Modern Handmade Child

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I'm Just Sayin! by Alan P. Scaglione

Howdy Neighbor! The Hug 20 years in the making!
                                                                       “I’m Just Sayin’”

                                                                   by Alan P. Scaglione

Anybody have a friendship that has sustained and grown over the years, even though you haven’t seen them in forever? I have this friend, who used to be my neighbor 25 years ago. We both bought houses across the street. She was a house-wife; I was a head of house. Our kids played together. She was the kind of mom who had Christmas brunch for the kids and SANTA showed up with pre-Christmas presents. I know because, one year, in a pinch, when her Santa was a no-show, and I happened to be home(lucky me), she said, “Hey, you mind filling in as Santa! The kids would love it!” I thought, how can I get out of this? I couldn’t—and let’s face it, I didn’t need any padding to play the part!

Then there was the time when she was so excited to show off what she and her 2 boys had just done—a handprint chair railing all the way down her hallway… actually looked really good, surprisingly! She was that neighbor—cookies being made all the time, garden, friendly, loved being a stay at home mom—all the other moms just hated her!

They moved to Tennessee after 5 years as neighbors. Neighbors come, neighbors go; but, we stayed in touch.

Oh, back then, it was yearly Christmas cards, the kind with a family update. I laughed with the stories of the boys, who were close in age with our kids. I sent the same and left it at that.

Then we got the opportunity to visit their family in Tennessee—had a great weekend, laughing and making new, “non-neighbor” memories.

That’s the last time I had physically seen them, and that was 20 years ago!

We exchanged phone numbers and called a couple of times a year; then came cell phones; we called to catch up. Then came texting; then cell pics; then video; and voila! We were sharing our lives, without ever meeting again.

Then this friend heard that I had had a heart attack—she reached out to both me and my wife and let us know, across 600 miles, she was here for us.

And…she really was!

She checked on both of us during my 2 years of recovery—she was one of the few who knew, my wife needed a friend too!

My wife would say from time to time, “We haven’t even met but she cares about our family!”

Kind of like a “millenium pen-pal”…with all the latest media devices. Never meeting but never feeling like strangers!

Made me wonder if that’s how it is with God? He went to prepare a place for us, and He promised that He would come back to take us there!(John 14:1)

But He has never been out of reach and never felt far away, because His love reaches across the miles…right to where I live!

God is the “original pen-pal”!

He’s the one you always reach for: to tell the good, the bad and the ugly and He’s the one who always makes you feel loved!

And you know…someday, you really will see Him face to face, and…He will welcome you to His home, and…you will feel like you were always there!

The test of a true friendship…withstands the test of time AND distance!

So…last weekend, my wife and I got to “see” our friend for the first time….and it felt like I had walked across the street-20 years ago!

I got out of the car, turned around, and there was that same friend who greeted me years ago, with a “come see what we did” wave and heartfelt smile!

Felt so good to see my friend, “GrannyZann!”

You see, she’s the one who asked me to write this weekly column- I just wanted to say “thank you” neighbor!

Until next time,

I’m Just Sayin’…

Brother “A”

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Points2Ponder By Alan P. Scaglione

                                             Make your first GivaManaBag-- and pass it on!

We’ve all seen them. Some of us have even tried to “not” see them. When we look away; when we scoot our car up to the red light; when we speed up so we don’t have to nod at them; when we make that face that says “sorry—wish I could help, but I don’t have anything!”

The homeless. They’re everywhere! At every corner we turn and at every red light where we stop. They’re always just there.

With a sign, without a sign; with a smile, with a frown. Just asking “brother, can you spare a dime?”

And, what is our answer? Some say “you can’t give them money, they will just go get a drink!” Others say, “They’re just stealing your money—they don’t need help!”

But, doesn’t it tug at you? Don’t you ever think? What if?

What if they really are homeless? What if they really do need that pocket change? What if your help makes a difference in whether they eat or go hungry?

What if you could make a difference in their life…by not looking away?

POINTS2PONDER What is our responsibility to help those less fortunate around us? Is it our job to help our brother in need?

Maybe the answer is as simple as going back to Vacation Bible School(VBS). Maybe the answer is as simple as Pakabag2savealife!

My third cousin Dawson learned a valuable lesson at Vacation Bible School this past week, and brought his lesson home.

They talked about how we are responsible to “help where we can, even in small ways.”

