October 19, 2011


I traced the map of your life - these roads of yesterday - these tracks of wisdom that tell your story.  My hands, dripping in youth, against your face - so soft, dripping in history.  Eyes that wouldn't see me - only reflecting myself back, fighting the closing, captured on something beyond our own reality.  No sign of your knowing but the calming of your gasping when my fingers fell in a hushing rhythm upon your brow.  One tear, set upon the side of your face, so beautiful that I let it linger there, a prism shinning heaven.  And when it spilled, running down the landscape of your life-well-lived, I traced it's path like a bridge over troubled waters - this worn tear road - and silently screamed my prayer, "Let go, Let Go, LET GO."  But, no matter our desperation to see your peace, each time your laboured breathing broke, each pause that felt like ending, we would squeeze your hand or brush your hair - anything to bring you back because we were just as desperate to keep you here.

We cocooned you in love, this heart out-pouring, this memory pot-luck.  Minutes became hours and hours become days and we forgot if it was morning or afternoon and still you clung to a life that had reduced you to a shadowed corner of the man we will never really let go of.

All you needed was a moment.  Did you think it would hurt us too much?  You, waiting until your love laid her head down to bed, until we were distracted and laughing over a Canasta table, only then - with the sound of her dream breathing and our silly game giggles, did you finally let our prayers be answered.

We were there within a blink.  Saw the closing of your eyes.  Woke your love and watched as she caught your final heartbeat - cradled against her palm like a gift that she will forever carry tucked into a pocket of her heart.

The instant peace.  The relief.  All that struggle wiped clean from your face.  And we can breath again.

"Is Gwanpa GiGi in heaven?"  Liam's still too young to really understand.
"He's with Jesus," I tell him.
"Weelly?" Noa quips.  "Wit De-sus?"
"Yep.  What do you think he's doing right now?"
"Eatin' ice cream!" Liam says, grinning and turning back to play like it's the most natural thing in the world.

Sleep well.  You will be missed beyond a capacity I have to even understand.  Every breath of your goodness has sweetened this world and you leave behind a beautiful legacy of strength and integrity.  Thank you for loving me.

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  1. You're breaking my heart here Alanna :( I'll keep you in my prayers

  2. Again, I am in tears. So beautifully written. Love you.

  3. Alanna - thanks. I appreciate more and more everyday your beauty and talent. You capture so eloquently and effectively the feelings we all share. Dad loved you...we all do. Thanks.

  4. You made me cry for a Family I barely know by writing about a man I never knew. Your father in law sounded like a great man. Glad he's safe and happy forever now.


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