The faraway home calls. The news is sad. Tears swell and stream. There is the urge to be home now, but the familiar echo reminds me it cannot be.
Living away from family is not easy. Though I have grown accustom to the constant bruise. I know how to guard myself from the reminders that can feel like punches to the tender spot. Yet at times the punches cannot be avoided. Especially when someone I love dies.
When you grow up in a big family as I have their is a constant arm to lean on, a familiar face which reminds you that you are loved, a monthly party to keep you dancing, a prayer to be said, a hand to hold when tears are shed. Happiness, sorrow, love and sadness go hand in hand. A time for everything under heaven (scripture) birth and death, a celebration of life.
When you grow up in the country as I did the seasons teach you: Tend the fertile ground faithfully, water with your heart abundantly, and surrender to the seasons that come and go.
My Godfather Craig is being buried today.
He gentle spirit moves between family, friend, heart, soul, earth, heaven...
I can see my family. I have stood in that cemetery by the canal. The tombstones hold family names and will hold family names. I was taught to bless myself as a sign of love and respect when we drove by that very cemetery that I grew up next to.
I blessed myself often.
My cousin Judy wrote that one of the last times she spoke with my Godfather he talked about the transformation from caterpillar to a butterfly: "The concept that what is a disaster to the caterpillar, is liberation to the butterfly. The caterpillar enters a dark time, then comes out on the other side transformed."
When I was a child, growing up Portuguese, I was taught that whenever I saw my Godfather I was to bow my head and ask him for his blessing:
"Padrinho sua benção?" = "Godfather may I have your blessing?"
He then would kiss his hand and touch my head, "Deus te abençoe." = "God bless you!"
Dear Godfather Craig, Gentle Soul,
Thank you for leading me with your blessings as I grew up, I in turn give you my blessing to follow love where it will lead you.