Humans

Riders of the Blue Globe

It’s a new turn on this blue globe, for you, gentle readers, and this big kid.

I see these new days of ours with fresh eyes. So the winter beach spreads before me as blank sheet music, ready for a new summer song.

I’ve written that only now is real, not the past, not the future. But sometimes I see the now as woven with you and me and the past.

I strolled our boards recently and through my Nikon’s viewfinder I saw you—and me. 

Yes, we are separate beings, but there is a part of you that is me, for I’ve been you in your sunny moments and your dark days. Please let me share with you my sights and maybe—insights:

Some on this globe ride nowhere—without their basket of unconditional love.

I saw young love in tandem, so exhilerating to see, to recall. So pure, so ready to soar.

On their return, did she whisper shortcomings of a former beau?

Yes, one-hand it globe rider, if you dare. Ride with sounds of loved ones, literally, at hand.

So easy to call home, to call a friend, to call a lover, or hear a brother. 

But please, sweet globe rider know, how easy it is to take a voice for granted. So easy it was for me to not realize, soon—“Hi Lee,” would be gone forever.  

I saw a familiar face in the sun.

Gregg LaPenna, owner of Shakes and Shuckers, is still aching from the loss of Lazar, his ten-year-old son.

Last spring Lazar bashed a ball, ran to first—and collapsed. Gone was Lazar.

Gone from the LaPenna family.

But, some might say—he was caught in the glove of God.

Gregg was always quick to smile, but as he spoke of Lazar and this Christmas—the smile fell—the eyes filled.

You won’t see that here.

But these beads once graced the neck of young Lazar. Gregg wears them along with his number 9.

Our kids aren’t supposed to die before us, that’s upside down grief. But they do. One of mine did, many of yours have: in injuries, in sickness, by overdose, sometimes by the hand of another, too often in that grizzly harvest of our young—war. All these deaths pierce our hearts.

But the pain is not forever—just for the rest of our lives, that’s all.

I saw us ride a bike today, no hands. But I wore no backwards cap, just a DA haircut and Levis Jeans. Summer meant a pack of Luckies in my T shirt’s sleeve.

But ride my brother, ride—hands behind your back. Ride like I did—unburdened by wisdom.

Yes, I’ve worn your sneakers, I’ve known your, confidence, your immortality, so willing to go no-hands into the future. Only to fall a time or two, into and out of love—then in again, perhaps.

Run sandpiper, float across this globe as gravity struggles to keep you bound.

Feel the salt air in your lungs, the sand yielding beneath your feet, the sun, a caress, the breeze—a puff.

Laugh, in the innocence you never again will know.

Young quarterback, your dad may not be with you, for whatever reason, but your mom catches your spirals.

Parents these days learn to adapt to new realities, filling roles of another when needed. This is your hero, young man, not Tom Brady, not Aaron Judge, or any other sports figure. She’s your hero because she’s here for you, when you need her, and she will hold you in her heart forever—they won’t.

Remember this day, young man. Be grateful for her—now—and the days when you walk in a bigger kid’s shoes.

Yogist, it’s taken me thousands of turns on this blue globe to find peace in a mind-pause just as you do. To breathe in and out and just—be.

So reach, yogist, stretch to the sun. Suck in this salt air, embrace life—in our moment.

Be well,
Leebythesea

11 replies »

  1. Walter, yes it was a very sad episode in the LaPenna family’s life. Losing family is always painful but to lose a child so young, while he is simply playing at a sport he loved so dearly, is devastating. And yes, God bless the LaPenna family.
    Thanks for your kind words,
    Be well,
    Lee

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  2. I like reading and seeing your photos on your interisting blog. Some sad and some happy. The loss of the LaPenna family 9 year old son was especially heartbreaking. God bless their family.

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  3. Good evening Lee. Thank you for your prompt and substantive response. I will check out the articles. You should see a few new followers because I have shared this with many and so many are inspired and touched. Thank you for that!

    Joe Fox
    NYPD Chief, 37 years (ret)
    Leadership & Life Coach
    Leadership Training
    U.S. Department of Justice Medal of Valor Review Board Member
    Board of Directors, 5Star Life Insurance Co
    Brooklyn Catholic Diocesan Review Board Member
    Security/Crisis Consultant
    Public Speaker
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    C: (917) 417-1583
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  4. Kathleen, it seems like the shore expresses itself to open hearts every day. When it strikes me like that, I just have to pass the message along. So Glad you liked it too.❤️

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  5. Hi Joe,

    So glad to hear you got so much out of my post. Yes, the deaths of children predeceasing their parents is a hole in the heart. It’s not supposed to go that way. It’s just perverse.
    Too many parents lost their children early in so many ways, including service, police or military, and while society’s ceremonies acknowledge the loss, none of it heals that hole. It’s there forever.

    The presence of our loved ones is never more vividly realized until they are gone. So I find it’s best to acknowledge them, their goodness, each day we have them near.

    I write about funerals and other darkness, where I try to shed some light, in another essay blog: https://wordpress.com/view/wherethesundontshine.net

    Your poem about beaches, presence and oneness was just beautiful. If more people had this sense of continuity, of oneness, this globe would be a much better place. Keep up your powerful work. And thanks again for your fine words.

    Be well,
    Lee

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  6. So much that I truly love about this piece. The sense of “our” experiences… so very true. ❤️
    I have to say that my favorite line struck me right in the beginning: “So the winter beach spreads before me as blank sheet music, ready for a new summer song.”
    And that beautiful photo of the sandy blank sheet music. Just perfect. ❤️

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  7. You speak beautiful and tender words. Thank you for sharing them. I am a retired Administrative Staff Analyst with the NYPD. I retired in 2017 after 30 years of service. God bless you!

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  8. Lee, I love each of your columns, but this one strikes me on so many deep, emotional levels, in particular, the loss of a child. I have a number of friends who have lost children, and I will be sharing it with them, parents of cops, who have died in the line of duty. Also, you struck some college with me. A few days after I recovered from Covid back in April 20 20, I stood on the beach in front of my building, and these words came to me.

    https://joefoxalliance.com/our-moment/
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    Our Momenthttps://joefoxalliance.com/our-moment/
    joefoxalliance.comhttps://joefoxalliance.com/our-moment/

    Joe Fox
    NYPD Chief, 37 years (ret)
    Leadership & Life Coach
    Leadership Training
    U.S. Department of Justice Medal of Valor Review Board Member
    Board of Directors, 5Star Life Insurance Co
    Brooklyn Catholic Diocesan Review Board Member
    Security/Crisis Consultant
    Public Speaker
    Social Media Influencer

    C: (917) 417-1583
    LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-fox-7bbaa6150 | Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/josephfoxalliance | Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/joe.fox81 | Twitterhttps://twitter.com/joefox
    joefoxalliance.orghttp://www.joefoxalliance.com/

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  9. Lee another wonderful and beautiful blog! Such fantastic photos! Thank you so much Lee for your thoughtful words! God bless you!

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