My friend, Suellen, grew up in Michigan, was the wife of Jim. and had four children and grandchildren. She was a teacher who loved children and gave herself wholeheartedly to the task.
It was a delightful, unexpected encounter in August 2002. We were both poets who had come to share our poetry at the International Society of Poets Symposium in Washington, D.C. Waiting for an elevator we began a conversation that soon heralded a friendship. Even though we lived far apart we emailed and phoned each other regularly. One of my joyful memories is when she visited Toronto and spent a spa day with me. Oh, how we laughed and girl-talked that day and later met my sweetheart, Ralph, for dinner before we parted.
Suellen passed away and I still remember her smile and sweet personality that could light up a room. Today, as I think of Suellen, I share one of her poems that touched my heart. I know she would be happy, if it touched yours too. See you in heaven, dear friend!
While sitting contemplating, thoughts of love and life,
I wonder why some people value endless strife?
It’s beyond imagination, forcing some to live in pain,
To walk on those beneath us, for solitary gain.
How can we judge another by the color of their skin?
Unkindness, without a care, might be the greatest sin.
We are all one in being; a part of God on high.
Those who will ignore this, are living-out a lie.
So many years of hatred, will it ever end?
I’m begging for a miracle, of loving thoughts to blend.
Why do we look at different, as less than what we are?
Unless we love our brothers, we cannot venture far.
None of us is better than any other soul.
Seeking understanding must be our final goal.
Everyone has free will, to change this world for good.
Now live the “Golden Rule”, by doing as you should.
Enriched by hands extended, reaching to another,
A Paraclete advances our sister and our brother.
DEFINITION OF PARACLETE: NOUN
(in Christian theology) the Holy Spirit as advocate or counselor (John 14:16, 26).