Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Such great heights


I had big plans today.

It's my mother's birthday, and I spent the afternoon thinking about her, revisiting journals, and just remembering, remembering. I wanted so much to write about her, but nothing downloaded itself.  And now I know why.

This evening my eldest son called to see how I was feeling. Sometimes I'm a mess on these anniversaries. But the spill I took Feb 11 may have rattled something loose in my head and made me less morose. Hope so. Or maybe it's just that time softens the edges of grief, like agates in a rock tumbler. Or maybe it's my beloved ones who are still alive. Yes, that's it. 

So, today is Sean's turn. He doesn't blog. He's busy tapping maple trees, making brews and mead with ingredients he's foraged in the city, inoculating our yard with mycelium, coaching soccer, and preparing himself to be something like an earth doctor.

Four years ago, however, he took time to visit his Gramma in her "apartment," and he invited her to write poetry. They brainstormed topics and came up with this one: the love of children.

I saved the paper she used. You really can't make out any words, but the sketch of her delicate handwriting is present, despite the Alzheimer's. Sean's poem, I think, speaks for both of them. He was her first grandchild and she adored him and doted on him, as she did with all 7 of her very fortunate grandchildren.

By Sean Baker

To take a piece of my soul
hand it over unconditionally,
nurture the seed until a new
person emerges, with her
own soul wrapped safely
with mine until enough courage
is summoned to leap free
taking small mementos of
the most memorable of me,
Ah, that is joy

And here's the lovely song by Iron and Wine that all 3 of my children sang and played for her as she lay dying. It always reminds me of her.



Image of seedling by Matthew Fang



4 comments:

Rudee said...

Alzheimer's is such a cruel disease-taking the very essence of what makes us human, but forgetting to take the body first. Your son was blessed to have that special time with your mother. Their poem is beautiful.

Pyzahn said...

What a remarkable family you have. A mother who encourages poetry. A son who is so generous to his grandmother. A family who delivers grace thru music.

This is a very sweet, touching post.

Thanks for your visit to Prattle. Re: your comment on writing down blessings -- not at all trite. Its a beautiful practice. I've gotten so lazy I just do it in my head now, but convince myself it's an appropriate meditation.

Erin Davis said...

Your son's poem made me cry. What an extraordinary young man you have there!

Kathleen said...

Oh, Rudee, you are so right. But I'm glad she still knew all of us when she died. That was such a blessing.

Pyzahn--thank you...grace is the perfect description for what I felt in that room. You'll be on my gratitude list tonight!

Erin--When Sean arrived and I looked at his eyes, the words that came to me immediately were "old soul." Know what I mean?

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