cronechronicler

Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Saying Goodbye

Belle died at noon on Saturday
She left in peace with family around
Her ninety-seven years a testament
To life well lived and loved.
A friend to us who knew her well
She left a vacancy not soon filled

This morning the swimming pool is blue
Sun and fair skies foretell a lovely day.
Belle loved the pool in Summer
And sunning on the patio in Autumn
When falling leaves transformed the color scheme
Before Winter sent Belle back inside.

We played our Scrabble-like word game Royalty
By the pool or in the Party Room upstairs
Belle was the queen who beat us all
At forming words some of her own creation
She seemed to pull letters out of nowhere
To fashion words sometimes bizarre.

Belle is gone and yet I see her everywhere
Dressed in her Thriftique classy clothes
Speaking out to bring justice to the world
Celebrating Seder with generations of her family
Including us as her adopted relatives
Teaching us the ropes to vote absentee

Belle has been freed from suffering.
It was a grief to see her bowed so low
My heart rises remembering the wonder
Of the very special person that Belle was
Now living on in vibrant memories.
I did not know loss could produce such gain.

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Mom’s Pearls of Wisdom

Doing my Christmas shopping last year I was stumped at what to get for my son Bob and his family. They were going to California to be with my daughter-in-law Linda’s family and were planning excursions to Big Sur and skiing near Lake Tahoe. I didn’t want to add any large sized gifts to their luggage but wanted my gift to be special since my oldest grandson Bobby would be a Freshman in college next year. This was the last Christmas “as it always was” for them. Then a lightbulb went off in my head.

Buying a fresh Christmas tree and decorating it together was a huge tradition in their family. Over the years I had given Bob and Linda crystal angels, stars and snow flakes to hang on the tree. For Bobby and his brother JamesĀ it was Fisher Price toys and Thomas the Tank engine train sets before their interest turned to Pac-Man and beyond and I had to ask their parents for suggestions. This special year I thought the perfect gift would be ornamentsĀ for everyone in the family. Part of the fun for me is shopping around for just the right gift for each person. Then I imagined how they would love the surprise as they unwrapped their new ornaments and decorated the tree. And afterwards cherish the memory.

This wasn’t to be. Getting off to California was quite a production and eclipsed the gift of Christmas ornaments. When my son and his family got back I heard how each person had experienced something uniquely suited to them and what a grand adventure the trip turned out to be. I was thrilled to hear their stories. Maybe next year when it is time to get out all the ornaments for another tree “my” ornaments will come to light.

I learned that you can’t make a memory for somebody else. Loved ones and children will weave their own experience from shared tales into a memory and then it becomes precious to them.

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