Friday, July 13, 2012


There are people who Major in eloquence. Their outgrown bedroom slippers shine with it, they quip the way I snore (effortlessly and with Great Abandon) and they can talk their way out of ...of....a polar bear's jaws, I imagine.

And, then, there are people like me, who majored in 'foot in mouth disease' in college.

(Or was that just co-authoring 'Verbal Mortification for Dummies'?)

Eloquence is what I could use right now.

My dear young cousin Tina struggled against her failing health...until she really didn't have much left to work with. And then her spirit flew free.


There are many ways to write about loss, but this loss isn't mine to write about. I have gratitude for the care she received in her final weeks, but the pain she lived with for the last three years is nothing you can address in a quip, or epigram.

She was blessed with dear friends, a fiercely devoted mother,  a loving brother with a wonderful family, and a a large extended family, and I think all of us are feeling pretty flattened. Long-term illness can wear at people, even when they aren't the actual victim. does it demolish the will of the ill?

I sent sunflowers, for her, and as a tribute from all her cousins who share her generation. Recognizing genuine good, and joy, is hard from this vantage point. Some of Tina's family - as many as could come - shared her final three days in the hospital. Not because they are heroically selfless people, but because they are family - and wanted to help carry the burden of sadness for awhile.


There are days when we question 'why'. Why are we here?

Carrying the burdens makes the joyous times so much sweeter - maybe that is part of it.

This post, on review, is clumsy, half-articulate, and....lacking, I suppose. On the other hand, that pretty much sums up how I feel.

That, and rather flattened.

But I leave you with this - that when (not if) this road is what you walk, I wish that your friends and family - and maybe even complete strangers - show up when you need them. Even if you think you don't.

And they do what we did.

We tried to help carry the burden.


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