WALK WITH ME

I have been thinking about – and missing – my friend Kathy Allen a lot lately. In truth, I think about her, and Fred, every day, but on some days, more than others. I still have blink moments when I think, “We’ll see them for dinner on Saturday, or next time they’re in town, or I’ll call her later and catch up.” And then it settles in. Kathy is gone, Fred is gone, and there is an empty spot that only good memories can fill.

I can’t look in many rooms in our home that don’t hold a reminder of Kathy. Our friendship began in the ’60s when we worked at what at that time, was known as Ma Bell, the telephone office where we were operators. “Operator, number please?” Back when a human voice connected one person with another via a dial-up telephone. Over the years we exchanged gifts. In the kitchen I see holiday trivets I keep up year around, on the patio a tinwork angel, a wooden angel wall hanging in the hall, Christmas ornaments and nativities on China cabinet shelves, tiny books and big books here and there, handmade pot and dish scrubbers in the kitchen, drawers full of handmade scarves, bracelets… These small reminders bring on a smile along with a catch in my throat.

I wrote the poem below sometime ago with Kathy in mind, and posted it on this site long before her passing. I repost it today because I wish for one more walk and chance to talk with my friend. I have so much to tell her, all of which , of course, she may well already know. As a believer, I know there is only a thin veil between this shadowy and insubstantial thing called life, and the people we have known and loved. Kathy loved yellow roses, but what she loved most were the people in her life, Fred, Mark and Marlene, her sisters and their families, her friends. I miss her.

WALK WITH ME
Let us stroll along today and talk.
Tell me what makes you laugh, as we walk.
I want to listen to what you say.
Share your heart with me today.
I want to know what makes you cry.
May I ease your worry, wipe your tears dry?
Share with me your anger deep inside.
I will help you slay that dragon, and turn the tide.
I am your friend come what may.
Please share your heart with me today.


Homeward Bound

Yellow Roses

Hat and yellow roses
on a bale of hay,
handmade cards on a table
ready to be signed and sent.
Homeward bound,
their work is done.

A small tribute to our friends, Kathy and Fred Allen.
Passed from this life into the next, February 21, 2020

Truth be told

More from the April Writer’s Digest challenge, the brain child of Robert Lee Brewer, a WD editor and blogger at Poetic Asides. The first of these is personal, based on the prompt to write an ekphrastic poem, a poem inspired by a work of art – photograph, sculpture, or some other creation. Words of Art is based on a wooden wall hanging given to me by Kathy Allen for my birthday last year.


Kathy Gift 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORDS OF ART

“a good friend
knows all of
your stories,
a best friend
helped you write them.”
So reads the wooden wall hanging
given to me by a dear friend
for my seventy-fifth birthday.
On the backside she wrote,
“We’ve made many stories
during our 55 years
(and counting)
of friendship.
Let’s write more!”

Eight months later
she and her husband were gone.
A terrible accident,
one that took two amazing
people and the stories we
– and they –
would write.
They went from this life
to the most profound
adventure of them all.
Yet, I grieve still.
They were and are a part of my heart.
This crafty wooden work of art
carries wisdom and memories in equal measure.
Take no moment for granted.
Treasure those you love.


BEING OTHER

Change is a coin,
a thought,
a mind,
an idea,
a life.

Change suggests
being other
than we are now,
influenced by
opinions,
facts,
experiences,
truths and lies.

Being other
than who you are
right now,
can be better,
or worse,
an improvement,
or cataclysmic devastation.

Who decides if
you will be other
than who you are today?
Society?
Friends?
Enemies?

Surround yourself
with people who
challenge you
yet give you encouragement.
it is the melding of the two
that makes being other,
be you.


COMMUNICATION

If the missive is massive
the meat of the message
may get lost in translation.
Massive experience forms
intellectual confidence…
or does it form massive
pride and disregard for
opposite opinions?
When you communicate,
keep it simple
(not dumbed down)
but understandable,
relatable, perhaps
a touch compassionate.
A few words well said
may make a massive,
life-changing difference
to someone in need
of a voice whispering
in the light.



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Spare Room Initiative

Peace LilyIt’s happening in Europe, Australia and Canada. Can it happen here? The idea is that if you have a spare room, you can make it available for use by a refugee or a college student or even someone trying to turn his or her life around. In one instance a Syrian refugee was invited to move in with a couple in Kreuzberg, a trendy section of Berlin. The Syrian and the Berliner, both males, are web developers. That’s about all they have in common. Their differences have led to friendship and appreciation for each others cultures. This is one small example of making the world a better place, one person, one act at a time. There is obviously much more to this story as it relates to compensation and other considerations, but it reflects the best of who we are as people willing to reach out and help one another.
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Peace Lily Image: clipart.com

Friends

I gaineSelfie With Lilyd a year. I’m not kidding, I did. Most of last year I said I was 72. A couple of weeks ago, Bob corrected me (isn’t that what husbands are for?). This is the second time I’ve done this. When I turned 57, I said I was 58, so right up until my 58th birthday, at which point I found out I’d been 57 working toward 58, I was older and younger at the same time. Anyway, the point is in two days I will be 72. I’ve left 71 in the dust, but that’s okay because I never knew I was 71. Now that I’m going to be 72 I’m okay with it, after all I’ve been living with it for a year already.

The selfie is of me with an almost blooming day lily. This and a white day lily were given to me by my friend, Sharon Caballero. They’re early B-Day presents and I’ve happily put them in the ground (in pots, the soil in our yard won’t grow anything), and can’t wait for them to bloom.

LilyThe lilies were a wonderful surprise, but the biggest surprise was the three – yes THREE ­– birthday cards that accompanied the plants. I can’t begin to explain those cards except that every one of them contained an inside joke. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt!

Thank you, Sharon, for your thoughtful gifts.

I’m not giving anything away when I tell you I know what my friend Kathy Allen is giving me. The reason I know is that it was purchased at a silent auction fund raiser. It’s a unique lapel pin and I was determined to have it, so I started bidding. Kathy and I had a bidding “war” going on until she told me to stop bidding because she was getting it FOR ME for my birthday! Just a comment here, she clued me in before the bidding got out of hand :).

So, thank you, Kathy, for the gift I know is coming. Unless, of course, you changed your mind and decided to keep it :).

These are two remarkable, wonderful and thoughtful women. What they gave/will give me is filled with meaning for me because both Kathy and Sharon know me pretty well. The best gift they give is their friendship all through the year.

 

 

Walk With Me

Walk With Me

Let us stroll along today
and talk.
Tell me what makes you laugh
as we walk.

I want to listen to what
you have to say.
Share your heart with
me today.

I want to know what makes
you cry.
May I ease your worry and wipe
your tears dry?

Share with me your anger
deep inside.
I will help you slay that dragon,
and turn the tide.

I am your friend
come what may.
Please share your heart
with me today.

________________________

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Follow Sharon at:
www.vandermeerbooks.com
https://www.facebook.com/vandermeerbooks
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