Old Man

Playing cards or dominos,
as we do every week,
he slipped back into French,
then could barely speak.

His brain had grown too tired,
and his body soon it followed.

I know he is old and frail
and today he cannot think,
but it’s a hurtful thing to see,
and even harder to swallow.

Doris Elaine Wood-Lane
4/27/17

In Every Skein of Yarn Lies An Opportunity for Beauty

 

In every skein of yarn I see
and feel an opportunity for creation,
beauty, joy, comfort, and love.

For every skein of yarn is still
open to all possibilities of
what it may become in my simple,
worn out hands.

In every person I meet,
I see an opportunity for shared meaning,
creation, beauty, joy, comfort,
and love.

For every person I meet is still
a stranger and open to all possibilities of
what our relationship may become in both our
simple, worn out hands.

I always pray, with my worn out hands outstretched,
that I will see the Light in others,
and that they may see the Light in me.

Doris Elaine Wood-Lane
4/25/17

Things I Love–A New Poem

I love sitting in my recliner,
watching the little birds flutter by
outside, eating from the birdfeeder
hanging outside my window.

I love watching the kamakaze squirrel,
finding a way, always, to do magnificent
flips and jumps to get to the birdfeeder,
to steal and eat the seed meant for
the birds. (He is impressive!)

I love sunshine,
how it lights up the world,
and leaves a sense of optimism
and a beautiful smell
in everything it touches.

I love people who are kind,
who are compassionate and caring.

I love people who aren’t afraid
to touch others with their presence,
with their love and care.
Touch is so healing.

I love how water is the most important
thing we can ingest.
It is so simple and plain and yet,
we can only live three days without it.

I love the simple things in life.
I love hugs, baby toothless grins,
flowers, rain, and old dogs who
are loyal and follow me around the
house, just wanting to be near me.

I love the smell of mown grass.
I love the yardful of golden
dandelions that pop up every spring,
and stay to visit all through the
summer days and nights.

I love conversations with family,
friends, and strangers,
in person, where I can watch
their eyes and their faces
further communicate all they
try to say with words coming
from their lips.

I love that we never know
all there is to know about
love and life.

I love how just when I’m feeling
jaded and cynical,
God sends an everyday miracle
for me to observe and I
feel inspired by the simple
kindness and compassion of people
around me.

I love God.
I love people.
I love life!!

Doris Elaine Wood-Lane
4/25/17

Things I Love–An Old Poem

Things I Love—A Poem

I love springtime anywhere,

but I think the longhorn cattle

in the Texas bluebonnets

love it even more.

I love music by

young people.

They rearrange notes

that come out

fresh and young,

sounding like hope.

I love Oikos

apple pie yogurt.

It’s health and home

   in every bite.

I love new babies

and their sweet smell,

freshly minted in heaven.

(Do you think angels

dust them with that

right before birth?)

I love a baby sinking into me

 in the rocking chair,

while I hum a lullaby

until we both sleep.

I love poetry,

writing words,

feelings out loud,

to share my heart–

   so someone

can feel it beating.

I love Alan’s kiss hello

 each morning,

and my kiss goodnight

 to him each night.

I love all of my

sons and daughters,

 those of my flesh and

   those of my soul.

I pray for them

all each day.

Most of all,

I love God.

I’m thankful He still listens,

because…I talk to Him,

ALL. THE. TIME.

If I were God,

I’d break up with me

for so much talking,

but He assures me

He loves our talks and

would be heartbroken

if I stopped talking

to Him and telling

Him what I love.

God is so lovely,

Isn’t He?

He IS love, completely.

He loved me first.

So I love and love,

and hope to be,

more love, so someday,

when I die,

all that will be

left of me

is a sunbeam of love,

shining on the floor.
©Elaine Wood-Lane

     4/16/14

NaPoWriMo Day 1 (a week late)

April Fools caught this fool, 

too busy to write, 

too busy with tools. 

