Christmas ~ It makes us feel.
We inwardly wail and gnash our teeth
Or stoically keep a stiff upper lip
We wrap our gifts
Trim the tree, rearrange the Nativity…
And in the ritual, hope
To pass along the memories
To those who listen
Perhaps our children
Paying tribute to those we miss
Playing down the agonies
Elevating the bliss
A seasonal thaw, as if walking on stones
On the winter river
Frozen in place but beauteous ever
We find ourselves transfixed in this space
We’ve set aside for lost warm embrace.
And we hold it tight
For it is all we have
This celebration of lives lived, loved and lost
Consoling ourselves that we are present
With our presence, the best present,
Not a memory erased, hoping to return
At the end of the new glittery year that awaits.
She said, stop praying for me, Mother
I never prayed enough
to stop her
I have stopped praying now
Death whispers her name.
Time has slowed
Silence has replaced
The susurrous swirl
I whisper her name
I miss you more
Because your loss
They have died too.
This has been a long, devastatingly hard week since the passing of my daughter Stephanie. If there is any light at all, it is to be found in family who have taken time to support me. One particular person is my brother Les. His support and willingness to do the hard tasks will always be remembered in my heart.
We’ve been having lots of opportunity to reminisce as siblings do and during one of our conversations he told me about an occasion when he worked as a councillor at our church camp, with children who had various disabilities. One boy, he remembered, probably about 15 years old at the time, in an advanced stage of multiple sclerosis was confined to a wheelchair. My brother assisted him by pushing him around to meals and various activities. He couldn’t play softball but he liked to watch, and my brother said he stayed with him so he wouldn’t have to be alone.
The conversation turned to the ocean, the boy lamented that he had never been to the waters edge of a beach. The beach wasn’t easily accessible for a wheelchair. There were a lot of stairs to navigate. Les told the lad…”I can take you down the stairs….but you ain’t coming back ….haha” He laughed.
The boy continued, He hated being a bother to people, as if others had made him feel that way and Les said, “that it was no problem for him.”
Smiling up, He said to Les, “Everybody has a problem, it’s just that you can see mine.”
My brother, with the same kindness he showed to me this week …found a way to honour the boy’s desire. He said… I know a place… there was another access 3/4 mile away and he pushed the boy all the way there. Because He couldn’t get out of the wheelchair, Les cupped water in his hands, the boy tasted it and thought it was pretty neat.
As the sun was setting on another day, they slowly returned to the camp for supper. As Les helped him get ready for the meal, the boy asked….”Soooo, how does feel to be hanging out with a * gibble* ? Les said “Funny you should ask. I’ve always wanted a friend that was a *gibble*. Now I have one.
38 years have passed since that conversation, with its triumphs and failures, ( more of the latter he says) yet the memory of that day remains clear.
I think Confucius said it best: ❤️
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.