Gratitude in Four Days

four Days

My dear friend, Valerie is a rock star.  This designation, star, is certainly figurative, but it’s also for real – like, it’s her job.  That’s not all.  Valerie’s a mom, and a wife, she’s a sister and a dancer and a teacher – and she is one of Dr. Day’s two daughters.  Valerie, her father, her sister and brother have been engaged for months now with the precious progression of Dr. Day’s transition from life into death.  Dr. Day was a medical doctor, he was a father and husband, a father-in-law, a grandfather and many many other things I do not know.

But, I do know of the mysterious beauty, the pain and the joy that these four Days have been waltzing.  This morning I saw Valerie’s words on Facebook letting her friends and supporters be part of this family’s experience – letting all of these people do what we do – reach out with our thoughts, with our reflections, with our affection, empathy and comfort.

Again, we see in this joining, the community we are.  Thanks to Valerie for her words below.  Thanks, this week in particular, to these four Days and all the others who love and are loved by them.

On 11/22/14 at 12:33 AM my father breathed his last breath. My brother Vance, sister Shannon, step mom Sherrie, step sister Cassy, and my sister’s husband Duncan were all there holding his hand at different times throughout the day, telling him that we loved him and that he could go to love….

My dad taught me many things. He loved to be a teacher – from the best way to wipe a counter – to how to use the defibrillator under his hospital bed, he was teaching until the end. Little did I know that the past five weeks of care giving would be the biggest teaching of my life. Thank you dad for the opportunity to be with you to the last in the most intimate moments as your body finally succumbed to it’s 20 year fight with prostate cancer. Your love is deeply etched in every cell of my still beating, grateful heart.



Don’t worry about saving those songs!
And if one of your instruments breaks,
it doesn’t matter.

We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.

The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,
and even if the whole world’s harp
should burn up, there will still be
hidden instruments playing.

So the candle flickers and goes out.
We have a piece of flint, and a spark.

This singing art is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl
somewhere on the ocean floor.

Poems rise up like spindrift and the edge
of driftwood along the beach, wanting!

They derive
from a slow and powerful root
that we can’t see.

Stop the words now.
Open the window in the center of your chest,
and let the spirits fly in and out.


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One Comment on “Gratitude in Four Days

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Mary Clare. A good reminder of how special that journey home can be, painful though it is for those of use still on this side.

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