only a parent

i have no son
i have no daughter
don’t you dare
ever tell me
only a parent
would understand

i am a son
my sister, a daughter
and our mother
was a mother
and our father
was a dad

and just because
you don’t know what you
cost your mother
don’t pretend
that i don’t know

i understand
a child can understand
a man
a woman
and there are “parents”
who don’t


Stars in my Galaxy

There are so many people who cross your path, this way and that. You never remember the last time you see them because you never know it’s going to be the last. I have been close enough to know the last time I was going to see two people and I want to share. I hope it doesn’t hurt anyone for me to share it.

One was an amazing woman who died of cancer. The last thing she said to me, from her hospital bed, was that she didn’t want me to see her that way, but she was glad I came. Her strength, composure, humility is a gift I will treasure. I carry her with me and I try to honor her in the way I live and I try to share her tradition of Carrot Cake every year.

The other was an amazing man who I knew for many years. The last thing he said to me, which took so much for him to say was that he was happy I was still friends with his son. The last thing I said to him was that his entire family was full of amazing people and I was lucky to call them my own. I am happy to call his son my friend to this day, through thick and thin. I still call his wife “mom” and see his daughter as my sister. He and I never got that close, but I knew the man and still know him in his family.

I didn’t cry in either room. I don’t really know why. I treasure those moments and as much as it hurt me to have those conversations, I will never be afraid to have another. They are two stars in my galaxy that I will treasure forever. Words may have been spoken afterwards, but forever in my life, these two will be remembered and honored, those memories forever clear as day.