Thursday, December 2, 2010

His Final Gift

Yesterday, I had two real-live, non-family people who actually know me face-to-face tell me they have read this blog and like it! That made my day. So, thank you Denise (one of my favorite students ever) and Brandon (local photographer for the Kern Valley Sun!

Also, I found $10 and .10 on the ground. That was also very nice.

As you know, I have been coping with the death of my grandfather this year. Writing poetry helps immeasurably. This is one of the more uplifting poems I have written about his death.

112. Final Gift. 11/7/10- 7 months after he died.

When your body shriveled into grasshopper legs and gaunt face-

When your mind wandered to places none of us could follow-

You were reduced to the core of what makes up a man.

You never complained, even when dying hurt.

You did not lash out, you did not whimper.

You died the way you had lived-

Quietly, with strength, and forbearance.

You who had already given me so much love, such a powerful past-

You gave me one last blessing, one final gift, grandfather,

You taught me how to die.


  1. He certainly did show us the gracious way to die. I have never seen such fortitude in all my life. He was inspirational to the end.

  2. You captured that very effectively. We would do well to die as strongly as he did.

  3. Dear Sandy,
    Thank you for this. It is beautiful. And also thank you for seeing him as special. It is strange that the mourning only begins at death and it goes on so long. I am thankful that we can talk about him.He is alive in my heart. Mamasita

  4. You've said quite a lot about the loveliness of a southern gentleman. My Dad. Irreplaceable, unforgettable, manners in place till the end. His legs did get rather grasshoppery at the end didn't they?
    Christmas seemed so lonely without his sardonic wit and bluntness.
    The early Christmas days when we would read the Christmas story in the Bible, hear The Night Before Christmas read, open one carefully chosen Christmas Eve gift and then try to go to sleep stifling our excitement.
    And then the pictures. He liked to take a lot of photos and today I am grateful for that.
    He has set the bar for all of us. To die with such graciousness. Tis no small feat.
    So glad we still have each other.
    Aunt Susie