She texted me earlier, told me that she's been crying all day long. When I asked her if there was anything I could do, she texted back, "Just tell me everything is going to be okay."
I texted her that everything was going to okay. I texted that message to her over and over.
William Stafford has a poem about a woman in a difficult situation. Bess is dying, and yet she is able to hold on to joy. It's a poem that never fails to move me.
Saint Marty prays that his friend finds some joy in her life.
by: William Stafford
Ours are the streets where Bess first met her
cancer. She went to work every day past the
secure houses. At her job in the library
she arranged better and better flowers, and when
students asked for books her hand went out
to help. In the last year of her life
she had to keep her friends from knowing
how happy they were. She listened while they
complained about food or work or the weather.
And the great national events danced
their grotesque, fake importance. Always
Pain moved where she moved. She walked
ahead; it came. She hid; it found her.
No one ever served another so truly;
no enemy ever meant so strong a hate.
It was almost as if there was no room
left for her on earth. But she remembered
where joy used to live. She straightened its flowers;
she did not weep when she passed its houses;
and when finally she pulled into a tiny corner
and slipped from pain, her hand openedagain, and the streets opened, and she wished all well.