Posted in Poetry, quotes

Strong Enough to Cry

“Most of us, I believe, admire strength. It’s something we tend to respect in others, desire for ourselves, and wish for our children. Sometimes, though, I wonder if we confuse strength and other words–like aggression and even violence. Real strength is neither male nor female; but is, quite simply, one of the finest characteristics that any human being can possess.”

–Fred Rogers

he promised to carry her
slouched in thoughts
heavy
was more
than he bargained for

he turned for the door
her arms outstretched
no stranger from begging
strength of tears
began to pour

In all of life, he sought to do the honorable thing. Stretched between love for his daughter and pleasing his wife, he felt to abandon his reputation. The daughter forsaken, left alone on the streets. Tears turned to rocks, thrown at her feet.

Posted in Poetry, quotes

Room of My Own

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.

–Fred Rogers

no flower
was as beautiful
as your smile
entering the door

we scribbled crayon
all over the floor

rocket ships zoomed
across the sky

dress up and dolls
taught us why

there is sacred
in small packages
a child’s heart
innocence rarely dies

until you have seen
the scars in battered eyes.

Posted in Musings, Poetry, quotes

Be You

When we love a person, we accept him or her exactly as is: the lovely with the unlovely, the strong with the fearful, the true mixed in with the façade, and of course, the only way we can do it is by accepting ourselves that way.

–Fred Rogers

There is no shame in eyes
no matter what secrets tucked away,
Hidden beneath toughened skin
not skinned knees
but broken bones, rattling
Insides squeezed by enemies

Your mind far worse
Than the men who curse
the lady who spawns greedy hands
When you show another they matter
no matter what
There is no shame in eyes.

Posted in Memoir, quotes

Let’s Talk About It

Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.

— Fred Rogers

The call came from Germany on Christmas Eve 1990. “Thanks for the cookies.” He was lying in the hospital having been bit by a poison spider. Weak from his excursion in the desert.

I had forgotten the sound of his voice for a moment. Only I didn’t really forget his voice. It had changed to a young man, grown.

Not fully understanding then, our conversation ensued and he finally broke down a tad. “They made us sit in gas chambers. Like during the holocaust.”

He would return to the states broken of his spirit. All of my love couldn’t fill those spaces hollowed out by war. The places of his mind were altered to pain and terror. He was a walking shell, emptied of John. Color had left his voice.

I was helpless on the other end of the phone line. My cookies such a weak gesture. I should have flown to see him. That was impossible! I was a new mom. Emily was six months old. None of which we talked about. Would a quilt have been more comforting? A gentle reminder of my care for him when he was a babe.

John remained a confused soul. We became estranged. He believed I was living in a perfect world and he wanted no reminder of his past. But haunts filled his days ever more. And chased him down each path.

Posted in Memoir, quotes

Power to Change

If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.

– Fred Rogers

I vividly remember watching this show with my brother, 1975-1978. The kindest men I knew, John and Mr Rogers from some neighborhood.