I will be able to fly home to Florida for 24 hours on Wednesday night, just long enough to be there for the funeral Thursday morning before flying home late that night. It’s awful to have to go under these circumstances, but it will be a really good thing for me to be with my mom and my family on Thursday. And, besides, I owe it to my aunt for every kindness she ever showed me (and there were many).
They are gorgeous pink lillies we grew this past summer …. a cheerful memory of a happier time ….
Some of you are no doubt familiar with this famous quote from Henry van Dyke, the 19th century writer, poet and essayist. I love the imagery and am posting it for myself and for anyone else for whom it brings a moment’s worth of comfort.
“I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white
sails to the morning 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 from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and 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
at my side says, “There, she is gone!”
There are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad
“Here she comes!”
And that is dying.”
I’ve been fighting a bad case of the sads all day since my mom called at 7 am. My Aunt Louise died this morning around 4 am after struggling with her health for many years. Lord, she’s been through the ringer with health problems. She was a wonderful and sweet woman and I only have good memories of her. She always accepted and loved me exactly like I was – never really wanted me to be anything other than myself. I loved her for that – and for her good south Georgia cooking and her marvelous laughter. She loved to have a good time and laugh. I really wanna go somewhere alone and cry, but works demands otherwise. I sure wish I could be in Tallahassee this week with the rest of my family for the funeral. This is when being so far away from family is the hardest.