Grateful I’m a part of your final chapter,
I assure you that you’re loved
With tender kisses on your forehead;
Gentle touches to your cheeks.
I hold your hand when you seem afraid.
You squeeze my hand
And I know that you know I’m here.
In another part of your book:
So many times, you stroked my arm
To keep me quiet and still in church
And rubbed my back when I felt ill.
Then there were the lovely chapters
Playing dominoes and word games
At your kitchen table;
The cakes and cookies we made together;
The walks around your gardens
Where you introduced each beautiful bloom
As though it was your flower child.
Now, I whisper a prayer next to your ear
In case your mind can still pray with me.
And I think of all the times I knelt next to you
Both in church and by your bed
During my many sleepovers
With you and Grampy.
I can hear you mention each child,
Each grandchild, and each great-grandchild by name,
Asking for God’s protective hedge around each one.
Now, I sing you a quiet hymn.
Maybe just to comfort me.
And I think of all the specials we prepared
You on your organ – using only black keys
Your style so uniquely you
Your country contralto a voice I’ll always hear.
All the hymns so precious to you
Becoming so dear to me.
I think how fast these years have flown:
Childhood; young adulthood; motherhood.
All the chapters you also loved and faced,
Perhaps occasionally pondering that one day
You’d be in your final earthly chapter
As you said goodbye to precious characters
Central to your story.
I think about how blessed I’ve been
To be a main character in your narrative.
It is my honor to be by your side.
And, it is my hope and comfort to know
That our story will never end.