Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wesley Remembers Momma

Mom's sweet soul passed away on Sept. 21st 
due to complications with stage 4 cancer.

She lived her life with optimism, grace, 
and a positive light that all who knew her felt. 

She faced this grave experience with the same 
clarity and serenity I could only hope to adopt. 

I will miss her very much, but her love and humor 
will live on through my thoughts and actions. 

I love you momma!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Children Confront Death

They never knew their aunt but she knew about them
but never took the time to meet them
and now she’s dying and apologized for being remiss
for not taking the opportunity but now it’s too late.

Mama won’t let them see her, 
she thinks they will become confused
with the machines and death by her bedside.

The kids think they need to meet her 
before she goes away
but mama says no, and that’s the way it will stay.

Seems that life is wasted when love is waiting nearby
a smile for a stranger is lost when those who could love you
are waiting in the wings and must settle

the memory of being so close
and not getting the chance to say, 

“Hello I’m glad to meet you,
and now you must go away.”

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Path to Heaven

When she lay dying 
she seemed to linger longer 
than expected.

Her smile suggested 
she was at peace,
and everything was okay.

After she passed, 
her son had a dream...
and asked her, 

why she took so long?

She replied, 

"I took the time 
to mark the path for you 
could follow when 
your life was done."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


She said she didn't believe in an afterlife.
"We die and that is that. 
Our best chance for a good life is here and now."

I said I had experiences to make me believe there is more...
when people I knew were close to death, they saw
members of their family gathering to escort them home.

She said, "It was only the chemical reaction of dying
combined with a strong belief system
that created those images."

I asked her is she knew anyone who had died
and was she with them when they were 
close to death?

She said, "I only knew my husband Burt,
who suffered dementia for several years, he became afraid 
when the men in black appeared at his bedside.

We sedated him and he died without incident."

I guess I wouldn't believe either 
if that was my only experience of death.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Life in Fast Forward

She was born the sixth in a family
which grew by four more

but she was the favorite, with a sweet nature
and not part of the competition

among the older ones

Who had to watch out for her

and got in trouble if she got hurt

she didn’t tumble with the rest
her dimples seduced those on the sidelines

became a cheerleader, envied and lusted for
by total strangers

and in the limelight she was alone.

One of the few not asked out for the prom
everyone thought she was spoken for

the boys would shiver when they got close to her
too popular but left alone for the shark

who was older and bolder
so he took her as his own

stealing her away from her brothers and sisters
mother and father, keeping her hidden in isolated areas

where she fell in love with the wilderness
finding comfort in the open air

giving birth to her only son  
who had to compete with him

for her affection. She left them both
to get away to save herself

but told her son she would come for him
and she did and they became meshed as one

neither one able to form their own life
until now... and in death it is done. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Two Poems from Chuck

The Crown of Crows

the crown of crows
fall on you
and peck you
to the end

you look up
and have them pick
each eye
do not cry

brush them off

it is the only way
to remove
the crows

one at a time

by yourself

The 5:25 Tunnel

The passage is non-stop
The passage is one way
The passage comes
The passengers
Are always on board

The direction is safe
Welcome aboard
Everyone loves you
Let everyone go
This is your passage

All your baggage is light
And unnecessary
Keep it or leave it
You will see
You are not alone
Everyone loves you

Leave something for us to follow
We are so afraid of the tunnel
We have so much to think about
Before we enter there
Your message is:

Everyone loves you here 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Creative Imagery

Yesterday I visited Johanna Morgan
she offered an energy healing
based on touch and creative imagery.

She asked for a medical and personal history
then we started, she asked me to quiet myself
by thinking of a peaceful time
then to focus on the part of my body
that was at ease and pain free

After a few minutes she asked me to focus
on another part and once that was completed
she asked me to tell her where I felt pain
then laid her hands on that area.

Our breathing synchronized then she asked
if I felt or saw anything.

I described a mature elephant standing
on a drought ravaged plain. The water hole,
no more than a few puddles. The elephant
was weary with the struggle of life.

