Alice

Alice

Saturday, December 10, 2011

THE SWEET POTATO LESSON



Alice,

It seems you have an aversion to sweet potatoes! Of course I realize that may change as time passes. You're just a little over six months old at present.

Grampa loves sweet potatoes but that does not mean you have to.
They really are good for you though!

Most people I know love sweet potatoes!

The majority of people I know love sweet potatoes!

That might put you in the minority!

So what is a minority?

One definition is:


a part of a population differing from others in some characteristics and often subjected to differential treatment.

Now not liking sweet potatoes might not cause you to be treated any differently by people but we can make the point I want to make, using your sweet potato aversion here.

Sometimes when you are in a minority position, the people in the majority position will treat you differently. Being in a minority position is not an easy space to be in Alice. Being in a minority position does not mean your are wrong. It just means you are in a different position.

It can become so uncomfortable that you may want to pretend, just so you can feel like you belong.

That is not a reason to violate your beliefs Alice.

That's the simple but important lesson of the Sweet Potato.

Now eat your root veggies!

Love,
Grampa 











Sunday, December 4, 2011



You are both to blame!
My old heart has been softened.
And beyond repair!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

WAITING




Sweet Alice,
Welcome to the season of Advent, your first Advent.
It’s sometimes called a season of waiting.
In our anticipating and waiting for Christmas, we remember the story of Jesus' birth.
And so we wait for the day that has been set aside to remember that story and reflect on what it means for us in our lives today.
So here we are, WAITING!
So here are some thoughts on waiting.

Learning to WAIT on something you desire is not always easy.
The thing about waiting is it puts us in a position of feeling like we are not in control.
Well guess what Alice?
For the most part we are not in control. 
But we can learn to wait in a particular way. 
We can create the proper attitude of “trying to live in the present moment” because that is the only place where our life is happening, so we should really pay attention to that place.
So as you get older and you have one of these moments or hours, or days or maybe even years where you have to be WAITING,
Just take a deep breath and appreciate your life right where it is because right where you are is the only life you have.
Then you won’t be waiting, you will be living!
My guess is if you are able to do that, you just might find God already there, even if it's not Christmas.
Love,
Grampa,
(Waiting to see you during Christmas)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Haiku For You




IT'S YOUR FIRST CHRISTMAS,
AND THERE YOU ARE WITH DADDY.
STRINGING LIGHTS OUTSIDE.


LOVE YOU,
GRAMPA

HO, HO, HO!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Making Memories

Sweet Alice,

You have spent the last several days "making memories" with Mimi and Big Ed.

I am happy for them. They don't have as easy an access to you as Grampa and Lala.

So how good of your mother and daddy to make that long trip for you as well as for them!

When you get a little older you might complain about that long drive.

When you find yourself doing that you remember what Grampa says here.

Making memories with people who love you and with people you love is always worth the long journey.

There will come a day Alice when all you have about that journey is "the memories you have made".

And you will just smile, just remembering when you and mother and daddy used to take that long trip to Mimi's and Big Ed's.

And you will be thankful you did!

Love,
Grampa

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday (Thanksgiving) Haiku For You




Pansies in the pots,
Turkeys screaming everywhere!
Giving thanks for you!

Love,
Grampa

Thursday, November 17, 2011

COMPARING






Sweet Alice,
Grampa and Lala had such a wonderful time with you last weekend at your great Uncle B ill’s and Aunt Michelle’s lake house. It was really neat to watch you and your cousin Caroline interact with one another (sorry about the bop on the head) but more than Caroline I think you enjoyed Caroline’s dog Briley. Your eyes just lit up each time you saw that old yellow lab. Maybe someday you will have a dog like that.
Anyway, it was really good to see you and Caroline together and to see how different you were and how alike you were. Of course, as adults, we can fall into the trap of who is doing what and when and all kinds of other things..on and on…Comparing, Comparing.
All the while you two beautiful human being are just doing what you do, being who you are, not comparing anything,
the beauty of seeing with unconditioned eyes, “kingdom of God eyes”, “Nirvana”.

