Modern Handmade Child

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Points2Ponder By Alan P. Scaglione

“Schuyler, Kim and Jett’s new home- making plans for the future!”


We’ve all heard the story.
Young married man, driving on the interstate, on his way home to his family.
Goes around a curve and – Brake lights everywhere!
He puts on his brakes, barely able to control his car and avoid hitting the cars in front.
And looks in the rearview mirror—just to see the young guy in the car behind him, on his cell phone, not paying attention—
And plows right into him!
Cut to 6 months later. That young married man has now been out of work for a few months because…
That “hit” in the rear— caused by the young guy on his cell phone?
It permanently damaged his neck and his back. Facing back surgery. 26 years old and facing a life of uncertainty!
He just keeps thinking “I was minding my own business— I didn’t cause this! Why is it that it’s my life paying the price? What did I do to deserve this? Why did this have to happen to me?”
POINTS2PONDER  Why is it that the careless, thoughtless actions of others can end up changing your life forever? Why do we sometimes have to pay for someone else’s mistake? Why is it that the ones who do the crime often are not the ones who pay the price?
I hear these stories every day. My career is in insurance—disability insurance. I hear it all. The motorcyclist clipped by the driver not paying attention as he changes lanes- now paralyzed because of that lane change. Or the young mother of three, minding her own business taking her kids to daycare, sideswiped by the elderly man who didn’t notice there was a stop sign.
We’ve all heard the stories…we all know “somebody” hit by someone just being careless: talking on a cell phone; putting on make-up; eating while driving; checking out a billboard sign instead of the suddenly stopped traffic. In each situation, the “careless” party walked away, practically unscathed. They all had insurance, so for them, it was just a matter of “let the insurance companies settle it. I will pay a higher premium, but at least, I walked away! Just a bad experience on the road. Will be more careful – NEXT time!”
NEXT TIME??? NEXT TIME??? The person who was hit in each of those situations did not have a “next” time—their lives were unexpectedly, adversely changed due to someone else’s careless mistake…and they paid the price for it!
We take driving for granted and we spend way too much time “distracted” while on the road—never considering that one careless mistake could change someone else’s life forever!
I’m not even talking about drunk driving—that’s another story in itself!
But being distracted while behind the wheel-- kills also!
It kills dreams, plans, hopes…and sometimes, lives!
All because something was more important than:
- keeping our hands on the wheel, NOT the cell phone;
- our eyes on the road, NOT the billboard we just passed;
-  and our minds on what’s happening in front of us while we’re driving, NOT reading a book or GPS(Yep—I’ve observed both!)
It’s US—we do NOT consider that….we will come over the curve and…suddenly, a sea of brake lights, and we don’t have time to stop.
It’s US—we somehow walk away…but, our carelessness changes lives forever, taking away things that an insurance check cannot replace.
It’s US- we steal dreams, hopes, plans and stuff we take for granted like…being able to sit at a desk for an 8 hour day without squirming from pain.

It’s just a story, a tragedy, a sad example of how careless we can be while behind the wheel..
Until that story…is the story of your son, on his way home to his wife and baby boy Jett…
When someone’s careless action changes his future and the future of his family!
Then…it’s not a story…it’s your life!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'm Just Sayin by Alan P. Scaglione

“Alan and Bella- My Favorite Pic of US!”

                                       I’m Just Sayin’”
                                                                 by Alan P. Scaglione
Today is my lovely bride and my anniversary. Yep, 13 years ago….she said yes!
It was the moment that changed my life—
YES she would go out on a date!
YEP… our first date!
You see….we celebrate everything:
-      Our first date
-      The first time we said “I love you!”
-      The night I proposed
-      Twelve Days of Christmas—had to throw that in…I get a present a day for 12 consecutive days—what’s not to love???
-      And of course, Our Wedding Day!

Every year, we mark these dates on our calendar and…we get cards and set up “dates” to commemorate our love.
But it all started with YES!
You have to know just how critical and important that YES was…
We had been family friends for 20 years.
Our children played together.
We were jeopardizing a lifelong friendship…all for one date??

Needless to say, we actually prayed about it…for six weeks.
We did NOT want to mess up our lifelong friendship or the relationship our kids had.
So… when she said “Yes—I will go out with you!”
We both knew…”yikes! This could go one of two ways!!”

