I love it when my grandfather* turns me on to an author or a song.

We’ll be in the middle of an ordinary conversation about very ordinary things and he will quote some little snippet from a poem or song.
That’s Robert Louis Stevenson, I think.

Do you know Oscar Hammerstein? Great lyrics.

A few weeks back we were talking and I was sharing a story about having something remind me of his visit after Briar’s birth. Feeling him in the house all over again.

“These foolish things, ” he said.

“Huh?” I mouthed. Did I sound silly?

“These foolish things. Oh, how the ghost of you clings. It’s a song. Very good. Do you know it?”

I didn’t. But I knew I would seek it out. What I wouldn’t give to have my grandfather’s gift for language! Luckily I have him. I am posting the song lyrics, then I’ll write some of my favorite things, though I am no Hammerstein.

A cigarette that bears a lipstick’s traces,
An airline ticket to romantic places,
And still my heart has wings…
These foolish things remind me of you.

A tinkling piano in the next apartment,
Those stumbling words that told you what my heart meant,
A fairground’s painted swings…
These foolish things remind me of you.

You came, you saw,
You conquered me.
When you did that to me,
I knew somehow this had to be.

The winds of march that made my heart a dancer,
A telephone that rings,
And who’s to answer?
Oh, how the ghost of you clings…
These foolish things remind me of you.

The first daffodil and long excited cables,
And candle lights on little corner tables,
And still my heart has wings…
These foolish things remind me of you.

The park at evening when the bell has sounded,
The ‘ile-de-france’ with all the gulls around it,
The beauty that is spring’s…
These foolish things remind me of you.

How strange, how sweet
To find you still,
These things are dear to me,
They seem to bring you near to me.

The sigh of midnight trains in empty stations,
Silk stockings tossed aside, dance invitations.
Oh, how the ghost of you clings!
These foolish things remind me of you…

These foolish things remind me of you.

Just a few of my favorite things-

The face my daughter makes when I swab her ears after a bath –
she becomes totally still, places one hand over mine,
opens her mouth ever so much, stares straight ahead as a smile flirts with her face.

The feeling of Briar’s hand tracing circles on my skin as she nurses.

Briar’s breath.

Fresh sheets.

Cuddling in bed after I have already gotten up, showered and dressed.

Coffee I didn’t make.

Briar’s laugh.

The smell of the skin on Sean’s forehead.

An unexpected email from Sean.

Milk and cookies before bed.

That first moment at the airport.

Holding hands downtown.

Watching Briar kiss Sean.

Splashes and laughter echoing in the tub.

A whiff of dryer sheets on a walk.

Stopping Briar’s cries by holding her.

The smack of a softball hitting the inside of a mitt.

Making Sean laugh.

Cracking wise.

A crisp white top.


Family time.

Running till it hurts.

Laughing till it hurts.

Writing in my blog.

Trading compliments with my grandpa.

So many things.

*He’s gone, but I have found him. Yesterday I forgot that I couldn’t talk to him like I used to do. It took me by surprise and, in some strange way, the piercing of missing him warmed me.