Monday, November 06, 2006

Letters to Melissa - Hope

Sweet Melissa: When we lost you, dear heart, we placed your ashes (encased in pewter), one of my favorite pictures of you and a good-bye note into a plastic bag. We placed the plastic bag at the bottom of a hole we dug in the middle of the back yard. We then eased the root ball of an Autumn Blaze maple upon the precious leavings of your life. Carefully, David and I packed the good earth around the root ball. We then soaked the new planting with water, stood back, sobbed a bit, held each other, hoped to see the wonder of the tree's new spring growth next year.

This morning, after Sarah's short legs carried her like the wind, over and over again, chasing her squeaky tennis ball, returning it to me with insatiable enthusiasm, we then ran the circumference of the lake. We came home and, as Sarah ate her breakfast, I touched your tree.

Every day since we planted your tree, I've touched it, held it. There is something in me that believes something of myself, some strength that is within me can be somehow passed into your tree, perhaps drawing from what I know is the immensity of your essence that may hover about your tree; your strength and mine melding. Each day, as I touch your tree, I hope for its health, I hope for its vitality.

This morning, as I touched your tree, I saw amongst the detritus of the season at the base of your tree, the final repose of a butterfly. We see, if we take the time to look, the simple miracles of our days surrounding us, everywhere, sometimes in the most unlikely of places. As I considered the presence of the butterfly, there within the clutch of your leavings, I knew, Sweet Melissa, that your pull, your warmth, the miracle of your life still lives. If I were to choose where to make my final rest, I, too, would wish to ease myself into that holy realm of humble repose where the miracle of the now halcyon-winged wonder now rests.

Hope, as they say, springs eternal. I hope for so much. Believing my hopes will not be realized-- certainly not tomorrow at the polls--and perhaps not before I pass from this realm, I do still believe that as I caress your tree, each and every day, that comfort, joy may reside only in the simple things: my love for David, Sarah, our friends, our families; for you, Sweet Melissa, and for the wonder of flight, of butterflies who make their final stop within your warmth, your promise of new life; amongst the hope of a new season.


Doogman said...

Sad but lovely. Reminds me of the moment in Patch Adams where the protatgonist at a difficult juncture just after the death of a loved one looks up and asks God 'Give me a sign...' then looks down to see a monarch butterfly resting on his medical bag's handle. Heartbreakingly poignant moment. Just like this.

May you always find your beloved Melissa everywhere you see beauty. She is not gone.

George said...

Thanks, Doogman.

I'm always brought back to Whitman:

"There was never any more incpetion than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now;
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

"Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world."

Melissa sleeps in perfection, made more perfect by the butterfly which, perhaps by accident or intent, rests with her.