Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I am sorry to say that Pete passed away unexpectedly yesterday. He was a kind and funny guy. I share this picture because he was at his happiest when he served aboard the USS Yorktown. Last fall my beloved and I were able to take him to Charleston to a reunion on the ship, as we walked around the ship and he told us stories of his time on board. He was just about as happy as I have ever seen him. Well, he was always happy when Ashley and Austin were around, but this ran a close second. I am happy we were able to do this for him, it was nice to see him smile.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

When life was simple

Why can't we just rewind?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Drunk and Stupid

OK, I will admit that in my past I have gotten into my car after having one drink to many and driven. I'm sure that most of you reading this have done the same thing. Everyone around us was lucky, we did not hurt anyone. Last Thursday as I was on my way to Rhode Island my friends Joe and Dawn were not so lucky. Joe's brother was riding his moped down a road in Little Compton, Rhode Island when a 66 year old man hit him with his truck and just kept going. Michael is dead and the man driving the truck is not.

Michael was a quite man anytime I saw him, I knew he was a teacher, an animal lover, an extraordinary uncle and an Oakland A's fan.

My friends will miss their brother, brother-in-law, uncle, son forever. His students past and present will miss him for a long time. His future students may never know the beauty of Emily Dickinson or read a poem and that is another tragedy.

Rest in peace Michael.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Anger , Faith & Love

I have just returned from the island I grew up on. Once again I returned to say good-bye to someone I have known and loved for most of my life. My friend Martha, is on the same path as her sister Jolie, who was my oldest friend.

Which leads me to the Anger. I am so angry right now, isn't one loved one having cancer and dying enough for one family? I am angry at God - I do not believe that we are given only what we can stand, that it all makes us stronger. Why? Why do we have to be made stronger by watching people we love in pain and slipping away from us a moment at a time?

These thoughts lead to Faith. I was amazed when Jolie was dying of the faith she had. It kept her believing she was going someplace better and I really hope she was right. It gave her peace and a calmness to die with grace. I see the same thing with Martha and her family around her. I told her that I saw the same grace within her and said out loud that I was not sure I would have that same grace, she smiled a little smile at me when I said that. I am sure that there are times of rage and anger in her, but both she and Jolie never shared that with me.

Love. Love surrounded Martha while I was there and I was just a small part of it. The Love in the eyes of her beautiful daughters, her nieces, her parents, in-laws and in the tears of her soul mate and husband filled the room, I sometimes felt I could reach out and touch it.

Anger at a God that lets this happen. Faith that gives Martha grace in her current stuggle. Love that never ends no matter that the mortal body does.

All of it confounds me. All that I know for sure is what I whispered to her as I left,

Martha, I have been blessed to have you in my life and I'll see you again.

The same words I whispered to her sister the last time I saw her. I have to believe that I will see them both again, because I believe that we are all on a journey and this life is just a part of that journey. Is that faith? Should that lessen my anger? It does not lessen my love.