Archive for May, 2015

Sunday morning. I have chores to do today, but first I wanted to share a few thoughts. I’ve been fairly busy the past several weeks. Lots of work, driving, stuff to do around the house. I could say too busy to effect much in the world around me, other than my full plate of personal callings.
But, one day last weekend while heading out for a round of chores, I was on the entrance to a bit of bypass highway, when something on the road caught my eye. I stopped on the shoulder and backed up the fifty or so yards and got out to look at what had gotten my attention. It was what I’d thought it was, a wallet lying open in the middle of the lane, left on the roof of a car while a driver bought gas. It was full of credit cards, discount cards, a drivers license, etc. I did one of my errands, then plugged the address into my phone’s GPS and took the wallet to the address on the lD. The folks weren’t home, but a neighbor knew the couple and told me they were on the way to Spokane that day. I knew how the loss of the contents of the wallet would ruin a day of watching their family member compete in a high school championship sporting event, so while was there, I made sure the neighbor called a member of the owner’s family to share their belongings were safe and intact. I left the wallet with the neighbors. Turns out they had missed the wallet, and had sent their elderly parents out to search for it. I got a call from them, and they had been looking. I’m glad I found it and not someone else who may have gone shopping on the credit cards etc.
I received two calls of thanks, and felt good knowing the day had been saved and the weekend of family sports was again carefree.
This weekend was also calling to plenty of stuff I need to do, project seeking, talking with my son, housekeeping…the usual stuff. But in light of the loss of my young friend last week, I decided to go spend time with the grieving mother of the 31 year old gal that lost her battle with cancer. I spent a few hours there, just talking about a lot of things…mostly listening. I’m no stranger to the rain, so joining a needful soul under a pouring black cloud is a thing to be taken in stride. Time is a gift, and when it runs out on a member of a family, giving your time is a worthy substitute. Nobody is ever more alone than when a child is taken from them. I have no answers, not clever lines, no way to ease the pain…other than to say that someday, thinking of that person will one day bring a comfort, rather than the immediate pain it does now. I know that from my own personal experiences. There is no timetable, but it is supposed to hurt when one is called on ahead, and it will always hurt to some degree, but life and the love that lingers will eventually become a comfort, rather than an all consuming presence…somewhere down the road.
I shared these two events in my weekends because I want folks to know, that there has to be made time, has to be made a small effort. And that regardless of your packed schedule, there are more important things in the world…and that ONE PERSON CAN make a huge difference. Not just in the moment, but in some cases, for the rest of time in the life of another, or in fact, others.
Be somebody. Share your time, listen, occasionally put your own less urgent needs aside, and make the world a better place. Your chores will wait. Do God’s work when it calls out to you. Matty

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Sending my love to you, from my heavenly home…

When you come to the shore on a sunny day…I’ll be the salt in the air, and that seventh wave. The one that’s largest, and makes the most spray.
When you walk where you might, I’ll be the shiny penny there at your feet, the smile on the faces of strangers I’ll hope you may meet.
I’ll be the teardrop that escapes you on a chilled winter noon, when you walk with a brisk Norther at your back, and the warm hearth that calls to you, and makes your steps a bit more urgent to bring you to home a little more soon.
I’ll be a promise not broken, but not quite kept. The clouds in your coffee, after the last minutes of your sleep were best on the cool side of the pillow, and a happy dream that found you as you slept.
I’ll be the silence that sings out to you when you meditate there, in the shade of our tree. The face that’s familiar of a stranger as he passes by. The smile that finds you for no reason whilst you toil through a mundane task and are bored as can be.
I’ll be the melody of an old song, the words of which you can’t quite recall…A twinge that accompanies bagpipes being played that you hear on the breeze, and the strength to keep going, long after you’ve given your all.
I’ll be the warmest feeling, and perhaps, the most desolate too. Like the laughter that erupts while you take in our old favorite movie…the best of your memories, and those not made yet.
I’ll be here loving only you, and I am sorry I had to leave you there alone…but when reveille was called that day as I walked off into the fray, and Lord help me, that proverbial bullet was already waiting for me…and I swear, you were the last thought I had before Taps was blown on that fateful day.
Please, remember me.

