As I read this poem I came across a few things came to mind.  I thought of all those we have lost to war, to illness etc.. and was encouraged by those who had embraced Christ, embraced moral ethical boundaries and truths of Scripture.  I also had sadness for those that had not, those that may not ever do so.  I thought of my mom 97 who can be around another who knows how many years, or go tomorrow or even now in her sleep, about my dad who has passed, other family members, hoping they had Christ on their heart when they did pass on.  I’d hate to think I won’t be reunited with my dad, and other family when I to am gone.  I thought about how memories will crop up suddenly, and how much they are missed when they do, but there is also gratitude that we have those memories to keep them alive.  When my mom goes, she prays every day and asks me to pray that she goes home ASAP, she will be missed, but we were friends as well as mother and daughter.  Though it will be odd to be here without her, she is not gone, my dad is not gone, my grandparents are not gone, even the ones I never met.  The stories from my family about them mean they live on, photos mean they live on.  

It also made me think about me, about my life with fibromyalgia, which is this shadow always present.  Yet, I am not gone, not curled up and retreated from life, from interaction with others.  I keep interaction through church events online, and now my church has opened up with guidelines we must follow.  I am gone in the sense of who I used to be because the fibromyalgia, two falls in the last several years have taken their toll.  However, not all of me is gone, the core parts of me, the creative, the prophetic gifts, the faith, those remain, my ability to connect to others, especially kids and animals.  All of this is still in tact, along with my warrior spirit for my faith and what I believe is right in and through the teachings of scripture.  Though part of me is gone, part of can never be destroyed, the spirit, soul, essence of me.  For that I am and will always be very grateful.  

Shalom and Amen