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.