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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

3:19 min read
1 View

Robbin T. Hartridge

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

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