I thought we had forever
Or at least another day,
To share one last sunrise and sunset
Of the sky turning from blue to orange gray.
We would reminisce over days gone by,
Laugh and smile and sometimes cry.
Happy tears and sad,
remembering the silliest of times
and the most unbearable.
We always had a hand to hold
and someone to wipe our tears.
And now I sit here waiting for you
So I can hug you and say goodbye,
And let you know,
I will always love you…….
Because I thought we had forever,
or at least another day.
Copyright © 2022 Cindy Georgakas
All Rights Reserved
I wrote this with my aging parents, my husband and dear friends in mind. Sometimes I forget and think life will go on the same way forever, and then I remember my grandmother’s and dear friends and clients passing and I think again. My kids often say “you’re not allowed to get old or die”. Loosing a dear friend last week was another reminder to share what’s in our hearts while we still can.
This will be a little long so please feel free to scroll to what suits you.
A Tribute to our Dear Friend Rich Lawson
Meet Rich Lawson. He touched our lives in ways I can’t even explain. He was not only our first daughter, Narnical’s 3 and 4th grade teacher but our dear friend. We went to the same church and my husband taught Sunday school with his wife and our friend Vicky. He was a strong presence sitting front and center anchoring all of us every week while we sang in the choir, taught or performed. He was not only an amazing teacher, husband, and grandfather, friend but poet, director and creator of plays and author.
He wrote a poem to his wife Vicky, every single day of their married life for nearly 34 years. They met at Unity Spiritual Center in Palo Alto, Ca 34 years ago to the day where we all came together to celebrate his life and what would have been their 34th wedding anniversary. Honestly, I have NEVER seen a marriage like this in my life and I’m not sure that I ever will again. At one point a group of of us we’re talking about how rare this is and it occurred to me that this is what everyone thinks or hopes marriage will be like. We all laughed saying “little do they know, they are one in a million literally and it is the storybook marriage everyone wants that rarely exists”. Maybe it had something to do with it being a second marriage and meeting in church, or never having children together (although Vicky is an incredible stepmom and Grandmother to Jack), I’m not sure, but it was undeniable when you were around them and so endearing. It truly was a fairy tale that really did come true!
We were scheduled to go over and bring lunch and Vicky thought he was improving, although he was not able to talk much. She was looking forward to it but I had this funny feeling Rich just wanted to be with her all by himself and not see anyone. The next day she called and burst into tears saying Rich was dying but she didn’t know how long it would be. She said, “come tomorrow, I know he would love it and you can help bless him and help him cross over, he loved you guys”. We were ready to go and I got the text that he had transitioned. It was heartbreaking and yet I knew it was exactly how he wanted it. She stayed with him with hospice at home and stayed with him as long as she could, drinking him in one last time, the way it had always been with these beloved souls: His angel Vicky at his side 4 ever and eternity.
Angel of my dreams, light of light, creator of beauty, and maker of happiness. You are the princess who has turned me into something much better than I was. You are the golden dream of mine come true, the sweet music I have heard, the arms of love. You are all things good and I love you more than I can ever say. I love you, my angel. Rich Lawson
He taught at Nueva School which fostered passion for life long learning. He took kids who didn’t fit in and within a few weeks they each found their place in an otherwise mixed up world. He created musicals and parts for them individually. One of his students in her 40’s with 2 kids attributed her job as a journalist to his influence and believing in her. She said he created a song for her to sing by Shel Silverstein and she felt it was made her and her alone. She never felt comfortable singing in a group or play piano and to this day, it’s the only song she can sing and play on the piano.
When my daughter got up to talk, she burst into tears and was so emotional she couldn’t share any of her sentiments at all. I went up to comfort her in the way I would when she was small and the beauty was, she actually let me, which was heartfelt. She had lead roles in the plays and really developed so much self confidence and became a teacher as a result of his nurturing. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
For me, I remembered teaching while nursing one of my 4 kids and my husband in another room teaching with another group of students with Vicky. I still have no idea how we taught with 4 kids 6 and under. Vicky was also our Chaplin. I hadn’t been back to church for at least 15 years and memories came flashing back of all of us in church singing, holding hands and singing Let There Be Peace on Earth. My mom was with us and still goes to the same church so it was a heartfelt experience. I can’t help but think this too was touching for my daughter which left her speechless.
