A moment in time

What if caring for you is the best I’ve ever Done?

What if holding your hand, standing nearby while they inserted invasive but critical lines, is the best of me?

Then really, what is left of life.

Your siblings can access resources you could not. They may founder but don’t have to fall.

I miss you. Of course I miss your love most but I miss your anger, your frustration, your struggles, because I could make it better.

Now I don’t know how to make anything better. It’s all so complicated. Not like it was for me and you.

If only you could come back to me. Perhaps I wouldn’t feel like I failed the only test that really mattered in my life.

Keeping you alive.

Do you know her?

Do you know her?

If not, you’ve missed out.

She is light and grace,

Devoted to beings who can’t speak.

But she comes to me,

After all the days and nights I left her.

Generous and kind,

The woman depended on,

To hold the frightened dog or cat.

And she holds her mother as well.

Deserved or not.

Her empathy is all encompassing.

How did someone like me

Bring forth into the world

A being as perfect as she is?

Expectations

Did I really expect the world to stop turning?

To stop and pause for one life in the wake of hundreds of thousands?

No. But just as all those families have, we will stop.

We will pause and remember a life cut short,

That could have been so much more.

We are all grieving. Everyone of us.

Reckoning with what is a chance. A chance to be more.

To understand more, to have more compassion,

To live in a way that honors our loved and lost,

That honors the best of who we are as human beings on this fragile planet.

May all who are grieving and suffering be blessed.

May we all find our true path home.

What is

What is, is.

A hawk screeches,

A crow caws,

Dead leaves rustle,

In a warm wind.

My tears flow,

And my dog still wants his treat,

As my daughter tends her rabbits.

And my older son sleeps above me.

Minutes tick by,

Regardless of my feelings.

Resisting is futile,

though every cell in my body

Wants to fight it.

What is, is.

Another moment comes,

Then goes,

A mystery.

A poem to share by Khalil Gibran

On Beauty

BY KAHLIL GIBRAN

And a poet said, Speak to us of Beauty.
And he answered:
Where shall you seek beauty, and how
shall you find her unless she herself be your
way and your guide?
And how shall you speak of her except
she be the weaver of your speech?

The aggrieved and the injured say,
“Beauty is kind and gentle.
Like a young mother half-shy of her
own glory she walks among us.”
And the passionate say, “Nay, beauty is
a thing of might and dread.
Like the tempest she shakes the earth
beneath us and the sky above us.”

The tired and the weary say, “Beauty is
of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.
Her voice yields to our silences like a faint
light that quivers in fear of the shadow.”
But the restless say, “We have heard her
shouting among the mountains,
And with her cries came the sound of
hoofs, and the beating of wings and
the roaring of lions.”

At night the watchmen of the city say,
“Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the
east.”
And at noontide the toilers and the way-
farers say, “We have seen her leaning over
the earth from the windows of the sunset.”

In winter say the snow-bound, “She shall
come with the spring leaping upon the hills.”
And in the summer heat the reapers say,
“We have seen her dancing with the autumn
leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her
hair.”
All these things have you said of beauty,
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of
needs unsatisfied,
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty
hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul en-
chanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the
song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you
close your eyes and a song you hear though
you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark,
nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden for ever in bloom and
a flock of angels for ever in flight.

People of Orphalese, beauty is life when
life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mir-
ror.
But you are eternity and you are the mir-
ror.

Curious

The pull of the undertow

The weight on every muscle

Exhaustion in body and mind.

Turn; look; go deeper;

Dig gently into the heaviness

And there is a child

Curious, sometimes lost

Under layers of accumulated experience

But still there,

With the excitement and wonder

Of the fresh and unencumbered mind

Reaching out a hand

If I remember to look for it.

The joy of you

Learning to fish.

I want to remember the joy of you.

Kissing your sleepy face in the morning,

Holding you when you got hurt,

Snuggling, with your brother and sister,

The four of us warm and at peace.

Singing with your aunties,

Going to the library,

Holding hands when we crossed the street.

Yes, our journey was hard.

Yes, we were battle scarred.

But what a love we had, my darling, what a love.

Three years ago

This was your first full day home,

And I’m circling the house like a phantom,

Looking for you everywhere.

But where are you?

Dear love, heart of my heart,

I cannot breach our trust.

But the pain, the pain you went through,

I had to watch,

Because you are my flesh, my bone.

I would not let myself look away from it.

Would not let you go through it alone and unwitnessed.

Now you are gone.

Gone, gone, beyond my reach.

Gone to where you were before that perfect day of your birth.

Before I first felt you move inside me.

I must feel this, I must.

For how can we, you and I Dan,

Help the multitudes of the grieving,

If I do not let this feeling in?

Every hug, every kiss, every mischievous smile from you, residing in the cells of my body.

Even with the too many moments you almost left me,

Before you really did,

I knew our time was limited. And the day you died,

I bathed you, took out every foreign object they had implanted in you to keep you alive.

And then, I kept myself from ripping open the bag they put you in,

The bag they zipped over your precious face and body,

And I didn’t scream “NO” though I wanted to with every fiber of my being.

I didn’t fall on your lifeless body and say “No! You cannot have him!“

I let them take you. And now all I have are memories and ashes.

Three years ago you were still alive and home.

I kept my promise and brought you home.

Suffered with you as diarrhea, uncontrollable, soaked your favorite leather chair the first time we tried to sit you down.

And would I put you through that again? Just to have you here with me?

Yes, I’m ashamed Dan, but yes.

Diarrhea is an inconvenience at worst, easily cleaned and tended to.

But a chance to have you here with me again….

a chance to see your smile,

To hug you once more…..

No, I couldn’t do it. Because I love you and could never make you suffer again.

Just know that I miss you,

That I look for you in every breeze, every tree, the bits of you still here.

In your shoes, your clothes that I cannot give away.

And I am glad your suffering is over, even if it makes mine so hard to bear, now that I must do it alone.

I can no longer push it down, to be the willing receptacle of yours, as I try to cheer you up, to make you laugh.

There is snow today and hard rain my love. Hard, hard rain.

And I miss you.

Journal Entry Excerpt 11/8/17

Mom
Andrea

“I don’t know how to cope with the anger and the pain. I do know that the legacy my mother and Andrea left for their grandchildren is love. Love in the face of the darkest times. I believe in these two women who chose to let love guide their lives, their choices. Love was always the bedrock of their beings. I ask them for strength all the time now. They are my guiding angels.”

11/26/2020 The strength, integrity and compassion they had helped me through some of the most difficult times I experienced as a mother. I owe them both amends that I can no longer give and yet I feel their forgiveness, deserved or not, like a radiant beam of warmth and light.

Thank you Andrea and Margaret, for all that you gave, all you that taught, and the boundless love I still feel on this journey through motherhood and grief.

For Albert

Dark eyes to drown in,

sweet new face, with tiny features.

This little creature who came from me.

Trembly, open wide to the new,

squinting at the brightness of it all.

Sweet son of my heart,

first in birth,

thirsty for words, for action, for movement.

You climbed and ran;

you spun in endless circles,

spiraling delight, laughter, exuberance.

You create worlds in images,

imagine impossibilities into being.

You love what is,

and forgive what is not.

Glowing from before your first breath,

with mirth and precocity.

You trickster,

vast as the sea,

and as beautiful.

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