A great tree.

I had the privilege today of honoring men and women whose lives were taken by a devastating disease called Mesothelioma. My father is one of those people.  Each year at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Dr. David Sugarbaker and his thoracic surgery team host a luncheon for the families of loved ones now deceased who “dug their heels in” and fought the fight of their lives.  Each one of these people stood at the edge of the “dark forest” and walked forward, braving the unknown, fighting- for themselves and their loved ones.

May God bless the courageous souls that we have lost, and give strength to the members of their families who stood beside them, and the health care providers who against adversity continue to forge a path through the dark forest for all of us.

a rose for each great soul

When Great Trees Fall
Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly.  Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed.  They existed.
We can be.  Be and be
better.  For they existed.

~in memory of one of the greatest…