Posts Tagged ‘death’

As Mother’s Day approaches, I hear my mother and grandmother whispering.

May 6, 2010

In honor of Mother’s Day and to acknowledge my mom and my grandma, who I am missing a lot today, I share this poem.

Visitation
Deborah Gordon Cooper

On Tuesday
in the produce aisle,
choosing my oranges by feel
and by their fragrance,
I hear my father
whistling in my ear.
A Scottish lullaby.
Everything else stops.

There is a tenderness no border can contain.
A web that may be glimpsed
in certain, unexpected plays of light, or felt
like a shawl
across one’s shoulders
laid by unseen hands.

There are sounds in other decibels
the heart can hear
when the wind is right
and the mind has quieted its clicking.
The border guards are sleeping
at their stations.
Spritis come and go.

The wall between the living and the dead
is as yielding as a membrane,
is as porous as a skin.
Lay your palm against it
and you can hear their voices
in your hand
and in the place where the chest opens
like a flower.

They are not far away,
no farther than the breath
and enter us as easily,
in pine and peonies,
in oranges and rain.

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Good-bye Lynn Redgrave–Rest in Peace

May 5, 2010

Lynn Redgrave (for more about her, see blog in Ms. Magazine)  is gone after a 7 year journey with breast cancer.  How powerful and how sad, and how close to home that hits for so many of us.  Breast cancer is so sneaky and tenacious.  How brave are those who journey with this companion–who know so many who have travelled long with breast cancer as a companion, but also know many who have travelled but a short time.  It always brings our mortality home when someone who is journeying with cancer dies, but it is especially poignant for those who have experienced the journey themselves.

It is critical that we stay aware and focused on the steps necessary to prevent the journey with this disease–for all.  Ladies, get your mammograms, remember monthly self exams, get your pap smears, do whatever it takes to catch it early on the journey. And men, you are not exempt from self exams and tests.  Better yet, take action to prevent it in the first place–eat healthy foods, stop smoking or don’t start, check your vitamin D levels and supplement if necessary, know your family history and risk factors.

The journey with cancer is becoming way too common.  Please don’t join us on the journey.  As my friend Barbara, one of the founders of Capital of Texas Team Survivor said yesterday to a new member “We are glad you are here but sorry you qualify.”  Our wish would be that no one else need join this group and that we can get to know you without having to travel this journey with cancer together.

So, Lynn, may your journey shed light and hope and save lives.  Rest in peace.

NOTE: The photo is by her daughter Annabel Clark, August 2003, after surgery, chemo and radiation.