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Will the circle be unbroken?

Ages ago, my daddy and I were always the first ones up on Sunday mornings.  Dad, as a Marine, had an internal alarm clock set for 5:30 a.m., and I inherited that.  Anyway, a sweet memory I have is that Dad and I would be up on Sundays; he'd be drinking coffee and we'd be swapping newspaper sections, while we listened to WJR out of Detroit, and Renfro Valley.

Renfro Valley is still around, and it could be described as the little brother of the Ole Opry.  It was (and is) "ole-timey", down-home country music, mountain music with great harmonies, and the song,  "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" was a common one to hear.

Today, I got to spend the afternoon holding babies, chatting with nieces and nephews whose babies I was fawning over.  One of the babies got baptized, and we spent the afternoon enjoying food, drink and a glorious Michigan day, encircling my mom, who at 86 is now the Grand Dame of the family.  She mentioned that my brother, who is sixteen years old than I, was her best babysitter.  When my brother and his wife had a family, I would go and stay a few days to help with each new baby.  And when my oldest nephew was working to save money for grad school, he lived with me and my husband and lent a hand with our young family.  And the circle remains unbroken.

I cannot imagine the poverty of not having a family.  We are blessed with a large family, lots of little people to love and enjoy, lots of cousins to play with and lots of celebrations.  It is good to sit in the midst of that circle of family occasionally, realizing just how blessed we are, and realize that the Creator of all good things has endowed us with this: this cycle of love and life that ebbs and flows, lives and breathes, sometimes bumps and scrapes, and yet always remains....unbroken.

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Crossing Guard

I saw you
today
as you guided
your little man across that busy street.

You were wearing some
big man boots
and
watching cars and lights.

Your little man had on
black sneakers and
a Mickey Mouse hat
that bounced
as he walked.

He wasn't watching nothing but
your big man boots
and
the white stripes of the crosswalk.

Just before
he got to the sidewalk again,
his step bounced a bit
- he hopped over
a spot where the asphalt broke.

You turned to look,
holding out a hand to
your little man.
Not rushed or angry,
just making sure
he got up
on that sidewalk.

Then you walked on,
in your big man boots,
face into a cold Michigan wind,
with the little man behind,
his hat bouncing.