Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Dear Jesse,
Don’t look back.
Set your eye and keep the pace as you bound up there to your heaven place.
I imagine you running, with 4 good legs, down the wooded hill and out across the sand toward the lake, never breaking stride as you leap into the air above the water, intent on a piece of driftwood tossed out past the sandbar. Somewhere mid-air the angels take you up.
Chelle stands there alone, looking eastward over the water, small waves lapping at her feet until the tide goes out and you are gone.
That’s what I imagine.

Thank you, Jesse.
Thank you for those loving eyes; liquid brown and full of trust. It takes a long, long time for humans to get that kind of eyes. You had them from birth. Little round mirrors of the one you love. Very few people get to look into another’s eyes and just breathe - no words, no motion, just a gaze that sings and whispers words we do not quite know how to speak. We see her best reflected in your eyes.
And your warmth. A steady throbbing warmth beside the sister we love but cannot hold. Distance is a demon! Knowing you could keep her warm; that by the end of the movie or the book or the dream, your breathing would somehow have aligned with hers, your heat infused into each other; this was peace to the ones who cherish her.
Thank you for waking her in the morning, and for fluttering about when she came home. For sensing when she was sad, or sick, or happy or tired. And for… I know this sounds strange… for being naughty now and then: just enough naughty that she had to set boundaries and keep you in them. It’s a healthy thing for us to help each other be good, even when it’s hard. It ties knots in the strings that bind the heart. It allowed our sister to use her innate gifts to nurture and tend someone who could not wholly do it for herself. It reminded her of her stewardship over you; not in any egotistical way, but in the sacred way of true servants and masters. You allowed her to give; and in the giving she received.

Dear Jesse, if you have any pull up there where you are, could you please exhale a deep warm breath and place it over our sister’s bed, so she will sense your presence in her dreams? Make her aching brief; her memories charmed enough to comfort rather than pierce. And if by chance you find yourself curled up beside Mom and Dad, would you pound your tail against heaven’s floor and tell us you are all just fine?
Snuggle with the ones we love and rest a while. Then run.

Run, Jesse!
Use your brand new freedom with no tumor and no pain. Run and leap and shake this earthy weight like water from your golden hair. Go explore the vast expanse of that place we try to imagine.
Run until you are happy-tired.
Find a cozy spot to make your bed,
and wait till she comes Home.


  1. "her memories charmed enough to comfort rather than pierce."

    adroit is not the right word. Too cold. Incisive isn't either. But I am left muddled and can't get to the right thing.

    Why did you have to make me cry tonight?

  2. Cori, This was lovely! I wrote our 16 year old Sammy's life story when he died. He walked the hills with me every day. There were so many funny stories to tell. We weren't very good dog owners then. He ran with the kids and they would have eliminated me before the dog. Maren had a sad disappointment 2 years ago and I prayed so hard for something good for her. I had no idea it would be a dog. A Pug came into her life 9 months ago and gave her something to live for. You expressed those sentiments so well.

  3. You capture so well how we feel...thank you for sharing that gift with us!!

  4. i have come to this writing at least three or four times wishing to make a comment. but each time i am still overwhelmed with emotion. i feel intense joy and sorrow and thank you for your kindness, gentle words and expressed love of chelle and jess!