Like a River

Dear Mom –

Kahlil Gibran, Mary Frye and Carly Simon accompanied me to your Memorial. I read on death – and not death. The Carly Simon CD was one of the CDs still in your 5 disc changer. Ron was helping me with the house and turned it on and hit random. Like a River came on and he knew he needed to put it on a tape for me – which he did – and he gave me the tape and told me not to listen to it alone. Kat rode with me, and we listened on the way. Neither of us had heard it before, and it took us… So much of it rang true. Your brother was the messenger – pressing the button – knowing what to do – and bringing the song to me. That was 18 years ago today. The service was beautiful. It was a gorgeous sunny day – much like today. No. Just like today.

I need to tell you more – to get it out – to tell of the day of – and the month that followed. I will. My head is swimming with all of it right now. The timing, the necklace, Circle of Stones, the dragonfly and heart rock – the sweat lodge with Jakie, my drive and tattoo. There is so much story there. I know you know much of it already. Still. I want to tell you about it. I want you to hear it from me. I want to own my story.

But for now I’ll leave you with what I read at your service and listened to that day. I am again – just so tired. I will sleep tonight. I can’t pull up all my stories tonight. Sleep is the key. Tomorrow.


From Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:

Then Almitra spoke, saying, “We would ask now of Death.”       And he said:

You would know the secret of death.       But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?       The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.       If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.       For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.


In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;       And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.       Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.


Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.       Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?       Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?


For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?       And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?


Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.       And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.       And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.


Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep  ~Mary Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die.

“Like A River”  ~Carly Simon

Dear mother the struggle is over now And your house is up for sale We divided your railway watches Amongst the four of us I fought over the pearls With the other girls But it was all a metaphor For what was wrong with us As the room is emptying out Your face so young comes into view And on the back porch is a well-worn step And a pool of light you can walk into I’ll wait no more for you like a daughter, That part of our life together is over But I will wait for you, forever Like a river… Can you clear up the mystery of the Sphinx? Do you know any more about God? Are you dancing with Benjamin Franklin On the face of the moon? Have you reconciled with Dad? Does the rain still make you sad? Last night I swear I could feel you Moving through my room And I thought you touched my feet I so wanted it to be true In my theater there is a stage And a footlight you can always step into… I’ll wait no more for you like a daughter, That part of our life together is over But I will wait for you, forever Like a river… In the river I know I will find the key And your voice will rise like the spray In the moment of knowing The tide will wash away my doubt ‘Cause you’re already home Making it nice for when I come home Like the way I find my bed turned down Coming in from a late night out. Please keep reminding me Of what in my soul I know is true Come in my boat, there’s a seat beside me And two or three stars we can gaze into… I’ll wait no more for you like a daughter, That part of our life together is over But I will wait for you forever Like a river… I’ll never leave, always just a dream away A star that’s always watching Never turn away We’ll never leave, always just a thought away A candle always burning Never turn away The moon will hide, the tree will bend I’m right beside you I’ll never turn away

I know that song by heart. It ALWAYS brings tears.

I don’t feel your presence the way I used to – for the most part.

But Mom, lately, I do.

I think your soul is here with me in this.

With each letter – I feel stronger. I’m not really sure what that means – not even sure that I could describe it. It’s just a feeling.

“Come in my boat, there’s a seat beside me And two or three stars we can gaze into…”

All love.





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