51 years

       If you were still here.I would remind you of the hot, heavy and humid June day when you were finally born-fighting the forceps that yanked you, almost against your will from the womb.You loved these sweltering days-you were born to thrive above 90 degrees, I believe. You were a heat up the grill and ice down the beer kind of guy; call everyone up and go camping at the lake kind of man. My son. My first born with almost a twin-like hold on me…Oh, I miss you. Yes, I know you have been gone already fifteen years. Yes, I have moved on-it’s just I drag your smiling spirit along for the ride. There are so many things, I would like to sit on the deck and discuss with you. The world as it is now, which is nothing like the world you left behind. Politics-I imaging we might bump heads on that one; the concept of Face Book and Instagram.                                                                                 I checked the freezer for Elgin sausage and fat chicken legs; I will barbecue inside because I never  liked the weather this time of year. I did hear it might rain, too. I might make a chocolate cake and you would eat it all and then rub your full stomach and SMILE.                                                                                                                                                      I guess that is what I miss the most, my son, your smile; how the smile started in your eyes before making its way down to your mouth.  That is how I remember you, how I always see you in my mind’s eye.                                                                                               I hope where you are there is a lake with a great place to swim, and cook for your friends and family; where the weather is to your liking and there’s a smooth spot to pitch your tent. Happy birthday, Steve.

Until we meet again…

Sunday in Church , I prayed for an end to my sister’s suffering. The cancer and the treatments had ravaged her body. She was afraid to die and very sad. I could feel the passing would be soon.

I was already very sad as it was it was the anniversary of my oldest son’s death.

I paced from room to room. I paced around the church.

I cried.

I prayed. At bedtime waves of

anxiety overwhelmed me as I lay on my bed in a fetal position.

Dreams of my parents who had gone before and my long lost son chased me through corridors of another dimension.

I woke up with a start at 3:32 for water or to relive myself.

I shuddered remembering my dreams. I prayed again for comfort for my little sister before collapsing back into fitful sleep.

When daylight filtered through the moon window above my bed, I dared look at the phone on the nightstand.

The call had come, muffled by the sound of artificial waves that rock me to sleep each night

The call I’d dreaded and expected.

My little sister was no longer wracked with pain.

Her smile returned-accompanied by Angel wings.

© Nancilynn Saylor June 2018

Austin TX

Another Blue Moon Night

I lie in bed gazing at the full moon staring back at me through a crescent window high on my bedroom wall. It has been the same for twenty seven years now…my personal time with the dark sky.

In twenty seven years, 324 full moons plus a few extra blue moons. Interesting, yet trivial knowledge from this moon child.

My mind drifts to those few I’ve shared this magic with-most all of them gone from this tiny speck of a planet in an insignificant universe.

“Come here,” I call out to the other room; Romeo comes to watch another moonrise with me.

©Nancilynn Saylor

31 January 2018

Behind blue eyes

Today we celebrate our son, Mike on the occasion of his 46th birthday.
He was not with us
for so many birthdays
Lost in a world where mom's and
Dads don't go
except in the nightmares
Of their minds when sleep curls up in
a cold corner of the dark room
And they can only stare silently at the
Ceiling, while the whirring fan seems
to mark the months on invisible
calendars.
We joyfully celebrate his love and his gentle spirit
Thankful for his presence across the dinner table
he is in arms reach and but
a heartbeat away.
Happy birthday, sweet child o' mine!

© Nancilynn Saylor
14 December 2017

Indra’s net or six degrees of separation

It has been six weeks since my fiftieth high school reunion.
I had the pleasure of staying a day with friends in the small town of Floresville,Texas about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio.

Bonnie and I were buddies our Senior year, eating lunch together almost every day, along with Claudia, another friend. We were, all three from military families, bonding over our newness at a school, where many had known each other most of their lives.
Social media reconnected us several years ago. Facebook it is good in that respect. When Bonnie and Charlie invited me to stay at their home, reunion weekend I enthusiastically accepted.

The Sunday morning after the reunion was a stellar early autumn day. We leisurely drank coffee outside under the trees and after breakfast later, went into the picturesque country town to visit a Nursery. Looking at plants, is always a favorite pastime of mine made even more enjoyable with friends.

The quiet, small town America I visited that day was brought to its knees yesterday, as a gunman murdered over two dozen people in a little Baptist church in the next community over. Two people among those who lost their lives were the people I met at the nursery-kind, pleasant good people.

When I read the message from Bonnie this morning, letting me know this, I was reminded of how fragile life is and how interwoven our lives can be. I recalled a Buddhist parable titled Indra's Web,which I read long ago. It speaks about the interconnectedness of us all.

