Last week we travelled to the funeral of a friend who lived for 99 dynamic, gratitude-filled years.
During the service, the leader spoke about how Jessie made notes in her Bible beside meaningful passages.
“This is the day that God has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”Psalm 118:24
Beside that psalm, she had written, “I do! I do! I do!”
And she did.
Jessie had learned to persevere and find gratitude through the hardest times, including the loss of a spouse when she was a young mother of four children and, later, the death of one of those children.
Almost ten years ago when she turned 90, I wrote this poem to rejoice and be glad in a friend. It was inspired by this Hafiz quote.
“I am the hole in a flute that God’s breath moves through.”Hafiz
The wind blows, tentative at first
Gentle lullabies for new life
“I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles”
Inkwells in school desks
Hopscotch and hide-and-seek.
The breath wafts, bright youthful notes
Transcending the Great Depression
“We Sure Got Hard Times Now”
Sweets a treasured treat.
The wind gusts, stronger and unbending
Rising above war years all too real
“Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye”
Silk stockings painted on
Evenings by the radio.
The breath carries, steady and assured
Young wife and mother in her home
“Teach Your Children”
Hands on feverish foreheads
Love disguised as irritation.
The wind slows, a sombre requiem
The loss of those far too young
“Paint It Black”
I heard the news
Hugs shared through hurt.
The breath renews, harmonious and healing
The first laugh after the pain
“A Brand New Day”
Looking to the future.
The breath moves, celebrating and dancing
Life not defined by age
“Never Grow Old”
The breath of God.