Monday, February 28, 2011

The Best Gift

The list continues, counting in the hundreds now and always seeking, always looking for a well. I write this evening in solitude, alone in the house for a time while the family is busy elsewhere. They bustled out only an hour ago, me tucking herbed chicken into Ciabatta just out of the oven, wincing at the heat and quick-wrapping sandwiches while Dancer waited at the door trying to be patient at the delay. I was worried they'd be hungry.

I am hungry, always hungry, but it isn't a craving for sandwiches. Fresh, soft, warm bread is a good gift, but this is a longing for more of God, for more awareness of His presence, for more gratitude for every good and perfect gift from His hand. Always for one more thing to number among the others in my gratitude list journal. How glad I am to have it always close at hand.

I don't want my family to have hungry tummies, but I do want them to hunger after the Bread of Life, to always be aware of Him, grateful to Him, in love with Him, seeking to know His heart better with each moment alive.

That kind of hunger drives me, drive us all, to keep reaching and noticing and thanking. It is well with my soul. My very soul is a well that can only be adequately filled with His spirit, His purpose, His love flowing from me outward to all whom He loves. To simply love is a very big thing. The best gift of all.

131. Heather Roemer, for sharing Ann with me
132. Computer fixed by amazing friends
133. Love notes left for me to find
134. Homemade teriyaki chicken with broccoli and green beans, green & red peppers, mushrooms, and red onions over rice
135. Dishwasher humming
136. French vanilla coffee, very sweet
137. Ciabatta fresh from the oven
138. Homemade chocolate glazed donuts
139. Homemade chocolate icing, right out of the bowl
140. Coffee sipped from my Dick and Jane cup
141. Warm February days
142. New tap shoes for a beautiful dancer
143. My beautiful friend, Giselle
144. My husband's arms snug around me
145. Gold bracelet and watch, gifts from Mama
146. There is always a well. All is well. (Ann Voskamp)
147. Dance costumes in colors bright, sequins, bustle, hats, nets, sparkles, shoes...and the ability to alter and embellish where needed
148. Pats taken that I thought were mistakes
149. Note to my daughter from one of her friends: "You are the serenity in my life."
150. Moments to calm and focus on peace deep down
151. Cookies
152. Italian meatballs in sauce with shredded Mozzarella on fresh Ciabatta packed with love in husband's lunchbox
153. My "I love my mommy" pencil cup
154. Places of discomfort that open our arms (and hearts) to God's comforting
155. Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sutra

Monday, February 21, 2011

Scribbling In the Sand

Does a life ever run out of words? Could I ever run out of things to write? Sometimes I feel like there is no ceasing. I write in my head all the time. All the time, the thoughts rush through and dance around my face and through my hair daring me to catch them. I love catching them.

I can’t stop. I can’t stop. I smile at the way my mind wanders and races and slows to ponder and weigh out a thought.

Ann’s words are sometimes too much to measure at once. I read a paragraph, a few sentences, a singular thought and my mind screams, “Stop! Don’t go on yet. Savor. Read again. Understand.”

And so I do. I take the time, much longer than it has ever taken me to read a book, and I quietly pray that God will show me everything He wants me to see. It’s so much more than just me seeing. It’s me sharing. It’s me sowing.

And the mind wanders to how they might have found me. “We found Mama sleeping in her chair, her hands stilled and pale and her writing staring back, the breeze blowing off the Gulf and all the words she had caught and arranged so carefully now floated past where we all as we stood numb.” I grimace at the morbidity and then grin at the whimsy of being an artist and with an over-active imagination.

I can’t imagine not writing any more. Odd how that is harder to imagine than not living any more.

I sit here in a little copse of palm trees while Matt and Rosie tan on a quilt a few feet away, their laughter and playful banter breezing back at volumes going up and down. A friend told me on Sunday that he loves how our family loves one another, that he wants that for his own family—to love like we love. His observation could not have blessed me more.

Tiny granules of white sand accumulate near my computer screen, and I drape my jacket a little farther over it for protection. I can’t help but be a little bit amused at the sight I must present, seated in a chaise lounge under the trees, white sand all around and waves lapping the shore a stone’s throw away, clicking away on my keyboard in dotted sunshine. My mind takes in everything as I grasp at wording it all, feeling rather pitiful in my attempts as the fronds sway above my head and the gulls yawk and screech.