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Mother’s Day 2015

On a Sunday morning, my Momma would sleep in some. She’d wake up slowly with a cup of coffee. If none had been made, she’d ask why it hadn’t. Momma loved nice housecoats and warm, fuzzy slippers. She drank her coffee from small cups, never very big around. She liked to do the crossword puzzle. I remember her liking a slim style pen. The kind too small for my big fingers to hold. Whenever I’d show up with one; she’d take it from me and say, “oh, where’d you find my new pen?” Lol.
On Sunday mornings around 11, she’d call some of us and share that she had a roast in the oven, and dinner was going to be around 3 pm…I miss those calls.
Sometimes when I’d come by and help myself to a a sandwich, she’d watch me make it while she was eating something boring herself. Then she’s ask me for a bite. After she’d tasted it, she’d say, “this is good. Go make yourself one now…” I loved that.
Momma always peeled potatoes with a paring knife. Lots of potatoes. She was a great cook and baker. She was good at sewing, and loved dressing her kids, then her grand kids. She made beautiful stuff.
Momma loved to laugh. Loved good jokes, even dirty ones. She would laugh real hard at one, then smile and say, “you’re awful”.
Momma loved watching the 90’s Mariners. If we didn’t watch a game together, I always kept my phone nearby. After a great play by Griffey Jr, she call and ask if I had seen it. I’d tell here I had, and she would proceed to tell me about it anyways…
She loved helping people, with navigating officious letters that were hard to decipher, with taxes, and getting help from Social Security, or DSHS if a young mother was left in a health quandary and had no way to get medical help, or feed her babies.
Momma loved life, her family, her friends, and making a difference. Vimy was SMART, making her way through college later than most. She did very well at scrabble and cards…very competitive.
But mostly, she was my Momma, and I loved her so. We didn’t always like each very well, but the fences were always mended, and things warmed up again. Towards the close of her time here among us, I tried to return to her all the care and love she had bestowed on me over my forty or so years, and I held her very soft hands…always so soft. I gave her a few last small sips of water. We talked about time, how we’d had so many good times. She remarked that it hadn’t been enough time. I replied that it had to be enough…because there was little left.
And for me at least, her last quiet words whispered in my ear, were the most important three of all…and I can still hear her, “I love you”, to this day over a dozen years later.

And I can picture her in her chair in the dining room by her computer, smiling at a story I’d be telling her after a day at work, and with her crooked grin, a sparkle in her pale brown eyes, and a gaze my way, I knew then as I know now…Momma loved her middle child…and to that memory, I sigh a happy sigh…dab away a glad tear, and return the same for her…Love you Momma…Happy Mother’s day, Matthew Lyle.

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There are no eggshells on my floor, so you needn’t tiptoe once you pass through my door.
You don’t owe me an apology for what someone else did. Nor for what I think you might do, or didn’t do. You don’t owe me. Period. You only owe you, just what that may be isn’t up to me. Only you know what’s best for you.
For all I do know, and everything I am to learn, I am aware there are so many other things I have no clue even exist…So my plate, though full, is likely far too small for what I will eventually come upon. What light will shine, what light will fade. What will be reflected, deflected, and forgotten.
And my glass, whether half empty or half full is not the matter. What matters again is the size of my glass. Not your glass or their glass. Mine. And if it is always half anything, perhaps it is simply too big.
I have many closets in my home. In none of them are shoes I pack with me for you to wear. None that fit her that I want to squeeze you into. Or expect you to grow into. There are no shoes, but I will tie yours if you cannot reach. If you need to learn, I could teach. With patience, and with kindness. Or not. Learning on one’s own is good too. That my friend is up to you.
Though you be mine, and I be yours, we shan’t own one another. I know that I might own some of your happiness, but at the same time, I might also own your sorrow. But I will not own your thoughts, nor your opinions. I won’t fence you in with distrust and suspicion that stems from the same I harbor from my own misgivings. The security I offer you is freedom. The bindings I offer you are trust, the world, and a choice to do and be where you wish. And I hope you choose to be near to me. There is no greater love than one without chains. The chains that bind you and me exist within their absence.

Love isn’t a trial, or a series of pointed fingers and ultimatums. It isn’t a pillow to cry into, or a dread in the night. Love isn’t a state where one is put into their place…Love is choice, and not a need. It’s a safe place, a shelter and refuge when the world becomes the opposite. Love isn’t someone to retreat from. It is someone to seek. It isn’t a word. It is an essence and best part of life itself. If it doesn’t feel safe, and fair, and nurturing, and trustful…then it isn’t truly love. Then it is just the word, without the substance…

In this house, we will raise our voices. Often. In song, and cheering, celebrations and sheer joy. Not in overpowering criticism, or argument, or an angry, spiteful tone. The will be no one lording over another, no superior air that serves to demean and wound. I may be tempted to declare love at the top of my voice, but I’d rather your smile and confidence will be our song for all others to hear with their eyes…
And I hope we do find “our song”.  That it is untouched as a field of fresh snow, yet as sure as the path of a country road…with a view from here to wherever we’re bound, with just enough hills, and turns, and bumps that we grow assured of the presence of one another…even in the dark of night or fury of storm. In fact; I hope we have many such songs. I want you to know you can lean on me when you’re weak, and I the same. That come the dawn, I’ll still be there, and so will you. And that if you lag behind some, I will remain with an open hand and willing shoulder…That is the promise I make. Before we’re lovers, we shall be friends. And after time has gone and had its way, I will forgive you for having grown old. And hope you can do the same.
Time is our canvas and your essence are my oils, your presence is my brush and palette knife…and together we’ll blend the colors and from palette to cloth. There shall be you, and there shall be me…till there is us. Art…and harmonies.

Love, Matthew

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