Dosey

Dosey
April 2018

Monday, October 15, 2018

Out of the Closet Down Under and Up Here

Note: Thursday was National Coming Out Day in the US. I was coming home from Australia. This is the first of several blog entries inspired by my trip.

Walking down the street in Cairns, Australia, I notice a sign, “Out of the Closet.” This is the first I’ve seen of anything gay in Australia, so I’m curious and walk towards it. When I get there, I see vintage clothing and the shop’s subtitle. This closet was your grandma’s closet. She might have been a lesbian, but that’s not the idea here.

I continue to an art gallery where I am the only customer. When I mention Ann to the salesperson, he shows me a photo of himself with another man. It takes me a few moments to realize he’s just come out to me as a gay man. 

We chat about our partners until another customer enters the shop. I’m about to continue the conversation, but he gives me a panicked look, his finger over his lips in a “shhh” gesture. 

I’m so accustomed to being around people who love Ann and me as a couple that I’ve almost forgotten being out isn’t safe for everyone. When I first came out to myself, I was quickly schooled by the district superintendent being gay wasn’t safe. 

That day began normally, rising at 6 am to do yoga and rushing with stacks of graded papers in my arms to the high school where I taught, spending my day with my 180 favorite students. After school, things changed. 

Walking down the outdoor hall at the school (the outdoor halls in this wet climate are from a time when our legislature didn’t fund indoor school hallways), I rounded the corner and saw a student I knew well. She was usually a bright-eyed and soulful student, but this day she looked pale and shaken. She did not look me in the eye, and uncharacteristically, she did not smile. Whereas she was usually warm, she seemed absent, distracted. I asked, “Is everything okay?” 

She responded, “Something really weird just happened. I’m going home.”

I could see she didn’t want to talk about it, so I told her to take care continued to the office to do some Xeroxing for my classes the next day. As I headed to the Xerox machine, the principal told me he needed to talk with me, so I followed him into his office. 

He was a kind man, fair and compassionate. Somehow he was friends with the bigoted superintendent. He closed the door, took off his glasses, and rubbed his eyes and his balding head. He did this when he was stressed.

He said, “Someone has reported that you are grooming a student, and the district is conducting an investigation.” 

I could see this was serious, but I had no idea what “grooming” was, so I asked.

The principal explained: “Preparing to molest someone. The district has contacted your student’s parents, and I have talked with her.” 

I was stunned. I thought of her expression as I had rounded the corner a few moments before, and I was angry that this homophobic investigation was happening. I was also angry my student and her parents were being drawn into this harassment. 

I said very little. What was there to say? This harassment seemed unreal, but it wasn’t. I hadn’t been a target since middle school. I had thought I was beyond that.

After the principal and I met, I told my closest colleagues what the principal had said, and they advised me to contact the union immediately. I did and talked with a supportive investigator who said this district and this school had a history of harassing gay and lesbian people. She would look into it. In the meantime, I should do exactly as she told me. 

After the phone call, I went home exhausted, lay down on the bed and fell into a deep sleep. The phone rang, jarring me awake. Half-conscious, I answered and listened as I woke up. 

“Hello, Mary. This is the superintendent. I know your principal talked with you today, and I want to follow up with you about the report.” He sounded professional. 

“I received an anonymous call in my office, charging you with preparing to molest a student. This is a serious allegation, and we are investigating.”

He continued in his emotionless baritone: “The call came directly into my office rather than going through my secretary as most calls do because it was after hours, and she was away from her desk. Therefore, I talked with the informant directly, but I don’t know the person’s identity.”

I startled awake. This detail was an odd one to explain. I thought, “He’s lying. He knows who ‘the anonymous caller’ is, and he and the caller are harassing me together. They are trying to end my career.”

The next day, I called my representative at the union after second period (because we started early, and I had taught seventy students before most people went to work.) I told her about the conversation. She advised me, “If he calls again, don’t talk to him. Don’t talk to anyone. This has gone too far. I will call him right now.”