“Are you writing a book, Mom?” Rosie asks me.

“I think maybe I am.” I hear myself answer. And then I think about that. Am I? Steve has been asking me to write one for years, but I always assume it’s just an extension of his love and support of me. He has always celebrated who I am.

Not long ago when he mentioned it for the thousandth time, I quipped, “Ann already wrote it.” He leveled a glare at me and I dodged his playful swat.

And then I started thinking about the writing of a book, and could I do it, and would I have anything to say that others would want to read, particularly enough to want to pay for it in book form. And then I thought about what my “message” is, my approach. What would I write about? Then I thought about how Ann wrote her book on living fully alive every moment, and thanksgiving being the basis for that full living. What do I want to say? What do I want the world to know that is uniquely mine to share?

I’ve been thinking hard about that.

Counting up to a thousand and beyond...
101. New hair growing in where the old falls out
102. Mattie putting away clean dishes
103. Reading to my daughter, then talking about current events
104. Sharing Ann's writings with people I love
105. The way Andrea thanks God for everything--EVERYTHING--all the time
106. My old trooper of a computer that is hanging tough and is getting a rebuild from good friends
107. Britt hanging out and chatting
108. My new friend Vicki @ A Wild Notion
109. The sweet white-haired angel-man who helped us unlock Luke's car in the store parking lot
110. Found the tickets!
111. Steve rubbing lotion on my feet
112. Rosie started her own 1,000 Gifts journal

113. Sharing OTG with Lindsey
114. My new book club friend Amy
115. Skyping with Trisha
116. Ellen's Chocolate Ecstasy recipe
117. Mattie will be home tomorrow for three days
118. You make all things new
119. You let us ask why
120. You write things through Ann and Bobby to show us how to distill the moments in our lives.
121. Your Word
122. My blankie
123. Awareness that everything is Yours
124. You chose me.
125. Scars that remind me of places you have healed
126. Jim and Laura
127. A peaceful heart
128. Beach with teens
129. Writing and reading in the warm sunshine on the beach in February
130. Seeing friends' faces from far away

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Making Sense

“Somehow, in the midst of our mourning, 
the first steps of the dance take place.
Somehow, the cries that well up from our losses
belong to our songs of gratitude.”
--Henri Nouwen

As has become common of late, Ann's blog inspired me again this morning, her words reaching in, intriguing, drawing out wonderings and questions that delve into the mystery...for what? answers? or maybe just for thinking. Maybe it's all for the thinking and the thanking and the dawning of some semblance of sense out of things that have happened in this life.

I'm finding that more and more things make sense when I slow down to thank Him for every tiny thing. Because I'm starting to wonder if maybe the "sense" it's supposed to make isn't the kind of sense I once looked for.

I'm wondering if maybe this is yet another facet of the paradox that is God.

In my questioning, have I always wanted His answers, or what made sense to my own limited little human brain? Have I sought after His will, His plan, His unfolding of the Mystery...or just some earthly explanation that fit the mores and the preconceptions of my own finite understanding?

I cannot understand God, but I can understand that He is God and I am not.

This is important, I think.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

No Small Thing

"  It is no small thing
when they, who are so fresh from God,
love us."
--Charles Dickens

I have always loved children. My own, other people's, familiar, strangers, it doesn't matter. I see a child and I love him or her, effortlessly. This does not make me special. This makes me grateful that I have been given the opportunity to love some rather amazing children throughout my life.

In the spirit of noticing the gifts in every moment, I've been thinking a lot lately about how my children are no longer children. This is new territory for me. I've been a mother for 30 years, and it's only been the past few that I haven't had young children running around the house. I find I really miss that.

So I smile at all the kids in the grocery store and exclaim over the cool toys they are holding or the light-up shoes they are kicking in furious tantrum (which almost always stops them mid-fit, much to the relief of their parent) or tell them how epic it is that they are being so helpful to Mama while she shops and how lucky that mama is to have such a great kid. Yeah, I'm a total dork but at 47 I have not only come to accept my dorkiness but to embrace it. It's part of my irresistible charm. At least that is what I tell myself.