She asked if I saw or felt anything else.

I felt a mist falling from the sky,
the elephant evolved into a woman
the dried grass became her long hair
and she moved up toward the sky.

Her hairs were the layers of color
seen in a sunset as she became the sun
after a while the sky turned dark
and she rose to the heavens as the moon

She had a basket of stars she hung up
in the sky until they became diamonds
and she picked them one by one
and stored them in a leather bag.

Johanna asked if I had another point of pain
I mentioned my left knee.
She touched my knee and asked if I noticed anything.

I described a knotted trunk all gnarled
with roots in the parched earth.

She told me to imagine the roots deep
in the earth and then asked what I saw or felt.

I felt a quick rush of energy or red molten lava
then a liquid gold, flowing into the marrow of my bones
and flooding my body with warmth and energy.
The gold became an amber liquid, like an oil
lubricating my joints and flowing into my arteries
and veins. I cold feel my heart swell as it pumped
the energy through my body.

She asked me to tell her where to touch
to integrate the new experience.

I asked her to place her hands on either side of my head.

I came to the realization my religious training moved my eyes
to the sky and cut me off from the earth
where the source of my energy existed at the center.

I left the session feeling exhilarated.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mother Earth

The father's came from across the sea
told the locals of an every lasting life
in a heaven beyond the clouds

through hard work and occasional small pox
they convinced the tribes to look up to the sky to find
God and, through him, pray for blessings on earth

They were warned to be wary of the molten fire
that burned below the ground
where Satan offered his evil wares

One by one believers gave up mother earth
to immerse in the water of redemption
then sang alleluia to the God above

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Whimsical Painting of Diana

I started the painting before I heard the news
but now the energy of the painting reminds
me of Diana in her youth. She wore her hair long
and was considered, "the pretty one," in the family.

She always lived simply and attracted bad boys. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Diana was feeling ill before she went to work, called 911

Wesley was in a panic because she wasn’t at home or work.
She called to let him know she was in the hospital. They conducted some tests
and determined she had fluid around her heart, blood clots and stage 4
cancer spread throughout her body.

Wesley called family. Charlene and Rosa went to see Diana. The hospital room
was filled with friends from Oliver’s, Home Depot, and local friends.

Judy and I arrived Thursday afternoon. Diana was in high spirits. We laughed
recalling details from our lives together.  Wesley had written two new songs
and sang them for us. We were looking forward to some type of recovery for her.
Diana was scheduled for surgery 11:00 the next morning.

Diana had a seizure and they opted for immediate surgery. She had an area
near her heart  opened to insert a tube and drain the fluid around her heart.
She was in pain after surgery but relaxed after they administrated sufficient pain killers. She spoke a little but was in and out of sleep.  She talked,about Dad driving a big bus but he didn’t stop to pick her up.  She said she was tired and didn’t want to work so hard anymore.  Charlene and Summer were there with the kids all day. Before we left Summer went up with Judy to see Diana. Diana apologized for not spending more time with her nieces. After we left Wesley was with her when she went into a coma. Wesley was upset and got in an accident on the way home.  He called a trusted friend to pick him up after he was released from the hospital.

Judy and I arrived for a family meeting. Wesley was picking up a new car from
Honda, where he worked.  Diana was non communicative but did open her eyes
and did seem to squeeze when we held her hands.
Judy and I only planned to stay three days so we called Wesley to let him know
what we were doing and asked him if he wanted us to stay. We could make the
arrangements.  He said for us to do what we needed to do. He came back to the
hospital by 4:00 and made the necessary decisions for his mom.  Before he left
she said, “I love you.”

Charlene was at the hospital. Diana was still breathing but they were still giving
her oxygen and fluids.  Charlene had an image of Dad holding Diana in her arms,
he looked up to Charlene and said, “I’ve got this.”

Diana will be removed from all support and sent to a hospice facility.
Wesley said he told her, she could go...and coincidentally,  
he mentioned Alaska,  she got all wiggly...;)

Now it is a matter of time.

