Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Family of Five

A family of five,
In the blink of an eye,
Became a family of four-
In our bittersweet goodbye.

A family of four,
Stood strong and stood tall.
Never leaving each other,
We were there through it all.

A family of four,
Saw our roots reach down deep.
Our love for one another,
A wonderful harvest to reap.

A family of four,
Bid our loved one farewell.
On the wings of an angel,
Entranced in death's unique spell.

A family of four,
Tries to deal with the loss.
To see you again,
A million miles we must cross. 

A family of four,
Left here on this earth.
Wait to see you again,
When we die in rebirth. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Our lives are full of teachers.  From the moment we are born, we are inundated with teaching.  We are taught how to behave, how to interact, how to read, how to write, how to figure equations, how to love.  Our teachers may be hard to follow and obscure at times, but they all have the end lesson in sight. 

If we are very fortunate and very lucky, we are surrounded by teachers at the time of death.  Those teachers take on many roles.  They may be the family members we look to for comfort; those who share an understanding that belong to only the few who loved so deeply. 

They may be those who are passing themselves.  Those who understand what we cannot, and offer a peace that only they can provide.  That peace may come in the form of forgiveness, a squeeze of the hand, a smile upon their face, words of comfort that pass any miles placed between, or simply an explanation that needs no clarification.

They may also come from those whose job it is to help us let go, move on, and seek peace and understanding.  Those who choose a profession which many of us shy away from.  Blessed are the souls who day in and day out provide love for the dying, but also for the living.

I have learned that death is not something we do alone.  It is a collaborative effort.  Dying involves those who live, those who die, and those who meet us on the other side.  We are all connected.  Intertwined.  Sewn together to heal, to love, to let go, to live. 

We all live on, here, there, or that somewhere in between. We are never truly gone, and the end is never a punctuation mark.  It's not a question.  It's not a statement.  It just is.  When the end greets me at the end of my sentence, I hope it's met with a smile.  A kiss. A hug.  A laugh. And a tear to remember all of the good times, and a tear to offer hope of all that is left to be.

I hope the beginning of my journey begins the day I say, "goodbye".

Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Loss

We all lost.
A son.
A husband.
A father.
A grandfather.
A brother.
An uncle.
A friend.
We all lost.
And at the same time,
We are trying to hold on.
Hold onto you,
While trying to let go of our pain.
It's an interesting paradox.
To smile through the tears.
Laugh in spite of the pain.
Trying to navigate our new world,
Without the map of you.
Some days, that compass is clear-
Like a sailor on a known voyage,
Stars lighting the way.
And other days, it's a dark, cloud filled sky.
Even when the sun does shine,
It doesn't seem as bright.
The hole in my world is too deep.
Thank God for the love that remains.
The love you left us with.
It burns an eternal flame,
And will shine upon us-
For the rest of our days.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Meeting Amongst the Stars

Tonight as I lay me down to sleep,
And I pray the Lord my soul to keep-
I hold tight the wish I wish with all of my might,
To see you in my dreams. 

As the twilight of sleep begins to grace my thoughts,
I want nothing more than to meet you amongst the stars.
And dance a dance,
Entwined in each other's open arms. 

No words need to be spoken.
To dance cheek to cheek-
And heart to heart,
Would fill me with enough happiness to make my world go 'round.

To just be near you once again.
To kiss you upon your head and hold your hand.
Shed one tear, or one hundred,
Would possibly give me just enough strength to get through tomorrow.

So, if I am lucky-
Tonight might be the night that God grants me the peace of forgetting,
That moments like this may not exist here on earth,
But, if I am fortunate, I will have my meeting amongst the stars. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Father

My father taught me many lessons growing up.  He taught me the definition of hard work, by showing me an example of what that would look like.  He taught me what faith meant, by attending church every week, but even more importantly, by living what the Bible taught him.

My father taught me what loyalty meant by never forsaking those who sought solace in his friendship, despite the circumstances.  My father taught me honesty when he forced the truth out of me and my pain was not met with a punishment, but rather disappointment and sadness, and the desire to never feel make him or myself feel that way again. 

My father taught me character.  He rarely spoke ill of anyone he knew and taught me to try and do the same-no matter how hard that may be.  My father showed me how to view the world as one people, to not judge or discriminate.  The only thing that mattered to him was if you had a good heart and good intentions.

My father taught me how try and live the best life that has been laid out before me.  My father showed me how to hurt without complaining, how to believe without reservation, how to love without boundaries, and how to form friendships regardless of differences.

