Granting Permission

Last Wednesday night a noble, epic,
   and wonderfully eccentric force left us.
   She was our Grace.

I remember her as a fixture in the chapel,
   always there, like a pillar,
      holding out a light for us.
Like a candle set there to help us light our way back.
She did this for us so effortlessly without having to say
Whenever I came,
   I found myself often looking for her,
   and finding her there, feeling assured.
When she was not there, I noticed a light was missing
   and the chapel was a little less bright.
In her silent glowing she granted me permission
      to relight my own candle
  whenever it went out,
  and sometimes she would light it for me
      just by being near.

I remember her marvelous, magical flair.
I often wondered where it came from
      or how it came to be......
She came in the most astonishing package
   wrapped differently every time,
   in all the years I knew her.
The hats, the scarves, the gloves, and shoes,
   the dangles and bangles,
   bells and whistles,
   the fabrics in designs, drifts and swags
   no one else could quite possibly replicate.
I could not wait to see how she would stage herself
When I asked her so many times how she did it,
      she would shrug her shoulders
      and chuckle with twinkling eyes.
But by her ever-changing 'present'
      she granted me permission
   to seek out my own ribbons and bows
      to wrap myself in
and to celebrate what was in my own package.

I remember one evening she came to a
      potluck gathering at my house,
   for a rare appearance.
She left in my shoes without knowing,
   and I woke up the next day to find hers
      left at the front door.
I was so amused
      that I never told her about it,
   never saw those shoes again, even as I returned hers.
In our innocent exchange,
   she granted me permission at a juncture in my life
   to choose to walk differently
   as I went out to buy a new pair of shoes.

I remember her as a faceted mirror
      of her daughter Grace.
who stopped using her nickname,
      reclaiming their connection.
Grace and Grace.  Grace for Grace.
Together they held the center of the wheel for us.
One was rarely without the other, more like sisters,
   candle and flame.
In seeing them together I was granted permission
      to serve,
   to show up for others, and to love unconditionally.

But what I remember the most were the crazy,
      halting stories
   of an outrageous person who would not apologize
   for being more outrageous than anyone else,
   who broke all the rules every day
      and got away with it every time.
In her audacity she granted me permission
      to be myself
   with all my flaws, packaging and shining light,
   to stop apologizing.....and to not be afraid
      to break the rules.
To understand that our own grace and imperfections
      should be
   embraced and celebrated fully.

I like to think of Grace now rising,
      as a fixture in the sky,
taking her place, holding out a light for us
      in her petite and yet larger than life way.
Like a star suspended there always
      to help light our way back.
That upon gazing up and seeing her twinkling
      and chuckling to us,
   we can again feel assured,
   by being granted permission
   to walk this life
      as a sparkling, unique essence for each other
      as we remember her,
      our Grace.


About this poem

In memory of Grace Huffman Sr.

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Written on June 10, 2009

Submitted by spiritu700 on August 01, 2022

Modified on March 05, 2023

3:19 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 3,413
Words 665
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 3, 16, 21, 13, 11, 14, 14

Robbin T. Hartridge

Robbin is a retired landscape architect and enjoys writing when the inspiration arrives! more…

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