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"I will say you were young and straight and your skin fair
And you stood in the door and the sun was a shadow of leaves on your shoulders
And a leaf on your hair"

Friends,

As you might imagine, we are missing our Star. In some ways, each day seems harder than the next. There are so many sad moments: Abe asking who will finish the amazing game she was making for him; Graham wondering how he can possibly navigate the new season of Dr Who without her; Abby and Angie missing late night talks and texts; Lori, and me, too, sobbing, railing against the unfairness of it all. The reality of her passing pushes hard against our need to keep her with us.  A phone ringing, especially at night, can pierce the heart as she would sometimes call from her bed to come and adjust her oxygen, or remind us it was time for this or that med. We go to bed with difficulty and pray hard asking not to be awakened at 3am in a panic. But it was so easy to love her! And "love is stronger than death" as the Bible says which eases the pain a bit. We plan to put that on her tombstone.

Two nights ago, I (Wayne) dreamt of her for the first time since she left us. We were at the movies with friends and family. The film was over and I needed to attend to something, solve some crisis. She was serene, waiting, unruffled. On our way out we noticed a section of theatre seating that had been replaced with hospital beds. We both agreed it was thoughtful of them to do that.

This CaringBridge site has been a lifeline during the almost two years it's been running. Your guest book comments made us laugh and cry and Esther made a habit of reading them. Thank you for blessing us with that gift. We'll need to retire it soon (probably in October). We'll let you know a week or so beforehand. Of course, there will be many ways to keep up with news about her life and what we're up to, such as on facebook, email, Lori's youtube channel, several new web spaces devoted to her memory and even through old fashioned letter writing! We have 16 years of photos and Esther on tape and lot's of other video she did herself that few of us have seen. Look for some of that online. In October, we'll be talking about her life at a large group event with people she loved. That's an easy job!

I loved to read poetry to her. She applauded my enthusiasm and made me feel pretty smart! I dedicate this poem to you, Esther Grace.


“Not Marble Nor the Gilded Monuments”
by Archibald MacLeish


The praisers of women in their proud and beautiful poems,
Naming the grave mouth and the hair and the eyes,
Boasted those they loved should be forever remembered:
These were lies.


The words sound but the face in the Istrian sun is forgotten.
The poet speaks but to her dead ears no more.
The sleek throat is gone — and the breast that was troubled to listen:
Shadow from door.


Therefore I will not praise your knees nor your fine walking
Telling you men shall remember your name as long
As lips move or breath is spent or the iron of English
Rings from a tongue.


I shall say you were young, and your arms straight, and your mouth scarlet:
I shall say you will die and none will remember you:
Your arms change, and none remember the swish of your garments,
Nor the click of your shoe.


Not with my hand’s strength, not with difficult labor
Springing the obstinate words to the bones of your breast
And the stubborn line to your young stride and the breath to your breathing
And the beat to your haste
Shall I prevail on the hearts of unborn men to remember.


(What is a dead girl but a shadowy ghost
Or a dead man’s voice but a distant and vain affirmation
Like dream words most)


Therefore I will not speak of the undying glory of women.
I will say you were young and straight and your skin fair
And you stood in the door and the sun was a shadow of leaves on your shoulders
And a leaf on your hair –


I will not speak of the famous beauty of dead women:
I will say the shape of a leaf lay once on your hair.
Till the world ends and the eyes are out and the mouths broken
Look! It is there!


 

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Comments

2 Comments

Ahlaam Rafiq
By in life or death and AWESOMENESS, Ahlaam
and god this poem is BEAUTIFUL.
Ahlaam Rafiq
By in life or death and AWESOMENESS, Ahlaam
God Esther's so beautiful!!!!!! and not just the physical way. oh god, i just love her so much...... present tense. esther, maybe you have better things to do there, but please thank god from me for letting me know you.
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