The Brevity of Life

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice. ~Indian Saying

Darling Doggie Dallas and I took a walk the other day and stopped to chat with one of my old neighbors beneath his walnut tree.

Now, before you accuse me of being ageist, he’s going to be 98 on his next birthday, so I think “old” is an appropriate adjective, don’t you?

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You Should’ve Called

When the twins had colic and cut their first teeth,
When measles were making the rounds,
When storms and tornadoes cut a swath through our town,
When laundry buried us beneath.

You should’ve called.

When one took her first steps right into my arms,
When they learned to spell and to add.
When one covered the bedroom walls with plaid,
And the other ate only Lucky Charms.

You should’ve called.

When we stayed up late for yet another project at school,
When they were banned from the daddy-daughter ball.
When one took to singing, the other to basketball,
And both went to detention for breaking rules.

You should’ve called.

Term papers, braces, learning to drive,
First dates, heartbreaks, and prom.
Completing college applications with aplomb.
The pride of seeing them both thrive.

Moving away, new studies, and the oddest of roommates,
Learning how to manage their time.
Then living off campus and tackling their own grime,
And choosing a career they didn’t hate.

You should’ve called.

Together we handled every crisis, every joy.
It wasn’t always pretty or easy.
So don’t fault me for admitting I’m feeling uneasy
And questioning your intent to destroy.

You see, you didn’t call.

You sit in judgment and call me hard,
Turn up your little snub nose.
You’ll never understand the path I chose,
Nor know the love in our back yard.

Because you didn’t call.

At first I tried to make excuses for you,
But reasons sounded flimsy at best.
And eventually I came to give it a rest
When I realized the twins knew the truth.

It bears repeating, I think.
You should’ve called.