bitter endings ~ Haibun ~Daily moments November 18, 2017

 

So many losses and bitter ends in this bleak season, she’s lost count. Trying to please one may leave others in bitter deprivation. Impulsive actions, even with loving intentions, become too many blunders that add insult to injury. Communicating regrets is now worthless falling on deaf ears; broken hearts are just too hurt with feelings of abandonment harden over time in bitter stone.

memories
tainted with despair
and broken promises
tears filled with regrets
rubbed in old wounds

©Tournesol’17/11/18

Written for MicroPoetry Month #18

Father`s Day, this June 18, 2017

me as a childHe crawled on his hands and knees and made me laugh; he tickled me until my tummy muscles hurt; he took me on car rides in wooded areas…just he, me and

©clr`17 GrandPapa

my sister.  He played the mean old man just for fun so he could quickly turn into my saviour and took me in his arms to rescue me. He was my saint and still is my saint to whom I pray when I feel frightened and vulnerable…Merci, Grand-Papa! You also passed Father’s Day weekend, giving me, every year, time to truly thank you for being in my life.

He pushed me and encouraged me and instilled determination and hard work. He believed in me and knew I was smart and could do better. He wanted more than me sometimes and yet, he made me see my potential. He was fond of me and even named his daughter after me. Thank you Mr. Lagacé, for being a teacher who saw more in me than I could fathom…I succeeded despite many obstacles…I DID it and you planted the seed.

 

He looks upon me with pride; the love he feels is overwhelming. He’s gentle; he’s funny and makes me feel so special. I even feel a bit possessive with he has girlfriends and wonder if I will lose my place…he protected me from wolves and walked me down the aisle as my “dad” at my wedding.  He will always be a Dad to me.  Bonne Fête des Pères, Bernie.

 

How I loved my Fridays after school!  I’d go with Jane and have supper with her family.  If I was late or did not go, he would say,”Where is Lynn?  It’s Friday!”  He taught me to be proud of my slender (lanky to me silhouette); He convinced me to stop nail-biting so I could one day show off my engagement ring on my finger. (That actually worked at the young age of 13!) He counted me as one of his daughters…for a night or two or three sometimes…Thank you,  Mr. Wilkins for making me feel special.

©Clr;17 Mom & Fred

He took me for my first drink after winning a college scholarship at 17 years old. He stood by Mom when I walked down the aisle, with pride. He paced the floors for hours when I was in labour…he was always there…Thank you Fred for making Mom feel so loved and for being a Dad to me. You left us June 18th and making this year even more memorable, on Father’s Day.   I love  you and still miss you, Fred.

 

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©Clr`17 Uncle Fred and Ma Tante Mae

It took me 45 years to feel that specialness a “Dad” can bestow on an older daughter.  Remember those teenage years and young adulthood when you were in love?  Remember when your father wanted to “check him out” to make sure your heart would not be broken.  Well,  I was a late bloomer!  I remember when I lived with my aunt and uncle and sometimes I would hang up the phone and say, “Oh, gee I have a date. What am I going to wear?” He would smile and sit on the couch with his lovely mate  (Ma Tante Mae) who was as excited as me.  The fashion show would commence and he’d look, smile and sometimes raise an eyebrow.  The raised eyebrow was probably a more sexy outfit 😉  He would tell me discreetly, “Be careful not to fall head over heels too quickly and get hurt.”  To which I would say, “I may need  your shoulder to cry on if that happens.” And I did and he was there. Thank you Uncle Fred for being such a cool and understanding dad!

And Dad,  no matter how distant our relations were over the years, I still remember how special I felt if you would “Wink”  or say, “How’s it going,  Kiddo?” and my heart would melt.  I know you were always proud of us and in those last few years you mellowed and you let me see a softer side of you. I love you, Dad!

Happy Father’s Day to fathers world wide and for those special men who really make a difference with their selfless love.

 

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling

©Cheryl-Lynn ’17

A call of hope

The prompt for this story says to  Dream Big. Wow!   I can make up a story, a poem or write about something I have always wished for.  The options are endless and you know what? Today my dream may be different from my dream tomorrow or next week. Are not dreams part of who we are?  Are they not mere escapes at will in order to survive the world in which we live?  Since this is my birthday weekend, I decided to add more than a dream and more like a celestial dream…something over the top and a dream I have wished come true many times.

