A Thousand Lights, A Flicker of Hope

There is no electricity there. It is very dark and quiet. It is so peaceful. When night falls, it is total darkness, except for the full moon and the stars. But when the fireflies appear, there are thousands of them! They obliterate the darkness and light up the sky so bright. It almost seems like daytime in Inday Leah's farm.

I remember how Inday Lynette described Inday Leah's farm in the mountains. I have never been there. The last three times I went home was to see Inday Leah as she battled lung cancer. She lost that fight. It was the longest year for my sisters, my brothers and me. In my helplessness, I painted a picture I called "My Favorite Things" or "Sunflowers". In the painting, there are paintings in the background and one is of my brothers, my sisters and myself watching the fireflies flicker. The painting was my prayer, filled with hope as Inday Leah was undergoing cancer treatment. People asked me who the woman is in the painting. It was my sister who had the cancer but I replied "me". I wanted so much to take her place in her suffering. 

It is a sobering day. I woke up reading a friend's thoughts about her dying husband. I cannot stop myself from feeling sadness and sorrow for her. I know so well that pain of watching a beloved cling to life. There is nothing you can do but pray that your beloved has abandoned that ailing body and has become a hovering spirit, sharing the scene. Other's may not agree with this but I do believe that blessed are those who are present in the moment of a beloved's passing. It is so painful and filled with sorrow but what a great honor to be present giving comfort as they take their last breath. As a nurse, I have seen it many times. I always felt it a great honor to be allowed in the most sacred rites of life. I was not present for my father's passing. I was not present for Inday Leah's passing, only my mother's. There are no words to describe this act of witnessing. I do not deny the pain and the sorrow. And while the breaking of hearts are eventually healed by love and sweet remembrances, the longing never ends.

God bless those who suffer and those who grieve for them.

The fireflies are symbols of impermanence.

A Thousand Lights, A Flicker of Hope. Pen and Ink on 11"x14" Bristol Board


Tammie Lee said...

my heart leans towards yours
and those suffering

this is a very moving piece

Rick Forrestal said...

Your post is sad, but quiet and hopeful. Love your sketch.

Arija said...

Such a joy to see the fireflies my sweet Ces. I could not be at my parent's passing but was at my sister's and, oh so recently, my husband's. The wounds may heal but the scars remain.

Katherine Thomas said...

This is such a beautifully written, touching post. You have a gift with words and art both. I admire your insightfulness and your wisdom during these times in your life and in the lives of those you love. The drawing is incredible. It expresses the story you've told, so well. I'm in awe of your work, truly. Thanks for sharing this.

Steve E said...

"My" line has to be:
"And while the breaking of hearts
are eventually healed by love and sweet remembrances,
the longing never ends.

How SO true! Ces, thank you, thank you, thank you.

k.h.whitaker said...


(((HUGS))) Ces and Tsup :D

Lisa Graham Art said...

This is lovely Ces. So much truth.