Half an hour later, the principal summoned me to his office to talk with him and the superintendent. When I arrived, the principal said, “The investigation is over.” He was standing, and the superintendent sat rumpled in a chair that was too small for him. He did not look at me, but sat mutely in his dark coat and superintendent tie looking at his hands.

The principal continued, “The district has agreed to end its history of harassing gay and lesbian people in the schools. I will announce the district’s determination to the faculty, but I won’t use your name.” The superintendent still did not speak or meet my eye. 
I was relieved, but I was still angry. I considered a lawsuit, but the superintendent was already being investigated for harassing his lover’s husband, had a restraining order so couldn’t enter one of the district’s elementary schools, and it looked like he was on his way out anyway. I also didn’t want to involve me or my student in an ugly trial. 

Years later, when I went to a different district, I was cautious about being out with staff and never came out to students, though some of them knew. I suspect my being closeted among students didn’t help those who were struggling. After a gay teacher in another school told one student I was gay, the student came to me in disbelief. “I can’t believe I told you all about myself and you just sat there with your secret,” he said to me.

(By the way, coming out for someone else is against the gay code of ethics.)

I opened my mouth to share my experience, but closed it, realizing he didn’t need to hear this story. He was a poor, black young man out as gay in a high school. I knew he’d been harassed. I closed my mouth, then opened it again to say, “I’m sorry I disappointed you.”

I met another gay Aussie in Sydney, and when I asked her to describe what it was like to be a lesbian in Australia, she said, “Australia’s a progressive place. Especially the cities. No problem here.”

I said, “That surprises me.”

“Because we legalized gay marriage so late?” I nodded in response to her question, and she continued. “The population here is much more progressive than the government. A referendum passed in every precinct but two throughout the country.”

As one of our guides often said, “That’s Australia for you.”

So Australia isn’t why the salesman didn’t come out. Maybe it isn’t good for business, but there’s probably some reason I can’t guess. I can’t judge him. I don’t know what he’s been through or what he fears. 

In the last years of my teaching life, I was out to everyone but my students. Probably I was chicken, but maybe I was having the wisdom to know the difference between the things I could and things I could not change. No, I’m pretty sure I was chicken, but I was doing the best I could at the time, and that’s the best any of us can do. Actually, I believe we all do the best we can at the time, but that’s another blog entry.

I conclude from this experience that Australia is much like the US. Lots of folks are supportive, but some aren’t and a few are dangerous. We just never know with whom we’re dealing. Maybe that’s the US and Australia, or maybe the unknown threat is everywhere. 

Maybe that’s just being human.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Looking Back

Mom and Dad sent Ann and me a card with blue sparkles and doves for the ninth anniversary of our commitment ceremony. Outside, it reads, “Happy Day, Happy Couple, Happy family who loves you.” Ann and I began our celebration with this card before looking at photo books of the week-end.

Family and friends, some of whom flew to Seattle and others drove or walked to the church, for what was in some ways a traditional ceremony. Unfortunately, Ann’s mom was not well enough to come from Texas. We missed her, though both of us felt confident in her love.

Friday night, we rehearsed the ceremony in the sanctuary. Dinner at Tutta Bella, a tasty pizza restaurant, followed Friday night’s rehearsal. I recall much of that night: Stephen’s scotch gift (MacCallum’s—yum), Alex’s giggly toast, the phenomenal amount of tiramisu our nephew Jack ate. A favorite memory is of our niece Lucie.

Throughout the dinner, Lucie asked repeatedly, “Auntie Mary, who ARE all these people?” Each time, the question was more emphatic, and she'd wave her hands even more dramatically than the previous time. 

I finally responded in a way that satisfied her: “They're our friends.” 

She seemed dismayed: “You mean they're all here for you?” 

I was thankful that she and all our nieces and nephews saw that gay couples, like straight couples, could have a community of support. 

Out of town friends and family joined us for breakfast and a pool party at Katie, Diana, and Bailey’s home Saturday morning. It was chilly, so the kids swam while we adults ate.

