Monday, November 9, 2009

A Requiem Of Emotions

And so today is a day of honor - memory - sadness - love - joy - celebration - agony - oh so many things. For today is the day Clayton Joseph Kelly died seven years ago. And today is the day my Mom was born - Liberata Marranzino - 86 years ago. The force of these events surges through our family like wild fire, fine wine, lava and silk all at once. I feel it all. Clayton, just 32 years old - my sisters oldest son - my God-son - a man of honor - love - understanding - humanity - purpose - humility and promise. Our Mom - a woman of deep faith - grace - love - humor - hope and integrity. Celebrating both these lives is a requiem for every emotion.

Our family dinner was so loving and so delicious. My home made sauce, meat balls and stuffed shells were quite good. The candles were lit, pictures sat on the table of Clayton. My Mom sat proudly, lovingly and humbly as she gazed out at the bounty surrounding her. Glimpses of my sisters husband of 40+ years were seen in corners and in songs, in their other two sons smiles and the home that they built keeping us warm and secure. He, now with his son in Heaven - she here, for the first time - remembering the day their son died without him by her side - active in their grief.

About 9 years ago an Indian woman I worked with gave me a gift when she left the agency. She knew back then the inhumanity. The gift was a silver metal star with gold trim around the edges on a long silver stand and in the middle of the star a clear indigo blue glass stone with a place for a tea-light right behind it so when lit the blue light would shine. I had it in my office for years. About a year ago it was packed away and a few weeks back it came back to me when my friends delivered all my "stuff" from my office. When Clayton died my husband and I wrote a song and recorded it - titled "Shining Star". We have sung it every year since he died and it has been circulating eve since. I must tell you that when he sings it everyone "listens" - it is so beautiful. Also, when my sisters husband died in Hospice - the staff puts a 'blue light' on the door so the people on the floor know that someone has passed in that room. We all took a 'blue light home. I hung ours on "Hope-the tree". It shined for days - I could see it 1000 feet away coming down the drive . So as I looked at this hand made silver star with the indigo blue glass I immediately thought of my sister and how these two elements reminded me that Clayton and his Dad are together. I told her the story of my Indian friend and why I was now giving this to her. We lit it during dinner - and the blue light shined through the silver shining star and we all felt the promise.


Bernie said...

These days are both painful yet comforting in knowing that father and son are together. I am so happy you had your mother and sister with you, the most wonderful gift a mother can give her children, in my opinion, are each other......:-) Hugs

Teacher's Pet said...

A very loving post, Gail.
I cried as I read it.
I send you a very loving hug to surround you and be with you through this day.
May the peace that only God can bring envelope you and your family.
I'm glad that you were able to get together in this loving way to honor and cyour family member that has gone to be with the Lord....and to celebrate the day of your loving Mother's birth. Much love to you, Gail.
I'm thinking of you and your Mother today. I wanted you to know.
Would you kindly tell her for me that I am thinking of her, please.

Eileen said...

For certain a day of mixed emotions. A day to honor and celebrate your Mom and a day to lament the passing of loved ones.
Those last few words 'we all felt the promise' says it all.
And I love the idea of the star, and how you passed it on.

When I read your sister's story it reminds me of a story I heard about the love between two people going on after one of them dies, because in love our life and our after-life are intermingled. I truly do believe that death is no barrier to love. The life ends but the love goes on, that's what you take with you, and that is what you leave behind.
Love and Prayers,

Gail said...

Hi and thank you. And I so agree tht we take the love with us and that we leave it with the ones left here on earth. I believe there is a fine line between here and there. ANd yes, the promise we all felt says it all for sure. :-)


I will definitely tell my Mom you are thinking of her today. And thank you so much for the warmth, the hug, and the hind words of understanding.


Oh yes Bernie - it is the most wonderful gift a mother can give her children. We are blessed.

I love you all

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

I believe the measure of an enriched life is often found in these small, personal ceremonies—acts and words, songs, poems, special treasures, the little things we do that mean so much because in their doing we connect them with those people or places or events we cherish and want to remember openly.

You not only understand the value of such things, you share them and pass them along, because you believe in time and love and spreading joy.

I hope you had a truly wonderful day. Thank you for letting me—and all who read your post—be a part of it.

PENolan said...

Love, light and a song.
Good stuff

The Rambling Taoist said...

Life is filled with such highs and lows. For every death of a blessed loved one, there is a new birth. For every tear we shed in remembrance, their are just as many laughs at the good times shared. Elation and pain. Love and loss. They all go together and can't be separated.

