Tuesday, 16 April 2013

SAA - Day 4 ... Jenny

Sue and I attended the funeral of her former sister-in-law, Jenny Gibbens, who died eleven days earlier. The exact cause is yet to be determined but we know she had an aggressive form of leukaemia. She would have known if she had lived another day. It doesn't make much difference really.

Jenny was my friend. As "outlaws" in the Gibbens clan - married to Gibbens children - we would often gravitate to each other at family functions and talk books and education and explain the latest progress of our children in becoming adults. At her funeral and afterward at what had become her home when husband Lance (Sue's brother) left, the talk was of her penchant for organisation and her quiet determination. Like others, I was keen to emphasise her graciousness and commitment to forgive. She could find something to like in everyone.

Compared to others, I have lost so much less but the world is so much poorer when even one of it's gentle souls leaves too early.

My only recourse on such a day, my only means of repayment, are words.

You Shone Today

You shone today
wrapped in the warmth of words
spoken slowly, deliberately
as if clarity would bring you back.
Staggering through sobs,
breaths hard won for pauses
over lips playing elastics,
quivering for fear of collapse …
… each spoke well of you,
painting pen portraits
larger than our life.
You would have blushed,
urging silence
and their own stories told,
each more important than yours.
Service engenders respect,
when even jested memories
have laughter and tears holding hands
like lovers on a first outing.
The anecdotal made me smile,
made me regret
I hadn't known that of you.
Legacy spoke of their hero,
their friend,
their mother.
How could I mistake your mark,
when these two lighthouses
beamed your light over the honoured?
I'll miss you
but I can see where you've been.

You'll shine again tomorrow.

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