Your momma and I had a talk about that and just how unhealthy comparing is and how easy it is as parents and grandparents to fall into the trap of comparing kids.
And then I ran across an article that spoke to the very thing we were talking about and I sent it to your momma and to your aunt Katie.
Your momma read the article and wrote me back, saying some very wise words that I want to share with you now (with her permission).
She states:
…”very well put (commenting on the article) and especially good wisdom for us mommas. Someone told me when Alice was first born, “COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY.”…that has stuck with me. I have tried very hard not to let other’s judgment or comparisons of Alice rob me of my pure delight in her being…”
What wise words from your momma.
Alice,
May we all delight in your being,
And may you learn to delight in your being
Delighting in just who you are!
There really is nothing to compare you to!
Love,
Grampa
PS
Momma is not a big dog fan but see if you can get her to read you Old Yellowmaybe that will convert her.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Amazing Alice






AMAZING ALICE,

Last week I noted your ability to crawl. This 

week I get a video from your momma and 

daddy and it seems they have enrolled you in 

a yoga class, well, not really but you seem to be trying to stand up!

What is the deal here? You are only a little over five months old.

You are not old enough to be doing these feats.

Please promise grampa you are not going to run off and join the circus because of your amazing acts!
You are not old enough!

Speaking of “you are not old enough”, you will 

probably hear this line a lot in the next, oh, let’s say fifteen to sixteen years.

That is not just a line we parents and grandparents use because we have no other answers.

Alice there will be things you will want to do 

but you really will not be old enough to do 

them. And you may not understand it at the 

time because you just won’t be old enough to understand.

This is when you must trust the wisdom and love of those elders around you.

There will be those who are your same age doing things your parents will not let you do. 

That will most probably mean that your parents really care about you. 


It may not feel like it at the time but when you are older, I promise you will understand and appreciate it.

Some things have nothing to do with age but many do. Some things depend on just how old you are emotionally.

Well, I could ramble on about all the dynamics of this “you are not old enough” thing but I won’t.

Just trust what grampa is saying here.

And when you are older, you will understand.

In the mean time you just keep trying to crawl and stand up…no age limit on that one…just depends on your efforts.


Love,
Grampa

Friday, November 4, 2011

Beginnings and Endings





So Alice, I see you can crawl! 

Well, I knew you were not going to just lie there on your back or just keep rolling over forever. I knew that time in your life would end and things would change.

Things are always changing, and so, it was time for you to change your mode of mobility.

Nothing is permanent Alice. 

It seems things are always changing. Beginning and ending are happening around us every day.
It seems to be the nature of this reality we live in.

Even we begin and end in this reality Alice.

But beginning and ending are not always consistent.

Some people begin to crawl at nine months and some people (like you) begin to crawl at five months.

We don't always know when something will begin or when    something will end.

And here’s a tough one but I share it with you because I love you.
Some people end after a long time and some people end after a very short time.

I was reminded of this today Alice, when I watched a 30 year old patient of ours die.

By the time you are able to read this in an “understanding” kind of way, it will be alright for me to have had this difficult conversation with you.
Grampa believes it is important.

There will be people in your life Alice who will end, who will die and hopefully, when that happens, those persons will have lived a long time. But the point is they will die.

One day Grampa will end, Grampa will die.
That will hurt, that will be sad but that will not be the end of the world. That will be just one of those endings.

Beginnings and endings…they happen every day!
So do we go about our lives fearful because things begin and end?

Hopefully, because we have thought about this beginning and ending thing, we go about living our lives with great gratitude for each and every day, each and every moment.


Hopefully, because we have thought about this beginning and ending, we go about our lives doing the things that matter – love, family, relationships – 



with great Intention and with very great Attention.


Beginning and ending,


Gaining and losing,


Living and dying,


All part of this wonderful life you have Alice...


So go live it with great intention and great attention!


Love,


Grampa













Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011



Sweet Alice,
So here’s the thing: YOU ARE A CIRCUS ACT!

Lala and I took care of you last Saturday night and you put on a show for us. We were very 

entertained. You rolled, pushed, crawled backwards, tried to bite Sophie’s head off and made beautiful 

little baby noises, squeaking and squawking and oh, you cried too, but hey, part of the deal, right?

So back to this idea about “a circus act”, I can’t remember if I have ever been to a circus or not. I think I 

have. I did just finish reading a book about a circus (Water for Elephants) and it was good. And I learned a lot about the circus.

Here are some things I learned:

It seems it requires a lot of different people with a lot of different skills to make the show go on.

