One year later…

by Samantha StierOne year ago today my beloved mother suffered a massive stroke. We brought her home to Paloma Ave, just a block from the Pacific Ocean, where she drew her last breath one week later. As I stayed close by her those last few days, I browsed among all her marvelous writings and came across a poem she had written that I want to share with you now:

When I AM asked

A poem by Jane Winslow Eliot


When I am asked: “How are you?”

“Good,” I answer.


But in a crowd, I am scattered.

In a pinch, I can be counted on.

For a friend, I am there.

By myself, I am unencumbered.


At the Beach, I am spread out as far as the eye can see,


Then the entire Pacific Ocean spreads out before me,

Or behind me,

Depending on which way I look.


Like the sands, I scatter,

Like the winds, I waffle,

Like the whales, I travel,

As the seagulls, I care.


I am quiet or stormy depending on the day,

I dip and rise, with the fullness of a wave, large or small,

I sway left and right to the voice of water caressing sand.


When I write, I make a cross.

The cross of Space with Time.

Of memories with places.


When I dream I make a soap bubble filled with people I love.

Sometimes I am just My Self.


What is that?

I ask.


June 27, 2007


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  1. Beautiful sentiments. Beautiful verse. These words tell me she was a woman with a beautiful soul.

    1. Thank you, Gayle. She always spoke of you with such warmth even though I don’t think you ever met. But she knew you were the light of Sam’s life.

  2. Many of the words and ideas in the poem you chose, I have heard Jane say. They always caused me to feel the brightness and excitement that reading the poem makes me feel today – July 31, 2012. She is so close to all of us still. xx Karen LdG

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