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Monday, December 26, 2016

LIFE'S TWISTS

--> You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You never noted how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamt I held you in my arms
When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head, and I cried

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You never noted how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

It's funny how life can be. Whenever I hear the song ‘Sunshine on My Shoulder' I think of my daughter. It just seems to me to be her song from me. The other song that affects me and reminds me of a child is ‘You Are My Sunshine'. I used to sing to get my son Joseph to stop crying. Both songs involve sunshine.

When he would be in pain or discomfort, we never knew which, he would cry as a 1-year old would. I would take him and hold him on my lap and sing the song. Whenever I got to the part: You make me happy when skies are gray, he would stop crying and smile! It never failed for his Mom or me.

I remember one Saturday morning, as he sat in my arms in North Shore University Hospital, I was staring out the window wondering what was in store for him, I sang that song to him as he lay in my arms attached to tubes and quietly dealing with the pain. He slowly looked up and smiled once again, it made my day, my whole day and a woven memory in the cloth I will keep forever.

It's been 37 years since he was born, the song will still bring that memory home to me, and I will remember his round little face and feel a little pain in my heart. Funny how similar it is to the pain I feel when I see my daughter. I don't know if the pain ever goes away, ask me when I'm dead. But to tell you the truth, you have to live on, you have to dance and sing and laugh and be happy because life is so unpredictable.

I know I do silly things sometimes, but I do them because I love life in spite of the bad breaks that come down the pike. But those horrific breaks are balanced by good and wonderful breaks too. My other children, a truly wonderful and loving wife, one that has made a home for me, one I don't wish to leave and never did.

Maybe the tributes to motherhood need clarity. Maybe they, mothers, should be celebrated on their children's birthday. Those of us born should not take the bow, the mom that suffered through 9 months and childbirth should be celebrated. It should work so that if you have a birthday, you buy your mom a present.

Maybe when that same birthday occurs, Dads should reach in and buy Mom the present, for making it possible to be a father, and a parent, telling her ‘thank you' for creating my family.

I know that little Joseph would now be 37 years old. If he had lived I know he would have been suffering just like my daughter, so maybe he was lucky. Sounds crazy I know, but if you think about it, in 100 years from now no one will remember or little care. But if it weren't for TLW (The Little Woman) I would have never met Joseph, would never have had some truly beautiful memories along with the bad ones. But at least he lived.

So, where is the twist?

This Christmas my wife received a beautiful gift from our one and only granddaughter. The gift was a music box, with the cover showing a picture of little Darby Shea making a necklace from colorful beads that she included in the music box. It is a beautiful wooden box, a high polish on dark wood. But it is what is inside that matters. For the child we lost so many years ago, the latest family member made a deep and lasting emotional connection, the music box plays what else?

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You never noted how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamt I held you in my arms
When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head, and I cried

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You never noted how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away


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