Monday, August 27, 2012

waiting for quench

tribute flowers at the lake

it is 5 days since she left.

yesterday, there was the lake of solace.
i threw myself in it; cleansing, baptizing, paddling life back into my limbs.
there was family at the lake, thankfully.
we held her in prayer with sorrow, with smiles.
the kingfisher swooped by in benediction.

today, there is rot and sour in my fridge.
a month's neglect, everywhere.
i wander room to room, silently.
there is pain in my body, hers and mine.
child's pose offers 2 minutes relief.

then, in my backyard, the profusion of birds all recently born.
they swarm over the lawn, chattering.
the bath is filled, wing to wing,
with cleansing and quenching of thirst.
a young cardinal joins in the fray.

now, the rain.
at last.
i stand on the lawn with the brittle trees,
waiting for quench.

the rain feels cold on dry eyes.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


my floral tribute for my mother

the last part of my eulogy~ 8-25-12

...But her true legacy lies in her lifelong talent of being a friend. It is no small responsibility, this business of being a friend, for under the umbrella of friendship lies all of humanities' greatest virtues~
love, laughter, sorrow, joy, listening, sharing, compassion, sacrifice, giving, receiving and honor.
My mother offered them all, far and wide. She used her many creative talents to support and nurture her friendships unceasingly. And in turn, she taught me how to be a true friend. It is a gift she gave that sustains me every single day.

This I would ask of you~
honor my mother by being a true friend, especially when it's inconvenient, especially when it's hard. Give more and receive more with graciousness. Write thank you notes. Bring flowers. Call more often than you currently do. Help me make up for her loss by adding more love and sharing and joy to this world.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

she left

"Wasn't this just the best day?!"

Elke Christine
Born~ September 24th, 1939
Transformed~ August 22, 2012

My Darling Mutti,
May God rest your merry soul.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

reverse birthing

Restless and distraught yesterday, she felt trapped. Solace came as she finally found sleep in the evening. It is the middle of today and still she sleeps, her eyebrows raising in question to visions I am not meant to know.

It is not quite 4 years of monumental effort to stave off the onslaught of cancer. She has lived longer than Western medicine allows, pulled along with German tenacity and rivers of love.

Of the many lessons this collective journey has afforded, one lies bold in its edict~ learn to honor and support the choices of another. My comfort lies in homeopathic sensibilities, hers in traditional. We've held hands through the maze of traditional.

Now we are here, honoring and supporting her choice, her hope to die at home. The lessons of this, the daily ice water shocks of decline have shivered me to my core. Reverse birthing, I call it. And it is the greatest privilege of my life.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

sacred silence

I have not needed to keep busy.
I am compelled to silence; watching her, watching birds.

I have sat day after day in her presence~
attending her needs, bearing witness to the slow
release of word and bodily function.
It has been 2 days since she said my name.

I am not searching for answers in the silence.
I hear no wisdom,
nor words of comfort.

I have very little to say now,
having said all that matters.
I choose not to reminisce in her presence~
we know what good we have done.

I choose, rather, to simply be;
with her and near her,
waiting in sacred silence for what
I wish would never come.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

1/2 blind

in her backyard, a finch.
 rosy colored, new, seemingly blind with swollen eyes.
i went to help tuck him under a bush for the night.

but, no.
as i approached, he flew up
and backwards,
like a moth dancing away from flame.

he settled back down in the brittle grass,
and i let him be.
i would look for him in the morning,
surely expired on brown blades.

but, no.
somehow, someway, he had survived the night
and was back in her yard,
sighted just enough to have found his way
 into the feeder on the 3rd try.

and so, the rosy finch has come each day,
1/2 blind in new territory,
finding his way to what will sustain him.

i thought he had come to speak for her.
to show her the way.

but, no.
he speaks for me,
and assures me 1/2 blind
is sight enough to sustain her and me
as we find our separate paths to home.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

the island of last days

we are on the island of last days. insular, the size of her living room, with a wide bank of windows channeling light. the island boasts a fountain and feeders. hummingbirds, gold finches,cardinals. the over-fed rabbit abides.

i lay pressed against her, sniffing her soft, european scent~ the same scent as when i was 5.

you and they are wavering mirages on the edge of these last days. i, we have turned away from the profusion confusion of all that matters not.

it all matters not.

except the squeeze of our hands, entwined. the indignities coddled with grace. her changing green eyes, now the color of sea glass, that still flutter open and pierce my soul on the island of last days.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

of earth and midnight sky

i lay on the floor by her new bed.
 in the dark, i count her breaths.

she is still here with me.
i guard her.
and hold her steady at the edge.

i am restless.
i grope in the dark for her prayer shawl,
the colors of earth and midnight sky,
knit and prayed over by friends.

i lay that earth and midnight sky underneath me.
only then do i sleep.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

matching lipstick

again, she rallied.

we put on matching lipstick and toured the neighborhood in her blue travel chair.

we exchanged instructions and promises.

i put cream on her legs and we sobbed, quietly.

she asked if some one had just opened the front door.


but, yes.

i am bracing myself.

Sunday, August 05, 2012


the days and the losses are moving with unstoppable speed. we lay on her bed eating cherries, swirling the succulent flesh against our tongues, eyes closed; savoring.

today, we will lay on her bed again. i will rise. she will not.

i will sweep the cherry pits to the floor. the fruit of this life is all that matters.