My Angel Playing Violin by Blacktoner

A call of hope

Dawn tilted her head as she listened to the other teen at the end of the line. Let’s call this caller Gabriella.   “I can’t take it anymore,” she wept, “My father is coming home in a few hours and I know he’s going to…you know….”she sobbed softly.  Dawn could hear the fear in her caller’s voice. She was barely a teen, her mother died last year .  Gabriella had no one but her father now.   He’d started drinking heavily after his wife died.   She had an auntie and grandparents but she was too ashamed about what “they did” that she did not dare ask for help…until tonight.

Dawn listened, and tried to reassure her caller.  She  asked her if she could go to her auntie’s house for the weekend and it would give her time to think about what she might want to do later.    She encouraged Gabriella to call the youth line again from auntie’s house.

Dawn waited…there was a long pause.  “I guess I could go but he won’t let me stay overnight usually because, ….well, you know…”  Dawn thought about that for a moment and did something she has never done before. “Go to your auntie’s right now. It’s just a short walk.  Bring a bag of clothes for 3 or 4 days and once you get there, tell your auntie your father gave you permission to stay over.”

Gabriella interrupted, “But I already told you!!! He will be angry and he gets violent when he gets mad. He’ll just pick me up there and drag me back home. I’m too scared to do that.”

Dawn repeated softly, “Sweetie, I know you’re scared. You are a very brave girl. You reached out here tonight and took a chance to tell someone about your situation. I get it. And you know what? I trust that you can do one more brave thing and that is to go to your auntie with your bag of clothes. Leave a note on the kitchen table saying your auntie needed you to babysit and help her with the children for the weekend. Then call me as soon as you get settled at your auntie’s. Is that okay? Call back here and ask to speak to Dawn.”

The caller hesitated and then said, “Okay, if you say so. You will be there when I call back?” Dawn reassured her that she would. They disengaged.

Dawn then went into the quiet room where counsellors often went to unwind after a difficult call.  She shut the lights, put on her “special music” her smart phone, lied down on the comfy couch and put in her ear buds.  Soft angelic voices hummed softly, followed by a violin crying melodiously and Dawn could feel herself drift off.  Her soul seemed to lift from her body and float above her for a moment and then it floated away.

Gabriella hurried to pack her bag and walked the 4 blocks to her auntie’s house.  As soon as she walked up the steps, her auntie opened the door as if she were expecting her.  She said, “Hey there, Gaby, I was waiting for you. It’s so weird. I fell asleep a few minutes when I put Jimmy to bed and had the weirdest dream. You were crying out to me running away from a monster. It was the scariest thing.”  She hugged her niece warmly. “Well, come in sweetie.”

Gabriella’ father arrived home and shouted out to his daughter but there was no answer. He looked around the living room, went to Gaby’s bedroom and then came back to the kitchen and saw a note on the table. “I’m staying at Auntie Sue for the weekend or maybe longer. She needs me to help with Jimmy and the baby, Gaby”

He was fuming with rage.  He threw the table against the wall.  Suddenly,  he heard a strange sound, a violin a woman chanting;  then he saw his wife! But it couldn’t be.

She floated right through the living room wall.  The music continued and this apparition that resembled his wife  floated up closer to him.

“William”, the apparition said. It was not the voice of his wife but her face was so, so, lovely! His wife who he missed so much was here.  The voice seemed harsh at first. “William, I have an important message. Sit down and listen. I will only say this once, so pay attention.”

The voice spoke of the Great Spirit of slipping to the other side and consequences.  It was a long speech and although he was scared there was something peaceful about it.  As the apparition slowly lifted, the strings of the violin intensified in a melody that wrapped him with intense emotions fear, guilt and wonder.  He wept for the first time since his wife died, and wept and wept.  Then he called his sister-in-law.

Gabriella couldn’t believe her ears!  Her auntie gave her a message from her father.  She was so surprised.

Dawn heard a knock at the door of the quiet room.  Her colleague announcing that her break was finished and time to get back on the phones.  She stretched and could not help feeling tired despite her nap.  She felt like she had run on her usual 6 K run on Lakeshore.  She rubbed her legs and went to her workstation.  The phone rang, “You’ve reached a counsellor, how can I help you?”

