Lilly’s Human

I met her pet bunny on the boardwalk.
She’d named her Lilly and put a pink collar
around her neck. Lilly nestled in between
my feet for a bit, and then I crouched down
to pet her fur. Lilly was velvety-soft
and I’m pretty sure she was smiling.
Her human was a young woman
and I’m guessing she had “special needs” –
there was a happy innocence in her words
and a sweet, healthy pride in her care of Lilly.

As I continued on my walk I started
to wonder how long bunnies generally
live. A few years? A decade?
And I felt myself feeling sad for the pain
Lilly’s human might feel one day
when Lilly dies. But then it occurred
to me – having just survived a year
in which death seemed to come
every month to someone around me –
that Lilly’s human might learn
that death can’t stop Love. Lilly’s
human might learn that death really
has no power to separate us
from those we hold dear.

And I realized I didn’t need to worry
about Lilly’s human and she’d didn’t need
to be protected from pain.
Life offers us precious lessons
about the eternal.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

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A New Christmas

Endings that are new to me
this Christmas.
Beginnings that are new to me, too.
I miss Moz. I grin as I watch Sparky
the new kitty scamper around
the Christmas tree, chasing
his big sister, Clara – experiencing
his first Christmas. I decide
to make cookies, open up my recipe
book, find the recipe for boiled
cookies and see it written in Moz’s
handwriting. I’d forgotten
she’d given me that recipe.
Moz never got to meet Sparky.
He never got to meet Moz.
But they both celebrate Christmas
in this house  – one in the past,
one in the present.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Sparky's First Christmas

Address Book at Christmas

Flipping through my address book – 
getting my Christmas cards ready to send – 
your name pops out, and it gives me a jolt.
You died last month, but your name
lives on in black ink on a lined page
in my address book. And I want to send
you something – but you’re not there
to receive your mail. 
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

A Feeling of Tenderness

A soft gentleness settled in her heart
a tenderness and sweet acceptance
of the whole of life
Sadness, grief and mourning
transformed into something bigger
brighter, more beautiful and her joy
became deeper, richer, and filled
with meaning. There was no word
for what she felt then – neither “sorrow”
nor “bliss” – this feeling blurred
the boundaries, broke down
the lines between one thing
and the other, did away with judgment
of “feeling good” and “feeling bad”
and what was in her heart was just
that –
love-filled.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

“…for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
– William Shakespeare

 

Half-Staff Flag

The flag is at half-staff again
or still.
I can’t remember the last time
I saw it waving from the top
of the pole.
Days? Weeks? Months? Years?
Someday it will rise again,
someday when we put our fears
to rest, and begin
to trust each other once more,
put down our weapons of words
and steel, and pour healing
love into our nation’s wounds.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

half-mast flag