The weather was snowy,

not a bit like a spring,

I had no way of knowing,

it was time to start rhyming 

for the poetry thing. 

Now that I’ve started,

a week much too late,

I’m going to keep going,

with poetry, I hope,

that is much more great!

D. E. Wood-Lane 

4/8/17


Please forgive my tardiness in joining the party!  It truly did snow this week and besides that I started training to become a nursing assistant.  My brain has been fried (or would that be frozen?). I’ll catch up tomorrow though!  

Waiting on Baby, dVerse Haibun #29

I wake up slowly and the first thing that pops into my head is that I’m not only still pregnant, but I’ve seemingly grown larger overnight. As I try to extricate myself from the waterbed so I can go to the restroom, I find myself wailing, “I’m as big as a house and still no baby? Ugh! I’m so tired of being pregnant!”  My husband of two years reaches over to kiss me and automatically makes the same reply he’s been making every morning, “You’re not that big and eventually this baby will come…when he’s good and ready.”  He’s heard the same litany for weeks now and is inured to compassion or sympathy. He’s just as tired as I am of my final weeks of pregnancy. 

These weeks haven’t been easy on anyone. I try to be sensitive to his feelings, truly I do. It aggravates me to no end that I must rely on him to put on my socks and shoes, help me sit and get up again, and dang it, get out of bed!  I’m stuck between the water mattress and the side of the bed. “Honey, I hate to bother you, but can you help me out here?  I can’t get out of the bed.”  He looks over at me, sighs, and rises out of bed like a gazelle or something. He comes over to my side of the bed and starts laughing. I guess the sight of a whale-sized woman stuck in a waterbed is funny, but instead of laughing, I start bawling. “I’m going to be pregnant forever! I’m as big as a whale and keep getting bigger. I’m so tired of waiting! Why can’t this baby decide it’s time to be born?”  My husband stops laughing and leans down to envelope me in his arms. “Babe, you’re not going to be pregnant forever. You will deliver this baby soon I’m sure. Maybe even today! Here, let me help you up, ok?”  As I putter over to the restroom after I’m free of the cursed waterbed, I pat my overly large abdomen and whisper to my baby, “Ok baby, we’re ready for you, anytime to make your appearance. No pressure, but can we do it today? I can’t wait to see you!”

Winter arms are long.

Icy fingers hold too tight.

Trees start blooming, free and bright.
D. Elaine Wood-Lane

1/26/17


This week’s haibun prompt from https://dversepoets.com/2017/01/23/haibun-monday-29/ was to write about waiting. I’ve waited thousands of times over the years, but I can recall no impatience and discomfort more intense than waiting for my first child to arrive. Said child, a son, will be 33 in May, but I can recall instantly those final weeks of pregnancy and my frustration every morning at having to wait for him to be born. 

Try your hand at writing a haibun!  They are a fun challenge to mind and form.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into my worst “waiting” story ever. For more information and to take up the challenge, go to https://dversepoets.com/2017/01/23/haibun-monday-29/ for more information. 

Dancing Through Life

Life is a dance,
Full of joy, sorrow and grace.

Sometimes we feel like doing a reel,
And sometimes we feel like dancing in place.

We never know what music will come,
As we dance through this thing we call life,
But if we keep dancing and give it our all,
We’ll find in the end a beautiful waltz
That ends all our struggles and strife.


Over the past weekend, my family experienced a huge loss as a dear friend of ours who was actually living in our basement, passed away. He went in his sleep, so his dancing here has ceased, but I know he’s dancing in heaven.

We all have ups and downs and turnarounds in our lives. That is, we do if we live very long at all and get involved in the world and with people around us. The ups keep us encouraged and hopeful. The downs remind us that life on this earth isn’t perfect and is only temporary. However, if we keep on keeping on, never ceasing to improve our dance steps/actions and selves, we know in the end, we’ll find peace.

