I Looked Into the Eyes of a Dying Woman

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The other day, I traveled across a state to say good-bye to a friend. I did it because I wanted her to realize just how worth it she is. I did it for the love I have for her and her children. I did it because I cared. But the trip wasn’t meant to be about me, it was a gesture of kindness for a person who now is faced with readying herself for the next chapter in her life – that out of body journey that we are left curious about yet, hold onto a faith of purpose in the next life.

Whenever I lose someone I am close to it gives me pause, as it naturally should. I am the guy that constantly walks around complaining about a life without everything I want, an unhappiness sometimes that if I am not careful can be revealed to those I am close to in life. To sit and witness a person who is losing their struggle in life and still smile and offer happiness to those loved ones around her is certainly a humbling experience.

I’m glad I made the drive. The day was beautiful, the moment saying good-bye was special. Seeing the love in the room was quite exceptional, a lot of tears, moments of reservation turned to immediate release, and then two children doting on their dying mother with every resource their body and mind would allow. I said to them at one point, you are both such gracious people filled with love and humility. I said, you had a great mentor and they both glanced at mom and weeped for a second. Smiles and hugs around realizing the day was nearer than anyone would like it to be.

I said my good-bye and hit the road for the drive back, the whole time processing what I had just done and why. I had no ulterior motive to see a young woman die before her time. I wanted to say good-bye and see the peace in her eyes. I wanted to know that death is a planned event no matter the impulsivity. We will all wonder why she had to be taken so soon, while others struggle on for years, or overcome the disease that threatens a life.

On the drive back, I cried, I cried hard. It felt refreshing, cleansing I suppose. It felt like I was allowing my feelings to come to the surface rather than suppressing them. I believe in that moment of weeping, I understood love in all of its abundance.

But the story doesn’t end there. Halfway into the drive I heard about the death of Senator John McCain. I certainly did not know him personally, did not ever meet him, but like everyone else, or the majority in our country, I do recognize him as a national hero. I witness the strength of character in his work ethic right up to the day of his departure. I read about his victories, sufferings and accomplishments, and suddenly I am aware of how his life was sacrificed for the better good. Much like my friend, in the end, his entire focus was helping people find their own peace with that goal in mind.

So that night, a Saturday night, I went through a lot of soul-searching. I recognized my own purpose and how these were moments of clarity that give me the strength to go on. Remember we always think about the resilience to go on when we lose someone we care or have compassion for. Much like John McCain, and my friend, life is precious, and we realize it in the worst of times.

And then it happened. The next day, we lost another kind soul. The superintendent of our school district died the day before we walked into our classrooms. Across the district there was  a numbness felt for a man that brought positivity in a time when that was the only way to heal many painful aspects of our district’s history. His tenure with us was brief, but in that time he brought real and genuine happiness into the lives of the people he touched. And his spirit did and will continue to touch many.

So, this weekend I was surrounded by cancer. I suppose it was a necessary passage of showing all of us that our lives are worth every  minute we have and to never take our time for granted. I look around the room and realize there are people that do not have the capacity to recognize the connection between life and death. For me, on this rather remarkable weekend of finding peace in the curiosity of the human condition, I am hoping I will find an eventual peace. I go forward hoping to resonate with the legacy of people brought down before their time, yet people that instilled love and purpose into my own life and the lives of all of those around us.

Godspeed our fragile humanity.

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There’s a Song About It Too

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I think it’s the Counting Crows,

well now I know it is,

just being stylish,

setting the tone,

the moment when everything matters,

inside the look of a photo.

 

I woke to this image in the morning,

it represents something,

a journey I suppose,

where all eyes come together

to find some peace,

waking only to see ‘Omaha.’

 

I went to sleep with that last night,

having visited our future,

a couple of kind young souls

that inspire my chances

to watch them grow,

seems silly now, they’re both young adults.

 

I woke up this morning,

looked at the sign out my hotel window,

remembered how blind I’d been

the night before to purpose and reason,

and suddenly came to terms with a world

far beyond just my own sense of matter.

 

To them, the two students I cherished,

one being certainly the breath of my oxygen

with an energy driven toward happiness,

a positive soul,

a wonderful heart.

 

And he,

a magical young man,

with talents beyond the norm,

pick up a guitar,

stand in for a character,

draw a line and give it purpose,

 

They walk the sands together,

shaping the mold of steps

left behind for others

to notice, to understand, to wonder,

their’s is a special opportunity,

the human condition in genuine smile.

