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This Man – Series of Poems

Posted on Aug 6, 2016 in Blog |

This Man Brings me hot tea with honey and milk Soothing my worries before bed. Takes my face in his hands Reassures me of his unending love for me, for us. Kisses me gently as a seal of his promise he has kept for more than a quarter century. This man Massages my restless legs Lulling my mind to dreamland Covers my bare shoulders with our shared blanket. In moments of desperation and exasperation This Man Asks if maybe I need the meds again. Maybe I need to . . . . Speechless we are both. Tears speak more voluminously than any word. And Then This Man Takes me into his arms and Holds me, holding my grief with me. ### This Man Says, “Let’s take a ride” Three days of rain colored me as grey as the sky capping our valley. We drive the valley, Capturing photos of the Moments we relish each time we sit on the porch. This Man Stops every time I say Stop, even when it is ten feet at a time. Points out many, many things I do not initially see. Including the bald eagle nesting across the way. This Man Adjusts the camera because I am clueless in its operation. I see it in my head He Helps me bring it out of the digital machine. This Man Drives for hours in a single valley Drives across soggy hay fields to Shoot the bald eagle even more closely, metaphorically, of course Drives into the Jefferson National Forest Drives on roads no longer maintained by the Commonwealth Drives on gravel paths, public and private Drives along the raspberry bushes to snatch the season’s final offerings This Man Captures a bunny across the road, metaphorically, of course. Captures the sun across the ridge after the rain Captures the eagle in flight, nothing short of majestic magic. Captures the wildflowers, the lichen. This Man Loves me in more ways than I knew Love could exist. ### This Man Hears my quiet sobs in the shower Enters quietly Asking permission first I tell him it is merely Grief. “I miss Dad.” Final Scenes of Death refuse...

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Bearing Witness

Posted on Aug 6, 2016 in Blog |

Fifteen months apart, I bore witness to two Fathers’ deaths. Each Father Loved unconditionally Fretted about their children’s happiness Made mistakes Made amends Worked earnestly and fervently for their family, their community, and their country Honored their wives for their entire marriage Respect those who earned it Donated to causes they believed worthy Gave generously of knowledge, wisdom, experience, and insight Each Father Knew departure was within days and hours Was surrounded by family, by love Said all that was needed to say to each soul sharing the room Accepted our love and our final words as their final gifts from here Each Father, In the last hours of the last days, In the final words, Said to me, I love you. Each Father Accepted death as God’s Will and God’s Plan. Accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Ascended into the Kingdom of Heaven Was brought to God by their beloved. Was fully restored and Became an angel of God. This I know. Share...

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My Playlist from Dad’s Final 26 Days – The Songs with Words – Part 2

Posted on Aug 6, 2016 in Blog |

As I stated in my earlier post: During Dad’s 26 days and nights in the hospital, I listened to particular songs depending on what I needed. The music helped close out the hospital noises, helped me calm my breathing and anxiety, and it gave me a place for my emotions to connect and feel safe. This music transcended me at times. It felt as though I was talking to Dad in some of the songs, giving words to emotions that were so strong, I wasn’t sure I could survive the pain. Some of the songs were significant in their melodic tone, some were because of the specific lyrics, and some, because they allowed my tears to flow more easily. And some were my simple prayers to God, pleading for Him to heal Dad. Some of us connect through words, some through deeds and others through music. In my pain, when I couldn’t find my words, these songs found them for me. I probably should have researched what each of these songs meant to the songwriters, but at the time I was choosing them, it didn’t matter. What mattered was how I could maintain hope, a sense of balance, and my connection to Dad. These are the songs that ended up on my list. The Songs with Words About You – the Breakthrough by Mary J. Blige Every now and then, I needed to hear the voice of a strong woman who has risen above her struggles and succeed in being the woman God wanted her to be. Mary J. Blige is one of those amazing women who defeated demons in her life and now brings joy and light to others. “I am in the place with the love / Yeah, it feels, it feels good / (It’s a new life for me, yeah)” The Big Love Has Died – 7 by Seal I still cry every single time I hear this song. The love between a father and daughter is a Big Love. And mine has died. “So confused, I’m amazed, I refused to believe you’d never change in my time spent with you” “And I believed in everything...

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My Play List During Dad’s Final 26 Days – Part 1 – The Instrumentals

Posted on Aug 1, 2016 in Blog |

PART 1 – The Instrumentals During Dad’s 26 days and nights in the hospital, I listened to particular songs depending on what I needed. The music helped close out the hospital noises, helped me calm my breathing and anxiety, and it gave me a place for my emotions to connect and feel safe. This music transcended me at times. It felt as though I was talking to Dad in some of the songs, giving words to emotions that were so strong, I wasn’t sure I could survive the pain. Some of the songs were significant in their melodic tone, some were because of the specific lyrics, and some, because they allowed my tears to flow more easily. And some were my simple prayers to God, pleading for Him to heal Dad. Some of us connect through words, some through deeds and others through music. In my pain, when I couldn’t find my words, these songs found them for me. I probably should have researched what each of these songs meant to the songwriters, but at the time I was choosing them, it didn’t matter. What mattered was how I could maintain hope, a sense of balance, and my connection to Dad. These are the songs that ended up on my list. The Instrumentals A Change in Circumstance – Secret Story by Pat Metheny The name of this song is what intrigued me originally. It was my ironic understatement for what was transpiring. The entire family always thought Mom would die before Dad solely based on her extensive medical history of strokes. The first two weeks of Dad’s medical crisis, we were all in shock and disbelief that this was actually happening. Cathedral in a Suitcase – Secret Story by Pat Metheny This song is what Heaven looks like: grand, opulent, vibrant, joyous. Epilogue: Writing in the Darkness II – Spiritland by Andrey Cachelero I found this song a few years ago when I had writer’s block. It took me to that dark place and let me walk around in it instead of just being afraid of and intimidated by it. And then it brought me to the light. And...

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