Dawson learned that there are times when… it’s as simple as a Ziploc Survival Bag.

On his own, he took a bag and added the following:

1 bottle of water, 1 granola bar, 1 toothbrush, 1 small toothpaste, 1 pack of peanut butter crackers, 1 pop tarts, 1 beef jerky! You get the picture.

And voila! You have a “GivaManaBag!”

It answers that nagging concern that says: “they just want our money and really aren’t homeless or hungry.”

You may pass them each day…but today, pack them a survival bag…and plan to pass it on!

Just try it—they just might like it!

And…if they DON’T --then you know…they just weren’t homeless or hungry enough!

They taught this to a VBS full of 7 year olds who went home and made their first “GivaManaBag” bag; all along believing—they could help!

And Dawson gave his to his Nana…for her to pass out the next day when she passed that familiar site, the one where the VietNam Vet is sitting there at the corner asking for help, “any help we can give.” That’s what his sign says!

Tomorrow, he will have a bag full of instant survival munchies…provided by a 7 year old who believes…

He can save the world! One Ziploc bag at a time!

Special thanks to my cousin Belinda who learned a lesson at VBS and from her 7 year old grandson Dawson…

and she thought “hey, this could be a Points2Ponder!”

And she was right…so? Anybody feel like packing a lunch? For somebody else?

Just start with a Ziploc bag and add a whole lot of love!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I'm Just Sayin' By Alan P. Scaglione

                                                                  “I’m Just Sayin’”

                                                              by Alan P. Scaglione

Anybody see the new Carrie Fisher ad? Apparently, she is losing weight, assisted by some weight loss program, and she must have had some success with the program, and she is singing its praises as she declares “thank you for letting me feel pretty, one last time!”

It just grabbed me. One last time? Are we in that period of our lives, opposite of our twenties (when we experienced our “firsts” in life);

Instead, for those of us in our fifties, are we now experiencing our “lasts in life?”

Made me contemplate. What if I am facing the second half of my life, the fourth quarter, the “do or die” period where we get one more chance…

To do one last thing…that we always dreampt we would someday do.

Is it too late to do that one thing…you always said you would do?

I have a friend who is about to turn 62 years old and just came back from his third mission trip. He said that he feels like he is finally doing what he was meant to do all of his life. He has been a successful Sunday school teacher, an effective associate pastor, a great father and husband, a true friend and a shining example of taking lemons and making lemonade. Those who know him know…he is still doing a lot of “firsts” and he’s not ready to start lining up his “lasts in life!”

Some people call it a bucket list. You remember the movie. Those ten things you always wanted to do before…you know…just before!

Maybe it’s visiting the elderly shut-ins; maybe it’s opening a tutoring center for struggling students; maybe it’s organizing a homeless shelter.

What it is…is….doing that one thing that you have always felt you were meant to do; not putting it off for “then” because, look around, “then IS NOW!”

I had a conversation with a friend at work who was questioning what she wanted to do with the “rest of her life?” The last child had moved out, off at college, and she was asking herself, now that I have fulfilled all my obligations to my children, what about my obligation to myself? She even stated, “I may even want to go and be a missionary! But, who becomes a missionary at my age?” I smiled and said, “Actually, I have a 62 year old friend who just came back from his third missionary trip, and he feels like he is doing exactly what he was meant to do his whole life!”

And yet…so many “fifty-somethings” are sitting on couches or in lazyboy recliners, watching mindless television, wondering…

Am I just too old to do anything new?

You have those who have resigned themselves to coasting into the end zone without making one last touchdown! No victory dance in their future!

And then…there’s Caleb!

Anybody remember Caleb in the Bible?(Joshua 14:6-14) Early on, He was one of two spies who after checking out the promised land, said, “We can take those giants!”

Years later, he went to the leader Joshua and said, “Give me my mountain!” He didn’t want anyone to clear it for him, even though it was controlled by the enemy. He knew he was old, but he also knew…that was his mountain, and he still had it in him to take that mountain from the enemy…

And he DID! Cleared it himself, ran off the enemy and took possession of his property because…he did not resign himself to coasting to the finish line.

What about you? Is there something you have always wanted to do but now, you’ve convinced yourself that you’re too old, that ship has sailed, leave it to the younger ones; or, is there one more dream in you, more fire in your belly, one last victory to score!

