I attended my Aunt Jenny's funeral on Friday and appreciated that I was able to be there. Jenny was my dad's sister. She had been ill with Parkinson's for many years, and she and her family suffered in that time. She died at age 87, and I believe she now knows peace. I wish for peace for her husband of 64 years, my Uncle Nilus, and for their six children and their families.
It was good to see members of my own family and my extended family, as cousins gathered to pay respects. I am thinking especially of Sister Norma Jean, my dad's youngest sister and now the only surviving member of her immediate family. She has said goodbye to both parents and all six of her siblings. It gives me pause to think about the nature of life, the wisdom of life, the full range of feelings that life brings if we truly live it.
I hadn't written a poem in months. Sometimes that is the way it goes. One started coming to me as I drove to the funeral Friday morning. I finished it Saturday morning, as I considered the previous day's events and emotions.
Here is that poem:
And a picture to go with the poem, a sign just a few blocks down from that church and cemetery:
A life well-lived starts with today. It starts with living gratefully in the moment. If not for that, I would have missed this sign and so many others.