What Life Is All About


(a beautiful spring flower)

Spring has finally come...

...here in northern Illinois. High school girls have broken out their sleeveless tops and their short shorts, and they are leaning against convertibles parked across the street in the warm sunshine, laughing and giggling - and high school boys are noticing.

Okay, and so are middle-aged, rapidly balding men out walking their unruly black dog.

That was the other evening, and as Blackie dragged me on down the block, I got to thinking, "What is it she is looking for, this oh-so-young, teenage girl?"

She flirts with the boy across the street. She hopes that he will like her. She is hoping for dates, and prom nights in expensive dresses. And maybe she is even hoping they will fall madly in love. Hoping for a dream-like wedding, a romantic honeymoon in the Bahamas.

But then what?

You buy a house. And then kids come along. The house needs painting, diapers need changing. Weeds would rather grow in the lawn than grass. The kids want to eat every day. Mostly they won't like what you fix them, no matter what it is! They get sick. They want Nintendo 64s and new bikes. And little by little life gets more and more hectic. It's more and more work. There are more and more bills to pay. The kids, your perfect children, for some odd reason never seem to want to do the dishes. Or their homework. They would much rather watch TV and "look" at each other just to make each other mad. They get older, and busier and busier. You are running faster and faster just to stay in the same place.

And then things happen that you never in a million years would have thought of.

And maybe you forget what it was that got you where you are in the first place.

What is it she is really looking for, this teenage girl, leaning against that convertible on a warm spring evening?

She is looking for someone to pick her. She is looking for someone to think of all the girls in the world, she is the most special.

She is looking to be loved and cherished.

That is what she is really longing for. That is what she needs.

And lying in bed this morning, awakened again by my chemo, I am reminded that is what Dani still needs even now, almost 14 years after we were married.

More than ever.

So much of the daily managing of life has fallen on her shoulders since I got sick. She needs to have a reason to carry it all. And with the chaos of our life; with five kids, two of them just beginning their teenaged years, and an unruly dog, I am seeing now it had better be a really GOOD reason!!!

I am realizing it's so easy to forget what life is all about.

To love and to cherish. To be loved and cherished.

(a beautiful rose)

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2011 Paul Dallgas-Frey

Originally written the spring of 1999