Just so you know

I kept it to myself this year. I had a sleepless night.

It snuck up on me- April 5th- I had actually managed to convince myself that it wasn’t even April, really. I saw no date on the calendar. I didn’t realize until about 5 pm on April 4th. Then it was like a bag of bricks. Or an ocean of tears.

Then, like smoke, it was over, gone. No harm no foul. It was something different than my usual coping/ denial. I really want her to move on. I’m concerned for her. She lives in my heart, no matter, but I want her to face ahead. I want this for me too.

“May all be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.”

Here she is laughing with her brothers. They are both grown men.

Here she is laughing with her brothers. They are both grown men.

Yesterday was Andrew’s birthday. I want to give him a Goopymart shirt. but I need to wait until I get my first disability check. I called, he was at work. I texted. Later he texted back, we had a conversation. I miss him- he is so far. Just down in the Bay Area, so I guess not so far. He has a Berkeley PO box. Not certain where he and Chris live right now.

Matt is close by. Just in Beaverton. I went to his house last Sunday night to watch Game of Thrones He made a casserole. It was delicious. He made enough that he can have it for several days. I bet it’s gone now though.

This is one of my favorite pictures. Holding a butterfly in our front yard.

This is one of my favorite pictures. Holding a butterfly in our front yard.

This is in the front yard of where the kids grew up. The house we had from when Matt was born until both he and Andrew were men. It is unfortunate that we lost this house- I lost this house- because after all my breakdowns, after all my years of grief beyond speaking, after all my lost jobs and the ruins of my career we went into foreclosure.

Moved into that rental on Flavel that burned down and took so much of our life with it. No, correct that- it didn’t take any life; it only took stuff. Everyone, including the pets, was safe.

This next is cropped from the huge picture taken at Falcon Crest in the summer of 1989. You can find the original big version around here somewhere.

Even this cropped version is bigger than this- click for full size.

Even this cropped version is bigger than this- click for full size.

I wrote a song. Well, I wrote lots of songs. This one was called “Erin’s Ghost”. It was written when I still had so much anger with God I almost couldn’t pray without spitting. I wonder how it works as a poem… Since I don’t have the right equipment to record it now and I’ve lost the earlier recordings. It’s actually a prayer. If you read between the lines you might hear the spitting. No more spitting for me. God has whispered into my heart, and here, near the end of my life, has opened me to love. Maybe I’ll call it-

Ashes of Your Love

All the labor of my days

All the sweetness of my nights

All the times that I have cursed or have ignored You

The times I’ve touched You

The greatest joy I have ever known

I will undertake to lay these down before You

Because life burns away

As a fire is consumed

Don’t look for me below or up above

Only one thing will remain

Of what is gone without a trace

There is nothing but the ashes of Your love

You brought to me a baby girl

She was tired, she was sore

And You gave me dreams that I could love or even heal her

But for the time that she was mine

We shared too many bitter tears

Lord there were even days I could not bear to feel her

She had more pain to bear than joy

More to teach than she could learn

God she was deeper than her vision could yet show her

Still as my heart counts the years

She is never growing old

I’m left to reflect upon the grace it was to know her

Well, they say, “God cuts the thread”

So it was in her 14th year

That You allowed that she should end

Her own becoming

I could not believe it true

When I saw her lying dead

Though I held until

The chill of her was numbing

And still life burns away

As a fire is consumed

Do not look for me below or up above

For only one thing will remain

Of what is gone without a trace

Lord there’s nothing but the ashes of Your love

It’s hard to believe that she was right

And everything has turned out wrong

There was so much more to life she’d never tasted

I just pray that it’s true

As Your saints have often said

That there is no love in this world that’s ever wasted

But life burns away

Just as a fire is consumed

You will not find me down below or up above

Only one thing will remain

Of that which is gone without a trace

There’s nothing but the ashes of Your love

1992

1992

I love you, my first baby, my only daughter, my life’s greatest teacher, the one I once thought would never abandon me. You are with the loving Friend, move to even greater light, find your heart’s desire. And in all the worlds, the infinite worlds beyond counting, in which you still live, show your fire. Shine so brightly no one can keep from seeing your wild, beautiful fire.

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Filed under Family pictures, personal story, pictures, poetry

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