I will always love those who are so fresh from Heaven, whether or not they carry my blood in their veins. So fresh from Heaven, they must still carry a bit of gold-dust in their hair, and it's lovely glinting when the sun catches it just right.

You never know what these angelic creatures will say or do. Once when Trevor was two, he prayed, "Dear God, thank you for...five, six, nine." I'm pretty sure God smiled. I did, too. My little prayer warrior is now nearing twenty and as I type is playing a screaming guitar solo and melting all our faces off from the rehearsal room. Now he prays and leads worship for hundreds at a time, still fresh from Heaven and delighted to lead others to the throne in praise.

Stylish Blogger Award

One of my favorite people awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award. Lizzy and I met several years ago through a journaling group, and I have enjoyed doing life alongside her (though at a great distance). I wish to thank her from the bottom of my heart for thinking of me, and for always being so outspokenly supportive of my writing.

Since this is the award that keeps on giving, I am to bestow it upon 7 of my favorite bloggers. It's hard to pick only 7, but I'll give it a go. I didn't pick the more famous ones (who have plenty of awards from people much more important than me), but the ones who, like me, blog their hearts and do their best to stay real on the page so we can all take part in some small way in their lives.

Bev Brandon at The Fray
Bev is one of my favorite writers. I have only known her for a few short weeks, but I already love her. We met through the book study on Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. Her comments alone read like poetry, so reading her blog is an extra special blessing.

Rhonda Schrock at The Natives Are Getting Restless
Rhonda captured my heart through a comment she made in a discussion of Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts. One visit to her blog was all it took to keep me coming back to read more.

Lady G at A Glance Into My World
Lady G is one of my best friends. We joke that we are twins separated at birth because we are so much alike. I adore her family and everything this precious woman stands for. She is also a vital part of RealHaus and I can't imagine life without her.

Trisha at Just a Pastor's Wife
Trisha is a very dear friend whose heart comes through her writing with an authenticity few possess. She's been through a lot of disappointment in her young life, and reading her blog reminds me that God has our backs even (especially) in the hardest of times--and that we can trust Him always, even when His people let us down.

Carol at artmusedog
I met Carol in the Write, Pray, Love Blogfrog community. Her wit and wisdom are delightful, and I am blessed to have found her in the great big blogosphere.

Suzanne at Random Thoughts By Suzanne
I fully believe one day Suz and I will find out we are related by some bizarre genealogical twist somewhere back in our ancestry. She is dearer to me than I can find words for, so naturally I love reading the thoughts she shares, as random as they might be, as often as possible.


[This entry is still under construction while I gather the appropriate information for linking.]

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Living in the Now (Gratefully)

As I wrote out my thoughts on chapter 4 of One Thousand Gifts earlier today, I could feel God here with me. The concept of slowing down, of noticing, of counting blessings, of naming Gifts...these are not entirely new thoughts, but they have certainly been presented in a whole new way. I feel challenged, inspired, invited. How could I say no to this?

My Gifts List Journal is well under way, lying open nearby and waiting for more gifts to be added, and then more and more. A thousand and more, because His gifts cannot be limited. They can, however, be named if we care to notice and put them into words.

I am comfortable alone. I love being with my family, make no mistake. I live for time together, all of us, the noise and music and laughter and silliness a wild and wonderful cacophony ringing through the house. But I also deeply appreciate solitude. I am comfortable alone, because even alone I am not lonely. I feel God with me all the time, talk to Him constantly because living in Him means the Amen never has to come.

I was thinking today about how much I love being at home. Maybe that is one reason why it isn't difficult for me to notice and describe the simple blessings, the ordinary things that really aren't ordinary at all: because right here, right now, in the moment, is where I live. Honestly, I think what Ann did for me more than anything was put into words what I've been living and feeling for most of my life.

Steve said something interesting to me this evening. "You know...and you can commence the eye-rolling any time now...this writing, this's what I've known you could write for years now."

I tried really, really hard not to roll my eyes. But I did grin. "I'm not rolling my eyes," I said. "And I have to say that while I wouldn't dream of putting myself in the same writer's camp with Ann, I do think her style is very me."

He grinned a cute "Ha! I win!" grin.

"Not so fast, mister. I still don't consider myself worthy to sharpen Ann's pencils." That is when he rolled his eyes.

