Mother and Child

fetus doodle icon, vector color illustration
by tkbrown
She looked upon the child in her arms
and was amazed--
in awe of what her body had created--
and she knew, without a doubt,
she had been blessed.

From the moment of conception
your child grew from a one-celled ovum--
to the babe in your arms--
directed by dna and rna
strands of life
combining mother and father
to create a new person
through genetic procreation.

Two weeks after conception
your child's
sex, hair color, eye color, . . . 
height, and skin tone
have already been determined.

As the babe grew, your body nurtured,
sustained, protected
the growing embryo,
and by week three
there was a primitive
but beating heart.

By week four, eyes and ears,
a spinal cord, muscles,
arms and legs,
even nerves were present
as the amniotic sac
and the placenta
provided nourishment.

Six weeks into your baby's life,
eyes, arms,
hands with all ten fingers,
legs, and feet
were much better formed.
Your child was able to move
and respond to touch.

At nine weeks,
The embryo became a fetus--
able to grasp, suck his/her thumb,
and by the tenth week
fingerprints were visible.
In addition to sensing touch
your baby could feel pain.

At twelve weeks,
your child slept
and awakened.

Gender was apparent
by week thirteen,
and at the fourteenth week
your baby was growing rapidly;
hair was visible,
you could begin to feel
energetic movement,
and you began to show
as your "baby bump"
began to become visible.

By the eighteenth week,
your baby's ears were fully functioning
and your voice could be heard.
Your babe weighed about a half pound
(as much as a small can of tomato sauce)
and was eight to ten inches long.
You began to wear maternity clothes,
and the blessing of
having a child
became much more real to you.

Week twenty-two marked
an important developmental milestone.
Your baby's head now formed
about one-third of total length,
and if born at this point,
may have survived outside the womb--
with intensive medical care.

At the twenty-sixth week,
taste buds were fully formed,
eyes and lungs were fully functioning,
and your baby could cry.
Your "baby bump"
had grown considerably.

At thirty weeks, senses of
vision, hearing, taste, and touch
were being used.
Eyes were able to open and close;
your child could look around
and recognized your voice.

Between the thirty-sixth week
and the fortieth week,
your body began to prepare
for your babe's entry
into the outside world.
Your child shifted downward
and into position"
now ready for the big day.

Full-term,
 your child
will weigh, on average, six to nine pounds
and is ready for life outside
the protection of your womb.

When born, at the fortieth week,
your baby's heart
is pumping 300 gallons of blood a day.

