My baby Sparkles and Shines – In the morning I sing this song to Jackson – a love song Steve Earle wrote for his girlfriend. I change the words up. Make new verses every morning. This morning Jackson laid on my chest facing up in the tub in Nashville. Laid while I rubbed the soap carefully on his head, rubbed around his nose and his cheeks, massaged his little hands in mine, squeezed those legs and feet, getthing them all lathered up with our favorite foaming soap.
“My baby sparkle and shine, sparkle and shine, sparkle and shine. My baby sharkle and shine, and I can’t believe he’s mine. He blesses all that he sees,and everyone knows he’s fine.” “He gives me something so sweet that I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. Sparks fly whenever we meet, breathless cause he’s so cool.” “Anywhere he goes. I can only follow. He’ll be there I know, when I come home tomorrow.”
OH this flight away from Jackson and Stephie who are staying behind in Nashville. Staying with the great Steve Cook. Who sat up in bed this Sunday morning with another track of stitches down his temple. Doctors dipped again into his brain to take out the bad stuff. He sat up and told me how much my father would have loved Jackson. He told me how whatever news they give us tomorrow, we will take it, fold in all the love between us and beat it into something good. He told me he was fine with me going away to take my pictures in NY. He slipped me a finn he had hiding in his t-shirt pocket for the trip. Steve Cook has a heart that can tell you more about love and more about who he is (and who you are) than any resume. His head is racing with thoughts that he deals out like like cards from a stacked deck. OK so he used grape seed oil in the brownies. Steve Cook is the most photogenic man in my life. It is crazy how great he looks in pictures. He expects to be photographed each time we are together. His hair is thinning but jet black which he swears is natural. He’ll take Jackson to the edge of danger with me for a good picture. He is a charmer – ask any of the nurses. He is a softy – ask any of us who listen to him sharing the feelings that sit on the front of your tongue but all too often get swallowed.
Janet (my mother in law) will watch us pile the bullshit high, shake her head and throw us another bone. Janet can make a wound stop bleeding, keep your sugar in check and make a stain surrender all at the same time. She drives fast and guard’s her family like a Navy Seal.
I want you all to yell Steve’s name out wherever you are. Right now. Just yell it at the sky. Out the window. Up through the trees.
If you hold Jackson in your arms you are holding Steve Cook and Jack Lange. The view from Jackson’s world is through their eyes. I tell Jackson every single morning he can do whatever he dreams up. That is the legacy from his grandfathers. They lived the dreams that love lives inside of.
I believe if you rub Jackson's head it brings good luck. That is why his hair is kind of thin on top these days.