Little moments we remember after someone we love dies. “She Walks in Beauty” poems compiled by Caroline Kennedy. “Clearances” by Seamus Heaney. (October 2012)

October 18, 2012 Susan's Newsletter
Little moments we remember after someone we love dies.
From "Clearances," In Memoriam M.K. H., (1911-1984) by Seamus Heaney
She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems: Selected and Introduced by Caroline Kennedy.

Good morning!!  No stillness this morning.  Incessant winds.  Howling.  Perfect filler with coffee mixed in.  Crazy cats tearing through.  Little tornado pushing around Big Red Dog.  Again, the little gifts that make life beautiful.


Every morning, every afternoon there is a momentary thought of my mom…daily…day after day, year after year.  In my head, regardless of all other conversations or stories around me.  Every single moment that I pour my wonderful coffee into my mug.  For every time that I make the seemingly easy transfer coffee spills onto the floor.  Every time.  And every time that the coffee spills onto the side of the cabinets leading to the floor, and then to my feet, I for a moment miss my mom.  The littlest event of my day triggering this memory.  I was reading out of a collection of beautiful poetry compiled by Caroline Kennedy this week.  One of my favorite books to open when I might be restless, or tired, or just knowing I could use something to satisfy my mind and bring the disconnections of a day into a quiet, meaningful moment. 


One poem which I read several times has stayed in my mind was written by a son in memory of his mother.  A poem about a moment in their lives where they had silently peeled potatoes together, but this moment being the memory that was in his mind as she approached death.  A beautiful moment.  Something so insignificant affecting his memory.  I immediately thought of the coffee spills…how we would wipe them up anytime we knewsomeone was coming over, how I now wipe them up anytime I know someone is coming…how at the store I smile to myself each time I pour each of you a cup of coffee and I spill…the one mess I regularly make that gives me peace and a good memory.  I have a feeling each of you can think of those that have died in your life that a memory is in your mind that was insignificant at the time, but beautiful now.  I love poems like this one.  I just love this and hope you do also.


From "Clearances," In Memoriam M.K. H., (1911-1984) by Seamus Heaney

When all the others were away at Mass
I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
They broke the silence, let fall one by one
Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
Cold comforts set between us, things to share
Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
And again let fall.  Little pleasant splashes
From each other's work would bring us to our senses.

So while the parish priest at her bedside
Went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying
And some were responding and some crying
I remembered her head bend towards my head,
Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives--
Never closer the rest of our lives.


Thank you for letting me again enter your Thursday.  Today is a beautiful gift.  Regardless of realities, the time we have is a gift.  Tonight we will have the chance to write an epitaph in stone within our minds as we lay down.  An epitaph on the moments that are gone.  Will we make the moments today worthy of the gift?  Moments we will never have again.  Will we notice the funny hairs sticking out on the back of our children’s heads?  Will we notice their twinkly eyes?  Will we notice their tears when they need us?  If not our children, any we meet?  Will we notice.  If we have no energy for people, will we notice the leaves?  The designs the winds are creating as the leaves fly around us?  Will we notice the smells of fall?  Will we notice how good ice cream tastes?  Will we notice anything about life that is a gift?  One chance.  Beautiful life.  Susan


May today there be peace within by St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the 
   love that 
has been given to you...

May you be content knowing you are a child of God...
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the
   freedom to
sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
Latin for this week:
memoratus in aeternum - forever remembered
empus omnia sed memorias privat - Time deprives all but memories
memoria - memory, remembrance, recall, recollection

Work Cited:
Kennedy, Caroline.  She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems: Selected and Introduced by Caroline Kennedy.  New York. Harper Collins.  2011.