Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'll Be Seeing You

There's a wonderful song that my beloved mother-in-law listened to when she knew her battle with cancer was coming to an end. I think of her every time I hear it.

I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces all day through
In that small café, the park across the way
The children's carousel, the chestnut trees, the wishing well
I'll be seeing you in every lovely summer's day
In everything that's light and gay
I'll always think of you that way
I'll find you in the morning sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you

The song was written by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal for the 1938 Broadway musical "Right This Way." It also inspired an eponymous 1944 movie with Ginger Rogers, which was a perfect expression of post-war feeling. 

It's also a perfect expression of how I've felt this summer as friends, acquaintances and celebrities that I've admired have passed from this plane of existence. While some of these names may be familiar to you, others are not. I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge all of these people who have touched my life.

Lee Abromowitz
Michael Winokur
June Walker
Shannon Kelly Geiger
Stephanie Tubbs Jones
Bernie Mac
Leroy Seivers
Tim Russert
Harvey Korman
Cyd Charisse
George Carlin
Randy Pausch

I'm reminded of this because of Michelle Ward's wonderful 22nd Crusade over at the GPP Street Team. She's challenging her readers to find a way to "pay it forward" in their lives. 

Michelle recently lost her beautiful sister Shannon to cystic fibrosis and shared Shannon's bravery on her blog. Michelle took her grief and turned it into action, asking her readers to send pink socks for the patients and nurses at the hospital where her sister was treated. There has been a flood of pinkness arriving every day at her mail box that has far exceeded her expectations.

Then there was the passing this weekend of Leroy Sievers, long-time journalist who posted his fight in the NPR blog, My Cancer. He brought closure to my memories of losing my mother-in-law.

There are already some inspiring stories from the Street Team and I hope to add to them. In the meantime, thank you to everyone who has touched my life and helped me in some way to be a better person. 

I'll be seeing you.


Kim Mailhot said...

What a beautiful post, Jeri-Ann ! There is something so wonderful about the loving that is going around, even within the sadness and the loss. It sure does touch the heart, doesn't it ? I think it is a very important and good thing for all of us !
Thanks for your sweet comment on my story. It touched me too.

I'll be seeing you !

Anonymous said...

Really great, JeriAnn! I hope that there comes a day when names can stop being added to the list. Soon.

Marylinn Kelly said...

JeriAnn, perhaps it is aging, perhaps it is gaining wisdom regardless of age, but at some point we realize that grief is an enormous part of life. Then we are left to decide what to make of it. That we make it into songs and socks, poetry and joy is truly a miracle. Thank you for your comment.

Maj said...

I like this song too! Is it Sting, that also made his version of it?
I agree with Marylinn, grief is life's great challenge to us. But it is good to have a song to remeber somebody special by!

michelle ward said...

welling up again. in a good way. xoxo

Stephanie said...

Jeri Ann, yes, a very beautiful post....such a group of inspired and inspiring souls that have left this 'plane'.

thank you

Kel said...

I love that song too. My dad and I used on a DVD we made of old photos with him talking about them. It's the perfect song to honour people who have gone that remain part of your life.