Thursday, February 24, 2011

Love Poems and Life-Force

I’ve been writing a great deal about resilience. So far I’ve reflected on what has contributed toward my own and other peoples’ ability to go on living full and even happy lives in spite of tragedy or overwhelming hardship; I haven’t yet touched here on Timora’s amazing resilience, although there's a great deal about it in my memoir.

As I wrote in my last post, Timora was a true writer, so it’s not surprising that the exuberant life-force that enabled her to bounce back from the extreme hardship she experienced in her young life is reflected in her poetry. These are my translations of the poems she wrote when she fell in love for the first, and only, time in her life, in the spring of 1997. She was in remission from her leukemia after two and a half years of intensive treatment and debilitating side effects – several months of concentrated chemotherapy, her first bone marrow transplant, and the Graft-Versus-Host-Disease that resulted from the transplant. She told me, when she came home from the Scouts trip where she met the boy, “I feel like I’ve gotten a glimpse of how life can be when I’m not sick – of the things I’ve been missing until now. Now I know there’s a whole world waiting for me, if I only decide to go out there and join it." And so she did.

The Hebrew originals can be found here.

April 4
Purity of childhood
Innocence of youth
The truest, the best, the rightest
Thing of all
Won’t fit into a rigid frame
Of rules
Soul touching body
Childish, naïve
And so
Angels’ touch
Bringing together thrilled
And amazed souls
Who discover
The truest thing
The most beautiful thing

April 17
How dark it all was,
Despair, fear, loneliness
Feeling like a third wheel in this world,
How the light came suddenly,
Hand and smile, innocent touch, love-giving
And it all changed,
Can do it all.

April 20
I wake in the morning –
You float into my head.
Go to sleep,
With your name on my lips.
You are everywhere,
Fill me,
Do you also think of me?

Any bereaved parent will tell you that remembering their children through what they left behind is one of the most important - if bittersweet - ways of moving toward healing from their deep grief. I feel especially blessed that by turning her inner life into written words Timora left us so much of herself, and in such a beautiful form.

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