Anybody remember the movie “Hope Floats?”
Sandra Bullock… Harry Connick, Jr.
Garth Brooks sang, “Make you feel my love!”
That forever remembered ending “I don’t wanna be called Bernice Mateese!”
Guess you really should put more thought into the movie you choose for a first date—
 May end up being: Your Movie, Your Song and Your favorite line in a movie…
“Sometimes, Hope Floats to the top!”

I mention that we celebrate that First Kiss also?
Yep—that was the moment that changed our lives forever.
If it hadn’t been magical and memorable, I would not be writing this column 13 years later!
But…we didn’t know that! All we knew was…once friends kiss….forever changes their friendship, right?
No pressure! Yeh right!

You know me by now, so you know…I had fasted AND prayed about this date.
I had children, she had children; WE are the parents who put their kids first, so… we did NOT want to mess up our family friendship!
It was so important that we both felt the same way—and we did.
God comes first in our lives, He always has, He always will.
We wanted to show our teenage children that it was possible to “date” under the rules of the Bible—and we did.
I needed to show my son and our daughters how a man courts a lady…earning her trust and respect, along with her heart!

And that all started with…our first date!
I will tell you that…13 years, 6 kids, 2 weddings, 4 grandsons and 1 granddaughter later, not sure sometimes if the kids took our example, but…
We never wavered in our conviction to live a life pleasing to God, celebrating the love that He ordained for us for the rest of our lives!

 I often tell my Bella this:
“God gave me you…to show how much He loves me!”
I also tell her, “I don’t deserve you, but I wake up every day trying to earn you”; She responds, “keep trying!” and we both laugh!
Needless to say…He MUST love ME more than HE loves HER—look what God gave HER to show how much He loves her? ME!
She has a crown in Glory waiting for her…just for loving me every day, still “like it’s the first day”; still loving and supporting me…through it all!

The Word is specific on how we spouses are to love one another:
“Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it!” Ephesians 5:25
That gives me a glimpse of how much Christ loves his Bride…by the way I love mine!
She is worth celebrating!
So… Why not celebrate your spouse?
Until next time,
I’m Just Sayin’…
Brother “A”

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Points2Ponder By Alan P. Scaglione

“Leaves are Changing—Autumn is Here—Ready for some FALL FUN?”


Autumn has officially started.
Today is the first day of Fall.
Or, at least it used to be…
Remember when kids were taught that all of the seasons started on the 21st?
Winter was December 21st, the shortest day of the year.
Spring was March 21st.
Summer was June 21st, the longest day of the year.
And my favorite…
Fall was September 21st!
Nowadays, they pin it down to the actual minute when the seasons start—sometimes on the 21st, sometimes on the 22nd.
Well…I declare Fall has fallen, Autumn is upon us…and proclaim a day to “Celebrate The Berzzzz!”
Yep—I said it…I declare this the beginning of Celebrating all Months Ending in BER!!!
Ever notice they all run together? They do, they really do.
September, October, November, December—the “Ber Brothers”
And they capture my favorite time of year!
POINTS2PONDER  Remember all the fun you had in Autumn? Playing in piles of leaves; Fall Festivals; First chilly night; lighting the fireplace; Pumpkin patch; Corn Maze; First morning you need a sweater; hot cocoa; hot apple cider; the smell of cinnamon; and driving thru the mountains while the fall leaves are falling ON your car!  Remember when??? Why not plan a “when” again?
Funny thing about going to see the changing of the leaves—they don’t actually change while you’re watching them!
Why do we drive slower?
To catch one as it changes from golden to crimson? Yep…I just caught that one over to the left—just saw it change!
The natives make fun of the LeafWatchers…rightfully so!
It doesn’t matter what your favorite Fall Festivity is…now’s the time to start planning it!
It’s okay…it’s officially Fall!
My favorite Fall memory was taking my family to a Corn Maze on a Friday night…in the dark, in a REAL CORN FIELD!
It was well lit, and the maze organizers promised to wait for us UNTIL we all made our way out of the maze.
See where I am going with this?
We started our “maze meandering” at 7:30 for what should have been a 30 minute “walk thru the maze”.
That’s what the sign said. Average time to walk thru= 3o minutes!  They closed at 9pm, so…plenty of time.
Well….at 9:05, we were still trying to find our way thru and out …when BAM! lights go out! The maze organizers had gone home!
I have to admit…this city boy did NOT like all that dark! Stars were out YES – BUT no city street lights in the middle of a corn field- yikes!
Then I heard it BEFORE I saw it…
There was this young girl, about 10 years old, who had raced ahead of us, with her family.
I was a little bothered by this at the time, not at her, but…I was a city boy lost in a corn maze outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee!
And the lights were out!!
All of a sudden, I hear this voice, and it says “I came back for my friends—come on sir, follow me, I will lead you out. Have to help my friend!”
It was the little girl--- and she DID!!
She had a flashlight…they sold them at the entrance, but of course Mr. Cityslicker didn’t think we needed one.
Apparently, Apple Annie knew differently.
And she took me by the hand and led me out of that maze!
True story!
Her family just laughed at the sight of a little 10 year old girl leading this big ol’ guy out of the maze.
Needless to say, my kids have never let me live it down!
But…for me….it was the BEST October Night of my life!
That’s my favorite Fall memory!
What’s yours?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'm Just Sayin by Alan P. Scaglione

