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For you ~ Terri ~

This photo was taken on Terri’s last birthday, Sept 18th , 2018.
I was so happy to be with her as we celebrated together with family.
Terri died a few months later, on Dec 31st, one of the saddest days of my life!
Terri lived with ALS for less then three years and died with courage and grace.
(Terri is on the left, she was so beautiful and her smile lit up the world.)

I thought I heard your footsteps
running toward me
disturbing the stones
but when I opened my eyes
I saw it was only the waves
pulling and swirling like hands.

I thought I felt your smile
warm and loving upon my face
but when I opened my eyes
I saw it was only the sun
beaming at me from across the water.

I thought I heard you
whisper my name
but when I opened my eyes
I realized it was only the wind
playing in my hair.

I thought I felt you
softly kiss my cheek
but when I opened my eyes
I saw it was only a leaf
caressing me with gentle strokes.

And then I felt your love
in me and around me
powerful yet gentle like the waves
warm and shining like the sun
soft yet strong like the wind
tender and alive like the leaves
and I didn’t even have
to open my eyes
I knew you
were there.

————————————
She was my sister
my best friend
now she is an angel
watching over me.

Sister Faraway Too Long

Is it dark enough, sister?
Do you need the light?
I hung your picture
over my bed
and your eyes
that cannot see
found a corner.
Stay with me
for a little while
I can be your eyes.

The quilt our gramma made
I use it now
to warm me
I pull its thickness
to my chin at night
when the moon
smears through the window.

It is cold here
without you ~ I sleep
in our mother’s robe
the way she taught us
arms ’round our knees
head tucked to chest —

I look out the window
beyond its coppered rivets
and see you, young again
red bicycle with white basket
full of apples and violets.
Stay with me
in this corner which is my room.

Can you see me, sister
past the disrobing of night
the arms of the sun
pulling the darkness away?

Sister, stay with me
we can laugh
and tickle each other
like we did
as young girls
running to the beach.

Sister, I miss you so
but I know you had to go!
_______________________________
In loving memory of my dearest sister Terri who died of ALS
on December 31, 2018.

This I Know

Grief has its rhythm - first the wild 
swift tide of dark despair
the time of bleak aloneness ~

When even God's not there
and then the slow receding
till quiet calms the sea
and bare, washed sand is everywhere
where castles used to be ~

The gentle lapping of the waves
upon the shore - and then
the pearl-lined shells of memories
to help us smile again ~

Spirit Love

Night summer breeze 
whispering in the trees
dreams of love and you ~
Heart swells
bringing tears to my eyes
thoughts of paradise ~
I kissed the flowers at your grave
knelt and pressed my face to earth ~
Will you come again
upon the breeze
caressing my cheeks
helping me to be brave?


Being Alone

Being alone

is not being lonely

it’s a long walk

on a wide beach

where the only sound

is a bird’s cry

the wind racing a blue sky

and surf riding the shore ~

_______________________

Loneliness

is being alone

with a room full of people

who don’t care

when despair is a tear

on a frozen cheek

in a bright room ~