I don’t know how many of you may know this, but I have been volunteering as a companion for hospice patients the past few months.  My first patient, Shirley, was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 73.  My Grammy Mary was diagnosed with the same disease around the same age so I felt a kinship with Shirley immediately.  In addition, as I prepare to give birth in just 4 weeks to my first child, the awareness of the circle of life every time I visited with Shirley was sometimes overwhelming, but each time amazing and awe inspiring.

I learned today that Shirley has passed away.
In her memory, I would like to share a beautiful piece by Henry Van Dyke and thank PLG for encouraging the work of making the lives of others better for any time they have on earth.  Through enriching the lives of others, we enrich our own.
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I am standing on upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.  She is an object of beauty and strength.  I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with one another.
Then someone at my side says:  “There, she is gone!”
“Gone where?”
Gone from my sight.

That it all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear the load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her.  And just at the moment when someone at my side says:  “There, she is gone!” There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout:  “Here she comes!”
And that is dying.  – Henry Van Dyke