A Tribute to Shirley Buck Welton

God always seems to know
When certain people should show up in our lives
That is the case with Shirley Buck Welton
An amazing woman, one hundred years young
Who signifies an undying passion for life
Not just life, but a rich and creative life

Shirley was also my mother’s name
Mom lived a short life, just 59 years
This Shirley, a more refined work of art than my dear mother
A deeper sense of who she is
And able to live that sense each day
That’s something to admire and emulate

Shirley’s blue eyes sparkle with life
Letting those she encounters know
That something beyond what we seek
Is embedded within us, deeply
Undeniably omnipresent
Unforgettably shaping us, and all we touch

Shirley showed me her Steinway piano
With her since ten years of age
Which will likely endure beyond in that special place
Where played piano notes linger forever
Feeding the reverberating hum of the universe
A sound only our hearts can hear

With these words, I honor my new friend Shirley
Giving thanks to her, and God for sending her my way

Thelma

Ninety-three
Once, so full of life
Now, breath by breath
Making room for another life

Still proud
Not in a vain way
But to have lived through so much
To have carried her cross the distance

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
Little she wanted in life
Nothing to want in death
Except to go home

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
No more evil to fear
No more valleys to walk
No death to await

All goodbyes have been said
Her angel has come
Sweet sunlight falls across Thelma’s face
A new star will light the Heavens tonight

Note: Thelma was a hospice patient. I sat vigil with her last week. She died on July 1st. I read the 23rd Psalm to her before she died, not knowing it was her favorite scripture, which her great-granddaughter told me afterward.