“Hi, Dawn, I have a caller who says you told her to call back, let me patch her through.”

“It’s Gabriella. I’m at my auntie’s like you told me to do. And the strangest thing happened. My father is going to rehab and will be away for a few months. He said we’ll talk about my staying with Auntie for good and maybe he’ll just visit me for a while instead. Isn’t that strange?”

Dawn smiled, nodding gently a tear running down her cheek.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/03/08

Written for:  The Seeker’s DungeonThis week’s prompt is  Dreaming Big  (running from March 6 – March 12) Click here to see what other writers have contributed to this week’s prompt as well as last week’s.

The Red violin soundtrack (Anna’s Theme)

My life changed

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I was a teenager when my sister gave birth to my nephew, my godchild. I never thought my life would be quite the same after his birth. Mom and I were so excited and silly happy (if that is a correct expression). We had always been “girls” at home. We knew nothing about boys. Well, the basic plumbing, I guess but nothing about little baby boys. I had boy cousins. Mostly they were older than me and a few younger but we were too young to pay much attention to how a little baby boy was, how a little boy interacted with the world. They were just cousins, sheesh!

I remember the first time Mom was changing his diaper and I was right next to her…like I said, keep in mind, we did not know much about little baby boys. Well, the air must have triggered his urge to…peeee and squirt right in Mom’s eye…she just laughed…I tell ya, we were just so silly! I loved that kid so darn much and when I became pregnant years later, I was a bit apprehensive. I wondered if it was possible to love a child as much or more than I loved my godchild.

That is when I had this earth shattering discovery…it was possible! My son was born after many years of trying to start a family. We had been trying to conceive a few years after our marriage and when the miracle finally happened, I gave birth to a beautiful, picture perfect, “Gerber look- a- like” baby boy on November 7th.

I remember bringing him home that first day from the hospital, laying him in the middle of our double bed; I undressed him and just stared at him thinking to myself, “Such a little human being depending on us for everything …absolutely everything!” I was scared, overwhelmed and high on adrenalin for having our baby…finally! I planned to be the best I could be and give him the best he deserved. Oh, boy, what a tall order but it was my hope and intention. His father felt the same.

Breastfeeding was no picnic the first few months…but I was determined to give him the best nutrition humanly possible {that human would be me alright…ouch, ouch, ouch!} but that did pass eventually. I wanted to nurse him for 4 months and return to work as we only had 4 months in those days. But he was not quite ready to eat and everything was going so well…that I prolonged it to 8 months and the nursing 18 months! Hey, when things go well, why stop?

The first few months when he would wake up for a feeding, I remember shuffling over to his crib in his bedroom next to ours, thinking to myself, “Boy oh boy, I had been trying for years to have this baby …good thing I reeeeeally planned for this.” It IS tough those first few months. How to read each different cry, moan, whine. Getting used to nursing is not so easy when you have fair skin that can burn easily… But after 2 months it went uphill all the way.   That too did pass.

Our neighbours had two 2 adolescent girls who became babysitters later…they stopped by often after school just to see him…not me much, I don’t think, I don’t think I was that cute!

My life changed completely. I used to have ambitions and goals. As a couple we had dreams too and this first house was a home but also a “wise investment”…maybe later we would get a bigger house. But having this child changed my goals as well as my interests. Material things like a bigger house or bigger car seemed so trivial to me now.

Having a child walk through a field of wild flowers and stop every two seconds to smell them made me see the world differently. Watching him stare at an ant hill as if it was a 3-D movie for 30 to 40 minutes at a time, made me stop too and start looking through his eyes. I was given a second chance to see the world differently.

Fast forward to the teen years and he started playing guitar. Going to sleep at night whilst he practised on his classical guitar with Beethoven as my lullaby. Being exposed to his CD’s of Hendrix and Zeppelin gave me a second chance to savour these classics. Growing up I was into Motown, Beatles and Rolling Stones…that was pretty much my interests…

Having children allows parents to rediscover the world. It allowed me to play again…playing in the sand and making mud pies is fun!
I have to say that my fear of not knowing if I had enough love in me for another child was quickly dispersed…no problem there…the love is rooted inside the core of a human being…and if your child hurts, you hurt, if they are happy, you are happy, when they are giggling with joy, you can’t help but laugh along with them.

