I find it wonderfully appropriate that as the year 2012 dawns, I receive a chance to remember someone who I know is vibrantly alive and joyous but not physically here. This year will mark the tenth anniversary of that transition and to make the circle complete, we have ten poems to go to complete this project. Synchronicity is a glorious thing.
The theme of the 2002 Christmas poem was very simple; rebirth. This was the year that my mother departed the planet and I honored that by doing the poem "old school," folded on paper, just like it had started in her kitchen 24 years previous.
To show the connection that I had with her, on her departure day, I was not supposed to be anywhere near her. She had gotten out of the hospital the week before and we had spoken there. "I'm never coming back to this place again," she told me. I said to her that I was good with anything that she decided and that love and connection is always present no matter what. We actually shared these thoughts over her hospital bed.
I spoke with her and she was tired but good, having been released a few days before. A visiting nurse had checked on her just that morning. As I was driving, doing my job for HP, "something" made me divert my plan for the day and shift it up towards where she lived. I stopped by for a surprise visit and she asked me to go pick up a prescription at the pharmacy next door. When I got back, she was on the floor, an aneurism in her heart having burst. She died in my arms.
Within a week, I had a dream that has never faded. I was walking down the main street in my home town. Unexpectedly, I was passing by the hospital so I walked in and sat in the waiting room, not knowing why. Moments later, my mother walks in, young and radiantly bathed in light and tells me, "I'm fine. My mother is here and she is taking good care of me." She smiled and left as the dream ended.
I have never shared that story in detail before.
Later that year, Jeri and I fulfilled one of my mom's last prophecies. She had always wanted to go to Hawaii but was too nervous to fly for any lengthy time. "The only way you'll get me there is in a little box," she said. By her own words, we flew her to Hawaii late in 2002. I had asked for and received permission from the Kona coffee plantation that grew the beans she enjoyed so much if I could scatter her ashes there.
Nothing is ever gone. I remember that every time I sip a cup of the world's finest coffee from a particular estate in Kona... or watch snowflakes fall.
All that rises will fall and then rise again,
Just as seasons are reborn anew.
The holiday season, though created by man
Is subject to these cycles too.
Spirits soar with excitement of the good that’s to come
Or can be cloaked in the holiday blues.
It really depends where one stops to take score
That determines the mood that you choose.
Ponder this thought about water,
Sometimes frozen in flakes on the ground
Only to melt and rise up to the heavens
And then fall into river and sound.
There’s been millions of billions of snowflakes
With no two ever the same.
And they’re nothing but “good old water,”
Playing an eternal game.
We have much in common with water.
(In fact, about sixty per cent!)
Could it be that we’re all “human snowflakes,”
Full of life’s joy and wonderment?
Endless variation, eternal variety,
To style and fashion your calling.
Much like skiing down a steep mountain slope
Could be construed as “elegant falling.”
So wrap all the presents, recycle the paper,
Watch decorations go up and come down.
Play with the toys; try a new point of view.
See a smile as an upside-down frown.
Choose the memories, create new traditions
From a heart that feels light and free.
For nothing ever lasts, nor is ever really gone.
All there is, is love, shining, through you and me.
December 2002 events:
8th - The Caribbean Community Heads of Government meet with the Government of Cuba and declare the date to be "CARICOM-Cuba Day" - To celebrate diplomatic ties between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Cuba.
13th - Enlargement of the European Union: The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004.
17th - Second Congo War: The Congolese parties of the Inter Congolese Dialogue sign a peace accord which makes provision for transitional governance and legislative and presidential elections within two years.
18th - 2003 California recall: Then Governor of California Gray Davis announces that the state would face a record budget deficit of $35 billion, roughly double the figure reported during his reelection campaign one month earlier.
20th - US Senator Trent Lott resigns as majority leader.
22nd - Joe Strummer, lead singer of the British punk band The Clash, dies at age 50
23rd - A MQ-1 Predator is shot down by an Iraqi MiG-25, making it the first time in history that an aircraft and an unmanned drone had engaged in combat.
27th - Two truck bombs kill 72 and wound 200 at the pro-Moscow headquarters of the Chechen government in Grozny, Chechnya.