Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Smiles

Sunday morning musings

Sunday morning
Sitting near the back row
In a neighborhood church
Pondering the reality
That I am now one of the
Old Folks at Home
An aging white woman
Wondering what on earth
I have to offer this generation
Drowning in possibilities
I never dreamed about

A life —
That’s all I have
A life already lived
Partially grieved and celebrated
Now halfway resting
In this odd space
Called retirement with
all the time in the world
yet no spare time to be found

So what’s left to offer?
Just one thing comes to mind —

Free smiles and maybe a kind word
No manipulation
No smirking
No hesitation
No holding back
No looking away
No pretending not to see
the child or young person before me
carrying an invisible cup running over
too often with confusion, self-judgment or worse

That’s all I have to offer
Smiles that say
With or without a word
I’m so happy to see you today!
Smiles that reflect our Creator’s delight
in each child or young person’s beauty
whether they get this yet or not

Simple things. That’s what I can do. No promises made. No lists of things to do after this moment. Just a smile and a silent prayer for that child or teenager already dealing with the heaviness of being in this world. Who can’t relate to that?


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 18 February 2020
Photo found at

Shades of memories

What will become of today
After the sun sets
And the moon moves on
To other nights
In other places

Will anyone remember
Or care what happened
Just now
When I laid eyes on you
And you on me

Shades of memories echo
From your eyes and face
Just beyond reach
Whispers calling to me
In the dark of dawn

A small poem for a large presence in my life. I’ll never forget the first day D’s eyes smiled at me. Just the way they do today. It was 1961. I was a sophomore in college; he was a junior. The quiet type, except for that sparkle in his eyes. I’d never had a man, or boy for that matter, smile at me with his eyes the way D did. To say I went all weak inside would be an understatement. Now, 58 years later, he still has the gift.

Happy Wednesday!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 28 August 2019
Image found at

framed by a doorway

framed by a doorway
reflecting evening light
the old woman smiles

caught between two worlds
long days shorten by seconds
stealing into night

distant mourning doves
serenade the close of day
twinkling stars applaud

What a strange time of life this is turning out to be. I’m torn in different directions. Not by choice, but simply because I’m here and not there, this age not that age. Though I know this is the last chapter, my get up and go instincts still want to go as though I were 40 years younger.

The most difficult word in the 3 stanzas above was ‘smile.’ My first take said the old woman ‘stands.’ Then I tried ‘smiles.’ And then I tried ‘sighs.’ Partly because I do a lot of that these days. Not sighs of sadness so much as resignation. Not quite like giving up, but an acknowledgment of limitations I would like to dismiss, erase, be done with.

This morning, however, I went back to ‘smiles.’ Why? Because I love the photo above and I love smiles. Most of all, because the best part of being an ‘old woman’ is the freedom to please no one but myself.

The myself of the poem loves standing there watching the sunset, thinking about gifts I’ve received in this life, smiling and enjoying the last bits of each day, doing things that bring me joy, and getting through the other stuff without a long list of additional duties waiting for me at work.

Hoping you’re giving and getting plenty of smiles today!

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 10 July 2018
Photo found at, Sacramento, California

A word is dead

Another short gem from Emily Dickinson, for children of all ages and all stations in life. My free verse response follows.

A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

Emily Dickinson: Poetry for Young People
Edited by Frances Schoonmaker Bolin
Illustrated by Chi Chung
Sterling Publishing Co., 1994

Words spoken
given away
on faces
in body language
live and multiply—
shaping us
shaping them
into people
we are
or are not

Spoken words
birth attitudes
hope and despair
inextricably linked
in this short life

Not the answer
to our wildest dreams

Not a solution
for the world’s woes
or private sorrows

But like smiles—
small change
of treasure
or withheld


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 16 June 2017
Image found at
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Create

Her bespoke face

Her bespoke face
Betrayed no provenance
No signature or style
Save those life etched within each line
each scar and curve of chin and cheek 

No sign of props placed here and there
To hold it all in space
No awkward look or heavy paint
To dazzle or illuminate
Just a canvas standing there
With pleasant eyes of burning depth
and mouth with upturned corners 

Quite suddenly she smiled at me
And said hello-how-are-you?
One of a kind I see – said I –
With hat tipped to my Maker.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 13 December 2016
Response to Daily Prompt: Bespoke
See definition of bespoke here.

Why do I smile? | Dear Diane, . . .

July 1997 – Diane consumes books and articles about ALS.  She watches for TV specials–anything that tells the truth about ALS.  She and her husband soak up the viewpoints of ALS patients, their family members and caretakers.

Diane takes them all in and thinks about herself and tough decisions that lie ahead.  Things like whether to go on a ventilator, Read the rest of this entry »

God’s Beloved Daughter-Child | Part 4 of 4

I can’t hide from that all-seeing eye of God watching me day and night to make sure I’m being a good little girl.  It follows me through life.  Not an eye of Goodness and Mercy, but of Judgment and Contempt.

I’m lost
It’s the 1980s.  I’m 40-something.  I claim I’m a follower of Jesus Christ.  Yet I’m lost in fear, self-contempt, confusion, a judgmental spirit, and the vain belief that I can fix other people’s lives.  If only they would just listen to me! Read the rest of this entry »

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