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November 23, 2014

This is the Way

This poem by JD DeHart reminds me of times when I wanted to shield my parents from illness as they once shielded me from life's dangers, and yet, I knew this was not, is not, "the way." Despite the melancholy we feel at coming to terms with what can and cannot be, this poem also reminds me that we can also feel deep gratitude for the stretches of time we do have with loved ones.  As a teacher once told me, "Regret is necessary; so, also if fulfillment."


Ysabel de la Rosa

Her Voice

by JD DeHart

Over the phone, I heard the sounds

I knew I would hear and yet was

not prepared to hear.  I could detect

the age and pain in her voice.

I was born to be a soft cushion

And found that her bones were striking

the rough places of life.

And there was nothing I could do

except listen and offer brief love,

thinking:  this is the way of matter,

this is the way of living and dying.


 JD's brief bio and work also appear here.
Poem copyright, JD DeHart, all rights reserved.

November 13, 2014

Sharing the Message with You

Just after I published the last post, I had to suddenly shop for a new car. My trusty 12-year-old Pontiac Vibe developed a problem that only the most obscure of electronic solutions could solve. After two months at the local dealer's service department, the obscure could not be found. It was un-driveable. I had to act fast. I do not live in a city where public transportation is an option.

I found what I thought was just the car for me at a dealership in Oklahoma City (A beautiful shade of red). I test drove the car, and although there were little things that bothered me about the car and the dealer, I decided to buy it. The little things: a windshield wiper missing on the driver's side, scratches in the paint, and the cargo carrier that came standard with Honda CRVs was missing. I discussed these things with the manager, whose demeanor immediately made my inner psyhic hair stand on end. He was brisk, unfriendly, and gave off  coldness. Still, I needed a car, and fast. They replaced the windshield wiper, covered one scratch. I compromised on the cargo carrier and bought the car.

STOP FILM HERE. There is no such thing as little things. When one's inner hackles rise even in a minor sense of alarm, we need to listen. As I pulled out of the parking lot with my new, used Honda CRV, I said a prayer for the journey home, which would normally take two hours on a 75 mph tollway.

At just the "right" spot--one of only 3 exits between the dealership and my home--the power steering went out. I was barely able to slowly pull the car into a gas station at one of these exits. I called the dealership. The sales manager agreed to send a tow truck to pick up the car at what was now the dark hour of 7:30 p.m. That was the extent of his "courtesy." No offer on another car, no loaner vehicle to drive home, nothing but a look of relief on his face when I returned to the dealership. I could not tell if the relief was for himself or for me. Fortunately, a dear friend had gone with me to buy the car, and he drove me back home. I have no idea what I would have done otherwise.

A few minutes--no, seconds--either way, a different, sharp-turn exit on the highway, the car certainly would have flipped, been hit by someone behind me, or my car would have hit someone in front of me. Either way, I would have:  been killed or, given my medical history, been disabled for life. And, the same could have happened to any unsuspecting soul driving near my disabled car.

I went to another dealership. I test drove the car I thought I wanted, but the inner voice said, "Not this one." I test drove the car that I didn't know I wanted, and the inner voice said, "This is it." So, a blue rather than red car, but a beautiful, Swedish-crystal kind of blue.

The messages, I believe, are these:

My prayer for a safe journey home, whispered in an Oklahoma City parking lot, was heard and answered.

The signs were there in advance that something about the transaction was wrong. I was wrong to let my logic override the signs.

What we want is never more important than the quiet whisper or urge within that guides. What we want is never more right, safe, or true than what this inner voice shares with us, especially when we have asked for our inner voice to be connected to the divine.

Life hangs by that single hair holding the mythological sword of Damocles. Moments, perhaps just one moment, stood between me and the end of my life. On a beautiful October day.

This blog is about grief and all that it brings. I cannot help but add this post to remind us all to stay in touch with the divine power that, however invisible, is as real as the hands at the ends of our arms, and to remind us that all life, all, is fragile, tenuous, and therefore, nothing is to be taken for granted or assumed to be ours for the long-term. For this reason, gratitude has every right to be our constant companion, no matter our circumstances.

I encourage you to read the post I wrote after hearing actor Glenn Morshower speak about our inner "audibles." Grief is inevitable, but it can also sometimes be avoidable... especially when we listen to that special voice with no sound.

Grateful to be here. Grateful to share this blog space with all of you. Soon, more great writing to come from JD DeHart, Tasha Raella and Rejeanne Davis. Stay tuned!  Be grateful. Listen to your inner voice.