#death

A FEW MORE MOMENTS

 

I had a conversation in the bookstore the other night with a couple about my age…the husband is battling prostrate cancer…it’s in its final stage.

 

He’s undergoing a new radium infusion therapy…having endured chemotherapy and radiation’s rays…and they were pleased to announce this was the first time he’d been out of the house in days.

 

“We’re hoping this therapy gives me a little more time.” He said and his wife readily agreed. “Because,” and here he smiled, “there’s a few more books I’d like to read.”

 

He bought a couple of books…his wife put them in her sack…and he smiled at me as they slowly walked away saying, “God willing…I’ll be back.”

 

As I watched them walk away I thought…what a different world we see… when we come face to face…with our own mortality.

 

I imagine when we’re looking at the end…when we know we’re living our final days…what’s important to us rises to the top…while what isn’t slips away.

 

I imagine we might wish for one more moment…when we know our life will be over soon…to make more footprints in the sand…or gaze up at the moon.

 

One more moment to hug our family…to look into their eyes…one more moment just to wake up and see one more sun begin to rise.

 

That’s what I found myself wishing for this man…as he faded from my sight

Hoping he’ll have more moments….as for his life he fights.

 

I know in the time he has left…there’s nothing he will overlook…

and I’m hoping he has a few more moments…to read a few more books.

 
 
 
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ENORA

 

 

Enora used to take him walking in the woods…they would listen to the trees….They would stop to touch the flowers…watch the butterfly and bees.

 

Enora loved to walk among the birds…she knew them all by name……She did not have a favorite one…for she loved them all the same.

 

She would close her eyes and listen to their songs…their melodies without words….“Oh I would give anything.” She’d say…”to be singing with these birds.”

 

On the day Enora passed away…the Enora he adored…he ran into the forest…to the place where they explored.

 

He remembered how they walked these woods..and all the wonders they had found…but he was not expecting…what he discovered on the ground.

 

He was thinking of Enora…when suddenly he heard…plaintive cries…what sounded like the moaning of a bird?

 

He looked around and then he saw it… a few steps up ahead…a baby bird had fallen from the nest…the baby bird was dead.

 

He scooped her in his hands as gently as he could…then in a voice both sad and calm…he looked up in the tree and said, “I’m sorry!” to the mom.

 

Tears cascaded down his cheek…as he looked into the mother bird’s eyes…as he listened to her somber tweet…as he watched the mother bird cry?

 

He nestled the bird within his hands…she was a beautiful shade of blue…then carried her back to his front porch…unsure what to do.

 

As his thoughts returned to Enora…it became easy to decide….He filled an old shoe box with cotton…then laid the bird inside.

 

He carried that box back back to the woods…got on his hands and knees…and with mom (and Enora) watching….buried her beneath that tree.

 

“I know that you’re unhappy, momma bird.” He said.  “Wishing things were different than they were.”…but your baby’s with Enora now…and she’ll take care of her…”

 

Then he looked up to the heavens…searching in his heart for the right words…“I think you got her wish Enora.” He said…”have fun singing with the birds.”

 

Then the momma bird landed on a lower branch…and sang the sweetest lullaby

as both boy and bird found their own way…

to say their last good-bye.

 

 

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HIS FEET

After her mother died she watched her father begin to fade away.

He was always a quiet man, reserved, polite…soft spoken.

but now he hardly ever said a word…she could see his heart was broken.

 

When he did speak…it was only in whispers…he told her silence was his choice.

He did not want a sound…any sound…to muffle the memory of her voice.

 

When she asked him why he stopped his morning walks…he smiled,

“I am happy sitting here…thinking about her.”

“Besides,” he smiled, “my feet aren’t as trustworthy as they used to be…It seems they don’t know where to go without her.”

 

She stopped by every day to comfort him…the father she adored…but with each visit he seems a little sadder…a little older…he seemed to fade away a little more.

 

Until the day she came and found him in his favorite chair…his favorite place…he’d gone to be with her mother…and for the first time in a long time…he had a smile on his face.

 

“Goodbye, Daddy.” She said kissing his cheek…then laying her head inside his palm…”Have a safe trip…and when you get to Heaven…say Hi for me…to Mom.”

 

Then glancing down she smiled through her tears…as she whispered, “I’ll miss you Daddy…but I am happy knowing…even though it took a while…you’re feet know where they’re going.

