I had said that while working on my novel I’d put the brakes on writing poetry. And, I have kept to that until now. However,on Wednesday, my friend/mentor’s body was cremated. I had been invited to say a few words at her funeral…
Barbara was a big supporter of my poetry and often expressed her desire to be in the audience when I performed. Sadly, that never happened, but I thought a brief speech in poetry form was what she would have appreciated.
She died from dementia. I couldn’t stop crying every time I saw her in the final years of her life. In the most difficult times, her family and friends saw things that most would probably wish to unsee… While that’s impossible, my prayer for them and anyone who lost a loved one to this or any other monster disease is that the beautiful memories become more powerful in their minds than the bad ones.
Dementia is crude and cruel. However, Babs was and will always be a lady in my mind. I wrote this short, simple poem to celebrate that memory of her.
She is gone, but her legacy and the beautiful memories live on.
I call you ‘Lady’ – ‘Lady B.’ actually
International woman filled with dignity
A little stern when need be but sweet when you knew
That your heart was safe and a friendship was true…
So many friendships are make-believe.
You did not find your El Dorado. There was not enough time.
But the monster that ended your quest cannot stop you now!
You were such a star… I felt warm in your light…
We know you were here. You don’t have to fight…
I still laugh thinking of you speaking Patois to me
I am not Jamaican, but felt I could be…
When we laughed.
You left solid love chunks for your people down here…
And, you left quite a few… just for me.
Thank you for your time and mentoring –
Not only in good journalism or editing skill…
Thank you for your heartening when I wanted to quit.
You’ll be missed, Lady B.
That is who you are and will be to me…
I’ll remember your passion moving past the pain!
I’ll remember your laughter in spite of the rain
And the violent storm that came…
It is gone now.
It’s okay, Lady B.
Wait in Him for us… R.I.P.♥
Written by Monika Ribeiro