|Sunset in my mama's favorite place|
Hey! The moment you've all been waiting for is here. . .okay. . .maybe it's the moment I've been waiting for. . .but still! It's here. It's here!
A guest post, y'all!
Now. I know you know that this is a very unusual occurrence on this here blog. In fact, the only guest poster that I've ever had has been the two awesome visits from Neil W.-- one in "No Sleep 'til Brooklyn" and the other in "History Will Teach Us Everything."
Otherwise, you've been stuck with me. Ha!
But not today. And on top of all of that, I actually have a different guest poster. Ain't that exciting? Even if your answer is no, it's pretty darn exciting to me.
The esteemed author of this guest post is. . . . .wait for it. . .wait for it. . . my mother!
Also known as Shug. Also known as Grandma Shugsie. Also known as just Shugsie. Also known as Tounces. Also known as Grandma. And also known as MY MAMA!
Do you guys have any idea how groovy it is to have your mama write something for your blog? Well if you don't I'll tell you. Very. Especially if you are still in touch with your inner child who remembers how good it felt to have your mama volunteer to read a book in your class or participate in any kind of thing that you were a part of as a child.
The other special part is that my mama is not only the very first reader of my blog, but also the person who seems to read what I've written even before I've hit publish. I don't know how she does it but I feel like I get the "typo text" before I've even finished the post. But seriously? I love every second of it. And even though I'm forty two years old, her dedication to following my blog kind of feels like having a parent at every single soccer game or clapping on the front row of your middle school drama production no matter how lame.
And that, my friends, is a wonderful thing.
As some of you know, last week I put up a post about the writings from my archives that I revisit the most. Tounces got super excited from that and said (without solicitation) that SHE wanted to do a favorites list of her own. From her daughter's blog. How sweet is that?
And can I please just let you know that my mother is the only person I know who surpasses me in thinking, over-thinking, and then warming thoughts back up to be over-thunk one more time. Which means that having her agree to write and then release what she's written to me for all of you to read is kind of a big deal.
So. You know what to do. Put your hands together for my mama and show that woman some love as she brings to you:
THE TOP MORE-THAN-TEN POSTS ON THE LITTLE BLOG THAT COULD THAT GRANDMA SHUG (AKA TOUNCES AKA MY MAMA) LOVES THE MOST
Like to hear it? Here it go!
Kimberly sidebar: Remember when Mrs. Carter said that rules don't apply to the elders? Now that you're sixty five the top ten rules don't apply to you.
Needless to say, I always enjoy the family posts because there’s love in every word.
And for the record: The BHE is also the BSILE. (That's the Best-Son-in-law-Ever.)
And the Grady elders? Love each and every post about them!
But before I go any further let me just say that, hands down, my all time favorite is “We Love Her More."
Not only is the post about me (ahem!), but it tells about what was The.Best.Birthday.Ever! for me, and at the age of 65, that’s saying a lot.
Three of my kids, my son-in-law and daughter-in-law, and all six of my grandkids were there. Love was in the air that night. So much so that even total strangers were wishing me Happy Birthday and hugging me. Best of all, though, is that the elephant that had been in the room for much too long dissipated into thin air like those elephants in the Dumbo movie. . . it just floated away, out of the room and into the night.
Because as it happens, the problem with those elephants in rooms is that they cause spouses to side with their spouses which deepens the rift and the tension permeates the family like a fog. It’s heavy and there, but you can’t touch it. But all of that disappeared that night because everyone loved me more than enough to come together as a family. Whenever I want a feel-good feeling, I read that post and watch the video!
Sigh . . .
I love “Acute-On-Chronic Parental Pride” for much of the same reasons. But mostly because when I look at the picture of Kimberly’s Dad standing there with her, I can see how happy they both were. It was a wonderful day, indeed!
“For the Love of Grady – A Love Letter” – I love this post because it just expresses everything Grady Doctor loves about what she does. I love how she defends and honors Grady’s authentic voice.
Tops, too, on my list is “Please and Thank You." I can never read that one without getting teary-eyed. Just seeing the picture of the roses makes me feel full.
It reminds me how kindness can touch people’s hearts. Which leads me to “A Piece of Cake." Because that? That is what being a kind person is all about - ordinary people making the world a better place! And then when I got to “meet” Miss Regina again in "The Woman in the Elevator"-- I was just thrilled. I actually gave her a virtual hug.
“Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” makes me feel sad every time I reread it. I just wish Mrs. Bates had a better lot in life, you know?
That’s also how I feel about “Little Mama” which I have read dozens of times and shared with many people. In that piece, the descriptions are so vivid that I can see the scene happening in my head every time I read it. Kids with “noodle legs”, “. . .two small children floating behind her running legs like two human kites”. And if that didn’t move me enough, then emmy’s (now known as Lisa) comment just took me over the edge. Damn!
“Letting Go” makes me think. It’s a sad piece about a young man fighting for his life. It also introduced me to Atul Gawande’s writing and I read his piece as well. Food for thought, there!
And “Jeremiah, The Butterfly” made me feel more compassion for those who struggle with choices that aren’t always theirs to make. As did “This” where the transgendered Brazilian woman called Grady Doctor out on not being as enlightened as she believed she was.
I enjoyed “Sounds of This American Life” so much that I actually did it with a class in which I substituted and called it “Sounds I Heard Today”. The fourth grade students came up with some great lines – “Bus doors hissing, Feet shuffling, Friends hello-ing, Teachers greeting . . .”
“I’m Here” and “You Make a Grown Man Cry” both touched my heart because each person was treated with the respect and compassion that they needed and deserved.
And “We Cool” contains such a good word that I wrote in down and put it on my mirror.
"What you hear sometimes got more to do with where you at than what the other person say."
That’s some profound talk there!
And the one I go to when I want to laugh out loud?? “Grady Seinfeld Moment on a Tuesday – Rusty Butterknives." Hilarious! I’m even laughing now as I write this.
My final word? Anytime I open up Grady Doctor’s Blog and see a new post, I know I’m in for a good read. Because Grady Doctor is not only my daughter, she is a gifted storyteller.
And me? I’m an acute-on-chronically proud mama!
Okay, now y'all show my mama some love in the comment section so she won't be over-thinking this whole thing. But mostly because she's awesome and insightful. A quote from her TODAY (no exaggeration) was:
"I love it when a post makes somebody. . what do you call it? DE-LURK?"
But seriously--Mom, thanks for all of your consistent love and support. Real, true support often involves time. And you consistently put it in. You have taught me how to make love a verb. Thanks for that.
P.S. This random photo of Neil W. and David M. is for you, Tounces. (Mom is super fond of Neil--who she regularly describes as "fetching." Several other readers have a thing for David, so I figured I would please all of you, too.)