How We Spend Time

I’ve got an annual trip coming up with a few good friends from college. We’ve gotten together every year for the better part of 20 years, to catch-up, enjoy the coast, and generally ground ourselves. It’s a great time, and I feel super-blessed every year I get the chance to be with these guys.

And on a seemingly unrelated topic, a friend of mine lost her husband suddenly about a year ago. Thinking about that anniversary, and this piece below she wrote as a tribute to their marriage and years together…

Makes me even more thankful for these friends I see every year, and,

also the blessing of my own family, my wife and our kids.

I feel blessed and humbled and grateful all the more acutely each year when I’m away from them for this trip. I’m lucky to have the people I do in my life, both friends and especially my family.

So, these may seem like a non-sequitur, but the two circumstances that connect in my mind. And too, they give me the chance to share this powerful reflection from my friend about life with her husband.

All I can say after this? GOD BLESS.

“A Ballad of John and Les”

We planned a life together
of that there was no doubt.
Three little darlings in under four years,
that’s what our life became all about.

There was loving, fighting, sharing and all that drama,
sports, Scouts, dance and homework,
the Noone Children Challenging Chore Chart.
We did it all but it sometimes felt berserk.

Engineering was your job while I simply worked part time.
You didn’t mind when money ran short.
You knew I was happy mostly just being the mom.
Though CVC wanted pricey fun things. Well, that was their report.

Our favorite songs and moments others hardly knew—
Dumbledore, “Camelot”, “24601”, “Your hand feels so grand in mine.”
“Tradition”, War and Peace (you read such difficult stuff!) but when
“Same Time Next Year” or “Beauty and the Beast” was on, you were giving me a sign.

The kids, they grew and moved away; then the devil, Northrup Grumman, let you go
leaving you with the deepest kind of sadness in your heart.
Foothill’s changing; it became a place I didn’t want to be:
Retirement became the goal, our better life now about to start.

Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, oh, that emerald isle.
Nancy and Kent, Kevin and Mo, with our friends we made that trip.
It was beautiful, lovely, joyous and green.
We got through two cancers to do it, happy enough to flip.

The house, the yard got all spruced up
for the wedding coming soon.
Chelsea married Vivek, all full of love.
Then we took our best trip in June.

Lewis and Clark and Ole Muddy sent us on that course, a journey.
Fifteen different states and Canada, too,
Rivers’ confluences, US Parks, friends and family, elk,
Waterfalls, museums, and mini-hikes. All beautiful? True.

John, 2017, so much time spent on the Ride4Diabetes,
Lions’ Thanksgiving Food Drive, Project Linus, fights and more.
Then March ’18: our 40-year anniversary, Disneyland, gorgeous ring and
yes, I will still need you when I’m 64.

The big anniversary still carried on; it was time for more vacation
Europe called us over once again.
Yachts, Croatia, broken crown, Bled’s Castle, Dolomites, to Venice, Cinque Terra, the farm.
A lovelier time? I can’t say when.

Mark and Voni were engaged, Chels and Vivek married one year, Chris attending college.
We came home, said, “Hi!” and “Europe was amazing to behold.”
Then off to Mass. and cousins galore, lobster on the Cape, bathroom repairs,
swimming and “Surprise, you’re 65 years old!”

New York with James and Sue, the Lake, the Erie Canal.
We saw the house, Roxie and Big bro’s train set,
Drove all over the place till we tried a new dessert.
Frozen custard could well be the best yet!

In New Hampshire, George and Linda own a cabin in the woods.
They took us to freezing Mt. Washington by train.
We saw a regal hotel, a pub and went on a moose hunt, by god,
We held baby Londyn then off to the plane.

Home for less than three weeks. He off with the boys
for golf and beer, I with the girls for lunch and wine.
I had such a great day with my girls
Believing that you, too, were fine.

Chelsea gave birth to Arya in April; you never even knew.
Voni married Mark in Montana; I walked her down the aisle.
You’d have loved that little girl so much and she’d have adored you.
Veronica Beth wanted her dad that day; she’d have had a bigger smile.

It’s been 13 months-plus, alone at 63.
I don’t know what to do or who to be
or why you are gone
and left without me.

We had our life planned together to play, to laugh,
to grow old and to sigh
about our aches and pains.
I didn’t even get to say good-bye.

I grieve and I cry.
And I still don’t know why.

by L. Noone 9/30/2019

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