As you speak to this baby in your arms,
a tiny smile forms,
the eyes flutter open
in recognition of your voice.
and you know you are blessed.
~~~~~~~~~~

Pregnancy is God's test of our ability to truly love another person unconditionally and His way of saying, "You have what it takes to love this child and teach him/her the way to live."

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Photo Above: courtesy of depositphotos.com.

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Sources:
Cherry, Kendra (1 June 2020). Stages of Prenatal Development. “very well mind.” verywellmind.com. (8 May 2022). https://www.verywellmind.com/stages-of-prenatal-development-2795073#:~:text=The%20process%20of%20prenatal%20development,known%20as%20the%20fetal%20period.

Eds. Foundations of Life. (2022). Fetal development. “Events.” foundationsoflife.org. (8 May 2022). https://foundationsoflife.org/unplanned-pregnancy-free-pregnancy-services/fetal-development/.

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Fall . . .

. . . is on the way

by tkbrown
Just when it looks like summer
has settled in to stay,
sunshine follows days of wet
with a teeny bit less heat
during mid-day sun
and some temperature drops
as nighttime turns to  dawn.

Cooler temps have been knocking
for a few days now,
patiently awaiting just the right time
to make a grand entrance
and take Mother Nature's bow.

Highs in the seventies
and lows in the sixties--
then suddenly lows drop
into the upper forties.

Knock, Knock, Knock:
Fall pleading to be let in
to meet the schedule
as planned--
beginning an end to life's cycle
currently at hand
as the never-ending circle
inches forward in the sand.

As time and warmth fall back,
colors explode along scenic drives
to ease the pain when mostly black
with touches of grays, browns,
and splotches of green
signal hibernation--
from which Mother Nature
slowly awakens the Southern Hemisphere
where leaves and buds begin to appear
in varying shades of yellow green
and the most beautiful flowers
a body has seen
poke their heads out to welcome the sun
as we flip earth's annual cycle
of fertility and recline.

The fall equinox
with it's Harvest Moon
is knocking quite loudly
on summer's tune
as Mother Nature's produce
is reaped and stored while Earth's
lower half is tilling and sowing
for the abundance provided
by summer's noon.

With a knock, knock, knock,
cooler temperatures arrived--
just a wee bit cooler,
from those storm clouds derived.

When the sunshine returns
with an inviting hue,
heads swivel about to view
the blinding sheen.

Then suddenly, a warning
of a cold night to be--
quite unexpected
during Harvest's Jubilee.
As it slowly returns to normal
over nightfall--two or three--
we will see the colors blossom--
yellow, orange, sienna, and red
will be ushered in for free.

God will be busy painting hillsides
as He beckons days of gold
followed by the nighttime
filled with shivers from the cold.

It is time to pick the pumpkins,
acorn squash, and butternut--
put them in the freezer
for the goodness they impart.
Apples, pears, and walnuts
are being harvested as well
to create delicious treasures
for a healthy winter shell.

Cooler days just seem to call
for something cooking on the stove:
time for Shrimp and Pumpkin Curry,
a pot of aromatic Red Beans,
Sage and Walnut Pumpkin Butter
spread upon a wholegrain bread
or saucing tortellini
for a filling winter spread.

It's time to create
a healthy formula
where spices explicate the flavor--
taking sugar down to size--
in recipes far better
for the heart, and health, and eyes.

These pursuits decrease the half-life
of the wither doldrums when
idleness is created
by the binds of winter strife.
The harvest--then in storage--
promotes artistic flair
just to see the results,
small the aromatic air,
and exhilarate the taste buds
from the harvest reaped in fall.
≥∑ tkbrown 25 September 2021

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Photo Above:

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High School

Dedicated To: those who are now in High School and to those who have been.

Diploma: by Mica Hart @pixabay.com.
by tkbrown
Tis the month when school bells begin to ring
even though the virus is surging again.

Teachers, students, classrooms,
binders--three ring,
notetaking, not writing, something akin
to mega seminars--and yet it's more--
with old friends, new friends,
and many new plans,
not enough time,
no energy left at end of day.
Crawling into bed--
out like a light--
the backs of my eyelids
such a beautiful sight.

All too soon morning light peeks in
reminding of needs to be met.

A brand-new day, an old routine
with advanced equations,
how to calculate sine.

What happens later
midst well-laid plans
was not intended--
it was not planned--
protect my heart from this 'start.'
I do not understand
how it managed to rend
the innermost core
and alter who I am.

New emotions running deep,
welling up, unable to keep
them in.

Sensations flowing new and free
at the chance, passing sight of thee--
concentration and focus have all but flown
out the open window where seeds have been sown.
The future is out there, unsure as to where
this path of emotions is leading--
the person I was
taking steps toward
the one I will become.

That first High School band
marching on the field
to enrich experience at halftime
for those watching, marching,
and me.
Do others feel the same?
Is the aura surreal?
Does it show on my face--
this awesome new feel?
One day at a time--
sometimes just an hour--
seems such a waste of rhythm
when my mind is speeding ahead
toward the end of these four."

Can I wish my life away
and be sure I will remain
the person I was
