(For Robert)

No ties on earth to bind him,
This spirit freely soars,
Spanning mighty mountains,
Skimming distant shores.
Amongst the stars in heaven,
Beyond the reach of man,
This spirit wakes in wonder,
And cries aloud, “I can!”

And seeing those who loved him,
Still bound by earthly ties,
He hears their sounds of mourning,
And feels their sorrowed cries.
Yet from that timeless, distant space,
Beyond the reach of man,
His spirit wakes in wonder,
And calls to home, “I am!”

–Sandra Lee Smith,
September 22, 2011



  1. This must be a very difficult Christmas for you without your long-time companion — who also loved celebrating the season. The poem is a lovely tribute. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Sandy, how lovely and well-expressed are your sentiments. I know that this will be a sad Christmas for you — no matter how brave you are — and I wish you peace.

  3. Thanks, Melissa, thanks, Judy. This is a difficult Christmas. It was a holiday that Bob thoroughly enjoyed knocking himself out putting up decorations and trees and lights.
    If he’s watching, I hope he isnt too disappointed that I havent done very much.

    • I’m sure that Bob wouldn’t be disappointed. Neither one of you alone could re-create what you had together. In my experience, it isn’t just the amount of work involved, it is the joy and satisfaction of accomplishing it together. It is like a door closes on one type of Christmas and a door opens on a new way to celebrate and commemorate. Based on my experience and observation, it takes a lot of people awhile to figure out the essential elements of old and new that they want to carry on. I am confident that you can create a simplified holiday that you will find meaningful and satisfying. Plus. the concept of simplification accommodates the reality that none of us are getting any younger and we should stop demanding the impossible from ourselves. When I think of the Christmas feats we used to accomplish, I think we were a little crazy — but in a good way.

  4. Oh, Melissa, this is such a beautiful message. I am going to print it and put it on a card to go on my bulletin board, which is above my computer – there is an 8×10 picture of Bob & I on the board, taken in 2006 on Thanksgiving. I made over 100 copies and sent them out to friends and relatives with Christmas cards. Its the best picture I have of the two of us. (I cant figure out how to post photographs on sandychatter–the ones on here were done by a friend who has been having trouble getting it to work anymore. I’m just lost unless my GRANDDAUGHTER can figure it out for me. She is 17. Well, I laughed at myself yesterday–my 9 yr old grandson got a cell phone for Christmas and sent me a photo of Grandpa Bob, from the same photo I like–I was amazed he had figured that out so quickly on his cell phone so he SHOWED me how to do it on mine. I said I dont need to learn too much new technology; I have 2 smart grandchildren to help me out. And yes, 2012 is going to be a year of new beginnings and changes – and my son already started on the downsizing in the back yard & packed up Bob’s tools. I gave them all to Kelly & said do whatever you want with them – but there are a lot of really good (= expensive) tools that we bought over the years. He is keeping them but packed everything up. He & my son Steve overhauled the backyard in October when Steve was here for a visit. I am a libra and we have to be pulled kicking and screaming into changes–so this isnt an easy transition. Yes, I did it all for Christmas for about 50 yrs…and recognize that I can’t do “it all” anymore. Thank you for this very meaningful message. – Sandy

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