Friday, July 23, 2010

Haiku My Heart Fridays, July 23, 2010

Our Day of the Dead altar, 2001

Haiku My Heart Fridays was started by Rebecca of recuerda mi corazon blog. To find out all about the guidelines, check THIS out. There is a strong, very strong, connection between Rebecca, recuerdo mi corazon, The Days of the Dead and my life. More can be revealed about that subject sometime in the future. For now, well, let's just say you'll find the photograph I use as my header today as apropos.

I'm no poet. In fact, writing Haiku or attempting any kind of poetic writing is hard for me. I like Rebecca a lot and her idea of Haiku on Fridays seemed a place for me to try, especially because it is from the heart. As many of you already know, my heart is broken. It is a patched up muscle. It still pumps my blood, and usually at a regular rhythm, but I never know how long the repairs are going to hold up. It's a crap shoot at best, literally, day to day.

Don't get me wrong, I'm in no pain, and I can function to a degree, but there is damage from life's events, and I just can't be sure of the stability. It's times like these that tax the system. You see, my daughter Maggie would be 37 on Monday. July 26th is her birthday. That empty seat at every family members birthday and at all the holiday celebrations is a burden, but when her own birthday comes around, well, it's still very hard on all of us, and always will be.

Please, this isn't about needing or wanting pity. Please understand, I don't want sorrow for my broken heart or the past events that brought it here. In fact, I wouldn't have it any other way. You see what happened is in the past and I can't do anything about it. I don't know the future, so it's silly to guess at that. All I have is right now, today, one day at a time, and the events of the past are a part of who and what I am, what my family is, and when you think of it, who we all are. These events make up how we feel, act, think and live. I don't want to forget. This is a part of me, a huge part.

I found these old pictures just recently. Jim Cooper is the very handsome young man in front of his old jalopy. He was the best friend, a friend since early child hood, of Bob, Maggie's boyfriend. The night of June 8, 1991, they were all at the park. Maggie, her friend Adrienne, Bob and Jim and some others. Adrienne and Maggie had to work early the next morning. Bob wanted to stay at the park and hang out with the others. Jim wanted to leave, so he drove the girls home.

On the way, whatever happened took Maggie's life, and Jim's along with her, and left Adrienne alive, but numb from the experience of losing her friends right before her eyes on that warm late Spring night. A little unusual was the fact that Maggie's sisters, her mother and myself had taken a new job and we moved away right after her high school graduation. It was like a kid going off to college, in reverse. We went away and Maggie stayed in St. Paul, ready to enter the University of Minnesota in the Fall.

We are so blessed to have Adrienne in our lives. We hear from her and see her now and again. On Facebook, she "pokes" me everyday, never misses telling me she loves us, everyday. Having her is probably one of the reasons I don't want to forget the trauma of losing a child. She is here, the memories are here too. And every moment isn't this sad crying affair. Like at the Day of the Dead celebration on November First every year. They are all here with us, eating and talking, laughing and crying, all together.

The girl in the green plaid vest is Maggie, and that picture of the two kids in tie dye is Adrienne and Bobby. The tragedy didn't end that night. Bobby lost his life five years later in a small plane crash. Another story for another time. But one Haiku, 17 syllables, would hardly express my life, their lives, the lives of our families from before and since those fateful events, but I'll try, as the meme says, it's "From The Heart". I think that's why I do this. My heart can take it. I can take what I have and use it, and believe it or not, it is healing. It strengthens the sutures on the arteries, the clips on my breastbone and the scar that runs down the front of my chest.

A young Jim Cooper

Bobby and Adrienne

Delicate youthful

Their souls passed away from us

Way beyond the stars

Another shot of Jim with his truck

Margaret (Maggie) Ellen Spado

Maggie please come back

I knew you would if you could

Talk to me gently

And a poem:

My heart is broken
It broke with the weight I’ve carried
Now for decades
In a seemingly lighthearted walk

My heart is broken
The war had something to do with it
Taught how to kill
But not how to heal

My heart is broken
Torn from my chest
Held in their hands
Patched together with thread

My heart is broken
She’s gone forever
Please come back
I knew you would if you could

My heart is broken
Watching the Elders leave
Being selfish, wanting them to last forever
Not being able to help



rebecca said...

i am up early. long before the sun. my boys are sleeping. it is quiet...and you have opened my heart.
cracked open my heart under the growing faint stars.
thank you.
for opening up remakably tender places inside and sharing your maggie.
i am honored to be in your trust.
i am richer for knowing you.
your haiku is distilled love.
through you,
the gift of maggie touches

Mel said...