You are the heavenly light of my life – the spring time that fills the air with buds and flowers – the twilight in it softness – the birdsong in the morning. You are the flutter of angel wings brushing against my cheek, you are the rocking waves along a beach, you are stars to wish up and clouds to dream. You are a lover sending an ache to my body. You are this and much more. I am so lucky. I love you – always. Rich Lawson
Rich’s Books for sale: His Memory Lives on in our hearts and written words:
Rich’s book, The Tree in the Middle of the Playground can be purchased here on Amazon
Being from Missouri Rich wrote Something about Missouri where you can find more of his poetry here on Amazon
Rich wrote his own Eulogy in 2008 which has inspired me to start writing my own. Here is a copy of it below. All of us have a story and all of us especially here, make it our point of sharing ours with others. We are each important and inspirational in our own way. Rich always wanted to be famous Vicky said but he lacked the self confidence which is uncanny considering all that he gave to each person he met young or old. As the adage goes, sometimes we don’t become famous until we die. Vicky’s promise to Rich was at some point she will publish his love notes and he will become famous for being the best love note writer in the world. Rich will always be famous to me and my family, especially Narnical.
Rich’s last poem to Vicky:
TO THE MOON
The moon – artful dodger – plays tag with
clouds, this Clare-de Lune friend who watches me
watch you and shows me how love becomes a
river in the sky, a sly way to be coy, to find
the path out of sight, to bring my ghost friends
near us both where we can show the silver moon
how love becomes clearer in the reflected light
that has been winking at me behind wisps
of clouds and if I look, this silver toy becomes
the sweet reflection of you, my love and we find
you in the dark, find you near the Milky Way, find
you wherever love goes in its playful mood.
The moon shows me my darling in the best light, she
almost talks to be, telling me of how sweet this
love we have is. This moonlight is a miracle and
I love the game she plays – I can never get enough
of your lovely face, your sweet ways.
I love you, my darling – always,
March 30, 2021
For those of you who care to read:
Rich’s Eulogy written in 2008
It wasn’t one of my better days. I may have had worse days, although right now I can’t remember any. I never realized how busy one can be in just dying. I’m not even certain if my life flashed across my dimming consciousness, but for sure a lot of stuff was happening. So, there it is. I’m dead. The beloved husband of Vicky. I haven’t been dead very long, so I’m not sure if there are benefits, like, say, an end to guilt and shame and fear and inadequacy. I hope so. I’m not even certain where this new path leads, and whether or not it even is a path. Right now I am just hoping for the best and trying to deal with the almost inexpressible sadness I feel from being separated from all that I have grown to love, especially my wife. All I can tell you is that I am hopeful.
I have this feeling I should say something about my life. I was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1935, during the Great Depression. My dad had this thing about living in the country, so we moved to a small town when I was four. I was a smart kid, but from an early age, I preferred to be alone. I had friends, but I remember spending a lot of time by myself. During my childhood I was intoxicated by music and assumed I would grow up to be a composer. That notion, for a lot of silly reasons, never happened. Maybe next time. During the ‘50s I went to university and, in 1960, married for the first time. We had three children: Richard Jr., Karl and Karsten. I love them. They’re nice kids. This may be a good place to say I was not much of a dad, and I am so sorry that I wasn’t. I was never physically abusive nor was I a drinker, but I fell short on other scores, perhaps worse. I was too impatient, too immature, too absent. I could go on and on, but the truth is, I was never cut out to be a dad. Socially, I was also a bust. I was unsure and frightened around adults. And, even though it happened, I never understood how anyone could enjoy spending time with me. Let’s face it, I liked being alone where I could play the piano, listen to music, read, and write poetry. I liked spending time in church or going on long walks or driving across the desert.
My first real job was as an engineer at Ford Motor Co. I did well and we were transferred to Detroit. There I got an M.A. in literature and left Ford to become an elementary school teacher. This was a huge change for me and my family, and, in a few years my wife and I divorced. After the divorce, I realized that I didn’t have to stay in Detroit, so I moved to California where I met my second wife, Vicky. She is the one person I have adored. We had a good life. We loved each other, took care of each other and gave each other our best. We were happy.
I taught for twenty-three years and loved almost every minute. I never figured out how someone like me who loves solitude and is uncertain around adults, could be totally comfortable in a classroom full of children. But I was, and I did a good job, maybe better than good. I showed the children how to laugh, how to relish their creativity, and how to write and love language. If I had it to do all over again, I’d still be a teacher.
And then there are the regrets. I hope those I let down and disappointed, those I wasn’t nice to, and those I couldn’t reach will forgive me.
One of the sad things about dying is it’s not just your body that dies. There are all of the memories that will never be shared. They are gone. For instance, it took me a long time to learn to love my father. I think I am the only one in my family who did. And now, my memories of him will never be passed on. No one will remember him. As if he never lived.
I’ll miss some things a lot: classical music, jazz, reading, poetry, movies. I’ll miss martinis and chocolate and good coffee. I’ll miss my children. Most of all I’ll miss my wife, Vicky. But, somehow, I know I’ll continue to be close to her and whisper to her in quiet moments how much I love her and loved being in her life. And, I know that every night, in those silent moments when sleep falls softly, I will kiss her a goodnight.
More information about Rich can be found at Lasting Memories
Thanks for stopping in and love and blessings to you and all those you love!