Is there a Caleb in YOU?

Until next time,

I’m Just Sayin’…

Brother “A”

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Points2Ponder by Alan P. Scaglione

I was sitting at dinner this past Saturday. It was a Mexican restaurant where my wife and I take our grandson Jett. We were playing with his helium balloon (for Jett, not for Nano—okay, it was his balloon, but I was having fun with it!) when all of a sudden someone walks by and Jett’s eyes get as big as silver dollars! He was mesmerized! It was like he had seen Tom Cruise or Julia Roberts? Okay, maybe Myley Cyrus or Justin Bieber? You know what I’m saying…this kid was starstruck!

I looked at the person who had walked by, and, at first glance I was like, who is he looking at? And why do they have such an impact on my grandson, who, by the way, is barely two years old. Is he even old enough to be starstruck? Who does he know or recognize who would stop him from playing with his balloon AND ME, just to keep looking over his shoulder at this person?

Let me describe the object of his attention: 3 feet tall, if that, dressed in pink, possible Mexican descent, jet black hair, cut off like a page boy. Apparently, she was not wearing her backpack or…I am sure I would have recognized her too!

Jett whispered to me the one word that gave it away: “Dora!”

Yep! You guessed it…just a mere 10 feet away from me, sitting with her family was the celebrity otherwise known as: Dora the Explorer!

Guess she was exploring Mexican Restaurants that night!

I had to laugh—my grandson was convinced…his cartoon character that he watches every day, had come to life and… was eating a taco!

Oh the wonder of television! Another new American idol born…and, for this 2 year old boy, he could not be more impressed!

But, it did make me wonder??

POINTS2PONDER Who would get me to stop dead in my tracks? Who would I be impressed to see?

I remember thinking, in my younger years, how I would love to meet Amy Grant, the contemporary Christian artist I have followed my whole life. She has written songs that touched my heart and fed my soul and, I always thought, I would love to just sit down and have dinner with her.

I’ve met a few football greats over the years: Troy Aikman in the middle of Outback- I’m ashamed to say, asked for his autograph, for my son, “of course!” And then there was that time I waited in line at the Aurora Mall outside Denver, Colorado to meet my football hero..Mr. John Elway! I remember shaking his hand, meeting his wife and kids and telling him how I was a Denver fan from Tampa, Florida just because of him! I know, the ladies are scratching their heads, but the men, we understand, right?

But today, at this point my life, who would make me stop and go Awwwwwe! Just one, I am sure.

So, I decided to play along. I went up to the table where “Dora” was having dinner, and I could feel my grandson’s eyes watching my every move. I whispered to the parents that my grandson thought their daughter was Dora! They laughed and pointed to Jett and had “Dora” wave. It could have been the Queen of England.

I looked back and there was my 2 year old grandson….smiling ear to ear! And then, he waved back and said “Hi Dora!” Priceless!

By the way…that one for me? Described best in one of my favorite songs:

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel

Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still

Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall

Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all

I can only imagine…

Yes, I can only imagine!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I'm Just Sayin by Alan P. Scaglione

“Shane-Alan-Chris: 2 brothers and...a godfather!”
“I’m Just Sayin’”

by Alan P. Scaglione

Is it ever too late to reconnect with someone you walked away from, years ago?

Is it possible to forgive and forget…to not let the absence of the past sabotage the possibility of restoration?

Some people say, it’s never too late to renew a relationship; others say, too much water under the bridge.

Made me wonder…is it ever too late to reconnect?

I had an opportunity to reunite with someone very important to me…my godson.

Kind of funny, he has my my name as his middle name. Maybe he’s heard about me, over the years, but…

I hadn’t seen him since he was 4 or 5 years old. Shane just turned 30—you do the math!

He barely remembered me, but I have never forgotten him. I have wondered through the years, how did he turn out?

Would he ever even want to know me? Could we ever reconnect after all this time had passed? Could I be a godfather to my godson?

When a relationship is ruptured, for whatever the reason; both sides wonder if it’s possible to restore.

We assume that there’s no way to restore a relationship—sometimes we are the saboteur because…we assume a rejection, not a reconnection!

I wanted to meet my godson. I really wanted to have the chance to rebuild a relationship, to restore the rupture, to reconnect!

I kept asking myself…I wonder if God gets this excited at the prospect of a prodigal coming home?

