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29 April 2008 @ 01:49 pm
In honor of Olga Grassi, my grandmother-in-law  
Olga was a vibrant and fiery woman who raised six children and whose Roman Catholic faith was the foundation of her life. I remember her as she contemplated her heart surgery in 2001, about six weeks after my own, and the calm courage with which she faced the serious odds against her survival. She needed a valve replacement and without it her life was extremely constricted. So she bravely took a chance that heart surgery, risky at her advanced age and condition, might give her back the ability to go on walks and participate more fully in life. Olga was a poet whose work was published in local magazines. This is one of her poems about the walks through the community she loved so much, admiring her Lord's bountiful nature. She did not survive her surgery by more than a day spent in a coma, but she is well remembered by her many family members and friends. I am forever grateful to her for making me feel so welcome in the Grassi family.

A Daily Walk

I took a walk to my favorite beach today
I petted a rust hued kitten along my way
I smelled the roses blooming everywhere
Their sweet fragrance filled the air

I talked to children playing games together
I felt the breeze and tug of weather
The sun was warm upon my face
The trees were dressed in feathered lace

I spotted a frisky squirrel climb up a pole
A curious gopher peeking from a garden hole
A dog was chasing a bright green ball
A little toddler was trying not to fall

I noticed sweet peas of every pastel hue
Seagulls gliding across a sky of blue

I walked across the railroad trestle
Where meandering river meets the sea
Skipped down to the boardwalk
What an exciting place to be

Gazed at the dipper winding up so tall
Heard the ever-present barker's call
Listened to the music of the merry-go-round
I can't think of a more pleasant sound
I spotted the jigsaw puzzle of the penny arcade
Where over and over each game is played

Sniffed the salt water taffy
Listened to the marching band
Remembered waiting for a hot dog
At Miller's old-fashioned stand
Smelled the popcorn rolled into a caramel ball
Recalled popping balloons and winning a kewpie doll

I walked along this magic carpet of color
Winding along the surf and sand and sea
And I shall never be able to forget
What all these things have meant to me
Because with every step I trod...I saw all around me the handiwork of God

--Olga Grassi

What a perfect example of seeing God everywhere and in everything!