Sunday, August 9, 2009

You've served us well....adieu

Once upon a time there was a darling husband and wife who went on a little camp out. They remembered stopped to feed themselves prior to arriving at camp swinging by their neighborhood grocer to purchase their dinner. Just because they were eating in the car didn't mean they couldn't eat in style! They bought chicken, macaroni salad, Hawaiian rolls. It was a magnificent car meal. Wife in her over grabbing way had procured too many plastic forks at the deli. Not to being a waster, she tucked a fork up in the visor telling her husband that one day he would love her because he'd be somewhere and he'd be in desperate need of an eating utensil and then...... YES!! Thus was born "Emergency Fork!"

Fast forward to months later, we've had a few good snickers out of seeing Emergency Fork but most of the time neither of us remember it is even there. Poor neglected E.F. On this particular night, Josh is taking me on a hot date to dinner and the blazing Arizona sun is invading my retina. In a fit of blindness I fumbled for the visor and heard the fatal crack of damaged goods.
Woe is me!! I have ruined Emergency Fork! Josh grumbles at me and reaches up to jokingly discipline me with the carnage I have cause and in his grasping, he yells "EF DOWN!!!".....
It's over! There is no saving it now. Not even for memorial sake. And in between my sobbing and snickering at my failed attempt at emergency preparedness Josh points out very somberly, "Though fork may have left us, it has always left an imprint on us."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

I have this tender moment that keeps running around in my head from my recent trip to Washington. In all the fun, rushing and celebration of the trip I had the pleasure of sharing a quiet moment with two of my favorite girls, my niece Abby and my sweet sister-in-law Jessica. This moment of love, of giggles, of joy – this memory resonates peace to my soul.

Jessica is Josh’s twin and she is mentally disabled. Our Jessica is love. Abby just turned two. She is vivacious, quizzical, all things two! A visit to the Haws house is full of aunts, uncles and cousin visits, outings, projects and chats. It’s a blissful blitz from touchdown to takeoff. But for this brief moment I found myself sitting quietly in the same couch cushion on the couch next to my Jessie watching Abby play with her toys. Jessica always sits too close, it’s how she says, “I love you.” The house was still and we all seemed to be enjoying the moment. I put my arm around Jessica who happens to be the music aficionado in the family and started a silly version of Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes giving her a honk on the nose at the end. Jessica let out a pleasant squeal and I looked up to see Abby standing at the end of the couch waiting to join the party. I smiled at her and she floated forward in the way two year old princesses do and climbed onto my lap. Now I had my hands full but I wasn’t about to stop the fun! I’m Auntie Ellen! So I braced myself and we started another round, I worked one hand pointing out Jessie’s head, shoulder, knees and toes while simultaneously pointing out Abby’s eyes, ears, mouth and nose. Not only did they laugh when I finished, but they clapped! We moved on to other songs, “Three Little Monkeys” “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” all three of us completely happy to sit squished on one couch cushion singing sweet simple happy songs.

I don’t remember how the moment ended or why we stopped, but I will never forget the way they watched my hands as I did the actions, the way they laughed and clapped as I finished a song and the pure love we all felt for each other in that moment enveloped in a leather couch in Grandpa’s house in Washington.