Dear Family and Friends,
I went to a funeral this morning. Another friend in our parish, Rosemary, became a widow last week. Francis and I used to sit in or near the same pew in church on which she sat with her now late husband. The two eulogies were no exaggeration: Bob was a very kind, accomplished, generous, compassionate man. We will miss him!
At communion time, another friend, Anne, who was rounding the corner of the section where I sat, touched my shoulder and showed me what she had found in the hymnal she was using – Francis’ memorial bookmark! (Ask me if you’d like a copy, as a PDF). When I passed on this message to Sue, next to me (another widow), we both teared up. It felt like a sign — Francis’ way of saying “I’m among you!” which of course he is, as Bob, Sue’s late husband, is too.
When Anne came to our pew offering to give me Francis’ card, she pointed to the title of the hymn on the page; its last word was “dance” (and it was not “Lord of the Dance”) – but clearly, the last word in that hymn’s title was DANCE. My eyes widened again, for a second reason.
Since January 30, three poems have come to me. The second one, “My Deceased Husband Speaks to the Men in My Life,” starts out with the “guys at Hamilton’s Garage.” The February 15 poem, “Them I Know,” is a serious one, even longer. But the first one which is relevant to my story here is called “When My Time Comes.”
Remember that Francis’ memorial card marked the page for the hymn with the word “Dance” in it:
WHEN MY TIME COMES
will I cower before the dark,
in an unknown void,
Or, when my time arrives,
will I take Death’s hand,
enter in the Ballroom
joyful in knowing
you’re waiting for me there?
That’s the sweet synchronicity part.
Now the reminder:
Three people recently double-checked with me – “Is your talk next Sunday?” The basic facts are on the mainejungcenter website.
Chris Bowe of Longfellow Books will be present to sell copies of Sing to Me and I Will Hear You – The Poems, and to take orders for Sing to Me and I Will Hear You – A Love Story (available in March).
Thank you for supporting our well-loved and “fiercely independent local bookstore!
Loving regards to all,