Being Dad at Bedtime

Backpack Toys version of Teddy Ruxpin

Backpack Toys version of Teddy Ruxpin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“My friend, my friend, that’s what you are to me.”
Father and toddler sang their bedtime song.
“My friend, my friend, ’cause I love you, and you love me”
Teddy Ruxpin’s song brought a bedtime calm
to the highly energetic child.
Mother and brother only made him more frantic,
Grandma and others tried also their antics
with the highly energetic child.
But when Dad went in and they sang their song
Peace soon prevailed and sleep would come on
for the highly energetic child.
That child would go on to be a grown man
But he’d never forget that song with his ‘friend’
when a highly energetic child.
So when life’s pressure would grow to a frenz’
He’d remember that song and sing it again
like the highly energetic child.
Matt at 3.5He’d remember his Dad and that’s when he knew
his ‘friend’ always remembered him too,
his highly energetic child.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013

~Matt is now a graduate student at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA in the English PHD program. We remain the best of ‘friends’ and he still calls me when he is in a situation where he needs to ‘calm down’ quickly. I am most proud to be his Dad!

Matt in tuxedo


Weekend Fun At Nana’s

Daily Prompt: Ripped Into the Headline

Write about something that happened over the weekend as thought it’s the top story on your local paper.

Photographers, artists, poets show us something from your WEEKEND.

Cousins Reunited

“Pretty maids all in a row”
is the phrase that came to mind
as I watched the face of Nana glow
while watching our granddaughters smile

Cousins together from different states
reunited after so long a time
Hugs at Nana’s house, since they were babes
makes their joy here one of a kind

Fun at Nana's 2013arsThey laughed and played and reminisced
about fun things from years in the past
They talked about the things they now miss
and their closeness that seems to last

All too soon they had to part
and go to separate homes
They’re still a joy to grandparents’ hearts
although they now are almost grown

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013

Let’s Celebrate #15

Daily Prompt: RSVP

Photographers, artists, poets: show us CELEBRATION.

Headed for the beach!

Headed for the beach!

My Lady, I plan to take you away
Will you please confirm to me
I remember our first day
My new bride, happy and so sweet.

For fifteen years we’ve gone through much
Mostly ‘ups’ with just a few ‘downs’
I’m ready for some ‘living it up’
As some would say, “Doing the town!”

On a Blanket with My Baby

“on a blanket with my baby…”

Let’s go back to the seashore
Sea gulls celebrated with us that day
More than we had ever seen before
They made us laugh in a silly sort of way

Once again, just you and me
Children and grandchildren some other time
I’ve planned something special, wait ’til you see
So glad I’m yours, so glad you are mine

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013

Broken Trust Hard To Mend

Let's Stay Together (song)

Let’s Stay Together (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Trust that has been broken,
seeks so much to hide;
Cares not the ‘tempt to woo it,
will not bear the light.
A timid stranger she becomes,
laughs no longer still;
Trust that has been broken
feels pain that’s hard to heal.
But, wounded trust has not sworn off all intimate hopes,
often needs affection so much more than most;
She’s a lover to be won again–only
there has to be a willingness now to take things very slowly.
Trust that has been broken truly hopes to mend,
so boldly dares to take a chance to love and trust again.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013

~This poem comes from my heart that is hurting for those whom I love who are now dealing with trust that has been broken. Because of my life experiences and professional counseling work with others I know the hard work ahead as they try to mend broken trust.

The Elevator Bear Hug

Daily Prompt: Elevator

Non-fiction writers: You’re stuck in an elevator with a person from your past. Write this scene.

English: 'FREE HUGS' in a marketplace, Chile

English: ‘FREE HUGS’ in a marketplace, Chile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The hospital elevator doors opened and Mrs. Brown, my wife and I entered quickly barely noticing the middle-aged lady standing in the right corner. Occupying myself with pressing the right floor number, I was startled by an outburst from the stranger sharing the elevator with us.

“Aayyhh…” the lady exclaimed loudly rushing toward me with arms waving excitedly. I quickly recognized her from years long past just before she had me wrapped in a bear hug and began dancing up and down with me firmly in her passionate grip. Mrs. Brown, who was the mother-in-law of a deacon at the church where I was then pastor, looked on with disbelief and bewilderment. She had known me for a few years as a chaste man and minister and had never seen me in the embrace of another woman. Mrs. Brown’s eyes told of her further bewilderment as she glanced from me to my wife who, well known as “a protector of the family nest,” stood calmly by and smiled at the affectionate display of emotions.

