When I close my eyes after looking at the photo above, I can still smell the late summer air as we played together on the open fields at Valley Forge National Park. I can still feel the sun on my face. I can hear again the squeals of delight from my “little sisters,” as they ran away with the ball, as well as their protests when we would keep the ball in the air, too high for their shorter arms to reach. I remember the feeling of unmitigated joy that nearly always accompanied any outing of this sort with my brothers and sisters. I remember also the feeling that those summer days would always be there for us. I never once considered the possibility that one day, we may NOT have a chance for all of us to be together. Those were the golden days of my youth.
On this day, two years ago now, we were holding vigil with our dear brother, after having spent the last of HIS golden days by his side. In many ways, those last weeks together were a lot like that summer day so many years ago at Valley Forge. We played music together with everyone present performing some sort of musical number.
We giggled and carried on during a formal portrait session at Sears Photo Studio. We laughed uproariously later on back at the house, as we reviewed the many images that didn’t turn out as nice as this one:
We sang to him, we talked with him about our happiest memories, we laughed, we listened to his stories and terrible jokes, and we shared the same unmitigated joy that we always shared, as much as we could.
We still miss him so, and cannot retrieve those youthful feelings in exactly the same way as we did then, but we know now that there are more golden days to come, when we will embrace each other at family events, or hold our newborn grandchildren in our arms.
I wrote this poem this morning, for all those I love, and for anyone who misses someone THEY love.
We always look behind us, when we think about the past,
We always hope those golden days will be the ones that last.
Our hearts and minds remind us of the happiness and pain,
We think that we may never see, such golden days again.
But surely as we reminisce, we see the world anew,
Those golden days were treasured gifts that helped us as we grew.
One day we all will meet again, our hearts will lead the way,
Let’s treasure now, each morning light, and THIS new golden day.
Thanks to all my readers for your patience while I share this personal moment with you all.