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Whatever your problems, whatever your tears

Posted by on Nov 19th, 2014 in Poem, Writing | 3 comments

Rob_Juniper Point_for IWantToWriteForYou

Whatever your problems, whatever your tears,
Whatever the day brings, whatever your fears,
Whatever the battles, whatever lurks near,
Embrace what is good, hold on to what's dear.
And if you so happen, to live near a lake,
Take time every day, to soothe that great ache.
Drink in the scenery, take a soul surfing break,
Take care of your heart, become fully awake.
For God's gift of nature, we must gratefully partake.

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Creative Writer
​Partner, I Want to Write for You (iwanttowriteforyou.com)

Joyous Birthday to Mom, 2014!

Posted by on Jul 24th, 2014 in Ann Barrett, Birthday Ode | 0 comments

Joyous Birthday to Mom!

Seventy-five years ago you entered this sphere,

I am not alone in exclaiming, I am so glad you are here!

My dear mom, raiser of four daughters,

A daily mentor and rallying cheerleader!
 

You always know what to say, you always uplift,

And while your positivity shines,

It's also laced with smart wit.

 

Your sparkling green eyes,

A smile that spans widely,

Emit such healing powers

That are never taken lightly.

 

Your lexicon loving ways,

Your fervor for reading,

Passed on to me,

In the form of these essays.

 

Everything I've imagined or written

I now realize is circulating in my blood,

It's a gift I've been given,

Like an everblooming flower bud.

 

A devoted wife

To a man you call Merle,

Your soul mate for life,

A great testimony for four girls.

 

And while I sit here this morning,

Writing from a laptop outdoors,

Passion through my veins pours,

For your mothering ways,

For your love evermore.

 

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Love,
Jacqui

Capturing the Ordinary

Posted by on Jul 19th, 2014 in Auntie Stress, capturing the ordinary, Memories, Writing | 6 comments

Starline luggage (1 of 2)

Thanks to Marianna Paulson over at the Auntie Stress blog and her recent post, "Capture the Ordinary," I was inspired to draft this brief memory post.

When I was a child and throughout my teens, Dad and Mom whisked our family of six (four daughters) off on many adventures, by way of my hard-working father's Trans World Airlines (TWA) pass. Throughout the years, we traveled nationally to Florida, New York, Washington, DC, and California, among other areas; internationally, we escaped to England, Italy, Portugal and Germany. 

This vintage Starline, hard-shell suitcase was one of a set of several that we deliberately packed up for our thrilling adventures. When my parents moved from their home of more than 35 years several years ago, they scaled down some of their memories, and permitted us (their daughters) to fetch items meaningful to us. This little suitcase was one such item I brought home. Not only have I enjoyed the memories evoked when viewing this nostalgic piece, but I also use it when traveling on driving trips, from time to time, transporting makeup or overnight clothing.

It is no small feat for a mother and father of four, ranging from 3-years-old to 13-years-old on our first European adventure, to manage such a trip. I will always be grateful to them for the memories we created.

As Paulson points out in her post, the reason we want to "capture the ordinary" in writing and in pictures is multifold. "It shows where we've been and how far we've traveled. It's a record that is part of the genealogy of our time here on earth."

Paulson has created a Pinterest board, aptly called "Capture the Ordinary." I recommend you consider visiting it and adding to the record of "ordinary things that will (or have) become extraordinary …"

 

Happy Birthday America

Posted by on Jul 13th, 2014 in Hope Restored, Writing | 0 comments

Happy Birthday America

Happy Birthday America. 

For over 200 years you have represented all that mankind hopes to be. Through struggle and strife, by both inward and outward forces, your banner continues to proudly wave.

You have suffered unjustly at the hands of those whose envy of what you represent cannot be quenched except to try and destroy what they do not understand.

Your flag has been trampled, torn and burned by your enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Your true patriots have been chastised and killed defending your ideals.

Each new sunrise that you survive gives each and every one of us who still whisper your name with hallowed respect, hope for tomorrow.

There are those who have claimed your defeat only to see you rise once more to triumph over the grave they felt certain had been sealed.

Though you may have many times suffered the brutality of your enemies, those who love you will always be there to give your armor of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness the caring attention it so richly deserves.

For in its gleam, the hope of all who embrace its reflection, is restored.

Amen.

