Monday, March 31, 2014

Three To Get Ready

For my final Trifecta post, I am offering up three of my "greatest hits".  

First of all, I was honoured to be the weekly winner once, for a post entitled, "Watching Dad's Cigarette Burn".  To read that post, as it was originally published, click here.

Secondly, most of my posts have ended up ranging from 75-200 page views.  But there is one post that has almost 7000 page views, making it the most viewed/shared/spammed of anything I have written.  The post was called "The Victor Walk". It was based on the story of real-life hockey star, Theron Fleury, who admitted being sexually abused by his coach when Fleury was a teenage boy. To read that post as it was originally published, click here.

Finally, I will re-post the story that I liked the best out of the 80 or so challenges I entered for your reading pleasure and voting consideration.   It was called,"Damn You, Laura Ingalls!"   This story was bittersweet for me. It touched on the favourite part of my everyday........reading with my oldest daughter, Leah, before bed.  I have read to her almost every day of her life and have loved everything about it.  We have read hundreds and thousands of books together as Leah has grown up. But The Little House on the Prairie series was probably our favourite so far. It was unspoken but, she was always Laura and I was always Pa. As familiar as I was with the storyline, I had never actually read all of the books myself so, I was quite unprepared for emotions that welled up in me when Pa walked Laura to Almanzo's wagon on their wedding day, helping her up and then, watching her drive away and out of his life.  I actually choked up and had to stop reading. Leah turned around to see why I had stopped.  Damn you, Laura Ingalls!    I don't want my little girl to drive away in any boy's wagon!
So, even though it didn't win for the week or garner the most comments or page views, it means the most to me.   So, for the final time, I ask you to please, enjoy.  :)

Damn you, Laura Ingalls!!!

A pioneer life,
lovingly revealed,
each night
in the soft glow of lamplight.

My young daughter's body
melts into mine,
as Pa covers Laura with blankets of fur
to keep winter's chill at bay.

Builder of homes, provider of food, protector of the family,
Laura's Pa can do anything.
That I can, too, is confirmed
by her hand reaching for mine as we read.

We are comfortable in the warmth of her pink bedroom,
flannel jammies and slippers, too.
Yet we feel the bitter winds of The Long Winter 
And thirst for sunshine,
in the starlight,
in our home.
Pa warms up the fiddle
"In the starlight, in the starlight..."
Together they sing.
Together we hug and whisper in time to Pa's tune.
We smile. Our hearts fill.
As did the Ingalls that night, so many lifetimes ago.

The bonds of family.
The foundation of Home.
Timelessly on display
in the pages of our most treasured of books.
The lessons, obvious.

Her small heart beats with vigor.
She is ever becoming Laura;
stronger, more able, more a young woman
With dreams,
..........with dreams.
With dreams that cause my heart to ache.

Pa helps Laura into Almanzo's wagon.
I stop reading aloud.
She turns,
her eyes to mine.
I have to juggle my many emotions,
managing to meekly clear my throat.
Together we watch that wagon drive away
Damn you, Laura Ingalls!

The story of family and of trails blazed across space and time
is now a road map for my daughter;
a way forward,
a yardstick for her to measure success and love.

The final pages read.
I tuck her gently under a downy comforter.
A tender kiss.
A lamp turned off.
"Daddy loves you," I say in the darkness.
"I love you, too, Daddy."

I leave the room
and her,
to her dreams,
whatever she makes them to be.

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