By Ronald Cook
My immediate family of siblings, children and grandchildren live in the Rockies of Colorado. Earlier this year I learned that I am to become a Great-Grandfather! Of course, I had to fly to Denver to help celebrate this wonderful news … the seventeen days flew by quickly filled with travel, joy, and renewal of the enjoyment of family and long-time special friendships. May I share with you some thoughts in poetic form that occurred to me as I was surrounded by the great gifts of loving, beautiful people …
As I returned home, the lady to my right offered to watch my things in the seat as I went to find coffee and coke. The lady to my left offered to hold my drinks as I maneuvered my way back into my seat. Two perfect strangers at the Denver International Airport gifted me with their kindness … One lives in Colorado Springs and was going to be with her father during his catherization for his heart. The other lady was meeting her husband as they set up their winter home in Sarasota, Florida. I may never see them again in this life, yet they freely gave me kindness … isn’t that astounding …
While living in Alexandria, Louisiana, I had these blessed interactions every day. Some folks I may never see again, others will become life-long friends … Father Jim, Father Greg, Michael, Orkke, Ken, Louis, Ines, Phyllis, Charles and so many others. You know who you are.
This first piece is about those incidental, as well as powerful, encounters we have with the others…
“Friendship is a fragile thing,
yet has the courage to take wing…
and then come fluttering home.”
A friend is someone special,
Rare in life to find,
Yet rarely stays within our grasp,
As through our life we wind.
But always something special,
Remains where friends have dwelt,
That lives within our inner self,
As real and always felt.
A friend will find our essence,
A friend will know us well,
A friend will touch our joyous parts,
A friend will ring our bells.
And lo they leave our presence,
They never leave our hearts,
Dwell in the holy chambers,
Where every heartbeat starts.
They stay within our conscience,
They stay within our minds,
They help us hold our dearest truths,
They mirror us through time.
This next piece came from a golf outing created to raise money for a local charity in Alexandria. The person on the outside became the person on the inside… We are all connected. Louis once was told, “Never ask the question … do they deserve it? Always ask … What do they need? What can I give?”
A Good Walk Remembered
I took a walk the other day,
Through fir and fields of pine,
Enjoyed the day the sun was up,
A little ball to find.
And as I made my way around,
I saw a man forlorn,
He looked at me as if to say,
I was like you one morn.
We are the same though different paths,
Have led us not forsake,
And now it’s me who shares the load,
With those who need a break.
So, as you walk this course today,
Remember those who can’t,
Brothers, sisters all are we,
Life’s mulligans are scant.
First-loves connect us for life. For fifty-eight years I have loved this friend …
“… and the Greatest of These is Love.”
Life gives us many visions,
And some we can recall,
But others fade with distance,
Their colors fade and stall.
In life we hear a thousand sounds,
Some daily run their course,
Yet voices of the ones we love,
Stay fresh and pure and whole.
And touch our largest organ, skin,
Keeps each impassioned hold,
The feel of past embraces stays,
Like footprints in our soul.
So, smell, we know, remains the best,
For instantly it knows,
That one we love and recognize,
Has just passed by our nose.
But love lives in each one of these,
And lingers on in time,
To always be our present guest,
Each memory sublimes.
Brown hair and eyes and lovely nose,
Are visions I have known,
The dancing eyes and shaking mirth,
Are ever for me home.
The sweet perfume that round you clung,
Can wisp into my air,
Your hands, your face remain with me,
A comfort that I share.
And that we are not with the ones,
We saw and touched and smelled,
They stay with us in memories,
We travel to each day.
I did not hold you for a life,
We parted ways to go,
But through the years I’ve cherished all,
Your presence gave me hold.
You were the first my heart did love,
Always your mark to hit,
And though I tried did not replace,
That special Debbie-gift.
But I have learned that nothing lasts,
Except out memories sweet,
And life is rich because we’ve known,
These angels we did meet.
This last piece was inspired by a single mother. I have seen it many times. I have seen it in my own children, as well as former spouses. It is nothing short of remarkable what a mother becomes …
A Mother’s Love
When making choices of the heart,
Both male and female veer,
The man will calculate the risks,
While female’s choice is dear.
Men most often see the cost,
And figure it before,
Deciding actions best to take,
The cost is at the core.
The female also weighs the cost,
But not in money spent,
But in the measure of the heart,
Decisions she will make.
And men will take some time, we know,
Not rushing to the choice,
While women without thought or waste,
Weigh good a quicken choice.
And that is why it takes both types,
To raise a child up whole,
The man to think ahead with costs,
While woman loves the soul.
But if a man should drop the reins,
Releasing future plans,
I’d rather see the child’s sweet heart,
Left in a mother’s hands …
Thank you for joining me on this journey around friendship and kindness. It is truly everywhere.
“We are all either being loved,
Or needing love…
Which one are you?”