Today is a very sad day. As of 3.30pm yesterday afternoon, a wonderful woman, my adopted grandmother, Adrienne Ziemba, quietly and peacefully left the world after her long battle with pancreatic cancer. From the big bed where she lay, surrounded by her beautiful family, she has gone alone on the first steps of her journey, and with the same grace and towering strength that have sustained her all her life. No doubt many loved ones, including her father, our dear Dzia Dzia, her mother and her beloved baby brother, John await to surround her with endless love on the other side, just as her family did by her bedside, seeing her off with an immense outpouring of the same love she gave them. We should be thankful that she is no longer suffering the terrible pain that haunted her these last few weeks. But for us who cannot follow, the very sun seems somehow diminished as if she were its only reason for shining. Our lives will never be the same without her, as she was a kind and gentle soul, the very embodiment of life, laughter, and unconditional love. She will be sorely missed by many. Her strength and compassion I know will live on after her, in her daughters and son, and in all those whom she inspired with her kindness and her indomitable will. May God reward her for a lifetime of love and her gentle, selfless heart.
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
Mary Elizabeth Frye