 

 

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A GAME OF HIDE AND SEEK

 

“It’s never easy to explain a death.” he said to his son sitting sad upon his knee.  “So I’ll explain it to you as best I can…the way your Grandpa explained it to me.”

 

It is true Grandpa has died and our life will change…it can never go back to the way it was before…but it only means that physically we won’t see Grandpa anymore.”

 

“You might not understand this today but, in time, you'll know it to be true…Even though he’s no longer here with us…he’s still inside of you.”

 

You see any time we meet another person…any time our lives are intertwined…we take a little piece from that person with us while leaving a piece of ourself behind.

 

You don’t even noticing it happening…you don’t feel it when you're apart but all those little pieces you took from Grandpa have found their way into your heart.

 

Every time you saw Grandpa being kind…every time you saw him give…you were learning about love and compassion…you were learning how to live.

 

Grandpa loved to take you to his garden…where you planted flowers or vegetables in a row…which means Grandpa will now be a part of every plant you ever grow.

 

And what do you say, though I disagree, on the weekend when I make your pancakes…you laugh and say mine don’t taste as good as the pancakes Grandpa makes.

 

Grandpas in the garden, he’s in the pancakes and as crazy as it seems…he will find a way into your thoughts…a way to sneak into your dreams.

 

To say that Grandpa’s gone forever…well that would be unfair

because if you stop and look around…you’ll find him everywhere.

 

His son jumped down from his Dad’s knee…with a huge smile on his face then headed out of the room at a somewhat hurried pace.

 

“Where are you going?” his father asked…noticing his son’s sadness now behind him…

“If Grandpa is all over the place he said…I think I’ll go and find him”.

 

 

 

It’s never easy to explain a death…because death is always bleak…but it’s nice to know we can ease the pain…

with a game of hide and seek.

 

 

 

 

 

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DREAM ALONE

 

They were good friends when they were young…they’d lie together under the stars…he’d search for constellations…she loved Jupiter and Mars.

 

The two of them were so young all they had to do it seemed…was to laugh and play and sit together under the stars…and dream.

 

And oh the dreams they dreamed…of things they’d do and the places they would go…never realizing at such an innocent age…there was much they did not know.

 

They didn’t know on those evenings looking up at the stars from her backyard that life would not always be that easy…or would hit her quite so hard.

 

As she grew up her life became one of sadness, of sorrow, of uncertainty and doubt.

He saw her sinking into a quicksand of depression…but he could not pull her out.

 

She left him a note the day she killed herself with instructions to read it…under either Jupiter or Mars…It read: I’m sorry to be leaving you but there’s just too much darkness between the stars.

 

He rereads her note often…on nights sitting under a starlit sky

and even after all these years…he still can’t help but wonder why…

 

Why he couldn’t help her find a way through her sadness…over the terror of her starkness…a way to help her see the stars…instead of all the darkness.

 

As he looks up at the stars today he tells her, “I’m still missing you…and I am sad for all the dreams we made that never will come true.”

 

“And I have to tell you something when we were young we couldn’t possibly have known…

It’s not as much fun dreaming…when you have to dream alone.”

 

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BIG NANA

 

When you meet another person and your lives are intertwined

you don’t think much about the memories that person will leave behind…

 

You’re too busy enjoying this roller coaster of life you’re riding on

to think what your life would be like if this person was ever gone.

 

Big Nana is what we called her…it’s the only name we ever knew.

That’s what our grandchildren called her…so that’s what we called her too.

 

We used to see her often at family gatherings…birthday parties and soccer games.

We loved how when the children would see her they’d excitedly call her name.

 

Big Nana they would yell!

Big Nana they would shout!

And we would stand and wonder as all this love came pouring out.

 

Big Nana was like a flower…constantly in bloom

A smile from Big Nana could light up any room.

 

Big Nana loved to take care of others…Big Nana loved to cook

(And Big Nana was one of only a handful of people who ever read my book!)

 

But families are unpredictable…they have a way of changing course

and any future time we had with Big Nana was lost in a divorce.

 

And though it’s been years since I saw her last

since our lives were side by side

I was overwhelmed with sorrow when I heard Big Nana died.

 

But I feel blessed to ever have known her…

Blessed for the little while our two lives were aligned 

and blessed to have so many memories

Big Nana left behind.

 

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GOODBYE ROSE

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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WHEN THE LIGHT WENT OUT

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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MISSING PIECE

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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