I, myself, believe I have found salvation and peace through Jesus Christ, God’s son. I believe that He was crucified, died, and then rose again so that all who believe in Him might rise again after we die and live eternally too. For some people, that sounds like too fantastic a story, too unbelievable to accept. Some people call it a fable, a myth, a fairy tale. I call it the most beautiful example of love I’ve ever heard of and so…I take the risk. I accept the story and the gift of Jesus. My prayer is that when I pass away, I will keep on dancing, but my partner will be Jesus. I think Chuck is dancing with Jesus right now, happy, free, and completely devoid of pain. That gives me peace and joy. I pray it will give you peace too, knowing there is someone (God) who loves you so much that He let his son die for you.

God bless you all and may your Christmas be merry and bright!

D. Elaine Wood-Lane
December 14, 2016

From This Moment On-A Beautiful Tapestry of Life

image

From this moment on,
Life will never be the same.
Broken hearts still beat.
Beauty still exists.
God is still love.
All weave a tapestry of
a beautiful life.

D. Elaine Wood-Lane
12/8/16

30 years ago on December 24, 1986 I lost the second of two my two brothers. It had been a really rough year and became completely unbearable on Christmas morning around 7:30 AM when my father called to let me know we had lost Joe in a horrendous, freakish car accident the night before. From that moment on, my life was completely different. I was no longer a 25 year old young mother of two whose primary worry was when to wake my two tiny sons for Christmas morning. I had survived many difficult things in 1986, but the news of my brother’s death cracked everything wide open. It is amazing, truly, what a heart can survive and what can grow in the cracks of our hearts.

On May 27, 1986 my 69 year old mother had a massive heart attack. It took two ambulances, four emergency medical technicians and a full hour to stabilize her enough to transport her to the hospital. I called my brother, Joe, and my sister, Judy, who both lived in the area, to let them know that Mother’s life was hanging by a thread and then prayed, prayed, and held onto Daddy’s hands like the life lines they were. We held onto each other’s hands. Joe and Judy came up to the hospital as soon as they were able and we all spent the night moving back and forth between the CCU waiting room and the garish lights of the cafeteria. In 1986 you could still smoke inside certain areas of the hospital, primarily the cafeteria, so we made regular trips there. You see, everyone in my family, except me, smoked at that time. In the morning, we had to make a decision to have an arterial line put into Mother’s upper chest so the doctors would have direct, immediate access to her heart.

Two days went by and Joe, Judy and I decided it would be wise to ask our brother John, in California, and our sister, Betty, also in California, to come to Texas and join us in our vigil. Betty was unable to come at that time, but John was able to come. John himself had been fighting cancer, but was supposed to be in remission so we were delighted to learn he could make the journey to Texas. Two miracles occurred when John came to Texas. First, Mother’s condition improved greatly. Second, after a seeming lifetime of bitter sibling rivalry, my two brothers reconciled. John and Joe made their peace and our hearts were greatly encouraged that things were getting better. Over the course of John’s visit, however, I realized that John’s cancer was not in remission and that he was in very bad shape. He begged me not to tell anyone else in the family. He came to say his goodbyes to us and he wanted it to be a time of joy and pleasantness rather than doom and gloom. I kept his promise and told no one.

About a month later, Mother had to have quadruple coronary bypass surgery in order to not only keep her alive, but to give her a chance to thrive once more. She survived the surgery and once again we family members made frequent trips from the CCU waiting room to the cafeteria.

On August 24, 1986 we received word that John had lost his battle with cancer and was gone. Joe cried more than anyone. He had just regained his brother, only to lose him less than 70 days later. Daddy and Joe traveled to California to attend John’s funeral and to say their goodbyes. That trip was remarkable because it was the only time my daddy ever traveled by airplane anywhere and it was the last time Joe flew anywhere.

Several months went by with many changes occurring within those months. My husband, Craig, my sons and I moved to a small town in the Texas panhandle and started a new life when my husband started working for the United States Postal Service. It was the first time I had ever lived so far away from my parents. Also, our family slowly started to heal from Mother’s cardiac issues and John’s death.

