Gone but still with us

Twenty years ago September, many lives ended on one day.
Twenty years ago, January, one life I knew well ended.
A horsebackriding accident took my colleague and dear friend.
As an art teacher, she’d first read-aloud Miss Rumphius
Then model how to use pinks and purples and greens
to paint lupines.
And as they painted, she encouraged her students
to be like Miss Rumphius who lived her dreams to
travel the world,
live in a house by the sea,
and do something to make the world more beautiful.

Yesterday, one life I knew, only through stories, ended
My friend, who first I met through other friends,
began a writing ritual with me.
Summer mornings at the table outside of Starbucks
Monthly after-school gatherings at rotating houses
Weekly online on Mondays during this past year
And during that time, I met her mother.
Never in person but through the stories she wrote.

Yesterday, her mother’s life ended
Not due to Covid as so many have recently
Not due to gun violence as so many have recently
A long life, well lived, peacefully ended yesterday
A brave lady who crossed a big sea
And raised her family by the sea in Norfolk
Who traveled many decades on this earth
And truly made the world more beautiful
through her daughter, my friend.