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Everything’s Coming Up Daisies

Apr 5 2013

by Laura Leigh Packard

Spring has sprung.

Then clocks were flung- when some of us realized we’d lost an hour’s worth of sleep.

Where does the time go, really?

If only I could find it, I’d like to get some of it back, please. And it’s not like I’m asking for too much. It’s only time, after all…not carb-free calzones, roomier airplane seats, or world peace.

My oldest daughter, who refuses, like me, to grow up, always seems to have the right answer for questions such as these.

Her: “We need magic beans. Are magic beans in season?”

Me: “I don’t know. Let’s Google it.”

See, Livi, because she is so acutely aware of her surroundings, is in no hurry to hurl herself directly into the harm’s way of life.

If you were to tell her- go on, the world is waiting for you- she’d ask if it’s some sort of trap. You know, a place filled with heartbreak, hunger, unrealistic health care premiums, and 5 dollar gallons of unleaded gasoline.

I get you, sister.

I, like you, want to live in a slice of space where joy is eating Chick-Filet Polynesian sauce with your finger, love is unconditional, and freedom is sleeping in and watching Saturday morning cartoons while eating buckets of Captain Crunch topped with whipped cream.

Sometimes when I watch Livi turning cartwheels barefoot in the grass, her long wavy hair trailing behind her, she reminds me so much of my Aunt Beverly. I adored her as a child.

I adore her still.

As the wife of my mom’s youngest brother, Beverly seemed more of an older cousin to me even though she was 19 years older. On the weekends we would drive to Colbert, GA, I couldn’t wait to see her making the hour and a half drive seem twice as long. As soon as you were sprung free from the car, she would chase you around and around the house, tickle you until you were utterly exhausted, and let you brush her lush long, blonde hair for hours on end without complaint.

Beverly was light and air and pixie dust.

She was beautiful.

She loved daisies, too. I remember them in vases at her house, loosely arranged and lovingly picked. They embodied her, as well, with their simple elegance and innocent beauty. Like Beverly, they signify kindness, patience, loyalty, and love.

I still think of her whenever I see a daisy. And if I were to close my eyes, I can picture her running through the woods, laughing, her long blonde hair flowing behind her, forever young.

See, I never did get to see her grow old. She lost her battle with breast cancer at 38 years-old, when I was a freshman at Georgia.

She never got to see her two young kids, Kimberly, 11, and Chris, 9, grow into adulthood, either.

Time, that tick tock span of inevitability, can be cruel, sometimes too. Well, a lot of times…..if we’re honest.

But what if that makes the young at heart, the youthful spirits, the Beverly’s of this world the wisest of us all?

What can we learn from those who have the insight and sensitivity to know the heartaches and pains of life, but instead embrace the joys and small wonders of the world all the same?

Her son, Chris Butler, is getting married here on the island at the King & Prince on the 30th of March. It’s hard to believe time has flown by so fast.

If I could say anything to Chris and his bride-to-be, Erin, it would be to enter into your new lives together with the same wild abandonment, love of life and curiosity as your mother.

I’m reminded of the song Forever Young written by Bob Dylan around the time Beverly was 18. He wrote this after taking a break from touring and had become a father:

“May God bless you and keep you always

May your wishes all come true

May you always do for others

And let others do for you

May you build a ladder to the stars

And climb on every rung

May you stay forever young.”

“May you grow up to be righteous

May you grow up to be true

May you always know the truth

And see the lights surrounding you

May you always be courageous

Stand upright and be strong

May you stay forever young.”

“May your hands always be busy

May your feet always be swift

May you have a strong foundation

When the winds of changes shift

May your heart always be joyful

And may your song always be sung

May you stay forever young.”

Congratulations, Erin and Chris. May your song always be sound, honest, pure and full of light and lots of love.

And once you walk the aisle and stand together, ‘building your ladder to the stars’, just know how proud she’d be of the both of you. Together. Always.

previously published March 20th, 2013 in the Brunswick News/Coastal Illustrated

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