Monday, September 7, 2009

September Song



My husband was 20 when his mom died. He and his 11 brothers and sisters lost their mom to cancer. His youngest sister was only 2 years old at the time of her mom's death.

Mr. B.E. recalls being called home as a college student to be present at his mother's deathbed. It was bittersweet because was unable to change the prognosis or prevent her death. But understandably, he still needed and wanted to be there.

By analogy, being present to the needs of those who are oppressed means being willing to be with them. Most likely, I cannot solve their problem--but by simply showing up...by being there...I am where I need to be to symbolize where my heart is.

September Song was a favorite song of the father-in-law I never met as he recalled his first wife's premature death--each November. It is one of my husband's favorites, too.

With thanks for the memories to my blogging friend Jamie who began Take This Tune.

8 comments:

Spadoman said...

You wrote:

By analogy, being present to the needs of those who are oppressed means being willing to be with them. Most likely, I cannot solve their problem--but by simply showing up...by being there...I am where I need to be to symbolize where my heart is.

These are very strong words for me. I read them earlier and came back to read them again, they are almost haunting. There is a deep message here, I believe, as many of us feel there is nothing we can do, so we go back to our lives and seem to forget about those that need our attention.

I can't get rid of the privilege of being white. I can't fight against the wrongs put forth by other governments and our government. But I can stand with them, if not on their turf, then on my own, on my block.

Years ago, I started a Peace vigil in Ashland, WI, where I lived at the time. I just told folks at the local coffee shop that I would be there on Tuesday afternoons. Many came out, week after week, and showed support for a movement for peace.

I moved away, but did not start another action where I live now. Maybe it's time to do so. I'm not standing with them now and I realize it. I'm not guilty of any wrong, but personally, I know I have given up giving my time to stand. Thanks for reminding me in such an eloquent way, great words.

Anniversaries of those that passed before us are certainly bittersweet to say the least. We lost a daughter 18 years ago. We play her song often.
Que up Led Zepplin, "Stairway to Heaven"

Peace.

Border Explorer said...

Spadoman, I am so touched by the energy and thought you put into this post, so first of all: thanks for that. These words are strong for me, too. I feel close to you because you gave them so much attention.

I send good wishes and light to you as you discern how you can best use your life's time and energy to "be with" and symbolize where your heart is.

I also want you to know that I'm keeping you and your family in prayer as grief returns to remind you of your loss today. Today I will listen to "Stairway to Heaven" with you all in my heart (in addition to "September Song").

With love, Billie

thailandchani said...

What a wonderful exchange between you and Spadoman! That's what all of this is about, isn't it?

I'm structured in such a weird way that I can't say I relate.. but I do believe we need to take a stand.. and stand in the right place. We need to understand that speaking truth is the most important thing we can do with our planet time.

Hence "Sounds of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel... one of my all-time favorites. I was just a kid when it was out and it helped shape my belief system and my chosen actions.



~*

Brother Tim said...

Great post, Billie. I still remember the times people stood with me 40-45 years ago when I needed it most. I have tried to base my life on those principles. Kinda like 'Pay It Forward'. Although I may not have much to show for 60 years of living, I have a lot of inner-peace. When I leave this world I want to live on as fond memories to those whose lives I've touched.

susan said...

The song is indeed as beautiful as when I first heard it. Melancholy and loss are much of what are lives are truly about if they are to be lived fully.

I'm very grateful to you and Mr. BE that you're so willing to be there to witness and help where you can. Like many more I've been too involved in earning a living and generally entertaining myself to go and stand anywhere in a long time.

Thank you for the reminder and for your dear hearts.

Carol said...

Oh, I just love you, Billie...

Border Explorer said...

I thought about this post so often yesterday and today. The comments made it really special to me. I still feel touched.

Sincere thanks to you all.

Jamie said...

Somehow I missed this contribution to "Take This Tune" until catching up on my Google Reader. It is a wonderful story with a great message. Thank you.