Rob P. Poindexter

July 4th, 2014

Independence Day

Ode to Dad (Merle Barrett) on Father’s Day

Posted by on Jun 15th, 2014 in Dad, Father's Day Poem | 4 comments

Ode to Dad on Father's Day 2014Dad, Grace's Garden, 2014-a

Fifty years ago you became my dad,

A dark-haired, handsome man, who rarely ever got mad.

Survived you did, many little girl tears,

When raising four lively daughters, over the years.

To our mom you showed devotion that was ahead of your time,

Helping with the dishes and the home you did shine.

For church each Sunday morning we would prepare,

You ensured we were clean and pretty; you were reliably there.

Always steady, yet inspired, rooted and inventive,

You bought our family five acres and were oh-so attentive.

Building a home, horse pasture and vegetable garden,

You immersed yourself with humble ardor,

Displaying for us what it means to be a good father.

Sensitive, yet certain, you knew right from wrong,

Always steering our home, so we were healthy and strong.

And while childhood memories remain vivid in my eyes,

Whether 50 or five, I will always think you are wise.

While I now live in Texas, I never feel apart,

From your warm embrace, from your ever-loving heart.

Thank you, Dad, for always being there,

For being raised without your spirited calm,

Is a thought I cannot bear.

Happy Father's Day,

With Love,

Jacqui

Get Your Writing Into Beast Mode

Posted by on Apr 7th, 2014 in Beast Mode Writing, Writing | 0 comments

beast mode_3 for IWantToWriteForYou

We'll help take your writing from flabby to beast mode!

Robert Poindexter and Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter will apply their 16+ years' creative business and personal writing experience to solve your content strategy needs. For more information on our services, visit, http://iwanttowriteforyou.com/services/.

Eulogy for Grandmother: Observations With Love

Posted by on Mar 27th, 2014 in Eulogy, Memories, Writing | 2 comments

Grandma_20

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, in collaboration with her sisters, Susan Barrett Hensel, Janet Barrett Pallett and Katherine Barrett De Boer. Written for the eulogy at our grandmother's funeral in February 2000.

Glenn Barrett Howard's grandchildren are grateful to have had our grandmother around until her 96th year. We know we are lucky.

However, that does not make it less difficult, or painful, to lose her this February, in the year 2000. In my youth, I was able to spend several days and nights each summer at Grandma's house. There, I learned to crochet; I learned patience; I learned gentle discipline; and I learned to enjoy the simple things in life. Every morning we'd wake up, have our Cornflakes and Tang, wash the dishes, make the bed and start our day–together.

And every night, during the sports section on the 10 o'clock news, Grandma and I would go into the kitchen to scoop our one-, sometimes two-dip ice cream cones. We'd sit side by side in our chairs until we fell asleep in front of Johnny Carson or some other late-night program.

The following observations are not just mine. I've talked to my sisters, parents, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephew. Collectively, we would like to share the following thoughts about Mrs. Glenn Barrett Howard, our mother, our grandmother, our great-grandmother.

Grandma and her cousin in the 20sWe remember:

  • Walking with Grandmother to the drugstore for hamburgers and ice cream;
  • Playing King's Corner;
  • Grandma letting us buy our own bag of Brach's candy at the grocery store;
  • Teaching us to crochet and cherishing our crocheted gifts to her;
  • Showing and telling us about family pictures in her photo album;
  • Walking to the Post Office together;
  • Walking home from kindergarten and staying with Grandmother when our family lived in Smithville one Fall;
  • Interviewing Grandma for a commemorative video that will be cherished by her family for years to come;
  • Filling out TV Guide crossword puzzles;
  • Writing letters to Grandma from college; knowing she read every word, and that she cared;
  • Childlike qualities. As recently as a year ago, Grandma snipped pictures of little girls from a catalog from which to make paperdolls; she was able to entertain herself and found value in the simple things;
  • Not worrying about fat grams and cholesterol, but living modestly and consistently;
  • Therefore, she made big, thick noodles and Jello with marshmallows at Thanksgiving;
  • And assembled a big box layered with sinfully rich homemade chocolate and coconut candies at Christmas.

