“There is nothing like a train journey for reflection.”
Tahir Shah wrote these words in a book titled “In Arabian Nights”.
And they rang so true today.
We found ourselves doing much reflecting this morning at the train depot where my husband Richard’s celebration of life service was held.
In spite of below zero temps, the room was toasty warm with hugs and so many rich memories of his years.
We shared prayers and poetry at the station. Songs and stories, too.
Our favorite hospital chaplain stopped by. We asked him to say a few words, and he did so eloquently.
Two singers from the local adult day program serenaded us in perfect harmony with “500 Miles” and “Let It Be” one last time.
These two songs gave my daughter and I much peace in my husband’s final days.
Afterwards, someone commented how it felt like this crowd of friends, co-workers, and family were waving their final goodbyes to Richard while he boarded the last train on the track before us.
To a peaceful destination, with an on time departure, they hoped.
Holding that thought, the crowd left in peace, too.
And I smiled, knowing Richard had already caught that train a few days before.
The crowd said goodbye.
By the train platform we stood.
Wishing safe passage.
Though a gray and bitter, sub zero morn.
We will not be at all sad or forlorn.
We choose to celebrate a special life today.
With warm memories to share and music to play.
Toasting the journey after he was born.
Birds are still singing.
Taking me under their wing.
Through the frosty pane.
We often hear, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
I was thinking last night how it also takes a village to help care for someone afflicted with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementias.
I was blessed to find such a village for my husband, Richard.
And it was a beautiful one.
Adult day care programs full of music and art to nurture the soul.
Caregivers to provide love and comfort while I was working or resting.
Medical professionals who have guided Richard and myself through his long journey.
My daughter and I will be thanking village residents for the great gifts they have shared
at my husband’s celebration of life this week.
And I believe Richard will be as well, in his own way.
I love the word ‘peace’.
It brings acceptance to mind.
Helps with the healing.
A cozy spot, and warm.
Much needed this week with below zero temps for highs.
My husband’s celebration of life will be held in a renovated train station built around 1902. He fell in love with trains after receiving a Lionel toy train set one Christmas as a little boy.
The depot is located near his group home, an adult day care center, and the hospital where so many good people helped with my husband’s care in his final days.
I hope many of them can stop by. I’d like to thank them.
I expect there will be many bear hugs and loving memories shared.
And lots of hot coffee.
Somehow a train depot seemed the perfect spot to celebrate his final journey.
And for us all to wave good bye.