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Ashes to Ashes

by F.I. Goldhaber

You went to nursing school to assure your independence
so you would never have to marry and let a husband
determine your life's course. But, before you graduated,
you met the man with whom you would spend the next sixty years.
Together you followed the rockets across the nation.
You cared for patients in numerous hospitals and
clinics, earned your license to practice in six different states.
You began when you were required to wear white caps and shoes.
You called doctors sir, all physicians were men, and women
only nurses, secretaries. Two degrees later, you
worked as a manager and doctors reported to you.
You raised three children, watched them struggle, find success, and wed,
then adored and spoiled your grandchildren into adulthood.
Retired, you spent decades traveling around the world.
Together you visited every continent and
almost every country. You traveled by ships big and
small, planes, trains, automobiles, and even an elephant.
You brought home myriad treasures, photos, and memories.
When death closed his eyes, you planted his ashes with an oak.
You visited his tree, watched him grow, brought him flowers, spoke
to him, and observed his leaves change colors with the seasons.
Now, we've mingled your ashes with his so you can always
stay together, nurturing this tree through many lifetimes,
offering shade to your grandchildren's grandchildren as well
as all those who come to this park to walk, run, picnic, and play. 

"Ashes to Ashes" first appeared on Soul-Lit; also published in Food * Family * Friends by F.I. Goldhaber.

F.I. Goldhaber's words capture people, places, and events with a photographer's eye and a poet's soul. As a reporter, editor, business writer, and marketing communications consultant, she produced news stories, feature articles, editorial columns, and reviews for newspapers, corporations, governments, and non-profits in five states. Now paper, electronic, and audio magazines, books, newspapers, calendars, and street signs display her poetry, fiction, and essays. http://www.goldhaber.net/.