Of the heart--made mine hurt, truly. I cannot imagine.....
Beautifully written, beautifully expressed of a beautiful child--beautiful children.

Embraced by G-d.....

(((((((((( Spadoman ))))))))))))

Consider yourself hugged.
And while know you're being well looked after and cared for, it's always good to know that you're being prayed for. And you are.

Peace, my friend.
Sweet, embracing peace.

A Wild Thing said...

Very heartfelt words of yearning and knowing, sometimes hard for a man to express, but I feel you are handling the loss with grace and a knowing that you will meet again and are in her(their)company always.

You are a good man attests to that challenge given!

Be well and in peace!


Delphyne said...

I think you lie when you say you are not a poet.

This is a very beautiful and poignant offering. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Abi said...

Oh my gosh. I tried really hard not to cry, because I know you wouldn't want that. But, I did.

I also want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, for reminding me life is short and precious, and we never know how long we have. So, with this in mind, I will stop worrying about stupid things I have no control over, like getting mad with the mortgage lenders because they need a paystub that doesn't exist yet!!! buying houses is trauma, but it's not really important in the scheme of things. Is it?

Best wishes Abi x

Uma said...

Thank you for the beautiful haikus, they touch me so deeply.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for the hole in your say you are no poet, but this post is beautiful and heartfelt.

As I wipe the tears from my eyes...know that you are not alone in this loss and that these birthday's passing while difficult offer a time to share and reflect.

turquoise cro said...

GOD BLESS US ALL!!! My mom's name is Margaret Ann and her brother,my uncle Bill always calls her "Maggie" I WILL pray for YOU and all those mentioned in your post! They are very much alive in your heart and mind!and now in ours! Love, love is all we need!

paper-n-soul said...

Please – do not ever say you are not a poet. In my own humble opinion, it is the successful poet who evokes our deepest emotions and you have done that, time and again. Each time I have visited here, I am so deeply moved.

This time is no exception.

Those who leave before us are never far, as you have so poignantly proven.

Thank you from the deepest corners of my heart.


susan said...

You have a wonderful heart - strong enough to encompass your pain and transform it into beauty and compassion for all of us.

Meri said...

The very best writing comes from deep within, an expression of soul. This is excellent writing, because it touches the heart of all who read it.

Spadoman said...

It's 3:49 AM here at my place. I got home late last night. I was helping the Veterans For Peace sell raffle tickets at a small town festival where they had a booth set up.
I can't believe the outpouring of love and understanding that people have written to me here. I am in awe that you would grace my pages, all of you.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I appreciate it so much. You are all so very very kind.

Peace to all.

Jill K. Berry said...

Oh, to find this, on this day.

Today I will attend a funeral for a young friend, 29, who fought a battle with ovarian cancer. In March we buried my friend's daughter, 18, who died in a car. It is the parents, the friends around me, whose hearts are broken that so hurt mine. There are no words I can offer them, it is a pain only a parent could understand. I thank you for your beautiful offering here that will help me through this day.

EG CameraGirl said...

You DO speak from the heart, Spadoman, and I think that is poetry itself.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I am deeply moved by this piece. A friend of mine lost her only child, a son, in a one-vehicle accident about a month ago. He was driving home early one morning and veered off the freeway. Understandably, she is devastated. I am copying your reflection and pasting it into an e-mail to send to my friend. She needs to know that she is not alone in her loss.

eaprez said...

Beautiful pictures and beautiful words. You have such a talent, Joe. Too bad you had to use it to honor a daughter gone too soon...but writing is comforting and healing and an honor for others to read.

Sonya said...

Beautiful poem. Love you and the family. Peace