Yesterday we celebrated the life of a Rose…she lived to be 94.

We delighted in her life as we mourned the fact she’s not with us anymore.


What struck us immediately were the photos of Rose as a child, 

a woman…

a wife

photos of Rose and her family…

photos of a wonderful life.


A bouquet of Roses on display for everyone to see

and so we stopped to sniff each Rose…

each captured memory.


We took our time at each photo…


moving slow

wanting to view each petal of the Rose we came to know.


And we realized the beauty of these photographs…

is in what each single photo does…

giving us a glimpse of who Rose is

as well as who she was.


We were thankful to view each little snippet of her life…

each little stem of who she was…and why

grateful to say hello to all the Roses…

before we said goodbye

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When you first walk into a cemetery you are quiet…you hold your breath

you are solemn and respectful…surrounded there by death.


You read the dates of their births and deaths and wonder about the life they led.

the beginning and the ending of one unbroken thread.


You quickly notice how some threads have stretched for many a moon.

while other threads were not as fortunate…ending much too soon.


One old and weather headstone immediately caught our gaze.

She was a baby…someones daughter…her thread stretching but two days.


We wondered what could have happened…we were shaken and perplexed

that a family could feel so much joy one day 

and so much sorrow on the next.


In the midst of our curiosity…just outside the cemetery lawn

we noticed looking in at us…a newborn baby fawn.


She stood only for a moment…her smile brightened our day

then she turned around, and with her head held high…quietly walked away.


I like to try and find some meaning in every moment of every day

which made me wonder what that particular moment was attempting, then, to say.


Perhaps how it is good to visit death…to remember those we’ve loved and lost

to think if even briefly of other’s paths we’ve crossed… 


Perhaps how life is fleeting…how one minute we’re here and then we’re gone

Perhaps how as individuals we die, but life, itself goes on… 


Perhaps to realize how so many lives to so many mean so much

to stop and think how many lives a single life can touch.. 


Perhaps how every life is important…how every life our spirits raise

even if that happiness only last a couple days.


Perhaps to live each moment as a baby girl and fawn intended


with our head held high until that moment when our thread is ended.

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It happens every day…it comes as no surprise

When the day is done…we fall asleep…we gently close our eyes…


And we assume that every morning…again we’re not surprised

when a new day will dawn before us…as we open up our eyes.


But the other day a friend of ours…it was kind of a surprise

went to sleep and it was the last time she ever closed her eyes…


I’m sure, although, she was prepared, she didn’t know right then

once she closed those beautiful eyes…they would never open again.


And so it makes us wonder…it makes us think…sometimes we agonize…

Will we be happy with the life we’ve lived…the last time we close our eyes?


Have we played and laughed and smiled enough?  Have we been kind in our replies?

Have we danced and sang and shared enough before that last time we close our eyes?


Have we loved and have we been loved?  Have we enjoyed the oceans and the skies?

Have we accomplished some of our hopes and dreams…before that last time we close our eyes?


Have we been compassionate and accepting to everyone we greet?

Have we been the kind of person…we would like to meet?


If today is the day we experience our final moments…our final awakening…our final sunrise…

Have we left good memories for those who tomorrow will open up their eyes?


Of course each one of us has our own questions….our own list we must comprise….


Things to make us wonder…before that last time we close our eyes.

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Sometimes we are reminded of the wonder of life in colors bright and gay

Sometimes we are reminded of the inevitably of death in colors muted and gray.


Sometimes we are reminded of life and death…and how they interplay

Sometimes we are reminded of this…all in the very same day.


We attended a birthday party…a breakfast in the early morn

where we celebrated with laughter and food the day our granddaughter was born.


This was followed on the very same day by a funeral of the mother of a dear friend…

Our happiness at celebrating her life mixed with the sadness it came to an end.


There was a moment on the way home…in the silence of my thoughts

I had a chance to think about the emotions the day had brought.


At the birthday I saw love and happiness

I saw family and friends and giving.

We laughed, we sang, we smiled…as we celebrated the living.


At the funeral I saw love and happiness

I also saw family and friends and giving

We laughed, we sang, we smiled…as we celebrated a person no longer living.


