broken loving at nautilus teachings



i am sitting at
my mother’s table.
the sun is out
and life is slowly
creeping back
into my tiny beach town.
i am exhausted
from playing
catch up
yet so grateful
to be alive
and healthy…
until i turn
on the tv
or sign onto
social media…
i don’t want to hear it…
i want to see the funny pics
everyone posts
i want to hear
some uplifting news
about anything positive…
i was raised
with faith
in faith
through faith.
i was raised
to respect
give, help
to just do for others
as i would have them do
unto me.
i was taught to be
for everything
i did, spoke and believed.
as a family
we worshiped
we ate
we played
we did housework
and always had
huge family dinners
with our relatives
on sundays…
we walked
every where we could,
wore hand me downs,
ate very little meat,
day old everything,
played board games
when it rained,
played outside
every other day
and together,
as a family
watched tv shows like
animal kingdom
star trek and
wonderful world of disney
to name a few…

my mother raised us.
she volunteered everywhere she could
and on the one day my father
did not work or have school-
which was sunday-
he volunteered his time
to helping our church with
it’s finances as he was
going to school for his CPA…
we said the pledge of allegiance
we sang
God Bless America
we flew our flag
supported the troops
drove a chevrolet
ate apple pie-
made by mom-
said hello,
please, thank you
and never ever worried
about getting trophies
or recognition
for anything,
a human being
just should do
out of kindness…
my brothers played pee wee football
and little league baseball
with my father along the sideline
as one of the coaches
while mom ran the concession stand
and i wandered safely
amongst everyone…
we rooted for our Bears
and our Cubbies
drank cocoa cola from a bottle
never had air conditioning
said grace before every meal
and were taught
to work hard
make a living
and be grateful…
my kids pound into my head
over and over,
“mom…it’s not like that anymore…”
i get this.

in this ever changing age
of technology
and social media,
is fake news
and real news
people judge more
hate more
and do less
for free
or out of kindness…
growing up in the 60’s
outside chicago
i did not know hate-
i had friends of all colors
and from all different
levels of income.
no one cared.
we still loved the same food
laughed together
took daily baths
went the bathroom
worshipped in church
and loved being outside…
we were all free
to twirl
to hide
to run
play hopscotch
ice skate on the pond
sled down the hill
and wander for hours…
we always felt safe.
i glance at the empty chairs
around my mother’s table
knowing they are never
truly empty
i can brush crumbs of memory
into my hand
and see my mother
my aunt
and family
all gathered
i can see us all
sitting outside
in the summer breeze
drinking lemonade
sharing stories
and just believing
nothing in life
is better

recently i was given
the gift
from d,
of seeing my dad…
to say we are close
would by lying.
we have had a lifetime
of friction
some of it horribly hurtful
some of it tender
but mostly it was just
silent absence…
we never got to connect
like a father and daughter should
and for my whole life i blamed him
until d,
took my hand and said,
“he is your father, sher…
remember what your mother always said,
‘your father was born broken
and even the broken deserve to be loved…’
so, tell him you love him.
hug him.
hold him close
knowing he just did the best he could…”
so, i did.
i told him 5 times in 48 hours
i loved him…
never once did he say it back.
i know he loves me
i know he knows i love him
and that my friend
is not fake news
but reality…
sometimes we just need to love
because in this loving
we find