Sunday, September 12, 2010

For Lucy Marie with honor and love

And through these gates you shall pass........

Already, three of us at the Ranch have used the new gate entrance picture. This gate was a long time coming and it is just so much more beautiful then what I originally envisioned. Despite the fact that the gate takes a nice picture, it holds such a special meaning for us ....... for me. In the last 17 years I have been in a state of transition. This transition is all good. I actually prefer to say that I am on a path of enlightenment. Every day I am blessed with new experiences, new ways to look at the world and such blessings that it is almost embarrassing to talk about. This gate is a metaphor for what was on this side of where I was so many years ago. The other side has been nothing short of glorious.

The gates went up during a very emotional few weeks. My dear friend John was experiencing the declining health of his Mom and my dear friend, Lucy. I also am the Vice Chair on the Board of an organization called The Cause. The Cause and the people involved, help people in Appalachia who need food, clothing, medical care, water and simple things to live that most of us take for granted. I have learned so much about need in this area that my own existence has experienced a rebirth of sorts. It has affected my family in a profound way. In fact during these past few weeks, our daughter had a great birthday party with all her friends who brought her a lot of gifts. Our daughter told us that she wanted to give 1/2 of her presents to the children who are sick in the hospital. She is 4. Her and I made the trek to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus and she handed off her presents like it was her duty. To say that I was moved by this event.....does not give her selfless act justice. Now I can tell you, that at the end of this ten day period that all of this took place, I am feelin' the love. I had so much to reflect upon during Rosh Hoshanah this past week as a result.

Now comes last night and this morning........

We had the honor of hosting the Infamous Stringdusters at the Ranch for a Benefit Concert for The American Red Cross on the 9/11 anniversary. It doesn't get more soul moving than that. The Benefit was not sold out, though the community that came dug deep and helped to fulfill our mission for that night. The Stringdusters were nonpareil. There music reaffirmed celestial determination. We headed back to the Ranch early this morning to have breakfast with the band and then up north to see Lucy. Lucy Marie DeFebio Hurlbut...she was still with us but her life was faint. Life is just so honest..... It takes all you have to face it's truth. I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Kubler Ross. She was the pioneer of Hospice Care. While reading one of her many articles on dying I was directed to some comforting verse. I quote Henry Van Dyke:

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!" "Gone where?"

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: 'Here she comes!"

And through these gates you shall cross..........