a poem about Jerry, and about all of us
Like the smallest guy in class playing football with junior highers
twice his size and pulling his own weight
Like the little league baseball player with broken fingers never
quitting even when he could
Like the student who captained his academic team as an 8th grader
because he was the only one with prior experience
Like the avid reader who swore he was not a Slytherin, though he
was...and earned the right to Gryffindor House, at least in 8th
Like the kid who found Jesus (and a church home) and never
stopped inviting his mom, his best friend, even his best friend’s
parents, until they came too
Like the young man on a mission experience using his Boy Scout
skills to benefit a whole village
Like the father torn with grief holding the young mother when she
no longer has the strength to stand alone
Like the class of 8th graders sitting together at a funeral even
though they’re not sure what to do, just supporting each other
Like the circle of friends sharing their favorite quote about Ohana
in front of a crowd, even though their family is “little and broken”
Like the best friend heading to school for the first time without the
guy he called brother, knowing it won’t be easy and going anyway
Like a youth group coming together for the first time after losing
the sunshine and finding a way to laugh again
Like the mother who finds the strength again and again ...
to put one foot in front of the other
to stand before hundreds of people and share a bright
memory even though her heart is shattered into millions of pieces
to join with the church family for worship even though her
memories are nearly close enough to touch
to encircle herself with the Ohana family of young people who will always call her “Mom” even though the center of the circle is unseen.
Yes, I’ve seen extraordinary strength and courage.
I can find the strength and courage to walk this valley, too.