 

I drove miles to observe and then wake to Omaha,

and tonight I’m at peace, a sweet simplicity in awe

Lest We Forget, Again

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For we do that,

oh so often, we do

decide upon a beautiful sunset,

perhaps the rising moon,

a sweet snowfall,

even the rain of a heated summer day,

lets our mind return to the numbing

nature of a human condition

built upon,

the product of denial.

 

But we cannot,

simply look alive people,

please don’t shut your eyes,

there’s a movement,

and this time,

it is your children,

let their voices be heard.

 

Imagine telling a child

you may not skip class to protest

the death of your peer

by senseless gunfire,

imagine telling your children,

I don’t love you enough

to give a crap

about your well being.

Imagine telling a child

when you leave

I’m not going to imagine

a terrible outcome.

 

If we demand our children

stick to the implementation

of a day of lessons

designed in minutia

and instead

forget the very reason,

we brought our child

into this world,

then we have suggested

the concept of love is a fallacy.

 

We are at war,

and the eyes of a child,

certainly contain the heroic passions

of our every tomorrow.

While Digging

With a mental spade in hand,

I broke ground in a volatile land.

 

It is the sort of tale we often forget,

when suddenly life simply won’t relent.

 

I crossed over into a forgotten meadow,

only to find I’d still carried a shadow.

 

There is a reality in knowing the right word

to help move beyond what we might think absurd.

 

It is a choice,

to dig.

 

While the atmosphere around us seems trite,

there is a powerful settling in dirt contrite.

 

Seems the space may no longer feel quite clean,

once the reality of our lives become serene.

 

Oh stop again,

for the dig.

 

Seems the further inside the realm of disdain,

less easily is the worker’s ability to complain.

 

Seams in the environmental cause will display

while every last item of loss has fallen his way.

 

Though the earth has a forever sort of fallen ground

gives credence to the prison in which we are bound.

 

We cannot ever escape the tone of the suddenly frail,

its competency so built upon retelling a scorching tale.

 

Instead we dig, we do try to compel a story,

written by ourselves to discover just what glory

 

lies in the dig,

where uncovered,

 

we fall victim to knowing time is a circle, a place

whereby all of our insecurities likely keep pace,

 

while digging,

in search of a likely capsule.

 

The ground itself in however it may swell,

always uneven, one might never retell.

 

Validation

Is it a want, a need,

a purpose,

defines the living soul,

the eyes of which,

a world may rely upon

to assist

simple understanding.

 

The manner we posture,

a walk, a glance, an utterance,

measured by one,

thought of as many

aspects –

how an introduction

might manifest

an outcome.

 

If by allowance,

a human being may

settle personal desire

within the structure

our normalcy suggests,

would might that insecurity,

begin a confidence,

well managed

in peace.

 

For a desired response,

to our musings

our careful scrutiny,

a passion to rather than pretend,

more assuredly demand

a satisfaction,

validation,

aforementioned affirmation,

perhaps provides,

sweet energy,

in life,

a determination

met by all eyes,

their eyes,

everyone has

many sets of …

 

I’s.

 

 

Being Real

Certainly, life is a challenge,

wake up to a peaceful sunlit morning,

compelled to go back to dreams,

life is waiting with a plundering notion,

at least,

that’s what a voice tells me,

when trying to ascertain,

getting a grip, get a grip, get a grasp,

we all do grapple with a sweet ideal,

when not met, forgotten,

when we seem oblivious to the plan,

whose plan, The Man,

yeah, the Man seems to drive our …

I woke up an hour later,

wondering how I had fallen into,

fallen off, fell forward, free for all,

landing in whatever state of mind I might choose.

The Absurdity of Time

Oh yes,

did you hear about the time …

how often can we,

separate one moment from another,

stretch away from

that time,

to now quickly embrace,

today,

or was it yesterday,

felt better than before,

gave credence to wanting more,

until last night,

when it all hit home,

the shadows, the memories, the crack in the ceiling,

all again seemed to enlarge their

purpose,

in reminding us all about,

that one …

Wherever it is we decide to land,

to suggest this is enough,

to perhaps realize,

no wait a second,

get it,

together there must be a further reason,

to want to define, decide, design,

the accentuate nature of our lives.

Or are we really that able to describe,

in any setting,

the actual reason,

just why,

just when it is we have found,

reached, centered our own

personal

concept of nirvana.

Until then maybe again is when

we pretend there is more time ahead.