Guest Poet: Anna Baggs

My mother has been the hardest hit by my father’s death, for reasons that should be obvious. They were engaged by the time my mom was 15 and my dad was 20. When my father died, he was 72. That’s a long time together.

My mom dedicates this poem to her husband of 50 years. My favorite part is the ending (starting with “In sickness and in health”) — it contains truths in it that are usually only revealed by terrible suffering, but are also beautiful and right and amazing.

50 years 5 months 10 days How can I say they were not enough

when they were filled with so many adventures

so many plans realized

so many obstacles overcome

so many joys bubbling up in our days together

so many surprises unwrapped

so many special days celebrated

so many ideas nurtured to fruition

so much support for individual dreams

so many near misses averted

so many rough patches gotten through

so many problems overcome

so many hugs and kisses planted

so much love grown a heart nearly bursts to hold it all

so many laughs shared they echo inside me like a brook’s water over rounded stones

so much music and well worn books shared

so many pets loved and incorporated into our family

so much personal and professional growth fostered

In sickness and in health we supported one another

Until death do us part. And here is the surprise I find…

Death does not separate that which has grown together

and Love is forever and reaches through time in both directions

Bending back in our memories and forward in our hearts and actions.

No parting of spirits here….You will be in my heart forever….

Rest In Peace my best friend forever, Rest In Peace.

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Lament for Ronald Baggs (1941-2014)

It’s raining in Wasco today
It never rains in Wasco
But it’s raining there today
For it has lost its son
And the sky is crying

It’s raining in the Sierras today
Not snow, but rain, this time
It’s raining there today
For it has lost its son
And the sky is crying

It’s raining in Klamath Falls today
It rains there a lot, but this rain is special
It’s raining there today
For it has lost its son
And the sky is crying

It’s raining in Sunnyvale today
Never mind the name of the town
It’s raining there today
For it has lost its son
And the sky is crying

It’s raining in Palo Alto today
And we know why it’s raining
It’s raining there today
For it has lost its son
And the sky is crying

It’s raining in Redwood Terrace today
It’s a rainforest, so it rains
But today the rain is filled with sadness
It’s raining there today
For it has lost iits son
And the sky is crying

It’s raining in Campbell today
There’s a drought but it’s raining
it’s raining there today
For it has lost its son
And the sky is crying

It’s raining in San Jose today
Same drought, same unexpected rain
It’s raining there today
For it has lost its son
And the sky is crying

It’s raining in the Siskiyous today
Despite the recent forest fires
It’s raining there today
For it has lost its son
And the sky is crying

And I cry
Along with the sky
Sometimes out loud
Sometimes only in my mind
But my tears outnumber the rain that falls
For I have lost my only father
And I couldn’t know what that was like
Until it happened

Sometimes I open my mouth to cry
And no sounds come out
And the tears won’t come
But I feel the tears in my mind
Streaming down my face
Falling from the sky
Covering everything in sight
With the water
Of grief and love