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Updated: Aug 14, 2020

Written during day, I think 15, of the

Coronavirus - Shelter In Place order



3:28 am

4/2/2020 Dedicated to my Grandma,

Arlotta Perkins

For a narrated version

click on the link below



I don’t get to vote

Life has a way

Of designing today



I don’t actually like the sound

the sound of the word

Because there are times

when impact sounds

like something smashing

right into the ground




Stop right there.

Impact doesn’t always sound

like a car

smashing explosively

into a tree


Wait... I say again...


Like it or not


It just is...



Now I think of my Grandma

Her impact has left

some of my favorite marks

and her memories are part

of my daily heart



I used to stay with her many weekends

back when she was a church housekeeper

I loved the way my grandma

would make me a bedtime snack

Each time she took care

Setting the table for me

Including a nicely folded napkin

And OJ in a REAL glass

She’d cook my egg to perfection

A fried egg

turned over gently

with a hand broken yolk

that was lightly salted and peppered

then placed on

A perfect piece of toast

First covered with real butter

Followed by a thin veneer

of Helman’s Real Mayo

Opening my mouth

Taking a bite

Ever so gently

the mayo tang flavor

would sneak through

And taste bright

In contrast with the crisp piece of toast

Contrasting the egg so smooth

Now that IMPACT


Mmmmmmm mmmm mmm good


Now when I miss my grandma

I copy that egg each time

Not only that egg sandwich

But her scrambled eggs too

Maybe breakfast is my favorite meal

To make. To eat. To imitate.

Because now that I think about it

That is a major way

that her IMPACT shines through



It’s not that she got to vote

What part of her that I hung on to

She just lived how she lived

And her way just made its way through

From her and into me

(and maybe into you)

Rummy 500


Always having water in a real glass

in her fridge

Eating real butter

when margarine was the way...

I always copied her choices

thinking that if it was good enough for her

it was good enough for me

She knew how to wear white

like nobody’s business

With her summer brown berry tan

And silver hair

She literally would capture everyone’s stare

Not because she was a “magazine” model

of shapely beauty

but more because of her radiance

of contrast from all that she’d risen through

That she reflected a kind of deep truth

Like she knew who she was

Like she didn’t care

What someone else thought of her

Because she she’d risen to right there

She didn’t have a say

the way she impacted those around

She’d just show up

and shake a hand

Saying, “it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance”

with her smile and her glow

It was like by the time she was older

she just knew that people

needed to catch a little glimpse

of the beauty of who they were

And her own life spark

leaked on to them

Making a mark.

She wasn’t afraid to stand in a gap

Knowing that there were some

who needed just that

She’d help them with laundry

Or fix countless holes in favorite jeans

She could remove the stain in a shirt

until it became like it was new all over again

I’ll remember her fondly

As many of her grandchildren do

(I am the youngest

of her 13 grandchildren

the she has locked-in

as part of her legacy)

Arlotta Perkins

Born June 23, 1910

Passed into glory

November 24, 2006

Wife of Kenneth Percival

Mother of Lloyd

Mother of Jack

Mother of James Kenneth

Mother of Janet Kay -

~known as my mother today

Son Lloyd had Becky Sue,

Peggy Lou and young Lloyd too

Jack was the proud father of two

John and Jackie and later Cheryl too

James Kenneth called Jim was dad to

Suzy, Mary, Bo and Jane

—Jim liked to live as a Canadian—

While my mom had

Steven, Elizabeth, Patrick, and Kate

(My mom often called me Kate the Great!)


You know how a loved one lives on?

You capture all their beautiful parts

You give grace to the gaps

And you imitate like crazy

All of your favorite impacts

A beautifully hand written letter

A tidy clean home

A meal that people rave about sunset to dawn

Texas Sheet-Cake Brownies

My favorite, Cheese Pouf

A hot fudge for ice cream

(that was “to die for” if I could)

Homemade afghans

I still have mine today

Thank you Grandma

for helping me see

I too have a path

Bigger than me

I can only do what I do

And invite people in

As we gather, we grow.

As we grow, we share.

As we share life...

an impact occurs

An impact...

It’s just what happens

when our lives intersect

The cool thing is

we may never know

or see how or when...

when we just do what we do

an impact begins...

Maybe I do like the sound

of the word


after all

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