“ The Face of Courage: Brave Til the End!”

                                           “I’m Just Sayin’”
                                                                        by Alan P. Scaglione

Ever see the face of courage?
Look at it straight in the eyes and know…
That takes courage!

I saw that look today…and I was so proud of my friend.
She was walking around our office, Corporate America, smiling big for all of us to see!
And showing off her new hair-do…short and spiky, but full of pizzazz!
And she looked beautiful!
She stopped by my desk and said she had been wanting to see me but kept missing me.
I almost didn’t recognize her—not used to seeing her hair so short…
But I could never mistake that “million dollar” smile and those “yes Life is good” eyes!
She asked me I liked it? The “IT” being her new hair.
I smiled big and said…”You look beautiful!”
She whispered, “Just got sick of wearing the wig!”
We smiled, we hugged, we shared an unspoken moment of gratitude!
She was showing the world—Cancer took my hair, but it DID NOT TAKE ME!!!
That face of courage, on my friend, was the best thing I saw that day; even today, it makes me smile!

Her story was not unusual. She is a devoted wife and mother, with a beautiful grandson and another on the way.
She and her husband are high school sweethearts who are still in love…all these years later.
In a world where divorce and broken homes are common, she lived the white picket fence life.
And she was always grateful. Never looked down on the rest of us who have had to raise kids from a broken home.
She was just thankful that, she and her family were together, were happy and healthy.
Until she got the call!
We all know that call—it’s when the “Great Indiscriminator” decides to knock on your door—and suddenly, nothing is ever the same!
That’s what I call cancer—the great INdiscriminator—it does NOT discriminate—calls on whomever whenever wherever it chooses.
It says “Tag—you’re It!” and you start the chase to tag it back!
And it takes courage!

In the beginning, my friend “Jean” was afraid she would lose her hair; by the time she had tagged cancer back, she was throwing off her wig—
Who cared about her hair? We didn’t! She didn’t! Her family and friends didn’t!
We just cared that she was here, with us, wig, no wig, just alive…sharing her “million dollar” smile and “so good to be alive” eyes!
But we never discounted or devalued the sheer will AND prayer it took to fight the “good fight”; not give in to that sense of “Why me? Why now?” so many people struggle with.
     Not our “Jean”! She kept her eye on the prize…she knew the prize well--- she didn’t want something new… no, she wanted something old!
Jean wanted her “old” life back, and she had the courage to fight for it!
Even if it meant tearing off that wig and wearing her “newgrowth” hair proudly!
It was her “Badge of Courage!”
And she wears it well!

As my friend “Jean” walked away, greeting other colleagues, I was struck with the scripture that came to mind:
“Having done all to stand, STAND therefore!” Ephesians 6:13-14

And there she was…STANDING TALL!
She just caught up to cancer and said, “Tag-Now YOU’RE IT!”
The oldtimers call it a “Made Up Mind!”
Jean made up her mind that the “Great Indiscriminator” was NOT going to take from her what God had given—and she fought for it and WON!

I know, I know… not all have this success or result.

But…for today, let’s just cheer on all of those we know who HAVE WON THE BATTLE and TOOK BACK the one thing they wanted most—THEIR OLD LIFE!
Sometimes, You Gotta STAND!
Wear your “Badge of Courage” proudly!
You earned it!

Until next time,
I’m Just Sayin’…
Brother “A”

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Points2Ponder by Alan P. Scaglione

“Big Brother’s watching...what I’m EATING!”

