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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


raindrops slide down glass
in jagged little trails.
today, like yesterday
is a new day.

today I wash
in the promise
of a new day--
washes over me
pours over me
slides down me
in jagged little trails.

I become someone new
someone better
someone stronger.
I let the rain
wash away
pour away
slide down,
down into
my soul.

I am born again
and again.

I am

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

In Honor of Coach and Little Robins....

"Of all else that I want for your life, it is for you to be happy."
--Coach Duane Hartman, Sept. 2001

This week is always a tough one for me. I can see in my mind's eye the burned image of planes flying into buildings, the feeling of our country's collective heart being ripped open at the inconceivable sight of the World Trade Centers and their precious cargo collapsing into dust.

Like other mementous occassions from previous generations, I will never forget what I was doing on that fateful day of Sept. 11, 2001. I was spending my last days with my dad, Coach Duane Hartman, as he lay dying in the hospital of cancer.

"Do you think there will be a line to get to heaven?" Dad asked me as we watched the carnage of Sept. 11 unfold from his hospital room television.

"No," I said. "I am sure God has these things figured out so no one has to wait."

"Oh, that's good," my dad whispered softly. "You know how I hate to wait in lines."

Five days later--on a sunny Sunday afternoon--Sept. 16th, 2001--as the fall sunshine streamed through the windows, my father drew his last breath surrounded by his family and close friends.

When he died, a Robin flew to the window and stared at me for what seemed like minutes. I felt like we had made some sort of cosmic contact, like my Dad's spirit had already made its way into something living; as if I still had something to hold onto outside of the love in my heart.

What is strange is that on many other occassions since my Dad's passing, the bird has returned. Not THAT bird, per se, but a bird. A Robin. Every time.

This spring, a Mother Robin set up shop in a tree right outside my kitchen window. She brought two little robins into the world. I would watch her every morning as she continuously fed her hungry little pair as they tipped their beaks to the sky and chirped with all their might. It reminded me of how grateful I am to my role as mother and the loving grace it has brought to my life.

Recently, the bird appeared again as I sat outside during a needed break from the studio. He perched his fat little body on a tree and cocked his head to one side as if to say, "hang in there." It brought me peace.

It's been 8 years since my father's death, and not a day goes by that I don't think about my dad and how much I loved him. He would be so proud of me and what I have done with my life. He would be gentle with me during my times of struggle. He would, as he had done so many times, cradle his arm around my body, squeeze me and say, "I love you kid."

One of the last things my father said to me on his deathbed was "Of all else that I want for your life, it is for you to be happy."

Dad, I am trying with all my might to do just that, not just to honor your memory but to honor my own.