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It was a brutally

Cold

Brutal night

I knew you were

Being called Home.

I couldn’t expose

My skin to air for long;

I worried about

The stupidest things.

How I miss you.

I will always miss

Your beautiful

Smile

Your voice

Your touch

And I will

Always hate

The brutal ice and

Cold I will always

Remember your

Beautiful smile.

Cruel winter

And I was an escape artist

I wish I had

Stayed with you

That day

Tears come to my eyes

I self destruct in

Little ways;

But I’ll try to change.

And I will always

Love you

And be connected to you.

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I’m not the same woman you left

You said

You also said this wasn’t the End

You knew you were leaving me

You sang to me lullabies in the park

I pushed the tears away

You always made me laugh and cry

I’m very public and emotive

You enjoyed it, always accepted it;

Only later did I learn that my tears and sadness can make others uncomfortable.

It’s too much effort to act cheerful

Or to lie about my pain.

You knew, you knew, but you wanted to leave me with no guilt,

So you picked out obscure things about me and told me that they made you proud of me.

You told me that you loved me

And I saw it in your blue eyes

That looked like they came from Heaven

With a holy light of love animating them

Connecting with my brown eyes

Like right after I was born.

I told you I love you

You said I love you more

I said no I love you more.

You always said you were a safe place for me to fall.

I walked through your last week in an anxious daze, in dread and denial,

Shock, anger, and loneliness.

Powerless.

I hope I didn’t fail you.

It was so cold.

Everything you’ve ever done is etched on my heart,

Just like I told you.

I was afraid you would pass

I regret leaving you

I hope you didn’t feel abandoned

I wanted a chance to take care of you

But you weren’t tethered to terrestrial things

Most of your loves, except me, were in Heaven….or beyond the veil.

You were my connection to God,

To the saints, to Mary, to faith,

I don’t pray the Rosary these days.

You told me how lucky you were to have a daughter who prayed the Rosary with you every night on the phone.

You told me what disappointed you about me, but you told me that it didn’t matter overall.

You knew you weren’t much longer for the world. You were trying to leave me with no guilt.

I miss you so enormously and I can’t believe I can’t hug you again.

During our Thanksgiving visit I was afraid to leave your side.

You were my world.

No one else will listen to my tears and reassure me that things will be alright

I have to act strong for everyone else

You let me be weak and loved me regardless.

Sometimes I feel like I lost my compass, I have no anchor in the world.

Forgive me for ever hurting you, I couldn’t even see it then

But I see it now and it’s unbearable.

At night when the world settles in

Or wilds out

I see the pictures of you

Smiling and happy

Then scared and sad

And I start to cry

I enjoy the pain

I feel like we’re still connected.

I want to bring you to life

I can’t believe that I can’t

There’s no time in Heaven

I assured you of that

I dreamed of you last night

But it was of my own making

I think

I don’t think it was you come

To see me

Even though we spoke.

I remember what we said.

I think it was of my own making

Anyway – like I just said.

I wait for you again

Of your own volition

When you feel it’s right.

I feel this delicious pain

It’s probably unhealthy

But I want you to know

I feel it

So that you know

So that you know

I love you

The Byrds, 1965.Turn, Turn, Turn

Words-adapted from The Bible, book of Ecclesiastes

Music-Pete Seeger

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)

There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die

A time to plant, a time to reap

A time to kill, a time to heal

A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)

There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down

A time to dance, a time to mourn

A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)

There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate

A time of war, a time of peace

A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)

There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose

A time to rend, a time to sow

A time for love, a time for hate

A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

Your beautiful handwriting

You wrote my name in script

On my Time Capsule

You never used yours

which had your name on it too

Also in script

After you died I sold it

To a man who spoke

Bad English

But knew the value of such things.

How many time capsules does one person need?

The day draws to a close now and

The memories start,

The memories begin again and the yearning for you returns

Tears flow and I sob

The Time Capsule of my mind

Holds onto all these memories

I just want to replay them

They’re all I have

I asked you a month before the end

What happens to the memory archive in our minds?

Why does it get harder to remember memories?

You said the longer you live, the more memories you have to keep track of.

I thought of all of your memories.

You kept a lot to yourself towards the end.

I hope that your heart wasn’t too heavy. I hope that it’s light and joyous again.

I could write like you or Daddy,

Disciplined or lackadaisical;

Your signature is etched on my heart.

I want to keep these memories fresh;

Memories of our little happy family.

The grief therapist

Wasn’t all that helpful

She was too critical

Didn’t offer enough feedback

Told me that I was

struggling spiritually;

Then I saw her jar of peppermints

And I remembered when you filled

The coffee well in my car with them

Without telling me

Before I dropped you off at the airport

On what I think was your last visit.

Then I found them and knew that you were trying to do and give me

Whatever you could

Whatever was in your power

To help me, to cheer me, sustain me.

You were so selfless and I missed you then viscerally

As I miss you now

I spoke of you and I felt that you showed me those peppermints

I certainly want to think so.

I love you immensely always

From the earthly side still.

The peppermints Poppa loved too

You knew didn’t you?

You tried to leave me with kindness

And tried to help me when I was suffering

You apologized at the end

For not getting me out of here,

I tried to hide the truth

To keep you at peace –

But someone told me that a mother

Always knows.

You did nothing wrong though

And anything good in me

Is because of you and Dad.

So I won’t be going back to her

But I saw the symbols of your love,

Generosity, and selflessness –

And I felt that you were there.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

I am in Your hands.

They are in Your hands.

Please give me peace

Let me remember the happy times

Like Point Pleasant Beach

Pin day in high school

Thanksgivings at Tellers

Rosaries said in the atrium

Roses and tulips planted

Laughter and joking

Unconditional love

Music always

Books always

I love you and hugs always

Tears and forgiveness

Health scares overcome

Prayers and faith

Jokes and vacations

Magical Christmases

Please God don’t let the

darkness torture me,

The end, my mistakes,

My regrets, her frailty,

My foolishness, either of their pain or suffering.

Please Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

Tell them I love them.

If I’m to continue living

Let it be at peace

Let me know the purpose.

Amen.