You remember the story…younger son decides he wants his inheritance now so he can go out on his own. Father grants his wish, although he waits for his son to return home, hoping the son will realize that there really is “no place like home!” Son squanders his inheritance and ends up eating the same food as the pigs and says, “even the hired help at home has it better than I do. I will see if I can just go home and work as hired help.” Son turns down the street to his home, not sure if he will be received or rejected. Father sees his Son! He has been waiting for his son to come home. Father runs to his son! Father embraces his son! Father celebrates his son’s return home. Father places the family ring on his son’s hand and states, “my son has come home!” The true example of restored relationships!(Luke 15:11-32)

That’s how God feels when we come home to Him. He doesn’t remind us of all the time we were away or all we missed while we were gone. He welcomes us, in His loving arms, and receives us back into His heart and heavenly home. Our Father waits and welcomes each of his sons home! He waits…for you!

So…back to meeting Shane. When I first saw him, I was grinning ear to ear. He smiled and extended his handshake. I’m a hugger, but…I knew… just take whatever he is offering and build on that. We talked and laughed and ate and visited with his brother Chris and their families.

3 hours went by like that!

I couldn’t believe it was time to go, but relieved- it had been a relaxed conversation--I was hopeful.

As I started to leave, I reached out my hand to shake his…

And then, it happened…

He reached out…and gave me a hug!

My heart was bursting with joy- my godson was hugging me! I wanted to shout! I wanted to scream!

…but, I just quietly hugged him back.

While I was embracing my godson for the first time in 25 years…

I wondered?

Does God feel this good when we come home?

And I smiled-- I bet He does.

Until next time,

I’m Just Sayin’…

Brother “A”

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Points2Ponder By Alan P. Scaglione

Sometimes, you just can’t get there from the sidelines- You have to get involved, jump right in, get wet! A little water never killed anybody!
That’s what I told myself when we took Jett to the water park this past Saturday. His parents had a family responsibility and asked if we would take Jett. And the answer was, “how long can I keep him?” Was planning to take him somewhere wet. And watch him from the sidelines. That’s what most adults do, right? Take the child, let him play in the water but…just wave and shout from the sidelines. not like you’re going to get out there, in the middle of it all, where all the kids are playing and…get drenched! Well, we all know by now..I’m not most adults, am I?
Nope—JettJett was determined to get in the middle of it…and take his Nano with him. He was smiling the whole time we were out there playing in the shooting, dancing water fountain. It wasn’t until we started to leave, that I realized, “Hey, I really AM the only adult out here, getting drenched, playing WITH my grandson, not just yelling from the sidelines!” I smiled-  I was proud of myself. Somethings you just can’t participate from the sideline—you gotta get drenched!
POINTS2PONDER  Why can’t we play like we did that summer? You know which one! When we were kids, sliding down that Slip-n-Slide!
Jett spied a “little kids” park adjacent to the waterworks, and he screamed, “Nano, play!”
You know what I love most about that? He knew I would!
So we walk in, and I let him run around. There’s a slide. Jett loves a slide! As soon as he gets off, he looks at me and says “Again!”
 Then he sees it—the Teeter Totter! You remember that? You may call it a SeeSaw!
 Jett runs with all his might to get on and then looks at me. This kid already knows—he’s gonna need a partner for this!
I put him on one side, and Jett points—yes, he really did! He knew-- unless I got ON, he was going to be sitting in a seat on the ground, so…he knew who had to play with him!
So, I had a couple of choices. I could do like most adults(remember—I’m not one of those) and stand next to it and use my hand to make the teeter totter teeter!
OR….I could … embarrass myself in front of all those sneering “sideline adults”, with their look of disdain and whisper of disapproval. Judging me!
You see the picture…was there ever really any other choice?
My wife took the picture, all the while shaking her head in disapproval. Guess you DO need some adults on the sidelines—who else would take the pictures?
He laughed and laughed every time he and his Nano teetered on the totter! And then, it was over!
Without batting an eye, he looked at me and said, “Nano, Water, Play!”
And we ran back to the water park, where the water fountain was shooting up from the ground, drenching a hundred little kids… and one Nano!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"I'm Just Sayin" by: Alan P. Scaglione

“Happy Anniversary to me—Paying it Forward -Listen and Learn!”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

by Alan P. Scaglione

I had an anniversary this past week. A very important one…and, I didn’t share it with anyone.
Some anniversaries are not shared. Some, you alone remember and reflect.
Two years ago, I had a dress rehearsal to my death. Never will forget that day-never want to!
It’s my anniversary of a second chance at life.