The universal "we" of mankind made even more clear this morning in the aftermath in a small Texas town.
© Nancilynn Saylor
6 November 2017

Heartbreaker 

Such a difficult decision to make; no easy choices and no right answers. An 8 pound  male puppy coming of age in a house with a three pound Chihuahua in heat

The alpha male in our home is Romeo. Tiny Chica is his emotional service puppy and the fight ran for months stretched from  weeks on end…

It became the.Elephant in the room-every room.

I begged  to have her spade. He would not hear of it- his poor little baby. I reminded him that Chachi would grow.                        He became Egyptian-and the waters of his  denial  ran deep. The friction of this dog fight shook the very walls of our little world.

This past week I scheduled the tiny, already now  pregnant  Chica for surgery. 

I also posted a request to re-home Chachi in our neighborhood web log. 

By the end of the day, on Friday,  both occurred. As Chica softly moaned on the sofa, a lovely  new angel rose up in our lives. “I never go to that group,” she said. She’d not had a dog in many years. The picture, below, she said, made her call.

Two  very sleepless nights, Romeo lamented. The missing pup infiltrated his dreams. Tears wracked his aging body.  Not to my credit, I seemed callous. It had all driven by him.                                                 His anxiety led me to contact the new momma owner to enquire about their bonding…was she as happy on Sunday as on Friday? I told her my alpha male had anxiety issues.

She just left our place, with Chachi, after spending over an hour here. He had been to Pet Smart and on several 30 minute runs. He has learned to sit on command. He was a calm pup truly enamored with his elevated status and his new mom.

Our lives were touched by this wild dog. He fed on the anxiety in our home . He is thriving in his new environment. He lives next door to a park. 

I loved him dearly. 

I loved him enough to let him go.

©Nancilynn Saylor 09 July 2017

Things about my son, Steve

The day he was born it was 113
He was born in Abilene Texas

He was a breach baby who was delivered by forceps before he could flip back to breach position

His hair was red.when he was born but turned blonde later

He was awake more than asleep as a baby

He wanted attention all of the time 

To get anything done I put a huge mirror beside his crib and a transistor radio in his crib

He preferred Rock music 🎶 

He had a great appetite 

He was so chubby he had trouble walking and my back hurt from carrying him

He started running as soon as he could walk

He weighed 30 pounds at his 6 months checkup 

He hated shots 

He would not eat mushrooms or onions

He had a wonderful laugh

He was very stubborn

His favorite toys as a child were guns 

He started smoking at age 14

He liked to be outdoors

His favorite birds were Cardinals

He had a knack of untangling things: necklaces, Christmas lights and 100foot extension cords

He loved to barbecue 

He loved swimming and jumping off rocks into lakes

(Or off rope swings into rivers!)

He was terrified of the swimming pool until age 6

It was hard for him to learn to tie his shoes

He had an imaginary friend when he was 3 & 1/2 -her name was Mercedes

He cried at the end of Bonnie and Clyde movie

His kindergarten teacher said he had ADHD

He had dysgraphia as a child and had therapy for a year

He had difficulty writing and spelled poorly

He scored very high on scholastic aptitude tests

He had difficulty following rules

He did not like authority

He said he learned best from his mistakes

He climbed into tree when he was 4 and hung himself with a rope he found there while playing cowboys

He had a short temper

He was an extrovert 

He loved his friends and family

He loved to read! Dune, Tolkien, and Harry Potter and always had book handy

His favorite movie was Dune

He always was a “people magnet”

He could make anyone laugh

He liked to cook

He had an AK 47 on the back of his kitchen door

He loved all animals and always had pets

He did not like hunting 

He loved to go fishing

He loved Drama in high school

He was not good in mathematics 

I tought him the multiplication tables when he struggled with new math

He had a great singing voice 

He was extremely patriotic 

He liked to smoke pot

He loved motorcycles

He liked to take a nap on my bed even as an adult

He liked dragons and unicorns

He loved red meat and beer

He said he was going to get “back- in- shape” when he turned 36-eat more salads and drink less beer

He was a loyal friend

He loved deeply

He was quite opinionated 

He was very sensitive

He loved Native American art

He liked heavy metal bands

(but also John Denver)

His room was usually very tidy

He loved watching clouds

His nickname in the army was Psycho

He wore his hair long most of his life 

He died from Sudden Cardiac Arrest at age 35

Today would have been his 49th birthday  

Happy birthday in Heaven, Steve!

©Nancilynn Saylor

  30 June 2017