Where The Sky Meets The Road

For the past four years I have shared my thoughts, opinions, pontifications, dreams and even pains in this weekly column. Some of those essays were way too long. I know that. I’ll try to do better -- but probably won’t.

Perhaps the column that was the best received was also my shortest -- published on Oct. 2, 2014 -- concerning the death of my mother, Doris Daye.

Several readers said they had cut it out and laminated it to hang in their homes because it expressed their feelings for the loss of a loved one.

Today, April 14, is my mother’s birthday. She would joke that Sumter surrendered, Lincoln was shot and the Titanic hit an iceberg on this date. “I’m the Fourth Horseman,” she’d say.

I am putting this column online instead of in the printed newspaper. If you know someone who might appreciate this short piece, or who might need to hear its message, feel free to pass it on.

Here is the reprint of:

WHERE THE SKY MEETS THE ROAD

What is dying?

My mother’s recent passing after succumbing to cancer caused that question to come to mind. There is, I suppose, no good answer to that question.

Still, I tried to think of an example that might help me to understand -- or possibly explain to a child or someone else struggling with that question.

I came up with this.

Looking down the dusty, country road you see her walking away. She gets farther away, closer to where the sky meets the road.

You look away for just a moment, and when you look back there is nobody on the road.

“She’s gone,” someone says.

“Gone where,” you ask.

“Just out of sight, that’s all. She is the same as she always was; you just can’t see her now.

“She is the same in strength, beauty, wit and love. Those things cannot be diminished by time or distance.

“She is still there, just beyond where the sky meets the road.”

If you listen very carefully, as those in the crowd beside you are saying, “She’s gone,” you can probably hear those in another crowd at the other end of that road saying, “She’s here.”

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