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Posted By Debra Shiveley Welch

Morning advances and the mist lifts. Sweet, golden sunlight streams through windows thrown wide. Now the sound of fountains can be heard as I stop my writing to watch the brightening of the day. I walk to our floor-to-ceiling windows and enjoy my private "cathedral," thanking Creator for the loveliness and goodness of the world laid before me. I gulp the streams of sunlight; drinking them in; making them my own.

I hear Chris’ bedroom door open. It squeaks and I remind myself, yet again, to oil its hinges. I hear Kelly, our yellow lab mix, first. Her progress is slow. Old age is advancing and her knees aren’t what they used to be. But, she trudges on and finally makes it to the bottom stair. Tail wagging, she comes straight to me for "pets." She’s white and shaggy and her black and pink spotted nose is wet and cold. She wants to be scratched behind the ears so I oblige. It’s a small favor for a good friend.

Fast behind her is the sound of my son’s gamboling footsteps. Christopher does not descend the stairs, nor does he walk down them, or even run. He plummets their length as only a teenager can. He is already singing, eager to start yet another glorious day.

The TV blares! Chris runs into the kitchen for a bowl of Cheerios. "Hi, Mama!" he exclaims and lunges to give me an awkward, teenage boy hug. He dances around the kitchen as he prepares his bowl of cereal. Chris is a happy child. Always laughing, singing or inventing something. He likes to cook and returns to the kitchen to work on one of his "creations." Today it is "Tuna Aglio e Olio" a pasta dish consisting of angel hair pasta, garlic, olive oil, fresh parsley, tuna, sea salt and pepper flakes. He digs in with relish, slurping the noodles in spite of Mama’s admonition "Bite down!"

Chris is enamored of his prodigious appetite, convinced that it is the harbinger of pubescence. He longs for puberty! A swimmer, he cannot wait for the muscles of a man to appear: the broad chest, bulging biceps, strong, broad shoulders tapering down to a trim waist.

I watch him while he eats -- such a sweet and beautiful child. I still have my little boy - for a short while longer. His arms are smooth and round, his shoulders boney; the body of an active child gone from chubby and babyish to the coltish build of the adolescent who likes to fish, bullfrog hunt, run with his dog.

Christopher’s hair is a luxuriant, shining brown. His eyes are large and luminous: today green, tomorrow, perhaps a dove gray. His forehead is broad and high, but not overly so, his skin a smooth ivory, his brows clear cut and slightly arched. His face is beautiful in spite of his birth defect: the severe clefting of the lip, gum and hard and soft palates, now repaired. The surgeons have done their work well. His upper lip is plumping out and the hint of a cupid’s bow is beginning to manifest.

Chris looks up and smiles, gives me the "Love you!" in sign and bolts for the door, Kelly close on his heels. I call out to him jokingly: "See you in five minutes!" He will play outside until his just-turned-teenager stomach bids him return to the kitchen.

I am alone. I sit and ponder the shape of my life today and I wonder what I did to deserve all of this. What great thing did I do that I should have been blessed with my husband, my home, my precious boy? How did I come from a childhood of violence, poverty and turmoil, starvation and loneliness to this Shangri-la?

Posted By Debra Shiveley Welch

One night, my then soon-to-be fourteen-year-old son grabbed his favorite afghan, dubbed Raspberry, and crawled onto the couch beside me.  Christopher had been sick all day, and like the four-year-old he used to be, he came to Mama for comfort.  Head on my shoulder, he began to doze.  I could feel the pure animal pleasure of human contact emanating from his soul: he felt safe, loved, warm.  

I sat very still, careful not to disturb him, as his breathing grew deeper, slower.  I leaned my cheek upon his head and breathed in the delicious aroma of Chris: young skin, freshly shampooed hair - his own special "Chris" scent which I had first drawn into my heart on the day he was placed in my arms.  Contentment filled my being, and my soul expanded with awe and gratitude.  Here was affection, love, camaraderie; a bond so strong that it could never be broken.

Chris shifted a little and I could see the curve of his still childish cheek, the sweep of his eyelashes.  I stroked his silky hair and breathed him in again.  Soon my son would leave this home to make his way in the world, and these sweet moments would be gone from my life forever.  They will be difficult to surrender, but necessary, if he is to have a life so different from my own: a life filled with love, joy and companionship.

