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Claire had all but given up
When she and Edwin fell in love
She touched his face and shook her head
In disbelief, she sighed and said,
“In many dreams I’ve held you near
But now, at last, you’re really here.”

“Where’ve you been?
I’ve looked for you forever and a day
Where’ve you been?
I’m just not myself when you’re away”

He asked her for her hand for life
And she became a salesman’s wife
He was home each night by eight
But one stormy evening, he was late
Her frightened tears fell to the floor
Until his key turned in the door.

Where’ve you been…

They’d never spent a night apart
For sixty years she heard him snore
Now they’re in a hospital
In separate beds on different floors.

Claire soon lost her memory
Forgot the names of family
She never spoke a word again
Then one day, they wheeled him in
He held her hand and stroked her hair
And in a fragile voice she said

“Where’ve you been…
No, I’m just not myself when you’re away”

When my husband and I would listen to this song he would start crying.  I understood why–it wasn’t just the song–it resonated with the reality of the deep love we have shared and the magnitude of loss that stood at its shoreline.

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Joan of Arc

I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. And then it is gone. But to sacrifice what you are and live without belief, that's more terrible than dying.--

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Beannacht

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue, Echoes of Memory