Around The Block

August 30, 2020. My caregiver role now over, I shift back into prior norms. With an added daily walk. Suggested for a long time by my husband as a good idea, I am now following the example of my departed son. This collage reflects images along the route that likely caught his eye.

33 thoughts on “Around The Block

    1. Betty, thanks. Tom was bedridden only 5 days following seizure. He napped often, but preferred to sit in his comfy desk chair to do that. Those walks were his self-assessment practice. Plus all his life, walking was his method of coping, his creative catalyst, his favorite pass-time.

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  1. Lovely poem. Lovely son. Wonderful nephew.
    Interestingly named streets: I knew about Hard Rock but had somehow missed Rust. I suppose it was named for a person or a family, but it does seem to go well with Hard Rock. I keep thinking of Tom and Janice and Dennis on that trampoline. And the story that I guess I had from you about the time Tom decided to attach a firecracker to his shoe in order to see how high he would jump when it went off. And the night he wanted to climb the stairs in Mother’s house and she wouldn’t let him. I think he was a toddler at the time. I remember thinking, “no matter what ever happens to me, I’ll never again want anything as much as that baby wants to climb those stairs.” But I was wrong. I want him and Mother to come back at least as much as he wanted to climb the stairs.

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    1. Tom climbed a good many “steps” caution might’ve precluded. This last challenge was just too much, impossible to step over, around. In the process of helping him put on those incredibly tricky compression socks, he pointed out his firecracker scar (faint after 30+ years) and we shared a laugh.

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  2. Jazz I am so sad and sorry to see this. Your tribute is lovely and meaningful. My heart goes out to you and your family, and I wish you hugs and peace and comfort in good memories.

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  3. Oh Jazz, my heart goes out to you! Devastating, your son’s early passing and your poem – such a beautiful tribute to him! I was very moved. And how precious to be able to have him with you these last few weeks!Sending love and light 💜🙏

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    1. Thank you … yes, he is with me still (always) … walking around the block is my prayer of gratitude for his life and the many things he “taught” me over the years. My son coached me in Photoshop – my daughter got me into writing poetry – without those catalysts, I would not be the “me” I’ve become.

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  4. Your words leave me with chills – such profound wisdom arising from pure grief. I am so sorry for your loss Jazz. I’m sure it is all so surreal at this moment, and yet your poem is grounded in your awareness of the blessing that was your son, and the faith that defines you.

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    1. VJ, thank you … surreal is a good tag. I had 2 months to get past denial, but really thought I had at least one month longer to “prepare myself”. So much still to process, but at least there seems no rush … I have time to walk around the block, sit in the rocker with my many questions, and let Spirit slowly take me wherever it is I’m destined to go with all this new “learning”.

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  5. Jazz, I can’t imagine your loss. It is beyond my comprehension. I hope that writing poetry and following his walking path will bring you comfort. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt poem. I am sending you love.

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    1. Ali, thank you – this all transpired in only 3 months, and even though my son has gone, the process for me is far from over. Poetry and imagery are my stabilizers, fueled by walks outdoors and quiet sitting indoors. This is a time of spiritual growth for sure.

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  6. Hello Jazz!

    What a lovely, lovely tribute to your son. I am so very, very sorry for your loss but your tribute is filled with gratitude, promise, mother’s care, reflection, blessedness, compassion and unconditional love. Thank you for sharing your love for him with us. I know that every walk you take from now on he will be right by your side; your little buddy — eternal grace.

    I miss seeing you and your poetry group at BookPeople but I feel confident y’all are still meeting in some form or fashion.

    All my best, Lisa

    >

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    1. Lisa, thank you for your reflections on reading this … one of my spontaneous poems that dovetailed into hours of creating the image. Therapeutic hours!
      Yes, the Book People poets are still gathering – we’re zooming, which has both advantages and disadvantages. We all look forward to the in-person, in-BookPeople experience whenever that can resume. Meanwhile, we have the ability to connect even if we’re not all in Austin on the given day. I’ve become a zoom fan.

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  7. Jazz, this is such a beautiful poem honoring your dear son. I’m so sorry for your loss. (I lost a son three years ago and empathize with what you’re going through.)
    Sending a hug and my sincere condolences. ♥️

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    1. Betty, thank you for sharing. I send condolences your way in return. We parents do what we must, including meeting the loss of the children we expected to be grieving our loss in due time. This was a challenge I had no training for – somehow instinct carried me. Still carries me along the grieving path.

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      1. You’re right about the challenge. One thing I learned was to allow grief to manifest in all its many forms over time. Writing poetry about it definitely helped! It’s a journey no parent should have to face but we do discover new depths in ourselves….and eventually new heights. I wish you love and comfort along the way.

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  8. Oh, Jazz, I am so sorry for your loss. I feel bad that I am just finding out now, being very self involved with my own grief – but I cannot even imagine the loss of a child. Your poem is such a beautiful tribute to him. I hope you will write more about his exciting life. So grateful you had that quality time so that he can be with you on your walks. Sending a virtual hug.

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    1. LuAnne, thank you for your sharing. I channel inevitable spurts of grief into gratitude … my son indeed walks with me constantly, a reminder that death takes only the body, never the love.

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