He handed it to me without ceremony—a small leather bag, awl-punched and stitched together by hand. Its flap was held together by a clasp made from a two fishing line sinkers and a piece of woven wax linen. I unwound the wax linen and found inside a tiny wooden heart with his initials on one side, mine on the other. A small hole in the heart had a braided cord of wax linen strung through that was attached to the bag so that the heart could not be lost. He had woven more waxed linen into a neck cord. I was 39 years old when he gave me that incredible thing I never thought I would receive: his heart—as much of it as he could give. Continue reading
She’s the lady who married your father.
He’s the fellow who married your mom.
Not really your actual parent,
like a date that’s set-up for the prom.
In other words, you didn’t choose them;
and also, they didn’t choose you.
But you now have each other as family.
There’s really not much you can do.
Sometimes you wind up as real buddies,
becoming a sort of strange friend.
Other times you feel resentful,
like you wish that their marriage would end;
and your dad would go back to your real mom,
or your mom would go back with your dad.
Then you realize that’s not really happening,
but only a dream that you had.
Then you notice your mom is now smiling
and your dad seems happier, too.
So you think you’ll just go with the flow now
and you give in and finally do.
You now have two happier families—
two places that welcome you in—
and decide that liking stepparents
is really not much of a sin.
Then you wonder why there is no day for
stepparents and grandparents, too,
and decide that this brand-new tradition
might just as well start now with you.
You declare July 1 to be chosen
as National Stepparents Day.
So even though it’s not official,
and the powers that be might say, “Nay,”
you throw on some burgers or hot dogs
and cook up a fresh apple pie
and buy your particular “steppie”
a nice box of candy or tie.
You tell her you know your dad’s happy
and tell her that you’re happy, too;
or tell him you’re glad your mom’s “single”
has turned into a table for two!
Let’s start up a national movement
to honor our stepparents now;
and ask for our step moms and dads and our grands
to come center stage for a bow!
So children all over this nation
can welcome their stepparents in
and acknowledge they’re part of the family,
exactly like regular kin.
The Prompt : Familial Feasts. Yesterday was Father’s Day in many countries. If you could dedicate a holiday to a more distant relative, who would it be — and why?