I've never met this woman, and I think it's a safe bet that I never will meet her in person. But I can say with complete honesty that I love her. And part of the reason for that is because she allows herself to be real, to be seen as she truly is. No pretenses or masks, just out there raw and open and vulnerable. No wonder we can all identify with her so completely. She is all of us.

And I really, really do want to be that real. As a writer, and just as a woman. Living in His grace and truth, there is only the real. There is only the now. I have to say it feels good to slow down and be fully present in the moment, thanking God for every good and perfect gift one by one. Ann is right: time really does seem to slow down.

And I like it here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Beginning of Forever

I was a mere girl when we met, 15-turning 16. I first saw him at a stoplight, him with his poofy afro and loud rock music in the car with his best friend first at the light next to me and my friend in her dad's VW Beetle smiling and waving at strangers in the cars around us.

We didn't meet at the mall, where we had all been just moments before. And we didn't meet at the stoplight where we first smiled at one another through the car windows. We did get silly and follow them, then they followed us--all the way to the apartment where my mother and I lived (alone). That's where we first met. We chatted for a bit and talked vaguely about going out for pizza sometime and then said goodbye.

A couple of weeks later the four of us did just that, him paired up with my friend and me with his. By the end of the evening, we knew the pairing was all wrong. He and I had chatted and grinned and made eyes at each other across the table the whole time. We felt it even then, even though we weren't sure what "it" was. A few weeks later as we sat talking in his '65 Mustang about everything and nothing, I whispered, "I could stay here forever." He whispered back, "That's kind of what I have in mind."

Some things change over time, and some things stay the same. His afro is now a short-cut completely gray. His body looks much the same, while mine has changed numerous times. Our conversations about having "maybe a couple of kids" turned into five offspring and two we kissed goodbye too soon. Our humble beginnings turned into more beauty and blessing than we could ever have imagined.

One thing that hasn't changed is the way we looked at each other across the cars, and then that first night out paired with the wrong people gazing across steaming pizza and salad plates. Tonight as our eyes meet across the table on our 31st Valentine's Day together, our hearts will dance like they did back then. We will smile those same giddy, mischievous, adoring smiles that say I could stay with you forever.

And we will.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Good Gift

I trace my hand along the top of a warm loaf of Ciabatta, not long out of the oven. I pick it up and examine it, raise it to my face and breathe its aroma deep, my eyes instinctively closing as I experience it.

Suddenly wondering if I should feel silly, I ask Steve, "Is it okay to feel reverent toward bread?"

"Sure." he answers. "It's a good gift."

I smile, thinking over all that God has brought to my heart lately, all the awareness of all these good gifts.

"Yes." I plunk the loaf back onto the parchment and grin. "Yes, it truly is."

Quiet in the Chaos

I bustle about my morning, the aroma of maple bacon wafting through the house for only the Rose and me at the moment. In a while, Steve will be back from taking Matt to work, then gather up Rosie and stop by for her friend and take them to dance rehearsal.

Today I bake bread all day for tomorrow, the celebration of our son's 30th birthday with friends and family and red, green, and white, and meatballs with sauce to dip the bread in and stories told and laughter ringing and memories woven with bright future-hope.

The dough is ready for shaping, and I shape it into four pieces, each a small uniquely-shaped loaf to rise. I snip along the skin sides of the next round of bacon so it doesn't curl vexing in the pan, thinking back over a thousand mornings making breakfast for my family, each morning a gift of its own. Every few years, there is one less to cook for. Some mornings even now it is just Steve and me. I miss the bigness of our family being here at home.

I miss the crazy schedules and Little League and high school football games and park days and driving Jeff to work with gobs of kids in tow, everyone singing along with "This Beautiful Mess" on the radio at the tops of their lungs. I miss the chaos.

I haven't forgotten how tired I felt then, how unnoticed. How futile. How some days it was all I could do to push myself forward and do what came next. I didn't think my life would ever calm down. Now it has, and I feel lost.

So I write. I word the everyday, ordinary things of life as though they might mean something to someone in some time and place. And every few lines I stop to turn the bacon, or shape the bread, or find my apron, or bring out the cream cheese for the Chocolate Supreme that a far-older-than-he-should-be boy prefers as his birthday "cake". I would make him a cake of the moon if he asked.