Someone once told me that a mother’s love is like a flame on a candle, you can light many many candles from that same flame and the flame will be the same…burning just as much and glowing just as beautifully…so I knew I had as much for our daughter who followed almost 3 years later.

© Cheryl-Lynn,  originally written 3 days after my son’s birthday making this writing exercise quite easy,  November 10, 2013

This is a contribution to a FreeWriteFridays writing prompt on Life Changers.

Give me strength…

Oh dear I done did it! Dear dear me, please give me the strength to get through the next 7 days without him… {A mother’s sigh…not to be confused with just any sigh…anguish, longing and sense of dread…attracting sympathy especially from other mothers and grandmothers BUT may also illicit groans from the cold hearted.}

I had to send him off for a WHOLE WEEK! I miss him already!!! This brought back so many memories.

Do you remember the feeling you had the first time your eldest child had to go to daycare or kindergarten? Oh, boy did I cry and wander around for days wondering how I was going to cope and worried about him. Would he be able to tell someone when he was hungry for a snack? Would someone “get it” when his feelings got hurt because he was so sensitive? How would he manage in public not sucking on his thumb for comfort? I do remember when he got home, how he would curl up on the lazy boy, leaning his head on the arm, slip his left hand up his sleeve to minouche {stroke} his forearm, and stick his thumb from his right hand, while watching an episode of Scooby Doo….awww, total bliss!

At least those were hours of detachment I gradually got accustomed to.But at least I had my youngest child with me to fill my heart and my time whilst he was in the hands of “other” adults. Oh, dear, to relinquish trust like that took time. Building a good rapport with educators helped.

But oh, you would think with the second child Kindergarten would be a snap, no problem. I should have been a pro, right? NO! We both cried every morning, my daughter and me, clutching to each other like crazed females.  It took months to get accustomed to my baby no longer home. Now what was I for 6 hours a day?  What was my role now?  That’s when Mommy became a  student again.

Then came the sleepover, oh dear! Part of me was relieved, “Oh, goodie, time for me and his father to play!” and another part of me would sneak out and dig needles of guilt into my “good mommy heart”. “What was I thinking of having some adult fun when my children were away for an entire night?!”

And then the summer camp came around. It was a bible camp in the Eastern Townships at Lac Massawippi. My eldest was staying away for an entire week!!   Oh, my how that was trying!! A whole week at 7 years old, he was to sleep in a tent! The nights would certainly be chilly and damp!! And what if he had a nightmare or woke up looking for HOME? What if an animal was lurking around and he didn’t hear everyone screaming to run out of the tent? He was such a heavy sleeper, a train could run through his bedroom and he would sleep right through it! Oh, how I remember those first few days when he was at camp. I missed him so much and was so worried; I had to shut the door to his bedroom because just walking by that open door in the hallway and seeing that empty room would make my heart sink.

Parents were not even allowed to phone the camp, so the children did not get homesick. I would phone the cook…that’s right? I would check in with the cook a few times that week to see if my little guy was eating alright. And he was!! That was a good sign, right?!

Well, I did get through those trips and so did he and she.  They never knew about my angst…that was for me to know and to eventually grow out of. I did. He’s a grown man. And my daughter and I went through the similar angst as well…almost carbon copy but different…she had a very different personality…very independent. I think we both struggled with the push and pull of becoming separate.

But now today, I am brought right back to those times and am not sure how I am going to manage …a whole week without…a whole week not communicating!! Oh, dear, how will I manage…it is harder now that I live alone…I mean I don’t have a husband or partner or roommate to share my worries and yearnings of not having him around…

Oh dear {sigh!}

I guess I will have to just suck it up, right?! It has been 3 hours already and I am slowly getting used to the idea …I left without crying though…that’s good, right? I left feeling I will be able to trust these people who will be caring for him all week, right?

I had to come to work after dropping him off, so that will keep my mind busy.

I have no clue how I will be by tomorrow or Tuesday! or Wednesday!! Oh, my, maybe I will try to get into the Hallowe’en mood and focus on fun things children like…adults do too, actually.

