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

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 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.

Morning musings…42: Out of the mouths of babes

A father and his inquisitive son were playing catch in a park when the boy noticed two young men holding hands, snuggling, smiling and laughing on a bench.

patti dawn swansson
patti dawn swansson

“Dad,” the son asked, “why are those two men holding hands?”

“Because they’re sick homosexuals,” the father replied.

“How can you tell they’re sick?”

“Because they have to be sick to be doing something so disgusting. They need help.”

“But you and mom hold hands all the time when you go for a walk.”

“That’s because your mom and I love each other very much and we aren’t afraid to let the world know it.”

The boy was confused, but said nothing more until he saw two young women strolling down the park pathway. They, too, were hand-in-hand, snuggling, smiling and laughing.

“Dad,” he said, “are those two ladies sick or do they love each other like you and mom?”

“Why do you ask that, son?” the father replied.

“Because they’re holding hands.”

“Women are different than men, son. It’s okay for women to show affection for each other. But it’s wrong for them to love each other like your mom and I love each other.”

“So they must be sick like the two men holding hands, right dad?”

“Right, son. They’re sick homosexuals. They need help.”

The boy gave pause for ponder. He was now very confused. Why was it acceptable for his mom and dad to hold hands and love each other, but not for two men or two women?

“Dad,” he said as he tossed the baseball to his father, “what is love supposed to look like?”

“Love is supposed to look like the way your mom and I look at one another,” the father answered. “It’s supposed to look like the way your mom and I talk to one another. The way your mom and I smile and laugh together. The way your mom and I hold each other. That’s what love is supposed to look like.”

“Then either those two men and those two women are in love, or you better go see Dr. Tupper, dad.”

“Dr. Tupper? Why would your mom and I need to see Dr. Tupper, son?”

“Because those sick homosexuals don’t behave any differently than you and mom. So you’re full of shit or you’re a bigot. Either way, you need help.”

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