On the Occasion of her 82nd Birthday

I see her in tears too often these days.
The days that were meant for happy remembrances
on a porch with a husband
in their home, filled with decades
of life’s clutter.

But she is alone, acutely so.
In a home not her own
whose dearth of wheel-chair bound, and walker – hobbling
residents draw her into deep despair.

I think of how I have relied on this woman
in all my formative years as a pillar of strength
as the problem solver
as the comforter,
the warrior who chased bad dreams
back into the shadows.

I want to give her back
this sense of power, security, independence
and unwavering love and confidence.
I do not know where they went.
I don’t know if she knows where they went.

I cannot take away the worry.
I cannot bring back the memories of how good life is
how love is abundant and does not vanish
rather is transformed into new constellations
in new directions. She does not become less through these years…
her life has value.
there is still life to be had. Creative energy is
trans-formative. She can discover what an independent life
really is…

I feel helpless to help her. She must find her own way.
I want to say: This is life. It is for the living.
Grasp it. Run until you cannot run with it anymore.
Then you can lay down and drift into the vastness
happy to have claimed what was really yours.
What you were entitled to
and with an appreciation for how fortunate
and beautiful of a life you created and how much you
gave to this world – including life to others
and all that was uniquely you and you and singularly you.

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