Not a couple of hours has gone by since I wrote the last post about mothers and 'kids'. I just found an email that says the mother of Sonia and Monica, two of our closest neighbors just passed today. I called Cappy and he was deeply saddened, as am I. He recalled how she used to meet him at the end of Sonia and her husband Jude's driveway and come visit for hours of pleasant talk. I can't tell you how honored I was one day when she came over to visit with me. By knowing her daughers, you could make an educated guess that their mother would have to be such a gracious Southern lady. I had always hoped she would come by again, but alas, all too soon, due to health issues, she was unable to visit anymore.
It's just so sad; many of the older people, who have learned so much, who have lived such rich lives, who could tell us wonderful stories, keep, one by one, moving along and disappearing off the long treadmill that is time. It brings to mind the poem "Thanatopsis" by William Cullen Bryant. I won't include the whole free-verse poem, but will pick out the parts that touch me the most and paraphrase:
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
... Through the still lapse of ages.
All that tread The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.
...yet--the dead are there,
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down In their last sleep
--the the dead reign there alone.---
So shalt thou rest
--and what if thou shalt fall
Unnoticed by the living
--and no friend Take note of thy departure?
All that breathe
Will share thy destiny.
... When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care Plod on,
and each one as before will chase His favourite phantom;
yet all these shall leave Their mirth and their employments,
and shall come,
And make their bed with thee.
As the long train Of ages glide away,
the sons of men,
The youth in life's green spring,
and he who goes In the full strength of years,
matron, and maid,
The bow'd with age,
the infant in the smiles And beauty of its innocent age cut off,--
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side,
By those, who in their turn shall follow them.
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, that moves
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon,
but sustain'd and sooth'd By an unfaltering trust,
approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
I especially like the last part, which he added later. I like to think that the beautiful mothers, fathers, and all loved ones who have passed before us, are being sustain'd and soothe'd by The Lord and given pleasant rest and truly sweet dreams. God Bless you, Dear Mrs. Steib, I can't wait until it's our time to come and visit with you this time.