This one is lighthearted, but…after all I have been through lately, I can take something to laugh about. Bet you could too.

Ever notice how full the buffet restaurants are?

All you care to eat…seems like it’s America’s mantra…if it’s all you care to eat..let’s just test it and see…how much DO I care to eat?

And so many of us, myself included, have to check out the newest Buffet just because…they could be serving something new, right?

Whether it’s Chinese or Salad(which is NEVER just salad!) we all file in, sit down and try it out.

I am a “sampler”…

First plate-- I place a little on my plate of everything I “think” I might want to sample…

Second plate—I go back to get more of the stuff that won the sample test.

Third plate—anything else I forgot to get first round or… saw on somebody’s plate and said, “gee, wish I had gotten some of that!”

Hey…that’s the purpose of the buffet, right? Go back to the trough as often as you like….it’s all you care to eat!

Well, not anymore!

POINTS2PONDER When does the line “you get what you pay for” apply to a buffet? If it’s free, it’s for me may not be so free anymore.

So we go to our favorite, okay honestly, one of our favorite buffet restaurants recently.

The waitress asks if we’ve ever been there before. We explain that it’s been a while, but…we have come several times over the years.

She then starts speaking what may as well have been German or Spanish or Czechoslovakian…words we were not familiar with.

Here’s what she said,” In an effort to reduce our overhead budget and keep prices down and NOT raise prices on everyone, we have instituted a

Waste Not/Want Not program. Bottom line is…if you eat it, no extra charge, but…if you leave a whole lot on your plate--$2 extra!”

What did I just hear? I asked her to repeat herself.

She went on to explain that so much food gets left on the plates. They of course can’t re use it, so the waste contributes to their rising overhead!

She repeated, “If you eat it, not a problem. If you leave too much on your plate, we will have to assess you an additional fee. WasteNot/WantNot!”

I was stunned! My brother was dumbfounded. They were charging us for what we didn’t eat? We looked up at the sign…it DID say Buffet!

She assured us that…it would have to be a sizeable amount left over for them to assess the fee.


Remember that I am a “sampler”?

Yeh, well…truth is…I build a big plate, but I only eat a fraction of what I build.

Boy, was I in trouble!

It’s so funny, but every time the waitress came by, I made sure to be eating something. She just smiled and assured me I was passing the test.

What test? That I can eat everything on my plate? Was I back at home, when my parents said I had to eat everything on my plate or else??

Or Else What??? I remember what “what” was then, but…what could “what” be now?? A public spanking? Hmmmm. That could be entertaining!

I have never been so conscious of what I was eating or rather, what I was leaving, on my plate.

My wife asked me if I was okay; but I actually felt that I was going to fail at the “new rules of eating—buffet style!”

Needless to say…no “sample platter” for me. And, as is not usual for me…I left hungry. Would rather do that than…be labeled a WASTER!!

It wasn’t the $2 extra dollars—it was the fact that someone was watching what I was eating…or NOT eating!

What if this became a trend? It could revolutionize the way we eat in America!

And then I thought… PRECISELY!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'm Just Sayin" by Alan P. Scaglione

“Where were you when?”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

by Alan P. Scaglione

Do you remember where you were?

The Day Our Life stood Still…

Do you remember that morning? Tuesday, September 11th, 2001…

I was on my way to pick up my best friend Ellen Bullard to take her to her chemo treatment. She was 42 years old and fighting what would later become a losing battle with stomach cancer, but I was her “Hoak”(driver in Driving Miss Daisy), and I took her to all of her chemo treatments. She was the sister I never had, and my wife was so wonderful to let me take the time off from work to be with Ellen—to make some “lifetime memories”.

Never thought sharing 9/11 would be one of those.

I had received a call from my children’s mom telling me she heard something hit the World Trade Center.

I picked up Ellen and got her to her chemo appointment before 9am.

The whole office was standing in the waiting room, gathered around the TV; just a bunch of cancer victims, their caregivers and the nurses.

We saw the second plane go into the south tower together—everyone gasped! We knew…Not an accident now! We were being attacked!

Then the nurses took the cancer patients back to start their treatments. How odd but…nothing they could do about it, so let’s fight cancer!

After the treatment, I took Ellen home. We drove speechless. What was happening to our country? What was happening to our lives?

How could we protect ourselves? Our families?

When I got to her house, I settled her in and offered to stay.