Saturday at 5 pm, Ann and I went to the church. We were both dressier than usual, in slacks and tops. I’d even brushed my hair for the occasion. Our nephews, dressed in colorful khaki slacks, escorted guests to the pews. We walked down the aisle as our friends Marilyn and Sara played with their quartet. 

My brother's youngest kids, Lucie and Gretchen, carried flowers from Pike Place Market down the aisle, and our older niece Isabella read from First Corinthians: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres….And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Our friend Cheli, Ann’s student decades ago, read a poem called “The Eagle,” which I remember but cannot find.

Our friend Pam played and sang Sara Hickman’s song “Simply.” After the ceremony, Dad said, “You told me Pam sang, but I didn’t know she could sing.” Yeah. She was awesome.

Our minister conducted the ceremony and gave a talk about love. Ann and I exchanged wooden rings and vows we wrote ourselves. The minister directed our community to support our relationship. Ann and I kissed. People took a lot of photos, and we all went to a reception to eat and dance. Ann and I exchanged chocolate bites of a fancy cake, four alternating tiers of chocolate and carrot cake. 

In some ways, our wedding was traditional. In other ways, it wasn’t. No father walked us down the aisle to give anyone away. There were neither bridesmaids nor grooms. The minister did not invite anyone to speak up if they disapproved. We were both women.

This was a night we celebrated so many gifts that Ann and I are grateful for: one another, our families and friends, our faith and community. 

Our siblings toasted our love, and Little Brother Matt and Ann’s brother Gene both get choked up during their toasts. They hugged, one of my favorite moments of the night.

We all watched a slide show I'd put together to Tom T. Hall's song, "I Love." Bless Rod Margason, who helped me with the show and probably hears, "I love little baby ducks..." as the soundtrack to his nightmares. 

Ann and I danced the first dance to Exile’s “She’s a Miracle.” Everyone watched as we swung in slow motion. Ann held me tight, and the music played: 

She’s a miracle, a sight to see.
Ohhhh, the way she touches me!
Way down deep, in my soul,
Something’s got ahold, and it won’t let goooh.
If I stumble, if I fall,
She’s waiting right there to catch me.
Ohh, she’s a miracle, a miracle to me!

We had practiced for hours in our kitchen, so I didn’t stumble and I didn’t fall. We danced amid reminders of our Northwest home: totems, a carved canoe, a sunset over the sound. We danced amid reminders of how much we were loved and how much we loved one another.

A lot’s changed in the nine years since our ceremony. I had a second brain tumor; Ann retired from teaching; I had to leave teaching and other jobs in high schools because of my disabilities; I started my own writing, like this blog; we had a state-sanctioned marriage; we’ve lost some friends and family to deaths; we adopted our puppy Dosey. The list goes on. 

Some things haven’t changed. We live in the same home and attend the same church. Many friends and family from nine years ago are still in our lives. We still attend Seattle Storm games, though we have better seats now. We still love one another and feel grateful for each moment we’re together.

We're still living this miracle.


Friday, August 17, 2018

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Listen and remember: Aretha sings R-E-S-P-E-C-T. 

Here are the lyrics in case you’d like to sing along

What you want
Baby, I got it
What you need
Do you know I got it
All I'm askin'
Is for a little respect when you get home (just a little bit)
Hey baby (just a little bit) when you get home
(just a little bit) mister (just a little bit)
I ain't gonna do you wrong while you're gone
Ain't gonna do you wrong cause I don't wanna
All I'm askin'
Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Baby (just a little bit) when you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)
I'm about to give you all of my money
And all I'm askin' in return, honey
Is to give me my propers
When you get home (just a, just a, just a, just a)
Yeah baby (just a, just a, just a, just a)
When you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)
Ooo, your kisses
Sweeter than honey
And guess what?
So is my money
All I want you to do for me
Is give it to me when you get home (re, re, re ,re)
Yeah baby (re, re, re ,re)
Whip it to me (respect, just a little bit)
When you get home, now (just a little bit)
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Find out what it means to me
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Take care, TCB
Oh (sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me)
A little respect (sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me)
Whoa, babe (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)
I get tired (just a little bit)
Keep on tryin' (just a little bit)
You're runnin' out of fools (just a little bit)
And I ain't lyin' (just a little bit)
(re, re, re, re) When you come home
(re, re, re ,re) 'spect
Or you might walk in (respect, just a little bit)
And find out I'm gone (just a little bit)
I got to have (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)

I had planned to write a blog entry today about how Ann and I celebrated Wednesday night, the ninth anniversary of our commitment ceremony, but yesterday I heard Aretha Franklin died, and my head is full of Aretha Franklin’s voice. My heart is full of my stories where her voice sings the soundtrack.

