Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Going Out

I've been thinking about my little sister, Mackenzie. This is nothing new, as I think of her frequently. But on the 14th anniversary of her death (February 11th, 2016), I was actually in a pretty good place about her—especially considering how sad I've been on anniversaries past. Because of my recent strength, I was surprised that my thoughts have drifted back to Kenzie in my familiar, missing, nostalgic, wishing ways.

My thoughts became more intense this past weekend when Greg asked me to go visit his sweet mom's grave. It's been eight years since Anne passed away, but it feels much more recent. Anne and Mackenzie are both buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, so when we visit one, we visit the other.

It was a beautiful, clear, chilly day in the cemetery. The sun shone so brightly! As we stood at Anne's grave, the birds were very twitterpated, they made me laugh! I told Greg that his mom would have loved seeing those happy, feisty birds! :) We stood there for quite a while, holding hands, just looking and thinking...Anne was a marvelous woman!

When a huge wind came up, I hid behind Greg. As I buried my head in his back, I looked over and saw a family driving slowly in a station wagon. They were silently watching us, so I closed my eyes and hugged Greg. Yes, cemeteries are thoughtful, speechless places...probably one of the few spots on Earth I'm without a lot of words.

As we drove up to Kenzie's grave, I read several names. Even though I've been to the Salt Lake City Cemetery more times than I can count, I never tire of wondering who those souls were and what their legacy is. I wonder if they feel good about how they left this world? I wonder what they would tell everyone if they had one more day on Earth? One thing I don't wonder about is their happiness now. I have zero doubts in my mind that they're all smiling and at peace! :)

I spent time staring at Kenzie's headstone, remembering all the times I've visited. No, I don't remember the exact number, but I recall portions of every visit. It's strange to think her years are far past 18—she would be 32 years old now! Yet in my mind, she is still that young adult, a recent high school graduate, barely able to vote. I wonder who she would vote for in 2016? I wonder what she would think of our world's current state of total chaos?

The thought that keeps coming back to me is that Mackenzie doesn't belong to this world anymore. Of course, we'd take her back in a heartbeat(!), but life has moved on so drastically since she left, I think she'd be shocked at the state of our society. I mean, she's only four years shy of having been gone for as long as she was alive—which is mind boggling. My oldest son is only two+ years younger now than Mackenzie was when she died. I truly cannot believe how much time has passed! Yet for me, she is frozen in time. That said, I'm positive Kenz would totally be able to handle whatever this crazy world might throw at her. :)

So today, I want to share a poem Kenzie wrote when she was in elementary school. My dad shared it with me over a year ago and I've had his permission to publish it here, but I just kept hanging onto it privately. I'm glad it feels like the right time to share Mackenzie's words (below). I've kept the basic idea of her poem—font, border, colors—the same, I've just jazzed it up a bit! (I use PicMonkey for my typographic designs.)

When I first read her poem, I was instantly struck with how much I relate to it. Yes, it was a school assignment, but I think her young mind created something lovely! Mackenzie definitely had a wonderful way with words. Our other sister shared with me that their teacher had them create a poem based off a famous poet's poem—she had the same project two years earlier. Kenzie chose "The Pasture," by Robert Frost, and titled it, "Going Out."

Going Out
By Mackenzie Jessica Fullmer

I'm going out to sail the sea;
I'll only stop to clear the clouds away
And wait to feel the breeze, I may:
I shan't be gone long.–You come too.

I'm going out to fetch the little star
That is so delicate. It shines so bright.
It burns throughout the night.
I shan't be gone long.–You come too.

Ever since I read this poem for the very first time, I envision our darling Mackenzie out at sea. She loved the ocean every bit as much as I do—which is A LOT! And whenever I miss her, I think of her words, "I shan't be gone long..." One day, I will be where she is—with our beloved family members. Until that day (which I hope is FAR in the future), I will imagine Mackenzie in the sky, high above the seas, clearing the clouds away, fetching the delicate little stars and saving them for a fantastic light show when she greets us! :)

I'm so grateful for Mackenzie, her precious words, and her heavenly support—which I know she freely and continually gives to our family members and me!

I took this photo from the balcony of my aunt and uncle's beautiful condo in Florida. I will never forget our glorious vacation there! Yes, the Treasure Coast will be a part of my heart forever! :)

1 comment:

  1. So touching and beautiful and eloquent and moving and wondrous.

    And your sister's poem is pretty spectacular.


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