To grow or to exist.


Love defies logic.

Scientists can’t find a love gene

Or a verifiable cause,

But they can find symptoms,

The obsessions, the desires

That compel individuals toward

Each other.


Love is strong.

It stands alone among the harshest

Of winters, the heat of summers.

It outlasts earthquakes, tornadoes

And hurricanes.

Yet musclemen cannot grasp it

Tightly enough to lift it.


Love is a gift.

It does not come in pretty packages

Tied up with ribbons and bows,

Yet it is wonderful to open

Over and over and over again,

Each time with the same sense of

Pure, unadulterated joy.


Love is special.

For some, it only happens

Once in a lifetime, yet it is

Desired by every living being,

Especially by those who have been hurt.


Love speaks her name

In soft voices.

In kind gestures.

In caring touches.

In the way eyes look

And lips gather

Expressing the joy of simply being.


Love is all that and more.




The Qualities of Love


Love is strongest in its mornings

When first glance, first hug, first kiss

Define its parameters.

Love enriches, embraces, endures

Carrying us through pain, suffering, joy, exuberance.

Love drives the human heart forward,

Giving us sustenance and relief,

When most needed.

Love allows us to stand tall, knowing that

There is support underneath,

even when our beliefs run counter

or when we err on the side of caution.

Love inspires us to reach beyond

Our strongest dreams,

To strive to become something which

Only speaks to us in our hearts.

Love is kind and gentle.

It does not cause pain or injury.

Love guides us, strokes our fires,

All while managing to ground us

To the people who love us most.


Mystery Unfolded

I don’t know for sure why I am who I am

But I can guess

It could be because I was raised in a

Conservative, controlling family

In which I was expected to marry young

Like at fourteen

But I rebelled and graduated from high school

Went on to college, but not to the one of my choice

I had to live at home until my brother went away

And then I was required to attend the same college

But something unexpected happened because

There I learned to think

To believe in my abilities to tackle difficult subjects

And succeed

To stand on my own two feet and have opinions

That I was willing to say out loud

My first real job required me to go out into the community

And knock on doors

Talk to total strangers about a difficult topic

At first I was terrified

But in time I gained confidence and could speak up

Say what needed to be said and do what needed to be done

This newer, stronger me met a man who not just acknowledged

My right to be me, but encouraged me to stride out

And try new things

For this I love him, respect him, admire him

Motherhood didn’t come easy to me

I’d never held a baby, cuddled one to my chest

Or kissed the top of its tender head

So I learned by doing and making mistakes

But I love my kids, now adults, unconditionally

And because my husband is a good man, I worked hard

To encourage and be proud of my kids in a way that I never felt

My husband is my rock. My example. My shining star

Who leads me along the path of life

So I may not know for sure why I am who I am,

But I can give credence to the belief that

My husband is the creator, the shaper, the one

Who should be given credit for all I have accomplished

And continue to accomplish

When I stop to think about it,

It is because of him that I am me

And that makes me proud