Wednesday, May 27, 2009


To Carole....
"Stage 4" by
Loren Robert DiGiorgi - Composer, Performer, Producer
Thanks to Loren for sharing his beautiful gift.

Beauty more splendid than lily of the field
Bubbling like brook that sings
Strength of Appaloosa on the plain
Wisdom of redwood standing tall
Grace of eagle in flight

May your every heartbeat enliven with hope
Every breath energize with life
Every cell perform its task valiantly
Some that tear down
Others that rebuild
Harmonic choreography
For which they are uniquely designed

The bandit visitor to depart
Knowing this is not
Its time or place....
And never will be

I see you strolling the riverside, camera in hand
Basking in Autumn light, red and golden hues
I hear the crunch of snow beneath your boot
As you delight in prisms of icicles
The sweet aroma of spring with new life
Awakens your senses
Summer finds you on the sea,
Enthralled by her giant mammals
As their mighty tails slap the waters

If I could, I'd be with you now
Know you are in my heart
Day and night

August 30, 2008

(An Eagle Soars is the sequel to likeaneagle.)


Carole had gone to the doctor some time in July, I think. She thought she had a hernia. The nurse practitioner that she saw told her that Carole needed to go for other testing right away. It appeared Carole might have cancer of the liver. That's a far cry from a hernia.

After further testing Carole was diagnosed with cancer (stage 4) in her colon, in her liver, and in her lung(s). It was hard to believe. My heart sank, to put it lightly.

Her family didn't like the 'C' word, though they knew it was the reality with which they were dealing.

Carole's daughters cared for Carole every step of the way. Appointments. Lifestyle changes. Family time. Laughter. Love. The basic necessities of life. Research on cancer and how they could help.

Carole and I first met on an online forum. At the time she lived in NC and we got together a few times. It was always a pleasure. Her screen name on that forum was likeaneagle.

Carole exhibited a love for life, always endeavoring to think the best of others and to give them the benefit of the doubt. One could tell Carole anything; she would keep it confidential and she wouldn't judge another with challenges as weak. She had lived through her own hell; most people were unaware of Carole's story and the heartache she had endured.

Shortly before Carole moved away from North Carolina, my husband and I gave her our van. We had been given a Ford Explorer. Carole needed a better vehicle. One of her daughters drove her to Winston to pick up the van. We went together to get new license plates; one for her van and another for our Explorer. The van and Explorer ended up with the same tag letters and numbers, except for one different number. Hers ended in the number 3, ours ends in 4. (Or is it the other way around?) After that, Carole and I used to sign some of our correspondence with our license plate numbers. *chuckle*

She enjoyed nature and photography. She was enthralled with the change of seasons and the whale of the sea. It wasn't unusual to receive emails from Carole with photos of great whale tails, icicles, autumn leaves, and ships.

I received my last photo from Carole via snail mail, less than a week before she died. That is a blog for another time.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Final Drum

Mother your life was rich
Your eighty-three years were full
Seldom was there a dull moment
You gave of your life and soul

Through bee stings, braces, cracked bones
We sewed our adolescent wild oats
You believed in us to the end
Until we could thrive on our own

Your commitment to family was strong
Your endurance in care unique
You taught others to see the good
During trial answers to seek

Your loved ones will dearly miss you
Your wit, your heart, your smile
We will recall the good times
And there will be tears for awhile

Your sense of humor sustained you
We reach beyond time to mourn
Our palates await the Great Banquet
To savor your green beans and creamed corn

We love you Flo Rae
Friend, Aunt, Mom, Grandma
May your rest with Albert
Companion, Uncle, Dad, Grandpa

And together dance
On moonlit shores
Until then....

Your children, your family, your friends

february 2, 2009


I don't want to think about Mother's Day this year. It's like I have an aversion to it. I cannot specifically identify why, other than the aversion having something to do with the death of my mom a couple months ago.

It's like I have a wall up, blocking something.

Some would perhaps say, "Tear down that wall!" But I'm not sure yet how to approach it or if I want to know why it is there. I just know I want the day to pass quickly, to get it over with.

My mom died at 83 years old on January 31, 2009. She was the last surviving sibling of 12. Her maiden name was Drum. Though she isn't the "final" Drum, she was the final Drum sibling of her family.

The following is an excerpt from Mom's obituary. (Must copy and paste the link for the link to work. Cannot link directly by simply clicking it.)

Flo Rae grew up in the Balls Creek area of Catawba County and was a graduate of Balls Creek High School. Soon after high school, she met and fell in love with a young man from Hickory, Albert W. Hamby. They were married in August 1942.

Albert's military assignments sent the couple to New York City and Miami, Fla. In 1946, Flo Rae and Albert settled in Daytona Beach, Fla., where their three children were born. The family moved to Hickory in 1961. Flo Rae and Albert joined the Adult Fellowship Class at First United Methodist Church and became lifelong friends with many fellow members. The love and support provided throughout the years by their church family was a continued blessing to Flo Rae. For the next several decades, Flo Rae was a national top-producing salesperson for Encyclopedia Britannica. Her engaging personality drew people to her and made her a trusted and very successful salesperson.

Her strong work ethic and passion for living life brought her through many challenges, the most difficult was Albert's automobile accident and subsequent disability in 1983. Flo Rae insisted on caring for her husband, a quadriplegic, at their home for the rest of his life. She and Albert were supported by a caring family and dear friends in Hickory during these years, but Flo Rae was always guiding the ship. She provided a quality of life for Albert that was truly amazing, including vacations and camping. Albert Hamby died in 1996.

I had a mix of emotions when Mom died; I still do.

I wrote the above poem in the wee morning hours. She really did make delicious green beans and creamed corn.