A beautiful spring Friday. My first year of teaching. Dallas, Texas, 1987. I was 23 years old and sat outside the upper school building with three freshmen students: Luke, Joey, and Kate. Luke and Joey teased Kate in the way adolescent boys tease girls they like, poking her, pulling at her bra strap, and goading her with comments I can’t remember. 

Though I usually laughed along with these students, this time I was stern. “Don’t let them treat you like that,” I said to her. She just looked at me like she was used to it and calling attention to their antics would just make them worse.

I turned to the guys. “Don’t treat her like that,” I said.

Joey looked at me, a smile fading over his braces. “I thought you were our friend,” he said.

“No. I’m not your friend,” I responded. “I’m your teacher, and I’m telling you to show women of all ages respect.”

Joey nodded, and I left the group. The next Monday, when I entered our classroom, students were already there, and Aretha Franklin boomed from the boom box, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me.”Joey smiled, and Luke looked sheepish. This time, I laughed. They’d gotten my point, and there was still humor between us. I’ve always loved Aretha Franklin for that moment.

If you’re remembering, too, and want to hear that powerful voice some more, you can hear the whole album, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Loved You.

Aretha…I just can’t call her Franklin. She’s Aretha like Ellen Degeneres is Ellen. In this case using her first name is an indication of respect. And affection…. Aretha recorded her first record, “I Grow Closer” 
in her father’s church in 1956 when she was 14 years old, like the 1987 Texas students I’d been scolding.  
For a full retrospective, click here

Written and sung by Otis Redding, this song needed a powerful woman’s voice, and Redding recognized it was no longer his when he heard Aretha recording the song in the studio.

This song was Aretha’s song. And mine. And anyone’s who has ever felt disrespected. So she sings on. Even after death. She sings on.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Power

I tried to take a nap this afternoon, but with the Navy and Marine jets flying overhead, I felt like I was in a war zone. This siege happens every year as part of Seattle’s annual Seafair weekend. 

On August’s first weekend, hordes go to Lake Washington’s shores to sit on tin bleachers in a tin cage (Okay, it’s really metal fencing to keep out the freeloaders). The hordes watch speedboats making as much noise as possible as they race in a circle. Their race reminds me of one turkey I saw chase another around a bush in Michoacan, Mexico, only it’s louder. Apparently, the land-based hordes eat and drink a lot, as there are 23 places at the event to get food and/or drink. Some hordes watch from their own boats, I suppose so they can save money on food and drink.

As part of the weekend, the Blue Angels roar over our home. The first year we lived in this house, we didn’t know about this event. As the planes flew a few yards over our roof, the house shook, and scurried down from the ladder where she was painting our arbor. Then for a couple of years we tried the “If you can’t beat’em, join ‘em” tactic and went to a nearby park to watch them fly. Since then, we’ve gone to Mount Rainier’s Paradise for the weekend, where most hikers were from our neighborhood or China. 

Now that we have our puppy Dosey, who can’t stay at the Paradise Inn, we’ve stayed in town, and my partner Ann has taken Dosey to other parts of the city to walk and swim. Instead of going with them today, I went to bed to try napping through the siege.

Fortunately, the annual Blue Angels  siege has ended for this year. An opinion piece in today’s Seattle Times argued it’s time for the Blue Angels to retire from this event I agree, but I’m much less appreciative of all they’ve done than the writer. 

To me, The Blue Angels celebrate war in a way that displays power but doesn’t put us in danger. They terrify my dog, wake me from a much needed nap, and remind me with each roaring fly-over how much our country celebrates testosterone. 