So much of my life had been spent in loneliness.  Indeed, I had come to the conclusion that this life time was to be spent alone. I had finally become reconciled to my fate when this beautiful child came into my life – became my life. 

I acknowledged to myself that I have placed all of my emotional eggs into one basket, and someday I would return to my aloneness, but I also acknowledged that a love this sweet, this pure, comes but once in a life time.

Chris murmured in his sleep and snuggled closer.  Again my heart expanded, with the simple joy of holding my child.  Contentment, gratitude, and love leapt from within my being, and sped its way to the Universe – to Creator who sent me this special love.  I bore witness to that love and held it to me with all of the hunger I’d ever known for just these feelings, these emotions, these transports of pure happiness, and I bore witness to the miracle of that love. 

These feelings, these emotions, would someday take my son into a home filled with tenderness, gentleness and true partnership.  In learning to love his mother, he would learn to love the other women in his life.  I cradled this precious moment within my breast, reveled in the feelings of mother and son, and released them to the One who sent me this priceless gift. 

Perhaps my life will not hold many more blessings such as these, but my son’s life will stand testimony to what I have so freely, so joyfully given:  my heart, my hopes, and my dreams - for him.

Posted By Debra Shiveley Welch

I’ve Been Tagged by a DIVA!

My sister Diva, Debbie Stevens tagged me with a “meme.”  I have no idea!  Look it up. That’s why God created Google!   I thought that was Chinese for little sister.  Hey, it fits!

I have to post six unimportant things about myself and then tag six other non-suspecting bloggers to participate.  Sounds confusing, but fun.

Here are the rules:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your blog entry.
5. Let the tagged people know by leaving a comment on their blogs.

Six Unimportant Things About Me:

1) I love all vegetables except hominy.  Love grits, just not hominy.  Patooey!
2) I like to feel the satin ribbons on the edge of blankets.
3) I got kicked out of ballet and put into gymnastics to save my life (I’m clumsy)
4) I can’t breathe when I hear bagpipes.
5) I’m in the Bowling Hall of Fame for making the big four split.
6) I love to tuck a sprig of rosemary behind my ear.

This has been fun!

Posted By Debra Shiveley Welch
Once upon a morning dreary,
As I pounded my keyboard, weary
Over some poem with which I was bored,
Slowly sipping my coffee cooling,
Thinking to end a stanza unruly,
I dropped a participial upon the floor.
Oh, ‘tis nothing, sugar rushing,
‘Tis a mistake and nothing more.
Still, I continued with my tapping,
Unceasingly typing, my work unraveling,
Using comma after comma evermore.
Now my brain whirling with my writing,
Adjectives dazzling, so inviting,
Tapping tapping at my keyboard,
My editor crying “Nevermore!”
The sun now moved upon my window,
Silhouetting a stately willow,
Creating in my memory stored,
A lust for wordiness galore.
Still I was tapping, my mind unscrambling,
Quelling spelling evermore.
Quoth my editor “Nevermore!”
Unmoved I continued with my tapping,
Tapping until my fingers sore,
Thrilled me with their swift endeavors,
Using clichés evermore.
Faster, faster, typing now,
Sweat upon my fevered brow,
Ending sentences with prepositions evermore,
Quoth my editor, “Nevermore!”
And my editor, never flinching,
Sits at her computer convincing,
That I am doomed in grammar evermore.
As I tap tap out my sentences,
Semicolons and commas inventive,
My editor shall trust me nevermore.

Posted By Debra Shiveley Welch


In India they say "Namaste," 'I see the God in you.'" or "I bow to you" and acknowledge the Divine spark within each of us.

An elderly woman progresses down the grocery isle. She is blocking me from my usual break-neck run as I race through the store to complete my selections.

I know that she has paid her dues. She is a hero - she is a survivor. I know the Divine spark dwells within her and I slow my pace. 


A young teenage boy bags the groceries. He is mentally challenged and so does not realize that he has put a bag of potatoes on top of my loaf of bread. The manager walks over and berates the boy and he begins to cry.

I know this Man/Child is a creation of God and I comfort him.


A young man lounges outside of the store. He is angry and I can tell from the way he looks at me, that he feels hatred simply because of who I am. His eyes are full of rage and his sneer cuts into my heart. I nod my head and walk on.

I know Creator exists within him and I say a prayer for him.


And when I am the one who is slow, or messing up or am angry, I pray that those who witness my actions will realize that God also lives within me.





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Debra Shivel...
Central Ohio


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