Friday, August 28, 2009

Mothers Meeting




Chris lives in a magical place, just above a Great Lake. She prepared a delightful lunch for us and then we walked down the path through the trees and as far as we could on the beach with her chocolate lab Harry, whose enthusiasm for plunging and re-plunging into the water after a piece of wood does not wane.

We shared in some detail our stories of motherhood shattered by unexpected destruction. Chris's only daughter Sarah was lost two years ago to the rocks and raging waves off the Cinque Terre, a place of utter tranquility when my family had walked there a few years earlier. We described those first days and weeks after the deaths of our children to one another and, in her case, the extraordinary warmth and graciousness of the Italian people, both when her daughter died and a year later when Chris and her family returned to the spot where Sarah died. It's now marked with a plaque and a copy of the beautiful painting of Sarah created by an Italian artist from one of the last photos (which graces the front page of Chris's blog) of that adventurous, creative, gifted girl. Chris shared some extraordinary photographs and videos with me, and we talked about what it is like to have had experiences like these and what it is like to go on, to rebuild lives in the face of mystifying devastation.

Today I began reading a remarkable book, about which I'll write more after next week. However, since my friends know I always read the end first, I will conclude for the time being with the final paragraph, which applies, regardless of the form of loss, to heartbroken but still standing mothers, walking the beach and wondering . . .

Love is selfless, firm, intense, and even dazzling. Its strength outlasts death. Its bond overpowers loss. Its courage defies inhibition. It has no end. . . . I carry with me a strength that comes from survival and a tenderness that comes from loving, losing, searching, and remembering.



5 comments:

christine said...

Hello there dear friend...even your pictures make where I live a place I would like to visit. I have been just in a deep place since our time together...praying, pondering...just am still feeling like we both unwrapped pieces of fine china that are often stored away for the best of guests...just was such a treasure to meet you--and we shall see more. bless you today...and in the days to come this next week. You will be close to my heart.
many of us write on these dear blogs--but 2 of us got to meet and somehow---we met on behalf of many of the rest of you---we seem to all know each other in a odd sort of way. but a dear sort of way. i even said to gannetgirl-feels like our kids are glad we met finally---like they are smiling.
what a treasure this day was to me---unlike any other. thank you for coming and meeting.

Carol said...

As I read the quote from the end of the book, I couldn't help but also think about Ted Kennedy. Surely his survival for so many years in the face of so many losses, was a result of that same love that's described in that quote.
Wishing you peace as this coming week unfolds. And know that you're enveloped in prayers from all the corners of the earth.

Lisa :-] said...

I think it's wondeful that you had the opportunity to meet and share with someone who might...just might...have some insight into what you have been going through. What a blessing for both of you.

Daisy said...

The book looks very interesting. After having read the first few pages, I'd like to keep going.

Having followed the links to Chris' blog, I have wept for her loss and been amazed at her strength. It is good to know that the two of you have met.

Mich

Beach Walkin said...

Love is selfless, firm, intense, and even dazzling. Its strength outlasts death. Its bond overpowers loss. Its courage defies inhibition. It has no end. . . . I carry with me a strength that comes from survival and a tenderness that comes from loving, losing, searching, and remembering.

God is good. Really good.