(The poem below was written on my flight back to CA after some 4: AM cuddles with my newborn grandson in Switzerland two and a half decades ago)
Two fellow bloggers wrote yesterday about their grandchildren – and how this pandemic has taken away their ability to visit and hug them. It reminded me of this poem I wrote 26 years ago… and how much I miss my hugs and cuddles with my grandkids (and the three great-grandchildren). I decided to repost my poem and give you an updated picture of my three Swiss grandsons.
Here’s Nicky, the 26 year old for whom “The 4 o’clock Cuddle” was written. I seemed to know even when he was a newborn that someday he would have a “bearded cheek!” Hah!
The Four O’Clock Cuddle
Recalling our precious time together, I wonder about Future four o’clock cuddles. Who will be there In a decade or three? Where will your bearded cheek Nuzzle in four decades?
Will your big, round eyes Remain innocent, And your heart remain pure, And with perfect trust, Will you find the world Always loves you As I do?
Wrap your fingers Around carefully chosen thumbs, My dear grandson. The world is yours, But here There will always be A four o’clock cuddle.
Nicky is in the middle of this adorable picture of my three Swiss grandsons today. Ah yes, a photo only a Grammy could call ADORABLE” … It’s a kiddie pool in the back of Nick’s new house that he’s sharing with two or three buddies in Switzerland. Here he is flanked by his brothers: Mike (28) and Chris (24)… Oh Lordy! I miss them!!
What kind of cuddles are you missing these days? Tell me about ’em!!
He left us his roses and hydrangeas, and his garden with zucchini, but he forgot to take the old wheelbarrow, and he forgot the bocci ball court. He left his mother’s crucifix on my wall, his watch in the top dresser drawer, the Balsamic vinegar in the cupboard, but he forgot to take his Gallo Burgundy. He left in each of us his love of family, his teary-eyed sentimentality, and he left the aches and pains of his earthly body, but he forgot to take his spray paint, and his love of convertibles with the top down. He left the wife he loved so faithfully, the family and neighbors who miss him so, and the unconditional love; but he forgot the collection of nude calendars, and he forgot to take his twinkle. I know – I have it!
I thank God that my daddy and I had such a wonderful relationship. I am so grateful for Dad’s unconditional love and warm hugs. This photo was taken in the early 1960s when I was in college… home for Father’s Day weekend.
And here is my dad with Mom, “the wife he loved so faithfully,” at their 30th anniversary, back in 1968. Can you see the twinkle is his eye? He and Mom were married for nearly 60 years before he died in 1998.
Happy Father’s Day to my dear hubby, Bob, father of our children, Ty & DeAna. In this photo, he was enjoying a day out on the Madison River last year on Father’s Day weekend. The weather prevented us from getting out today, but the fish are waiting. We’ll get out there soon.
Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there. How will you spend YOUR day?
In another couple decades, when Bob & I leave this earth, his poem will look far different from my dad’s. Parts may be the same, because he will leave his unconditional love in the hearts of all who know him, but other parts will be quite a contrast: no Gallo Burgundy for him! And he won’t leave his Runquist Wines behind… no way!! It will all have been consumed…
Enjoy your Father’s Day. See ya tomorrow. Hugs, JanBeek
“When a foreigner (stranger – xenox) resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself…”
Following the reading of that scripture this past Sunday in church, our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley, spoke to us about the issue of strangers…. people who are different from us… folks we don’t know yet.
As usual, I took my sermon notes in poetry. This is what I heard him say through my poetic filter:
There’s been a barrage of news This week about how we can’t get along. Our Utopian society idea of equality Is a myth; we can’t seem to join in song.
Xenophobia – the fear of the stranger – Is rampant in our society today. But the Bible tells us clearly To love the stranger in every way.
Provide the stranger with food and care. Treat the stranger with hospitality. Yes, the stranger is different from us, But she or he is more like you and me.
When we fail to notice someone, When we treat them like they’re not, Remember this lesson from Leviticus: Love all people as you’ve been taught.
God can turn the world around One heart, heart-by-heart, at a time. God can take away our fear of strangers. “Different” is not a crime.
We may harbor an innate need to feel Superior to those around us, But Jesus taught, “No, you’re not better Than all the strangers who surround us.”
We all are strangers somewhere. We all are different and have need. But God says, “Love the stranger!” Love or hate? Which do you feed?
Feed the stranger with love! ❤
Mmmm… I had a hamburger for my lunch today. First hamburger I have had in ages. It was so delicious, oozing with cheese and yummy sauce. I would love to have shared it with you!
#hugs4happiness – and I’d love to share a hug with you, too. We’re not strangers! We’re fellow humans, traveling this earth together. And we’re doing the best we can to love one another. God says we gotta step up the pace, though. Show that love more fully.
Our love may be small and superficial compared to The wonderful, magnificent, perfect love of God. But, in our own small, imperfect way, we gotta keep trying. Love the stranger. In the process you know, you may be…
… entertaining angels!
The Bible tells us so!
“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;…”
Beware! That stranger just might be God’s angel sent to guard you!
My friend, Doris, who graduated from high school with me back in the Dark Ages, sent me an e-mail today with 48 pictures designed to demonstrate acts of kindness in the midst of this world-wide time of struggle with COVID-19 and racial injustices.
I selected my favorites from the 48 – and want to share them with you here as an encouragement to go out and do likewise. Pick your favorite from these seven that I have chosen. Tell me why it touches your heart.
