Moments From My Daughter’s Wedding

                    My Favorite Memories From My Daughter’s Wedding (May 28, 2011)

My happy father, road-trip ready, full of life and conversation on the long ride to Minneapolis. His continuous chatter, jokes and anecdotes made for a more enjoyable journey.

Toasting the bride and groom at Friday night’s ‘meet the parents’ dinner.  Being introduced to Kent and DarLa Anderson, and getting good vibes from my daughters’ new in-laws!

Arriving at Loring Park for the ceremony and finding Tyrel’s dad all decked out in his suit, and armed with a leaf blower doing goose poop removal duty. Now that is going above and beyond!

Lauren, cool and collected by all outside appearances.  But, knowing her heart was truly all aflutter.

Tyrel’s pacing pre-ceremony, waiting for his bride’s arrival.  (She was a bit late, he was a bit worried).

My arm intertwined with Lauren’s, sharing her walk down the aisle with her dad.  Knowing how much she will always want me to share these special moments with her.

Hearing the sincere emotion in Tyrel’s voice while he read his personal vows, and actually feeling him control his tears, while witnessing his love of my daughter.  Knowing she will be cherished, appreciated and he will do everything in his power to keep them both happy.
 
The beautifully and brightly decorated cake!  Baked with love by Tyrel’s mom and presented so gorgeously. And, of course the cutting of, where the happy couple got out of control and spontaneously gave us all a giggle.

Breakfast the morning of the big day at Keys Restaurant with Dave, Diana, Vernon and Dad, enjoying freshly baked whole wheat bread served with homemade jams.  

Surprised by my sense of calm while I read the poem ‘To Love’ during the wedding ceremony.  Proud that they asked me to do so.

My very well behaved grandsons!  Dylan and Devin looked super sweet in the bright colored polo shirts and khaki’s.  The had a great time at the reception too.

Each and every guest getting out of their chairs to dance with Lauren and Tyrel during their unique 1st dance – ‘Home is Everywhere We Are’.

Dancing with my dad to Johnny Cash, to help get the party started.

Watching the amazing video that Heather put together to surprise Lauren and Tyrel, and seeing their happy, emotional reaction.  

Walking the city scape and exploring Minneapolis. Seeing first hand where Lauren and Tyrel live and knowing they are in a great place together.  
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Caught Unawares

How sadly ironic to feast

Obliviously on a bucket of

Expired sweets

Thrashing about in gluttony

While your killer thrills stealthily

With bow and arrow waits

Expectantly for the expiration date.

The Huntsman

Static from the Motorola alerts me.

His whispered voice asks if I can hear him.

Urgently I pick up the walkie/talkie.

“Yes”, I whisper back.

Quietly, he tells me the bait has not been hit.

Anything can happen.

It might return tonight.

I whisper into the black device “Tonight it will happen. I feel it”.

His randy response, “I know something will happen tonight. With or without that bear”.

 

>Black River Boys

Black River Boys (2006)

D.J. Heatherly Hall

Prepare, pack, plan, provide

Sun, hugs, mud, bugs

Filthy fingers. Happy feelings

Finding tree stars and tree nuts

Four-wheeling to a fishing spot

Our little bit of paradise

Where the River runs shallow and secluded.

Floating in clear coolness with eyes full of brightness

Dylan’s curiosity along with Devin’s sweet smiles.

Brings contentment to the family.

 

Small voice questioning all around us

What are those lines?

As Dylan points to the ripples in the water

Bordering us silently, moving as we slowly glide.

What is that sound?

Listening to concealed birds screech over head.

What are those things?

Looking intently at the polished pebbles under foot.

Tiny fishes scatter in all directions

Yet, the plastic red one is continually caught

Proudly on the end of Dylan’s reel.

 

Canoeist’s float towards us

Small talk begins. They comment

about our boys in the River.

Devin coyly smiles at them

Dylan shyly looks away, grinning.

Canoeist’s drift lazily past us

And Dylan quietly says to me,“I did not talk”.

 

Heather and Bobby take a walk, take a break

Alone together to float downstream.

Dylan tells me, “I can’t see.”

“See what?” I ask.

“My best friends” he says in his small voice.

He misses his mom and dad.

They are his world.

Minutes later he sees them floating towards us

he points at them excitedly with his whole self smiling.

