You, lying there,
All out of breath,
The haunted-house-like music playing, and you with eyes shut and hands folded.
Your body lying there.
The body which provoked great respect in me as I looked and remembered that
Your body had been through unthinkable hardships:
Hard, often-stolen labour
Pushing through excruciating days in the Paraguayan sun.
Choosing to be excommunicated from your church family
For the girl from another colony, whom you were simply taken with
And whom you loved all your days
and with whom you had 5 little ones, 2 girls and 3 boys.
And how you and she packed up one autumn day, with two suitcases and $250 to arrive in Canada.
And how you worked so hard to provide for your family
And create a new home.
And how your labour reflected a solemn love and dedication to the Lord
which witnessed to your children and theirs.
And it struck me today that you would have been delighted and amazed
To see again all the family you have left.
The family of aunts and uncles and cousins and married-ins,
Playing harp, and reminiscing about your tomato gardens, and giggling about the tender heart which glowed beneath that silent and sometimes-stern blue-sweatered exterior.
All my love,