Sunday, July 23, 2006
Annie, 20 Dec 1942 - 23 Jul 2005
This photo of Annie was taken the day before her 61st birthday on 19 Dec 2003. It was just eleven days before I retired and was one of the first photos I took with my then new Sony DSC-10 digital camera. It was taken in the living room of a long time friend and former neighbor of ours from Auburn. It's one of my favorites of the recent photos of Annie and is the one we used on the cover of the booklet for her Memorial Service last Aug 3rd.
After more than 37 1/2 years of marriage, my Annie died while I was holding her in my arms at 10:40am a year ago today at Skagit Valley Hospital, Mount Vernon WA. We hadn't expected her to die. She was just there to have some wounds that opened up over pressure points in her body treated. It looked like it might be a long hospital stay but she had been through long stays before. However, this time, she caught pneumonia on the 21st and couldn't fight that off along with all the other things that seemed to start going wrong at once.
On Valentine's Day this year I found a wonderful poem that had been posted on Susan's blog by emob called, "Within You", written by S. Hancock. It seemed to me as though that poem had been written by Annie for me & was somehow put in a place where I would find it on that day for lovers. I love it and thought I'd post it again today as there are people reading here now that were not back then.
If I be the first of us to die,
Let grief not blacken long your sky.
Be bold yet modest in your grieving.
There is a change but not a leaving.
For just as death is part of life,
The dead live on forever in the living.
And all the gathered riches of our journey,
The moments shared, the mysteries explored,
The steady layering of intimacy stored,
The things that made us laugh or weep or sing,
The joy of sunlit snow or first unfurling of the spring,
The wordless language of look and touch,
Each giving and each taking,
These are not flowers that fade,
Nor trees that fall and crumble,
Nor are they stone,
For even stone cannot the wind and rain withstand
And mighty mountain peaks in time reduce to sand.
What we were, we are.
What we had, we have.
A conjoined past imperishably present.
So when you walk the wood where once we walked together
And scan in vain the dappled bank beside you for my shadow,
Or pause where we always did upon the hill to gaze across the land,
And spotting something, reach by habit for my hand,
And finding none, feel sorrow start to steal upon you,
Close your eyes.
Listen for my footfall in your heart.
I am not gone but merely walk within you.
I was getting ready this morning to leave to drive to church at St Paul's in Cheney, when I looked out the RV window & here were my son M, J & K walking up to the rig! They had gotten up early, left home at 04:30 and driven over to surprise me. They are staying the night in a motel about two miles away & we will have tomorrow together before they leave for home in the late afternoon. I also got the chance to talk with my other son, B, tonight on the phone. I guess after today I will not have so many firsts to face without my Annie as most of them will already have happened. There was a fantastic sunset tonight that I feel was sent to us to enjoy by Annie. I took some photos but want to post this now so will have to do those photos at a later date.
I love that verse... love it. And I can't wait to see your photos Dick. God bless Annie, and you.
Your Annie lives on my friend, in the thoughts you share with us.
Thank you for letting us know her, too.
This photo is beautiful , and your words and story really touched me , I mean really really touched me !, I can only hope that I am loved as you love your Annie,it is so wonderful to see that . Although a sad story I feel your love for her overflowing , and the poem is perfect , everyone who has lost someone near and dear should read this !
wasnt it sweet of your boys to surprise you , you are so loved and have a wonderful family , God Bless and know people out here are thinking of you as well :} Hugs for Huggy and OK a scratch too take care
Take care, and hugs, from Meow
Thank you for your sweet comments on my blog. I appreciate them very much. Hope you enjoyed your time with your family.
Safe journey, my friend, and pet Huggy for me. :-)
There are many who thnk of you.
Links to this post: