Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I am not in·val·id

I am home from my journey. And I must say that the celebration of life far exceeded any that I could have imagined. There were many people there, some I knew but had not seen for decades and some that I had not met before.  Each person that I talked with had fond memories of my cousin.  I heard from them that he was a good neighbor, friend, golf partner, party guy back in the day, and highly regarded within his profession.

His wife did a fantastic job of having old photos scattered about.  And the memory book in which each person wrote of their remembrances of my cousin was touching.

But the reading of a letter to all of us by his wife was the most profound. She read about what their life had been like and that he wanted us to know that he was not an invalid nor was he in·val·id in any way during his illness.  And his words: "And so--I was not and am not an invalid. No one has to be. Invalid is an illusion. If you ever find yourself labelled as such, try to invalidate the judgment and seize the opportunity to discover your personal light to help heal every particle and cell on this planet. Start with granting yourself Forgiveness, Peace, and Unconditional Love: these qualities lead to physical and spiritual healing."

So I am glad that I went. I am glad that I shared laughter in memories of him. I feel as if the afternoon was filled with goodness--good people, good times, good food, good memories.

I will keep remembering his words that I am not in·val·id.  I will call that up when I feel small and cast aside in some ways. No I am not in·val·id.

I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.

I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.

You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you. ~Walt Whitman


  1. What a beautiful tribute to a valid life

  2. My god. So beautiful. I am glad you went and thank you for sharing. My world has been that much enriched and I would wish the same for me- not to be in-val-id but to become part of that which enriches.

  3. Glad you went. Those are powerful words, thank you for sharing. Beautiful fall leaves :)

  4. oh my...this made me cry in a good way. no,,,we are not in-val-id!!! love this!

  5. Oh I am so glad you went and what a beautiful letter his wife read. True words.

  6. Such true and beautiful words.

  7. I love it when life surprises me, I keep showing up for myself and all else falls into place.
    The poem is incredible! thanks for sharing

  8. So glad it worked out. ..i know you were concerned. Such beautiful tribute.

  9. Beautiful post Syd and that Whitman quote will stay with me!

  10. I'm so glad that it turned out to be such a lovely remembrance. I agree with you that I always have the option to leave if it gets too uncomfortable.

  11. I'm glad the experience was a positive one for you. It sounds like a nice way to celebrate a loved one.

  12. Oh.sorry for your family's loss..
    touching and strong post,Syd.


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