When my first son married, I sent a question to the parents and grandparents asking, “When you said, “I do,” what is something you ended up doing, something you’d never imagined, that brought you great joy. I turned the answers to those questions in, “What are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life” (Poem 1). To listen to Frank Sinatra sing the song that inspired this project, click here. My second son married this week with family coming from all over the country – from California, New Jersey, Kentucky – and inbetween – to celebrate. I did the same project with them. Let me tell you, I fell in love with my daughter-in-laws family when I read their answers. This is their poem:
What are you Doing for the rest of your life? Poem II
What are you doing for the rest of your life, Beautiful,” he asked.
“Spending it with you,” she smiled, smiling his favorite smile
Dreams, Expectations, and Love
as the rest of your life unfolds
Papaw laughed, saying, “We didn’t know nothing when we got married”
but their house filled up,
creating their own love equation:
1girl + 1 boy + a set of twins
equals 12 grandsons
Who thought a house
could hold so much love?
“Packing and unpacking the good-stuff
about 20 times over 45 years,” mused Papa Bill.
“Savoring the slow grow
from Switzerland to Cape Cod,
France to the New Mexican Mountains,
the slow grow of a life-time of family,
Grandpa Leo, like a story-teller said,
when one day a precious granddaughter
chased butterflies through wildflower
and, in the watching,
I saw the most beautiful
of them all.
“I learned that miracles come in threes
A lifetime is full of blessing,”
“That love shares
so much bigger than your imagination
daily, weekly, yearly
there is always more love
and the idealistic star-gazer matured
“A house on the water filled with grand
who ever thought visits could mean so much?”
Queried Grandma Doris
“Weekends, vacations, any time
kayaking, fishing, water skiing and big
waterfront bonfires with those I love so much
roasting marshmallows and listening
and loving every moment
How does I do make scraps for love story pieces?
Somehow, it does – and out of it comes
garden tulips, little Dutch girls
and farmer boys, soccer balls and
all things Papaw from trucks, tractors
and Apple Tree Swings quilted
and wrapped tight around
so many little shoulders
like hugs and love,” explained Nanny.
“My happiest Days?
A Mama’s Trinity:
misty-eyed Grandmama wistful explained.
His mama gladly
put girly, girl dreams aside
to find joy in boys and their toys:
Whoever thought snuggle-buggles and Nerf-Gun Wars could bring so much joy
Learning to hug
in all the love languages,
the huggable language of each son!
Challenging each other to love
To God’s beard and back
“Who knew?” his daddy said.
“Wiffle ball, sock wars,
and Friday Three Stooge
could be so much fun,
or watching soccer
under the moon and the sun,
while walking out with each son
the plumb line of dream building”
in the dark,
boys sitting on kitchen counter-tops
telling stories big and little,
little and big
and laughing, a joy unanticipated over 35 years ago,”
his Aunt Sherry said added.
with yellow paper
Stars,” her mama said determinedly,
Who knew how important creating
an environment that grew
a strain of independence
in a three-year-old breakfast-maker
artist, speaker, singer?” said her father.
“Who knew how important that would
become to me, to be an encourager of
independence for you to be
following a path all your own
forged with your will,
designed with your brain
out of your own heart
which led you to a volley ball court in Tennessee
where a boy lived who loves you true
What are you doing for the rest of your life?
You really haven’t a clue
about the wonderful details and moments inside the plan
God has in store for you!
Big and Little
Little and Big
(To see the first What are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life, please click here.)