I know that I have been somewhat missing in action from the blog recently but I do have a good excuse I had to go over to the UK to attend to my mother’s funeral and sort out some of her personal affairs.
My mother was always a very neat, tidy, and orderly person and died almost to the hour on her 93rd birthday, at Christmas. Despite her age was very fit and alert right up until the very end, indeed, I spoke to her the day before she died.
At her funeral I had the honor of reading Gone From My Sight by Henry Van Dyke. It was a favorite of hers, a beautiful poem which will strike a chord with anyone who as any sort of connection with the sea and boats.
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until; at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"
And that is dying...