Tuesday, November 27, 2007


They stalked her through
the flickering aspen forest
quicksilver bodies
twining from tree to tree
dropping through
the muted silver sunlight,
into her thoughts, they asked
no ransom, stealing for
the pure round-bellied joy of it,
eating away, eating away
at her, all unassuming

In the mist,
rapists and thieves,
they denied her
they loved her grief
the grieving that she earned
and owned,
turning aside their
faces they keened with
satisfaction, sated with their claim,
they murdered her slowly, but
robbed her first.

No tears

The veterans are killing themselves, day by day, thousands since this war began, in combat zones and back at home, leaving so many to grieve. What a legacy this war is leaving.

Monday, November 5, 2007

To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die...
Clive Campbell


Thank you, George W., for sending us a flag. All folded in a lovely triangle. Big and heavy. Big enough they say to cover a casket. I flashed to the cargo hold of the airplanes with their flag covered baggage and I wanted to talk to my father about the war. He was such a patriot, such a law-and-order guy. So proud. Another veteran gone to the grave. They are dying 1000 each day.

We buried part of the ashes in the family plot next to my mother's parents, near all the Braydens and Christians and Bakers. Just the three girls there, with our three orange roses to be buried with him. It was a glorious autumn day, blue sky and golden trees. We all hugged each other and I told them both I loved them.

Lauren and I went to lunch and chatted easily about the wedding, Courtney's wedding, on Saturday, and about Cheryl and how bleak her life is. We have all been remembering many things. On the way home we went to the nursing home and threw out all of Arthur's clothes, except for a few things Cheryl wanted. There were so few things there. Ragged and faded. I never noticed him looking ragged and faded.

My mother was watching a movie in the day room and we didn't talk to her. She has not missed him or asked about him. Except for the initial moment when she said "I don't know how I will ever cope without him" she has not mentioned him again. His bed is empty and remade. I wanted to say one more thing to him. I don't know what.

Marion had her hair curled and her pearls on and seemed to enjoy the little service on Saturday, with all the family there, Bill and Gloria and all the grands- and greats-, and David and Casey and Jimmy and his parents. The baby faced minister was pleasant and the flowers looked autumn-y next to Arthur's picture in uniform. He was a handsome guy.

Steven Barr called and some guy who knew Daddy 40 years ago. Lauren has been getting most of the calls on the house phone. I have heard from Elaine and Deb and Tom and Timmy and, of course, Cathy sent me pink roses. I don't have much emotion left in me. I cried so much for Oliver and Michael and the kids. Michael's birthday was Friday. Josh and Amy came from Hillsdale where they were spending the weekend with her family. They will be back for the wedding and I got a room in the hotel so we can goof around.

back to work tomorrow

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Dying Part is Over

My dad died a couple of hours ago in his bed at the nursing home, after we had all gone home exhausted. God bless my dear son who drove up from the city and surprised me, stayed til 9 p.m. and drove back. It was so good to have him here.

It was a strange and funny and tragic day. The staff was all dressed up in costume (my pal Larry was an absolute stitch in a white tutu with angel wings, huge boobs, a multitude of tatoos and Dorothy's sparkling red pumps and a long black wig). The staff had made a haunted house in the basement of the nursing home and had a party for the residents. My mother came out with some very funny stuff. I will explain later how she was reacting, but it is a long story. The Wicked Witch left about 1 p.m. but the Drama Queen and Josh and I stayed, trying to be sure he was comfortable as possible while watching his every struggling breath. I made the right decision about the DNR. The staff was great. There are lots of stories here.

My mother slept through the whole dying thing, thank you, God. Lauren the sister and I will be back at the nursing home early in the morning trying to explain this to her when she wakes up and doing the funeral home.

I cannot comprehend the world without my beloved father in it somewhere.
I am very sad and will be shedding tears soon, but right now there is just a feeling of relief.

Always Art's daughter