Life was looking up! My husband and I bought a lovely old Victorian home in Memphis, Texas. I was able to stay at home with our sons, ages 2 and 1, and finally, we had enough money that we didn’t have to decide who we were going to pay each month for the essentials of life.

Christmas Eve rolled around and I was so excited because my mother-in-law and her sister and sister’s husband came to Memphis to celebrate Christmas with us. My baby sons were excited because it was the first time they were even aware there was such a thing as Christmas. I remember for Christmas Eve supper I made homemade cheese soup and rolls. I was feeling so grownup and domesticated and…happy, truly happy.

I started experiencing extreme right flank pain around 7:45 that evening, immediately after supper. I ran a fever, started passing blood, and felt like I was dying. My happiness had evaporated within 10 minutes. I desperately wanted it back, but could not seem to shake my pain and malaise. For the remainder of the evening and throughout the long Christmas Eve night, I was in agony. Nothing seemed to help. I finally drank a gallon of half apple cider vinegar and half water mixed together in complete desperation. My baby sons were going to have their first fun Christmas morning and by golly I wasn’t going to let anything spoil that!

Finally, around 6:30 on Christmas morning, I passed what seemed to be a large kidney stone and the pain was gone. I went to bed completely exhausted. Around 7:15 AM our phone rang. I answered the phone to hear Daddy say, “Is Craig there? I really need to speak to Craig.” As Daddy asked these questions, his voice cracked. I immediately was alerted that something was terribly wrong. After a few minutes of wrangling, Daddy finally spoke the fatal words that changed my life forever, “Elaine, well, Joe has been in a terrible car accident. Please let me speak to Craig.” “Is Joe ok? How badly was he hurt? Daddy, please just tell me!” “Elaine, sugar, I’m afraid Joe didn’t make it. He was killed instantly.” Suddenly my hands were no longer strong enough to hold the telephone. As I dropped it, Craig picked it up and I started keening and wailing in agony. How could my beloved Joe be gone? It just couldn’t be true!

You know how you always read in novels that the hero or heroine has gone numb from grief and shock? I always thought that was pure hyperbole until that morning. After my initial wailing and sobbing bout, I realized I had a job to do. It was still Christmas morning and my boys were expecting fun! By golly they were going to get it too!  So, I took some deep breaths, wiped the tears off my face and went upstairs to wake up my babies. We had a great Christmas, from what I understand. Apparently I did all the appropriate things, but  I remember none of them.

So, where does that leave things now, 30 years later and staring Christmas Eve down as it looms closer and closer? The pain is still there. I still miss my brothers. In addition, I miss my sister Betty and my parents, all of whom I’ve lost in the intervening 30 years. My life never has been the same since Christmas day 1986. However, it hasn’t been all horrific either. I’ve learned we have moments of great joy and moments of great sorrow in life. They don’t balance each other out. They never become equals. What they do accomplish is weave a tapestry of a life wherein we know to cherish the joyous moments, however brief they may be, to know with confidence God will assist us through the agonizing moments, and the rest of the moments are full of the dreams that become beautiful memories.

The most important things I’ve learned from that fateful moment on December 25, 1986 is to love and trust God, to love people and tell them so, and to love life. There is no other way to find peace in this wild and crazy tapestry we call life.

Remember…

How do the years pass so quickly? 
How does the love never fly?
How do we keep on going,
Whenever a loved one dies?

The love is a blessing,
I thank God for it all my days,
It’s wonderful to have it still,
Even after loved ones part ways.

When we all get to heaven,
It will be a great reunion,
We’ll hug, kiss, laugh and cry,
A regular feast of communion.

Until that day, though,
We’ll hold fast our love,
We’ll remember our loved ones,
Living long up above.

We’ll hug, kiss, laugh and cry,
The loves we make down here,
Until the day that we die.

Elaine Wood-Lane

11/24/16