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Jim, Can You Hear Me?


(This week was my brother's birthday. This is for him.)

The weeks have scurried on and turned into months now
and still you are gone, but, here as well.

There are remembrances of you,
photos, emails, and memorials, both small
and large.

Your voice is in my memory and now and then
I hear you speak, recalling old phone conversations where
together we cursed politicians, phony preachers, a sleeping
church, and, where we replayed the last major golf tournament,
Tiger’s life collapse, Phil’s implausible shot, Rory’s power swing,
and Spieth’s relentless grit and skills.

We grieved Mom’s difficult life, Dad’s mysterious remoteness, and our own
flaws and foibles and foolishness.

And, there is your laughter, still floating in my
consciousness; a laugh that drew you up, shoulders raised, head
lifted, eyes closed, a sort of breathless moment of immobility,
slow motion seconds of you drinking in great gobs of elation and
jubilance ending in coughing spells and tears.

You had substantial years of joy and love and fulfillment. There
was a wife, and beautiful children, and towards the end, grandchildren,
who made you nervous because you felt so lousy, but whom you
cherished and must have in your quiet moments wished you could
show them how much.

There was a career, a purpose; there were achievements
and your presence left in the hearts of others.

After your funeral—in the church hallways, at the cemetery, in cars
taking people to their homes—your name was spoken in reverence, with affection from old classmates, from lifelong friends, from church members,
and from your family, our hearts heavy with your absence.

Later in the evening, a small crew of us who knew you best and loved
you most celebrated you with food and drinks. You were remembered
over and again; we laughed; we cried; we honored you and gave thanks.

You would have scolded our over indulgences, as was your way. But you
would have laughed along with us without hesitation; you would have
cried too, and on the lounge chairs where we sat you would have reached
over to hug us one by one.

Even now, I feel that embrace and all is well.


© 2017 Timothy Moody

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