Friday night, Ann and I saw powerful women on two WNBA teams play. Our Storm downed the Minnesota Lynx by 10 points. I love these games. Though there’s a lot of noise from the loud speaker and the fans (over 12,000 there Friday night), the noise stays in the arena for those who have chosen to participate in this event. Generally, the game and the crowd are family-friendly: no one’s obnoxiously drunk; people generally don’t boo the refs; and the crowd applauds great basketball from eith team (though there’s more applause for the Storm.) After the game, drivers exit politely from the garage, pausing to let another car into the stream.

Ann and I missed the stream Friday night because we got to have our photo taken with Breanna Stewart. “Stewie,” as she’s affectionately called, is talented, tall, and kind. She’s a shero.

At the end of October, 2017, she came out as a sexual abuse survivor. Her story, like her play on the court, is courageous. Unlike her presence on the court, she’s vulnerable. 

I know males and females who have been sexually abused. #MeToo is not just a women’s issue. To me, it does call into question our country’s, my city’s, celebration of predatory behavior, of power that overwhelms, of sky jets and speed boats.




Thursday, July 19, 2018

Prayer

Our pastor asked Ann and me to write a paragraph about prayer. That’s impossible! I never write just one paragraph. Besides, I wasn’t sure what to say about prayer.
When I was very young, prayers were the words I used to delay going to bed. My parents remember I blessed Mommy and Daddy and every other person and thing I could think of. They’re probably right that I was stalling, but what if I really had been so grateful for every person and thing. That’s a lovely thought. 
As I grew up, and our family grew, my little sister put her hand on top of her head when we said grace over dinner. I suppose that makes as much sense as any gesture of prayer.
In my teenage years, prayers seemed endless. At Thanksgiving dinner, I remember Mom asking her brother Tommy to pray before we ate, and I remember Aunt Cindy yelling, “Keep it short!” He never did. I thought he was long-winded, but perhaps he was just so grateful for the food and the hands that made it that he couldn’t keep it short. (Kind of like me and my “paragraph” about prayer.
Every night before dinner, Ann and I say a prayer, a few words that Ann noticed in the liturgy twenty years ago, when Jim Head-Corliss was our minister. Those who visit our home know this prayer because we say it every night. “Oh God,” we say as we hold hands with each other and anyone else at our table, and close our eyes, “Remind me that all of life is grace. Let me respond in gratitude.” For us meal, and especially dinner, is a sacred time, a time of communion.
The only time in the last twenty years that I have not voiced that prayer was just after my brain tumor diagnosis. For a couple of dinners, Ann voiced the prayer, and we held hands. As I cried, I nodded so God might know I agreed but was in too much pain to say all of life was grace. 
We voiced other prayers in that time. One night before going to sleep, Ann asked, “Should we pray?” and again I wept as Ann voiced our prayer. Also, before I went into neurosurgery, our minister at the time, Jim Carter, said a prayer that settled my nerves and helped me enter this unknown with some peace about my lack of control.
In much of our lives, however, prayers have not been words to God with our heads bowed and eyes closed. These prayers have been in moments that we remember are sacred: practicing yoga, reading a well-loved poem, marching for justice, witnessing this area’s stunning beauty from a bike (or trike) seat or a hiking path or napping at the edge of a mountain lake on a warm rock any sunny day. 
When our pastor asked us to reflect on prayer, I thought first of a line that seems unconnected to the rest of Mary Oliver’s poem, “The Summer Day”: “I don’t know what a prayer is.” The line occurs at the middle of the poem, and the rest of the poem belies that claim:

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Prayer, the poet seems to be saying, is slowing down to notice the world’s wonder. In that noticing we ask questions of creation, of living and dying, and about our wild and precious lives.