We treasure her:

  • Reflectiveness,
  • And her innocence.
  • Grandmother demonstrated such good listening skills and was inquisitive about our everyday lives. She would ask us about our jobs, our children and our pets, with the utmost sincerity. And then listen to our answers.
  • She taught us routines of life, such as washing your dishes and making the bed. She found something productive to do during the day, but relaxed in the evening. She liked "Walker, Texas Ranger," "Wheel of Fortune," and Paul Stanley's ministerial program.
  • She could talk politics or religion or pop culture television. She engaged in substantial conversations with each of us to her very last days.
  • She didn't preach her faith. She simply lived it matter-of-factly. 
  • Everyone who got to know Grandma knew she liked cats and birds. She would buy name brand canned cat food for her cats because she wanted them to be happy. She filled her bird feeders and sat in her rocking chair to watch them eat, shooing away those darn Blue Jays who tried to take over the other birds.
  • She cared about others whom she felt were less fortunate than her and would buy extra food for the needy when she went to the grocery store. As someone who overcame hardships, she expressed it in later years by saying, "I feel like I'm rich. I have everything I need."
  • At the end of her life, she overcame adversity and was fulfilled.
  • Basically, to the end of her life, she lived it like she wanted.

Grandmother made friends easily. Throughout her life, I never knew her not to have at least one special relationship with a neighbor. Neighbors over the years would take her shopping or mow her yard or fix her roof, or check her mail; in general, they cared about her and demonstrated so by doing for her. 

A couple of Christmases ago, we went to her neighbor's house and thanked the little girl who had been so kind to Grandmother in recent years. In response to our thanking her, the little girl said about Grandma, "I just love her so much."  

Glenn Howard's children knew they were blessed to have had their mother for such a long and happy life. They felt fortunate to have received her love and to have loved her back. Knowing this, does not, however, ease the pain of their loss. For knowing she's going to die someday, and the actual event of her death do not stand equal.  Our heads say it was time; our hearts bear the pain. We are comforted in the knowledge that she is in a better place.

Grandma's hands took care of Merle and Bette and Mary,

Grandma's hands would cook and clean and mend,

Grandma's hands grew more weathered with the years,

Grandma's hands we stroked lovingly in the end,

It's goodbye for now until we are reunited in heaven.

The Roaring Zone

Posted by on Mar 9th, 2014 in Poem, Prose, Writing | 2 comments

The "roaring zone" describes the sounds that surround us every day. 
We all live in a roaring zone. Sometimes we are tuned in; sometimes not.

The Roaring Zone (final)

By Rob Poindexter, Partner / Writer
I Want To Write For You

 

Throwback Thursday :: Family Vacation to Lisbon, Portugal

Posted by on Feb 20th, 2014 in Memories, Writing | 2 comments

Throwback Thursday :: Family Vacation to Lisbon, Portugal

It was circa 1978, and our family traversed the globe for yet another European adventure – this time to Lisbon, Portugal. Thanks to my father's tenure as an inspector for Trans World Airlines (TWA), we regularly took off for such historically enchanting trips.

I've spliced together a few memories from one of the DVDs my folks created from the many reels of Super 8 film collected during our travels.

While over time, the film–and our recollections–have become a bit faded, with a little prompting, we can palpably relive precious moments in time.

I hope you enjoy this little slice of our family history!

 

At I Want to Write for You, one of our goals, through word (and picture) stories, is to help YOU reflect back on, and perhaps even relive for a few moments, cherished family memories. 

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Writer / Partner
IWantToWriteForYou.com

Saturday Night: A Visit Home From College, 1983

Posted by on Feb 16th, 2014 in Poem, Writing | 4 comments

girl sleeping

I wrap a wool blanket 
about my shoulders,
switch off the lamp,
turn on the television
to Tonight.

A Redbook lies fanned
open on the forest green carpet.
I reach to pick it up,
lie sideways on the sofa,
and curl back page after page.

Mom enters 
robed
in red, carries
a glass
of white wine
and a library book.
She sits with legs tucked,

Opens her novel,
its plastic crinkling.
I stare down at the printed page 
that touches my elbow.

My eyes
roam the room, then
I lower my head to a pillow,
Close my eyes.
I listen:

Mom's pages turn, turn,
voices on Johnny rise, lower,
heat blows, pauses,
and blows again.

No hurry for sleep.
No hurry for tomorrow.

~~

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter | I Want to Write for You Partner and Writer
Memories written December, 1983, when she visited her home in Liberty, MO, from college (Missouri State University in Springfield, MO).

~~

At I Want to Write for You, we capture your memories vividly through the written word. Prose, poetry, song lyrics, whatever you need, we are here for you. We welcome your memories of sights, sounds, tastes and more and will spin them into keepsakes that you can treasure and gift to others, for years to come. Write us today for a personalized quote: http://iwanttowriteforyou.com/request-a-quote/.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com :: juanedc

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