Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"...Where there is sadness, joy."

It was a beautiful morning. I left my sister's house and drove north along Reliez Valley Road. Before I traveled the long drive home I stopped at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery and spent a while with my mother.
The hills are dry and brown now. The oak trees watched from the hillside above the cemetery.
A Magnolia tree guards this section where Mom is resting.
I heard chimes coming from the other side of the roads that cross each other in this huge resting place. Lovely chimes ...
And a Saint Francis of Assisi quote was shining in the sunlight against brown marble...
“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

What a beautiful way of looking at our world and every day of our lives.

Someone must have read another quote of his. The one that says,
“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”
because on some one's plaque was a small battery candle with a flickering flame. It was so pretty sitting there under the evergreens....
As if to keep the darkness at bay.

Many other places were filled with flowers, real and fake.
One had a handwritten letter, opened for all to read, in a plastic zip lock bag.
And two Bud Lights. They were for someones Grandfather. How sweet.
There were many little offerings... favorite things left in remembrance. Reminders of what this person loved.
Like the love of country...
 And dark chocolate covered cherries, lemons and Sierra Nevada Ale.
And a huge snowman cookie for someone named Thomas.... with a bite out of it. Maybe a bird decided  to help out and speed the ".. where there is sadness, joy." part of the St. Francis poem. Helping the cookie pieces reach into a deeper place where they could find this person named Thomas. Or... maybe the cookie will be gone tomorrow, enjoyed by maybe birds and little critters that come to find sustenance.

I realized that I had come unprepared. I didn't bring a plant or flower, beer, cookies or lemons to lay on my mother's granite plaque. I went to the car and looked for something. She would have loved a cookie but I didn't have one. She always had a sweet tooth. She would have loved a small box of orange almond nougat candy that my friend from Michigan sent me or a piece of blackberry pie that I made for Christmas dinner... but none of that was left.
I looked, again and finally found one small gift that I could leave her. It was in a bag that I had brought for my grandkids. I didn't give them the candy because they had so many other sweets.
So I took one and laid it on Mom's plaque.
You knew the St. Francis poem well, Mom. You live his poem.
You showed us how to live this way.
Sis and I are doing OK. We miss you but we will be all right.
I love you...

Isn't it a beautiful day?

Watch out for the birds. They like sweets.

Enjoy the candy cane...

Merry Christmas!


  1. it is a lovely poem...and so touching all that was left for the ones that have passed...thank you for this....

  2. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your visit with your mom with us. "She walked in beauty."

    Cemeteries are such interesting places.

  3. Connie, this post was so heart warming, it brought tears to my eyes. I know your mother was looking down from heaven while you were searching for a gift to leave her. I am so glad you found the sweet candy cane. Have a blessed day and Happy New Year. Madeline

  4. thank you for sharing this
    candy cane ...perfect

  5. This is soooooooooo beautiful! Thank you for sharing with us. I have that poem framed and hanging in my bathroom- to remind me. I love the name Queen of Heaven.
    Hugs to you, friend.
    xo, Cheryl

  6. This meant a lot to me as I lost my mom just a few years ago. Thanks for sharing!


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