when I stepped onto this train?

Maybe I should
step back for a bit
to catch my breath
before I take . . . a run for it.
High School.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: Gundula Vogel @pixabay.com.

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Thanksgiving 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

a quindecim triad
~~ by tkbrown ~~
As Thanksgiving Day approaches our minds reflect
upon those things for which we can be thankful.
This year, in particular, as we attempt to deflect
some of the year's more unpleasant, distasteful
aspects recently passed, perhaps our thought
might linger on those very things we would rather
forget. The coronavirus, for instance, has wrought
havoc on the entire world, and still it grows . . . stronger.
Many have lost loved ones as it ravaged our homes,
our lives, our nations, our world. Has it beleaguered
our universe too? Our losses seem greater in domes
fabricated by the quarantines and other featured
components of our lives. Can we see--e'en for a moment
that we are blessed to be alive and able to ruminate
and to formulate gratitude in the losses we repudiate.

E'en through the unpleasant times and events
occurring throughout the year, our world has paused
to focus upon giving medical care in hospital tents
erected by the armed forces, necessitated and caused
by a desire to save lives. In countries large and small,
pharmaceutical teams have hovered over petri dishes,
laboring hours upon end, striving to answer the call
for vaccine and treatment options to grant wishes
and supply clinical trials. The scientific world
pulls together, competing to be the frontrunner
in this race with death after being hurled
headfirst into a wall toward which time's gunner
attempts to take away more precious lives.
Children are losing parents, and husbands are losing wives,
hospitals are losing the battle in which each strives.

As we approach this special Day of Thanksgiving,
I implore the world to join with us in prayer--
bowed heads and humble hearts of the living.
While we collectively ask for strength to care
about the needs of those who are hurting,
and join together in prayers of uplifting praise,
offering thanks for the resources relieving
limitations on production, mending the frays
of education, entertainment, and self-care.
Technology, far more advanced than ever before,
has opened doors and built bridges o'er
land and sea to bring a hurting world together.
Let us bow our heads in a world-wide prayer
thanking God for bringing us together
and for the support we receive from each other.

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Photo Above: by Tom Barret @ Unsplash.com.

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Strength and Refuge

~~ by tkbrown
I cannot imagine what it must be like
to be in his position, having lost so much . . . 

How does one rebuild after such devastation?
. . . after seeing so much suffering and misery?
. . . after opening eyes to the cruelest of cruel
and the most surreal of the most beautiful?

The pain in his facial expression, his eyes,
brings tears to mine that won't blink back.
So much planning! Will it be enough
to bring life to a town so marred by death?
Can any amount of planning or effort
to jumpstart life -- after so much death --
ever diminish or take away the pain?

The stress of shouldering so much responsibility
must overwhelm even the strongest of men at times.
One must respect, if not admire, the tenacity
of those in public office, muddling through the mire
that life has suddenly wrought -- with no warning --
no time to prepare for the insurmountable struggles
faced by all during these uncharted times.

These are the times when I look to the scriptures
for guidance and for resolution within myself.
Many specific passages come to the front of my mind,
but for this day, one can take comfort in the message
meted out in the thirteenth chapter of Romans (NKJV).
To those in positions of power during this time
of foreboding, each is to be subject and to give honor.
He or she has been burdened with the greatest load
any leader has ever known. Even war does not
wreak the havoc, pain and loss of incurable illness.
In the end, each of us, whether stricken or not,
whether impoverished or not, must answer
for deeds directed toward those in power --
for each is appointed that power by the Lord God.
Let me never forget, if characteristics needed
to address the burdens of the time were mine,
I would be there; but, I do not have what it takes
to meet today's challenges head-on --
most of us do not . . ..
Thus, I must respect those whom God deems
able to fill whatever needs arise on this day,
and on every day throughout this time of trial.
May God Bless and Keep Each of Them,
and May He Be Their Strength and Refuge!

~~~~~~~~~~

Source Referenced: The Holy Bible (NKJV) — the New King James Version

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Photo by: Steve Halama on Unsplash.com

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Diabetic Halloween

~~ by tkbrown ~~

Halloween . . . 
is about the most candy ever seen.
You'll find it for months
betwixt and between.
As it hypes kids up
and makes them mean;
if any goes missing
eyes will be keen
for any sign
of the need to intervene.
It's easier from the bottle
a toddler to wean.
'Twill make a kid fat,
he'll no more be lean.
It makes me wonder,
is the ER keen
to the increased numbers
of diabetics they screen?
How many new sugar cases have been
first diagnosed . . . 
on Halloween?

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Photo Above: by Getty Images.

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