Remembering Sarita

Just before we found out that our 10-year old granddaughter was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I wrote this poem for my sister-in-law who was in the same condition. Now, Sarita has gone ahead, while my sister-in-law remains in the hospital.

These past few days, I’ve been asking myself how to encourage the family and others who suffer the loss of a loved one. The strength and unity of her parents and sisters is an example of God’s love. Maybe all I can do is help tell the story of a life well-lived.

Umbral

Se para en el umbral de la vida,
impaciente. No mira hacia atrás. Nadie
la quiere ver partir. Queremos parar
el tiempo, retroceder-lo, volver a verla
en plena juventud. Espera en la puerta
como una persona que abre la paraguas
o saca los guantes del bolsillo, un pie
elegante casi levantado, arregladita
como siempre, bufanda de seda
al cuello, ojos fijados en las caras
sonrientes, esperándola felices
en el más allá. Nosotros, en la sombra
del umbral, extendemos las manos,
tratamos de retenerla. No queremos,
no queremos dejarla ir.

Threshold

She stands at the threshold of life,
impatient. She doesn’t look back. No one
wants to see her go. We want to stop
time, wind it back, see her again
at the cusp of youth. She waits at the door
like a person opening an umbrella
or taking gloves from a pocket, one
elegant foot almost lifted, all dressed up
like always, silk scarf
at the neck, eyes fixed on the faces
smiling, waiting for her, happy
in the beyond. We, in the shadow
of the threshold, stretch out our hands,
try to hold her back. We don’t want,
we don’t want to let her go.

Romans8:38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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