Her K I S S

Yesterday, I was reminded of an acronym  (KISS) Keep It Simple Stupid, and was pierced by the challenge.

I received such a lingering “kiss” as the life of a 93-year-old woman was celebrated on Saturday by her family and friends.  A woman who passed on and away.  She passed on her stories from her momma and her mamma’s momma.  She passed away with her son by her side and her cat curled up at her feet.

She played the piano with a keen ear and loving hands.  The same ear that heard the unspoken desires of her family and the hands that moved to fulfill them.

Her marked up bible was given to her grandson and her faith, like her music was given to those who had ears to hear.

I recall that in her son’s home, there is a little book with the words to the song, “Simple Gifts“.  I  hear the unspoken wisdom of his mother in the lyrics and the melody.

Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free’

Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain’d

To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,

To turn, turn will be our delight,

Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

Poor Me and the Terrible…..day

Grandson buckled up in the backseat. Backpack on floor.

Carpool line is moving onto the main road, having been given permission by the rapid-fire, gloved hands of the traffic controller.

Grandson seems a little sad.

First thing popping right out of my mouth, “How was school today?”

Thus begins the journey home.

“How was your day?” the unconscious greeting from my mother absolutely every time I walked through the door after a hellacious day at school.

“Fine.” the standard reply which meant, I don’t want to talk about it.

If she weaseled it out of me, my response was neither acknowledged nor given the sympathy it deserved, but no big deal. Does anyone really want to know how bad my day was? I certainly don’t want to hear about yours.

I know you’re asking, so how bad was it? Because you won’t get it, I’m not going to tell you. I’ll communicate by turning on the pout. The pout that inevitably leads to the all too familiar chorus of “poor me,” which taunts my minds ear like a “nanny, nanny boo boo.” I’ll probably hear the ghost of my father saying, “everybody’s out of step but Gwen,” and of course, the family favorite, “why don’t you go outside and eat worms?” (whatever the heck that means)

I suddenly realize why my own children received numerous doses of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day during our nightly bedtime rituals. Nobody says it better than that disgruntled little guy in his train pajamas, followed up by the wisest response of all time: “Some days are like that.”

“Fine,” grandson says.

“I ordered a fried egg for breakfast today and the white part had clear specks in it, and I hate it when the white part has clear specks in it,” I say.

“Mom made me wear my jacket today and it wasn’t even cold,” grandson.

“I went to get gas today and I left my wallet on the kitchen counter and I had to drive all the way back home to get it,” me.

“No one picked me to play on their team at recess,” grandson.

“I only got 12 hits on my blog today,” me.

“Well, I bet you get more tomorrow,” grandson.

“Let’s go get ice-cream,” me.