10 years ago today…

I awakened to the phone ringing at 4 a.m. Anthony took the call. I can hear the horror & disbelief in his voice… I sat up, and suddenly THAT call which wakes you from a sleep was happening. He handed me the phone. Andrea’s voice– defeated, breathless, lost. Jamie Lynn, my friend’s daughter and Andrea’s niece had died in a fire. She was 9 years old.
Jamie was the third child we lost– Kimberly and Stephanie before her. Evan and Matthew to follow. Too many children dying, too young. Too many parents having to figure out a way to move on.
I have questioned my beliefs each time– questioned all that I know. And the only answer I’ve found is that I know far too many parents who have lost their children.
These are poems I’ve written for three of them…
Children Falling

I know what it means
To want to be the catcher
I’m standing
Just a step ahead
Of you
Holding out the net


The rye fields
Stretch out
Beyond the horizon
Are blooming
And I pluck the petals
One at a time
Living in the moment
Never anticipating

Phoebe is falling
I become suspended
Between breathe
And the inability
To breathe

Kimberly is falling
Stephanie is falling
Jamie is falling
Evan is falling
Matthew is falling

The last petal
And lovely
Between my fingers
I’m holding on.

All the petals
At my feet
Disappear through the rye
Swept away with the wind
They’ve become shadows
But I hear their laughter
Softer and softer
Until they disappear

All the pretty petals

I know what it means
To want to be the catcher
Walking backwards,
I’m just a step ahead
Of you
Holding out the net
Fearing the moment
I cannot breathe.

In memory of Matthew Kenney and those who we lost before him

Jamie Dancing In Our Lives

She comes in
Like a whirlwind,
Forcing us to freeze.
Statues in her midst.
Then, dancing on toes among us,
She teases,
Daring us to come alive.
Caressing a cheek,
Pushing back a stray hair,
A tickle, a wink.
And, then,
She disappears.

A ball of fire,
Our core,
The sun.
She sparkles,
Campfire tap dancing in the dark of night.
She is the light.

She comes in
Like a storm.
Hearts racing,
Adrenaline surging.
We are moved to move and not ask why.
Because of her,
We feel alive.

She takes her last bow.
Flies through wind,
Above the sun,
Beyond the night.
Dancing on clouds, she throws kisses.
A twinkle, still, in her eye.
In Memory of Jamie Lynn
27 December, 2001

When Winter Comes

I gave you my heart
on a cold winter’s day. And
just as the daisies bloomed in the fields,
we learned God would be taking you away.
We walk this path alone in the starlight:
Being part of you—
you being part of me.
For only the moments we have, we keep
like the shadows that protect us.
Someone out there must know
what I know.
Your eyes glisten
and I pray you will be part of a miracle.
For you are not a sacrifice,
you are Love.
You gave me your heart,
placed your life
in the palm of my hands.
And tenderly I help you to live —
daring not to miss a smile or a sparkle.

And winter always comes
but a moment too soon.
Though I will walk the barren fields alone,
remembering the daisies—
just how they used to be:
glistening in the sunlight.
I will know at night to look to the stars
because you will be among them,
helping me to live.
And forever, I will hear you heart
beating against mine.

In memory of Kimberly, the first angel 11/23/99

God bless all the little children we’ve lost. Forever in our hearts and our memories… our own little angels in heaven ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


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