P.S. I also like Mary Oliver's poem "Praying," and "I was Just Standing," another her poems about prayer. And Rumi's quotation: “There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground” from this poem




Friday, July 13, 2018

Annabella at 98

Most weeks, my partner Ann and I visit Annabella, who used to live two houses down and now lives in a group home for assisted living.  She lived in her home until last year, her 97th. Some days, even moments, she’s agitated and confused and others she’s fairly lucid, appreciative of her daughters and the workers and place where she’s staying. On these days, she’s reflective and funny. I have always loved her sense of humor. Monday was a lucid day, a day of much gratitude, and I want to share it with you before it gets lost in some cluttered drawer in my memory.
When we arrived, a white-haired woman in her late fifties was talking with her mother in the garden, and Ann stepped into the shade with them to say hello.
When Ann said, “Vicky?” the younger woman’s chin dropped and she nearly skipped around to hug Ann. Vicky and Ann knew one another when Vicky was in her twenties and was a good friend of one of Ann’s previous students. 
After introductions, Vicky shared with us what a caring group home this has been for her mother and how caring the owner was when Vicky’s partner’s mother had lived here and had to move to a group home in Canada for insurance reasons. The owner even flew with this woman to Canada!
As Ann and Vicky reconnected, I went inside to see Annabella. I wanted to be sure to catch her before her afternoon nap. (Ann and I have arrived too late twice and watched Annabella sleep in that green lazy boy chair in front of the mesmerizing television video of colorful fish swimming in and out of coral.)
Monday, Annabella sat at the first table I came to when I entered. She said she knew who I was immediately, but she worried about Ann. I tried to tell her about Vicky, but that was too complicated, so we agreed Ann was parking the car. 
When Ann joined us, Annabella told us how beautiful the flowers in the garden are. There were also blue and pink hydrangea blossoms on the table. “Beautiful,” she kept saying.
She also told us how nice it was to have four friends visit yesterday, and she agreed that her hair, which was short and curly, looks real nice. “I have good hair,” she said, something she’s said across the 22 years we’ve known her.
She told us about the women getting her up in the mornings for breakfast. She says, “Let me sleep a little longer!” but they lift her legs and make her rise. She was being funny about how stubborn she is in the mornings, and I heard the women in the kitchen talking and laughing about her rendition of their mornings.
At one point, Vicky walked behind Annabella and mouthed to Ann, “She’s a character.” Yes, she is. 
Another week a woman who’s 103 was sitting close to the television where we were. Annabella nodded her head towards this woman and said, “She’s been dead two days.” Another time she had gotten her hair done and thought she was at the beauty parlor. She looked at a bald man who sat in the room watching the fish swim, and she said, “I don’t know why he’s here. He doesn’t have any hair.”
She is definitely a character, and it is so nice to see her in these grateful, easy moments. Of course, it’s anyone’s guess what she’ll be like next week, but this week was lovely.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Fourth of July

I don't like the 4th of July: all that boisterous banging and war games rattles me, reminds me of how many kind and loving people love the bang of power. I also don't like the banging on New Year's Eve or the booming when the blue angels fly and refly over our home again and again at Seattle's Seafair. (My puppy doesn't like them either. I'm angry. She shivers.)

Having survived the 4th, I need to clear my mind, so I'm cleaning my desk. (I can now see the wood in one corner--I've been working on this about eight hours.)

I've come across some lovely quotations and poems in the process. They calm me. Maybe they will calm you, too:

“There are some things we learn on a stormy sea that we never learn on calm, smooth waters.”—Danny L. Deube

 "If you want to walk on water, you've got to get out of the boat."  --John Ortberg, Jr.  

Raise your words, not your voice.
It is rain that grows flowers,
Not thunder.
--Rumi

Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough. – Ernest Hemingway

“Let today be a day where you take nothing for granted.
For life is fleeting, fragile and precious and can change on a whim.
Say all the things you really want to say to your loved ones today,
say the things you would regret should they pass on and your words remain unspoken. Rejoice, for you and they are alive today …
and should you or them pass on to unknown shores,
rejoice even more for you have a wonderful love story to tell.”
– Jackson Kiddard
 “Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.” 
--Yoda in Attack of the Clones

“Luminous beings are we…not this crude matter.” 
--Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back