words are all i have

All I can do is wish bluebirds in the spring and love to the children I didn’t watch grow

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Whenever I am required to allow a nurse to stick a needle into my left arm and withdraw enough blood to fill anywhere from half a dozen to 13 vials, it provides me pause for ponder. About life. What to make of it. What’s left of it. What to do with what’s left of it.

patti dawn swansson

patti dawn swansson

For example, it occurred to me while watching the Warren Beatty/Julie Christie movie Heaven Can Wait on Wednesday night that I have never been in a helicopter. On or off the ground.

Is this an experience to add to my bucket list? Wait. Do I even have a bucket list? I know I did at one time, but I believe I filed it under ‘not going to happen, ever’ and decided that I shall embrace whatever life hurls my way. And, upon further review, I believe I shall pass if the opportunity for a spin in a whirlybird presents itself, because it strikes me as too much of an amusement park-like ride.

My stomach does not agree with amusement park rides, even one as tame as a merry-go-round, and I really don’t think anyone is anxious to see what I’ve had for lunch.

Thus, helicopters are a non-starter.

Thoughts of this nature are not to imply my end is nigh. I could be gone in the next 20 minutes and I might still be trying to unravel the mystery of life another 20 years from now, although the latter is unlikely since I have heard the angels whisper. Literally. But, like I said, each new set of blood tests arouses contemplation of waters, still or angry, that have passed under the bridge and suspicion of those yet to arrive.

When I hearken to the echoing of distant voices, regret is not providing the lead vocals but she surely is part of the choir.

One would be blessed, also rich beyond measure, to move to the other side without regret. This, however, is not to be my good fortune. I have a regret. One. And it can never flee. It is the disconnect between myself and my children.

There is a popular country tune from the 1980s, Till I’m Too Old to Die Young, in which Moe Bandy sings the lyric, “Let me watch my children grow to see what they become.”

I don’t know what has become of my five children. I don’t know who they are. I don’t know where they are. I don’t know what they do. I don’t know who they’re with. I don’t know how many children my children have.

I…just…don’t…know.

I know only this: It’s too late for me to “watch my children grow,” and that sole regret will accompany my soul in moving from this journey to the next. However far down the road that might be.

I think of them often, most every day, and I’m always reminded of another set of lyrics, from the beautiful Charles Trenet/Albert Beach song, I Give You Love:

I wish you bluebirds in the spring
to give your heart a song to sing
and then a kiss
but more than this
I wish you love.

I wish you shelter from the storm
a cozy fire to keep you warm
but most of all when snowflakes fall
I wish you love.

I hope they love and are kind to each other.

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