Just have to suck it up and be an adult about this…

Yes, I will just have to wait until Staples Office (Bureau en Gros calls me when my dear, loving laptop is ready from a week of diagnostic testing and servicing…{sigh} yes, that’s it…I shall have to rely on my sturdy notebook, my smart phone and the computer at work. I know I can do it!!!

The End, by Cheryl-Lynn Roberts

This was a fun exercise Lilith Colbert, a real goddess in poetry and narratives has prompted on Wednesday Short Story Prompt #26 – In Wolf’s Clothing at WDBWP (We Drink Because We’re Poets)

Our challenge this week was to concoct a tale that’s more than meets the eye – a Transformer of shorts, a mind-boggling of epic proportions. What a great occasion to mess with the minds of our readers! I hope my readers enjoyed this fun story. I had a blast writing it.  I was composing it in the car in my head on my drive to work after I dropped off my laptop at Staples.

 

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts,  originally written on October 27, 2013  on my blog httpp://stigmahurtseveryone.wordpress.com

 

Photo credits:  Lonely Evening – Woman Thinking About Problems .  Waiting Of Night …  www.123rf.com

Rock a bye baby…

Emma June 14, 2013
Emma June 14, 2013

Finally I get to see my friend and her squeaky new born baby!! Yay!!  I can`t wait to smell her newborn baby scent.  I wish they could find cologne to mimic that awesome smell.  Just like the smell of leather…when you walk into Danier`s the smell of leather just fills your nostrils and it`s such pleasant and raw, sensual smell.  Oh my! Now how did I get on the subject of scents?  Oh yeah…babies!!!

How I remember well my first born!  When coming home from hospital, my son`s dad was getting things out of the car and I had laid my son on our double bed.  He looked so darn tiny.  I had undressed him and just stared at this tiny precious human being who was so dependent on me…on us.  The only thing he could do on his own was breath, pee, pooh, fart, burp and cry.  Well the burping needed a little help too.  But still!  I was just so overwhelmed with the sight of this infant and wondered if I would manage.

2013-04-07 16.17.56Speaking with my friend on the phone tonight made those entire memories flood back to me.  She has lots more friends with young children to tell her what to do and not do though.   Hopefully she will limit the “free advice” to a few that are consistent with her beliefs.  It can get so daunting and annoying too.  It is a time that moms are vulnerable to criticism and advice.  Advice giving can also destabilize a new mom.  She needs to build her confidence not be told what to do every second of the day!  She needs to be empowered and a little reasonable support and suggestion here and there is fine…but please!! Women, don`t you remember how you felt when tom, dick and harry told you what to do and not to do?  Most advice contradicted with others and it got so confusing you just wanted to scream!! More often than not, you just curled up and cried out of helplessness and discouragement.

I had a few close friends who had young children and family of course.  And I limited regular phone calls to ONLY 3 moms that had similar values and parenting styles that I admired and wanted as a model.  I was nursing my son and back in 1978 it was just returning as the “norm”.  So many family members kept questioning me, “Why do you bother to do that? You are going to be so tired and what if your milk does not come in? What if you don`t have enough milk? And what about when you get back to work in 3 months?” In those days maternity leave was maximum 4 months paid by unemployment insurance.

Well, I will never forget the support I got from those 3 moms and I joined a support group similar to La Leche League at our local CLSC and eventually volunteered and offered support in turn too.  It replaced the old-fashioned huge extended families.  Many moms supporting other moms with breastfeeding, child development, nutrition, parenting and so much more.  It was a place you could feel “normal” for feeling overwhelmed at times being a stay at home mom.  It`s the toughest and most important job you will ever do in a lifetime…raising a child.

Boy oh boy, they sure don`t tell us that at sex Ed classes and not even during prenatal classes!  The little infant does not EVEN come back home from hospital with a workbook with instructions adapted to “this particular model”.  No Sireee, once you get home…you are on your own!

So it is a good thing you can scrounge up some supportive friends, some family and professional resources too.

annetteI remember when my dearest friend,  Annette came to visit me when I first came out of hospital. I was so tired. I could hardly sit down for obvious reasons and I had not got the hang of the nursing quite yet…I was so awkward, weak and sore.  I bet I looked like a rag for sure. Well, she didn`t stay long and 4 days later, she arrives at 11a.m. with a huge container in her arms.  The container was 2 full course warm meals for our lunch.  I was so surprised and pleased as well.   After we ate, I fed my son and then she asked if she could burp him and put him to sleep while I had a nap.  Oh boy!! Did I run to bed quickly.  I trusted her with my baby…she was his godmother after all!  Normally I was a little tigress with my baby but not with Annette.

