Cancer is an ugly disease…not only for the life it takes

But for all the sorrow and sadness…left floating in its wake….


Although I did not know her personally I’ve kept abreast of cases she has tried

which is why I was saddened yesterday when I heard that she had died.


But what finally caused my tears to flow…what opened my floodgate

was, amidst the many tributes to her, were the messages of hate.


The more I read the sadder I felt until soon I was feeling numb

as my heart filled up with sorrow at the country we’ve become.


Cancer comes in many forms causing families sadness, sorrow and strife

progressing slowly through the body until it finally takes a life.


Hate is a form of cancer…I wish people would understand

How it’s metastasizing quickly…as it spreads across the land.


Two forms of cancer make me sad today…

The first that took this woman I am thinking of…

and the second that is slowly killing

this country that I love.

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It’s funny how someone can light up your life as they brighten your morning too.

It’s even funnier when it’s someone you never met…someone you never knew.


I never new this little old man…never knew his name

but I’d pass him every morning as our routines were the same.


As I reached his streetlight on my walk in the ebbing of the night

I would see him at his window Illuminated by his kitchen light.


In time a kind of friendship formed between us in the dwindling of the nights.

A nod turned into a smile and then a wave when we saw each other in the lights.


This was the extent of our friendship…It’s how our pieces fit

until the day, under his streetlight, I noticed his kitchen was unlit.


It remained unlit…and it was a week later when I finally tried

to check and see how he was doing…only to find out he had died.


I think about him when I pass his house

that he was my friend I have no doubt

but I never knew how much of a friend

or how much I’d miss him

until his light went out.



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We lost a friend of ours today…and immediately…different people we became.

for none of us…no matter how we try…will ever be the same.


Our lives will never go back to the way they were

the way they used to be.

When I was young and we lost someone…

this is how my father explained it all to me:


He said every person is like a puzzle…a puzzle that’s incomplete

because we’re constantly adding pieces from everyone we meet.


We are happy when we find a piece that fits…

knowing…of all the pieces in our reservoir

that piece has found a place in the creation of who we are.


It saddens us when we realize

because of all the miles, together, we have crossed

that one piece to our puzzle is gone 

and how forever…it is lost. 


And there will forever be a mix of sadness and of happiness

that comes with reminiscing…

every time we gaze upon our puzzle

and see the piece that we are missing.


And we’ll remember the exact time

different people we became…

And how in the moment that piece went missing

we will never be the same.



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When her son died she was broken…like a wounded bird

unable to fly as her sorrow and her anger

wrestled with each other to be heard.


Some days her sorrow would win…and her crying would not stop

Other days it was her anger that climbed up to the top.


So many question left unanswered:

Why did this have to be?

Why take one so young and innocent?

Why him…instead of me.?


It was anger and sorrow and sorrow and anger…until she reached a point when…

she began to wonder if happiness would ever return to her again.


But her happiness was patient…it gave her all the time she needed to grieve

until slowly, quietly, gingerly…back into her life it did weave.


Then one day her smile resurfaced

It’s as if her heart that had stopped…resumed beating

and she began enjoying her happiness again

even if, at first, those moments were fleeting.


And though she will always be wounded…

she knows once again she will soar…

She knows once again she’ll spread her wings and fly….

just never as high as before.




On the night of their grandma’s funeral their Dad said,

“I think that you will find…one way to help us through her loss

is to think of the memories she left behind.


The children remembered the taste and aroma of her baking

her gentleness…how much she cared…

The adults smiled as they interrupted one another… 

with the memories they shared.


It was wonderful, in a way, to see Grandma through each other’s eyes…

but the memory their grandpa chose left the rest of them surprised.


“I’ll remember her music.” Grandpa said as he smiled wistfully.

But they all knew grandma never played an instrument,

could not dance 

and always sang off key.


“Not that kind of music.” Grandpa said anticipating their surprise

It was the music in her smile…the music in her eyes.


“There was music in everything she did.” He smiled

“Music in the way she walked.

there was music in the way she slept

and music in the way she talked”.


And as sad as they all were that night

when they closed their eyes and listened 

even before their grandpa was through

somewhere in their darkness…

they could heard her music too…


Which is why whenever there is a death in their family

they always try to find

the aromas, 

the tastes 

and the music

in the memories left behind.


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There are many tragedies in George Floyd’s death

They are interconnected…intertwined…

From the brutal way that he was murdered

to the daughter he left behind.