It’s kind of like what Paul talks about in the New Testament, when he describes the church as “the body 

of Christ”. There are hands, feet, noses, eyes, ears…all kinds of parts that make up the body but not one part is more important than the other…it takes all the parts to make the body a body.

Everybody is important.

No different in the circus.

Animal trainers,

Clowns,

The elephants, tigers,

The people who put up the big tent,

The people who clean up after the animals,

The Ring Master,

The flying trapeze people,

And lots of other people doing all kinds of things,

But again, everybody is important.

As you get older Alice you will have to discover how it is you fit into this circus we call life. You will have to figure out what your particular gifts are.

Finding out where you fit in this world can take a while sometimes Alice. But once you know you are a ring master or a flying trapeze person or a nose, ear or arm, it won’t be a show any more, it won’t be an act.

It will be Alice…

And that will be just fine.

Thanks for the Show Alice!


In the meantime, remember everybody is important!

Love,
Grampa

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Winning-Losing





Sweet Alice,


Last week we talked about choices in a humorous 

kind of way. I’m not sure if either of those folks 

gave up their teams but someone ending up losing 

and someone ending up winning…at least 

according to the rules of football.

Questions (football aside and all):


Does someone always have to lose?

Is there a way for everyone to win?

Is it about winning and losing?

Or is “it” about something else?

This life Alice, your life Alice, what is it all about?

When my life on this earth has ended will they 

ask, “Did he win or did he lose?”

What is there to win?

What is there to lose?

Jesus said we had to lose our own lives before we can find “LIFE”…

There is a Zen saying that goes, “die before you die”

I would say that both of these statements are 
pointing to something important.

But neither are pointing to winning and losing.

Maybe it has something to do about what it really means to be human.

Maybe it has something to do about Grampa’s relationship with you, with  your mother, your daddy, Lala, Mimi, and Big…

LIFE!

Oh well, I’m still struggling with all this and I hope you struggle with it to, because I think it's important.

Love you Alice,

Grampa

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Whose Side Are You On Alice?


vs


Sweet Alice,
Seems this fall Saturday brings a quandary into your life. There seem to be some choices you have to make.

Well, first let's define 


QUANDARY:

Perplexity or uncertainty over what to do in a difficult situation


I would not call your situation difficult but it is a situation.
Your Mimi graduated from Georgia
vs
Your Daddy graduated from Vanderbilt


There is an old ancient story found the Hebrew Scriptures about a mother who was in a quandary.
It goes like this:



Two women came to King Solomon and stood before him. One woman (#1) said: "My Lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while with her in the house. On the third day after I gave birth, she also gave birth. We live together; there is no outsider with us in the house; only the two of us were there. The son of this woman died during the night because she lay upon him. She arose during the night and took my son from my side while I was asleep, and lay him in her bosom, and her dead son she laid in my bosom. when I got up in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead! But when I observed him (later on) in the morning, I realized that he was not my son to whom I had given birth!"The other woman (#2) replied: "It is not so! My son is the live one and your son is the dead one!"The first woman (#1) responded: "It is not so! Your son is the dead one and my son is the living one!"They argued before King Solomon.
King Solomon said: "this woman (#2) claims 'My son is the live one and your son is the dead one, 'and this woman (#1) claims 'Your son is the dead one and my son is the living one!"'King Solomon said, "Bring me a sword!" So they brought a sword before the King. The King said, "Cut the living child in two, and give half to one and half to the other"The woman (#2) turned to the King, because her compassion was aroused for her son, and said: "Please my Lord, give her the living child and do not kill it!"But the other woman (#1) said: "Neither mine nor yours shall he be. Cut!"The King spoke up and said: "Give her (#2) the living child, and do not kill it, for she is his mother!" All of Israel heard the judgment that the King had judged. They had great awe for the King, for they saw that the wisdom of God was within him to do justice. [I Melachim 3:16 - 27]. The woman was rightfully awarded custody of her son.
So what does this story have to do with your situation?
You see, out of love and compassion for her son, the real mother was willing to suffer by giving him away instead of letting him die.


So you need to bring these two fans before you and ask them which one of them is willing to give up their team for you, so you will not be placed in such an awkward position of having to make some difficult choices.


Or you could go to Emory University, where Grampa went to grad school and just not have to worry about these silly football games.


So many, many choices Alice!


Go Vandy!!!!!!!!


Love you,
Grampa