I could hear him whimpering and then crying. Oh dear, I thought, he must have gas…poor thing.  But she sang to him and rocked him and he finally went to sleep.  She nestled him in the crib next to my bed and shut the door.

For 2 hours she dusted, mopped the floor, vacuumed the entire house, washed my kitchen, did the dishes and washed my bathroom from A to Z.  And when Annette cleans up…you DO notice!!  I was so touched when I woke up and saw all that she did.  I will never, to this day, ever forget her selfless act that day.  I guess that`s why we have been friends for so many years.  My son is now 34 and I still remember that day like it was yesterday.

I hope I can be of service to my dear friend tomorrow too and rock that beautiful infant so her mama can rest a bit.  This is the beginning of a new chapter in her life, and in mine as well.  Thank you, Marie-Hélène for being you and having Emma.

Emma, where are you?

941982_10151632880653701_1657842491_nLet me tell you a little story that comes from the heart of your Maman and Papa.

Once upon a  long long time ago there was a princess in Canada and far far far away there was a prince in St- Lucia. Well, the prince searched and searched for his princess on his itsy bitsy isle in the Caribbean. So off he sailed to the colder side of the world…even the cold was worth it if he could find his forever loving princess.

Hey, wait!  I already blogged about this!  Okay so

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Emma, if you want to learn more about life BEFORE you were fabricated (conceived…gross for a daughter to even fathom)

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Check out blog:  http://wp.me/p2RsU0-9z  and have Maman or Papa read it to you.

Emma, Emma, what are you doing?  You are anxiously awaited by so many people but485521_10151632880498701_152135337_n especially by your Maman and Papa.  Maman has loved you before even feeling your little jumps and twirls in her tummy.

Yep, and Papa has been singing and talking to you so you could recognize his voice when you finally come into this world.
Yep, and Papa has been singing and talking to you so you could recognize his voice when you finally come into this world.

Yep, and Papa has been singing and talking to you so you could recognize his voice when you finally come into this world.

Maman has felt you knocking on that door to come out many many times and it appears it is either stuck or you have decided to stay in the warmth and safety of this home…Maman’s womb…well, I can’t say that I blame you.  You get fed with no effort on your part, you get to float in the warm waters of this home and you are safe…but there isn’t that much room, sweetie…so time to meet your parents now.

You have Grand-Maman and Grand-Papa  Savard who are so anxious to hold you too and take you for stroller rides.
You have Grand-Maman and Grand-Papa Savard who are so anxious to hold you too and take you for stroller rides.

You have Grand-Maman and Grand-Papa Savard who are so anxious to hold you too and take you for stroller rides.

You have an auntie that can't wait to hold you in her arms.
You have an auntie that can’t wait to hold you in her arms.

Maman has a soul sister who will be your auntie…boy oh boy, how she can’t wait to hold you in her arms!

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You have  sooooooo many aunties, uncles, cousins and close friends who will also become your aunties and uncles just counting the days until they hear the news of Emma’s arrival.

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Oh, and even Grand-Maman Camille who could not travel from the isle of St-Lucia to see your maman and papa make their vows of love…she has moved mountains (well small ones because they can be just so big on that teeny isle)…and she too will be here to see you when you enter this world.

947381_10151632908613701_997576748_nSo, Emma, it is time to leave that little bubble and enter this world of love, affection and  compassion. Trust me, Emma, you will, by no means, lack love and attention…dearest, sweetest Emma…Maman t’attend hâtivement…tes parents attendent avec enthousiasmes afin de te chanter des petites berceuses…et des  tendres refrains  d’amour.  Parce-que tu sais, Emma, tes parents sont des grand amateurs et amants de musique.  Tant qu’il y a de la musique et de l’amour dans ta vie, chère Emma, il y a de la vie éternelle remplis de bonheur car le cœur chante aussi…ton cœur chantonnera au premier soupire dans ce monde.

Welcome – Bienvenue to this wonderful life,  Emma!

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Having you here will make this world so much better:)

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, June 5, 2013