A Good Home, Faith, Family, Family Moments, FEar, Life Challenges, Life in canada, Love, Words

NO WORDS

There are no words.

*

One speaks to God in frightened silence

Broken only by jagged breath.

One reaches for faith

And reaches again.

*

Before faith,  the lurch in the belly.

The gasp from the chest.

The hurt in the heart.

And sighs too deep for words.

*

Shock. Denial.  Floundering.

The waves of fear, threatening to drown.

We must not drown.

We search for a fixed point.

*

The heart glimpses the rock

Rising up from the water.

The rock shines with promise.

Strong, fixed and charcoal-dark.

*

The deep water swirls and obscures

So confident in its massive power.

It carries threats of death and echoes of loss.

And loud whispers of nevermore.

*

Quick now: shut it out.

Do not give it the power it craves.

Focus instead on the fixed point.

Look again and find the rock.

*

There are no words.

I speak to God in silence and jagged breath.

My arms thrash, thrash and thrash

And touch solid stone.

*

I hold on, hold on

Fight to hold on to its solid-ness

The waves of fear, and drowning waters

Are all around.

*

One thrashes and fights

And struggles with all one’s might.

And speaks to God, in silence and jagged breath:

Let my beloved live.

*

Let him live.

Let us get to the hospital in time.

Let the doctors and nurses know what to do.

Please let my beloved live.

**

A Good Home, Blessings, Canadians, Couples, Family Stories, Gardening, Garlic, Home, Inspiration, Love letters, Loving Acts, Vegetable Garden

“If you are reading this, it means….”

Our friend Jacqui phoned.

“Are you going to be there in a few minutes? I’m coming for a visit.”

I smiled. It was almost exactly what Paddy used to say. Minutes later, he and his wife Jacqui would be at our door.

Photo by Hamlin Grange
Photo by Hamlin Grange

Married for decades, they were always together, these two.

Blog Photo - Jacqui and Paddy on holidaysOur family loved their visits.

But Paddy died from cancer earlier this year.

We wondered if Jacqui would continue the impromptu visits. I was very pleased with her call.

As usual, I let her in through the kitchen door, and we hugged.

We sat at the harvest table.

Blog Photo - Garden harvest Basket tomatoes pumpkin

It was the same table that just last October was laden with produce from the garden — including the lone Jamaican pumpkin that grew from a seedling that Paddy and Jacqui had given us that spring.

Blog Photo - Garden harvest baskets with toamtoes peppers eggplants on table

“Come for your share of the pumpkin harvest,” we’d phoned them, laughing.

When they came, we handed them a bag filled with herbs, garlic, tomatoes and half of the Jamaican pumpkin.

Now, 8 months later, Jacqui and I sat together at the table for the first time without Paddy.

We sipped our tea.

She’d been going through Paddy’s belongings, she said. Deciding what to give away,  and identifying matters that needed her immediate attention.

She opened Paddy’s briefcase.

She saw an envelope addressed “To My Wife”.

She ripped it open and started to read:

Blog Photo - Jacqui letter ECU2

My dearest Jacqui.

So faithful and true!

… Without you, I would have had nothing. It was due to your sacrifices that we survived. You gave so much and demanded so little. Thank you for being so much to me over the years….”

“I want you to read it,” Jacqui said now, handing me the long white envelope.  She had torn it open at one end, but the writing on the front was clear: “To My Wife”, it said.

I reached into the envelope, pulled out the letter.

I got goosebumps.

Paddy’s letter to Jacqui ends with this paragraph:

Blog Photo - Jacqui letter final graph

“If you are reading this, it means that I’ve passed on. Don’t be sad. Our life together was good! Although I won’t be here in body, I will always be at your side in spirit.

“Good bye my love!”

Moved by his love for her and their daughter Donna — and by this considerate act – Jacqui cried.

Paddy and Daughter in earlier years
Paddy and Daughter in earlier years

But here’s what surprised her most: the letter was dated August 9, 1999.

Blog Photo - Jacqui letter date1

Paddy wrote it 14 years before – and put it in his briefcase, where he knew Jacqui would find it.

Blog Photo - Jacqui on verandah

The impact on Jacqui was so positive that on a subsequent visit, as we sat on the verandah, she agreed to let me share excerpts from the letter.

The lesson here:

There’s no need to wait. You can write that letter to someone you love right now.