 

Back at our camp site quick showers

Washing away sunscreen and sweat

Primed for evenings’ bug spray and smoke

Blued-eyed dimpled Devin bounces happily in his walker

As we work our magic on the grill.

 

Snuggled in their tent, our boys doze off before dark.

Time for adults. Starry nights and wine lead to talk

About life, the future, and The Universe.

 

Rise and shine to a dewy day.

Dylan chases his early morning shadows.

While running from hand monsters.

“It’s getting me, it’s getting me.”

Giggling all the while.

 

Early a.m. energy and excitement.

Stooping, exploring, digging, collecting

Acorns, rocks, leaves, memories.

Arms wide with joy, high stepping and spinning.

“Whats happening to me?” Dylan laughs.

His feet, in constant motion.

 

Coffee savored over warmth of the fire.

Simple moments make the grandest of occasions.

Dylan’s sweet comments and Devin’s carefree smiles.

Our Black River Boys.

 

 

My Mothers Daughter

My mom was the constant protector of my body, mind and spirit. She was my friend, always ready to listen and offer her opinion to advise me, but only if I asked for it.  I miss those conversations we had about all things, large and small, always filled with giggles and her sweet attendance  to my words and thoughts. Her exceptional home cooking fueled my tiny bones so successfully that I remember suffering ‘growing pains’. I recall her concern over my distress when my legs ached. She would simply say in her concerned matter-of-fact voice that it was merely growing pains. She would put me to bed, telling me that I would feel better after a good nights rest. Sure enough, the next morning I was ready to grow some more under her care. My most memorable meal will always be her roast beef, potatoes and carrots. My gosh, she made it the best, embedding fresh garlic into the roast, browning it on an old cast iron skillet before baking in the oven. Ahhh, the beauty of those carrots, potatoes and celery surrounding that savory roast beef. When she took off the tin foil tent to so that the potatoes would get a golden patina it was like watching and artist working culinary magic. I miss the aroma of those Sunday afternoons while moms roast beef dinner was baking.

In the final week of her life, she and I had a conversation. She had been reflecting on the significance of her life. While I sat with her in the hospital, she raised the discussion about how challenging it is to be a woman, especially these days. We talked about how a woman works twice as hard as a man, with the ongoing domestic tasks on top of having a career. She asked me that age-old question that all mothers have pondered. She asked if I, as a child, had ever missed her when she was away at work. I instinctively knew what she was asking me without her putting it into words. She felt the perpetual guilt that all women have when torn between wanting to stay home to nurture their family but necessity sends them off to work. It took just a brief moment for me to answer her, and I hope relieve her. I told her sincerely that I never missed her one iota, because when she was home she was 100% available to me. I had never thought about this before, but as a child, I never felt that she was distracted with work, because she was always emotionally available when she was at home. I do remember that she did go off to work, but while she was gone my dad stepped up, thus I never had the chance to miss her. I told her that I felt loved my entire life. I hope I alleviated any thoughts of guilt or remorse she had about working outside the home.

My mom carried with her a deep-seated patience, and even though I struggle with that virtue, it is because of her acceptance of others in a nonjudgmental fashion that I am open, caring and able to forgive. I have the capacity to forgive myself my many faults. Her quick beautiful smile and her ability to laugh at herself is also a trait of hers that I hold, and I hope will be passed to my daughters. How can I possibly count the multitude of aspects of being my mothers’ daughter, which make me the woman I am today? I have learned so many morals from her countless lessons from observing my mom’s behavior and interactions with others through the years. Most importantly, I will carry her spirit and feel her love inside my heart, mind, and soul every day.

 

Valle’s Rock

Valle’s Rock

 

I am told of a sacred place of hunting ground

Of which he will take me

Sooner than the sun sets in the west

We trail a creek up a steep incline

A beehive appearing boulder

Rises in solitude near the bluffs

Among the pines, ash and oaks

Of the Shawnee National Forest

This mammoth of magnificence reaches 25 feet tall

 

As he shows me this tribute to Valle

A natural granite ladder leads to elation

Hands, without hesitation, pull me skyward bound

Feet sturdy on unyielding rungs of purity

I tread steps of topography seldom trekked

Reaching the pinnacle

I am solidly secure in the moment

Of our love atop an immovable existence.