Linda Kulp Trout

Friday, July 26, 2013

Poetry Friday: I Will Remember You

After a long illness, my mother passed away on June 10.  I know I should have been expecting it, but she's had so many close calls and recovered that this really caught all of us off-guard. In the minutes after she took her last breath, I sat on the bed next her holding her hand.  It felt so surreal. The clock kept ticking, nurses continued collecting breakfast trays from other patients, and someone was talking loudly in the hallway outside Mom's room. Nothing seemed to have changed. Other than the nurse who pronounced her, no one else seemed to notice. Mom's heart had stopped beating, but the world kept going. I don't know what I was expecting, but when someone dies, it seems like everything should stop, at least for a moment.

I know Mom had some regrets, but her life mattered. She was the one person who knew me even before I was born. She was there through the good times and the bad. The world will not be the same without her. 

I still think about my mother every day and wish I'd done more to show her how much she meant to me. Now, all I can do is try to honor her by keeping her memory alive and telling others about her.  There are many things I want to remember about her and share with my grandchildren who are too young to have known her.  I wrote this poem the night after she died, and with my two wonderful sons by my side, I  read it at her memorial.  I hope she was listening.

“To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die.”
                                    Thomas Campbell

Dear Mom,

I will remember you—
every time I see a pink carnation,
hear someone mention
“Roses, Roses Sachet”
or smell the scent of lavender.

I will remember —
you always made sure
we had clean clothes,
dinner on the table,
and presents under the tree

Money was tight
but somehow you managed
to buy our school pictures,
take us to carnivals and out
for snowballs on hot summer nights

I will remember you—
sitting at the kitchen table
hemming a pair of pants
working on a paint-by-number,
or rolling out dough for pumpkin pies

You loved
going on long car rides,
chocolate ice cream,
having your hair done
and playing Bingo

I’ll remember your smile,
how you loved to dance,
your dream to go to Africa,
your love of animals and angels
and stories of your childhood.

You filled my life with music,
song lyrics that taught me,
 “You Can’t Hurry Love”
“Dream, Dream, Dream,” and
“The Circle Will Be Unbroken”

You were afraid of dying
but you need not have worried
because you will live forever—
in the hearts of all who love you.

Until I see you again, Mom
I will remember you.

Yesterday, this poem arrived in my inbox. It reminded me of that day in June, and how "normal" the world continued to be.

The Day I Die

by Krista Lukas

will be a Saturday or a Tuesday, maybe.
A day with a weather forecast,
a high and a low. There will be news:
a scandal, a disaster, some good
deed. The mail will come. People
will walk their dogs.

You can read the rest of the poem here.
.  A special thank you to Sherry for hosting Poetry Friday today!