To the Last Breath…

Pep talk to self:
To the last breath –
Honor Truth.
Celebrate Life.
Love without limit.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

to the last breath

(Photo of dragonfly by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

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Not Distance Nor Time Nor Death

I heard the news today and thought how unfair life is –
and, for a moment, I didn’t want to be part of it, anymore.
And then, in the next moment, I was filled with gratitude
for life – gratitude that I’ve been given the opportunity
to know you here – to experience your beauty and
kindness and love. Nothing can take you from us –
not distance nor time nor death. Your love will live on.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

poem for Rachael

 

Pretending Death

I lay in bed, pretending to be dead,
not playing dead, but imagining dead.
Eyes closed. Breathing stopped. Mind blank.
Body stilled.
Is this what it feels like? I wondered.
And I wasn’t being melancholy
or morose or macabre.
I wasn’t wishing myself dead
I was just curious.
Is death just an eternal nothing?
And if it is, I reasoned, then
our time here is so short – so much to do,
so many to love, and so little time.
And the idea of that – so little time
to love – made no sense
to me.  How could Love ever end?
And I opened my eyes. Took a deep breath.
Got back to living.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Choosing to Live

Mourning Mom, grieving with Dad,
responsible for another person’s
health and finances and life,
and a target for gossip and fabrication
by a pillar of my community –
I am battle-weary and sick –
at maybe the lowest point in my life.
And I’m thinking that maybe
I could just slide down deep into
sickness, slip into sleep forever, fade
out and die, and that wouldn’t be so bad.

And from some somewhere there comes
a moment of clarity – a question
at the crossroads: You can consent
to death, or decide to live.
It’s your choice.
Life won’t always be fun and easy.
Choosing life will mean complications,
responsibilities, and battles. It will mean
a commitment. It will take some courage.
That path is not going to be all rainbows
and butterflies and starry nights.

And I nod my head. I understand
what I’m taking on if I choose life.
I will encounter mean people. I will
have to balance checking accounts. I will
have to deal with grief and mourning
and loss and heartache and pain and lies
and disappointment and failure. But there are
people depending on me to choose life.
I am needed here. And there are people
that I need, too. And people here I love.
And sometimes there will be rainbows. And
butterflies. And starry nights.

And so I choose life.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

A Couple More Moz Poems

Found a couple more poems Moz poems that I’d like to share.

Here’s one she wrote for my dad on their 27th anniversary:
Happy anniversary, Dee, my pet –
27 years and we aren’t through, yet.

We’ve shared tears, triumphs, ups and downs.
Sometimes we’re heroes, sometimes clowns.

But always caring for each other
Living as one, yet trying not to smother.

Our individuality, blending instead
to make a family, a home, truly wed.

Love and kisses,
Moz, Mozzy, Colleen

And this one – from Moz and Dad’s Christmas letter, 1974:
I always bite off
more’n I can chew.
I know it sounds corny,
but, honest, it’s true.

The school here, the chuirch there,
the errands to run.
The kids’ things; they’re everywhere.
Sometimes it’s not fun.

The dogs, cats, cows, ducklings,
keep us hopping like mad.
If you don’t hop just right,
things really get bad.

Like rounding them up
in a deluge of rain,
then slipping in poopoos,
it could drive you insane.

Well, say now! It’s Christmas!
I’ll strike a good chord,
Let petty things vanish,
and put up the sword.

Things never were better,
to that I’ll avow.
Got a gall off at college
learning “why, where, and how.”

The boys are still growing
and marching in bands
They like to go skiing
at good “Crystal Land.”

Dee’s painting and painting
mixin’ the right hue.
His new maps are progressing
and his hours are too.

I’m singing at weddings
and sometimes at church.
I hope to plant dogwoods
and maybe a birch.

Dear friends, everywhere,
I’m thinking of you.
So please don’t be mad
at my letters so few.

Seasons greeting to all
and to all a Good New Year.
Love, Peace, Joy, and Power
to all of you dear.
– Colleen Molenaar

 

Moz Molenaar

December 26, 1927-
February 21, 2017

Colleen was born the youngest of ten children to Christian and Ida (Miller) Haag on December 26, 1927 in Pasco, Washington.

She graduated from Pasco High School in 1945 and went on to attend the University of Idaho (where she ran on the track team), the College of Puget Sound (UPS), and the University of Montana, where she earned her degree in musical performance in 1951.

During the summers between college she worked in the souvenir shop at Mount Rainier National Park, where she met her husband, Dee, who was a park ranger there.

Colleen “Mozzy” Molenaar was a treasure. She was fun and feisty and had a wonderful self-deprecating sense of humor. She taught her children that God is Love, and taught them to look for the good in people.

She was a gifted singer and had once been accepted into the Portland Opera Company, but decided, instead, to marry Dee and move to Colorado to begin a life with him.

In her younger years she spent much of her time in the mountains with Dee, hiking and climbing (she climbed to the summit of Mount Rainier twice!).

In her later years she enjoyed crossword puzzles, reading (her tastes were eclectic), caring for her animals (goats, llamas, and cats) at the family home in Port Orchard, keeping her bird feeders filled, watching Carl Sagan talk about the cosmos, and spending time with her children and grand-children.

In 2016 she and Dee moved to LaConner to be closer to her daughter.

She passed away peacefully in her sleep at her daughter’s home in Bow, Washington, on February 21, 2017.

Mozzy is survived by her husband of 62 years, Dee; her daughter, Karen, and son-in-law, Scott Terrell; her son, Peter, and his partner Sheila (Lindula) of Hoodsport; son David Molenaar of Olympia; and grandchildren, Andrew and Alexander Terrell (both of Bellingham), Claire Molenaar (Denver, Colorado) and Casey Molenaar (Olympia), and numerous nephews, nieces, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents and nine siblings.

Colleen’s family is grateful for the wonderful people at hospice who helped her through this transition. Special thanks to hospice nurse, Renee.

Thoughts from Moz’s grandson, Casey: I have never seen such an amazing soul, one that the world has had the great misfortune to lose today. No matter the situation, she ONLY gave out love and nothing but and she has been a huge part of my understanding of love and has instilled its importance in me. I believe that the thing I heard from her the most was “God is love” — and that statement, in the entirety of its meaning, looms inside me and will continue to for the rest of my life.

I am thankful to have had such a giving and goofy woman in my life…There aren’t enough words to describe this wonderful lady. I will miss her very much, as will I’m sure every single person who has had the pleasure of meeting her. And truth be told, as I reflect, I am happy; I was fortunate enough to know her and call her a big part of my family.

Thank you for teaching me that love is EVERYTHING.