Earth Song

It is one of those glorious days out at the coast,  a sun drenched warm day!  There was a nice low tide this morning, so after enjoying a cup of coffee on the deck, Rick and I took a long walk on the beach.  Our Earth Gift today was this amazing eagle on the point!  She (?) was perched on driftwood, not far from us, not afraid of us at all!  We instantly thought of Rick’s mom Pat and my sister Jeanie, who both left us one year ago today and felt somehow the eagle seemed to be connected to these two fabulous women who shaped our lives in so many beautiful ways.  Visually, there is no difference between the male and female bald eagle except that the female is considerably larger than the male.  This one was very large, so I like to think it was a she.  She stood fearless and let us get fairly close.  She reminded us of life’s breathtaking beauty!  Rick took this photo of Ms. Magnificent:

One year ago today, my sister Jeanie said her final goodbye to the ravaging effects of MS.  Her sons were with her and they called me shortly afterwards.  I was waiting, with phone in hand, for that most dreaded-but-inevitable call.  Since Ocean Shores is two hours behind Midwestern time,  I got their call just as the grand finale 4th of July fireworks were going off at 10:25 pm, Washington time.

Their voices were sad, but strangely elated.  John and Vince had just experienced the most powerful transition.  Just moments before Jeanie took her last breath, they felt a great benevolent force  permeate the hospital room. It was so powerful and overwhelming that their hair was standing on end!  They felt her spirit whisked away.  Jeanie had given them yet another gift: the witnessing of her transition from physical decline and suffering to complete transcendence.

Jeanie Urbano 3/14/55 – 7/5/11

For ONE year I have lived in a world without Jeanie.  I have felt sad that she is gone, but also relieved that she is no longer imprisoned in her diseased body.  Over the years, she was in and out of hospitals.  Again and again she recovered.  Last year, she did not recover.  Even as I heard, day by day, that her kidney function was decreasing and was finally at a trickle, silly me, I still thought she might recover. Just once more.

John had a dream a few weeks ago in which his mother came to him.  She sat on the edge of his bed, and, with her beautiful hands, caressed his forehead and comforted him.  In the dream, she was young, strong, and healthy.

In my mind, she will always be beautiful and always smiling!  I will always carry her in my heart.  Her spirit is everywhere!

Jeanie with Vince (her arm is around him) and our niece and nephews

Here is a Senegalese poem I have found comfort in (the Eagle should appear in this Earth Song):

Earth Song

Listen to things more often than beings.
Hear the voice of the fire, hear the voice of the water,
Listen in the wind to the sighing of the bush:
This is the ancestors breathing.
Those who are dead are never gone;
The dead are not down in the earth:
They are in the trembling of the trees,
In the groaning of the woods,
In the water that runs, in the water that sleeps,
They are in the hut, they are in the crowd.
Those who are dead are not ever gone;
They are in the woman’s breast, they are in the wailing of a child,
They are in the burning log and in the moaning rock.
They are in the weeping grasses, in the forest and the home.
Listen to things more often than beings.
Hear the voice of fire, hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind to the sighing of the bush.
This is the ancestors breathing.

(Traditional from Senegal, translator unknown)

High School: first love, Mike Urbano


3 Responses to “Earth Song”

  1. kay Says:

    lovely tribute, Fran. we are thinking of you both today!


  2. marykay Says:

    Your powerful imagery in photos and words honor your departed loved ones so tenderly. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Nora Brown Says:

    Beautiful Fran, I love the poem and often feel mom, dad and Jeanie when I’m out in nature, in the garden, beach, park, hiking at Muir woods in California I felt very close to them. Love you, Nora


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