A few years ago, I moved my website from Wordpress because of all kinds of security problems, and that was the end of Curly's Queue. But, since moving to Squarespace, I realized that I could bring back all of those old posts and so that history would be available. Today, I'm making it all active, though I need to fix images. I hope to have that done soon. And, I don't make any promises about how frequently I'll add content, but I'll share on all of the various social media locations when there is new content to read. Today, I am sharing a new post...
In the meantime, I wanted to share this story, so that an old friend, Chuck, might be the recipient of your thoughts and prayers. Chuck and his family lived down the street from us for years, while our kids grew up. A few years ago, Chuck and his lovely wife Joann, who was the school secretary at our neighborhood elementary school, moved away after their kids had been launched into the world. Chuck is a very warm-hearted guy, with a great sense of humor, and just a few years older than me. It is obvious how much he lives for his grandchildren—two beautiful little girls. But several weeks ago, we heard that he'd suffered a major hemorrhagic stroke, and since then he's had many complications. We've been heartsick for Chuck and his family as they navigate through this tough time. His wonderful son, Ryan, has been posting on a CaringBridge page, updating everyone with his beautiful words. He told this following story last week on Kol Nidre, the eve of the Yom Kippur holy day. I thought I'd share it here, and hope that you'll all keep Chuck and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Tonight we’ve got another Amazing Chuck Motter story, and today’s story is your "Yom Kippur Edition.” Our family has been blessed to be part of not one, but two amazing neighborhoods. Before they became part of the Falcon Valley crew, Mom and Dad raised Kate and me on Hall Drive in Country Hill West. On one end of the street was our family, and on the other end were Laura and Boyd Bolter. Laura and Boyd’s girls, Hannah and Rachel, grew up with me and Kate, and Dad always enjoyed hearing from Laura about her amazing creative projects. Laura and I regularly hold our impromptu “interfaith dialogues,” as Laura and Boyd are active members of their synagogue. In the first weeks of Dad’s illness, Laura offered her prayers for Dad and added him to the Mi Shebeirach (Prayer for Healing). I told Dad that Laura had made him an “honorary Jew,” and he smiled.
Laura is a truly gifted artist. Last Christmas, Dad contacted Laura and asked her if she’d be willing to make a special gift for me and Blaise. Laura’s schedule was slammed and things didn’t work out for the gift, but Dad kept talking about it through in the months after the holiday had passed. He revealed his hope to me and Blaise: in Dad’s office, he has a small plaque that Mom gave to him one year for Christmas. It’s a simple reminder he thought Blaise and I both needed in our lives. As he spoke about it, you could really tell the words were important to him and that he wanted to make sure we were able to have them when we needed them.
After the stroke, I remembered that this was some of Dad’s “unfinished business” and reached out to Laura to ask her if she remembered the request. She immediately knew what I was asking, found the words that Dad wanted us to have, and said she’d get it done as soon as she could. Tonight, on her way to start her Yom Kippur fast, she delivered three prints of the finished product: one for me, one for Blaise and one for Dad’s room. I’ve included a picture below, but here’s what it says:
“There are two great things a father hopes to give his children. One of these is roots. The other is wings.” – Hodding Carter
You know, Laura, I think those words are truly more of a gift to us today than they would have been last Christmas. If Dad and Mom gave me and Kate our roots, this experience has shown us again and again that you all, the relationships and communities that they have helped us to be a part of, are our wings. You are lifting us up, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, through our anxiety and our terror, through our waiting and worrying, through our praying and hoping. We are so grateful we just can’t even say it enough. I just simply will cherish this gift.