So much left to do

October 7th, 2014 § 40 comments

IMG_0465There’s salt on my blue jeans
And rain left in my hair.
There is a spot of dirt behind his left ear
And mud on his shoes.

I don’t wipe the spot of dirt off.
I stare at it throughout the drive.
I think of when he was a baby, a toddler, a boy.
Now he approaches manhood,
A time when most young men would pull away.

He does not.
He still hugs me in public.
He tells me he loves me.
He doesn’t mind if anyone hears me tell him the same.

He is still mine for a little while longer.

As I contemplate the dirty spot,
I hear the words.
They write themselves
As they often do.

The salt, the dirt, the refrain.

“There is so much left to do.”

It is a track stuck on repeat.
Every moment of my life now it plays.

I showed him a better hamburger today,
He will remember that.
I reminded him about bringing dry socks to the game.
I am quite sure he will forget about that.

I can’t help but smile every time he looks my way.
Or waves from the mound.

During the delay he caught rain in a water bottle,
Shrugged his shoulders when I caught his eye.
He beamed his impish grin.

Later he asks me, “Do you need help?”
He thanks me for coming to his game.
He always thanks me.
He knows.

The salt is gone from my jeans.
The rain in my hair has long since dried.
The dirt and mud are gone too.
But there is so much left to do.

§ 40 Responses to So much left to do"

  • Kristi says:

    Tears and love.

  • Elizabeth Von Stur says:


    This brought tears to my eyes. I am 47 and I do not have children; this was by choice. But I do think the most important job anyone can ever have or do is to be a good parent. I think it’s clear you excel in this category. I can only imagine what you feel when you look at your three beautiful children and think about the inevitable. I won’t even pretend to know how you feel. But this. This broke my heart.

  • Merva says:


    Your words bring so much beauty to my screen in the early morning as i enjoy my mug of coffee. Your strength to continue sharing thoughts amazes me.

    And, just moments ago I saw Xeni’s comment about ‘a day lived without regret’.

    Thank you so much for helping many of us to have perspective & to appreciate all.


  • Risa says:

    I have children and that brought tears. puts things in perspective. you are a wonderful mother.

  • Bridgett says:

    So beautiful

  • Sandy G says:

    Your words are poetry. You remind us of what life is really about, observing and appreciating the small things in life. Hugs to you.

  • Beth says:

    So touching, a sweet reminder to savor each moment. Thoughts with you.

  • Spencer says:

    Very beautiful poem!

  • Ellen M says:

    Oh Lisa. My coffee is salty this morning.
    You always give us much to think about and savor.
    Thank you.

  • Daniela Zinn says:

    So profoundly moving! “But there is so much left to do” is on a constant loop in my head as I care for my children while undergoing treatment for metastatic breast cancer. There is such an urgency sometimes, on my part, to teach them everything I know before it is too late. To be robbed of time is unbearable! Thank you for reminding us all how poignant and meaningful those small moments really are.

  • Carla says:

    This is so beautiful!

  • Tracy says:

    I wish more people stopped and paid attention to the memories they were building before it was too late.

  • Ann Marie says:

    beautifully written from a beautiful friend. I wish I could write something that would make it better but I can not. I will just send love and light XO

  • you always, always, make me stop…and remember how short & precious life truly is
    thank you

  • Martha Bilski says:

    Just a note to say I am listening and appreciate your presence. Thanks for sharing with us. It is part of a beautiful legacy.

  • Pam says:

    <3 <3 <3

  • Amy says:

    Beautiful. I am reminded of words my mom said just a few months ago when she was out of options to treat her leukemia and the doctor used the word “weeks” to describe how long she had….”I can do a lot in a few weeks.”
    Wishing you many good days in which you get to “do a lot”.

  • Qurban says:

    Thanks for sharing Lisa! It brings the whole “being present” or “mindfulness” (what most of us pay lip service too) concept into bold relief. I find your story heart wrenching at times but the unflinching honesty and courage with which you tell it heart warming and inspirational. So many emotions at once. Hear’s too spreading beauty and watching baseball games as often as we can and thank you for sharing beauty with me in spite of everything.

  • Karen Carter says:


  • Rebecca says:

    Oh Lisa…. I can completely picture this scene, and yes like everyone else it brings tears to my eyes.

    Daniela Zinn– you too. So sorry for you.

    And Amy, sorry for the loss of your mom.

  • Michele says:

    As so many others have said before me, beautiful. Thank you for sharing this part of your story, too.

  • Nicole says:

    So moving.. thank you for sharing this with us.

  • jennw says:

    so beautiful Lisa-thank you.

  • kgapo says:

    He is a lucky boy!

  • Carole says:

    God loans us our children for such a short time. They grow up so quickly. In your situation it is so much more difficult- being uncertain if you will see them “grow up”. One thing is for sure, Lisa, – your children know how very much you love them. Wish all children could be that blessed.

  • Leslie says:

    Thank you!

  • Melissa says:

    Love to you and your family. Your unwavering strength is admirable. My heart has exploded with this post (as well as my tear ducts).

  • Joanne Firth says:

    This touched me deeply. Because we are both mothers and because we are both women. This poem is pure love. There are tears in my eyes as I think of you and your son. As I think of my own son. You enrich my life with your ability to put pure feelings into words.

  • Marianne says:

  • Donald King says:

    This is achingly beautiful. Your writing is moving, poignant, and insightful. Thank you so much for sharing your gift. Godspeed.

  • Mike says:

    I am at loss for words. I’m so sorry. Kiss your boy and hold him close.

  • Iris says:


    I rarely comment but always appreciate your posts. This one, in particular, touched my heart. It conveyed so beautifully your special bond with Colin and how wise he is. I have no doubt that he will always remember your presence at his games. I wish we didn’t know how your story is going to end or, better still, that the possibility of a happy-ever-after ending could exist. However, I know from your writings that MBC does not offer that possibility. I am inspired daily by your pragmatism and priorities; telling the truth and living in the moment. I’m rooting for you, Lisa, I really am! And, because of you, I am consciously living a life of truth that I am present for.

  • Sumana says:

    Hi Lisa,

    This is my first time writing a response although I am a regular visitor at your site! I just had to write today. That picture is so beautiful and you look absolutely gorgeous as does your little boy! This lively photo speaks a thousand words showing the love that you share with your kids. I agree with all the comments. You are one of a kind. You inspire all of us to face life as it happens and do your best as long as you can.
    You are amazing. I send all my positive thoughts your way & wish for everything beautiful for you. I have no doubts that you raised 3 wonderful kids who will make great individuals as they grow with the pearls of life that you are leaving for them.

    with lots of love,

  • Heather says:

    Lisa, This poem was beautiful. Thank you for sharing your incredible thoughts. You inspire me and remind me to be grateful for so much. Sending you sunshine and laughter, wishing there was more I could send or do.

  • Mary says:

    Your writings are always so inspirational and poignant. But this poem about a love between a mother and her son is awe inspiring. The simple phrase – “He knows” made me weep. You are a wonderful mother to your son, and he will remember all you have done for him for the rest of his days. God bless.

  • Lisa, this is profoundly beautiful. Thank you.

  • Love to you, your children, your family.

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