In looking through some of my old files, I have stumbled into some words that I hold very dear to me. In the video from yesterdays post, there is a picture of my mom with a very dear friend, Gene. He wrote a reflection for her memorial. I want to share them with you. I think that this is as beautiful as any gift that has ever been given to us.
Easter is almost here. Went to church tonight, it was amazing, and has given me some more thoughts about death, light, darkness, hope and one of my mom’s favorites "just do it." But I don’t have it worked out just quite yet. Gene writes…
First, let me remind all of White’s kids, Rachel, Manette, Reggie, and Cassie, that your mother loved you each passionately…please let the memory of her love comfort and inspire you…also know that I will always be available to each of you–reminding you of her love and her hopes and dreams for your lives…
I am proud to have had Anne White as a friend and mentor. Few people have ever lived life so fiercely, or acted with such integrity or loved so loyally. She taught by example…She was a survivor…and instilled survival skills in those she loved… She was always the first to
catch you when you fell and the first to "kick you in your butt" once she determined you were OK.
I’m not sure that White fully understood the positive influence she had on many people–especially me. I witnessed her as a mother providing for the future of her children; as a teacher working to maximize the potential within each of her students; and as a friend listening to me and loving me unconditionally.
In his book, "The Fall of Freddie the Leaf," Leo Buscaglia uses the life of a leaf to try and explain the mysteries of life and death. I take particular comfort in the final passages…
"…Then Freddie was alone. The only leaf left on his branch.
The first snow fell the following morning. It was soft, white, and gentle; but it was bitter cold. There was hardly any sun that day, and the day was very short. Freddie found himself losing his color, becoming brittle. It was constantly cold, and the snow weighed heavily upon him.
At dawn, the wind came that took Freddie from his branch. It didn’t hurt at all. He felt himself float quietly, gently, and softly downward.
As he fell, he saw the whole tree for the first time. How strong and firm it was! He was sure that it would live for a long time, and he knew that he had been a part of its life, and it made him proud.
Freddie landed on a clump of snow. It somehow felt soft, and even warm. In this new position he was more comfortable than he had ever been. He closed his eyes and fell asleep. He did not know that spring would follow winter, and that the snow would melt into water. He did not know that what appeared to be his useless dried self would join with the water and serve to make the tree stronger. Most of all he did not know that there, asleep in the tree and the ground were already plans for new leaves in the spring.
I hope that White left the tree peacefully and gently. I believe that White found pride, comfort and wonder in seeing the "whole tree". I know that her life has and will continue to nourish us all.
Most of all, I love, miss, and will always be indebted to, Anne White.