P.S. Charlene said she as surprised how Diana seemed to rally with all her friends visiting and touching her and saying they loved her. It seemed to give her energy to respond.

P.S.S. I had a dream last night that a pink ball of energy buzzed and snapped just above eye level. Diana was at the center and said she was very happy. 

More post scripts: the nurses are all falling in love w/her... her friends and family are rallying around her... not so bad when filled with love n dignity! what more we can we hope for?? I wouldn't be surprised at this point if she wows everyone and pulls off a recovery seen it more than once...acceptance of whatever comes.

She died 5:25 Saturday morning. May she rest in peace.


Monday, September 16, 2013


Life filled with expectations

met with some disappointments

 seeking comfort in family

anticipating the future

the highlight of her life; her son, Wesley.

the babies grow and life goes on. 

May she rest in peace. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sandwiches are so Hard

Sandwiches are so Hard
by G. Howard

I recently had an afternoon to spend at the local hospital. I needed some tests and then had an appointment a few hours later. It didn’t make sense to leave so I decided to wait it out.
Time is malleable. When I’m doing something I love, hours slip by as fast as a fox across a field. When I’m waiting to see an oncologist, minutes limp along, an arthritic dog laboring his way to the door.
I noticed that making decisions doesn’t come easily during the waiting time.
On a good day, I take my time to decide anything. I like to research and study before making a choice. If you’ve eaten with me in a restaurant, you know I can go two ways: always ordering the same thing or taking a long time to inspect the menu before asking the  server for his suggestion.
During a time of unknowing, my hesitant decision making skills peter out. I stood at the cooler looking at cold sandwiches for ten minutes. Roast beef? Cheese and tomato? Baguette? Italian? I was both thankful and envious when someone came up and took the last turkey and cheese.
Thankful because it was one less choice, envious because she had made her decision so quickly and maybe that  was the best sandwich!
Less emotional energy
When facing a big change or big news, I have less emotional energy. A sandwich choice is going to seem much more imposing than usual.
I went with the roast beef.
If you know someone has a lot going on, try making a decision for them.
During a crisis, the natural offer is to say “Let me know if you need anything.” Of course it’s an offer made from generosity but the person doesn’t have the emotional energy to let anyone know. She probably is struggling to even tell what she needs, let alone communicate it.
A concrete offer can be more helpful. “I will call you on Wednesday just to say hello.” “I will bring you tea at 3:15.”
You might get refused but that’s OK.
Sometimes the effort to not think about something makes it impossible to think at all. I didn’t want to think about cancer so I couldn’t think about which sandwich would taste good. It was as if my brain went onto energy-saver mode.
Facing something tough? Save your hard choices for the times when you’re clear-headed.
It’s OK to say, “I’m having an off day and I can’t make this decision right now.”

PS—I got to my appointment with the oncologist. She looked over the test results and said, “Not malignant. So that’s good news.”
I left the office and crossed the skywalk. I passed the prayer room and decided to go in. I fell to my knees, thinking, “Thank you God for the gift of my life. I know someone right now in this hospital is hearing the word, malignant. Comfort them and give them the strength they need.”

Giving thanks is one decision I know is always right, even in times I can’t pick a sandwich.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Leg Cramps

It is late evening after a hot day
tried to stay hydrated by lost my way
fell asleep while watching TV
and without warning I felt the pain

first a pull then a tightening of the muscles

it felt like the size of a baseball
in the calf of my leg

I let out a scream,

my husband came running
but there was nothing he could do
I tried to relax and change positions

then finally massaged my leg
until the cramping was done
I don’t want to feel that pain

any time soon
so I drink some Gatorade

and flood my system with water. 

I don’t remember this pain when I was younger.
my body keeps changing but not for the better

I’ve learned not to stretch too quickly
do it slowly to avoid those darn leg cramps. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Strange Sculptures in the Berkshires

   Bear made of chicken wire. 

   Mailbox molded to resemble a beaver on a tree stump.

    Recruits made of hay and old clothes. 

Monday, September 2, 2013