Steve breezes in, exclaims over the aroma, picks up some bacon and the daughter and they breeze out. Phone rings, middle son, "Mom, I need a power strip for the gig I'm playing. Got one? Can I come by for it? And can you test it for me? You're the best!" and all is quiet again, save for the hum of kitchen appliances.

Coffee mug steams from the candle warmer on my desk, and I sip and I thank and I remember.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Our firstborn son turned 30 today. God, you saw him, didn't you, nestled like a little seed in my middle that day I stood shivering by the car, 16 and pregnant, clinging to Steve so I didn't slip from consciousness? You saw him ten years later and twenty and now thirty, strong and brave and faithful. You saw him reaching millions of people through education, and saving the lives of two toddlers, and bringing light to more lives than we can count (but you have numbered). You saw him as a fierce leader and a brother and a husband and a daddy. You knew it would all be okay, even as we stood there unsure of how it would all come together. It did, and I am grateful. 


Monday, February 7, 2011

In Search of Simplicity

I noticed this morning that I have a habit of placing my hands on either side of my head, running my fingers about halfway through my hair, then resting my head there with my elbows on my desk. With a long sigh, I sometimes sit here for several minutes thinking, calming, processing, until the thought occurs that one of my teens might notice and worry that I'm upset.

If I am alone I can stay in that spot for a long time, and I have to say I actually enjoy it. It feels centered, or something. Focused. Peaceful. It's about as opposite from upset as it gets.

Only just over a month into 2011, my theme of "Simplify" is hitting home with a sharpness that only one who has known the blessing/curse of sensory over-stimulation can appreciate. If the goal is simplicity, how come what I'm feeling is so often complete mental/emotional/spiritual chaos?

No one warned me that this journey to introspection, of coming home, of discovering who I am in this world, in God, would make me wonder if I was losing my mind. No fair.

But had I known, would I have nodded that timid okay to His prompting of the theme?

I would really, really like to say yes.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wonder and Lightning

I watched him descend the stairs at the ice forum this evening, his lanky frame sauntering in characteristic fashion and making me smile at memories of watching him walk across parking lots and down mall midways and across rooms for more than thirty years now. I watched him until he disappeared around the corner and into the corridor below.

I sat back and breathed deeply, the noise and beautiful chaos of a professional hockey game surrounding me like a comforting blanket and warming me against the chill of the ice below. The bellowing of horns and yelling of fans with arms and hands flailing in giant waves around the arena only deepened my sense of happiness.

This is my life. And it is a beautiful life.

On the ride home I could not stop smiling. We considered stopping somewhere for pie and coffee, then reasoned that we could pick up whole pies at the store and make our own coffee for less money and enjoy it (and whatever else our imaginations might dream up) in the comfort of our night at home alone.

Our reasoning was perfect.

Lately I've been giving more thought to enjoying each moment for what it is, for what it offers, for the beauty it holds, rather than worrying about other things or thinking about much of anything outside that teaspoon of time. Tonight I could feel that deep appreciation for every tiny detail of our evening together, like the way the scrapers left little mounds of powdery ice for the shovels to scoop up, the way the Zamboni hummed across the surface and left it shining like glass, the smiles and shrieks of delight from fans caught by the camera and displayed on the giant screen overhead.

Our team lost, but neither of us seemed to care.

The walk from the forum back to the car, stopping to listen to the street musician drumming on paint buckets, listening to old favorite songs on the radio, chatting about plans for the next few months...all of it was a gift.

What a blessing, this life. This simple, lovely, beautiful life.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The truth is in the details.

I write my truth at my desk in the little office space off the kitchen, with windows all around but often closed to keep out much of the light. There is something comforting about semi-darkness, not to hide me but to allow calm for thinking.

I write my truth in my head nearly every waking moment, doing what nearly every writing coach and book tells the writer to notice the details, the specifics, the things our senses only pull from our surroundings when we engage them. My senses are engaged. Always.

Anne Lamott says, "There is ecstasy in paying attention."

