Monday, February 28, 2022

So Many Ripples…

“And think of him as living
in the hearts of those he touched…
for nothing loved is ever lost
and he was loved so much.”

~ Ellen Brenneman

My little brother was born a month before my 9th birthday; and since his arrival robbed me of all my “baby” privileges—the ripest mango, the first piece of coconut candy, my grandmam√°’s lap—I was not the most gracious of big sisters. In fact, I was determined to make the little beast know who was boss. The second my mother got home from the hospital, everyone ran up to her to fuss over the usurper. There was a storm of “He’s so cute” and “Can I hold him?” and “You must be so proud”.

I just stood in a corner, in silence, glaring at the whole world.

After the room quieted some, my grandmam√° said, “Come meet to your little brother.”

“No,” I told her, my glare growing darker.

She ignored my hostility, picked him up out of my mother’s arms, and walked towards me. “Look,” she said, holding his face very close to my face, “he is smiling at you.”

I had closed my eyes, refusing to look at him. Besides, newborns did not smile. And if they did, it was only gas—my mother always said that. My grandmam√° didn’t move, so I shut my eyes tighter. Then I felt little fingers touch my chin. I opened my eyes, ready to tell the little monster to stop it, ready to shout that there was no space for him, ready to bare my teeth... But I found my little brother’s face, just inches from mine, the cutest of toothless grins aimed right at me. And without wanting it, I was grinning right back.

That was the first time my little brother smiled me into loving him. He just had a way about him, that brother of mine… a way to show his whole heart in a smile that made anyone seeing it want to join in the fun.

He was a bit reckless. He was more than a bit of a scoundrel. He loved (a lot) and smiled easily. And I thank the universe every day for that gift.

Gregory Guerrero

(Mar 10, 1986 – Feb 28, 2013)

one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.” ~ Terry Pratchett

- linked to Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #16: An Exploration of Peace.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Written on My Heart’s Skin

not-quite Journaling, 30

On a walk, with the wind frosting my cheeks in biting kisses, I think, There’s so much to mourn in winter—no blooms luring butterflies, no birds singing about love or nests, no frolicking under warm sheets made of moonlight and need, no bees buzz… Then my thoughts spill into a glimpse of daffodils springing through a snow shroud that makes me feel, there’s much to celebrate in winter.



Your smile is written on my heart’s skin,
your voice tattooed inside my bones.

I’ve sculpted you eternal
into life and dream and ink…

With art and will, I remember you.

photo by K. Mitch Hodge on, Unsplash

2/16/2022: One of my dearest friends, who lost a loved one a year ago, told me how the loss still makes her burst into tears. I said to her, “The loss and pain never goes away. It changes, it even wanes from time to time… Then, you hear a song they loved, cook or taste food they loved, do something you loved doing together… and the pain tears your heart to bloodied pieces anew.” Still, anyone who has lost someone understands that this pain is the price we willingly pay to keep our dead alive (in memory).


Monstrous! some might think,
when they discover my love
for old bones and other dead things.

But not him… He notices the bright
natural dark spills into me, and
skull collector to show his love

for me.

2/17/2022: my Piano Man found this beauty during a run. Instead of just picking it up and bringing it to me, he marked the place… and then took me back to it (he didn’t want me to miss Nature’s artful display). I’ll never forget the smile that bathed his face, when he presented the gift… or how wonderful it always feels to know that my love knows me.

- for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #14: Monster Madness!