Thursday, June 17, 2010

To say farewell

Joan Delores Harrell Nicholls
December 23, 1933 - June 16, 2010
She has come to peace now. The labor of breathing and lungs that failed her in the end have stopped their struggle. It doesn't matter that it was expected. There is still a hole in the family that is a mile wide. Our gathering place, our rallying point, our matriarch is gone. We are anchorless. Who will carry the memories and tell us where we have all come from? Who will unswaddle the new babies and tell us who they resemble? Small, weighty details worry my sleep and wear at my calm. I am at once relieved for her and longing for her.
I woke in the night from dreaming of the Holy Land. She once told me she had always wanted to go there. It was a singular moment of surprise for me - I could imagine no more peculiar utterance from her lips. She held her beliefs close - so close you would not realize they existed but for small remarks like this. I can appreciate that.
I will go to say farewell, though we said our goodbyes on the phone days ago. We will celebrate her and all that she has brought to us. I will call to her and wait quietly to feel her near. I will stand at her dresser and look at all of the baubles and jewels one last time.
And I will wear her ring all the way home.
(I'll be passing through Charlotte Friday night, riding to Wash. with Isaiah. A quick 3 day trip alone.)


  1. Just in case you get this, safe travels and besos.

  2. sorry I missed you Bethany! We were at mama's? thanks for the lit. :)


Put it right here, babe!