I have often thought of myself as odd for paying such close attention to detail in my surroundings, in the people I encounter. I take people-watching to new heights. It makes it very easy to create character profiles when I have a million characters wandering around in my mind all the time. But there is another value in paying attention, in looking more closely. In noticing. There is a validation of worth that is whispered or spoken or screamed aloud when our details are noticed.

Somebody cares enough to see who I really am.

Our truth is in our details, and our truth deserves to be told. Why else do we live, except to love and to adore the Creator for all of this...for every blessing, for every moment, for every detail, and how else do we express this living except through the tiny pieces of the whole, the textures, the aromas, the beauty of our day?

There is nothing ordinary about this life.

There is nothing mundane, nothing plain, nothing uninteresting in this beautiful life.

It's time we told our truth, but we have to notice it first.

I want to be here, now, ever present in this moment, noticing and describing the details as though my very life depends on it. Because the memory of the life I've lived truly does.

God, keep me present in the moment with a pen in my hand.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook (1/1)

What a blessing to participate in the Simple Woman's Daybook blogging connection.

Outside my window...the clouds sprawl grayish across the sky as far as I can see. It is my favorite kind of day, or at least it will be when the rain comes and I can hear the thunder pushing its way through the billows.

I am thinking...that my passion for writing has only grown stronger over the years, and I only see it growing stronger still in the years to come.

I am thankful husband, who last evening turned my chair to face his, placed his hands against my cheeks, and spoke softly but insistently, "I am glad you are writing again. It makes you happy, and it makes me happy."

From the learning daughter has not yet opened her math books that arrived today. Math is a struggle for her, and it makes her feel inferior. If only she could understand how genuinely gifted she is.

From the kitchen...Things have been quieter today. It will get busier later when I don my apron and start preparing our dinner of sesame ginger boneless chicken wings.

I am wearing...soft black capris, my green USF t-shirt, and sandals.

I am creating...pathways of memory to explore and then word, one by one, reaching backward to pull them forward and share them in some way with the world. Memories are stories waiting to be told.

I am going...nowhere for the remainder of the day, which means I will be at home, my favorite place in the world.

I am reading...A Writer's Book of Days. I will be reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts as soon as it arrives.

I am storms through the night.

I am hearing...the chirping of Mama's bird clock. It always reminds me of how much I wish she was still here.

Around the house...are candles of varying scents, mostly homey aromas that invite the heart to open and rest and be a child again.

One of my favorite the way my precious friends have gathered behind me in support and encouragement of my writing. It's hard to express to them the impact of their kind whispers. They can't know how much it means.

A few plans for the rest of the week: A meeting, making sure Rosie gets to and from dance rehearsals and a friend's sleepover, a trip to the meat market, maybe lunch at Brocato's, church on Sunday followed by dinner at Nana & Papa's to celebrate two of the family birthdays. It amazes me that our oldest son turns 30 next week.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Photo: I took this through a 1"-thick pane of tinted glass. I love the way it
colorizes the entire image. I didn't see a need to edit it in any way.

From my heart...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Remember Me?

I know this with a certainty that applies to few things in my life. God gave me my beautiful family--my husband and children and grandchildren--at least in part to bless and fill an empty that has been part of my life nearly from the beginning.

See, throughout my life I've found myself wondering

Hello...can you see me? Do you remember me?

Ironically, this didn't happen nearly as often with friends as it did with some of my own family members.

It hurts to have to beg to be a sister. I just wanted to be a sister. And of them all, one chose me. One chose me as his sister and he was my brother and we were family.

He left this earth far too young and I was left emptier than before. I miss him.

I hold his journals among my most treasured possessions. Sometimes I bring them out and read them just to feel close to him again, to hear his funky laugh, to hear him sing his deep, mellow baritone or make odd faces that made us all laugh.

The others are busy with their own lives. I understand. I'm not angry. But I do feel the empty where they should be, should have been all along. All along while I cried out mute like a bad dream where no one can hear and life goes on without noticing the need. A few years ago I stopped crying.

I hold my husband and my babies close and I bless God that they can see me and hear me and that they love me as much as I love them.

Love fills the empties.

They may not remember me, but I will always remember them. And I will always know, somewhere deep within where I still think about it just a little bit, the sister I could have been to them, given the chance.

In the end, if they ever do remember me, I pray they know that I loved them.

Because I do.