The daughter he would carry on his back

Where, perched on his shoulders way up high

She would stretch her arms out wide

and feel like an airplane in the sky.


The tragedy that makes us sad

that makes us frustrated…makes us mad

Is how 6 year old Gianna 

will now grow up without her dad.


Her family will, no doubt, be there to help her

and she’ll smile when she says his name

but growing up without him

her life will never be the same…


Because they never had the opportunity

to grow together or even say goodbye…

and he never had the chance 

to teach his daughter how to fly.


We need to change this now…today!

We must do more than try….

So Gianna’s children will have a father

who can teach them how to fly.


I received a letter…a formal one…in the mail…out of the blue

apprising me of a relative’s death…one I never knew.


Since I’m a distant relation…to me his information was released

He never married, had no children or siblings and his parents are deceased.


And I remember thinking to myself as I read this letter through…

Is it possible that my heart can ache for a man I never knew?


Yes it is…because I was overcome with a feeling about this man I’d never known

and I felt a wave of sadness thinking…he might have died alone.


I began to wonder what his life was like now that his swan song has been sung.

Was he shy or kind or gentle?  Was he nervous or high-strung?


Did he have a lot of friends? I hope so.  What color were his eyes?

Was he the type of person who could laugh and dance and cry?


Did he like art or music…did he ever scream or shout?

Did he play it safe throughout his life…or take the scenic route?


Did he have someone who believed in him?

Did he own any pets?

When he knew his life was ending…

did he have any regrets?


Did his life have it’s share of joy and laughter

of sorrows sadness and woes?

of course these are some of the many questions whose answers

I will never know.


And it made me think if I had one wish

for this man…and anyone who dies I haven’t known

It would be that their life had been a happy one


and that they did not die alone.

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A woman I did not know and had never met before

stopped in the other day when no one else was in the store


She brought a book into the bookstore…that’s a little odd I thought

then she asked if I had read the book…I said that I had not.


She looked into my eyes, smiled and nodded her head.

then proceeded to ask me questions about the book I hadn’t read.


It really didn’t matter that I could not answer her whos or whats or whys

because once she asked the questions she didn’t wait for my replies.


She kept the conversation going without me about the book I hadn’t read

While I listened, smiled and every now and then politely nodded my head.


But in the midst of her barrage of words…as I listened to her speak 

I heard amidst her chattering…that her sister died last week.


I almost missed them when they first floated by…

so I waited a moment 

and then

as I listened more intently…

they floated by again.


She said she hadn’t been out much since her sister died and decided to take a walk

I imagine she was sad…and lonely…and just stopped in to talk.


So I kept right on listening and nodding and on my face I kept a smile

as she kept our one-sided conversation going for a while.


She thanked me as she left the store…you’re welcome was all I could say

wishing I could have done a little more to help push her sadness away.


And even though she did all the talking

and not one word had I said

It was the best conversation I’ve ever had


about a book I hadn’t read.

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On the gloomy day of his Grandma’s funeral

at the cemetery…he was trying to be brave

but when it came time to go back home…he could not leave her grave.


He stood their all alone…wondering if anyone would understand

until his mother walked up beside him and gently took his hand.


“A day like today shows us how our heart can ache…how much it can bleed…

I will miss her too!” she said. “Take all the time you need.”


“I’ve been thinking of all the times I walked into her arms.” He said.

“What makes me sad today is that I’ll never walk into them again…

from today…I only walk away.”


“And from today every step we take”, his mother said

“every minute, every hour, every day

as unfair as it is…takes us farther and farther away."


“I don’t want Grandma to be sad.” he nodded…”I don’t want to upset her.

I don’t want her to think, now that’s she’s gone, I ever will forget her.”


The mother smiled, squeezed his hand and said, “There’s something you should know.

Grandma will always be a part of you…she’ll never let you go.”


“You cannot forget someone you love…they stay a lot closer than they seem

Grandma will pop up any time you think about her…any time you dream.”


He looked up at his mothers as their tears began to flow

Then smiling through his tears he said, “I guess it’s time to go.”


HIs mother nodded, ‘Yes it is…don’t worry, Grandma will understand.”

and they walked away together…silently…hand in hand.


Suddenly the sun peeked through the clouds 

and with his face illuminated by her beams

he turned around

waved goodbye to his grandma saying,


“I will see you in my dreams.”

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