A Sonnet for Jude Aug. 18/ 2013


This blog written in August of 2013.  Our beloved Judy has since passed away, January 8/ 2014:

25 Years ago, our friend Judy –  a nurse, young and full of life – was standing under a bell-tower at a children’s summer camp. Unbeknown to anyone there, the tower’s structure was compromised by infesting termites, and the whole thing collapsed on top of her, breaking her back and confining her to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

Grief-struck as we all were, Judy chose to both embrace and see through the loss, and in so doing has found – and treasured –  the gift buried in her disability.  Her life since has been marked by courage, beauty and prayerful service to others, especially her elderly parents, her many friends, and the wee children she often babysits on her lap.

Today, many of Judy’s friends are gathering to celebrate these last 25 years.  A stanza from George Herbert’s poem, The Elixir, seemes a  fitting inspiration for a sonnet dedicated to Judy:

A man that looks on glass
On it may stay his eye
Or if he pleaseth through it pass
And then the heaven’s espy.

This is my first attempt at writing a sonnet.  What fun! Thanks to Malcolm Guite for reading it and offering a few valuable suggestions for improvement.


Through the Window 
for Judith Ford

You loved your breezy days of limber freedom
Before the tragic toll which came to pass
And seated you, without apparent reason,
Cloistered, on the ‘in’ side of the glass.
And yet, you saw right through the brittle surface;
Beside the bitter window took your place
To penetrate the pane’s translucent purpose,
And felt the warming sun upon your face,
And came to know the greening of the sages.

A spreading tree, now grand and full of sap,
You shelter kith and kin from winter’s rages,
And nurse the tender nestlings on your lap.

You raise a super-hero’s fisted wand
And love us “To infinity and beyond!”


Love you Jude! Happy anniversary!


8 thoughts on “A Sonnet for Jude Aug. 18/ 2013

  1. A lovely sonnet, Steve, and so befitting our wonderful Judy! My little ones are two of those “tender nestlings,” but my whole family has been so marvelously blessed by Judy. An inspiration to us all!

  2. As the tears fall from the tip of my nose, I salute you, Steve Bell for your most lovely first sonnet in honour of one of the most lovely women that God has created…

  3. Very nice. It reminds me of the now-famous Charles Spurgeon quote — “I venture to say that the greatest earthly blessing that God can give to any of us is health, with the exception of sickness. Sickness has frequently been of more use to the saints of God than health has.”

  4. Judy and Steve.. how Blessed you both are, to share a friendship so powerful. It inspires me to appreciate my friends more. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I met Judy through Gord and Lorraine. She was a lovely lady and was so forgiving and calm when I almost tipped her out of her wheelchair when going up stairs.
    Her legacy lives on in the hearts of those who knew her and she is dancing with her Lord. What a beautiful picture.

  6. Dear Judy,
    It is Friday and I was just going to check up on family as my uncle passed away with his service being on you blessed day.

    I’m sorry to not have known you well, but was quite aware of your loving spirit towards the little people and actually, to everyone around you. Your grace, dignity, and welcoming spirit uplifted anyone. You will be always remembered with heart, love, and the Spirit of our Lord. We are blessed by you.

  7. A beautiful sonnet , one which
    describes Judy so completely.

    She was an inspiration to each
    life she touched.

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