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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

We pray for those we have loved, and see no more.

While I was in Rye I entered St. Mary’s Church during the daily service, and decided to sit down in the back and pay attention just for curiosity’s sake (I’d never been to an Anglican service before). This line from the prayers of the faithful has stuck with me–we pray for those we have loved, and see no more.

Today would have been my grandmother’s 87th birthday. She’s been gone nearly fourteen years but I still miss her every day, and every time I pass the cemetery I think about the day they bought the plot, how she told my parents they could wave whenever they drove by on Route 130. Then, according to my dad, she started laughing hysterically, which kind of weirded him out; but if I’d been there, I know I would have laughed too.

Anyway, every so often doesn’t it feel good to celebrate the people who have helped make us who we are? My grandmother was kind and smart and patient and wise. She was selfless to a fault. She made the best meatloaf (and I say that as someone who hasn’t eaten meat in almost ten years). She was one of the few adults who would play games with us–Old Maid, Go Fish, Trouble, and swimming races. She always let me win.

And she was, of course, a voracious reader.

Now this portrait looks over my writing desk.

10 Comments to We pray for those we have loved, and see no more.

  1. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    February 4, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I love the picture of the two of you laughing–it's rare that we're able to properly capture those moments. It brought me to tears.

    Voracious reader except for the racy parts 😉

  2. Camille's Gravatar Camille
    February 4, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    How do you know she wasn't just saying she skipped the racy parts? The other day Grandpa and I were talking about how she told me they waited a year to get married when it had actually been only seven months because she 'didn't want me to get the wrong idea.' (??) So I bet you she read the racy parts and just told us she hadn't. 😉

  3. Camille's Gravatar Camille
    February 4, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    p.s. I'd give anything to be able to remember what we were laughing about!

  4. Pare's Gravatar Pare
    February 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    This is really lovely, Camille.

  5. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    February 4, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Well you can have my memory of when Ma, Grandma, and I were playing cards, we found 5 queens, and laughed and laughed and laughed.

  6. Eileen's Gravatar Eileen
    February 5, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Perfect tribute Camille. I love how you captured her on film and also of course with your words. I, like you, miss her every day, but am so thankful for the 30 years we had together.

  7. Betty Ann's Gravatar Betty Ann
    February 5, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Lovely memorial for a truly lovely woman. You captured her essence so well. I tend to agree with you that she may have read the racy parts as I think my Mom did, too, and they compared notes on everything. Altho my Mom was not as much a reader as Aunt Dot/Dort/Dorothy. Enjoy her beautiful photo and know that she is proud of you and your many creative talents.

  8. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    February 6, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    This is a lovely tribute, Camille. It's great to be able to see her through your eyes. When Olivia makes me feel so loved, I know how having you girls in her life made Mom feel. Trust me, it is a beautiful feeling, like nothing else you've ever experienced. God bless and keep you Mom and all of your loving family.

  9. Camille's Gravatar Camille
    February 8, 2010 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Thanks for all the wonderful comments, everyone! I'm writing this on the sofa where Grandma used to read. :}

  10. Louise's Gravatar Louise
    May 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Camille, this is a lovely tribute.
    My grandmother, Nannie, died in 1997 and I miss her everyday. In fact, sometimes it feels so raw, it’s like she died all over again.
    She was the one to teach me how big to love and how generously love could be received.
    Blessed to have known mine and blessed to have read about your own.

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.