Saturday, March 12, 2011

Passing the Baton

March brings on its own agenda. There is the washing the undercarriage of cars to swish away the salt and cinders of winter. There are the endless basketball games called March Madness for a very good reason! I have to schedule any television use and arrange meals around those dribbling teams. The games don’t interest me a bit, but I use the time to cram in reading one more good book from my winter reading list. Then there is the nightmare of taxes that have to be worked up in March. Every year that season activity starts in March with one DH’s questions. Something that goes like, “Where is that little scrap of yellow paper I wrote some numbers on last summer and said I wanted to keep for 2011?”

Every season brings us humans some new compliant. We put away the snow cries only to replace it with moans about wind, tornadoes, and spring showers. Today was a beauty though and you could see folks stepping out on porches, walking out to the corner posts of fences, gazing up into the sky wondering how long the exquisite weather would last. I too sauntered out in the yard where I spied these tiny lilac buds showing the teeniest bit of purple waiting to unfurl when spring truly arrives. I saw the lilies pushing up, a wee tad of new mum leaves at the base of brittle plants from last fall, and the maple trees are loaded with minuscule leaf buds that will terrorize us in the future with helicopter seeds. I took down the snowman flag and replaced the winter scene mailbox cover with an Easter bunny one.

Then I came inside and worked with a spring cleaning mindset, although to look around one would wonder what I had done. I cleaned one laundry room cabinet bringing the deck place mats and some flower vases a little closer to the front. Then I tackled my office closet where I finally trashed the rest of my teaching supplies. I had weeded and cleaned them before, but today I accepted that a once so important part of my life is gone-over for good. I filed in that now empty container my published writings which had grown like Topsy and was spilling over my desk drawers. When I actually gathered it all up to file, I was shocked to see what I had produced. I hope when my children have to weed that closet again someday, they say, “Well, golly, that woman was in that office WORKING!”

Then in the middle of the afternoon I had to stop my weeding and cleaning, don a black suit and join another friend to say goodbye to our friend Callye. We met Callye at Welcome Wagon, let’s see, about 30 years ago. She was fun, laughed a lot, went to my church, and was older than we were. We raised kids as she faced a retiring husband who became ill and died. My friend and Callye reconnected as widows, sharing burdens of being alone. Callye moved to a duplex, joined a bridge club (oh she was serious about bridge!), and began to date a man from church who ended up breaking her heart.

I began to include Callye in some tea parties here. Oh, she always came carrying her delicious homemade cinnamon rolls though she was told to bring nothing. Once she had three of us at her small place for a mini tea party. No matter where Callye was, there was laughter. Italian Catholic from the East Coast she brought LIFE with her when she moved here years ago. The last couple of years, we have lamented that we did not have tea parties often enough, that we needed a new dose of Callye, that we would make time soon. We waited too long.

Callye was hit by a malignant brain tumor and before anyone could even deal with that news in this horrid winter, she was gone. Today Father Bill recalled that Callye had started some social concerns activities at the church, and when she got some years on her could not do what she once had done in the projects. She said to him, “Time to for a change. Time to pass it on.” Father Bill said Callye knew that our lives were like a race where runners handed the baton to the runner passing them. She knew when it was time to pass the baton but still relished living in wahtever new stage life gave her.

I came home to Cindy Dagnan’s newsletter where she said that she had already decorated for spring and is cleaning and weeding for the new season…yet she mourned tossing out her children’s too small clothes and outgrown toys because this meant an ending as well as a beginning. Her children were growing up. Cindy also included her monthly scripture verse which was: “We are merely moving shadows and all our busy rushing ends in nothing…and so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.” Psalm 39:6a,7 NLT

Callye we will miss you, but you taught us not to miss you in our tomorrows but to relish the memories of you in our yesterdays. Thanks for teaching us how to pass on that baton too.


Linda O'Connell said...

Whata loving tribute to a dear friend who I;m am sureis smiling down upon you. I am so grateful for the sunshine and warmer weather too.

irishoma said...

Hi Claudia,
Thank you for sharing such lovely and deep-felt emotions. Callye sounds like a special friend who no doubt is having tea parties and sharing her cinnamon rolls with new friends in heaven.
Our lilac bushes have begun to bud also. It is a time to look forward and a time to glance back, cherishing the memories and welcoming the good times ahead.
Prayers and blessings heading your way.

Ames said...

I am beginning to see that life is too short and very precious. My heart goes out to you in your time of sadness. ~Ames

Betty Craker Henderson said...

We went driving today and everywhere were signs of the spring that is just around the corner. (Of course there is the blizzard to deal with first...or at any rate in the middle of...) The tribute to your friend was so sweet. It made me stop and think with love of some of my dear friends who have gone on. Springtime is a good time for those memories.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

A beautiful tribute to your friend. I'm sorry for your loss. Callye was fortunate to have so caring a friend in you. God bless.

Lynn said...

Sending love your way for the loss of your friend. I'm sure she'd be touched with what you wrote.

Susan said...

Monday night...Hi Bookie....Can't open your email so thought I'd write here. Thanks for your visit and comment to my blog today. Always love it when you stop by. Yup, the bunnies really grew, without my realizing it. YIKES. But you DEFINITELY have me beat with the tea cups! Susan

Jenny said...

What a tribute to a beautiful soul. This was touching. Can you make copies of this and send it to the family? They might find some comfort in your carefully crafted eulogy.

Absolutley lovely.

Hugs from Arizona.