To Be Remembered Fondly May Be All That We Can Ask

Hospice came and said, “She’s in transition.”

And she was, she slipped away today.

Such a lovely way to say, “She’s dying;”

The Final Journey rather than The End.


A week ago today we sat together,

Talking of the past and her short future,

It wasn’t resignation. She seemed at peace,

Remembering fondly a life well lived.


She was French, Catholic, and from Vermont.

She was the the older sister that became the nun,

and was for many years and then she wasn’t.

Devotions and prayers seemed pallid stuff.


Moving from the protection of the convent

To the chaos of the outside world

The Peace Corps called and off she went to Cameroon.

Remembering its people brought a smile.


When she left the convent she left the church.

But she never lost faith in humankind

She lived at the bottom of the hill and,

We met twenty miles away at church.


Another Unitarian by this time

She worried about women in Sudan

Didn’t eat meat and rescued animals,

And taught Hispanic women how to read.


When she died her bedside table held three things,

A bouquet of flowers from the yard, a flickering candle,

and a picture of her long departed husband, Hank.

Those may have been the last three things she saw.


It was a smooth transition I would say;

Pain eased by having her sisters near

And by the visits of her many friends

And by Morphine and by ever deepening sleep.




Views: 145

Comment by koshersalaami on February 24, 2017 at 10:03am

I really like this

Comment by nerd cred on February 24, 2017 at 10:05am

Rest in peace.

Comment by Stephen Brassawe on February 24, 2017 at 10:15am

Wonderful composition.

Your title reminded me of the Scottish poet Thomas Campbell's line, "To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die."

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on February 24, 2017 at 10:33am

Thank you, Rod.

(Your last piece will air on the radio episode that begins tomorrow.)

Comment by JMac1949 Today on February 24, 2017 at 11:53am

No words except that I'm sorry for your loss and hope that when it comes your time that you and yours are well remembered.

Comment by Foolish Monkey on February 24, 2017 at 1:32pm

poignant Rodney.  I'm sorry for the loss of this lovely woman, such a decent human being.  

Comment by Rosigami on February 24, 2017 at 3:22pm

This is beautiful, Rod, from the title to the last word. What a wonderful remembrance.

Comment by marilyn sands on February 24, 2017 at 4:11pm

The perfect eulogy.

Comment by Rita Shibr on February 24, 2017 at 6:36pm

Her essence seems capture here, a lovely tribute and yes.. it may be the best we can ask.  So very sorry Rodney. 

Comment by Rodney Roe on February 25, 2017 at 6:50am

Stephen, here's the stanza of Hallowed Ground that you thought of,

"But strew his ashes to the wind
Whose sword or voice has served mankind,—
And is he dead, whose glorious mind
      Lifts thine on high?—
To live in hearts we leave behind         35
      Is not to die"...


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