Posts Tagged ‘David Harkins’


My friend, Kim, with her beautiful GG -- Photo by Pat Bean

“You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she has lived. You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back, or you open your eyes and see all she’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her, or you can be full of the love you shared. You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday…

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back. Or you can do what she’d want: Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”

 — David Harkins.


*Travels With Maggie

My friend Kim, who was to meet me in Zion National Park yesterday, canceled because her 99-year-old grandmother, whom I also loved and called GG for Great-Grandmother, was on her death-bed. GG had adopted me into her family when I lived in Utah because my own family all lived elsewhere, mostly 1,500 miles or more away in Texas.

The pending death wasn’t an unexpected turn of events, but one that GG herself had been wishing for in recent months because her life had dwindled to helplessness. She had told me as much herself when I had hugged her frail tiny body for the final time last September.

I was saddened by GG’s pending death, but also relived that this day had finally arrived. And knowing that GG was surrounded by her own loving family, and that I was not needed, I didn’t change my plans to stay in Zion for the coming week.

But as if echoing the sadness in my heart, weather in Zion this day was a cold-hearted one. It was only 27 degrees when I awoke, and the cold penetrated a sprained shoulder I had been nursing now for two months.

Indian paintbrush doesn't let a rocky habitat hinder its opportunity at life. -- Photo by Pat Bean

My dog, Maggie, meanwhile, who normally sleeps in until almost 10 a.m. woke at 7:30 and demanded a walk. Of course I bundled up and she got it.

Back at the RV, Maggie immediately snuggled back in on our over-the-cab bed and soon was snoozing. I fixed myself my morning coffee and sat in front of the computer to read the news online.

It wasn’t good.

Tornadoes and twisters, including some striking very close to my youngest daughter in southern Arkansas, had left over 350 dead behind.

Life is so fragile. And we never know what curve ball it’s going to throw at us. All we can do is live each day to its fullest and be thankful we can.

After checking in with my youngest daughter and learning all was fine there, and although it was with a sad heart for GG , and for those who had lost their lives in the tornadoes, and my daily sadness for the loss of lives in the wars our country is fighting, I didn’t forget to appreciate and be awed by my colorful and amazing surroundings here in Zion National Park. .

Not doing so, with all the suffering going on in the world, would have been a sacrilege.

*Day 12 of the journey, April 30, 2011

Read Full Post »