Wednesday, April 2, 2008

exploding love

Has anyone ever done something for you, out of the blue- that is beyond kind and wondrous? I have had this experience, many times...often, I forget soon enough to say thank you. My post today will speak of a kindness born out of tragedy, out of despair- yet even though these people who are going out of their way for me and mine have been through the fire of the loss of a child- they reach out to me, for me- in joy. On Saturday, April 5th, at dusk, Petersburg fairgrounds- there will be a fireworks show in honor of my late son, Beau.

(Brief: Shattered lives, helpless hearts- when the shock wears off, the journey's just begun.)

For Them
Seldom read the paper
so why did I today-
pick a piece of torment
on the obituary page

Another senseless tragedy-
twenty two and full of life
a local boy not quite a man,
he'll never take a wife

Oh his parents, numb struck parents
for them it's just begun
their questions in the multitudes
and answers they'll find- none.

I pray that those who reach to them
think of what they'll say
and only heal in time of need-
not hurt them more today

Small town folk will bustle
to the resting place
and offer tears and "I'll be here-"
and then just walk away-

They think they really mean it,
when offering everything
but they have reason to go on-
they just can't know the sting...

Oh the parents, poor sweet parents
it only has begun-
The road of grief, a million miles
they'll crawl through every one.

Them are the people who are holding the fireworks show, they lost their son tragically, too soon and I had just happened to be reading the paper, when I learned of their sorrow. I do not like to attend funerals (who does?!), but especially now- it is a difficult endeavor for me. John's wake was the first I had attended since my son's funeral- I did not want to go, knew I'd fall apart, but for them- I had to go. John and Beau attended school together, grew up together- different in personality and musical tastes, but good, uncommon unique individuals- I think they respected each other for those differences. After L. and V. lost John, I made sure they saw me, hoping they might come to realize this is what survivors look like, I was "a member of the club" a year longer than they. I needed to be there for them, had to see them through in any way I could, I knew the road they would have to travel. After reading the obituary, I wrote the above poem- I never shared it, I didn't think at the time that it would serve any purpose, didn't want them to know of the days to come...only hoped and prayed for them an awareness of taking each day, and only that day- as it came.

I saw them last year at my farmer's market- we hugged. They had told me of their lives intwinement with organ donation- how strongly they felt that something good should and could come from something so very tragic. They filled me in on their ever growing business in firework shows, how this too seemed to serve the purpose of a higher love, connection and joy given to countless others. I was offered a sincere loving gift- pick a few songs, Beau would be remembered in this year's vendor extravaganza- a major fireworks display in April. Six weeks ago, I received a letter telling me, showing me- that now the whole show would be dedicated in honor of my son. Many of his favorite songs and some USMC fight songs would be choreographed with the booming artillery. To say that I was touched does not scratch the surface of my feelings for this extreme, kind gesture. Turns out both John and Beau loved fireworks. Every year on my son's birthday, we celebrate-with fireworks. And now this ultimate gesture of honor, remembrance. It will be both a difficult display to watch and at the same time- a beautiful experience. In the dark, out of the dark- light and sparks and brightness- exploding love. Thank you friends, you know not what you do. Here I smile...


bam said...

this sounds, well, before i can even get the words typed the chills are tingling up and down my typing arms. oh my goodness. i cannot even imagine that twilight sky, all lit up in poetic colors. and how, through your eyes, it will look. through tears, sure enough, you will see the colors spun into watercolors against the setting sun. or rising moon. take a picture please, or have someone, as i doubt you'll be able to keep the camera from shaking, and you shouldn't be distracted. isn't it just amazing when someone makes a promise, and keeps it? and isn't it more amazing that your journey of grief opened a corridor for them, and lit it? exploding love, all right..........wish i could come see the show.....

Art-of-Facts said...

Fireworks that spark the heart . . . what is it about these things that truly light us up inside? Today, after I taught a class for mere kindergarteners, the teacher pressed her finger to her lips and said, "I believe you deserve not one but two of our special gifts'. The kids proceeded to smack their hands together one time and keeping their hands pressed together fish-swimmed their hands upward and then sprinkled their fingers as their hands fell - similar to what a firecracker would do. My heart jumped inside for I have never experienced that . . . . oh the the joy you will feel on that day. And your poem from the heart who knows . . . please allow the parents to receive your gift of words ~ it will bless them . . .

Jan Doble said...

i admire you for your candid expression of loss, grief and hope...and have been touched by your writings since i've found your site. through your journey please always continue your writing, for there is no doubt you have a gift that is also a gift to everyone you touch...even unknowingly.

Lorrie said...

How awesome. You're in my prayers always.

redneck one said...

I have known V and L for many years and they have always been a loving and caring family. They speak from the heart and never turn a deaf ear to anyone. Their loss was an experience that left many of us devastated but they have been able to continue on and be the same loving people they were. This dedication doesn't surprise me as they are always thinking of other people and how they can do something nice for them.

A new, closer friend said...

I watched my brother drown when he was 17, I was 13. That was in 1977. I have 2 children of my own and now as a parent and as I remember watching my parents go through being a member of "the club" the loss of a one of your children is simply something that is surely indescribeable. But, alas there is hope as unfortunately this club is not new but has been around since Cain killed Abel and their parents grieved the same. With this club being so old, one knows, not just by faith but just in the fact that parents/family survive and survive in a positive way after a loss. This blog, Beauregard, fireworks... the list goes on and on how people survive the loss. I watched my parents for 30 years go to funerals, give speeches, gives those looks or winks or hugs to members of this club but all of this can not nor should it ever be without the faith and the knowledge that one day some how some way that we all will see again the people that left us in either a quiet slumber or a tragic moment or a loss of an unborn child. After this long of time which God allows time to go by quickly to heal the sting quickly we find ourselves wondering what could have been or what would they have thought? We simply have no true answers but only those questions and sharing that with others is our only comfort. My mom and I come in to your work as often as we can on Fridays for lunch. Now that we know more about you those looks, hugs and stories will mean even more now.