My father taught me many, many lessons in his life, but I know he taught me some of the most important things I will ever learn, in how he died.  My father died with grace.  My father died with courage.  My father died with honor.  My father died surrounded by love.  My father died knowing he lived his life to the fullest that was granted to him.  My father died by giving gifts until his last moments.  My father died comforted by those of us whom adored him, loved him, respected him, and hurt to see him go. 

But, go he did.  And, go he must.  My father made those choices on his own terms.  He gave me the gift of not being as scared to die.  I believe that it will all be okay and one day he will come to greet me with the same love that I had when I was lucky enough to be there to help send him home.

The Paradigm

Today I pondered an interesting paradigm.  What if I were given the choice of which one of my lives I would like to live?  All things being equal, up until the point, two and a half years ago when everything changed.  Which life would I choose?  Which one would I claim as my own?  Which path would I follow?

Would I choose the girl who knew a minimum amount of pain?  Who lived her life in a bubble she thought nothing bad could penetrate?  Not that she didn't worry, she just believed that things like: cancer, genetic mutations, tumors, and heartbreak didn't belong to her.  They didn't fit into the mold she had fitted for her life. 

Would I choose the girl who shied away from others' pain?  Too afraid she'd say the wrong thing and make things worse.  Or more terrible yet, say nothing at all.  The girl who was too naive to understand her actions then would impact her life for all time, with regret and sorrow inching its way into her soul. 

Or, would I choose the girl who suffers?  The girl who understands what heartache truly means.  The girl who fights the injustices in her life; trying to understand them, to live with them, to cope, and to ultimately try to make a difference. 

Would I choose the girl who has become closer to God despite of her hardships?  Would I choose the girl whom understands what it's like to lose big?  But, despite her losses, sees more sunshine than she saw in the thirty-three years before. 

Would I choose the girl who comprehends what love really is?  Because, so many times, love is not pretty.  It's not wrapped up in a perfect little box with impeccable paper you're too afraid to rip.  Could I understand the girl who innately knows that the wrapping paper of your life is meant to be torn, edgy, and impossible to tape up, because, perhaps, that is what makes you a better person? 

Could I know, deep down, that sometimes bad things do happen to good people?  And, that, perhaps, the concepts of bad and good have nothing to do with your path in life?  That this journey we are on is ultimately meant to teach us the things we really need to learn.  We have the choice to be bitter about what happens to us, or to embrace them, full-on with wide-open arms and a heart full of love, determination, and hope. 

So, which one would I pick?  I miss the former, but in honesty, I believe I would choose the latter.  She is the one I need to know.  The one I need to be.  She lives the life I need to follow.  For better or worse, we are in this together, neither of us walk this path alone.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

There Is...

There is a knot in my throat
That makes it impossible to breathe.

There is a hole in my heart
Which makes it difficult to live.

There is a loss for words
That makes it hard to articulate.

There is a sorrow
That pools itself in my dreams.

There is a nagging doubt
Which I brush aside.

There is a desire to trudge on
That surpasses the pain.

There is a fortunate smile
Which passes my lips.

There is a sense of peace
That accompanies the hurt.

There is a need to carry on
Which nags at me.

There is a life that's waiting to be lived
That begs for my attention.

Letting Go

I have lived the last few years of my life afraid of the time I must begin to let go.  I have held on with every ounce of strength I had.  Unable or unwilling to face the day that it became clear; the time is now, and the point of no return has up and passed me by. 

Honestly, I fear the girl I will meet in this next life.  The person who will clothe me in my new beginnings.  The one who will comfort me in my new life.  What does she know about me?  Granted, we spent thirty-some very wonderful years with each other, but all things considered, we are strangers now. 

That girl of yesteryear knows nothing of the pain I have endured and continue to endure almost every moment I wake and breathe.  She was a child of fortune.  Death, misfortune, discomfort, disappointment, and heartbreak belonged to someone else.  Those demons did not come knocking at her doorstep. 

And now, those same demons need not knock at my door, because that door was broken down a long time ago.  That door became a moot point around the time things started going south.  The pain and the bad news seeped through the windows and created a mile-high barrier between this world and that which remained. 

But, I hope that girl that lurks beyond the disaster can still be a remnant of the person she once was.  Loving, caring, anxious, and afraid (you've got to take the good with the bad).  I hope that in this scope and sequence of life I do not lose myself too much.   Because, to me, that would be the ultimate tragedy.  To in one fell swoop cut off the head that rested assuredly upon my shoulders for many years.  To leave her gasping for air and searching for a piece of familiar to cling to. 

I do not want to let go of her.  I would love to introduce her to my new self.  The person of before and the person of now.  Maybe once we can do that we can begin to let go of who we think we should be and start becoming who we are meant to be.  And, perhaps, we can, together, meet the person of tomorrow, head-on; to welcome her into this life we are blessed to call, "ours."