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(a poem I wrote in 2001 while decorating my grandparents graves. My youngest son was with me.
Mid afternoon at the cemetery
and two yellow butterflies were kissing
between the headstones
above the buffalo grass
beside my son and I
The Iris were blooming
petals of fragrant purple and white
the yucca were growing wild with delight
porcupines in disguise
and baby cactus littered the long and lonely isles
Every now and then a pinwheel fluttered
spinning beside some young ones grave
shining reminder of bits of the future
lost to heaven
at too early an age
Meadow larks sang in the cemetery trees
and someone had hung wind chimes up
OH what a beautiful melody they played
when nudged ever so softly by hand or by breeze
a pipe organ here in the trees!
We decorated the graves my son and I
and talked about life and death and
‘Why do bodies have to die Mommy. . . why?’
sorrow and tears springing to his eyes
Explanations of sickness and wear and tear
seemed to satisfy
and tears dried he turned thoughtful eyes to me
explaining that he would come back
as a rabbit when HIS body decided to die –
my heart lurched at this thought
and I hugged him close and we watched
butterflies between headstones
kiss one another goodbye – then FLY
So hard to believe. The year is up. Tomorrow. I find myself moved to tears lately. Especially when gathering up and putting out to display the Fathers Day cards, the Fathers Day plaques and other knick knacks at the shop.
How ironic that Fathers Day is one day after the 1 year Anniversary of my Fathers death. Flag day, June 14th will be one year. In some ways it seems longer, in others it seems just a few months ago. There is no “blunting” of the pain, just a gradual acceptance. No one can describe in full how it is to lose a parent. I liken it to seeing a beautiful view of the mountains, getting your camera, and being unable to capture the moment. There is no way to tell anyone else the full blood and guts truth of how you are doing, or how you are feeling. But, the support of those around, is appreciated AND so very necessary. Without a hug, or word of encouragement, one would simply dry up, shrivel into a shell, a husk of nerves.
I carry on…sigh…