Each of the seven (selected in random order) were important to me. They demonstrate our need for ONENESS, UNITY, RESPECT, GOODNESS, LOVE, and KINDNESS.
The numbers attached to the pictures were on the website… they are not in any way prioritizing. And that message above was part of the post… “Bored Panda” was the source. Their word “tolerance” is not mine. It seems condescending to me. I prefer “LOVE.” Don’t just tolerate me! Love me… and treat me as I am: your equal! One of God’s children!! Just love me!!
I love YOU!
Can you choose one from those seven? Tell me why it resonated with you.
The YouTube below was also sent to me by that same high school friend, Doris. It’s a wonderful children’s choir singing about the memories that will live on in their lives after this time passes. Click on the arrow, sit back, and enjoy the voices, the melody, and the message.
And don’t forget the message here: ONENESS, UNITY, RESPECT, GOODNESS, LOVE, and KINDNESS.
Bee well, my friends. I’m so glad I didn’t lose you… Memories bring back YOU!!
See ya tomorrow. Hugs, JanBeek
(Oh, leave me a note about your favorite of those seven, will you?)
It’s already past noon here. I really needed that Monday morning coffee!! It was a really different kind of Mother’s Day yesterday.
We couldn’t travel to see our son and family in California. And they couldn’t come here.
We couldn’t fly to see our daughter and family in Switzerland. And they couldn’t fly here.
We couldn’t even go into the Madison Valley Manor nursing home to give our friends there a hug.
BUT, we could go and see our dear Elaine Forsberg through the window! And the CNA came to the door and took my balloons and delivered them to three dear friends there: Elaine, Phyllis and Kitty. The latter two couldn’t come to the Sun Room to greet us at the window, but Elaine did. Yay!
It’s a sad sign of the times when this pandemic keeps us from the warm hugs that brighten our days. We will never take those hugs for granted again!
As a group of family and friends, we gathered outside the Sun Room window and sang “Happy Mother’s Day” to Elaine.
Elaine’s son and daughter-in-law, her daughter and son-in-law, and a few grandkids and friends braved the gray, cold, windy spring Montana day to cheer her. It cheered us, too.
“Whatever you bring into the lives of others comes back into your own.”
My mom always told me that. Did you hear that as a child, too?
That smile was worth a million bucks.
If I coulda done so, I woulda delivered a basket of tulips to each of the Manor residents… and I’d send a basket of flowers to each of you, too. Thank you, my blogging friends, for visiting JanBeek today. I hope you had a memorable, happy Mother’s Day.
Our daughter, DeAna (who lives in Switzerland), called on FaceTime yesterday. She and her “Mother-in-Love” Denise were having a glorious Mothers’ Day. My son-in-law, Andre’ and three grandsons made a fabulous dinner with a beautiful dessert for their mom/grandmama and even cleaned up all the dishes afterward!
DeDe and Andre’ are going through some tough times right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken away their jobs. They are weighing some difficult decisions about their future. I keep them in my daily prayers. Thank God for the Internet so we can stay connected.
Ty and Monika called us on one of those social media apps (FaceTime or WhatsApp …) and we had a wonderful chat. Their lives are kinda topsy-turvy right now, too. I hope you were able to talk yesterday with all the people who matter most to you, too.
It must be especially difficult for people like Phyllis’ daughters, Lisa, Avis, and Julie. Phyllis is one of my dear friends at the Manor Nursing Home. Her daughters are scattered states away from their mom – – – and unable to visit her right now. My heart goes out them.
There was a beautiful blog written about that very subject yesterday:
There are many ways to “give.” My mailbox is overflowing everyday this time of year for requests to give – donate to St. Judes or St. Joseph’s Indian School; donate to Foot and Mouth Painters or Salvation Army; make an extra donation to Guideposts or my church or the Food Bank. And don’t even ask me how many text messages and e-mails I receive each day from political candidates! Yes, giving money is one way to practice giving… and if you have dough to spare, there are needy, worthy causes out there.
But do you know for sure what percentage of your hard-earned bucks are going to the intended cause? Can you see the light in the eyes of the recipient?
Giving face-to-face changes your life as well as the recipient’s. Pay it forward in the grocery line. Give a hug. Share your talent at a nursing home … maybe it’s a visit and a hug or a half hour of your time to read a little from your favorite poems. Maybe it’s a meal in your home with friends you’d like to have a chance to know better. And you’d like them to know each other. Maybe it’s transportation to an appointment for someone without a car. Perhaps it is time with a child (yours or someone else’s… doesn’t matter… just be there!).
Think of giving in non-monetary terms. Give of yourself. Give joyfully! Why?
Give as the Lord’s Example
2 Corinthians 9:6-9 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”
God Bless You, dear Friends. Have you decided on an answer to “What’s in it for me?” I hope you’re having a “good” day. Thank you for being such generous givers! Tell me about the last time you “gave” – what was it?
More than need food or water
No touch means no life
Are important for your health
Nothing beats a hug
Make peace in your head
Express that peace in actions
Children express intimacy freely. Their heartfelt hugs are genuine. They are unabashedly affectionate and loving. At what point in our lives do we lose that? Can we get it back? Should we?
The premise of my blog is that the world would be a better place if we could just love one another. Real love. Agape love. I care more about you than I do myself kind of love. I’m in this to GIVE and not to count the cost or worry about what I can get.
So run your finger
Over the heart of my soul
Find the crack and pour