The plane launches through the cloud bank over Syracuse into the evening sky. The auburn-tinted horizon is aglow with the light of the setting sun. A waxing crescent moon floats with its companion star above us. I wonder to myself if this star always lingers so close to the moon. Is it always such a bright beacon in the baby-blue sky of early night? Is it actually a planet? I could probably look it up, and may. Or I might just watch the night sky to see what happens over the next few weeks, months, and years. So many times over the past few days we wondered about something, our questions often triggered by a faded family photo or relic. We wished beyond hope that we could ask Grandma for the answers. She always had the answers.
A tight-knit crew of Clark descendants gathered for four days and nights in her house of seventy plus years. We celebrated and grieved, laughed and cried. We are bound together by our history and by our love for Esther Elizabeth Baker Clark. We are bound together because of the compassion and care she shared with each and every one of us. At Grandma’s, I was surrounded by kinship and hope. Each room of her beautiful old home held a connection to past, present, and future. In every nook and cranny a photo or memory gave me pause and brought a smile to my face.
I feel the loss of Grandma deep in my heart. Yet, wrapped around that aching hole, I feel the love of family. This was Grandma’s gift to us all. She brought us together. She created and nourished the loving bonds between us. These bonds will live forever. Grandma’s love lives on. With every act of kindness and compassion, Grandma’s love radiates out from her family to our communities. It spreads in ripples across the world.