Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘reunions’

Life is Like a Teeter-Totter


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Remembering Back

I first posted this poem back in 2012 on this JanBeek blog. I have revived it today because most of you were not my followers to see this back 8 years ago!

In 1991 I wrote a poem for my mom to wish her a Happy Birthday. With the framed poem, I gave her the ceramic teeter-totter you see pictured above.

The piece is a wind-up music box that plays “Playmates” as the little mice go up and down. She always had the poem and music box with her the next fourteen years as she was in and out of hospitals, rehab facilities, and nursing homes. When she died, I inherited them – and I treasure the memories they bring to mind.

Mom’s Cousin

My mom had a cousin close to her age, Madge Pickering, who lived with mom’s family when she was a child. Eventually Madge married and moved into a home of her own. She and her husband had two sons, Ronnie & Donnie.

Mom married and moved to California where my sister and I were born. I loved meeting and spending time with my cousins when we would go to spend Christmas vacation back in Washington with Mom’s family.

Stayin’ in and Losin’ Touch

Through the years I have stayed in touch with the older of those two cousins, Ronnie. He is near my age. However, I had lost touch with Ronnie’s little brother, Donnie, until a Saturday about a decade ago. Found out Donnie also lives here in Montana now!

Donnie, whom I had not seen in 60 years, and his wife, Patti, came to spend Labor Day weekend with Bob and me about ten years ago. What a treat! We reminisced and told stories and went through family photos and various family “artifacts.”

One of my inherited treasures is a letter written on the occasion of our mutual great-grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. They were married September 1, 1875. The letter is “A Saga of the Valley” – the valley in and around North Bend and Fall City, Washington where my mother and Donnie’s mom were born and raised. The letter was typed on onion skin, is brittle and faded, and hard to read – but is is legible.

I retyped it and sent it to my newly reacquainted cousin, Donnie. I trust he shared it with his daughter who is into the study of genealogies.

Treasuring Memories

As I was headed into the office to my computer, I spotted the ceramic teeter-totter music box. I realized I had forgotten to share that artifact with Donnie. His mom, like mine, was a devoted mother who was wonderfully supportive of her two sons. I hope he appreciated this funky little poem. I didn’t hear back from him. But, now – a decade later, it is more true than ever… and I know he will concur:

Life is Like a Teeter-Totter!

Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of ups and downs.
Kids learn to roll and toss with it,
To shake away the frowns,
If they have a loving home
To lean back and reminisce on when they roam.

Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of bounces and of bumps.
Kids learn to rock with a jolly jump
And shake away the lumps
If they have a loving mother
To hug them tight and with kisses smother.

Life is like a teeter-totter –
It works better in pairs,
They keep each other balanced
And handle love in shares
If they have had their mother’s arms
To guard against abuse and harms.

Life is like a teeter-totter –
Full of laugh and silly giggle.
Full of noise and wonderment –
Girls to squeeze and boys that wiggle –
If they have been secure in love
Both from home’s hearth and God above.

Thank you, Mom, for filling my life
With love… more ups than downs, for sure.
You seemed to know my every need;
For every hurt you had a cure.
Happy Birthday, Mother dear –
I thank God each day that you are near!

God Bless our Moms!!

Mom, me, Dad, and my sis, Sally
(Hah, some things never change…
I wore that necklace with a new blouse just yesterday)

I hope you have had a Memorable Mother’s Day.
What memories do you treasure of your mom??
JanBeek ;o)

Childhood Memories


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I saw him approaching me
At the Historical Society’s event.
They were honoring our family,
So folks came to join us – or greetings sent.

He approached with arms extended
And I immediately recognized his face,
Even though I hadn’t seen him since
I’d moved from our homeland’s place.

I returned the hug and marveled
At the way I was transported
Back to when at four years old,
A little tuxedo he sported.

In my taffeta dress of sparkling white
And matching patent leather shoes,
I stood with flowers of yellow hue
In contrast to the bridesmaids’ blues.

Across from me carrying ring on pillow
Was my friend, Frankie, looking sharp.
We thought we were getting married, too,
As we stood and listened to the harp.

I backed up from our friendly hug
And stood looking at my friend.
My eyes glistened with tears of joy
As I was transported back again.

Back to the days when I would sit
Down on the living room floor
And try to duplicate his accordion’s sounds
On a small squeezebox, wishing for more.

More songs to play than that little box could,
More buttons to push on the left,
More keys to play on the piano side;
Wishing I could read the treble clef.

Frankie’s mother, whom I called Aunt Olga,
Although she wasn’t a blood relative at all,
Sent me home with the accordion saying,
“Play for your mom, then bring it back. Don’t fall!”

Across the rocky driveway I went
With that eight button squeezebox in hand.
My mom heard me play “Twinkle Twinkle”
And “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

“How did you learn to play that thing?”
I could tell she was impressed.
I played again so we could sing along
As I fingered the keys and buttons depressed.

Transported back to Mrs. Jensen,
Who gave me a lesson or two
Before she said, “This accordion isn’t capable
Of doing more than you already do.”

Transported back to Girl Scout Camp
In the Sierra Nevada Mountains so green,
To the day when my parents surprised me
With the most beautiful accordion I’d ever seen.

It had one hundred twenty bass keys,
And the keyboard reached down to my knees.
Pearly white with sparkling gold keys,
I took lessons until I could play the Dance of the Bees!

Frankie reminded me I paid for the small one
With the allowance I saved every week.
Twenty-five bucks was a lot in those days.
I smiled as we parted with a kiss on the cheek.

There is nothing more precious, nothing more sweet,
Than childhood memories, friends from days past,
Chances to reconnect with those you love,
Recreate memories – and make new ones that last.

Jan Beekman
9/14/17

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