Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Loving Tribute...


It was two years ago today that my mother died...two years ago on the last day of January...except that year, 2010, the last day of January fell on a Sunday. A beautiful snowfall on the previous day blanketed the outside world in silent, still whiteness and the sunlight shimmered and shone, reflecting off the surface of the snow, giving everything the look of newness- the whole world pristine and glowing and lovely. It was the perfect day for Mom's departure and welcome into that other realm where loved ones awaited with open arms to embrace her and carry her "home".

sunday's dying
Brilliant sunlight reflects off
pristine backyard snow as i
draw open the curtains,
light two candles, and prepare
to draw my mother into the
shared circle of worship.
Never mind that she has not
responded since yesterday
morning...never mind that her
breathing is labored and her
heartbeat is wildly irregular...
never mind that her skin
feels hot and clammy...
Today is Sunday and, for Mom,
that means worship. And so,
we begin, a community of two...
my voice strong as I sing "Softly
and Tenderly", as I read Psalm
Twenty-three and words from
John's gospel, as I recite the
Creed and pray the Lord's Prayer,
as I sing, "Peace Like a River",
all the while holding her nearly-
lifeless hand.
Then I speak of the birds- how
she loved the birds!- describing
their delight at the filled feeders
and scattered seed, reminding
her of Another's loving provision
and care...
    And then i sit...
    and watch...
    and wait...
    and pray...
    and long for peace to settle
on that face, so strangely unfamiliar
and yet so dear...
     and then- it does.
          And all is well.


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