Jan. 11, 2014 – Celebration of Life for Jean – St. Matthew’s in Norwalk, CT

This morning I started my day at a Mass at St. Matthew’s for a friend’s mom. This mom has struggled for many years with Alzheimer’. On the surface, her mind and body had betrayed her. But in reality, it was that same mind and body that raised two wonderful women and nurtured 5 grandchildren. The priest spoke about each of us having talents to be used to serve others. And in the end, it is in serving others that we define who we are and what our life has meant to others. That is in fact the purpose of our human condition. At the Celebration of Life for Jean, I thought about a poem I had written years ago in honor of my friend, Claudia, as she struggled on her journey in this life.

My Body Has Never Failed Me

My arms have wrapped around my newborn babies,

                have hugged a friend with joy,

                                and have reached out to a stranger when a kind gesture                                         was needed.

 

My hands have held my grandmother’s paper-thin hands,

                 have served warm soup to the homeless man on a cold winter night,

                                and have traced the sign of the cross on my children, myself, and my                                                          dying friend.

 

My legs have paced the hardwood floors with a sick child,

                have supported me while standing on the sidelines to cheer my                                 child on,

                                and have walked miles to raise awareness to rid the                                                  world of a disease.

 

 My feet have waited at the front door for the prom date to be over,

                have stood firmly planted and strong when the unwanted test                                  results came in,

                                and have mimicked His faithful steps of compassion                                                   and companionship.

 

My eyes have seen true love reflected in my spouse’s eyes.

                have conveyed sorrowed and secret promises,

                                and have watched with awe a hundred sunrises and a                                               thousand sunsets.

               

My heart has fluttered with excitement upon hearing, “I do”,

                 has skipped a beat with the first movement in my womb,

                                and has paralleled the pain of my child’s deepest                                                      sadness.

 

So, understand, that my body has never failed me.

                It has blessed me with the human experience,

                                given me the means to serve others,

                                                and has housed my soul until it’s return Home.

 My body has never failed me.

 

As Jean rests finally in peace, and in loving memory or Claudia, Kathy, and Big Vin……I will remind myself that it is my purpose, as it was theirs’,  to serve others.

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5 thoughts on “Jan. 11, 2014 – Celebration of Life for Jean – St. Matthew’s in Norwalk, CT

  1. I continue to be in awe of your writings. I am particularly humbled by today’s post – your poem about your body never failing you. It definitely resonated with me as a Mom, daughter, sister, and friend. I loved it! Thank you for sharing, Deb.

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  2. thanks Kelly……I am so glad you liked it. I am sure we have all experienced the inspiration from watching others stand firm in tough times and serve others in the meantime…….love ya!

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  3. Just when I thought I could get through a day without a tear…..I read this entry. I LOVED your poem. I couldn’t help but think of my grandmother (oh here come the tears again). Her hands were so crippled with arthritis at the end, yet all I could think of is that those were the hands that held mine as we crossed the street, made me warm oatmeal cookies, paid for school clothes, assembled pencils in her factor job, hugged me when life seemed so unfair. When I sat with her after she passed, her hands, her beautiful hands opened up and relaxed. I know it was God telling me she was free from pain and finally hugging him. I am so glad that your words reminded me of that. I love how you speak to my heart. I am truly blessed. Thanks for sharing.

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