I originally posted this August 11, 2011 on Facebook. It was just 10 days after my Mom died. I found it today, while looking around my FB postings and it brought me comfort once again today, after hearing of two deaths this week. One was a friend I hadn’t seen for about 30 years. I knew her when she was in her 20’s. We had a rocky relationship, but I loved her. I’ve had my share of rocky relationships, I can be a bit stubborn. I seem to like walking over the rocks.

The rocks in our life were built up mostly by her, but I’ll take credit for climbing over them too. GE DIGITAL CAMERA

There was a boy…… I latched on to him as a good friend, someone I needed in my life at the time, she latched on to him because she was in love with him. She mistook my neediness for a friend as something more than it was, but I wouldn’t let go. I needed a friend, even if it caused torment for both she and I. In the end I like to think we truly worked it out, but that was only after she realized I had no idea of romance. I like guys, I like guy friends.  I hope she thought of me kindly after we went our own ways. I hope she remembered me, because I thought of her and the friendship she and I missed out on at the time for both of our neediness.  I wish I could have seen her one more time and that boy that she married. I miss that friendship.

Spring 1979 Illinois

The other death this week was yet another life cut short, parents left mourning once again. Near as I can tell this is the third son of high school classmates, in his 20’s, to die. It doesn’t matter how they died, who may or may not have been at fault, if anyone was. What matters are the parents left behind to try and walk this new journey set out before them. Although I am a classmate to all of the parents (some older, some younger, some the same age) I am not close to most of them, yet I cherish them and hold them all close in my heart. I have no words of comfort. How can you tell a parent that someday it will get better. I have never lost a child, I do worry every day about my three kids. Worry too much, if that is possible, worry so much, as I’ve told them before, my heart aches, from the thought of losing them. I have no words of comfort, I have not walked their journey, but they are all in my  heart, and my heart aches for them.

My Mom died just over two years ago. We had a roller coaster of a life together, but with both of us being diagnosed with cancer just weeks apart from each other it brought us together. I missed her a lot, I still miss her a lot. I will never stop missing her, but if I had been the one to die instead of her, I can only imagine how she would have handled that grief.

Anyway here is the post I found on Facebook this morning, it helped me, but my heart adds another two scars this week in loss. There are so many scars, some have lightened up a bit and some are too deep to repair. My favorite part is “And when you need me, Put your arms Around anyone And give them What you need to give to me.”

Missing Mom, decided to try and do something productive like going through some stacks of books in my room. Had a bible I got at a thrift store, flipping through it and wondering why I need more than one NIV version of the Bible and found a piece of paper stuck between the pages. Once again God pushing. It is a poem written by Merrit Malloy, but I didn’t put it in this Bible from the thrift store.


When I die

Give what’s left of me away

To children

And old men that wait to die.

And if you need to cry.

Cry for your brother

Walking the street beside you.

And when you need me,

Put your arms

Around anyone

And give them

What you need to give to me.

I want to leave you something.

Something better

Than words

Or sounds.

Look for me

In the people I’ve known

Or loved.

And if you cannot give me away.

At least let me live on your eyes

And not on your mind.

You can love me most

By letting

Hands touch hands.

By letting

Bodies touch bodies.

And by letting go

Of children

That need to be free.

Love doesn’t die,

People do.

So, when all that’s left of me

Is love,

Give me away.

I’ll see you at home

In the earth.


About jlturtlerunner

12 plus Years Surviving Stage IV Oral Cancer. I have become a "Turtle" runner since that diagnosis, as a way of saying, "Take That Sucker!" After 12 years of being a Turtle Runner, I'm adding a new title, Turtle Rucker!

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