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Knit for Peace
: March 21, 2007

Earth Day I (March 20)




Sleeping in the Forest

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts,
her pockets full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before,
a stone on the riverbed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars but my thoughts,
and they floated light as moths among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms breathing around me,
the insects, and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling with a luminous doom.
By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times into something better.         


          Mary Oliver





So I go forward, and I don’t believe I could ever go back .
. . but I go on in fear and trembling and often with a sense of lostness,
trying to be careful what I do because I am beginning to see that every false
step is paid for dearly.

        —Thomas Merton

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver
published by Atlantic Monthly Press
© Mary Oliver

Thanks, Bob.

Things that make me smile these days:
1. people sharing amusing stories
2. flowers and trees budding out all over
3. children playing, laughing, just being children
4. the voices of my family
Buttons2_1 5. knitting socks
6. the gentle breeze that is the breath of God
7. savage chickens
8. this e-card

Things that make me choke up:
1. the previously planned meals still waiting in the freezer
2. the flowers and trees budding out all over
3. spring and summer
4. coming home at night
5. no bells in the night
6. going to bed
7. getting up in the morning
8. everything

It still feels unreal.  And each day I do a little something that brings it closer to reality.  I do them because I have to, not because I want to.  Reality is kind of over-rated, I think, right now.  It’s all so overwhelming and so the simplest thing seems the hardest.  So, when the Social Security Administration customer service fellow can’t find my father in the computer – well, I know what’s that’s like.  I smile because what held him up was my giving the wrong birthday… and how typical that is of me (and him.) 

I know everyone goes through this kind of loss sometime; and I’ve seen people survive it quite well… and know I will too… but, still.  I’m weepy every day.  And I don’t really want not to be weepy.  Hey, Jesus wept too.  I get it now.  I never truly did before.

Remembering Grandma

by Rosa Wilcox

 When I found out my grandma had cancer, I was sure I could
not make it. I felt that losing her would be like losing the air I need to
breathe. We were very lucky and got many more years with her after she was
diagnosed. I spent those years learning how to incorporate all she did for me
into myself and I had the opportunity to give back a little of what she had
done for me by being able to take care of her when she was sick.

 My grandma was always my rock. I put her through a lot but she
never gave up on me. She insistently guided me and no matter how much I gave up
hope, cried, and expressed my anxiety she would always answer with the philosophy
of “you do what you got to do.” Her philosophy was simple but in it’s simplicity
I think it gave me and her kids the core rule of life.

 My grandma died on Valentines Day and I’m so glad this day
will always be marked with her specialness. She was all about love. She taught
all of us to have empathy and fight for the under dog. She valued family above
all. She taught me that love is most important and that love is what will guide
me to make the right decisions and also what will hold me when I feel doubtful
and alone.

 Since my grandma was diagnosed with cancer I have been
looking for my spiritually. I have always believed logically that there must be
some kind of higher power and even if there’s not it is most practical to believe
there is one. But until my grandma passed on I never really knew that there is
a world beyond the one we live in. My grandma left this world three days ago
but I can still feel her loving me like when she was here. I did not lose her
love when I lost her and either did the world. I have always been one to not
believe anything until I saw it. The last gift my grandma gave me was the gift
of knowing there is so much more to this life than what we see. Everything has
been given greater debt and in turn this world is so much easier to live in. I
didn’t think I could make it without her but like always she found someway of
given me the tools to go on with my life and when I feel like I can’t get out
of bed in the morning or I can’t face the next obstacle life has given me I
picture her caring yet stubborn and saying to me, well Rose Marie you just got
to do what you got to do.


February 17, 2007

Rosalie Dorothy Wilcox

by Rose Anne Wilcox

I am Rosalie’s oldest daughter, Rose Anne. I was a difficult child for my mother. You know how some children can have
personalities you inherently understand, some are a mixture, and some kids you
just can’t understand. My mom found it
difficult to understand me and I found it difficult to understand her.

Because of that, when I was a child, I didn’t realize that
she loved me. It wasn’t until I grew up
and had a child of my own that I realized that all the work she did for us
proved she loved us. Raising six
children is hard work and for Mom, work showed love more than words did.

I grew up to be a difficult young woman, too. I was full of anger and this anger made walls
all around me that I didn’t even know I had. I was also a taker. I felt the world
owed me something for all the pain I was in. In spite of my many problems, my Mom was always there for me in many
practical ways.

My mother as I grew up showed me a model of a woman who was
always growing and changing. Although,
in my pain, I made a lot of mistakes, there was also a part of me that reached
for solutions, a part who wanted to grow and to change. During this process of growth I was helped by
a lot of people and by a power greater than myself. I lost a lot of my anger and my walls.

A sister who will remain nameless (Christine) encouraged me
during this time to become friends with my Mom in spite of my hurt feelings of
the past. I am so grateful that I
listened to her and reached out to my Mom during this healing time.

My Mom and I became friends and I got to help her out in
small ways, instead of always taking. At
first all I could do was come up and visit and take her out to dinner instead
of just letting her provide all the food.

She enjoyed getting these small gifts from me, I knew, but
then again she enjoyed giving even more. One time we went out to a Prescott art show and I insisted on buying her two wooden deer to hang up on her
walls. She snuck back later and bought
me a picture I had admired. That was how
Mom was; she loved to give to us and to surprise us in thoughtful ways.

