Sunday, June 14, 2015

Dear Emily

While Beth was working on her Journalism degree, she really enjoyed her creative writing class.  During that time, about 1995, she wrote a collection of poems that included one titled "Dear Emily".

It's funny how some things come to you when you are journeying through the grief process, and this poem, though I have not read it for years, has been haunting me as late. When the memory came to me I didn't even have to re-read the poem, I remembered all the lines and the theme.  When she wrote the poem, I wondered why she chose such a subject, an old man wandering through his house after losing his wife.  I didn't even want to think of such things. We were in a very good place in our lives, death had not been creeping through our family.  Even Meme Roberts was still with us. Now I am wondering, was it prophetic?  Had God laid a vision in words on my sweet Beth?

Now, she never collected "glass cats" or made doilies, but she is everywhere in our house.

Dear Emily:                             

I know you haven't been gone long.
You must think me a silly old fool to write this soon.
But this old house and this old man both ramble.
All the kids were here over the weekend.
Yes Emily, I gave them all the things on your list.
You remember how quiet it is when they finally leave.
This house is you Emily, and I'm always running into you.
I dusted them thousands of glass cats of yours.
You left your pink slippers by our bed, the ones you needed for your cold feet.
Yesterday I counted all them lacey things you make.
They're lying around on everything, some are hiding holes and stains I never knew were there.
Now don't get mad, I took them plastic covers off the lamps
With the kids grown and the grandkids in college, I figured it was safe enough.
I'm really enjoying the meals you cooked ahead and put in the freezer.
It's good to think you cooked my dinner.
They're about gone.
Fifty-eight, Emily, there's fifty-eight of them lacey things!
Ain't that something?  Next month is our fifty-eighth anniversary.
I sit in the barn just so I don't mess up your rug.
And because you ain't in the barn..
I know Emily, it's "too dusty"  for you.
I'm there now.
The sun's going down and I won't be able to see much longer.
This big old house ain't the same without you and neither is this old man.
Emily, the next time you talk to the Lord, would you tell Him for me that I'm ready?
If He's agreeable maybe we'll get to celebrate our fifty-eighth together.

All my love,  
by Beth Coleman

Good night my sweet Beth
I love you forever

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