Wish you were here…

I awakened  after a night of restless dreams to a sweet text message from one of my late son Steve’s high school friends. He always adored Jo and they participated in theater arts together…he truly loved her for her beautiful heart.

I have a some sweet special friendships with many of his friends from high school and am happy to report that it is a positive result from FaceBook. Social media can have some positive benefits . 

My sons had a wild and wacky relationship growing up. They often fought like siblings can do, but would defend each other like knights, against the dragons of the outside world! 

I miss my oldest boy and know his brother, Mike, does too! 

So thank you, dear “JoJo” Daly-Di Nova, for this morning surprise picture from your ten year reunion. Love those beautiful smiles!

© Nancilynn Saylor                                         16 February 2017

The Final Frontier 

It  was 1957 and our whole family was crowded into our parents bedroom. We all crouched on the floor in front of the window, craning our necks as we searched the clear, dark winter night sky.Soon we saw it. It was a small fuzzy ball of light moving across the horizon- Sputnik, the recently launched Russian satellite,  in low elliptical orbit over Earth. My fascination with space was forever kindled in that cold viewing spot with my family in Alaska. I was nine years old. I would try to always catch as many launches of rockets, satellites and space capsules going forward in life on this planet with a keen passion for what was ” out there” beyond the confines of Earth.🌏

Eleven years later I stood watching the night sky on my birthday…running inside  to watch on television as Neil Armstrong stepped down on the surface of the Moon. Life would never be the same afterwards!

Some launches came before dawn and I would set my alarm to get up very early…missing sleep was no comparison to the excitement of a launch. There were many launches-not all as exciting but always breathtaking as the controller said “we have lift-off.”

Thirty one years ago today, I was in between patients at the clinic I worked in. Staff and patients alike hovered around the television as we watched the Spaceship Challenger launch. The communal gasp 31 seconds later when it exploded in the clear blue Florida morning sky will be forever ingrained in my memory. I am not sure how we worked the rest of the day with the grief so fresh, so raw. The lump in my throat and tears returned today as they showed film clips on the news.

As the evening news was about to sign off tonight, the meteorologist said the International Space Station was flying over Austin in about 3 minutes. In the chilly twilight sky we watched as it flew swiftly over our house and out of sight. It seemed a fitting close to a day etched with memories of space that will last a lifetime. Rest In Peace, space pioneers.

©Nancilynn Saylor, January 2017
Shuttle launch courtesy of NASA

stock photo of Atlantis 2011 launch

My dad’s birthday

My dad was born on January 8, 1923. He passed just a month before his 91st birthday.

He liked spicy foods, reading good books and watching football or other sports, on television.

I woke up this morning thinking of him and missing him.

I spent my day making homemade Salsa and watching my favorite football team.

Happy birthday in Heaven, Daddy.  I love and miss you!

©Nancilynn Saylor January 8, 2017


December is a hard month for me and my family.

My siblings and I lost both parents during this month &

my oldest sister lost her only son. I try to fill the days with thankfulness

and Christmas joy but the truth is, a pervading sadness seeps through.

I awoke this morning with thoughts of my father-tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat.

He missed our mother so much after her death. He told me she talked to him in his dreams at night.

Today is the third anniversary of dad’s death, In two more days, it will be the eighteenth anniversary of mother’s death.

My sister’s son died on the anniversary of mother’s funeral. December is a very cold and hard month for us all to bear.

Today I will put up the Nativity and remember the beautiful, strong love my parents shared and know that the aching in my heart

also fills the hearts of those that loved these wonderful people who are not here on earth with us anymore. Our faith gives us hope.

                                    Rest in Peace  my dear loved ones, until we meet again.


© Nancilynn Saylor December 2016

My Granny’s House


My Granny lived in a tiny house on First Street in Hominy, Oklahoma. 

What hazy things I can remember, were from our sporadic family visits,

usually on the way from one place to another new place to live.

Military families move often.

In my child’s memory, the house did not seem all that small.

I remember it had wooden walls and faded linoleum floors,

I remember the covered front porch, living room,

two bedrooms and a kitchen. I loved the kitchen most of all.

There was a mere hint of a back porch with a wringer washer.

In the kitchen, a window above the sink beside the stove,

a curtained pantry with lots of shelves filled with jars

of green beans or squash or tomatoes or apples Granny canned

The bathroom was through the back, rickety screened porch

outside. This was a one person outhouse. It stood off to the right

of Granny’s garden. She grew some righteous okra; the yellow and brown

Hibiscus-like flowers stood waving on thick stalks taller than she was.

The outhouse smelled like what it was. My older sister

once locked me in and said the spiders would get me. I

returned the favor one night…she was bit by a black-widow

spider and our parents had to driver her to Pawhuska,

some distance away. I can’t remember a spanking but there might have been one.

I am sure it cost money that was night as by then we were a family of seven.

The outhouse was fumigated the next day and the smell of fumigation mixed

With normal outhouse scents lingered. On our next visit there was an indoor bathroom

carved from the rickety back porch and built my grown cousins.

It was nice to have a place inside with a real bathtub and a door and no spiders that did not stink

plus a real flush toilet. “Living in tall cotton” daddy said.

I think that was like “eating high on the hog” and other sayings he said

that I remember still, sixty eight plus years ago.

This was the house where my daddy was born, and twenty-three years

later, where my sister was born. The same bed Granny slept in.

I saw the house again when my cousin drove me past it, the last time

I was in town nine years ago now. It was a tiny, barely visible, shingled shack,

Left to rot in the Oklahoma sun, “burned down by some Crack addicts” she said.

I had no words except to murmur “oh my”. A lump in my throat,

as we slowly drove past the weed-covered lot, and then turned around

in a filling station on the highway, and headed back in to town.



A faded old book with a baby blue stained cover,

the color for a wished for boy, who would not be me.


Inside, a picture of my mother, father, sister and me;

October 18, 1949, is the date written in my mother’s hand.


Daddy in his uniform, is smiling and proud,

a sharp-looking military man with laughing green eyes.


Beneath his cap is dark, curly red hair, that I would later inherit,

but not until I was nearly two.


Mother wears a dark suit, probably blue.

Her dark hair is styled in the elegance of the late forties.


Her eyes look dark;

I know they are robin’s egg blue.


Big sister sits on daddy’s knee, mommy’s holding me-

two days shy of three months old.


Perfect picture of a family headed on adventures far across the globe;

we were well on the way to being a perfect Catholic family.


Not here are another girl, and the thrice wished for brother;

many years after came yet, another sister.


The look in Mother and Daddy’s eyes speaks contentment

My sister looks cheery. I look bald, gaseous, maybe a touch rebellious, which would come later.


Until I was 7 months in her womb,

her doctors tried to convince Mother she had a tumor.


No one knew then that many years later she would have one,

and so would I.


© 2016  Nancilynn Saylor

Family photo IMG_1756(2)