Poem on the Life and Death of My Mother

Mom and Dad Wedding Sept 16  1949 13WOMAN WHO DID IT ALL

For Lura Jean Park

Small clan                 few kin
and gentle friends
gathering here burdened are our hearts yet great relief flowing through them too
when you look at the big picture for our saint of a mother
our angel of a mother
our paragon of a matriarch
after a full life of bonding it all together
in her inimitable fashion
and after seeing how hard
it had all become for this strong woman
even to breathe
or comprehend
or take a step

There is solace for her now and for those in this place.

We hurried from afar
to salute our mother in her final moments
this small tribe           by her tiny bed
for every big and little thing
that she had been and done,
and prayed hard for her road ahead
and ours
and rained some tears there
and dried the subtle water in her eyes,
but knew it was time
and felt it was right and merciful for her to go.

We see her now in our dreams
where she has ascended
and is free of all hurt     and frail no more
skipping               full of youth
singing with delight         all the old melodies
getting close again to her faithful rock
and true mate and love of her life
all the way back to where she longed to be
and now on to heaven
and everywhere in between
with all the memories
they made and had
and we have with them.

Yet profound is the loss
we realize in the wee hours
and the daily moments
how we feel it
in our bones
and our hearts and our blood.

Oh woman, good woman
excellent woman
who showed us the way
we see clearly those footprints you left
in the dirt and sand of where you’ve been
and taken us
and appreciate that quiet guiding.

Woman who touched
who inhabited our hearts
and made us laugh
and laugh
and feel truly
for life and others in it, BIG soul squeezed into
slight body absolutely filling her up
while she was here

So persistent,          so on top of it all so caring and kind
It didn’t matter when it didn’t matter to whom just always ready to give,
never forgetting
to reach out those gentle hands,
lean down to those in need,
and driven to assuage and help lift up,
driven to walk     that walk. Great woman loved wholly this world
her preacher man her rock of ages
her family her Lord in heaven woman as beacon
and        noble yet earthy model
day in and day out,
woman who let her simple light shine
whenever it got dark,
knew how every opportunity mattered,
standing by her small clan
and those along every path in her world.

Wonderful woman winding down to this
humble finish and
this quiet going away from here…
to this point of departure
where we honor you and offer you this farewell,
where we know
you will have now a glorious starting again.
We see you crossing over
dear woman of our lives
and looking back and waving,
even blowing a small kiss. And from that gesture
and the echo of your voice
and a thousand images we know and carry close
and your lovely written word on pages galore
we know you and know you can be gone
yet be here forever
in that way of yours.
We will hold you           and let you go
Remembering hard     Sharing
Cherishing our vibrant, consoling recollections.

We see you crossing over
the loved ones who went before
Reuniting with the rest
of your Pennsylvania tribe
on the other side of the great river we will all cross
Feeling relief and joy and unencumbered completion
as you are in your glory
full of peace and grace     At rest
looking down on us , even illuminating.
We see you there        and sense you here too
Mamá  Momma    Mother    Mom
as we called you all those days
and nights of long lives
and now we call out to you there
in your perfect intersection with the sky in the air in the world
all around
we feel you throughout it all
in both the day and night.

Oh dear and blessed Lura Jean
we wish you all the serenity you deserve
and promise we will honor your memory
and grasp it tightly and
forever in our hearts.

Good woman
Excellent mother
Kind soul of the world and heaven
Go with God now
This our rousing amen to your impressive life.

March 4, 2016


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