She told me, “Bud, if today is the day we all die…I want you with your children. Go be with them…calm them down, make sure they’re safe!”

I have to admit, I felt the same way. Just wanted to make sure my kids were safe.

They were; we were; but, we were never the same…again!

Ellen died in April of the next year, but she told me at our last visit, “Bud, we shared 9/11 together—don’t ever forget that!” I never have.

What do you remember?

I still cry when I see the plane go into the second tower. I still cry when I hear “Let’s roll!” I still cry when I see the children left behind.

It’s not 10 years ago for me…lest we ever forget…so many sacrifices made that day… and since that day, for us to stand free today!

What can’t you forget?

They never reshow it in footage, but I remember watching it live and seeing…before I understood what I saw, people jumping to their death!

There’s a passage in the Old Testament that talks about Stones of Remembrance. The Israelites gathered stones from the river Jordan where God had dried up the river so they could walk over on dry land. They asked Joshua “What mean ye these stones?” – why are we gathering stones from the river? Joshua replied, “when your children ask you why the stones? You will remind them that the Lord your God was mighty on that day and delivered His people from the enemy…lest we ever forget… they are a memorial forever that our God delivered us and won the War!” Joshua 4:4-24.

So…when you see the children of 9/11, when you see the pictures, when you see the new freedom memorial that is now in place at the world trade towers; let them be stones of remembrance…Our God saved our nation that day; nine years later, with bin laden’s death…He won the war!

Other generations have their moments:

Hiroshima; End of WW2; The day JFK was assassinated; when MLK was killed; end of Viet Nam war; the day the Challenger exploded;

But…never in our lifetime did War come to our soil…until 9/11!

Our Stones of Remembrance!

May we never forget…God Bless America!

Until next time,

I’m Just Sayin’…

Brother “A”

Friday, September 9, 2011

Special Edition: I'm Just Sayin'

           "Family came from Near and Far to Celebrate A Wonderful Life"

Saying goodbye... is the hardest thing.

Even when you’ve let go and prepared yourself for the inevitable—their departure is soon.

When it comes, it still hits you like a ton of bricks. They are gone, really gone.

No more daily phone calls.

No more weekend visits with Frosty and Pita in hand.

Now, you have to prepare to show honor for the life that was well lived.

A life that left an indelible mark on your heart—that says, “I was changed by knowing you!”

And you know…that change was good!

POINTS2PONDER Why is it so hard to move on, once they’ve “gone on?”

My Aunt Ciria Bridges passed away recently. She is in heaven, where she longed to be. She is out of her pain and misery, walking steets of gold.

Guess it doesn’t matter to her who shows up at her funeral, right? She’s not there, she doesn’t care!

But that’s where honor comes in.

Honor says…I want to respect the memory I have of this person, who left an indelible mark on my life, by an action or a comment or a memory.

Honor says…they deserve my time and effort to make my presence known. Even if it means…a change of plan.

Life (AND Death) is what happens when you’re making other plans!

I have always said, “those who show up at your funeral attest to your life—you mattered enough to them to stop and say “Thank You!””

Promises mean something to me—I keep the ones I make. Even if it means, performing my Aunt’s funeral.

What was I thinking?

Guess it goes back to that honor thing—she left that indelible mark on my heart, she was my mother here on earth—and, I wanted to say “thank you!”

It was raining that morning…she hated rainy days. With her COPD, rainy days made it difficult for her to breathe.

I looked out the window and laughed, “she would hate that it is raining!”—but then I realized, she doesn’t HAVE COPD anymore!

She might just enjoy a rainy day for the first time in a long time.

The service was at 1pm—at 12:45, the rain stopped, the sun came out, the wind blew and Voila! It was a perfect day for a funeral.

I chuckled that I could see my Aunt go up to the throne and say, “Can I speak to you for a moment? I know I’ve only been here a couple of days, but can I ask you a big favor? You see, I need this rain to stop, just long enough for my family to celebrate my life and be able to move on, like they should. Is that too much to ask?”

I guess it wasn’t!

And we gathered, under a beautiful oak tree, and celebrated this life that made such a difference in ours. We shared her favorites: poem, psalm, memories; sang her favorite hymn “In the Garden” together, like an old tent revival; shared stories of potato salad recipes received, canisters now treasures, “hip grandma” watching Clay Aiken on American Idol, “lawn mowing” grandma, ”always feed you at her house” aunt, handling the worst news with “grace”, singing Christmas Carols on the piano she gave, performing Yoga at her age and even going up in an air balloon at age 65! How she loved air balloons!