I remember like it was yesterday; the pains in my chest and my left arm; thinking that this was not going away; bargaining with God to just get me through the night; being alone, completely alone, thinking…I’m gonna die alone.

I made several mistakes that day— Praying you’ll learn from my mistakes so you will not have an anniversary like mine!

1 – It can happen to you/you are never too young!

Had placed my wife on a plane to go see our grandson in Rhode Island. Never telling her—about the pain. If I had, she would just cancel the trip—couldn’t let her do that. She had been planning and looking forward to this trip for months.I kissed her goodbye and told her “have a good time.” Heart Attack couldn’t happen to me- I was 49! Too YOUNG!

2 – I didn’t reach out to my family!

My daughter was supposed to spend the night with me that night. I texted her not to come. She thought I was upset at something else. I knew… if she heard my voice, she would know…her Papa was in pain. I couldn’t alarm her.

You see…I was with my mother when she passed away. I did NOT want that to happen to her. Not fair to leave that memory for a child.
3 – I waited too long.

Note to self: chest pains do not always mean heart attack has happened; they can mean, heart attack is about to happen. BIG Difference!

Having a stent placed in your heart BEFORE a heart attack is so much better than AFTER one. Heart Attack Damage to your heart is irreparable!

Later that night, the pain throbbed more. By 3am, it was keeping its own beat. The pain was now numbing my left arm.

That’s when you’re supposed to take two 81mg aspirins and call 911. Who keeps those aspirins on hand? YOU should!

4 – Call 911. Call somebody!

I didn’t think I was going to make it through the night. I thought, “I am going to die in my home, alone.”

5 – Thought I had Time!

I pleaded, begged and reminded. I then just bargained: “If I make it til 6 am, Lord, I will go to the hospital.”

After that, I actually fell asleep! Woke up at 6 am. Pain still throbbing but…I thought, “God got me to 6am, now I have to keep my promise!”

6 – Never EVER drive yourself to the hospital while having chest pains!

Big Mistake – drove myself to the hospital at 6am.

Note To Self—Not good for the OTHERS on the road!

I kept repeating “yea, though I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me!” Psalm 23:4

It’s been a rough two years. My mistakes affected my recovery results. In fact, until God healed me in January of this year, I still felt some pain on my left side, down my arm, occasionally.

Because I waited too long-after having the heart attack-not going before-- My doctor said I would have to learn to live with that pain.

Just a stent and NO heart attack would have been so much easier. Learn from me!
By the way…when my wife finally walked into my hospital room two days later, tears gushing, lips trembling,

she just held me close and whispered “I’m gonna kill you for this!”

Learn from me—TELL SOMEBODY – do NOT keep it to yourself!

The life you save…may just be your own!

Until next time,

I’m Just Sayin’…

Brother “A”

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Points2Ponder by: Alan P. Scaglione

So I got a call from my Aunt Ciria, wishing me a Happy 4th of July! She always calls, just to wish us well on the holiday. It’s so “last generation”, with no one from our generation doing the same. And with our kids, you’re lucky to a get a text they sent to everyone in their phonebook. Just not anything personal in that. But, they’re that way.

I ask her how she slept. So funny! It’s the first thing we talk about each time we talk. How she slept. When you’re 80 years old, sleeping is very important, I guess?

She said she slept okay except…she was awakened in the middle of the night by a Roach!! A roach??? Yep! A ROACH!!

Now for those who do not live in Florida, the random roach sighting would be a moment when women freak out and men grab a shoe…yes, to kill the roach!!

But…in Florida…we all just “grab a shoe!” splat! Roach gone! Move on!

So I asked her why she was up at 3 in the morning with a roach…then she explains the “whole roach story!”

Dawson, her 8 year old inquisitive, energetic, chatterbox of a great grandson, had spent the night. He woke up in the middle of the night because HE saw the roach!

And he came into her room to tell her about it. At 3 am!!! He wanted to talk…about the roach he just saw…and he wanted to talk to her.

She said that he told her that he wanted to tell HER, his Nani (great grandmother in Italian) what he knew about roaches.

