2013-11-27 / Columns

Mike Reese

“I was just thinking”
By Mike Reese

Dear Chansley,

I promised your Janma 43 years ago that I would not share my love with another female as long as she was still on the planet. But your arrival changed all that. And what’s really good about that change is your Janma is not jealous a bit about sharing me with another female – as long as the sharing is with you.

While I try to remember that the present, what’s happening with us right now each day, is where our memories are built, it’s hard not to think about your future, as I’m sure all grandparents do.

When I observe the turmoil in our world today I realize that you won’t move into the future as easily as we did. Janma and I grew up in simpler times-walking alone to kindergarten and school, most all strangers really weren’t scary, you could watch any of the three TV channels without worrying about seeing too much blood or skin.

Now it’s Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, 300 TV channels, instant this and that where all is trivialized, ignoring the simple and satisfying parts of life.

But I find hope based on what I know of you. The trait in you for which I’m most proud is your sensitivity towards all living creatures, human and animal. I think you got that sensitivity gene from your great grandmother Kathryn. I had her for only 10 too short years. But one vivid memory of her was her being very sensitive and considerate of everyone.

You tell me that you want to be a veterinarian one day. I can’t think of a better career for you. When your eyes watered up and you scolded me for killing a bug I should have known better than to let you tag along to see a deer I’d killed being “prepared” for the freezer. What was I thinking?

But in the end it doesn’t matter what career you may choose one day. I’m confident that you’ll be successful at whatever you decide to be, a doctor, nurse, teacher, astronaut, or banker. We’ll need “sensitive” astronauts and bankers, too. But for now let’s concentrate on you being a little girl who, as Cyndi Lauper says, “Just wants to have fun.” Careers can wait.

It’s hard to believe that’s it’s been eight years since you took your first gulp of oxygen. Your Papa hopes to keep “gulping” with you for years to come. You’ve still got a lot to teach me, remember?

Happy Birthday number 8 Chansley!

I love you,


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