Lessons on Joy from a 3-year-old
She wasn't a pretty baby. She had dark, round eyes like saucers - much too big for her little face - and a full head of dark brown hair that spiked upwards and outwards - like porcupine quills. But oh! how she grew into her face! By the time she was two Tali - my granddaughter - was stunningly beautiful. She still had the huge, dark eyes, but by then they were proportionate, framed by her ridiculously thick, dark eyelashes. Her long hair cascaded over her shoulders, sometimes falling over one eye, and her cheeks were always slightly flushed. She bore a greater resemblance to her older brother, Amir, than she did to her twin brother, Noam. One day I will explain to my grandsons how their sister grew from being a typical, lovable little girl into a mature, confident, courageous and inspiring child who knew instinctively how to live joyfully. She had - at age three - been diagnosed with brain cancer, and endured the horrors of chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation. Yet through it all there were countless moments of laughter ... moments of playfulness ... moments of silliness … and heartwarming moments of quiet intimacy that soothed my frightened soul. Tali loved to assume a leadership role in our relationship, and took every opportunity to show me how to perform tasks that I would pretend were difficult for me. As she guided me along she would offer words of encouragement: "Good job, Granny.” “I know you can do it.” And when she tired of being my teacher we would sing. We had our own repertoire of children's songs that we would sing together, ...
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What If?
  What If? What if you still were with us today? What if you’d never been taken away? I try to envision how life would have been Without the deep longing that smolders within What if your life had not been cut short? What if you'd won the battle you fought? You'd be all grown up – now ten years old With big brown eyes, and beauty untold What if fate had not been so cruel? You’d be busy preparing for fifth grade at school You'd be singing and dancing in school plays and such You'd be bright and successful in all that you touch What if your mother had not had to face A life filled with sadness I cannot erase? I see the grief and I hear her cries And I'm helpless to dry the tears in her eyes What if scientists had found a cure And ended the suffering you had to endure? If your hold on life had remained unshaken How different the roads that our lives would have taken But what ifs do not last for long The truth emerges ever strong Six years ago we said our goodbyes Now coloured balloons take our love to the skies No matter how the years go by We’ll never allow your memory to die In our hearts and our souls you will always remain Until one day we meet again Written August 2013 (See A Poem About Loss,  Death Anniversary Poems and Death of a Grandchild)   ...
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Death of a Grandchild
  by Adele Gould Coping with the death of a grandchild – a tragic and excruciatingly painful event – garners very little support for grandparents.  What makes this loss even greater is the helplessness that grandparents feel in being unable to ease the terrible and lifelong heartache experienced by the grieving parents. My beloved granddaughter, Tal Doron (affectionately called Tali) was just four years old when she died on August 26th 2007. A stunningly beautiful child, she exuded both childlike joy and astounding maturity throughout the ten months of her suffering.  Diagnosed at age three with a rare form of brain cancer, her chances of survival were slim. Nevertheless -- as she endured the unspeakable horrors of chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation -- we convinced ourselves that she would beat the odds.  There was simply no other way to think. I hold on for dear life to the precious memories I have of her pre-cancer days, when she would squeal with delight when she saw me arrive to visit.  “Granny!”  she would shriek as she leaped with abandon into what she trustingly assumed would be my waiting embrace. Her eyes would shine with joy as she anticipated playtime, Granny-style. We would collapse on the floor, surrounded by dolls and other such girlish accoutrements.  Sometimes I got to be the Mommy and she the Daddy, and when she grew tired of parenthood, she would dump her "children" in a box, and we’d dance to the rhythm of Old McDonald, joined by her two brothers (one of whom was her twin). Sibling rivalry would fade into the background as story time began. Could there be any greater ...
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Our Secret Place
  Our Secret Place Written 2011 Four years ago we kissed your lips and whispered our goodbyes Four years since the light was taken from those big brown eyes Surrounded now by photographs that greet me every day To bring to life the moments spent together lost in play   Time propels us forward – so little place for grief Tears are frozen, cries are silent!  Stolen by a thief! So I found a Secret Place -  a place for you and me A reservoir of memories where feelings can run free    When life feels overwhelming and I need to hide awhile Our Secret Place awaits me,  and gives me cause to smile Awakening remembrances of precious times we shared A haven that protects me when I’m feeling sad or scared   Sometimes when I’m lost in thought, your smiling face appears Inviting me to join you in this Place that knows no tears Where your laughter echoes silently and still I hear your voice And feel the hugs that gave me every reason to rejoice   Our Secret Place consoles me and bestows some peace of mind It’s a place where time stands still -  and where pain is left behind Where reflections from the past, feel palpable and real A kaleidoscope of images that soothe and help me heal   And Tali – when I feel your presence in Our Secret Place The ache residing in my soul is softened by your grace And when I leave this harbour, to face the world once more I take with me the quiet inside that eluded me before   Though your time on earth was short you left a legacy of song A tapestry of joy that that’s ever colourful and strong No matter how the years go by or how long we’re apart Time ...
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A Poem About Loss - Death of My Granddaughter
  The Death of My Granddaughter A Poem About Loss "Sometimes I Dream" Written August 2009 Sometimes I dream that I’ll wake up to find That the past two years was a figment of mind My heart skips a beat as I reach for your hand Does anyone out there understand?   Sometimes I dream that life’s still the same That you‘ll still come running when I call out your name So I whisper our songs as I daydream aloud And I hear you singing from behind a cloud   Sometimes I dream that from darkness comes light But my daughter’s in pain and I can’t make it right Her little girl’s time on this earth was too brief And each day of her life she must live with her grief   Two years have gone by since I touched your sweet face You lived with such courage and died with such grace Your shining eyes and heavenly smile Come down to greet me when I stop awhile   Oh!  How I long for the joy now denied The wondrous delight of being by your side But memory is such a magical gift That sustains me each day when my soul is adrift   And Tal, when I’m ready to bid life adieu How old will you be? Will I recognize you? I am not afraid – I know you’ll be there To journey with me through the great somewhere   Sometimes I Dream … (See About Adele Gould, Death of a Grandchild and Death Anniversary Poems) ...
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