My youngest brother's daughter, my niece. Blessed with a sweet beauty, Brains, and a strength of will for such a slender girl, that blows me away.
Whatcha' say?,..Gotta be somewhere in there amongst The One-Thousand Most Beautiful People In The World, don't ya think?
I think of her and I'm grateful for a time after returning from Thailand, when my Brother, Kevin and his beautiful wife, my sister Richinda put me up for a while along the road of 'Skip's Artist Trip'.
I slept on the russet red sleeper sofa that my former girlfriend had given them years earlier when they were honeymooners.
There in the den amongst the kid's toys, K.Hill's athletic trophies, the ping-pong table, on the mattress where she and I once lay and kissed and dreamed and made love. Today, I thank God,.. and you,... for a place to stay, to rest my head on a worn pillow and suffer inside for a while after her and Asia. A place to pray and yearn for the direction and purpose for my life. The time in Thailand had challenged my religious upbringing and so I was reluctant to go back to the church, though my brother's family attended faithfully. I missed Bangkok, I smoked cigarettes ("Why are you standing outside in the cold, Uncle Skip?") and I taught Art at my high school alma mater, but mostly dealt with the kids' challenging personal issues, which I carried around in my pocket like charms.
I don't recall making any art at the time, which pretty much tells you where my spirit was.
Squatting on my knees at the wobbly plastic table, she and I had a tea party. I remember how she kept me acutely involved in making the tea just right, getting the cups and saucers right, making sure we had plenty of sugar and she's giving me instructions at age, what?.. five? four?
I imagine I gave her a choice of Orange Pekoe or Earl Grey and she responded quickly and sure...
So, the morsel in this post is this;
...in the midst of my inner struggle and spiritual wandering, I'm looking at this intelligent, beautiful child Kayla, with her almond eyes, and I remember thinking,... "Wow, I flew halfway 'cross the world for... just... this.... moment...!
On this day so full of promise, I think of that day.
Orange Pekoe tea and the company of a beautiful young lady.
Success in school,
stay focused, Girl,
Love, Uncle Skip