War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

they say

they say it takes a village to raise a child. I say it takes a village of women to raise a woman.

in a few hours I say goodbye to Joyce. she of the rolled cigarettes, the blue smoke at the kitchen table, the pots and pots and pots and pots of coffee. endless stories… fly boys, sailors, soldiers. glen miller dances. convoy. transport ships. a daring flight in a Spit under a bridge. a little farm girl from the Anapolis Valley becoming nurse. angel to the wounded from the broken fields of Europe.

this morning as I wrote something for her eulogy, it came to me… of course, all those stories I grew up with. the war. the tragedy but also the fun. and most of all, the great adventure. this is no accident that I find myself where I find myself, the dust of Afghanistan on my boots still. letters from soldiers coming to me every day. rocket attack. mortars. laughter too. laughter. loss. and hope. hope that as the little farm girl beamed a light into those boys’ darkest moments, maybe someday I’ll have a chance to do the same thing too.

and now it’s my turn to keep an open door to a girl on her way to becoming woman.

thank you Joyce, for your friendship, your mothering, for telling me the truth

2 Comments (Closed)


You’re so correct, S. I have at least a dozen years more than you but know I feel the same thing. Our many mothers have given us many gifts of their memories, their experiences, their lives. Some may have had parallel experiences, as you and Joyce did; more did not and make our journeys fascinating in their differences. Now, we’re senior to other young women, all the girls I call (or at least think of as) daughters. I try to talk to each of them as I loved being talked to—stories of lives lived, what worked and didn’t work, what made us who we became. And most of all, everything interspersed with laughter (or tears, sometimes) and love. The circle of life goes on; we are but a small part of its arc. (My condolences for your loss: think of this as another small lurch of the circle turning.)

Dec 14 2009 · 15:12

Nancy Wilson

Stories are always a good thing. A must, really.
Just remember that it (life) doesn’t always have to be so hard.
Happy belated Birthday Suzanne


Dec 17 2009 · 15:51

About This Page

The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled they say. It was posted here on December 13, 2009.


Complete diary archive