Wednesday, April 10, 2013

tears and laughter


Today would have been my Aunt Jean's 73rd birthday.  She and her mother, my Grandma MacEachern, were both born on April 10.  It would have been a lovely synchronicity if I had waited a few hours longer to be born so all three of us could have had our birthdays on the same day ... but I had to be my own person and stand out from the crowd, I suppose.   

Aunt Jean was a wonderful person:  so full of life, love, and laughter.  She died too soon of cancer in July 2011, just one year after the death of her husband, my Uncle John.  (I wrote a longer post about it here.)  Last year I wrote this poem in her honour, so I thought I would share it here today in tribute to her.







recollection

aunt Jean’s funeral
procession
threads black along the straight
rural road
cresting one hill then
another

oncoming cars pull to the shoulder
a man and boy in a roadside hayfield
pause from work
remove their caps
sober country courtesies

we walk from our cars
to the grave
the beaming sun seems incongruous
incredulous maybe
 that this laughing life
could be
so
over

John what’s the name of that stuff we’re taking for our memory

did she really say that
did she really try to buy half a watch strap at a flea market

more to the point
can damp clods of earth shoveled
solemnly over this glossy box
subdue the lively
doting
sparkling spirit
she was

is

no wonder the sun shines in stubborn dis
belief
no wonder we
cry and laugh at once
no wonder we can’t name that stuff we take
for our memory
except
to call it
love

- Jeannie Prinsen 2012


Jean MacEachern Haslam, 1940-2011

6 comments:

  1. Oh my word but that's lovely, Jeannie. Lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tim. My aunt was a lovely person. I miss her.

      Delete
  2. This really hit home Jeannie, thank you so much. She was called away much too soon and Charlie and I miss her terribly. Rest in pieace Jean and John Haslam.
    Sigga MacEachern

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sigga. So sad they were both gone so close together.

      Delete
  3. What a wonderful tribute to someone wonderfully deserving!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sarah. And you helped with this poem, too -- thanks for that as well. xo

      Delete

Please leave a comment. I love to hear from readers, and I always reply!