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!