A Good Home, Grieving, Love, Relationships

Sad News

Blog Photo - Clematis white

By Cynthia Reyes, 2014 (c)

 

The news evokes sheer disbelief

The loss is cast in stark relief

Like etching on a granite stone

For one you dearly love, now gone

*

How can it be that one who walked

Just weeks ago and laughed and talked

Will not be coming through that door

But gone from us for evermore?

You turn away in full denial

You shun today, your day of trial

“He was too young”, friends cry aloud

“Too young, too young, for burial shroud”

*

And friends, they try to find the words

To comfort you, turn you towards

The wise thoughts that will make you strong

But this whole time just seems so wrong

*

The memories, they make you weep

And yet these memories will keep

The links and ties of love so dear

With one who always was so near

 *

Blog Photo - Blue Something CU

“Forget me not”, you want to say

“For I’ll remember every day

The love and times we fondly shared

The great adventures that we dared

 *

“And though you’re gone beyond my reach

I’ll not forget that you did teach

That life will not be always sad

But brings us both the good and bad.

 *

“Thank you for lessons such as this

And though your presence I shall miss

I’ll feel your kiss upon the air

And hear your voice as if you’re near

 *

“And in the garden smell your scent

And know that you were heaven-lent

-To those who needed you so much –

And smile at your sweet angel touch.”

*

Dedicated to friends who have recently lost loves ones.

Photo by Hamlin Grange
Photos by Hamlin Grange

 

A Good Home, Artists, Courage, Daughters, elderly Parents, Family, Family Matriarch, Family Stories, Gratitude

An Extraordinary Letter

Remember Debbie and Gladys, from the story titled “Every Day, A Gift“?

Blog Photo - Tea time

It’s about a daughter’s efforts to bring joy to every remaining day of her 90-year old mother’s life and it touched the hearts of many of you from around the world.  Late last night, I got an extraordinary letter from Debbie.  I asked and got her permission to share it with you.  It’s simply titled:

MOM

There is a Holy bathroom here at the hospice.

You go in to use the toilet ( please forgive the graphics here), after days of not being on a normal routine, when – suddenly – you find yourself shouting out to God that what Mom is going through is not fair!  That you are mad  — at God!

And then you get an answer.

You’re told that you have been on a journey and now it is ending.  You cannot micro manage any of this like you have been…. appointments, drug refills, nursing care, then hospice care, micro managing the nurses here, mom’s injections … the when and the how and the what kind of everything!

You’re  told that YOU ARE DONE!

It is out of your hands.  She is about to start HER personal journey with God WITHOUT ME.

Gladys creates one of her last paintings
Gladys creates one of her last paintings

I have done my job….a job well done….but a job that has finished.  I cannot, no matter what I do, change the when or the how.  I have to let it all go.

I have said my goodbyes each time  in the past day that we thought mom was dying .   I know she loves me and she knows that I love her.  We had the opportunity to say all the important things. And yet I have said them over and over again.

When I flushed my troubles down that toilet, with the realization that I am NOT IN CONTROL, and that it is totally in God’s hands, I felt a huge relief wash over me… a letting go… a handing of a precious package in to His care.  I left that washroom feeling tremendous relief and with a smile on my face that has not been there for a long time.

Back in her room, I wished Mom a wonderful journey.  I told her to have fun.

I told her as my guardian angel that I was going to keep her busy and see some of the world that she didn’t see.   I told her to do the same.

“What the heck …  take a spin around the world in the arms of the angels and have them show you the mountains and oceans, fly over the jungles , spin around the Eiffel Tour, buzz over Europe …see it all.  Have the angels soar through the heavens….have a blast.”

She told me to look for her in the first dandelion that I see.   I will wonder at that gift.

Often Mom and I would think of something at the same time and say it at the same time.  I would joke with her as to who really had the first thought.  Before Mom and Dad moved in with us,  quite often I would pick up the phone to call Mom and find that she was on the line.  The phone didn’t even have the chance to ring.  We had timed it at the same instant.

So maybe when I’ll be doing something and think of Mom, maybe at that very instant mom is up in heaven thinking of me.

She is very peaceful now as she has been put into a medically-induced coma.  She won’t feel the anxiety as her body fails her.

So my friends, grab a glass and fill it with something like a fine wine and raise your glass in a toast to my Mom.  Here’s to a life well lived, to a job well done.  Here’s to all the love she gave and received back tenfold.

May we all be as blessed.

Deb.

Thank you, Debbie, for sharing this loving letter with us.  I am asking everyone who’s read your letter to raise a glass to Gladys. “Here’s to a life well lived, to a job well done.”