It is never a good thing when the telephone wakes you early….Even worse when you see it is your husband’s parents who are calling, even though he just spoke with them over the weekend. The bad news was somewhat expected, Gram had died. She was 90 years old and had been suffering for a long time, so we know she is in a better place.
I once wrote a sestina, a certain type of poem, about death…and the part that continues to stand out for me is the line: Framing life is death, a boundary of time. I have found that line repeated in my writing since then…. This idea
that even as we live life we know that our time here is limited. And, as importantly, it cannot be far from our minds that this holds true also for the people we love. If we are lucky, we may share their life for a long time. And these shared experiences help create the depth in our own lives.
I think this is especially true of grandparents. I lost my own grandmother a little over a year ago, and I remember it took me a while to come to terms with the fact that she wouldn’t be part of my life anymore. The memories created over the early years together frequently reach out to me, like a whisper from a close friend. I can be in the midst of doing something, like cooking, and a thought of her will make me smile or sometimes even laugh.
So, although death does frame life, the boundary it creates is more fluid than I realized when I was younger. And, as I just read on a twitter post today from @rainbowkate: In the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln
I think I finally understand what that really means.
Barbara Jean Sherwood Wilsted
b. July 30, 1921 - d. Feb 6, 2012
(you will be missed)