We laughed, cried, recited, reminisced, reflected—and together, under that tree, we let go.

All of it—befitting a proper send-off for a graceful “classy lady” who made all of our lives better for having known her!

She often said, “Life is for the living—don’t waste it on the dead!”

From my daughter who honored her hip “Claymate” Aunt by driving in to be there, to the Yoga Instructor who sent her comments about her favorite student…

We honored a life, a good life—one that made a difference to our life!

When it was over, we had the children gather in a circle—gave them each an aqua(her favorite color) helium balloon and…with a 1,2,3 and a “We Love You” shouted in unison…we let those balloons fly into the sky…up to heaven!

We let go…and now, we move on!

And as we drove off, I felt a drop of rain. Guess He kept His promise too!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I'm Just Sayin by Alan P. Scaglione

“Me and My Aunt Ciria—Alan and His Other Mother-Rest in Peace!”
                                           “I’m Just Sayin’”

                                by Alan P. Scaglione

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” – Psalm 116:15

We celebrate the life of my Aunt Ciria Bridges, who went to Heaven on September 3rd, 2011.

She loved the Lord with her whole heart, and our family rejoices that she is finally reunited with her husband Willard and family who have gone before.

If you are a Christian, I know you will share in our family’s celebration of her life well lived for the Lord.

Our prayers go out to my cousins Belinda and Willie, Ginger and Ken and Aunt Ciria’s great grandsons Awesome “Dawson” and “Fisher”-man.

I wrote this week’s column earlier this week, not knowing that…we had “the talk” just in time.
Here’s hoping you are just as fortunate—don’t wait... “now” may be your time to “talk!”

       Aunt Ciria and her beloved husband Willard


Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is have “the talk.”

Not “that” talk; “The” talk. You know…about letting go.

So letting go…not something I do easily.

Like preparing myself to let my Aunt go.

I know the logic of it all. She’s fought a good fight. She’s struggled with this pain on a daily basis. She’s put up a brave face for all of us.

But now, my 80 year old aunt is just tuckered out from the constant battle…she just wants to go home.

Not home to her old house on LaSalle Street in West Tampa. No….She wants to go “home!”

And who can blame her? We all know what’s waiting for her…heaven.

But…Leaving her family here, without her, is impossible for her.

Letting go of us is hard for her to do.

That’s why sometime, we have to love them enough to have “The Talk.”

I travelled 200+ miles in a four hour period this past Tuesday, just so I could have some quality time with my aunt…and have “The Talk.”

My wife and I left Orlando early afternoon and travelled to my cousin’s house outside of Tampa. My aunt has been struggling physically for the last several days. We all know what’s happening, but no one wants to talk about it.

Sometimes, the greatest gift you can give is recognizing the need to “talk” about the hard thing that everyone is avoiding-- talk about “leaving.”

I brought her favorite--a Frosty, chocolate and vanilla swirl. She hadn’t eaten much that day, but…she found a way to eat her frosty.

My cousin and my wife excused themselves and gave me some time with my aunt.

I sang her favorite hymn to her.

“I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses, and the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses…

And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own; and the joy we share as we tarry there…none other has ever known!”

She sang part of it with me. She smiled that smile.

I shared my vision of heaven with her. I read her Psalm 23 “though I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”

Then I leaned in and whispered, “We’ll be okay—you’ve done a great job of taking care of us, but…now it’s time for us to take care of each other. We will watch over each other just like you did. We can do this…so you can go and enjoy your reward…for living a life for Christ!”

There—I said it; and she looked at me and said “thank you!”

She knew. I knew. It would soon be time; and it would be okay.

And she smiled and said, “thank you for my 80th birthday party—I loved every minute of it!”

I laughed, and I cried, and I said “see how many people love you?”

She said, “yes, I now do.”

I prayed for peace and calm and joy and love. I asked her if she was ready, whenever that would be, and she said, “I’m ready!”

I gave her a kiss on the cheek and asked her to do me a favor. “When you see my Mama, give her that kiss for me!”

She smiled and said, “I promise, I will!”

I kissed her and said, “I will see you soon!”

Because I know I will.

Until next time,

I’m Just Sayin’…

Brother “A”