We are given this gift of life…but there is one thing this gift lacks….

It will not last forever…for one day we must give it back.


It is one of the mysteries we face…never knowing why

we were given life in the first place…or the reason we must die.


So perhaps the best we can do is live a good life…

celebrate every moment with family and friends

and bring as much joy to our time on this planet until our time on this planet ends.


And that is what I witnessed at a birthday party and a funeral

moments of joy as we sang…as we remembered…as we prayed

Celebrating life in all it’s glory…


two different ways…on the very same day.

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We discovered her this morning…as we walked along the street

A tiny bird with a spot of yellow…lying at our feet.


Deborah bent down and picked her up…not a feather disturbed on her head…

no indication whatsoever as to why she might be dead…


We immediately looked skyward…our eyes wandering into a nearby tree

as we searched for any semblance of her friends or family.


But the air above was silent…not another bird in sight

no way of knowing how this tiny bird…had come to lose her flight.


Yes, we know nature can be erratic…in who she allows to stay alive

those, who today, will perish…and those who will survive.


And we know nature can be cruel…as there’s often no discernible reason why…

this animal gets to live…while this animal has to die.


And we know they’re all connected…life, death, happiness,…sorrow and strife

For this is the nature of nature…this is the circle of life.


But as Deborah gently held this little bird…so beautiful…so petite

It saddened us to think…how her circle was now complete.


And we asked ourselves these questions…had this little bird ever flown?

Was her shortened life a happy one…did she perish all alone?


Deborah carried this little bird all the way home…she was as gentle as can be

and we buried her in our back yard…neath the shade of an old palm tree.


She now returns unto the soil…(from this world she is now gone)

where she will nurture the tree that shades her…

and the circle of life goes on.



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While in Las Vegas for Bryan’s 40th…as part of his birthday design 

We took a family picture…in front of the Welcome To Las Vegas sign.


As we stood for our portrait…it was a bright, beautiful, cool and sunny day

and behind us standing Vegas strong…was a cross…and the Mandalay Bay.


Our reverie paused a moment…for in that moment we all felt numb…

The cross and the hotel stand as chilling reminders of how unsafe our world has become…


When I was young the world seemed safe…oh there were dangers I have no doubt

but my parents didn’t seem to worry if through the neighborhood I traveled about…


My parents told me to be home for supper…to wear a jacket or I might freeze…

and when I got home they’d ask if I had fun…what I did…and how did I skin both my knees?


They didn’t worry about kidnappings, child sex trafficking, terrorism, mass murders or guns…

They worried that we had enough to eat, that we were dressed well and that we had fun.


When our children were young the world still seemed safe…oh there were dangers I have no doubt…

But we didn’t worry as our kids headed off in the neighborhood…to play and traveled about.


We didn’t worry about them getting shot at a concert or mowed dow by a car in the street

Their world…our world…seemed much safer…

free from harm…

protected and sweet.


When we finished taking our family picture I noticed Ali face timing her children back home

and I thought how unsafe the world has become…in whatever neighborhood they roam.


I brought my harmonica to Vegas to play Happy Birthday to Bryan…

I wanted to see a birthday smile light up his face…

But there by the cross memorializing the victims…

I took it out and played Amazing Grace.


I played that song for all the victims who lost their lives or were injured

and for all of their families too…

And remembering back to when we were young…


I played Amazing Grace for the life we once knew.

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Oh my God! We’re on the brink of war…what are we to do?

Have you ever watched a hummingbird sip the morning dew?


People killing one another…hate is everywhere!

Have you ever watched the sun rise in the cool, crisp mountain air?


These people are afraid of those people…they want build a wall!

Have you ever stopped and marveled…at the colors of the fall?


Countries do not talk anymore…all they want to do is fight!

Have you ever noticed how the ocean shimmers…and sparkles in the night?


Earth was existing long before us…and this fact is perfectly clear…

When we humans have destroyed ourselves…Earth will still be here.


I hope the next species who inhabit Earth…the next ones who populate her shores

Will find it in their hearts and souls to try a little more…


To live in peace and harmony and somehow find a way


To relish in the beauty…she offers every day.

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