My wife had also recognized the lady who was by that time hugging, dancing, squeezing and kissing me on the cheeks as tears rolled down her cheeks. The “stranger” from the corner of the elevator was no stranger at all. Ruby was the widow of a good friend named Buck who had passed away due to cancer years before that day. I had moved my family to another city to pastor another congregation a few months after Buck’s death. Ruby had since remarried and relocated to a town near the hospital we were in. We had not seen each other for years since the dark days of Buck’s illness and death.

Ruby had no extended family to support her during the long illness and death of her husband, Buck. My family and I became as family to Ruby during that time in addition to our normal pastoral duties. For two long, troublesome years following his diagnosis, I was not only their pastor, but also a helpful friend to Buck, Ruby and their son, Randy. A neighbor and I had stayed up night after night with Ruby and Randy during the final ‘death watch’ so that they would not be alone when Buck passed away. No jealousy was due in that elevator setting years later as an old friend was able to finally express her thankfulness for the love shown to her, her son and dying husband during their dark hours.

Mrs. Brown, my wife and I had a good laugh later upon recalling her bewilderment during my ‘surprise encounter’ in the elevator.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013

“Bittersweet” Blues Brothers

Daily Prompt: Bittersweet Memories

You receive a gift that is bittersweet and makes you nostalgic. What is it?

Polski: Przedstawienie Elwooda (Dan Aykroyd) o...

Polski: Przedstawienie Elwooda (Dan Aykroyd) oraz Jake’a (John Belushi). Plikiem źródłowym był File:Stencil Graffiti at Staromiejska Street in Szczecin Poland.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eschol Graham and I were very good friends. We both had other friends that might have been our best friends. However, our close friendship was based on our mutual love for two beautiful little girls, Chelsey and Rebecca, who called me Papa and called Eschol, Granddaddy.

Eschol and I had shared many hours of ‘grandpa’ time at birthday parties for the girls, for our children, our spouses, and for one another. We had spent many hours of holiday time together and had even shared in more than one family vacation trip. We shared family, the same faith, and many of the same core values in life. My heart was broken and devastated with the rest of the family when Eschol died unexpectedly of a heart attack at the young age of 58.

Eschol died in August following his 58th birthday. In July of the following year, as a birthday gift for my 58th birthday, Eschol’s widow, Judy, gave me his “Blues Brothers” hat and sunglasses. Having purchased the hat while on a trip with Judy a little while before his death, Eschol had never worn the hat and glasses publicly. Once he had seen the hat and purchased it, Eschol took Judy from store to store to store insistent that the glasses be perfect for the look to be authentic. He had planned to dress as one of the “Blues Brothers” later in the year for a costume party.

Don-BluesBro-cr2rsThe costume party turned out to be my birthday party in the following year. Judy presented these “bittersweet” gifts to me at a family gathering in a Red Lobster’s restaurant. We were seated at one of the farthest tables from the door. My wife, Sandra, asked if I wanted to put the hat and glasses back in the bag with along with other gifts for the ride home.  I replied emphatically just as Eschol would have, “No way, I’m wearing these gifts home!”

Donning my “bittersweet” gifts, I proceeded through the restaurant to the nodding, approving smiles on face after face of other patrons. After a couple of ‘thumbs up’ I couldn’t help think of how much the joy I felt should have been Eschol’s to enjoy. After feeling the tinge of sadness, I straightened my shoulders and strutted out the door and through the parking lot like I was “soul man-Jake” John Belushi.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013

Brothers So Very Different

Two Brothers

Two Brothers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A dad with two sons and, oh,
they are so very different;
One, though smart, makes his ordinary show,
the other his intelligence.

Esau and Jacob again
at times it seems heaven has sent,
Though it sounds a story the same,
my two sons are not twins.

The firstborn hunts and fishes,
drives trains through the countrysides;
His brother cooks tempting dishes,
writes books, teaches collegiate minds.

I wouldn’t change them any, save, of course, their sins,
in that regard I’m a preacher, there I’ll always vie;
Still, how blessed I’ve been to raise two gents
different as my brothers and I.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013