Right Heart, Right Eyes

by Becky on January 25, 2013 · 6 comments

in Parenting


Dear Mom,

Sometimes, when I’m wandering through my flickr account, a photo will stop me, and I’ll think of you. More specifically, I’ll think, What if you could have seen the moment captured by the camera–with your own eyes? What if?

You had lovely eyes, hazel, just like my Goose Boy. I think they served you especially well, and I say that mostly because you had that rare gift: seeing the redeeming qualities in people. You’ve been gone now these fourteen years, and in all that time, I don’t know that I’ve met more than a handful of people who possess that gift. The longer I’m around, the more convinced I am that having the right set of eyes is the work of a lifetime. It’s also a function of having the right kind of heart.   Heart.  Eyes.  If one is right, the other will be, too.

And your heart was just so unfailingly, inspiringly in the right place. Moreover, your grandchildren stole it early on. I look at my girls sometimes and wonder what they would look like to you. When you left us, Miss Lavender was three. And Miss Zinnia, not yet born. But you wanted to see her face. That’s what you said–that you were going to soak up as much chemo as they would allow, didn’t matter how much it poisoned you (I heard this from Nan; you would never have divulged this to me).  And you were going to do it so that you might be blessed–just once, even–to see the face of my baby before the cancer finally got you.

You didn’t get to see that face, did you? Miss Zinnia came smiling into the world on your birthday, just a month after you left it. But I get to see her face. Everyday. And Miss Lavender’s, too, another girl who shares your birthday. The three of you: the birthday club. August 28th.

Listen, I’ll make you a deal. You help me out from time to time: help me tune my heart up when I get cynical and it starts to sputter. And I’ll gaze at your granddaughters for you, all you want.

How delighted you’d be with your birthday girls, if you could see them.

Or maybe you do?

Missing you,


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Eleven O’Clock Road Trip: Rupit

by Becky on December 3, 2012 · 2 comments

in Travel

Millay on old stone bridge_9766

From Pruit, we took off for Rupit, a town literally hewn into the hillsides. I felt like I was stepping into a Tolkien novel. All I needed was a proper cape and some (really good) movie make-up.

Rupit the town_9512

House below rock_9557

Looking down at falls_9588

Landscape and town_9632

Silas by wall_9619

Silas close up_9643

Old street on old stairs_9665

Silas running down path_9607

Winding road_9578

Four layers of tower_9719

Suspension bridge2_0035

Naturally the town’s suspension bridge gave the Eleven O’Clock Kids a round case of the sillies.

Suspension bridge3_0038

Suspension bridge_0034

Tessa on old street_9674

And Miss Lavender found the day quite fine indeed. (If a bit chilly.)

Tessa on old street2_9677

Tessa on old street4_9684

But what delighted me perhaps more than anything was seeing my camera-shy Zinnia Girl decide she wanted to make friends. (With the camera, of course!) Must have been the knit beret she wore, a legacy from my mother, who wore it to cover her bare head when she was fighting lung cancer years ago. Grandmother giving granddaughter a little nudge: “Let me see your pretty smile,” she might have been saying to her.

Millay by bridge_0203

Millay holding camera_9653

Millay close up by wall_9627

Did you see that, Grandma Lynn? Did you see that girl on the bridge?–the one to whom you were never properly introduced?

Millay up close_9716

And did you notice how, beyond the fact that she looks quite winning in your black beret, her eyes are unusually warm? Just like yours.

Millay in leaves_9789

Ohh, I sure hope so.

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