Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day\A Day of Remembrance


He knew Memorial Day, formally known as Decoration Day, came into being following the Civil War honoring the soldiers of Union and Confederate Armies and had morphed into a day of remembrance for all who had served and gave their lives in the service of this country. This had also developed into a general remembrance of all deceased relatives. This particular observance, for him, was really only about remembering his time with her. There were times he thought he got over her and could get on with his life but there were times like this that he couldn't get thoughts of her to leave him.

They met when the world was very young for them. They were on the threshold of life with opportunities spreading out before them. She was the most beautiful gal he had ever seen. The minute he laid his eyes upon her he knew whatever life might hold in store for him it would be empty without her. He kept pursuing her and she kept evading him until , as he liked to say, he chased her until she finally caught him. She was from a different background than he and he found everything that was different about her exciting. Her beauty was matched by the fire in her spirit. Their life together was not idyllic but with all the bumps and grinds of living their love became more intense. There were times that they really couldn't live with one another but they knew they would die without each other, to hold, to fight, to love passionately.


Somehow they got through most of their life without killing one another and they were entering the later stages where they could be comfortable being together and enjoying life. Then one day she started repeating herself and asking the same questions over and over again. The Doctors weren't sure of what was wrong but they were in agreement that something was amiss. Then one Doctor gave the diagnoses, Alzheimer's Disease. They left his office and sat in their car holding each other as the tears flowed. They made an agreement that they would cry now but after that they would face this illness with faith in God and the knowledge that together they'd get through this thing together laughing not crying. 


These thoughts were flooding his mind as he stood at her grave site. He thought about all the times that they fought this situation. The Respite groups, caregiver support groups, more hospital visits finally the Nursing Home stay. All in all it was about fifteen years of the long goodbye. The last year she had slipped into quiet days and had to be lifted in and out of her wheel chair. It was obvious she was dieing yet he couldn't let her go. He was with her at almost every waking moment. He talked bravely but he really couldn't imagine life without her presence. She was still the most beautiful gal he had ever laid eyes on. She was still there. 


It is said by some spiritualists that there are times when those who are very ill want to be released into the spiritual realm but they are held back by those who still want them with them and they can't bear to leave because of the love bond between them. As he stood by her grave site this Memorial Day he thought of her last day. His Daughter had come to visit and it gave him a chance to take a break and go for a walk around the block. When he came back someone they barely knew came to pay her respects, as all in the Home knew the time was fast approaching. They both went into the room together. His Daughter was at the side of the bed stroking her mother's hair, of course her eyes were closed and she seemed at peace. Suddenly this woman burst into tears and stared sobbing out loud. He tried to comfort her and finally did after taking her into his arms and soothing her. When she left, he and his daughter sat away from the bed, his back to it, and talked and laughed. His daughter suddenly looked and said I think Mom' may have gone. He went to the side of the bed and tried to wake her but couldn't. Time of death around 4:15 PM, cause of death listed as heart failure but it was really Alzheimer's. As he reflected on that day he supposed she took the time available to leave as the spiritualists say, when he couldn't hold her back. She went softly without any shown distress which would have wrecked him and his daughter and she went loving them as she always did. As he stood at her grave site he thought of the lyrics to Softly, As I Leave You There and thought "I bet she is taking this moment on this day of remembrance to let me know what really was going on that day and how she felt. Somehow this brought peace to him.




Softly, I will leave you softly
For my heart would break
If you should leave
And see me go

So I leave you softly
Long before you miss me
Long before your arms beg me to stay
For one more hour
For one more day

After all the years
I can't bear the tears
To fall, so softly
As I leave you there
Softly, long before you kiss me
Long before your arms can beg me stay
For one more hour
For one more day

After all the years
I can't bear the tears
To fall, so softly
As I leave you there
As I leave you there
As I leave you there  








Softly As I Leave You - Lena Horne


4 min - Dec 31, 2010 - Uploaded by Momentoustiger
We lost a great lady...As the year ends..We tribute!
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