Musings,  This Life...

Nan In Search of Clarity–Day 17

It’s late and I’ve been going strong all day with barely a moment to think about much of anything except getting ready for the IRWA Making Magic Miniconference. Liz arrive this morning, she and I finished our raffle basket (it’s great!), and then headed downtown to meet Lani and Alastair, who came in from New York to be our speakers at the event. It has so wonderful to spend time with Liz, who always makes me feel safe and loved–she is a blessing.

I lost it a little when I saw Lani, who immediately hugged me tight and said, “Oh, baby, it’s so good to see you.” She’s been a rock for me through Kate’s illness and death, checking on me from New York and always ready to listen. She and Alastair are good friends–I’m so happy to be able to spend time with them.

Just now, when I opened my email, I found a note from my friend and fellow editor, Suz, who’s worrying about me. What a precious friend she is! She shared this poem by Henry Van Dyke, which I recognized immediately because Son read it at Kate’s memorial service. It’s beautiful and you know, reading it again in Suz’s email didn’t make my cry or sad–it only made me very grateful to have such a dear friend and happy that Suz is in my life. Thank you, my friend.

shipI am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone.”

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

And that is dying…

Death comes in its own time, in its own way.
Death is as unique as the individual experiencing it.

Five Things I’m Grateful for Today:

  1. Time with Liz
  2. Seeing Lani again
  3. Hugs from Alastair–he’s a world-class hugger
  4. Spending the evening with IRWA pals–it was a party in our room–fun!
  5. New wines to taste from pal, Tippi–thanks, sweetie!
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