TheChicGeek said...

How beautiful, Gail. It sounds like a lovely and heartwarming celebration of both a life that has gone home, and to your wonderful mother here to share in your love! I love the lighting of the blue light. I think ceremonies like that help us to remember and give us great peace.
And to top it off your delicious food! Beautiful!
I send a big hug and love and many, many blessings!
Have a Wonderful Day!

Gail said...


I so love traditions and ceremony that honor and mark special times - and certainly the star nd the blue light are two such sacred markers. I am so glad you came by. :-)

@ R T
How's my favorite Taoist - :-) Thank you for your kind and honest words about life - and death - and how birth and tears and laughter and how they all go together.


Yes, love, light and song - all good stuff indeed :-)


I really do appreciate how connecting words and music and ceremony and markers to special people and events matters so much. I love when I 'find' just the right creative expression to do just that. I am filled with joy when it comes together. I am humbled by your kind wors to me.

Love to to you all

cinner said...

Hi Gail, I am so happy your Mom and sister were there. I love what you did with the star. It will give her hope. The blue light is wonderful. One thing I have learned this year is that there never gone, they are right with us. Happy Bday to your Mom, big hug to you. love ya, c

Gail said...


thanks SO much for your wishes and heartfelt words to me.

And Yes, I believe they are never really gone.

How are you feeling? I hope you are better.

Love you

Wanda said...

Your gift to your sister was endearing Gail. Ceremonies and traditions that mark the pain as well as the joy in our lives help us honor our loved ones, both the ones here with us and the ones gone. Hope your mom enjoyed her day!

Luv and smiles,

Diana said...

I don't know anyone who can express beauty and pain at the same time , as well as you can Gail. You really move emotions around so beautifully. Love to you my friend, Love Di

Gail said...

thank you SO much Wanda - I so love tradition and connection to family in ceremony. OUr spirits soar!

Hi and thank you too. Wow, beauty and pain - yes - the two come together powerfully on November 9th.

Love to you both

Wonderingsoul said...

Diana's comment says it all really Gail.
Just like the blue light of both loss and hope, beauty and pain knit together... I thought of your rich 'tapestry'.

Arms around you.


Whitemist said...

Much beauty in all of this despite all the other "stuff". Glad you had a blessed day and you got your star back!

Choices said...

A very emotional day you had, but it was wonderful that you had your family around to be with you.
Take care.

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

Such sensitive words and so, "A Requiem Of Emotions" is felt ever so deeply. May joy in all your celebrations tame the pain of loss. You are loved and so appreciated for all you so openly share.

Happy Birthday to your mother. Express my gratitude to her for blessing us with such a loving being, named Gail.

Love to you and yours,
Rose Marie

Gail said...


So nice to see you and "thank you" for your loving words about the 'richness of my tapestry' and even more I am thrilled that you ar safe enough with me to hug me, albeit via this forum, I still feel your warmth.


thanks SO much and yes, the 'shining star' has SO much meaning. Add the blue light - and it is magical. :-) I love that you visit.


"Thank you" so much - and yes, I fel so blessed to have such a loving family. GTood to see you. :-)

I always sigh with emotion when I read your words to me. Emotion filled with humility and joy and profound depth, spirited and reachingmy soul. And I will tell her what you so lovuinglyt wrote - and it is so interesting too because I often write in her cards how in awe I am that God chose "me" to be born unto her.

Love and deep appreciaiton to you all


Diana said...

Hi Gail,
just wanted to let you know that I am having computer troubles again. If you don't hear from me for awhile. I'll be back here and there.
Love Di

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord said...

What a lovely post written to celebrate such magnificent lives. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

Gail said...


Thanks so much for your kind words. Yes, a celebration in many forms, for sure. :-)

No worries - hope you get it al resolved soon

Love to you both

Margie said...

Dear Gail
You really touched my heart with this post.

It's wonderful you had your sister and mom with you.

Wishing you love & joy in your life ...always!


Gail said...


thank you so much for your gentle and loving words. I have missed you - I hope all is well

Love Gail

cordieb said...

I love it when you share your family with us. All of you are so loving and spirit grounded. You are truely blessed, Gail. The pain of losing a love one can be paralizing; yet some where, some how, you find the strength not only to carry on, but to also spread the love and kindness that your departed love ones instilled in your very being. What a blessing! Peace, Light and Love, C.

Gail said...


Oh my, 'thank you'. I am thrilled that you enjoy my sharing of family love, tradition, and how we honor those passed. It is all a faith-filled blend of hope.

Love to you