And at 3am, when this octogenarian should be getting that much needed, much talked about “sleep”…she was listening to Dawson ramble on about roaches.

Apparently, she said, there is a roach in Australia that is 6 inches long. She challenged him on that one, but he stood firm. Told her he had read it.

She commented “Kids are just so much more intelligent than we were at that age. He reads everything and remembers it all. Must be a 6 inch roach in Australia!”

Then I asked her why she didn’t send him to his “Nana Belinda” for his “midnight talk?”

She said so poignantly, “I won’t be here forever and hopefully, he’ll remember our late night roach talk when I am gone!”

I welled up with tears—here she is, seizing the day, in the middle of the night, knowing that…for Dawson, they are making a lifetime memory!

POINTS2PONDER Why can’t we see what’s right in front of us and take advantage of the once in a lifetime opportunity to make a memory?

I told her that he would remember that talk for the rest of his life—he just doesn’t realize it yet. She laughed and said, “I hope so!”

She knew what we all need to know…sometimes, you just can’t sleep through making a memory with a child—you have to wake up for it!

Just wonder if it will take us 80 years to learn that lesson? Or can we be the “intelligent” generation and learn and apply that now—and NOT send them to Nana!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I'm Just Sayin by Alan P. Scaglione

Blest be the tie that binds: Family Last Forever!

"I’m Just Sayin"
  by Alan P. Scaglione

Birthdays—we can’t get older without them!
Two very special birthdays this week—first and foremost, “Happy Birthday America!” You stand for freedom for all- One Nation UNDER GOD!
For all of us who are second, third, fourth generation immigrants who came to a land with freedom of religion and speech- so glad you still are!
We all pause to pledge allegiance and say a prayer—May we always be “One nation Under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all!”
And for those who don’t love it anymore…there are planes leaving on the hour that will take you somewhere else!

And then there’s the “other” important birthday—Aunt Ciria turns 80 today!
She’s the first one in our Cabrera family to reach this goal— may happen in other families, but not ours.
Aunt Ciria is the third of five children born to Pedro and Teresa Cabrera, both first generation Americans.
She’s now the matriarch of our family—and this past Sunday, we gathered together to celebrate this milestone!
It’s the only way we could surprise her—one week early!
And she was! She smiled ear to ear while shedding a few tears of joy.
She looked at me and said, “All these people are here just for me?”
I told her, “Look around—they all took time to come by and show how much they love and appreciate you!”
That’s when she cried….crocodile tears!

She’s had her tough times, dealing with TB and spending some of her teenage years in a TB Hospital.
For those too young to know what TB is… It’s tuberculosis, a disease that attacks and affects the lungs.
Those were sad years for her—away from her family; but, it was also where she met the love of her life: Uncle Willard!

She told me once, “I haven’t had a good life, but I have had good moments!”
As I looked around at cousins, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, each taking time to show respect to our matriarch, I realized…
This may be the last time we ever get together like this. She is the reason we have come together—who can evoke that, once she’s gone?
Families don’t gather much anymore—it’s sad but true. In our hurry world of twitter, facebook and skype, we rarely physically see each other.
Our kids aren’t growing up around their cousins and aunts and uncles. Gotta wonder? Who will check on me like I check on her?
It’s just not how we do things anymore.
Today, for her: we gathered and talked and laughed and reminisced and answered age old “family tree” questions.
All because someone we know and love is turning 80!
Aunt Ciria sat in front of her 80 cupcakes (yes—one for each year), with her granddaughter Ginger and daughter Belinda, holding great-grandsons Dawson and Fisher, beaming! She even sang the words “Happy Birthday to ME” as her extended family and friends serenaded her with Happy Birthday!
She thanked us for taking the time out of our busy lives to visit her today.
And we all felt a collective sense of guilt over not visiting or calling her as often as we should because…we are all so busy. Maybe a little too busy?
You see…Aunt Ciria doesn’t have facebook, so we can’t “friend” or “IM” her and share our latest vacation pictures or some quote we heard at work.
She’s part of a dying breed—the “stop by and see me” generation!
But today…she gave us the best present…she gave us a reason to gather and share a moment with this immigrant family of ours—
All proud of our heritage, proud of our country, proud to be “Aunt Ciria’s american family!”
She told me when we left, “today, I made a memory that’ll last a lifetime!”
Little did she know…so had we!

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