When Mom moved to California
I was devastated. I had just gotten her back and then she moved. However, I found still could fly to visit her
and take her out to dinner and enjoy our friendship.

When the Cancer diagnosis came, it was also
devastating. I realized how much I still
relied on her for and that I was going to have to finish growing up finally, in
late-early-middle-early middle age. However,
it also gave me more chances to be of service to her. That is one of the gifts that we can give our
family at the end, is the gift of allowing them to be of service. My mother was always the giving one so this
gift was particularly difficult for her.

I also got the chance to tell Mom I forgave her. This was particularly hard because my Mom did
not like scenes or a lot of emotion. I
knew I had limited time to say this, so a couple of years ago when we had a
moment alone, I told her, “Mom, for whatever there may be TO forgive, I forgive
you.” She looked at me a little afraid
there was going to be more, but I stopped. And I knew she understood what I was saying and I never had to bring up
any of it again. Forgiveness was complete.

When she was passing, she decided to give us the files that
she had collected on us, containing clippings, awards, diplomas, report cards
and the like. When I was handed my file,
it was quite slim. For a moment, the old
disappointment almost came back. Then I
took a deep breath and looked inside.

What I found was an old email that I wrote on Thanksgiving
2001. This was just two months after the Cancer diagnosis. In it I wrote that I was thankful for my
mother. There followed a long and
detailed list of specific examples of all my mother had given to me over the
years, along with profuse thanks. I went
over to her and happily told her what was in the file. I noticed she looked a little panic-y like
she had during the little “Forgiveness” episode so I hastily said, “But I’m not
going to read them all to you and make you cry!” She said, “Thank you…!”

Then as I held the slender file in my hands it hit me. Not only had I forgiven my Mom, I had also
BEEN forgiven.

When I got back to Arizona,
my boyfriend’s Mom handed me a little gift for Valentine’s Day and in it was a
quote. The quote said, “To forgive is to
regain a lost possession.” My mother and
I lost each other, but we found each other again. And for that, I am profoundly grateful.

People say that when someone is dying, their eyes glaze
over, and that is when they see into the next world. When we were with Mom at the end at one point
her eyes glazed over and she looked a point above my head. She said, in wonder, “Look at all the
beautiful roses!” At first we thought
she meant the roses that were gifts from her grandchildren but they were over
to the right. Then we thought maybe she
meant my daughter and me, both named Rose, after her, but that didn’t seem to
be it either. I like to think that my
mother caught a glimpse of her destination in the next world.

So Mom, enjoy the Roses in heaven.  Thanks for forgiving, thanks for giving, and thanks for letting us give a
little back to you. I love you, I miss
you, and I hope to see you again some day on the other side.

-February 17, 2007

Mom taught me to love language and to knit. After cancer returned in 2001 she taught me how to knit. In the months to come as she began and
continued treatment, I began and continued to learn more and more about
knitting. Together we began a small knitting
retreat at which we taught and encouraged others to knit. Over the course of the last five years
between us we taught maybe a dozen people to knit. Many of those people have carried on and
taught others to knit. She was happy
that knitting became such a strong passion for me and she was delighted that we
were able to share it with others who then went on to share it with even more

most important part of the knitting retreats though wasn’t the knitting. It was the laughter and the play. Mom liked being with others and sharing
stories and jokes and she loved to laugh. She liked a good party and she liked seeing people enjoying
themselves. She taught me hospitality,
patience and how to love unconditionally. That’s how she loved us, her kids. No matter what a tangle we made of our lives (and we each had some
doozies) she was there to help us sift and sort through the strands to get
clear again. She enjoyed watching us
unwind and always wanted to help us sort out which yarn we would use next in
creating the piece that was our life. 

night before she died, Allan, Patrick, Rose Marie and I were spending some time
with her and with each other. We sat at
the dining room table with some red wine and played a few hands of poker. In the stress of her final hours, we found
release in a pastime from our childhood. We used matchsticks and we laughed and told stories. Mom could hear us as she was in bed in the next
room. I’m sure she enjoyed hearing us
getting along and the laughing.  

that reminded me of a poem by Anne Sexton I have shared with others at times
like this. 

Rowing Endeth

mooring my rowboat
the dock of the island called God.
 This dock is made in the shape of a fish
there are many boats moored
many different docks.
 "It’s okay," I say to myself,
 with blisters that broke and healed
broke and healed–saving
 themselves over and over.
salt sticking to my face and arms like
glue-skin pocked with grains of tapioca.
empty myself from my wooden boat
onto the flesh of The Island.

 "On with it!" He says and thus
squat on the rocks by the sea
play–can it be true–a
 game of poker.
calls me.
win because I hold a royal straight flush.
wins because He holds five aces.

wild card had been announced
I had not heard it
 being in such a state of awe
 when He took out the cards and dealt.
he plunks down His five aces
I sit grinning at my royal flush,
  He starts to laugh,
laughter rolling like a hoop out of His mouth
into mine,
such laughter that He doubles right over me
 laughing a Rejoice Chorus at our two triumphs.
 Then I laugh, the fishy dock laughs
sea laughs. The


Absurd laughs.

 Dearest dealer,
with my royal straight flush,
 love you so for your wild card,
 that untamable, eternal, gut-driven ha-ha
lucky love.

shared 2/17/07.





March 2007