Saturday, December 31, 2011


Wonderful, beautiful, my heart is flying. I wish I could share this marvelous feeling with everyone. (No, I'm not taking drugs!)

Sunday, December 18, 2011


These holidays are always decorated with bright flashes of sadness, moment when a sharp memory will suddenly burst in among the Christmas carols to say, "You will have sorrow, too."

Soldier Jacob will not be here, with that winning smile and good-to-all sweetness.

Graduation from MP Training
That was where he met best friend Danny Lee Smith
who grieves with us.
Jacob was a bringer of joy into our family,
when Mother gave his birth
and in every action and word of his too-short life.
The memories he left behind are full and rich and bright.

And I cannot fail to mention the other soldiers who called and wrote to say they also grieve for Jacob, after all these years. The grief never really dies. It is just shared among many.

Little Mother's sweet face and kind heart will not grace all our family doings.

Always the elegant lady.
She taught me that loving one another is the most important music of life.
Her memories wrap around me, soothe me and sometimes
squeeze my heart until it hurts.

Nor will Dad's gruff voice add its dark but sometimes melodic bass note to our voices.

Jacob Finley Siratt Jr
He loves us and showed it in so many ways,
but he fought demons for many years
and sometimes lost the fight.
He taught me so much music.
He loved his Sonny Boy.

Betty Joanne, gone so many long years, leaves lingering, but nevertheless keen, reflections of early childhood.
Betty Joanne, Beverly Gaye, Nancy Lena (Patricia Lois)
Betty learned to read and would read to us,
all snuggled in bed together.
She opened my heart to the joy of reading.

The circle widens as Nina's John Thompson joined our lost ones in 2001 and my Tony Scofield in 2004 and Jesse Bunch in 2009 and Roxie Russell in 2010. I hear, now and then, of cousins of cousins. Those around me attend funerals for relatives I don't even know, but I feel the shadows of their grief. Grief becomes a low drone that accompanies the song of life.

Having said all that, I must add that we are fortunate, indeed, that the human condition is such that we can somehow bear the ever-increasing measure of sorrow. We are lucky that it somehow adds other, sometimes richer, mellower, tones to the song of our lives. We are so very resilient in the face of such an emotion as grief.